COMMUNITIES OF TATE COUNTY, MS
BETT & IRVIN
Bett is located in the northeastern section of Tate County about
thirteen miles east of Coldwater. The area had a post office established October
8, 1908, and was known at that time as Irwin. The postmaster was Lem C. G. Conley. Five years
later, Irwin became Bett.
Postmasters for Bett were William S Moncrief 1895-1896, John W Scruggs 1896-1898, and Richard E Patrick 1898-1909. After 1909 the mail was delivered from Coldwater.
Older families in the community are George Everson, Wash Green, George and Lula Meredith Brown, Charlie Gipson, Edward and Ada Everson Farrow, Dub & Callie Blackwell (he later married Mamie Ross, Meredith, Richard and Metra Darnell Patrick.
Allen Patrick opened the first store in 1898. The Patricks later owned a store, gin and sawmill. Edward Farrow built a store across the road and south of the Patrick's store in 1934.
A school was started here in 1897. In the late thirties and early forties some of the teachers at Bett School were Lois Graham, Mrs. Marsh, Annie D Murphey Perkins and Genny Hatchett Steward. The school closed in the forties and was torn down.
Bett Baptist Church was built in 1962.
Ricks Grocery operated by Ronnie and Sam Ricks is the only store at Bett now. This is the store built by the Patricks. It was later owned by Rudolph and Emma Dale Wilkerson Geeslin.
In 1974, Ada Everson Farrow gave one hundred eighty six acres of land in the Bett area to be used for children's homes, as well as other Christian uses. Farrow Manor Baptist Children's Village now has three cottages and a caretaker's home and houses about thirty six children.
The population of Bett in 1990 was about two hundred fifty. Some of the families were Geeslin, Farrow, Cook, Meredith, Oglesby, Shackleford, Goodnight, Whitehead, Freeman, White, Dunning, Busby, Moss, Jenkins, Buchanan, Miller and Leatherwood.
Source: Ethelene Meredith Oglesby
Located on HWY 306 about 3 miles west of Independence at
Bowmantown Road. A Post Office was located there from 1886-1906. Postmasters were
William M McCarter 1886-1888, Malcolm A McKinnon 1888-1899, Mary E McKinnon
1899-1902, C Leslie Farmer 1902-Mar 1906, and Mary E McKinnon Mar 1906-May
Malcolm A "Make" McKinnon was known as the Squire of Bowmantown where he operated a store for many years. He wrote articles for The Democrat from 1885 until shortly before his death in 1948. He also wrote for The Montgomery and Grenada County papers, the Memphis papers and the Jackson papers. His later articles were entitled "Heard at the Bowman Filling Station." Bowman once had a gin in operation. Frank Strickland operated a blacksmith shop at Bowman for many years.
A school was also located at Bowmantown. It was in existence as early as 1877 but was later consolidated with other schools nearby.
The town of Coldwater was founded in 1856. A Dr Lackland gave
the land, about 10 acres. The original name of the Town of Coldwater was Elm
In 1858 the Miss. Tenn. Railroad was completed as far south as Coldwater. The site where new Coldwater now stands was first selected for the location of the town but when the owner of the land was approached he refused to sell it. He had farming interest. Coldwater was named for the Coldwater River.
In 1866 the first church was built which was a little log building. The land was given by Mr. Sidney Blackburn. Mr. Hardin and Mr. Sealy built the church.
Coldwater was incorporated in 1872. Corporate limits were one mile square; one half mile each way from the depot.
The first two stores were built and operated by a Mr. Lot and Mr. Harris. This was before the Civil War. Eight years after the war a Mr. Dunlap and Mr. Alfred Thornton had the two stores.
Dr Lackland was the physician here before the war and after the war Dr. Allen was the first on here. The first depot agent was Mr. Tom Wynne, Ben and Sterling Wynne's grandfather.
The first Mayor was Mr. A Partee; the first Marshal, Mr. Loose; the first recorder, Mr. A B Sloan; the first Treasurer, Mr. B Blackburn and later Mr. C G Callicott.
The first board consisted of A. U. Darby. W. B. Pace, J. J. Thornton, and Pete Hunsuckeler.
The first school was built of logs. It was south of the Methodist Church then.
In 1942 the town of approximately 700, with the exception of a few families, who moved to other towns, moved to its new location which is the first site selected some 85 years before.
COTTONVILLE & SAVAGE
Cottonville is located at the edge of the bluff in the
northwestern part of Tate County between Arkabutla and Savage. In the past it
has had a Post Office named Cottonville in a store run by E. C. Turley. There
was a gin, and other related businesses which included a sawmill, millwright and
a blacksmith shop. Evansville Baptist Church met for a number of years before
1896 in the Cottonville schoolhouse. Farming was the chief interest in the
Savage, located two miles below Cottonville named for a family named Savage in the early days of settlement. This community boasts three stores, a post office and a gin. The Y & M V Railroad runs through the community.
In 1923 two tornados within a month blew many houses away and a few lives were lost. This tornado also swept through Cottonville, destroying many homes and property. Disaster struck again in 1935 when a flood which was about four feet deep, swept through the community, again destroying homes and property. The post office then operated by Mrs. Flavia Herron, was moved from Cottonville to Savage. The first postmaster was John Kerr.
The people of Cottonville rebuilt their homes and kept their faith in their community. The paving of HWY greatly added to the economy of this part of the county.
Source: Tate County Democrat, April 3, 1958
Today (2000) Cottonville is the site of many political rallies held on the store grounds. If you go inside and ask Mrs Xylda Phillips she will show you her poster on Jesse James.
Crockett, known in the past as Poplar Section because of the
many poplar trees in that section and the Sherrods Precinct for voting purposes,
is located six miles west of Senatobia on Highway 4. The community derived its
name form a family named Crockett who lived there many years ago.
About 1892 Crockett had a Post Office with Mayor Bucy acting as Postmaster. In past years Crockett had two doctors, a saw mill and sorghum mill. Citizens of Crockett have been very successful in prize winning in agricultural contests. The community was a charter member in the use of cream separators in Tate County. According to Mr. Jim Kopf this was the first step away from raising cotton, then from cream to beef cattle raising.
The Crockett Church of Christ offers the citizens of Crockett religious worship. According to residents it is a quiet, peaceable, and self-sustaining community.
Source: Tate County Democrat, March 6, 1958
The Cupid Post Office was established October 31, 1901 and closed on June 30, 1912. James M Love, Jr. was Postmaster.
CYPRESS OR CYPRESS CORNER
This community is located fourteen miles southwest of
Senatobia on the county line between Tate and Panola Counties. In the late 1800s
and early 1900s, the area had a one room, one teacher school and a post office.
There were also a couple of stores. One was run by a Mr Lipsey who only had one
arm, and the other was run by Buck Lambert.
The Cypress Post Office was established in 1890 and closed in 1906. Postmasters were: Aflred D Turney 1890-1900; Elburn C (Elbert) Holden 1900-1901; Ethel Allen 1901-1904; George P Tinkle 1904-1908.
Source: Carl & Wayne Dhority, descendants of the Lambert and Holden families.
Eckles, seven miles northeast of Senatobia near
was settled when Frost Barrett bought several thousand acres of land in 1875. It
was named later for the Eckles family.
The Eckles Post Office was opened in 1886 and closed in 1906. There were two postmasters, Thomas B Eckles 1886-1889; and Eli E Shazo1889-1906.
Eliphaz was a small community in central west Tate
name came with the post office. The people who lived around Eliphaz came from
the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama in about 1850. The post office, established
May 18, 1892, was located about three hundred yards of the main road in Henry
Phillips' small family store. Dallas B. Pack was serving when the post office
closed May 15, 1908.
In 1991, there were none of the original settlers or their descendants living in the community. In 1990 the property was purchased by the county and the Town of Senatobia for a waste disposal site.
Goode was located on the Brown's Ferry Road about fifteen
miles southwest of Senatobia and three miles east of Sarah. The area is now
Truslow. This area was part of a land grant to Nathan Pack prior to 1860. Goode
was named for James Goode who built and operated the first store in 1896. He
later moved to Idabel, OK.
The Goode Post Office was established in 1900, and operated until 1908. It was in the Goode store. Postmasters were James R Goode 1900-1903-1907; James H Farmer 1907-1908. Mail was distributed from Sarah after Goode closed. There was also a cotton gin located at Goode.
Bro. Truslow, a circuit minister, helped organize the Methodist Church that was built before the Civil War. A Mormon Church, built in 1913, was destroyed by fire in 1915 and a new church was erected.
There were two churches, and the school was consolidated with Sarah school in 1925.
Greenleaf is listed among the oldest communities in Tate
County. The name Greenleaf was derived from a green grove which grew at the site
of the original settlement. Greenleaf is located eleven miles NE of Coldwater in
the northeastern section of Tate County. Greenleaf, Mt Manna and Palestine
communities are very closely linked in religious and social affairs.
Baptist and Methodist churches are found in the community. The Greenleaf United Methodist Church was organized in 1852. The land for the church building was deeded to the trustees in 1853 by William Kavanaugh Thweatt and his wife Mary Wilder Thweatt. The first Trustees were Josiah Greer, Nathan Davis, Lemuel Aldridge, William M Richardson, George Hardin, Harris O Allen, and William K Thweatt. The Greenleaf Cemetery was organized in 1853. The Thweatts also deeded land for the cemetery, which is located directly across the road from the Methodist Church building. In 1962 Newton Dix and his wife Myrtle Greer Dix deeded additional land for the cemetery. William Kavanaugh Thweatt also served as the Justice of the Peace for the Greenleaf area. The church was rebuilt in 1954 on the original site but faced north.
The children in the community attended Rock Hill, Palestine, Scotland, Bald Knob, Shady Nook, Graham, and Moore's Schools. These small schools closed and consolidated with Greenleaf. The Greenleaf School consolidated in 1925 and closed some time in the 1950s. The Greenleaf school house now (2000) belongs to the Greenleaf United Methodist Church and is used for most community activities.
The community doctors were Dr Thomas Knight and Dr Herbert Milton Thompson.
After the closing of the store in the 1980s there is none in operation at present (2000).
For a time the community had a post office. It was named "Lurlyne" for the daughter of the postmaster, John Hudson. The post office closed in 1907. Lurlyne Hudson was born June 18, 1891 and died Dec 2, 1966. She married Rev Armstead W. Bailey. Brother Wash as he was known resided in Coldwater until his death Feb 8, 1991 at the age of 102.
Dairying and farming were the primary cash making interest in the community.
The first Greenleaf settlers were said to be the Greer and Davis families. Others to settle here were: Embrey, Ferguson, Sowell, Craddock, Scott, Morgan, Bowden, Hurt, Massey, Bailey, Moore, Merrill, Ruby, Hudson, Stevens, Graham, Burford, Aldridge, Thweatt, Lewis, Dix, Miller, Knight, Phillips, Snell, McElroy, White, McCall, Droke, Hadaway, Johnson, McDade, Jones, Busbee, Pounders, Jackson, Britt, Moncrief, Algee, Dossett, Anglin, Jennings and Powers.
Hudson was located between Sarah and Flag Lake in the southwestern corner of Tate County. There was a post office there from May 12, 1879, until August 19, 1989. Mrs. Alice Evans was the only Postmaster.
In about 1836, twenty families in covered wagons rested here
from Chester, SC and decided to make this wild land their home. They wished to
avoid the swamps because of the dreadful malaria and yellow fever. The Chickasaw
Indians they met here were friendly and told them that is was a good and healthful
land. These families built homes, schools and churches and prospered. On January
8, 1888 the Tate County Record reported this as the oldest settled part of the
Independence is a town of many names. It was known as Flewellen's Cross Roads; Lickskillet, and Bucksnort. About 1870 John P McCrackin became postmaster and had the name changed to the official records to Independence.
Independence population has decreased in the past four decades from approximately 250 to about 150. The community became incorporated in 1906 and was an incorporated town until 1946.
In 1906 a fire in Independence destroyed every store except one. According to reports it caught in the old Post Office and spread to other stores. It boasts of having the first consolidated school in the county. Dairying and cotton were the primary cash making interest in the community. A. F. Bowden is credited with starting the first dairy in Independence about 1920 and many dairies sprung up after that.
Three churches, Baptist, Methodist and Church of Christ offer to the citizens all phases of religious worship. One of the few country post offices left in Tate County is at Independence.
The first electric lights were turned on at Independence about 1938 by Mr. W. O. Roberts.
Source: Tate County Democrat, February 6, 1958
Kelly's Crossing is located northeast of
Arkabutla. In the
1890's there wasn't a bridge across the Coldwater River between Arkabutla and
Eudora. There was a place that between rains the water would be low enough for
some to ride a horse across or wade across.
There was a young lady at Hollywood, MS just north of Tunica that Kelly Wadley became interested in. He began to make trips to Hollywood to see her.
Kelly had a blacksmith shop in Arkabutla and was adept in making most anything from wood and iron. He was a big tease and his friends found out about him going to Hollywood and they began to tease him about his trips across the river. His friends began calling it Kelly's Crossing and that is what the road is called today.
The lady was Miss Annie Blackbourn who later became his wife in 1900, and the mother of his three daughters.
Linwood existed in the 1880s and was one and a half miles south of Poplar and six miles west of Senatobia. W S McGee operated a general store, farm, steam mill and gin. Dr J A Long was the resident physician. T Gibson was the blacksmith. Two miles south, C A Grayson had a steam mill, gin and general store.
Locust was located about four miles south of Arkabutla and three miles east of St Peters Church. The Locust post office was established May 12, 1905, and discontinued May 15, 1908. Avalena (Lena) McGinnis Fisher Tinkle was the only postmaster.
Looxahoma, Indian for red fox, was first an Indian village
located on the banks of Jim Wolf Creek about 1 1/2 miles north of the present
town of Looxahoma.
Jim Wolf was the last chief of the Chickasaws and the creek was named for him. The older citizens used to say that Jim Wolf had two daughters named Looxahoma and Chulahoma.
Contrary to the customs of the Indians, old Jim Wolf cultivated many of the acres along the creek. The mounds where the Indian warriors and their maidens lie buried have long been cultivated over. Until many years ago, the mound which was the grave of Jim Wolf was 40 feed higher than the surrounding swamp but that too is now no more.
Long before the Civil War a Temperance Hall, in honor of the Indian mounds, was erected there. This old Hall was the scene of many temperance speeches long, long before the Volstead Act was dreamed of.
The first company of volunteers in the Civil War from Tate and Desoto Counties was organized within the walls of this old hall six months before war was declared.
On April 11, 1836, Tuck-A-Lubby, a Chickasaw Indian, sold this land to Bolton and Caruthers, Looxahoma village was then moved to the present site.
The Temperance Hall was moved to the new town of Looxahoma and belonged to the Masons. School was held there for six months each year. The Baptists held their meetings and services there until March 24, 1887 when the Masons deeded a lot to the Baptists and a church was built nearby. The Temperance Hall was burned in 1918. The present Baptist church, built in 1948, now stands where this historic old building once stood.
As a result of efforts of Miss Eliza Byers, the Methodist Church was established in Looxahoma and the church was built in 1875. The Looxahoma Methodist is no longer active and the members worship at Mt Vernon and at Senatobia.
The land for the Church of Christ was deeded to them Feb 11, 1907 and the church was built in the summer of 1907.
The first Post Office was established May 18, 1850 and the first postmaster was Mr John Thomason. Rural free delivery service began in 1907 touching Looxahoma 1/2 mile south of the town. Now there is no post office there and all mail is on rural free delivery routes.
The first doctors were Drs. Webber and Wynne, then Dr. Henry Harris and Dr. R J Harris.
The first store which was a general store was owned by W T Cole who later sold to Jim H Still. Jim H Still had the first cotton gin. This gin later burned. The Looxahoma Gin Company was built on the present site in 1900, however it has not been in operation in many years.
Before the Civil War there was a flour mill located in Looxahoma. Around 1910 Mr C H Mothershed operated a broom factory there. He raised the broom straw on his farm. There was a modern day broom factory in Looxahoma owned and operated by Mr Morris Lyles.
The Looxahoma Telephone Company was organized and the line was built and began operating in the summer of 1908. Each telephone owner paid $1.50 a quarter to Southern Bell for connection to the outside world through its exchange in Senatobia.
When the schools in Mississippi were consolidated in 1920, Looxahoma and the surrounding small schools, each consisting of one room and one teacher for 8 grades, were consolidated and the school built at Looxahoma. At present the children in the Looxahoma community attend Independence school. The Looxahoma school building is now the Looxahoma Community Center.
The road to Senatobia was blacktopped in 1948.
Looxahoma was typical of the gracious southern community of long ago; friendly, generous, and hospitable. Its many beautiful ante-bellum homes are but memories as only one is left today.
In 1960, Looxahoma was a progressive and thriving town, proud of its heritage and knowing its future will be as great as its past. She stands ready to serve God, country, and man.
Source: Mrs. Lucille M Billingsley
Lurlyne came into existence March 27, 1903 when a post office
was placed in the store owned by John E Hudson. The Post Office was in
operation from March 27, 1903 until it closed May 14, 1906. Mr. Hudson gave the
post office the name of Lurlyne in honor of his daughter who was born June 18,
1891. Homer Scott in later years operated a store that was located on the
corner of Gingerhill and Palestine Roads which is on the adjacent property.
Although the post office was only in existence for a short three years it left is mark on the community. Although there is nothing left of Lurlyne today it is still listed on the map of Tate County.
Strayhorn is located 10 miles west of Senatobia on Highway 4.
Only two stores are operating in the community which has to its credit two
churches, Baptist and Methodist. It derived its name from a family Strayhorn
many years ago.
It became an incorporated town in 1900 and was incorporated for about eight years. During that time the town boasted a telephone exchange with Mr. and Mrs. Sam Howell and Mr. Frank Bizzell operating the line., about six or seven stores, a Marshall, a mayor, two doctors, blacksmith shop and public well. Frank Bizzell was the first mayor of Strayhorn. F E Cotton operated the first Post Office in Strayhorn. According to Mr. Bert Howe, from whom much of the history of Strayhorn was learned, the town marshall fined Mr T W Howe $5.00 for yelling "Whoopee" inside the town limits. Swarms of people visited the town, especially on Saturdays, but due to the fact that families are not as large now as they were then, the population of Strayhorn has decreased considerably.
Electric lights came to Strayhorn in 1939 with Pink Callicott and Ira Bizzell being the first to subscribe to the new way of lighting homes. Until 1919 only on church, the Baptist church, furnished Strayhorn with an opportunity to worship as they wanted. In that year the Methodist Church was built.
Strayhorn School was consolidated in 1919 and at that time it also had a high school. Two of the most important steps in progress for Strayhorn have been the building of a paved highway through the community in 1953 and digging a canal in 1932 which converted no-good land into good farming land.
Source: Tate County Democrat, February 13, 1958
Thyatira is located 12 miles east of Senatobia on Highway 4. The community was named by Mrs. Ollie Fowler Cathey whose family settled there in 1836. It originated from the Biblical town of Thyatira. According to Mr. Achelles Puryear, who is (1958) the oldest citizen, a Mr. Norfleet opened the first store in the community.
In 1880 the first Post Office was opened in Thyatira with Mr. Edd Cathey the first postmaster. Four years ago (1954) the post office was terminated. The community has had many doctors over the years, some of whom were Doctors Tucker, Shipley, Coleman and Collins.
In 1957 the high school was closed and the Children of the Thyatira community attend Independence. The six grade grammar school boast a three apartment teachers home (those children now (2000) attend East Tate Elementary). Three stores, a garage and gin comprise the business section of the community. The Thythira School property is now the location of the Thyatira Church of Christ (2000)
The Thyatira Church of Christ, which was originated in 1843,
is the only church in the community. Church records show that in 1859 a Bro.
Goodloe preached at a meeting and received $23.50 for his services. The
Dandridge family, which lives in Thyatira, is related to the famous Indian
Source: Tate County Democrat, April 10, 1858
Tyro is located about 14 miles southeast of Senatobia and is 4 miles south of Thyatira on the road to Henley's Camp on Sardis Dam. Many fishermen stop at Tyro on their way to the dam to buy fishing tackle, lunch, and ask about fishing conditions.
The community's name came from an old Indian name. Both Baptist and Methodist churches offer religious worship to residents of the community. Among the doctors practicing in Tyro in the past years were Doctors Davis, Cox, Gilbert and Collins. Dr Gilbert operated the postal station at Tyro for a number of years and it was also operated by Mrs Pearl Watson.
Tyro boasts a gin, four stores, a nice cemetery, and a
community center where social and civic meetings are held. About 20 (1938) years
ago a tornado destroyed four or five homes in Tyro.
Source: Tate County Democrat, May 8, 1958
This Page Updated January 18, 2010
County Coordinators: Syble Embrey & Marie Carlton
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