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W. P. A. History of Pontotoc County, Mississippi

Chapter II:  Topography


Although there are no rivers in Pontotoc County, there are a number of creeks that are of inestimable value since they are now under control.  Among these are the following:

THAXTON, name for Dr. M. C. Thaxton; YOCONA, the Indian translation of which means "the land on earth"; CHERRY, which was translated from the Indian word "Italickchi," meaning "Cherry and bark"; CONNEWAH, which, translated from the Indian word Okahonowa," means "to wade the streams"; Town gets its name from the OLD TOWN which was a large Chickasaw Village near the present creek; MUBBA comes from the Indian word "Im'abaiya" and means "alongside the road".  CHIWAPA comes from the Indian word "Chiwayia-pia," meaning "broad expanse of waiving grass or grain", SCHOONA is a corruption of the Indian word "luse  Knoi" , meaning "black polecat"; LAPPATUBBA is an Indian word meaning "A killed buck with widespread horns."  TOCCOPOLA is a corruption of the Indian word "Tokalopulli," meaning "an old crossing" (This probably refers to a crossing on the hill south of the creek, which was used by both the Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians).

MUD and LOWER MUD creeks probably derive their names from the Indian word "ulhkache," meaning; "soggy places".  Edmund Winston broadly interprets the meaning to be "a broad foot log from a white oak tree covering a soggy place."  BRUSH CREEK has no particular meaning; KITAHUTTY is a corruption of the Indian word "kiti-hachi", which means "a noisy, rattling, tumultuous stream"; OWL comes from the Indian word "Opa", which means "the large owl".  TALLABINNELLA is an Indian word which means "settled by rock".  BUTTERMILK SPRINGS probably got it's name from the milky appearance of the water.  All the smaller streams and branches empty into the above mentioned creeks. (1)

The water flowing west of Pontotoc ridge is divided; some of it flowing northwest and some southwest.  The northwest streams empty through Lappatubba into the Tallahatchie; those in the southwest corner run in a westerly direction through Yocona, into Tallahatchie River, farther south, The waters on the east side of the ridge run in a southerly direction through Chiwapa and into the Tombigbee River.

The improvements in malaria conditions are directly attributable to the fact that the streams have been channelled , and there is no overflow water in which mosquitoes may breed. (2)

(1) Mrs. N. G. Angusters, Pontotoc, Miss.  Cynes Byington, A Dictionary of the Choctaw Language.

 (2) Dr. R. P. Donaldson, Pontotoc, Miss.

        E. N. Lowe, Mississippi State Geological Survey Bulletin No. 20, 1925

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