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Lafayette County, Mississippi:

"Extant and Extinct Towns, Cities, Communities, Landmarks"

SOURCES; Chancery Court Records, Lafayette Co. Heritage Book, Skipwith Shares, 20 years of The Lafayette County Heritage News, Oxford Falcon and Eagle newspapers, Mississippi Extant and Extinct Towns.
Below is a list of most of the extinct and extant cities, towns, communities, post offices, rivers and landmarks of Layafette County. Keep in mind that as county lines changed, some of these places may now be in neighboring counties. Most of this page was submitted by Wm. Ward while he was web master.
I have added directions taken from Old 1916 Road Map of Lafayette County Miss. issued by OXFORD BUSINESS MEN CLUB, Lafayette County Streets and Road Map, issued 2000 by Mass Marketing Inc. and the USGS GNIS Locale Search Online. (EMC, CC)

This list is as complete as available material can provide. Should you know of another place which belongs, don't hesitate to send me the information you have. I'll gladly post your information.

Put only LAFAYETTE COUNTY PLACE NAME in the subject line of your email. Then give the name, a brief description, a translation if it is a Native American word, and the source of your information. I may edit it to conform to the page's space and style constraints.


US Atlas 1895 MS Counties : Lafayette by Pam Rietsch:pam@livgenmi.com. (Off Site)

1914 States and Counties Maps by Janie Edwards, (Off Site).


Contents

  • OXFORD County seat of Lafayette County.
  • UNIVERSITY (OLE MISS) located between State Hwy 314 and State Hwy 6, presently in the city limits of Oxford. The 1916 Road Map shows University as a separate community several miles SW of the city of Oxford.
  • ABBEVILLE Located 10 miles north of Oxford, Abbeville was settled in the early 1830s by people from Abbeville, SC, who lived among the remaining Chickasaw with apparently little friction, being especially friendly with Chief Toby Tubby who operated a ferry on the Memphis-Oxford Stage Route. Except for 2 houses, it was completely burned in 1862 and slowly decayed when it's importance as a river crossing dimished as the railroad grew. It is currently one of the larger communities in the county. the post office was established September 28, 1843 was still in use 1960. John B. Davis was first postmaster. Hillard E. Depriest was 1960 postmaster.(based on a 1960 time line)
  • ALESVILLE Alesville, located six miles west of Oxford was formed in 1837, being named for a local family named Ales. An early post office at Alesville was discontinued in 1905.
  • ALTUS Located nine miles east of Oxford, Altus was formed in 1839 and named for its location's altitude. The first settlers were James Allen, Thomas Cooperwood and Lee Barringer. The Altus Post Office opened in 1898 and was abolished in 1905.
  • BLACKWATER Located eighteen miles northeast of Oxford, the land on this site was originally purchased by Wyatt C. Mitchell in 1836. Blackwater was established in 1859 by E. M. Matthews and was named for nearby Blackwater Creek. The Blackwater settlement was extinct by 1937.

  • BURGESS Settled in 1842 and located about eight miles west of Oxford, the community was first called Welcometon, and then Morganville. The name was later changed to Burgess for Mrs. Mollie Burgess, an early settler. Mount Sylvan Academy for Boys was established here in 1845 by the Reverend S. G. Burney and Robert Morris; the chief benefactor being Colonel James Brown who donated $1,200 to the school. The Pine Hill School was another ante-bellum school located at Burgess; the widow of Sheriff Sam Matthews giving ten acres of land and Mrs. Jessie Carothers giving twelve acres. Among the teachers of Pine Hill School were the Reverend Hewlitt and Mrs. Calvern Barksdale.
  • CAMBRIDGE CHURCH Located nine miles northeast of Oxford on Hwy. 30 north on CR 215, right on CR 202 at intersection of 246 east. There is presently a church and cemetery on west side of CR 202. This community is inside the Holly Springs National Forest.

  • CASWELL, by Walker Coffey, "LAFAYETTE CO HERITAGE", Published by Skipwith Historical and Genealogical Society, 1986; pg 157 - 159 C37.

    "The Caswell Post office was established but called CYPRESS CREEK IN 1847. A year later the name was changed to CASWELL. This post office existed for sixty years until it was discontinued on May 31, 1907. Post masters during this period were Amos WILEY, Abner CRAIGHTON, W. B. WILSON, D. M. Nelson, Benjamin JOHNSON, D. P. BOWMAN, J. C. CALDWELL, William H. GRAHAM, Sara J. McCULLOH and Jesse A BARRY, SR. The longest tenured were by GRAHAM, June 11, 1875 to October 23 1888 and Barry from June 1 1895 to May 31 1907. Graham had the post office at his mill on PUSCUS CREEK while Barry had the post office on his front porch. As the post masters changed so did the location of the post office usually a store or even a mill as Graham did at CASWELL when he became post master.
    There were settlers in this area from CASWELL COUNTY, N. C., it is unknown if the CASWELL POST OFFICE name had any relation to this fact.
    Only a few families at CASWELL owned slaves and these were largely house servants. There were no large land owners, except JESSE KILGORE who was a land speculator and GILES DRIVER who owned a 1100 acre plantation. Kilgore owned nearly 4000 acres of land but did little farming on the land.

    The 1870 census listed over 100 families as receiving their mail at CASWELL. . ."
    "The churches serving the Caswell Community were Methodist at Old Liberty, Cambridge, Christian Rest and possibly Midway while the Baptist Church was Philadelphia. There was a Presbyterian congregation at Caswell which used the school building for a meeting place. The congregation was called the Tallahatchie Presbyterian Church. Some distance away was the Midway Presbyterian Church also serving the community..."The panic of 1893 which lasted four years (1897 then the Spanish / American War of 1898 emc) caused many families to leave their farms. The migration from farm life to city life continues until CASWELL became an extinct community." (This area in section 28, township 7 range 1 is presently in the Holly Springs National Forest on Federal lands. emc)

  • COLLEGE HILL Located about three miles northwest of Oxford, (Hwy 314 N., right on CR 102) College Hill takes its name from the hill on which the Presbyterian academy was built and incorporated in 1840. When the early settlers came to this section much of the land was owned by an Indian Chief named Toby Tubby; the little creek which drains the village being named for him.

    College Hill was founded in 1836 by Goodloe Warren Buford (C42, pg 162, Lafayette County Heritage book who came to Mississippi after the Chickasaw Cession; who donated land for the Presbyterian church, cemetery and school. Post Office was established Feb. 22, 1841, disc. Jan 21, 1867 Re-established Nov. 12 1889 after being closed 22 years. Discontinues permanently April 29, 1911. First post master was Thomas A. Buford, 2/22/1841 - 3/15/1846. Last Post Master was Jonie E. SHAW 5/14/1908 - 4/29/1911.

    In 1841 a road was built by the Government from Memphis to Oxford; passing through the village and following the old Chickasaw Trail.

    In 1862 General Sherman's Army invaded the community, using the old church for living quarters. The Frierson Home was used by the General and later, in 1864 General Grant and his Army camped near the church.

    There are Union soldiers, who were killed in local battles, buried behind the main cemetery near or in the Buford Plantation's Slave cemetery. The Slave cemetery was restored a few years ago and wooden crosses now mark most the graves.
  • COMISH aka MORGAN SCHOOL:

    Located 12 miles east of Oxford at the intersection of Hwys 334E and Hwy 331S, in section 25 of Township 9 S. Range 2 W. Post Office was established April 10, 1902 and Discontinued October 31, 1922. First post master was Claude PATTERSON , last post master was Harry G. ARNOLD.

  • DALLAS

    Located twenty miles southeast of Oxford and eight miles south of Yocona on CR 445 South. Dallas was formed in 1842, being named for a family or pioneer settlers. Its Post Office was established August 10, 1846, closed its doors on May 31, 1914. First post master was Noah RAYBURN 8/10/1846 - 11/27/1849, last postmaster was Wm. G. CHILCOT, 12/12/1909 - 5/31/ 1914. In its day Dallas was known as a rough-and-ready place but by it was extinct except for the cemetery and local homes.
  • DELAY

    Located about twelve miles from Oxford, two miles from the present Yocona Community on CR 445 , the village of DeLay is situated on four corners of adjacent sections of land (sections 13, 18, 24,19 of Township 9 S. Range 2 W) .(This is incorrect) This land was bought at about the same time, 1840 to 1844 by Sidney Carroll, Thomas Bell and an Indian named Ish Ho Yo Pa. Washington Price Plantation laid in part sections 11, 12, 13, 14, 24,35 & 36 ; Township 9 S , Range 2 W. (source: Lafayette County Deed Books, Chancery's Clerk's office, Oxford MS. emc)

    Captain William DeLay, a Frenchman of Mississippi Terr., is supposed to have been the first white man to make his home in this section (Mississippi Territory before Indian removal). (Captain William Delay served as Post Master of Oxford 7/11/1845 - 9/5/1849 and 10/5/1855 - 9/7/1860.) When the early settlers arrived they found him here living alone and when the little village was formed on this site it was named for him. When the post office was secured in 1848, according to pg 278, "Skipwith Shares: 20 Years of The Lafayette County Heritage News"; compiled and edited by R. M. Price, "Lafayette County Post Offices"; The first post office and community was called Bartow, and A. J. LUCAS was the the first postmaster.

    William P. Lynch of Lynchburg, Virginia and Washington Price, NC & TN were two of the original settlers, coming as early as 1838. Washington Price was one of the largest land and slave owners in the County according to the 1850 census. His Plantation was over 1000 acres , north of the Yocona River. The land from which the Plantation house "Oak Grove" was removed is 3 mile east of Yocona on Hwy 334 and 1 mile west of the intersection of CR 331 and hwy 334 at what was once Comish. Monroe Branch of the Yocona River begin in the western part of Price's SE 1/4 of sec. 14 and Lizard creek begin in the Price's 1/2 NW/SW sec 14. His plantation house, "Oak Grove", which was build in 1838, is still a residence east of Denmark on CR 423, currently owned by a young couple named McClure being the oldest known Plantation home remaining in the county. It's history is a colorful one, being known first as a fine , upstanding, elegant white Planter's home to be label later as a Black sharecopper's home before it was saved by Commodore Crawford, USN Ret. in the 1960's by buying it and moving it to his property near Denmark where he restored it back to its orginal design.

    Washington Price became post master of Delay on August 16, 1849 serving until his death in October of 1855. Samuel Ragland was his overseer at the time of his death and until his son, Bem became of age or his son, Huldrick Price returned from the Union prison. {I have found the above statement is incorrect throught the papers of the Price family.] It was the report that a loyal negro slave woman buried the Price family silver which caused the death of Mrs Samuel Ragland, former Price Slaves are reported to have been looking for the Silver, when in fact it was recovered after the War and burned in a Descendant's home in Memphis Tn in the mid 1900's. (Don Doyle's "Faulkner's County ...") (Evelyn Crocker's 11/2005 research).

    Samuel E. Ragland bought land from Sidney Carroll in 1841, becoming a large plantation owner with a large number of slaves; his plantation being located near the mouth of Moore Creek, three miles south of the settlement.

    It is said that Ragland and a young boy saved valuable county records from destruction during the Civil War. On the night of the burning of Oxford by Grant's Army, Ragland learning of Grant's plan, rushed into Oxford to give warning. He and a young boy using a wagon and team succeeded in passing Union Guards to make their way to the courthouse where they rescued as many records as possible while being shot at by Union Soldiers. They then took them to the Ragland Plantation home were he hid them in a safe underneath his home. Some say that there was teasure hidden here the blacks were seeking when the Raglands were attacked and she was killed.

    In 1890 a high school was chartered, its purpose to serve as a feeder to the University. This school grew rapidly during its short existence under the leadership of Professor J. D. Brown who founded the school.

  • DENMARK Located twelve miles southeast of Oxford off Hwy 6 turn right onto CR 423 it lies between CR 423 and CR 451.

    Denmark was settled in 1848 and named for a pioneer citizen, Henry Denmark. Along with Denmark, Michael Watson and Robert Boone were the first settlers.

    Denmark is surrounded by three branches of Kettle Creek. The branches are named Kettle, Little Kettle and East Kettle. These branches in their formation suggest a hanging kettle and is said to be the reason for naming the creek. Other legends say that it was so-named because there were makers of moonshine along the creak who used kettles in the preparation of their mash.

  • EATON

    The extinct town of Eaton was located twelve miles southwest of Oxford. In 1833 the place was known as Toby Tubby's Ferry but in 1836 an effort was made to establish a community center here to be named for a family of local residents named Eaton. Streets were laid off, lots sold, and one or two stores built, but while the boom was at its height the financial crash of 1837 came and the settlement failed to develop into a town.
  • GAULT

    Located nine miles south of Oxford off hwy 9W right on left onto CR 422, this community was originally known as Pine Flat when a sawmill was established in 1899. In 1900 a post office was established, being named Gault for a local family. The post office was abolished in 1902 and the village fell into decline and gradually resumed the name of Pine Flat. Presently remaining is the unincorporated community and Pine Flat Methodist Church and cemetery. The old Union Grove Primative Baptist and cemetery, later known as Union Grove Congretational Methodist was said to be counted in the Pine Flat Community .
  • GOMEZ

    Named for a Cuban Patriot, M. Gomez, this community, located eight miles northeast of Oxford, lasted only from 1836 to 1840, never amounting to more than just an isolated farming community.
  • HARMONTOWN Located sixteen miles northwest of Oxford, the entire section of land composing the community was bought from a Chickasaw Indian in 1837.
    Source: Extinct Towns of Lafayette County by Dr. F. L. Riley. (1909) .

    Strange as it may seem it is said that the place was not named for the South Carolina Harmon Brothers but for a Harmon family who settled here in 1847 along with the Rayburn family.
    An Act of the Board of Police ordered that a road be "viewed" to run in the direction of DeSoto County; this became an old stagecoach road lying along the same general direction of the present road which now passes Harmontown. Unknown Source. <
  • KEEL Keel,located ten miles northeast (off Hwy 30E) of Oxford was settled by James Robertson in 1848 and was named for a family of settlers. There was a post office opened at Keel in 1902 but was discontinued in 1905.
  • LAFAYETTE SPRINGS Located off Hwy 6 and CR. 251, five miles northeast of Denmark near the Pontotoc County line, in 1839 the land now known as Lafayette Springs was patented by the United States Government to Swepson Taylor. The place takes its name from the county and from the many springs in the area. Before the Civil War Lafayette Springs was a watering place whose springs enjoyed more than local fame for their healthful properties. After the war a Democratic Club was organized and one of the largest as well as most active K. K. K. units operated here. B.F. Goolsby and Howell Welch were said to have been the leaders who did much to rid the area of undesirable Whites and Blacks. For many years Lafayette Springs was considered the most beautiful spot on the old stage coach road with many social events in the life of the county, such as large dances being held in the ballroom of the old hotel.
  • LIBERTY HILL

    W. P. Goolsby and J. M. Parks bought land fifteen miles northeast of Oxford and settled the Liberty Hill Community in 1844. A post office was opened in 1844 and continued operation until 1912 when a rural route was established from Lafayette Springs. The town became extinct along with the post office.

  • LONDON HILL About 3 miles north of Paris, contained a church and a school. School was abolished abt 1938. Church was later moved near Mantee, Webster Co. (sourece: Kenneth Latham, Paris old timer). This was located in SE 1/4 of sec 18, T10S, R2W, CR 477 now the Sanford Gandy's place. (It is posted).
  • MARKETTE

    This community, located seven miles south of Oxford on Hwy. 7 near intersection Hwy 328 West, was settled by James E. Markette who built a mill on this site in 1845.

    The site of Markette overlooks the valley of the Yocona River; the valley being about two miles wide and considered some of the better soil in the county.

  • ORWOOD

    Located in the southwest corner of the county near the Panola County Line, this site was settled in 1839 but was not named for the Orr family until a post office was established in 1885. J. M. Daniel was the last postmaster when the office closed in 1905 and the community of Orwood became extinct.

  • PARIS

    Located 15 minutes SW of Oxford on SH 9W, in SW 1/4 Sec 30,T10S, R2W; SE 1/4 sec 25 T10S, R3W;, NE 1/4 sec 31, T10S, R2W and NW 1/4 sec 36 T10S, R3W; Paris was settled in 1836 by its namesake, Dr. William Lemuel Parris who built the first home and operated a trading post.
    By 1873 Paris was chartered and incorporated by the State of Mississipppi. It's town consisted of a post office, a Masonic lodge, a Woodsman of the World Lodge, a Methodist Church (land given by G. W. Paris' widow to the Methodist Church representative, J. M. Palmer, source: deed) and a Primitive Baptist Churches, Miles & John H. Crocker, Blacksmith & mule powered Mills (Under One Roof Cotton, Grist, Saw)1865-1895 also Alfred Lindsey was a "smith" and operated horse powered mills.

    One of the earliest and best schools in the county was taught in the Primitive Baptist Church by an Englishman who having been educated in his native country came to Lafayette County in 1840. In 1889 the Paris Normal School was founded, its purpose being to prepare students for the University. The average enrollment was 140; the building having a seating capacity of 300.


    Although, Paris no longer has a Post Office building in operations, people in the community still recieve their mail addressed Paris MS, 38949 through the Bruce, MS office.
    Even , a week or so ago, I received a post addressed to CROCKER, MS. 38949. I had to save that envelope as a souvenir.(Evelyn Crocker)

    Yes, Paris is not incoporated any longer, yet, she is not extinct but still an active, quite, historical community covering the same sections as in the beginning plus, many more...with churches, county fire station, dog breeders, timber companies, grocery and convenient stores, resale shops, organizations, restaurants, cat fish fishery, constraction contractors and last but not least, a practicing Professional Genealogy and History Researcher. :) State Highway 9W and 315 intersects here with SH 315 becoming CR 428 just at the Paris city limits going east and SH 9W intersects with CR 424 in Paris's old NE 1/4 sec 31 going south.

  • PIERA

    The site which later became Piera, eighteen miles northwest of Oxford was bought in 1836 by Wyatt C. Mitchell and Angus Gillis from a Chickasaw Indian named TM Mah Hoo Lot Luby. Piera was a part of a real estate investment of these early settlers who expected the area to become another Memphis since at the time of its purchase it ranked with that town in the amount of business that was transacted through the Port of Entry at Wyatt. The plans did not materialize however and Piera became another isolated farming community.

  • RIVERSIDE

    Located eight miles east of Abbeville, Riverside was formed in 1838 as a farming community along the Tallahatchie River. The first settlers were P.M. Duncan and Uriah Temple. An early post office at Riverside was discontinued in 1910.

  • SHINAULT

    On April 24, 1836 this site, ten miles northeast of Oxford was purchased by Green Berry Bowles. Nothing of importance seems to have happened here until a post office was established in 1880 and was called Holder. In 1905 the name of the office was changed to Shinault for a later owner of the Bowles Plantation and in 1908 the office became extinct.

  • SPLINTER

    Located six miles south of Burgess, Splinter was settled in 1848, being named for the little creek on which it is located. Splinter Creek was supposedly named because of a hurricane which once visited the region and splintered the forest along the creek. Among the pioneer settlers were the Anderson and Saffaran families who purchased this land from an Indian named Ish Tap Ha.

  • SPRINGDALE

    So named for several nearby springs and located fourteen miles south of Oxford, the first settlement was made along the Mississippi Central Railroad when it was being constructed in 1858. The place consisted of several stores and the railroad station but has been listed among the extinct places since 1907.

  • SPRING HILL

    Located about twenty miles southeast of Oxford between the Yocona River and Coons Creek, this land was originally purchased from the Government in 1839 by a man named Hodge. A post office was established in 1890, being named Blands for J. P. Bland who bought the land in 1879. The post office was discontinued in 1912 and since that time the community has been known as Spring Hill for the Spring Hill Methodist Church.

  • TAYLOR

    John Taylor, for whom the village was named settled on this site four miles west of Markette in 1837 but the town was not laid off until the construction of the Mississippi Central Railroad in 1858. Immediately after settling here Taylor built a water mill on the Yocona River which was probably the first mill in the county. In 1887 there was considerable excitement over the discovery of coal and iron at Taylor; a large stock company being formed, land values skyrocketed. The vein was said to be inexhaustible but the balloon burst quickly when it was discovered that the coal was only lignite. William Faulkner used Taylor as one of the settings in his book, Sanctuary.

  • TECKVILLE

    Located three miles southwest of Harmontown, this section was acquired from an Indian to whom it was patented in 1836. The place has also been known as Bedenbaugh, with a store and post office being operated by M. M. Bedenbaugh. The post office was named Teckville and was in operation from 1890 until 1908. In 1890 a nearby Indian Mound was demolished by treasure hunters. An old woman came from the Indian Territory claiming to be a descendent of Toby Tubby and that she knew an immense amount of gold had been buried in the mound. Being promised generous rewards, crews of laborers dug into the mound for many days without success. One morning they awoke to find she had gone without paying the workers. It is thought by some that she found the gold and secretly made away with it; others think she could not face the thought of failure.

  • TULA

    Named for Tula, Siberia, the community was settled about two miles east of DeLay in 1842 but the village was not formed until 1888 when the Tula Normal College was launched by Professor C.C. Hughes. The college was successful and the village grew rapidly with many people moving here to patronize the school. However the college closed in 1903 and Tula began its decline.

  • URE

    Ure was the name of a post office located at Old Denmark fourteen miles east of Oxford. The office was established in 1845, operating until 1890 when Denmark moved to its present location. The place is now considered to be a part of the Denmark Community.

    WALTON

    The extinct town of Walton, located nineteen miles northeast of Oxford was established in 1838 when Thomas Walton settled on this site. A post office established in 1866 continued operation until 1890 when Joshua Baker, its only postmaster died; the place becoming extinct about 1895.

  • WYATT

    The extinct town of Wyatt, which was located on the Tallahatchie River in the northwest corner of the county was one of the earliest settlements in the county, being formed in 1836. The town was incorporated in 1838 and at its height consisted of fourteen business houses, a hotel, and a Masonic Lodge. Wyatt was originally called Mitchell's Bluff, the name later being changed to Wyatt for Mitchell Wyatt. There are no traces of the town now to be found as its site lies within the Sardis Reservoir.

  • YOCONA HIGH, presently YOCONA

    Located twelve miles east of Oxford on Old Hwy 5 aka 334, In 1923 the county officals decided to establish a consolidated high school, known as Yocona High, for the Yocona River and the school. It consolated with Comish, Delay, Tula and other small schools nearby. The place has also been tagged with the nickname of Stringtown, for the way the homes and businesses of the community were strung out along the highway.

SOURCES; Chancery Court Records, Lafayette Co. Heritage Book, Skipwith Shares, 20 years of The Lafayette County Heritage News, Oxford Falcon and Eagle newspapers, Mississippi Extant and Extinct Towns.

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