Organized on December 23, 1833 Scott County ranks thirty-first in area and was named for Abraham Scott, seventh Governor of Mississippi. The county is recognized nation-wide as a major chicken and egg producing area and can boast of the largest processing plants in the country.
Forest, the county seat was established on the old A & V Railroad in the geographical center of the county. The original county seat was located at the extinct town of Berryville four miles to the southwest; the seat was removed to Hillsboro in 1836 and thirty years later located at Forest. The town lies in a pine forest district from which it gets its name. A newspaper, The Scott County Register was established in 1867 then in 1901 the Bank of Forest was established with a capital of $12,500. The Merchants & Farmers Bank was established in 1905 with a capital of $20,000.
The town's population in 1900 was 761 and by 1906 the place had twenty-five business houses, a cotton gin, two sawmills, a gristmill and three livery stables. Also in 1906 there were 14,000 bales of cotton shipped from Forest. The town also shipped large quantities of ties, staves and other forms of timber and at that time handled more railroad ties than any other station on the A & V Railroad.
The first merchant in Forest was John Briscoe and the first church in the town was Presbyterian.
Located thirteen miles northwest of Forest, Balucta was established as a post office and school in 1900 and named for Balucta Creek. The post office was later discontinued and the school was consolidated with Lena School.
Located fourteen miles northwest of Forest, Beach was settled in 1876, being named for the nearby creek which although a tiny stream has built up occasional broad sandy beaches. Beach, Generally known as Old Beach is mentioned in a publication of 1891 as a post office and trading post but the post office was moved without changing the name to Forkville, which left no remaining stores here.
Two of its pioneer residents were Dr. Wade Lovett who came here from Neshoba County and B. C. Ponder a U.S. Traveling Postmaster.
The village of Berryville, the first seat of Scott County was located about four miles southwest of Forest. The town was formed about 1830 from what was known as the Gray Place and named for a nearby creek. Berryville was abandoned within twelve months after the streets mere laid off, the courthouse having been removed to Hillsboro in 1836. Apparently Berryville never functioned as a town.
Blanch, four miles southwest of Lake was settled prior to 1886 and known as Ball Hill. A post office was established in 1886 and named Blanch for Blanch Singleton but the place became extinct along with the post office in 1905.
Located ten miles northwest of Morton, Branch was established prior to 1900 and named for its location on the banks of a small branch or creek. There 425 was once a post office at this site named Groveton but it has long since been discontinued.
Located about five miles east of Forest Broach was settled in 1888 by W.W. Briggs of Wisconsin. The place never amounted to more than a sidetrack on the Y & M V Railroad but before becoming extinct about 1914 the place was known as Lowrey Mill, Fairchild Mill and Donohoe.
Once known as Sherman Hill, Buckleytown was in 1870 a post office located five miles southwest of Lake which was named for John Buckley. The name was generally forgotten when the post office closed in 1900.
Once a post office nine miles east of Ludlow, Cash was established in 1871 with a storekeeper named Lyle serving as postmaster. The place never amounted to more than a country post office and was extinct by 1890.
Located two miles west of Morton, the date of settlement and name origin of Clarksburg is not generally known but a post office located here was discontinued in 1920 while a man named Champion was serving as postmaster.
Clifton, ten miles northwest of Forest was started as a post office in 1861 with I.R. Ealy as postmaster. The place once consisted of a school, a store, a Methodist and a Baptist Church.
Located sixteen miles north of Forest. Contrell was established in 1883 as homes were built around the old Contrell Methodist Church but the settlement was extinct by 1900.
Established in 1891, Cooperville was located nine miles southwest of Morton and named for Will Cooper who operated a store and post office. The post office was abolished in 1901 and Cooperville became extinct.
About 1877 the Golden School stood on a blackjack-covered hill in the northern edge of Scott County about two miles northeast of the present site of Damascus. This school was so-named for Dr. Wil1iam Golden. About 1890 a post office was opened and named Damascus for the old Baptist Church where the Sacred Harp Concerts were held on the fourth Sunday in May each year. The post office was later discontinued for RFD from Walnut Grove.
Located one mile north of Lake.
Eley, nine miles northwest of Harperville was named for Bill Eley who operated the post office along with a store, sawmill, cotton gin and gristmill in 1884. Eley became extinct at some unknown date in the early 1900's.
Located three miles southeast of Forest.
Established about 18909 Forkville was named for its location in the fork of two roads eight miles north of Morton. The post office here retained the name of Beach when it was moved from the settlement of that name. For that reason Forkville is often called Now Beach or Beach a distinguished from Old Beach located to the south. The Scott County Fair was established here in 1930-31 but in 1932-33 it moved to Clarksburg, then to Forest. Calvin Beavers and Jim Armstrong are listed as early settlers of Forkville.
Located eight miles east of Forest, Gail was first known as Salmon but was named Gail with the establishment of a post office in 1896. W.W. Lewis served as postmaster but in 1906 the office was abolished.
Gum Springs, four miles west of Hillsboro was named for seven springs, all within a few feet of each other and each having a different mineral content. The name Gum comes from the large gum trees growing around the springs. In 1863 Sherman's Soldiers camped here while carrying out raids along the A & V Railroad. Mack Warren settled here in 1865 then in later years the springs were owned by a man named Eady.
Formed in 1861 nine miles north of Forest, Harperville was named for G.C. Harper an early settler. The Harperville College was established in 1870 with Captain Charles A. Huddleston as President. The first Board of Trustees were G.C. Harper, Dr. H.H. Haralson, C. B. Hadden, Dr. R.B. Austin and R.H. Campbell. In 1913 an Agricultural High School was secured and was considered one of the beat schools in the State, serving until the advent of the Smith-Hughes School in 1930.
Located two miles south of Sebastapol. Hays was founded in 1888 and named for John Hays a Methodist Preacher who resided here. The settlement was short-lived, as it was extinct in 1910.
Heatherly, six miles west of Harperville was established as a post office in 1910. The first settlers included Hall Gatewood, Joe Early, Jody Parker and John Lyle, Sr.
Hillsboro was formerly the seat of Scott County and a town antagonistic toward Forest because of Forest's location on the railroad. When Forest was named the county seat in 1866 Hillsboro people tore up the first foundation for the courthouse, burned the second and carted away the third brick by brick. Only a Legislative Act in 1873 was able to have the county seat permanently located at Forest.
Homewood, nine miles south of Forest is a very old town, being recognized as a settlement though not formally named as early as 1836. When first settled the place was known as Hell's Half Acre because of the riots and confusion, then the name was changed to Buck Short and when the post office was established the name was changed to Homewood. In 1847 Colonel Bob Hooper who had moved to Forest in 1840 took up land here and built a log house. Also in 1847 a man named Melton homesteaded a farm in the dense forest and called it Homewood, the name being later adopted for the settlement. The Homewood Plantation was on the old stage route which connected with the A & V Railroad at Brandon and Melton cared for travelers at his home. The first store of record was erected by a man named White in 1851 and the building also served as the post office. The date of construction of this store was written on the front of the building with tacks.
Located five miles west of Sebastapol, Horse Shoe was named for a horseshoe shaped bend in a nearby creek. In 1880 a post office was located here with W.L. Madden Sr. as postmaster.
Located four and one half miles south of Morton.
Kalem, five miles east of Morton was formerly known as Concord for the Concord Methodist Church. With the decline of Raworth, two miles east, the Y & M V Railroad moved its water tank to this site in 1911 and the place was named Kalem by Caley Regeans, a railroad man and early settler. Kalem has been listed as extinct since 1921.
Lake, nine miles east of Forest was originally named Maryville in 1841, the name being later changed to Lake for a pioneer resident. Lake was at one time the eastern terminus of the A & V Railroad with the shops being located here but the shops and the depot was burned by Sherman's Army in the course of its eastern march after the fall of Vicksburg. The yellow fever epidemic of 1878 fell heavily on Lake, with the white population being almost entirely wiped out. At that time cisterns either above or below the ground was the only source of water which served as an ideal breeding ground for the germ-laden mosquitoes. Early settlers included George Lowery a wagon manufacturer; D.S. Holmes who came to Lake in 1860 as a teacher; and a man named Wilkins who owned most of the land on which the town was built.
Lathamtown, six miles southeast of Ludlow was founded in 1851 and named for Dolpha Latham. There was once a post office here named Vera but it has been discontinued for many years.
Located twelve miles northeast of Hillsboro, Lillian was formed in 1885 and named for Lillian McCoy. Old Lillian was located at a fork in the road about one-half mile nearer Hillsboro than the present community and was of considerable more importance, having a post office, four stores, a cotton gin and about twelve homes. G.W. McCoy, who founded Lillian, was an early settler along with H. C. Davis, Henry Calhoun and A. C. Farmer. Dr. F.H. Stubbs was a leading physician at Lillian.
Ludlow, fifteen miles north of Morton was established in 1847 and named for James J. Ludlow a pioneer in this area. Old Ludlow was located one-half mile north of its present location and was moved up to the station when the railroad was built through this section. Early settlers included S.J. Denson, J.M. Smith and Henry B. Lee who operated a store here.
Extinct since 1926, Malco, four miles southeast of Harperville was established as a post office in 1895 and was named for the postmaster, Malcolm Beasley.
Mashburn was formed when a spur of the Y & M V Railroad was run to a sawmill on this site. The spur was named for Will Mashburn who settled at this location two miles west of Morton in 1895. The place became extinct in 1911 and the land became the property of Tip Stuart of Morton.
Located twelve miles north of Forest.
In 1835 Caleb W. Taylor of Kentucky patented land from the State and built a home on the site of Morton, eleven miles west of Forest. He laid out a town which he named for his wife whose maiden name was Morton. An Academy was built in 1847 and the building was also used as a church as well as a Masonic Hall. The railroad was completed through this section in 1858 and in 1861 Morton was incorporated. A Confederate Company was organized at Morton on May 5, 1861 and known as the Pine Knots with Thomas Pettus as Captain. A slight skirmish occurred here between General Sherman's Army and General Stephen D. Lee's Cavalry, February 8-10, 1864. About three miles south of Morton is the site of Roosevelt State Park where one may find cabins and a large lake for recreational purposes.
Located about one-half mile west of Lake, Muskegon was the site of a large sawmill in 1868, which was owned by a company from Muskegon, Michigan.
Norris, six miles southeast of Forest was founded as early as 1840 and one of the first schools in the county was established here in 1856. The place was named for Norris Williamson, a pioneer settler in this area along with the Harvey, Jones, Halbert and Gatewood families.
Otho, twelve miles south of Forest was settled in 1851 by the Carr family for whom the Methodist Church was named. The settlement was named for Otho Gilbert the first postmaster. The post office was discontinued in 1910 and mail was delivered from Forest. Other early settlers included the Weems, Turner and McKenzie families.
Located ten miles southeast of Forest, Otis was established in 1841 but at that time was known as Harmond. The name was later changed to honor an old settler, B.F. Otis. There was never a post office at Otis and the place became extinct in 1911.
Located nine miles northwest of Morton.
The name coming from the term "Piking The Road." Piketon was established as a post office in 1836 nine miles east of Forest.
A very old settlement located seven miles southeast of Morton. Pulaski was settled in 1850 and named for the Polish Count of Revolutionary War Fame. In the early days Pulaski was a stage stop on the old Paulding-Brandon Stage Route. A post office was located here prior to 1860 and at that time there were two stores, a church and a small school in operation.
Established in 1879, Raworth, five miles west of Forest was formerly a sawmill town with several stores and a water tank stop on the Y & M V Railroad. When the timber was exhausted about 1911 the stores were abandoned and the water tank was moved two miles west to Kalem. Later the entire settlement with the exception of one house was destroyed by fire. This site has now been developed into a recreational area.
Ridge, five miles north of Harperville was established in 1836 and named for its location. Ridge became extinct about 1901 as the town of Walnut Grove in Leake County spread across the county line to envelop the Ridge Community.
Located six miles west of Forest, Schyver was no more than a mill town with one small store established by A. C. Schyver in 1906. The place became extinct when the mill closed in 1913.
Established in 1882, fifteen miles northeast of Forest, Sebastapol was a regular station on the Jackson-Union Branch of the G M & N Railroad and was incorporated in 1917. In 1900 the population was given as forty-three and in 1909 the town consisted of two stores and two churches. Thirty years later the town boasted a consolidated school, two churches, twelve stores, two cafes, a cotton gin, two blacksmith shops and several filling stations. The reason for the adoption of the name Sebastapol is unknown.
Located two miles northeast of Forest.
Sparksville, three miles southwest of Hillsboro operated as a post office from 1914 until 1917 and was named for Dan Sparks who served as postmaster.
Located six miles south of Morton, Stage was formed in 1889 and was so named because it was a stage coach stop on the old Paulding-Morton Stage Road, Stage at one time was known as Track and had a post office by that name but the office was abolished with the coming of RFD W.D. Rushing was an early settler who came here In 1899.
An agricultural settlement nine miles northeast of Forest, Steele was named for Tom Steele who settled here in 1887.
Located twelve miles southeast of Forest, Sun was established in 1896 and later became part of the Bienville Unit of the DeSoto National Forest. Very little land in the vicinity now remains under private ownership.
Located four miles northeast of Forest.
Located seven miles northeast of Forest, Wolf, named for W.J. Wolf served as a post office from 1904 until 1928. In 1928 Robert S. Weems is said to have named the community Ringgold for a town in Georgia, with a nearby consolidated school also taking the name.