SALTILLO • Teresa Neaves and Scottie Thompson have an interest in the past, present and future of the city they call home.

For their involvement in Saltillo’s history and growth, the two were recognized Sunday afternoon as Saltillo’s Citizens of the Year for 2019. About 60 people attended a reception honoring Thompson and Neaves at City Hall.

The award is presented each year by the North Lee Civitan Club.

Neaves, who grew up in Saltillo, returned home in the early 1990s after working in New Orleans and Jackson as a teacher and law firm librarian. She spent 25 years as librarian for Mitchell McNutt & Sams in Tupelo until her retirement two years ago.

“I just felt the need to come home,” Neaves said. “I’m proud to be from Saltillo. Giving back to Saltillo means so much because Saltillo gave so much to me.”

Neaves’ passion for research carried over to her service as chair of the Saltillo Historical Committee. “As a judge friend of mine says, I’m a research goob,” she said. “It’s like putting a puzzle together.”

Neaves and other volunteers gather documents and photos of Saltillo’s past in order to preserve it for the future. The documents and photos are kept in the Saltillo Historical and Genealogy Archive Center, located in the Dr. R.B. Robison Resource Center on Mobile Street.

“We’re collecting everything we can get our hands on in regard to the history of Saltillo and Saltillo-area families,” she said. “For us, Saltillo also means Birmingham Ridge, Fellowship, Cedar Hill and Unity. This whole area, not just downtown Saltillo.”

Thompson, formerly of Ingomar in Union County, has adopted Saltillo as his home. He and his wife, Lindsay, moved from New Albany to her hometown in 2008.

“We were both working in Tupelo, and that was back when gas was $4 a gallon. We thought it made sense to move over this way,” he said.

The Thompsons became a part of the Saltillo business scene, opening the House of Bounce in the downtown area four years ago. They also have a party rental business, donating equipment to festivals and events in the community.

“We’re trying to do what we can to help the town prosper,” he said.

Thompson also serves as president of the Saltillo Main Street organization that promotes business growth and city-wide activities for residents. He’s expanding his business interests in the city by developing a subdivision and business properties.

“We live here, our kids go to school here. We just want to make it better for everybody. Anything we can do to make the town better, that’s what we’ll do,” he said.

Thompson and Neaves will serve as grand marshals of Saltillo’s Christmas parade Dec. 10.

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