History...


of Carroll County, Mississippi

 

Early County Settlements of Carroll County, Mississippi

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- Sketch of current and extinct towns and communities -
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The following historical information on towns and communities of Carroll County, Mississippi is excerpted from the book "Hometown Mississippi" by James F. Brieger, with additional info from other sources.

If you have information on other towns or communities not listed here, please consider submitting it to Early Carroll County Settlements for inclusion on this page.


Carrollton

As the location of a county seat was being determined, county organizers wanted to place it as near the center of the county as possible. An effort was made to get it located north of Big Sand Creek (near the site of the present North Carrollton post office) and another effort to place it on the south side of the creek. J.I. Clow offered to donate 40 acres of land to the town if it located on the south side, so his offer was accepted, and the town was laid off in lots where Carrollton currently stands. It was officially incorporated as a town on February 19, 1835. Lots became available for purchase in June 1834; and soon after, a courthouse building was underway.

One of the first problems confronting county leaders was an adequate community water supply. A town well had to be dug, and in July 1834, three citizens were appointed to oversee this project: William G. Kendall, Samuel Nelson and James Collins. They were to select a place on the public square in Carrollton for a well, oversee the digging of it, and keep it in good repair.

The Order of Free and Accepted Masons of Carroll County was organized in 1836 and their first building at Carrollton housed the Masons on the upper floor and the Methodist Church on the lower floor, until the church built a building in 1887. Then, the lower floor was used for the Carrollton Male Academy, a school for boys. The present Masonic building was built in 1898 and the second floor continues to be used by the Masons. The lower floor housed a post office and the office of Dr. H.U. Sanders Sr., as well as other businesses in later years.

From its organization in 1834 until voted out around 1886, a number of saloons operated in Carrollton and the area. At one time, there were as many as four saloons in town being operated in conjunction with other businesses.

The first town burial ground was Oakwood Cemetery, which in later years was abandoned for the use of Evergreen Cemetery in North Carrollton.

It is said that Carrollton is not named for the county or for John Carroll, signer of the Declaration of Independence, but for Charles Carroll who was a local citizen. The surrounding lands at Carrollton, the former site of the Choctaw Nation, was the home of the last Choctaw Chieftain, Greenwood LeFlore.

Senator J.Z. George was one of the county's most distinguished citizens, whose greatest achievement was the framing of the State Constitution. He was born in Georgia in 1827, and came to Carrollton at the age of seven. At eighteen he studied law under Judge W. Cochran, and when the Carroll Guards were organized in 1861, he was made First Lieutenant, later being promoted to Captain. He formed the Fifth Mississippi Calvary Regiment, taking command with the rank of Colonel, but was captured during the war and held prisoner. After the war he returned to Carrollton and resumed the practice of law. He served in the State Legislature for twenty years, and in 1881, was elected to the United States Senate. Carrollton was the home of U.S. Congressman Hernando DeSoto Money, who represented the state in congress almost without interruption from 1875 until 1911.

Vaiden

During Indian Territory days, in the far southeastern reaches of Carroll county was an Indian settlement known as Shongalo (the Lark). Located on a stage coach route from Black Hawk to Kosciusko, it grew through the years as many early settlers established homes nearby.

After Carroll County was organized in 1833, a Presbyterian church was established at Shongalo in 1834 and a post office in 1837.

The town was incorporated in 1840 and had a grocery store, tavern, a carpentry shop, a wood shop, a shop which made spinning wheels and reels, a carriage maker, a cobbler's shop and an attorney.

Shongalo was a thriving town and boasted of Richland Academy (attended by J. Z. George), a country boarding school, later becoming Milton Academy, and a Male and Female College built in 1857. In 1859, the Mississippi Central Railroad was built one mile east of Shongalo and Vaiden had its beginning.

Dr. C. M. Vaiden, one of the wealthiest citizens of that area, gave the right-of-way for the railroad through the Vaiden area and even had his slaves to help lay the track. Thus, the railway station and the town were named for him. He also gave the lot for Vaiden's first school, built in 1846.

As Vaiden grew, businesses began moving from Shongalo to the area near the railroad line and the earlier town was soon abandoned. Nothing later remained of the old village of Shongalo except one house, the Porter House, where Silas Weeks in later years lived and the upper story had been removed.

Vaiden itself was incorporated in 1860 and through the years has been home to saloons, creameries, hat shops, shoe shops, hotels, a movie theatre, grocery and drug stores, hardware and furniture stores, cafes, a grist mill, welding shp, cotton factors, a tailor and pressing shop, pool hall, barber shop, a florist, livery stable, newspapers and banks, many of which are now ghosts of the past.

At the time of the Civil War, Grierson and his Union soldiers paid a visit to the Vaiden area. According to an account of Mrs. M. V. Kennedy, who personally witnessed the event, there were about 1000 soldiers, both white and black who arrived. They had been camped near old Middleton and on January 1, 1863, passed through the Vaiden area. They took everything that was of value with them and destroyed a lot of property which they could not take, leaving slaughtered chickens and other livestock in their wake. Mules, horses, bed linens and other personal provisions were seized, as well as food and whatever money could be found. Near Shongalo, they went to Major Kopperl's home and killed him.

On the west side of Vaiden is the old Shongolo Cemetery, where many of Carroll County's pioneers lie buried. This cemetery is the final resting place of Dr. and Mrs. C.M. Vaiden.

Adair

Located eighteen miles southwest of Carrollton, Adair was founded in 1864 and named for a pioneer family. At one time this was a thriving village, with a store being operated along with a gin and a mill by W.R. Prophet.

Avalon

Located in the northeast corner of the county about ten miles north of Teoc, Avalon was carved out of the wilderness by Dr. W.A. Burkhalter, who in 1906 bought 325 acres of wooded land from the Y & M V Railroad. He also purchased land from W.M. DuBard and was instrumental in obtaining a railroad station here. Avalon was named by Mrs. Burkhalter for the Avalon Valley in England. She originally submitted her own maiden name of Bondurant, but the railroad rejected it because of a station already located in Holmes County named Durant. Dr. Burkhalter was an eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist and until his death in 1936 practiced in Greenwood, where he began his practice after graduation from Tulane University. In his spare time he built, or had built, a home, sawmill, gin, and cabins for his workers at Avalon.

Beatty

Located five miles south of Vaiden, the settlement is also known as Beatty's Switch, being named for an early settler, William Beatty. This small settlement once held as residents the prominent McClurg family, Monroe McClurg having served as Attorney General of the United States from 1900 until 1903.

Black Hawk

Black Hawk, located six miles south of Coila, was formed from an Indian village and named for a famous Indian chief who lived in the vicinity. The place is classed with Carrollton as being one of the oldest settlements in North Mississippi, being formed in 1828. The town was incorporated in 1836, but had been a village long before Mississippi ever became a state. A flour mill was in operation here in 1846 along with a number of other business establishments. There were two taverns in the town prior to 1852. Other businesses there were that of a doctor, blacksmith, shoemaker, tailor, hotel and churches. The Black Hawk Academy was also in operation at that time. The first telegraph line to extend over the Natchez Trace was built through Blackhawk in 1850. The story is told that when a drought struck the community in 1851, superstitious people in the vicinity thought the singing wires had caused it and proceeded to cut down almost two miles of the line. The line was soon rebuilt, and an awe-stricken group in the store where the telegraph office was located heard the operator announce, 'Daniel Webster died this morning."

Some of the early settlers to this community were: O' Keefe, Marshall, Carpenter, Smith, Gillespie, Standley, Brewer, Martin, Johnson, Atchison, King, Hendon, Fleming, Avera, Moore, Stevens, Semple, Faucher, Bland, Bennett, Harris, Terrell, Kittrell, Cooley, Hill, Reeves, Murdock, Lundy, Pate, Purcell, Austin, Streater, Meek, Spann, Sharkey, Calhoun, Hinson, Cox, Bacon and Brown.

Blackmonton

Located 16 miles south of Carrollton, Blackmonton was established upon the appointment of Zachariah Blackmon as first postmaster on September 11, 1873. He was followed by Green Clower in 1886 and Wesley Hatcher in 1902. The post office was discontinued in 1916 when its mail was routed to Vaiden.

Blackmonton officially appeared as a town on the United States Atlas in 1876, and in 1900, the population was 54. It derived its name from Zachariah Blackmon who came there in 1835 from Warren County. The land for the church was purchased by Blackmon on July 17, 1838, and by 1850, the church served both white and black families. The original church built of logs gradually fell into disuse, and by 1870 was deserted. Sometime before 1880, a new church building was erected on the same site. It is generally believed that the church lay dormant or was used spasmodically from 1886 to 1894, when the Blackmonton Church was formally organized under the auspices of the Presbyterian Synod. During the 1930s, a tornado destroyed the church leaving in its wake only the chimney, which still remains in the rebuilt church. The church is still in use by members of the community.

The Blackmonton School was officially organized in 1894 and was essentially a one-room school, which served between 75 and 100 pupils. For many years, the school children were transported to and from the school by covered wagon. By 1953, the school was closed and the students transferred to Vaiden.

Other early settlers here were the Boston, Cable, and Hatcher families.

Bryantville

Located about eight miles northwest of Vaiden, this place was established 1830 under the name of Gayden, for a local family. In 1846 the name was changed to Gerenton, for the Geren family, and still later the name was again changed to Bryantville, for a man named Johnny Bryant. This settlement was listed as being extinct in 1920.

Carroll

Located two miles north of Vaiden.

Centerville

Located twelve miles southwest of Carrollton, the place was first known as Mallory and was founded about 1840. It was named for an early settler, who, with slave labor built a home of hewn logs which were pinned together with wooden pegs. This house was later purchased by W.L. Barrentine who reared a family of sixteen children under its roof. The name of the place was later changed to Centerville because it was the center of the Mallory Community. A grammar school which once existed here was consolidated with Carrollton in 1936.

Coila

Coila, located about eleven miles south of Carrollton, was established in 1840 and named for the nearby springs, which were named for an Indian maiden killed nearby. Coila (Little Panther) was an old stage stop where horses and drivers were changed, and an inn nearby provided food and rest for travellers. The springs nearby were said to have provided some of the best water in the county, and encouraged settlement in the area. The first settler here was Bob Pentecost and other pioneers were the Eubanks and Harlan families. Mr. Harlan and his wife came from Tennessee, reaching Carroll County by barge from Vicksburg. Their flatboat of household goods was towed by boat to Greenwood where they remained until Harlan cut a trail through the wilderness to the hills. In 1833 they purchased land here and built a home. Dr. E. R. McLean made his home at Coila and for many years served as an innkeeper, merchant and physician.

Other families who settled in this area were Benthal, Longs, Beck, Lagrone, Fields, Rutledge, Marble, Collins, Tisdall, Snell, Jones, Oliver, Farmer, Word and Herrod.

Donley

Donley, located eight miles east of Greenwood, was established and named in 1829 when Samuel Inman Donley, son of Major John Donley, purchased the land from one Jim Cobbs, who was part Indian. The place never developed as a settlement and became extinct by 1900.

Donna

Located six miles west of Carrollton, Donna was established in 1903 as a country store to serve a few residents, being named for the store owner. The place became extinct in 1905.

Duck Hill

Duck Hill is located 13 miles north of Winona, in what was once the Bogue Creek Wilds. The first house erected there was built by John A. Binford. The wild state of the place and the big game which was once found there are evidenced by the fact that a huge bear killed by Binford near his cabin was made into a rug, which practically covered the floor of his early log cabin home. Duck Hill was settled about 1834, and was originally in Carroll County. The first structures were erected between Bogue Creek and the foot of a hill known as Duck Hill. Tradition says that the hill was named for a Native American Choctaw who called himself Chief Duck, and lived on top of the hill. It was near this hill that a notorious bandit of the area, Rube Burrows, once killed the engineer and robbed the express car of the fast Illinois Central Express. In 1937, a double-lynching occurred nearby, which was given significant publicity, only because the Gavagan Anti-Lynching Bill was under consideration in the U. S. Congress. James R. Binford, son of the founder of Duck Hill, was the legislator and statesman who gave Mississippi the Jim Crow Law, which was later adopted by the Southern States. The Lloyd T. Binford High School at Duck Hill was named for one of the most progressive and honored citizens the town of Duck Hill has ever known.

Eskridge

John C. McKenzie was the first settler in this region, which is located 8 miles northwest of Winona, settling there in 1833. Eskridge was originally in Carroll County. A nearby spring, McKenzie Spring, furnished water for the stage coach horses on the old Middleton to Grenada Road. In 1834, Dick Eskridge, for whom the town was named, bought several hundred acres here, built a home and farmed with slave labor.

Foltz

Located three miles south of Winona, Foltz was established in 1855 when the Mississippi Central Railroad came through and a station was named for E. E. Foltz, owner of the surrounding land. Foltz was eclipsed by the rapid growth of Winona, and became extinct in 1910. Foltz was originally in Carroll County.

Gerenton

Located in Carroll County to the east of present day Coila and south of Middleton/Winona, this town was settled in 1832 by Colonel D. McLemore, followed by settlers Nelms, Sanders, Abrahams and Geren, the town being named for the Gerens. Others settlers followed with a general merchandise store, an apothecary, a school and a Baptist church being established.

Early records indicate that Gerenton missed being selected as the state capital by only one vote.

At the outset of the Civil War, two of the most prominent men in the state lived there: Colonel John Dabney McLemore and Major Frank Hawkins. Colonel McLemore was said to be the largest property taxpayer in the state, and Major Hawkins reputed to be the wealthiest man in the state. Colonel McLemore maintained residences in Franklin, Tennessee, Coffeeville and Gerenton, Mississippi, and New Orleans, and was a business associate of Andrew Jackson. Major Hawkins was a direct line descendant of the Hawkins admiralty that defeated the Spanish Armada. His ancestors in Warren County, North Carolina were publicly recognized as "the finest family in North Carolina".

The Gerenton Cemetery was said to be the prettiest little cemetery in Mississippi, containing over 150 magnificent monuments and 500 graves surrounded by a beautiful wrought iron fence, with members of some of Carroll County's oldest and finest families being buried there.

Apparently, following the transition many small Mississippi settlements experienced, people moved to the newer towns where railroads, new commerce and hopefully more opportunity abounded. The Gerenton post office closed around the time of World War II and the town died.

Gravel Hill

Located ten miles southwest of Carrollton.

Greenville

At one time this settlement located east of Jefferson was a thriving community of prosperous farmers and had a dry goods store, grocery stores, saloons and a school, although it was never incorporated as a town.

Greenwood

The first white settlement of Greenwood is said to have been made by a flat-boat man named Williams, who built a trading post and shanty on the bank of the Yazoo River, who for a year or so sold whisky, potatoes, flour, bacon and other supplies and staples. He also stored and shipped cotton and his home and business became known as Williams Landing. He had been granted a land patent in 1834 for a tract of about 120 acres, but only lived there a short time before dying in 1835.

The land adjoining Williams Landing was sold to Titus Howard and on April 5, 1837, he and Samuel B. Marsh, who also had purchased nearby land, agreed to set aside an area on the southeast bank of the Yazoo to be used as a town site. Howard referred to the town in sales records as Greenwood, not Williams Landing. It is believed that the Choctaw Indians, the first inhabitants of the site, had named their village Greenwood and held rites of their rituals and executions there, near where the present-day courthouse stands.

The town of Greenwood was incorporated in 1844. By that time, great effort had been expended to turn the surrounding area from swampland into the site of profitable agricultural ventures. The first church built was the Union Church on East Market Street, and it is told that the Presbyterians and Methodists took turns supplying a minister for it. By 1850, the town had developed and surpassed its rival towns of Point Leflore and Sidon. Sidon was first known as "Marion's Landing".

As it grew, Greenwood had begun to handle the cotton that came down by wagon from other points in Carroll County, to he loaded for shipment to New Orleans. The outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 brought the development of the town to a temporary standstill, although that same year did mark the building of two public schools there.

In 1871, the area where Greenwood was located was taken from Carroll County and, along with land from Sunflower county, Leflore County was created.

Hamrick

Hamrick was founded east of Avalon, fifteen miles northwest of Carrollton in 1879, and was named for J.J. Hamrick, an early settler. There was an early school here known as the Valley Vocational School.

Hemingway

Located near Coils, Hemingway was first known as Bright's Corner until a post office was established in 1890 and named for a Hemingway family who were early settlers.

Holly Grove

Located sixteen miles southwest of Carrollton.

Huff

Huff was established in 1876 ten miles north of Carrollton, being named for Thomas Joseph Huff, who settled on the south side of Potacocowa Creek, which divides the settlement.

Jefferson

Jefferson was formed about twelve miles north of Carrollton in 1840 and was named for Thomas Jefferson. It was originally a stage coach stop located on the property of O.L. Kimbrough, but when the post office was moved here from Beckville in the early 1800s, it became a town with stores and the usual saloons. Jonathan Durdin was appointed the first postmaster on January 14, 1854, the office being discontinued on January 25, 1867. The Jefferson High School was established and the Liberty Baptist Church was erected west of the school. A boarding house was opened in 1885 to accommodate the students attending Jefferson High School.

When travel became easier and the towns of Carrollton, Greenwood and Lexington grew, trade was drawn from this community and it dwindled away. Jonathan Durdin was a merchant there until the war began in 1861. Also, the Lott brothers, Aaron, William and Andrew, settled near Jefferson. Other early settlers were: brothers Marion and Talliaferro Hanks, Morehead, Telford, O'Neal, Patterson, Gray, Howard, Kimbrough, Watson, Loden, Corley, McCaulla, Williams, Purnell, McNeill, Chatham, Richmond and Hill.

Leflore Town

This community, originally called Leflore Town, was in existence before 1830. It was named after the Indian Chief Greenwood Leflore on whose land it lay, and who originally established the settlement. It was said to be the only village in this territory prior to the signing of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830.

At one time there were several business houses there. Greenwood Leflore himself funded the building of a model road nearby, which was the first of its type in Mississippi and among the first in the United States. The opening of new roadways to the towns of Carrollton, Greenwood, Black Hawk and Coila soon drew trade from this area, until the town as such disappeared.

Little Texas

Located in the northeastern part of Carroll County, Little Texas appears on no map of Carroll County. Geographically, the boundaries are in the area around Calvary Baptist Church and Cemetery close to the Jefferson Community in Carroll County, and near the Grenada County line.

According to descendants of former residents, there would have been no village called "Little Texas" if there had not been an acute need for horses and mules in Carroll County in the late 1800s.

An overabundance of wild horses in Palo Pinto County, Texas were ruining the grazing lands of the cattle ranches in west Texas, so free horses from there were being offered by the United States Government. Young men in Carroll County were recruited to join in the project of going to Texas to obtain these wild horses and ship them back here. The venture proved to be successful, the sale of the horses was good, and the county benefited from this and "Little Texas" was established in 1885. Marked now by occasional cattle herds, Little Texas boasted thriving ranches and farms, and independent, hard living people in its heyday.

According to an article published in the Clarion Ledger newspaper (Jackson, Mississippi, June 21, 1999), the area might have had an earlier history, as some believe that Civil War soldiers from Texas passing through that area of Carroll County said they were treated with the same kind of hospitality they were used to at home and remarked: "Why, this is just like a "little Texas town".

Old Greenville (now extinct) was probably the hub of "Little Texas". Dating from the early 1800s, Old Greenville was an early community whose settlers moved toward the Mississippi River, and helped form the Greenville that exists today in Washington County, Mississippi.

The place known as Little Texas became extinct in 1910.

Malmaison

Located five miles west of Carrollton.

McCarley

When this small village was first settled, located just east of Carrollton, and nine miles west of Winona, it was known as McAnerney, possibly after a sawmill family that settled there. The railroad was built through the community in 1887 and it began to grow, with goods for stores and ice for home use delivered on the train. In 1890, the town name was changed McCarley, and the first post office was established there. The first store there was built by a Mr. Guenther in 1892. Other stores to follow were those of Ed Chambley, Tom Redditt, L.C. Spencer and W.C. Dubard. Jim Byrd is said to have organized the first cotton gin.

The first school building at McCarley stood where the current Neal Blaylock home is. The teacher was a Mrs. Drake. Another school was built later, and it had three or four teachers and was situated on a lot owned by W.R. Carpenter.

In the early days, McCarley had a two-story boarding house operated by a Mrs. Little, and it did a good business housing salesmen traveling by train. Also, many railroad officials spent the night there. McCarley also has had a county barn, a grist mill, a blacksmith shop, a barber shop, a gasoline filling station and an automobile garage. McAnerney's Restaurant and Gas Station owned by Pam and Mickey Carpenter is the only active business there today besides the post office.

The McCarley Cemetery was begun in 1902 on land given by William B. McCarley. Over a period of 68 years, the cemetery later fell into disrepair, but in 1970 a committee was formed, headed by J.D. Landers, which rescued it. The group raised funds to clean the cemetery, build a fence around it, and through the efforts of other of interested citizens, the cemetery was once again a groomed eternal resting place.

There were two doctors residing in McCarley, Dr. Taylor and Dr. Redditt. At one time during the 1950s, there was a public park with tables, barbecue pit and a tennis court. McCarley also had a library in the front of the old Tom Redditt store. The library was established by Miss Callie Sudduth.

Churches at McCarley have been: the McCarley Methodist Church (first called McAnerney Methodist Episcopal Church South) organized in 1896, and the McCarley Baptist Church organized in 1908.

Middleton      (for offsite link click here)

(This history of Middleton taken from the "Carroll County Broadcast" by C. C. Buchanan, published in The Conservative newspaper, Carrollton, MS, Nov 13, 1980.)

Few travelers along U.S. Highway 82 know they are driving along the main street of a city of the past, a town that grew from a mere trading post beside an Indian trail in 1834 to become "The Athens of Mississippi" a few years later, and then began a decline that saw its end within a few years after the close of the War Between the States. Today not even a "historical" marker preserves the memory of Middleton, a town then in Carroll County that ran the cycle of life from a log cabin store to a population of more than 2,000 (not authenticated) and back to a single old house in a period of less than forty years.

Along about 1800 a trader decided that this spot of flat land exactly where Interstate 55 and Highway 82 cross two miles west of Winona was just the right place for a "post" to set up shop and trade with the friendly Choctaws as they traveled the trails that crossed here. After the formation of the State of Mississippi, although the lands in this area were still in the hands of the Choctaws, other settlers came and built their cabins, trading with the Indians and clearing the land for farming. Among these was one William Pace, forbear of a long line of Pace descendant to the extent that the last house on the scene, the "old Pace house," was there to be torn down in the mid-1960s when Interstate Highway 55 was built: It Was the last reminder of "the glory that was," in Old Middleton.

With the purchase of the Indian lands in 1830, a flood of settlers came into the area, and in 1834 Carroll County was organized, but Middleton, being too far from the approximate center of the county, was not considered suitable for the county seat and Carrollton was built "from scratch" for that purpose. However, the old town continued to grow and flourish and was incorporated in 1840 when the population is said to have numbered more than 2000.

In 1841, Middleton was one of seven towns in our state considered for the site of the establishment of a State University. By 1850 it was a bustling town of several hundred inhabitants. A stage line ran from Holly Springs by way of Middleton to Durant over which mail and passengers were carried daily. To the west of the town were a wool mill and a flour and a cotton mill.

There was a newspaper, plenty of inns and saloons to care for the needs of men, several stores, a tailor shop, shoe shop and cabinet or furniture shop. Here we might note that the inns offered three meals and a night's lodging for one dollar. Lawyers and doctors abounded and there were photographers of a sort (daguerreotype), clockmakers, and other skilled workmen.

As was usually the case in the "new country," Middleton was always a religious center with Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Christian and Episcopal congregations served by some of the outstanding preachers of the day. Perhaps the old town gained its greatest fame through the schools that soon followed settlement and became "institutes" and "academies" and were known all over the state for the quality of learning they dispersed.

Of names of prominence in the community and the surrounding area, we list only a few of the many. Here came as merchants and planters. Peter Gee and O. J. Moore who later moved to Carrollton and Winona respectively. and became prominent in Carroll and Montgomery Counties. In and around Middleton also we note the Barrows, Youngs, Waddlingtons, Herrings, Turners, Rays, Whiteheads and Curtis and others.

With the completion of the Mississippi Central (now the Illinois Central-Gulf) Railroad a few miles east of Middleton in 1858-59, the town "hit the skids" and within fifteen years there was really nothing left but a memory, a cemetery now almost unknown to man, and the ghosts of "The Athens of Mississippi".

Mills

Located eight miles southwest of Vaiden, this site was settled in 1830 by Daniel McEachern, but was not named until 1900. In 1900 this site was named Mills for several mills located here, the first one being founded by John Calhoun. Mills has been extinct since 1925, but an old mill still marks the site.

North Carrollton

When the Columbus and Greenville railroad decided to lay its track and build a depot on the flatter land a mile north of Carrollton, North Carrollton came into being as a town in 1889. Originally called Rathbone, businesses began to build up around the tracks and a post office was established in 1892 with Jesse D. Guner as postmaster. By 1899, the name Rathbone was discarded and the town was incorporated as North Carrollton. The railroad for long years, however, continued to call the stop there "Carrollton", and the old deport still had the name on it when it was torn down.

At the time it was incorporated, the town had about 150 residents, and this number has grown to about 600 in present-day North Carrollton.

In the early 1900s and until after WWII, there were drugs stores, dry good stores, a bank. livery stables, churches and lumber companies in the town. At one time, three cotton gins, a sawmill, and a hotel were located there. Also the town was known as a center for horse and mule trading in early days. For long years, an artesian well functioned in the intersection in the center of town, but has been since replaced by a stop sign.

The first town Mayor was G. R. Holman, elected in December 1900. Still in existence is an open tabernacle, which was originally the site of an open "brush arbor" used for fiery church revivals and other meetings. The present day wooden tabernacle was built in 1908, with Sam Bennett doing the construction, John R. Jackson furnishing the materials, and T. N. Bloodworth selling the lot for the structure to be built on.

In 1914, about a month after the school at Carrollton had burned, the North Carrollton town board voted to become a separate school district, intending to better school facilities for students on the north of Big Sand Creek. A fierce fight ensued between Carrollton and North Carrollton officials over this matter and was finally ended in 1917 and the North Carrollton High School was opened in 1920. It was later renamed J. Z. George High School.

From its heyday, North Carrollton began a slow decline in the mid-1800s when passenger trains stopped coming through town. Highways made travel to larger towns easier. North Carrollton now boasts most of the active commercial businesses of the Carrollton-North Carrollton towns, with Carrollton, the older of the two, housing most of the governmental offices and a few businesses.

Pine Bluff

Located twenty-three miles west of Vaiden.

Reeves

Reeves was established four miles south of Old Salem in 1840, being located on the Vaiden-Tchula Road. The place was originally a Presbyterian neighborhood, being named for a Scotch family of Reeves, which included three brothers named Jack, Ab, and Gee Reeves. These brothers each owned good plantations on this site before the Civil War.

Sawyer

The village of Sawyer, originally in Carroll County, was established in 1859 as a flag stop on the railroad. Its exact location is uncertain, but it was named for a man named Sawyer, who financed the Sawyer Cut near the station.

Seven Pines

Seven Pines was established five miles northwest of Blackhawk in 1872 by G.W. Pentecost, who named it for the nearby pine trees. The town was incorporated in 1882, and by 1890 consisted of twelve stores and a saloon. The place went into a decline about 1900 and hardly anything is now left of the place.

Smiths

Located five miles south of Vaiden.

Smiths Mills

According to local family history, the Smith's Community was located between Potacocowa Creek and the Longhill Community in Carroll County. It is said there was a big steam mill located on the creek, a couple of stores, a post office and Rock Ford public school. A post office was established there in September 23, 1837 and operated until May 15, 1907, when the mail was routed to Leflore, Mississippi.

Some of the families living in the area during this time included those of Josh Smith, Angus M. Millan, Morgan Smith, James M. Liddell, Charles O. Aven, John A. Hammons, Henry Harden Smith, Hightower, Sabin, Wash R. Mullen, Watson, Benjamin J. Lott, Lee C. Smith, Geralus N. Smith, Curtis Lee Smith, Edgar A. Hammons, Ben Telford, Lynn Taliaferro, Eva Smallwood and Homer Ricketts.

Postmasters of the Smith's Mills Post Office were: Josh Smith, appointed September 23, 1837; Angus M. Millan, appointed June 13, 1839; Thomas M. Smith, appointed October 1, 1840; and James M. Liddell, appointed December 22, 1858. Postal office service was discontinued there on January 30, 1867 and re-established on November 16, 1886. Postmasters after that were: Sallie Hightower, appointed November 16, 1886; Charles O. Aven, appointed August 8,1901; John A. Hammons, appointed December 9, 1901; Nancy S. Sabin, appointed March 31, 1903; and Wash R. Mullen, appointed November 1, 1906. Again the post office was discontinued on May 31, 1907, and the mail from there forward was routed to Leflore, Mississippi.

(Submitted by Susie James on April 20th, 2004)  I've been reading the segments about the old settlements/towns of Carroll County and, while I naturally have other questions and observations, the comment I wish to make concerns Smith's Mill or Smith's Mills, as I have seen the name written both ways through the years in legal documents and in the Board of Police minutes. It's named thus because an early settler and Board of Police member named JOEL Smith had a mill there where the Greasy met the Petticocowa, on the North side of the creek. Joel Smith died "Sept. 25, 1838/age 55 years, 1 month, 3 days" according to the cemetery enumeration made Aug. 22, 1985 by the late T. A. Watson and the late Ethel Bibus. His tombstone has gone missing. Early Board of Police minutes mention Joel Smith's mill. Susie James

Teoc

Located about eight miles northwest of North Carrollton, Teoc is probably the oldest settlement in Carroll County. This community was named by the Indians, and Malmaison, the home of Greenwood Leflore, was in the area. The five Redditt brothers, David, Robert, Anthony, William, said Albert came here in 1829 and purchased land from the state, with receipts made out at Chocchuma Landing. The settlement was started by the Redditt brothers, along with the Price, Irby, Chandler, and Barrows families who came with them. Big Teoc Creek crosses the community, and Little Teoc winds its way through it and into a larger creek of clear water. This water is supposed to contain great quantities of minerals, from which a chill tonic factory, at one time, did a good business. The surrounding hills are rich in the deposits of Yellow, Green, Blue, and Red Clay, which was used by the Indians years ago as their war paint.

Some names of early settlers of the community were McCain, Aiken, Durbin, Johnston, Meux, Reynolds, Long, Arnold, Redditt, Clark, Mabray, Browning, Hughes, Williford, Woodell, Kent, Emmons, Coakley, Graves, Sabin, Smith, Liddell, Chapman, Vickers, Merriwether, Roberts, Metcalf, Monday, Colburn and, of course, Leflore.

Turpin Switch

In 1912, Thomas J. Turpin of Greenwood bought 1,361 acres of wooded land one mile north of Avalon. In 1915 he built a railroad switch known as Turpin Switch, from the Grenada Branch on the Y & M V Railroad one mile north of Avalon, west to the Yalobusha River for logging purposes. After the timber had been cut, the track was taken up and the land was sold to a Mr. Goodman of Memphis and Turpin Switch became extinct.

Valley Hill

Valley Hill is actually the same place as the extinct settlement of Donley, but was not established until 1857 when Major James Simpson Hemphill moved here from old Middleton. He named the place for the valley lying beneath the mill on which the first homes were located.

Whaley

Whaley, located eight miles northeast of Greenwood, and. three miles southwest of the present site of Avalon, was established in 1840 and was known as Dodd's Ferry, being located on the Yalobusha River. The ferry boat was owned by Tom Boddy, but the boat as well as the surrounding land was later purchased by O.C. Neil. The place was named Whaley for J.W. Whaley who established this plantation town before moving to San Antonio, Texas.

Wiltshire

Established eight miles southeast of Carrollton in 1879, this settlement was first known as Mount Ida. The name was later changed to honor Atwood Wiltshire, an early settler. An early post office which was located here was discontinued in 1900 in favor of Rural Free Delivery from Vaiden.

Winona

Born as a result of the railroad being built here instead of at Middleton to the west in 1860, Winona was originally a part of Carroll County and was incorporated as a town on May 2, 1861. "Winona" is an Indian name signifying "first born daughter." The first settler of the town was Colonel O.J. Moore, who arrived from Virginia in 1848. What is now the business part of town was then a cultivated field on Colonel Moore's property. The railroad passed through his property and the railway station was placed near his plantation home. An influx of settlers started after the location of the railroad and Winona became a busy town.

Captain William Witty, an early settler from North Carolina, was for years a leading Winona merchant and established the first bank in the county. Other names seen among the early settlers were: Curtis, Burton, Palmer, Spivey, Townsend, Hart, Turner and Campbell. The early businesses were mainly grocery stores.

In 1871, Montgomery County was formed from portions of Carroll and other counties, and Winona became the county seat of the newly formed county. A yellow fever epidemic struck the area in 1878, and caused many of the towns citizens to die and many to leave.

In April 1888, a great fire destroyed almost the entire business section of the town. Forty of the 50 businesses burned. Then again in 1904, Winona lost a number of businesses to fire, including the entire material and equipment of the Winona Times newspaper.

Wood

Located three miles north of Vaiden.

 


Carroll County

Coordinator:

I am John Hansen, volunteer County Coordinator for Carroll County, Mississippi.  I have family lines from here and hence my interest in establishing as much information as possible on early Carroll County History.
 

Web Site:

The Carroll County, Mississippi Genealogical and Historical Web Site was brought online in 1998, and is sponsored by the MSGenWeb Project, a part of the  USGenWeb Project.

This website has been developed to provide research and family history resources for Carroll County, Mississippi ancestry.

New resources are added as made available, so check back often for new content.

 

 

 

 

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