History

Show Me Your Mississippi – The first federal building in the country to be named for an African American.

The McCoy Federal Building, Jackson, MS.

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The McCoy Federal Building, Jackson, MS.             Photo: Pinterest 

Many Jacksonians associate the name of Dr. A. H. McCoy (1903-1970) with the federal building located downtown. It was indeed named for Dr. McCoy in 1984, making the structure the first federal building in the country to be named for an African American. His remarkable life and accomplishments prompted a local grassroots movement to name the building after him.


Dr. A.H. McCoy

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Dr. A. H. McCoy. Call Number: PI/1986.0029, No. 1 (MDAH Collection)

McCoy was born in Jackson where his parents operated a large dairy farm near present-day County Line road. He attended Tougaloo College and Meharry Medical College in Nashville. In 1930, McCoy returned to Jackson and started a dentistry practice. It was located near the corner of Farish and Capitol Street, on part of the present day site of the federal building. In addition to his successful dentistry practice, McCoy co-founded the Security Life Insurance Company in 1938, two movie theaters, and helped develop the Farish Street business district. McCoy was also active in the Mississippi chapter of the NAACP.


Sources:

“McCoy, A. H.,” Subject File, MDAH.

“Jackson Federal Building, Dr. A. H. McCoy Building,” Subject File, MDAH.

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