Mississippi: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form Volume II
Edited by Dunbar Rowland
Southern Historical Publishing
Atlanta, Georgia
Pages 484-86

Quitman County was established late in the history of the State, February 1st, 1877, during the administration of Gov. John M. Stone, and was named in honor of Gov. John A. Quitman. The county has a land surface of 409 square miles. It was carved from the counties of Tunica, Coahoma, Tallahatchie and Panola. Its limits are defined as follows: "Beginning at the northeast corner, of Coahoma county and running thence south with the boundary of Coahoma county to the northeast corner of section 33, T. 28, R. 2 west; thence west on section lines to the range line between ranges 2 and 3 west; thence south on the range line to the southwest corner of T. 26, R. 2, west; thence east on the township line to the range line between ranges 1 and 2 east; thence north on said line to the boundary line between the Chickasaw and Choctaw cessions; thence northwest with the said line to the point at which it touches the western boundary of Panola county; thence north with the said boundary to the northeast corner of T. 7, R. 10, west of the Chickasaw survey, thence west with the northern line of said township to the township line between townships 7 and 8; thence west with said township line to the beginning." The act creating the county directed that the county site be located by the Board of Supervisors at a point on the west side of Coldwater river, and that it be called Belen. The old boundary line between the Choctaw and the Chickasaw cessions cuts across its northeast corner and forms the northeastern boundary for a short distance. It lies entirely within the Mississippi and Yazoo Delta Region, in the northwestern part of the State, is a narrow, irregular shaped body of land, bounded on the north by Tunica county, on the east by Panola and Tallahatchie counties, on the south by Tallahatchie county and on the west by Coahoma county. It is the most sparsely settled county in the State, has no towns or villages of any size, but possesses a soil of immense fertility with ample shipping facilities for its products. Settlers have begun to come in rapidly during the last few years. The white population is still very small indeed, numbering in 1900 only 1,258 souls. Belen, the county seat, is a small village of 177 people (census, 1900) in the western part, off the railroad and was named for the battle ground where Gen. Quitman fought during the Mexican War. Other towns in the county are Sabino, VanBuren, Yarbrough, Darling and Sledge. The Yazoo & Miss. Valley R.R. traverses the county from north to south, branching at Yarbrough to run to Yazoo City and Durant. The Coldwater river flows from the north in a winding course through the center and unites near the southern border with the Tallahatchie and Yocona rivers to form the sluggish Yazoo. These streams, together with Cassidy's Bayou and Opossum Bayou, afford it good water facilities. There are 23,360 acres of cleared lands in the county according to the census of 1900. On the balance of the land is a considerable timber growth of very large white oak and cypress, red and sweet gum, poplar, black walnut and hickory. The soil is all alluvial, bottom land, and will produce from one to two bales of cotton per acre and from thirty to sixty bushels of corn. These are the principal crops, but oats, wheat, sorghum, millet and tobacco are also grown and do well when properly cultivated. Vegetables and fruits also do well while Bermuda, Orchard, Herds, Johnson and other grasses, and red clover, grow luxuriantly. Pasturage for stock is good the year through, grasses in summer and cane-brakes in winter. In common with most of the Delta Region, the healthfulness of Quitman county is now radically improved by tapping the artesian basin underlying it for pure cold water. The school and church privileges to be found here are fairly good considering the sparsely settled condition of the county.

The following statistics were taken from the twelfth U.S. census for 1900 and relate to farms, manufactures and population: -- Number of farms 1,031, acreage in farms 56,813, acres improved 23,363, value of land exclusive of buildings $703,290, value of buildings $125,360, value of live stock $190,900, total value of products not fed to stock $536,930. Number of manufacturers 13, capital invested $66,653; wages paid $3,874, cost of materials $10,911, total value of products $30,604. The population in 1900 consisted of whites 1,258, colored 4,177, total 5,435, increase of 2,149 over the year 1890. The total assessed valuation of real and personal property in Quitman county in 1905 was $1,385,016 and in 1906 it was $1,483,457.50, which shows an increase of $98,441.50, during the year.

Thanks to Bob Franks for transcribing this!

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