By Talbert Toole
As the LOU community continues to grow and expand beyond its original parameters, the Historic Properties Commission has continuously worked with city officials to protect the historical values of the town’s properties and buildings.
Jim Pryor, chairman of the commission, was honored Thursday by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) with the National Historic Preservation Medal for his work in protecting the historical significance of Oxford and Lafayette County.
The medal recognizes and honors “a person who has done extraordinary work over a long period of time in establishing a historic district, preserving a local landmark, restoring or preserving objects of historic cultural significance, or establishing or participating in oral history projects, youth leadership and education, as it pertains to historic preservation, at the regional, state, and/or national level.”
Polly Grimes of Aberdeen, along with Billie Breedlove of Batesville presented Pryor with the medal prior to DAR’s regular meeting.
Grimes and Breedlove both served as National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Honorary Vice President General and Honorary State Regent of the Mississippi State Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
Breedlove said she truly appreciates all the effort that the Historic Preservation Commission does around Oxford; however, she said she continues to bear witness to all the work Pryor does, as well.
“But I can tell [Pryor] is behind the scenes working all the time,” Breedlove said. “I commend you for all your efforts.”
After the medal was pinned to Pryor’s lapel, Maralyn Bullion, a longtime advocate and activist for historic preservation in Oxford, spoke in front of DAR commending Pryor for his work.
Bullion said if she could name any one person who has done so much work for the city of Oxford it is Pryor.
“He is a real hero of this town,” she said.
As a member of the city of Oxford’s Historic Preservation Commission, Pryor has helped spearheaded multiple historic preservation sites around Oxford which include the Burns-Belfry Church, Cedar Oaks Mansion and the L.Q.C. Lamar House.