Partner William Alexander Percy
Greenville Cemetery Greenville, Washington County, Mississippi, USA
Thomas "Tommy" Seymour/Scarborough Shields (September 29, 1891 - May 9, 1941) was a popular Greenville business man. Lady Percy McKinney, herself a lesbian, spoke often of William Alexander Percy's gay life in Mississippi. William Armstrong Percy II, who had once spent a year in Greenville with William Alexander and his family (William Alexander's father had become William Armstrong's guardian), often spoke disapprovingly of his "effeminate" cousin. His wife, Anne Louise Dent, using the oblique language, made mention of William Alexander's "boyfriend" Thomas Seymour Shields, whom she had met on more than one occasion.
A native of Bastrop, LA, Thomas Shields was the son of Thomas S. Shields, and moved to Greenville with his parents when he was 11 years old. He attended Chamberlain Hunt Academy in Port Gibson and Castle Heights Academy in Tennessee. When the call to the World War I came he entered the service of the US Army and was stationed with a medical unit at Fort Oglethorpe, GA.
Shields was a partner with J.A. Crittenden in the operation of Crittenden-Shields Ice Cream company.
Thomas Shields died on May 9, 1941, in King's Daughters hospital after an illness of several months. Lewis Baker in The Percys of Mississippi : politics and literature in the new South, reports in moving details Tommy's death: "During his last days Shields cried out for Will in his lucid moments." Willliam Alexander Percy saw to it that Tommy, a white man, was buried in the Percy plot. Percy and his nephew, Leroy Percy, were pallbearers to his funeral.
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