Mildred Dearman epitomized the concept of both “community” and “community journalism.” As any community newspaper reporter, editor or publisher will tell you, the two are intrinsically linked and few could be a better embodiment of this ideal than Dearman.
Dearman spent her entire career at the weekly newspaper The Carthaginian in Carthage
A wisp of a woman she could become righteous wrath, rising up in defense of her community and in defiance of its detractors, civic leaders said. Whether the cause was Leake Memorial Hospital, Carthage-Leake County Library, Carthage United Methodist Church, an Avenue of American flags or the unit system of county road management, they said, Dearman sought always what was best for Leake County and Carthage, and then to improve on that.
Coming to work at the Leake County newspaper in August, 1960, the Carthage native quickly became an indispensable fixture in the community and at the paper.
Her entire 48-year career was spent with the The Carthaginian working in every aspect of the newspaper, at the same time contributing in all ways to her community.
She was president of the Mississippi Press Women and served on the board of directors of the Mississippi Press Association for two terms, and as vice president.
She won every award offered in MPW competition and numerous MPA honors. Dearman claimed more than 100 state and national journalism awards and for years headed up the MPA Better Newspaper Contests.
She was chosen Mississippi Medalist at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1973 and in 1974 was named the Mississippi Press Women’s Woman of Achievement.
While she was involved in publishing papers in other communities, her heart remained true to her home county. She served two terms, 1964-65 and 1981-82, as president of the Leake County Chamber of Commerce and was named Leake County Woman of the Year in 1982.
She led efforts to establish an Avenue of American Flags in 1964, then helped revive the display in the 1990s. Her efforts on behalf of the Carthage library were key in funding expansions and improvements.
In April, 2005, Dearman was honored by the Old Robinson Road Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution with the Woman in American History Award, the only recipient in Mississippi that year. She was the first nominee named by the Old Robinson Road Chapter.
A member of Rotary, she was a former member and president of the Carthage PTA and the 20th Century Club. She was a member of Carthage United Methodist Church.
Born Aug. 19, 1923, she graduated from Carthage High School and East Central Junior College, where she was head drum major.