Collins, Mississippi

In 1820 the first courthouse was erected at Speedtown, near Collins, from a very crude log house of several posts driven into the ground with a brush arbor over them.

On Feb 25, 1829 a deed was granted for the courthouse land in Williamsburg and a two story log courthouse was constructed sometime after Feb, 1829. This courthouse lasted until 1854 when it was destroyed by fire.

On Feb 20, 1854 the Board of Police (now known as the Board of Supervisors), met at the Masonic Hall and used it as a courthouse until a new one could be constructed. The new courthouse was built sometime after Nov 11, 1854 when they appointed a building committee and levied a special tax for construction. The contractor for this courthouse was Neil Mathison. This courthouse was torn down in 1894 because it had become so dilapidated.

The 1894 courthouse was built on the same site and, although larger, modeled after the 1850 one. This courthouse was also built by Neil Mathison. A small brick building was erected nearby and used as the Chancery building. This courthouse was burned on purpose on December 4, 1904. All records were destroyed except those located in the Chancery building. Court was held in an old boarding house with other county offices located in vacant buildings in Williamsburg.

Collins won out over both Williamsburg, and Seminary to be the County seat in 1906.

Construction began on the present courthouse and a tent was used for at least part of the county business until the courthouse was completed. The tent was located near the old TWL building of the 1950's and 60's. The contractor was J. B Carr and Sons. Part of the Chancery records at Williamsburg were destroyed by fire after being moved to Collins.

Jefferson Davis Covington Counties, Mississippi WPA Manuscript Newspaper Items;
Jean Strickland and Patricia Edwards; 1997, pages 2-3.

Thanks to Janet Smith for compiling this information to share with us.

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This page was last updated on 20 June 2008.