Margaret Gilmer’s legacy lives on at bridge dedication ceremony in Vicksburg

Published 12:36 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Family, friends and officials gathered for the dedication of the Margaret Gilmer Memorial Bridge on Monday afternoon, located on South Frontage Road spanning the railroad tracks near the Vicksburg Commons.

Gilmer, who died in 2022, was well known for her service and contributions to Vicksburg and Warren County and had an important role in having the South Frontage Road extension constructed.

The first of several people to speak at the ceremony was Don G. Brown, Chairman of the Warren County Port Commission. He spoke about how meaningful it was for this particular bridge to be named for Gilmer.

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“One of the things that Margaret was passionate about was extending this south frontage road. For probably 25 years or more, every time you saw Margaret, that was going to come up in the conversation, and that was whether you were on Washington Street or in Washington, D.C.,” Brown said. “And any of the congressmen or anybody else there knew when they saw her face, they knew to get ready to talk about this extension, because it was really important to her.”

Gilmer was a founding developer of the Vicksburg Factory Outlets, now known as Vicksburg Commons, and served the community as chairman and board member for the Economic Development Foundation, president and executive committee member of the Warren County Chamber of Commerce, on the Warren County Port Commission, Vicksburg-Warren Board Realtor, MCITy chairperson, Rotary Club member and was an active member of First Presbyterian Church.

Vicksburg Alderman Alex Monsour also spoke at the event. He mentioned how important Gilmer was to him, and how tenacious she was in achieving her goals, despite the two not always seeing eye-to-eye.

“When my mom passed away, (Gilmer) kind of took me to her side because I was a single dad at that time. She loved my kids. She was just such a great person, and she helped me out in those times, and I’ll never forget that,” Monsour said. “And I guess that’s why I took all the abuse from her in the legislature that I took over the years, because she was such a good person. But I will say this: She loved her kids. She loved her grandkids. And she could have gone home any time and just let it take its course, but she didn’t. She loved Vicksburg, loved the community and she always wanted to see it get better and grow.”