PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF POLICE
At the first meeting of the Board of Police of Bolivar County, at the house of William Vick, the following members were present:
Francis Patterson, Sr., Hiram D. Miller, C. I. Field, Andrew Longacre.
Francis Patterson, Jr., one of the commissioners appointed by the legislature to organize said county, being present, administered the oath of office to each of the above named members of the board; whereupon Francis Patterson, Jr., was appointed clerk of the board, pro tem, and as such, took the oath of office. Andrew Longacre was unanimously elected president of the board.
The court then being duly organized, proceeded to business and made the following order, to-wit:
"It is ordered that the County be divided into five districts, as follows, viz: (then follows description).
"Township 24 is District No.1; Township 23 is District No.2; Township 22 is District No.3; Township 21 is District No.4; Township 20 is District No.5.
"It is ordered that the house of William Vick be selected as the place for transacting all public business, such as holding courts and elections, until the county seat shall be located.
"It is ordered that Samuel McLunkin, Anderson Parish, and James Thompson be appointed Judges of an election at the house of William Vick on the second Saturday in June next, for the purpose of electing two Justices of the Peace and two Constables, for the 4th District, who shall make return of said election to the President of the Board, according to law.
"It is ordered that an election be held at the house of William Vick on Monday and Tuesday, the 4th and 5th days of July, next, for the purpose of electing the following county officers, to wit: Sheriff, Coroner, Circuit and Probate Clerk, Judge of Probate, Treasurer, Assessor and Collector, Surveyor and Ranger, and that Francis Patterson, Jr., Evan Day and James Thompson be appointed Judges of said election, who shall make their returns to the President of the Board, according to law.
"It is ordered that a petition from sundry citizens be duly received, praying a public road from Bolivar Bayou to the seat of justice, and that E. Day, T. Bacon, 1. E. Miller, D. & T. Yarborough, R. M. Hines, T. Moore, A. I. Longacre, S. McLunkin, I. H. Dempsey, D. S. Crane and E. E. Perryman be appointed a jury, whose duty it shall be to meet at the house of Evan Day the first Saturday in August next, at 9 o'clock, A. M., and proceed from thence to view and mark out said road, and make their report to the first meeting of the Board thereafter, as required by law.
"It is ordered that there be a meeting of the Board the 2nd Saturday in August next.
The Court then adjourned.
At a meeting on Saturday, August 13, 1836, of the Board of Police, Orrin Kingsley was given the oath of office.
On August 15, 1836, Andrew B. Dodd's bond as Clerk of the Board of Police was taken and approved, and the oath of office administered. Public roads were authorized.
Two additional election precincts were located, one at the house of William B. Cook and one at the house of Joseph McGuire, and the election precinct located at William Vick's was changed to the new house of John W. Bolls. It was ordered that an election be held at the three precincts on the 1st Monday in November following, to elect a member of the Legislature of the State of Mississippi.
It was ordered that Joseph McGuire, Orrin Kingsley and John V. Newman be appointed judges of said election held at the house of Joseph McGuire; Francis Patterson, Jr., James Thompson and Samuel McLunkin judges at the house of John W. Bolls; and William B. Cook, John W. Bolls, and Hiram D. Miller judges at the house of William B. Cook. It was ordered also that an election be held at the house of Joseph McGuire on August 25th to elect two Justices of the Peace, Joseph McGuire, John V. Newman and A. H. Erwin to serve as judges.
A. Longacre, president of the Board of Police
Ordered, on September 5th, that a special and county tax be assessed and collected, the amount of each to be one-half the amount of the State tax.
Ordered on September 19th, 1836, that the Presidential and Congressional elections be held when the election of the member of the Legislature is held.
Proceedings of the Board of Police on May 1, 1837, show the acceptance of the offer of William Vick to sell five acres of land, including the overseer's residence, for the Seat of Justice, the price to be fixed by R. R. Estill for Mr. Vick, and B. M. Hines for the county; these fixed the sum of $500 for the five acres and $300 for the improvements. It was arranged for B. M. Hines to survey same into a public square, with lots on each side, and advertise the sale of said lots in the Vicksburg Register, the sale to take place on the first Monday in November, the Seat of Justice to be called Bolivar.
The second Board of Police was elected on December 4, 1837, and comprised the following members: Orrin Kingsley, President, Peter Wilkerson, Hiram D. Miller, Z. Alexander, Isaac Hudson, A. B. Dodd, Clerk.
Wm. G. Groomes furnished the timbers for the jail to be built at Bolivar, and Joseph McGuire was given the contract. Peter Wilkerson was licensed as tavern keeper in October 1838. The following is a copy of an account allowed him:
To Dinner .75
Breakfast & Supper .50 each
Board & Lodging by the day 1.75
Board & Lodging by the Week 9.00
Lodging for one night .25
Keeping horse one night .50
Single feed for horse .25
For each drink of spirits .12 1/2
The minutes of the Board of Police recite the following banks as those dealt with by the county in 1838:
Planters Bank of Natchez, and its branches; the Bank of Natchez; the Agricultural Bank of Natchez; the Commercial & Railroad Bank of Vicksburg; the Commercial Bank of Rodney; the Railroad & Banking Company of Grand Gulf; "And no other."
The Union Bank of Mississippi appears later, and the Commercial Bank of Manchester and the State Bank of Arkansas.
The third Board of Police, elected in November 1839, consisted of Orrin Kingsley, President; Francis Patterson, Sr.; Hiram D. Miller; and Ignatius Bankston. George Marshall, Sr., did not qualify and Peter Wilkinson was elected in I his place.
Washington Smith was given a license to keep a tavern in the town of Victoria in Bolivar County, March 30, 1840, and was also appointed Road Overseer.
John R. Patterson was deputy sheriff in 1840.
An order was passed by the board to build a courthouse in the town of Bolivar, December 15, 1840, on the public square, the dimensions to be:
"32 feet long by 22 feet wide; one story ten feet high; to be a substantial frame structure, weather-boarded with planed weather-boarding planks and covered with pine, cypress, or poplar shingles." Francis Patterson, Jr., and A. B. Dodd were to supervise the construction of the building and pay $595 for same out of the treasury.
Benjamin F. Perryman resigned the office of Justice of the Peace on January 25, 1841.
The fourth Board of Police was elected November 10, 1841. The following constituted its membership: Brackenbrough McCormick, President, Joel Huntington, Hiram D. Miller, Thomas J. Porter, William B. Cook, Andrew B. Dodd, Clerk. Washington Smith was treasurer of the county in 1841.
The following jurymen were selected from the assessor's roll, February 1842: Thomas Moon, Jos. O. Campbell, Henry Thomas, Jackson McMellon, James H. Melton, John Irish, Stephen Irish, Thos. C. Tupper, Mark Carrol, William B. Cook, John Thompson, George S. Crane, Joseph McGuire, James I. Brown, Israel T. Hines, Egbert Harris, Peter Wilkerson, William D. Courtney, Benjamin F. Perryman, John P. Pollard, Zackeus Alexander, Philip Stanley, Shelton Henderson, Thos. J. Porter, Chas. N. Wells, Joel Huntington, Samuel Smith, John W. Bolls, Thomas Goff, B. M. Hines, Michael Gillick, Washington Smith, Geo. Augustin, John C. Burrus, Thomas Bridy.
Ignatius Bankston was elected assessor. He failed to make bond and T. G. Phillips was elected in his stead.
C. I. Field was deputy sheriff in April 1842, and William B. Cook was appointed commissioner to value lands. Walter G. Baylor was elected to fill the unexpired term of William B. Cook on the Board of Police, caused by the removal of Cook from the district. Phillip Stanley, Justice of the Peace, resigned in September 1842.
Thomas J. Manley was elected to fill the unexpired term on the Board of Police of Hiram D. Miller, October 1842.
Charles Clark, attorney, was allowed $46.75, commissions for suits brought by him against G. W. Wilkerson, et al for school land purchased by them, February 1843.
The election precinct on the Yazoo River was established at Alfred Murdock's house in Bolivar County, and he was privileged to run a ferry on the Yazoo River, September 1843.
Ira G. Goff was assessor in 1844.
The fifth Board of Police of Bolivar County was elected on December 17, 1843, and was composed of the following members: John Thompson, President, William R. Harner, John N. Heathman, Matthew Farrar, Zackeus Alexander.
Z. Alexander was succeeded by John V. Newman in March 1844.
On March 25, 1844, the following order was passed by the board: "The present county seat of this county shall be removed to the site known as Jackson's Point, about 5 miles above the house of John V. Newman, and upon the land of Thomas Bernard, and there permanently located."
The first court held at Jackson's Point was on August 6, 1844, with William R. Harner, John V. Newman and James B. Smith present.
On August 8, 1844, the following order of the board was passed: "That ten acres of ground be appropriated for a county seat for Bolivar County, at the place designated as the permanent county seat of this county by an order of the Board of Police of Bolivar County of March, 1844."
It was further ordered that the site for the seat of justice of Bolivar County be known and designated by the name of Unum.
John V. Newman was made a special commissioner, with full powers to contract for, and receive by donation or purchase, 80 acres of land for the use of the county, to include the county site, and to contract for building a courthouse at Unum. A description of the building as prescribed by the board was given. Bids were to be received and a special tax of 25 % of the state tax was to be levied and collected for building of said courthouse.
The board also ordered that Isaac Hudson, sheriff, be required to notify the Judges of the Circuit Court and the District Attorney that the county seat of Bolivar County is removed from Bolivar to Unum, and the courts will be held hereafter accordingly.
(Signed) William R. Harner,
President pro tem.
The Board of Police met at Unum September 30, 1844, and we find the following in the minutes:
"Ordered that the order passed at the last term of this Board, giving the present county seat of Bolivar County the name of Unum be reconsidered, the same repealed, and it shall be hereafter known and called by the name of Bolivia."
William McGuire took the oath of office as Deputy Clerk of the Police Court March 31, 1845.
The following were appointed as presidential election officers and inspectors in 1845: Felix Whitley, L. Shaw, and John T. Lane at Victoria; Jas. H. Carson, Matthew Farrar, and Daniel Richmond at Carson's; Christopher 1. Field, Rhodes R. Estill, and B. McCormick, at Lake Bolivar,
Joseph McGuire, John V. Newman, and Alfred White at the courthouse.
The sixth Board of Police was elected November 8, 1845, and were: James B. Smith, President, John V. Newman, John Patterson, O. W. L. Byrne.
B. F. Perryman was elected in June to succeed A. T. Smith, who left the county.
John V. Newman was privileged to keep a ferry on the Mississippi River at the farm of Joseph McGuire, November 1845.
The election precinct, established at Lake Bolivar, was changed to "the meeting house near the house of Thomas J. Manley," September 30, 1844.
Elections were held at different precincts, one of which is of peculiar interest, being called "Indian Charley's Shanty." It was below the bayou and ditch running from Willow Slough to the Mississippi River on the Mississippi side. This shanty of old Indian Charley was located at the beginning of the Choctaw Boundary Line on land owned by Joseph McGuire, and all through the first field notes of Bolivar County there are descriptions and marks designated by "Indian Charley's Trail."
Isaac Hudson was allowed $200 for removing courthouse from Bolivar to Bolivia, and John V. Newman, also, was allowed $50 for removing said courthouse.
On March 31, 1845, a tax of 1/4 of the state tax was levied, as a special tax, to build a jail.
A church called "Manley's Church" was used for an election in 1845.
Again we find that John V. Newman was allowed $55 for services in removing and repairing the courthouse.
The minutes for September 29, 1845, contain the following:
"Ordered that the Bolivar Precinct, formerly at the Bolivar Church, be removed to the house of the late Colonel Willis."
Bolivar County was divided into districts in September 1845. "The first district includes the Island of Concordia to the line between townships 24 and 25, due east to the county line. The second district begins at the line between sections 24 and 25, runs south to include John R. Davis' place, commences at the section line below John R. Davis' place, and runs due east on that line to the county line.
"The third district extends from said line down the river to include Orrin Kingsley.
"The fourth district extends from Orrin Kingsley's down the river to the line between Dr. Dodd's and Colonel Field's, including all back settlements.
"The fifth district begins at the said line between Dodd and Field, and extends down the river to the county line."
In the minutes of June 17, 1846, we find the following:
"RESOLVED, That Isaac Hudson and William McGuire be appointed commissioners with full power to ascertain in what time a lot of ten acres of ground can be procured, at or contiguous to the spot where the courthouse now stands; and to notify the owners that damages will be assessed and the ground be appropriated for a county seat, unless terms of trade can be accomplished; and it is ordered that said commissioners procure the county surveyor to survey and ascertain the location of said lot, as desired by the Board of Police."
On September 8, 1846, the county surveyor was ordered to lay off the town of Bolivia, the county seat, into town lots, the sale of said lots to take place on the 3rd Monday of September.
The seventh Board of Police, elected November, 1847, were as follows: John C. Burrus, President, John V. Newman, W. P. Perkins, A. H. Glenn, T. J. Jackman.
Orrin Kingsley was elected to fill the place of J. C. Burrus, removed from the district, in March, 1848, and was made president.
Judge John Patterson of the Probate Court, in 1847, administered the oath of office.
W. B. Cook was clerk of the Police Court, 1847.
Ira G. Goff was elected assessor, and Isaac Hudson sheriff in November 1847. "
Peter B. Starke's name appears in the minutes of March 1848,as a landowner.
James B. Smith, county surveyor, was allowed $13.50 as payment for surveying the county site in September 1847, and T. J. Manley was authorized to get information in regard to the purchase of said lands.
Isaac Hudson was authorized to go to the residence of the owner of said land at or contiguous to where the courthouse now stands, and purchase said land for the county site and notify the owner that damages would be assessed and the land taken according to the law September, 1847.
The election precinct at Victoria was abolished in favor of Carson's precinct in, September 1847.
In the minutes of the board of November, 1848, there is mention made of a church where an election was held, and of a chapel at Concordia, which, together with the church named as Manley's Church in 1845, proves that there were churches in the county at that time, however primitive they were.
Dr. Sterling Neblett's name appears in the minutes of March 1849, for the first time.
The eighth Board of Police was elected on the 12th of November 1849, and its members were as follows: Orrin Kingsley, President, John V.' Newman, John T. Lane, Cyrus G. Baldwin, Ambrose H. Glenn.
Cyrus Baldwin removed from the district and C. I. Field was elected to fill his place, April 1850. E. R. Porter was elected to fill the place of John T. Lane in August 1850.
John R. Patterson resigned as Judge of the Probate Court in June 1850, and M. Farrar was elected to succeed him, but failed to take the oath of office.
At the April meeting of the Board, it was ordered:
"That William Cook be required to confer with Charles Clark with the view to purchasing the fractional section No. 24, township 23, range 8, west, from the estate of Thomas Barnard, and he be authorized to offer for same $150; said fraction containing about 37 acres, and in the event of not being able to purchase the whole, to purchase about 12 acres in said section for a county site, off the lower part of said section."
The ninth Board of Police was elected November 10, 1851, and consisted of the following members: Orrin Kingsley, President, John V. Newman, James A. Cousar, Joseph H. Newman, A. Glenn, William S. Cook, Clerk.
An act was passed at the session of the legislature in 1851 to remove the county seat, and a meeting of the Board of Police was called to consider its removal.
Orrin Kingsley was authorized to receive written proposals to remove the courthouse to a -spot on Indian Point that the board may designate.
The minutes of the Board of Police, Bolivar County, for February 13, 1852, contain the following:
"Ordered that a call term be held at the courthouse of Bolivar County, Tuesday, the 24th inst., to take into consideration the act passed at the "present- session of ' the Legislature of Mississippi to remove "the county, seat and take the bond of the Levee Treasurer of the Board of Levee Commissioners of said county."
The minutes of a called meeting of February 24, 1852, show the following:
"Ordered, that Orrin Kingsley be authorized to receive written proposals to remove the courthouse to some point on
Indian Point that the Board - may designate, such point to be not less than
250 yards from the Bank. [That is, from the bank of the river.]
J. V. Newman, Jos. H. Newman, A. H. Glenn, Orrin Kingsley, Isaac Hudson, Sheriff; W. S. Cook, Clerk."
The legislature had authorized the Board of Police to locate the county seat "within one mile of a point opposite the mouth of the Arkansas River." This was a place of demarcation of the Choctaw Boundary Line, as designated by Major-General Jackson when he was appointed by the U. S. Government as one of the commissioners to treat on the subject of the "New Purchase" at the Treaty of Doak's Stand.
The new county seat was to be located at Jackson's Point on land owned by Thomas Barnard. It is interesting to know that Thomas Barnard came down the Mississippi Valley in 1822 as a government engineer, and was fascinated with the rich Delta lands. Several years later, the spot of land known as Jackson's Point was patented by the United States to T. G. Ellis and Thomas Barnard. It appears that Barnard held the strongest title and he retained the land. All this land has now caved into the river except a small corner of Section 34.
The minutes for the meeting of April 19, 1852, disclose the following:
"Ordered, that the purchase and agreement this day made by and between this Board of Police and Judge Joseph McGuire, to wit:
"That the said McGuire, for the sum of one thousand dollars, agrees to sell in Sec. 12, Township 22, Range 9, West, to be designated by the said Board, three acres of land to be
applied and used exclusively for county purposes, and a right-of-way to the river from the courthouse for 60 feet, be ratified and approved.
"Ordered, that the bond of W. S. Cook for the removal of the courthouse to Indian Point, with C. I. Field as security, be approved, his being the lowest bid therefor."
W. S. Cook was allowed $175 for this work.
The following is contained in the minutes of April 19, 1852:
"By virtue of an act of the legislature passed at the session of 1852, authorizing the Board of Police in and for Bolivar County, Mississippi, to locate the county seat of said county within one mile of a point opposite the mouth of to/ Arkansas River, said Board having purchased three acres of land in Section 14, Township 22, Range 9 from Jos. McGuire, Esq., proceeded to designate more particularly the spot for said county seat, and A. H. Glenn, Orrin Kingsley and John V. Newman, having reviewed and selected said spot of land within the limits prescribed in said act and staked off said county seat as follows: (Description follows).
"Said spot of land, as designated and described aforesaid, is selected and approved as the county seat of Bolivar County, and the Clerk of this Board is hereby authorized and required to remove all papers, books and records, belonging to this court, and all circuit court and probate court papers and documents, to the county seat as above selected, by Monday, the 26th inst.
"Present at this meeting: Orrin Kingsley, President; J. V. Newman, A. H. Glenn, Isaac Hudson, by J. B. Wells, Deputy; W. S. Cook, Clerk"
At the regular meeting on the second Monday in May 1852, the following action was taken:
"A doubt of the legality of the order removing the county seat from the spot in section 34, township 23, range 8, west, in said county of Bolivar as located by the Board on the 25th of March, 1844, to any place they may order and designate within said county, provided such place shall be not more than one mile distant from the point on the Mississippi River immediately opposite the mouth of the Arkansas River;
"Therefore, be it ordered by the Board that the seat of justice of Bolivar County be, and the same is hereby removed to the lot of land purchased from Joseph McGuire, and particularly described and designated as follows:
"Beginning at the Choctaw Boundary Line, north along the east side of Section 14, Twp. 22, R. 9, W., 16 chains - corner of sections 6 and 8, Twp. 22, R. 8, W., 23 chains from corner of Sections 6 and 8 in Ranges 8 and 9, set apart from which a sassafras 12 inches in diameter bears north 75 1/2 degrees W. 195 links. From thence, N. 56 1/2 degrees W. 15 chains, 57 1/2 links to S. W. corner of a lot of ground sold to the Board of Police of Bolivar County, Mississippi, for a site. There set a post, from which a persimmon 9 inches in diameter bears S. 9 3/4 degrees E. 5 chains and 86 links, and a persimmon 10 inches in diameter bears S. 1 1/2 degrees W. 5 chains and 16 links. Thence West 5 chains and 47 links to post. Thence S. to post at S.E. corner. From the N.E. Corner of this lot to the river bank is 183 links. The Marine Hospital at the mouth of the Arkansas River bears north 40 1/2 degrees, 95 links and 71 chains, S. 76 chains, S. 76 degrees E. 40 chains and no links and 3 chains and 50 links from the bank of the Mississippi River opposite the lower part of the mouth of the Arkansas River, the Hospital bears N. 7 degrees E. 65 chains and no links.
"Which spot of land, as designated above, is selected and approved as the county seat of Bolivar County, Mississippi.
"Ordered the Court adjourn to the county seat as designated in the above order at two o'clock."