Arthur F. Kinnney, scholar – “In the past few years, critical work on Faulkner has exceeded that of any other author in English save Shakespeare”. This self proclaimed “country man” or “farmer” just happened to be born in New Albany, Mississippi . . Birthplace of William Faulkner
The coming of the railroads was an important event in the history of Union County. The first east-west line crossed the tracks December 2, 1886, followed by the Gulf & Ship Island, a narrow gauge railroad built by Col. W. C Falkner and his partner Richard J. Thurmond of Ripley Mississippi. It was this desire of Col. Falkner’s to build a railroad to link Ripley with Chicago and the Gulf of Mexico that resulted in William Faulkner, considered by many critics to be America’s greatest writer of the 20th century, being born in New Albany, Mississippi. The track though New Albany was completed in August 1887.
William Cuthbert Falkner (he later added the “u”to the spelling of his name) was born in New Albany on September 25, 1897. When he was born, his parents, Murry and Maud Falkner lived in a simple frame house on the corner of Jefferson and Cleveland Streets, a few blocks from the railroad. It has been said the house was one of the first built on the North side of town.