FATHER OF THE LEVEE
Thomas Gregory Dabney has been described as the "father" of the levee system in the Yazoo-Mississippi Levee District.
A native of Raymond and educated there, he fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War and after the war worked on both levees and the new railroad system in Louisiana.
When he became Chief Engineer of the Yazoo-Mississippi Levee District in 1884, he found little more than the memory of a small levee. Before he ended his tenure, he had supervised the placement of two million cubic yards on a line almost 100 miles long.
He established and followed plans and specifications which provided levees in the Yazoo-Mississippi Levee District that were 20 percent larger than those recommended by the U.S. government.
One of his biographers wrote that Dabney negotiated levee building contracts totaling $15 million—a huge figure in those times—and that these negotiations were completed "without the slightest breath of suspicion as to any contract".