An AHGP Transcription Project

Winston County 1907

Winston County was established December 23rd, 1833, and was one of the numerous counties formed in that year from the territory acquired from the Choctaws, by the treaty of Dancing Rabbit, in 1830. The county has a land surface of 577 square miles. It was named in honor of Colonel Louis Winston. The original act declared that it should embrace the following territory:
Townships 13, 14, 15, and 16 of ranges 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14.
By an act of the legislature in 1875, townships 15 and 16, range 10, and township 16, range 11, were added to Choctaw county and about the same time the north half of sections 2 and 3, township 12, range 13, were taken from Neshoba county and added to Winston. It is situated in the east central part of the State in the so-called Yellow Loam Region, and is bounded on the north by the counties of Choctaw and Oktibbeha, on the east by Noxubee county, on the south by Neshoba county and on the west by Attala and Choctaw counties. Shortly before and after its organization, a strong tide of emigration set in toward this section of the State from the older parts of Mississippi, and from the States of Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, and by the year 1837 the population of the county was whites 2,193, slaves 959, and by 1840 the population had reached 4,650, including slaves. Some of the earliest settlers in the county were S. R. McClanahan, Jonathan Ellison, Wm. C. Coleman, Larken T. Turner, Henry Fox, Judge Felix M. Ellis, Judge of Probate, John H. Hardy, sheriff, Leroy H. McGowan, Josiah Atkinson, George W. Thomason, first county surveyor, Amos C. Morris, first sheriff, James Phagan, first Circuit clerk, James Bevill, first Probate Judge, and J. M. Field, Isaac Jones, John H. Buckner, Wm. McDaniell, Geo. B. Augustus, and Joseph Bell early members of the legislature from the county. Louisville is the county seat named for Louis Winston and platted on a tract near the center of the county, donated by Jesse Dodson. It was on the great mail route from Nashville to New Orleans, and the terminus of five mail routes in the early days. Incorporated in 1836, it now contains a population of 1,200. Near here are the well known Chalybeate Springs, on section 3, township. 15, range 12, said to possess valuable medicinal properties. Noxapater, Hathorn, Plattsburg, Fearns Springs, and Betheden are the largest settlements in the county outside the county seat. Until recently Winston county has been without railroad facilities; the Mobile, Jackson, & Kansas City Rail Road passes through the county from north to south and the line is now in operation from Mobile to Middleton, Tenn. Numerous small creeks, headwaters of the Pearl river, and a number of small streams, tributaries of the Noxubee river, provide every section of the county with water. The soil of Winston county is generally of a very fair quality, sandy on the hills, easy to cultivate, and, when fresh, very productive. The bottom lands on the streams are stiff and very fertile. The products are cotton, corn, wheat, oats, field-peas, ground-peas, sweet and Irish potatoes, sorghum, ribbon-cane and rice. The uncleared portions of the land are well timbered with pine, the various kinds of oaks, poplar, gum, beech, walnut, cherry and cypress. Considerable attention is now being paid to the raising of live stock, many improved breeds of cattle, horses and sheep having been introduced. Quarries of lignite, silicate of alumina, and some good specimens of iron ore and bituminous coal have been found in the county. Some of the highest hills in the county are 1,500 feet above tide water in the Gulf of Mexico. Very little manufacturing is done in the county, though 30 establishments were listed by the last census, which have more than doubled within the last five years. The following statistics, taken from the twelfth United States census for 1900, relate to farms, manufactures and population: Number of farms, 2,592, acreage in farms, 294,370, acres improved 98,319, value of land and improvements, exclusive of buildings $800,900, value of buildings $351,890, value of live stock $425,348, total value of products $909,761, expenditure for labor $26,490, for fertilizers $16,220. The number of manufacturing establishments 30, capital invested $49,074, wages paid $4,999, cost of materials used $20,111, total value of products $40,066. The population in 1900 consisted of whites 8,192, colored 5,932, total 14,124, increase over 1890, 2,035. Since the last census returns the population has rapidly increased and in 1906 was estimated at 17,000. The increase in land values have been wonderful and, in the last 3 years real estate values have increased fully 400 per cent. The total assessed valuation of real and personal property in Winston county in 1905 was $1,292,682 and in 1906 it was $2,551,968.50, which shows an increase of $1,259,286.50 during the year.

Source: Encyclopedia of Mississippi History, Volume 2, Planned & Edited by Dunbar Rowland, LL. D.,
Madison, WI., Selwyn A. Brant, 1907


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