Sam O’Quinn

Background

Samuel O’Quinn was a successful businessman and father of 11 children in Centreville, Wilkinson County. A graduate of Tuskegee Institute, he owned a large plantation, worked as assistant town engineer, and was engaged in several other business endeavors around Southwest Mississippi. In 1959 O’Quinn left the state to travel North. He was shot to death shortly after he returned. Local black residents stated that O’Quinn was murdered because he had joined the NAACP and was preparing to engage in civil rights activity in Wilkinson. The local sheriff told investigators for the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission that the murder of Sam O’Quinn had shut down NAACP activity in the County.

Legal Status

No legal action was ever taken in connection with O’Quinn’s murder.