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Copiah Co. History

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05/30/14 was the last day I modified this page.

The area comprising Copiah County was ceded to the United States by the Choctaw Indian tribe in the treaty generally known as the "Doak's Stand Treaty" on October 18, 1820. Copiah  derives its name from the Choctaw language and is a combination of two words - Coi (panther) and Apahyah (to call out) and thus "calling panther".

Formed on January 21, 1823, Copiah County was formed by a division of Hinds and Yazoo counties. Copiah embraced all of its present area as well as all of Simpson county, about one third of Lincoln, and about one thousand acres of Franklin. The county contains 769 square miles and is the seventh largest area in the state. Some of the earlier communities were Coor's Springs, which was the first county seat, Gallatin, Crystal Springs, Centerpoint, Conn, Union School, and Georgetown. In 1856, the town of Hazlehurst was established as a railroad stop.

 In the early 1890s, the county was a popular tourist area. Brown's Wells, located just west of Hazlehurst, attracted prominent people from across the region. Some came to drink the water for medicinal purposes, others came simply to enjoy the beauty and pleasure the resort offered.

 Just a few miles north, Lake Chautauqua in Crystal Springs was one of the most popular resorts in the South. Every summer, noted evangelists held meetings of worship here, and the finest talent in the South appeared on stage. These recreational opportunities were the result of a solid economic base.

Wesson Mills, the cotton mill founded by Colonel James Madison and Capt. William Oliver in Wesson in 1866, was at one time the largest manufacturing plant south of the Ohio River, and Wesson was the largest town on the railroad between Jackson and New Orleans.

This section is an ongoing effort to document the history of Copiah County from a genealogy point of view using public domain documents or my own research. I will attempt to keep this section organized by overall history of the county, judges and courts, and individual cities or communities within the county.  Due to the volume of civil war history material that is available, I will separate the civil war and reconstruction period from the other periods.  The outline of this section is as follows:

05/30/14 was the last day I modified this page.

Content Copyright Rob Crawford,, County Coordinator    All rights reserved.

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