of Mississippi - Itawamba County
by Denise Wells
Lowry, Robert and McCardle, William H. A History of Mississippi,
from the Discovery of the Great River by Hernando DeSoto, Including
the Earliest Settlement Made by the French Under Iberville, to
the Death of Jefferson Davis [1541-1889]. Jackson, Miss.: R. H.
Henry & Co., 1891. Pages 493-495.
county of Itawamba, in the northeastern portion of the State,
was established in 1836. The name is of Indian origin, and was
given in honor of an Indian Chief, Ita-Wam-Ba, whose real name
was Levi Colbert, a Frenchman by descent, who was chief counsellor
of the Chickasaw Nation. It was said to be the custom of the Choctaws
and Chickasaws, when one of their number performed a meritorious
act for the good of the nation, to call a council to which all
the circumstances of the act were stated, and if approved, a circle
was formed by chiefs and warriors, a wreath placed on the head
of the one performing the service and a new name given him. When
Levi Colbert was a young man, some Indians of another tribe (probably
the Creeks), organized a plan to take the country occupied by
the Chickasaws from them. It was during the hunting season in
the fall of the year when the Chickasaw warriors were absent that
the hostile band set out on their mission. Young Colbert received
news of their intention, and learning that they were on the advance
he immediately gathered together as many of the young men as he
could of those who were at home, and securing such arms as were
obtainable, went forward to meet their enemies, who were surprised
and routed, and had more killed and wounded than the little band
of Colbert numbered. After the return of the Chickasaws from their
hunt a council of the nation was called, and for his brave and
successful act Levi Colbert was given a new name. Instead of sitting
flat upon the ground, as had been the custom, he was furnished
a bench or stool on which to sit during the ceremony, and being
crowned with a wreath, he was declared "Ita-Wam-Ba-Mingo,"
or "Bench Chief." This was some years prior to 1827,
but the exact date is not known.
the treaty with the United States in 1832, Colbert, who was much
dissatisfied with the treaty, started in company with others of
his tribe for Washington, to prevent a ratification by the Senate.
He, however, went no further than the residence of his son-in-law,
Kilpatrick Carter, at Buzzard Roost, west of Tuscumbia, where
he was taken sick and died of the flux, in the winter of 1832.
This statement is made by Stephen Doggett, a subscribing witness
to the treaty between the Chickasaws and the United States in
the early settlers in Itawamba county was Hugh Rogers, who settled
in 1834 about twenty miles north of where Fulton was afterwards
located. In 1835 came John and Reuben Warren, John Dulaney, Elijah
Franks, John W. Clifton, B. G. Moore, Isaac Edwards and Harvey
Jamison. In 1836 M. C. Cummings, Joshua Toomer, Wm. Toomer, Joshua
Barnard and Jesse McWilliams settled at or near Fulton. In 1837
there was quite an influx of settlers in the town and county.
Among them were Alonzo Elkin, Jno. R. Wren, Reuben adn Alfred
Strygh, Joseph G. Connille [sic. - should be Conwill], E. G. Thomas,
Russell O. Beene, Alfred Senter, and soon afterwards Jeptha Robins,
D. N. Cayce, Wm. McFadden, John Elliott, Uriah Nausly, Sr., W.
D. Clifton and Malcolm Graham. About the same time Samuel Bell,
Stephen Smith, Jonathan Woodward and Wm. Bedford. In 1838 and
1839, Stephen Owen, John Gilstrap, Manly and David Files, Judge
Jas. A. Bonsland [sic. - Bourland], Jas. Keyes, Jas. Whitesides,
Robert Shannon, Delmirth Stone, Elijah Spearman, John Spearman,
Josiah Lindsey, Stephen and John R. Gilmore. These families were
located in different portions of the county.
the county site, which has about four hundred inhabitants, is
the only town in the county, though there are numerous country
stores in nearly every section of the county. Until the establishment
of Lee county in 1866, the towns of Baldwyn, Guntown, Saltillo,
Verona and Shannon belonged to Itawamba.
are no railraods through the county, but the Tombgibee river,
running north to south, furnishes a means of transportation in
the late fall and spring of the year. Other smaller streams are
Bull Mountain, Bogue Folia [sic. - usually Bogue Fala], Bogue
Regaby, Cummings, Gum and Panther Creeks.
county has 30,799 acres of cleared land; average value, as rendered
to the assessor, being $5.72 per acre. Total value of cleared
lands, including incorporated towns, is $193,764.
population of this county, as shown by the census report of 1890:
Whites, 10,695, colored, 1,013; total, 11,708.
- John Bell.
1838-39 - John Bell.
1840 - John Bell.
1841 - William H. Duke.
1842 - John H. Miller.
1843 - John H. Miller.
1844 - Russell O. Beene.
1846 - Russell O. Beene.
1848 - Russell O. Beene.
1850 - Russell O. Beene.
1852 - Russell O. Beene.
1854 - Russell O. Beene.
1856 - Russell O. Beene.
1857 - William Beene.
1858 - William Beene.
1859 - J. M. Simonton.
1860-61 - J. M. Simonton.
1861-62 - M. C. Cummings.
1865-66-67 - J. M. Simonton.
1870-71 - J. M. Stone.
1872-73 - R. H. Allen.
1874-75-76 - R. H. Allen.
1877-78 - R. H. Allen.
1880-82 - David Johnson.
1884 - R. O. Reynolds, John M. Simonton.
1886 - R. O. Reynolds, John M. Simonton.
1888 - J. C. Burdine, J. L. Turnage.
1890 - J. C. Burdine, J. L. Turnage.
1838-39 - Alfred G. Lane.
1840 - William M. Owen.
1841 - William M. Owen.
1844 - A. G. Lane, J. Lindsay, Charles Warren.
1846 - Wm. Beene, J. C. Hinds, Wm. C. Cypert.
1848 - A. J. McWilliams, J. C. Hinds, William C. Cypert.
1850 - Wm. Beene, J. C. Hinds, H. M. Rogers.
1852 - C. Hodges, C. Devours, Sam. M. Vernon.
1854 - Chas. Hodges, J. W. Downs, D. W. Owen.
1856 - J. W. Downs, T. A. Carter, Jas. S. Clayton.
1857 - J. S. Clayton, Wm. Downs, T. A. Carter.
1858 - G. W. Stoval [sic. - Stovall], P. Evans, J. C. Gilstrap.
1859 - J. Barden, W. Davis, J. Walker, J. C. Gilstrap.
1860-61 - J. Barden, J. C. Gilstrap, J. Walker.
1861-62 - W. B. Shelby, J. P. Barton, J. Barden, J. G. Nelson.
1865-66-67 - H. K. Martin, M. Pound, J. D. Williams, J. D. Gilstrap.
1870-71 - Eli Phillips.
1872-73 - _______ Baldridge.
1874-75-76 - David Johnson.
1877-78 - David Johnson.
1880-82 - W. A. Nabers.
1884 - W. A. Nabers.
1886 - J. M. Weaver.
1888 - W. P. Reeves.
1890 - Wm. A. Hartsfield.