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Though the nearby area known as Cross Roads had been settled as early as the 1830's, the plat which Booneville proper sits was bought in 1853 by Bartley Barry Boone, C. W. Williams and W. P. Curlee.
It was named in honor of Reuben Holman Boone, a nephew of the pioneer Daniel Boone. The land had originally belonged to a Chickasaw Indian princess named LoHoYea.
With the completion of the railroad, Booneville thrived and was incorporated in 1861.
A skirmish, now knows as the Battle of Booneville, occurred in June 1862 with the depot being burned. The town was in the path of the advancing and retreating troops for much of the war. General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was victorious at the Battle of Brices Crossroads, west of present day Baldwyn, is said to have planned his battle strategies in the Cunningham House on the eve of the confrontation in 1864.
The Cunningham House has been restored and moved to the historic depot grounds in downtown Booneville.
After the way, several new counties were formed from parts of Tishomingo and Tippah - Prentiss being one of them.
On April 15, 1870, Prentiss County was formed with Booneville being named the county seat.
The town has grown and flourished since that time being an educational, industrial and commerce center.
Booneville is known as the city of hospitality and is now a certified retirement community.
**The above article posted with permission of The Banner-Independent, Booneville, Ms. It appeared in their History Section March 30, 2000.

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