CHAPTER XLVI, pages 770 - 772
Leake County, which is almost in the geopraphical
center of the State, was established December 23, 1833, and was one of
the sixteen counties created at that time from the final cession of the
Choctaw Indians under the treaty of Dancing Rabbit in 1830. It was named
for Governor Walter Leake, member of the constitutional convention of 1817,
United States senator and twice Governor of the State. Its limits were
defined in the original act as follows: "Beginning at the northeast corner
of Scott County, and running from thence north with the line between ranges
9 and 10 east, to the line between townships 12 and 13; from thence west,
with the line between townships 12 and 13, to the line between ranges 5
and 6 east; from thence south with said line between ranges 5 and 6 east,
to the line between townships 8 and 9; and from thence east to the place
The county is an exact square, contains
16 townships or 576 square miles and is bounded on the north by Attala
County, on the east by Neshoba County, on the south by Scott County and
on the west by Madison and Attala counties. The Jackson and Eastern railroad
built to Walnut Grove, gives Leake County railroad communication with Meridian.
Additional transportation facilities are afforded by the Pearl River, which
runs through the county from the northeast to the southwest and is navigable
to Edinburg on the eastern border. Besides the Pearl, the region is watered
by its numerous tributaries, the Yokahockany River, Yellow, Young Warrior
and Standing Pine creeks.
There are no large towns within its area,
but its hamlets and villages make pleasant retreats in which to live. While
rural life prevails its schools and churches are generally good, and the
automobile eliminates distance from the more populous centers. Carthage,
near the center, two miles north of Pearl River, is the county seat, and
contains a population of 635. Some of the important settlements are Walnut
Grove, Edinburg, Standing Pine and Goodhope. As early as 1837 it possessed
a population of 1,136 whites and 531 slaves. Among the earliest settlers
may be numbered the families of the Harpers, Loyds, Warners, Freeneys,
Dicksons, Boyds, Eadeses and Vanansdales. The general surface of the region
is undulating and hilly, and a large section is cornposed of level, bottom
or swamp lands. The population of Leake County has varied not more than
5,000 for the past forty years, and it has been by no means a continuous
increase. In 1850, it was 5,533; 1860, 9,324; 1870, 8,496; 1880, 18,146.
It reached its maximum in 1910, when the population was 18,298; in 1920
it was 16,673.
In the year 1919, the farm property in
Leake County was valued at $6,598,000, and its crops of all kinds at $8,157,000.
Of its farming area, 28,765 acres were included in the cotton fields, which
produced nearly 6,900 bales. The county’s live stock was valued at $1,268,000.