Newspaper Archive of
The Woodville Republican
Woodville, Mississippi
March 23, 1973     The Woodville Republican
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March 23, 1973

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Page 12  WILKINSON COUNTY- A BRIEF HISTORY OF ITS COMMUNITIES {Editor's Note: The following article conce{ning the early his-i son Davis. tory 4at Wilkinson County and In 1800, a Baptist Church was its communities is quoted from 'built near Woodville, on Second "Hometown Mississippi," com- Creek. The Methodist Church piled by James F. Brieger, and was built in 1824, as was St. Faul's Episcopal Church. Is a transcript of copy on file in the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in Jackson. We are reproducing the tran- script just as it was furnished to us, although some proper names are obviously misspelled and some dates and statements are possibly questionable.) WILKINSON COUNTY The fifth county to ,be organ- ized, and ranking twenty-sixth in area, Wilkinson County was created in 1802, and named for .General James Wilkinson, of the Terr}torial Era. The first railroad in the United States, to coss a State line, and the first railroad in Mississippi, was the West Fe- liclana Line, built from St. Francisville, Lcuisiana to Wood- vtlle in 1836. In 1830, Wilkinson County had .the unusual distinction of hav- ing, .at the same time, a U. S. Senator, George Poindexter; a Governor, Gerard C. Brandon; and a Lt. Governor, Abram M. Scott. Abram Scott was elected .Governor from this county in 1832. WOODVILLE Woodville is known 'to have been organized price to 1899, for that was the year the county seat was located here. Almost everyone agrees that the town was incorporated in 1811, except the Office of the Secretary of .tate, who insists it was 1836. The Woodville Republic,an, a newspaper ,which started in 1824 was edited by Andrew Mars- chalk, and is the oldest busi.ness institution, still in operation, in Mississippi. The West Feliciana Railroad was chartered and in- corporated by financiers of Woodvtlle ,and vicinity in 1831, and the original office building of the 14ne is still standing. One of the oldest institutions of learning in .the Territory was established at W,-Jllle in 1815, krown as Wilkinson Academy, which was atended by Jeffer- Four miles from Woodville is the site of Ashwood, the fo{mer plantation home of George Poin- dexter, author of the first Mis- sissippi Code, and second Gov- ernor of the State. He was born in Louisa County, Virginia in 1779, and came to Mississippi Territory, to open a law office at Natchez when he was twenty- three years old. In 1807, he ar- ranged the meeting between karon Buxr and Territorial Gov- ernor Cowles Mead, and later was professionally connected with Burr's trial. ARTONISII Artonish, twenty-five miles northwest of Woodville, was formed about 1830, and named for the three lakes in Scotland. The post ;office was established in 1880 and discontinued in 1917. ASItWOOD Located three .miles south of Woodville, Ashwood was formed in 1810, and named for the many neaxby ash trees. This was the former plantation home of Governor George loindexter, and it was at this site that he wrote the first Code of Laws for Mississippi. CENTREVILLE Elysian Fields was an old Spanish Trading Post on lhe pony mail route between Biloxi and Natchez, and in the year' 1804, New Providence Church was organized here by Reverend William Berry, a Baptist Preach- er. A group of Methodists from South Carolina settled here sometime prior to 1817, and be- fore building homes for them- selves, constructed a brush aebor, in which to worship. Later, this arbor was replaced by the Midway Methodist Church, in which the Mississippi Methodist Conference was or- ganized in 1817. This small village, located two miles east of the present town of Centreville, fourteen miles The Woodville Republican, Woodville, east of Woodville, was called Amite Courthouse, even before Amite and Wilkinson Counties were formed. In 1883, the Y&MV Railroad was eonsteucted tw,o miles east of Elysian Fields, and the town of Centreville was built beside the railroad, so t called because the station was approximately midway between Liberty and Woodville, and !about midway between Natchez and Baton Rouge. Most of the population f Elysian Fields moved to Centre- ville, and Elysian Fields became known as Old Centreville, until it finally became extinc& DARRINGTON Da{rington, about seven miles east of Doloroso, was settled around '1800, soon after the first settlers came to Adams and Wilkinson Counties. Some of the settlers .stopped at Darrington, which was then known as Crooked Creek. the f.crt, killing six Englishmen and wounding several more, be- fece LoI!I.u de('2fled that it was useless to continue. He left the fort his name, however, and it has been referred to in many accounts, as Loft, us Heights. The nan:e, Fort Adams was given the place in 1797, when General James Wilkinson sent instructions to Captain Isaac Guion to establisl a fort near our natural boundary. Guion ound this place to be just above the parallel, which was the dividing line, and he recom- mended that this be the site. Wilkinson agreed, and ordered 'troops from Walnut Hills and Natchez to be sent here. 1798, and under him were two officers of lesser rank, who were to make their marks in histocy. One was Andrew Marsehalk, who became Mississippi's first printer, at Natchez, and to start the Woodv111e Republican. The Dr. Robert Darrington, who mi other was Merrlwethe Lewis, 'was born i,n Mobile, in 1837, and lprivate secretary to President gxated to this community Thomas Jefferson and famous began the practice of medicine, i ' , v , ,  .., The name of the post office be-if. r the .Lewis and C1R,;ve?:;is came Darrington in his honor 'tmn en the Mlssou'l . ' and he served the community was to return to the fort later, until the time of his death in 1895. DOLOROSO From the general history of the county, Cold Springs, or Doloroso, fourteen miles north- west of Woodville, appears to have been settled about 1800, by farmers, in search of a good location for raising cattle. Because of confusion in get- ting mail, :the name of the post office was changed from Cold Springs to Doloroso while H. A. Harris was postmaster in 1884; Doloroso is .a Spanish word meaning bitter and sad. FORT ADAMS Located fifteen miles west of Woodville, this site was *irst called Roche a Davion by the French, for Father Davion, and until 1764, the place had no English name. On March 19, 1784, Major Loftus led a British expedition against the Indian.s, northward, to occupy the Illinois Country, which consisted of North ,la- barns, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Western. Kentucky. The Indians fired on Lof.tus from Mississippi pr.ave fatal. He knew that death 1 was near, and wrote out specific I instructions for his funeral, knowing that those who cared for his body .would follow his wishes, and that all the com- mand would be present at his funeral. The General must have been fit to be tied when the casket I was brought in for the rites, as the Majo;r's queue was hanging thr:ough a hole, which been cut in the casket, just in back of his head. Located west of Centreville, Hiram was founded in 1848, by a group of Colonel John Ham tramck as-,men who ,became owners of sumed e.ommand on August 20, t sm,all farms here. Four years J later, in 1852, Mount Carmel i Church was constructed, which i served as the only white church l in the locality. I In 1897, a .pext office was established and named Hiram, for Hiram W. Day, who was the first postmaster; the office be- ing maintained until 1906, when it was discontinued for .Rural Free Delivery. and then ride off toward Wash- ington, taking his own life at the home of a Choctaw half- breed in the Choctaw Territory. In 18(}1, a treaty with ,the Choctaws was concluded at the ort, which marked the begin- ning of the Natchez Trace. The Indians .gave consent to the opening of a post ,road through their lands to Te.nnessee, but forbade the white from erecting any louses along the route. At that time, LeFluer, and other half-breeds moved onto the Trace, and several be- came rich as a result of their trading posts and inns. There were men of the U. S. ,xmy stationed here for many years, protecting the river route from invasion, and serving as . the m, ain for,t for the Missis- sippi Terri.tory. A story is gold of the soldiers here one night, I enjoying a party: The General's queue (a long braid ,of'r) caught fire and was burned off ,so he promptly ordered that no officer would show up for in- spection with a queue. One Major, disobeyed the order kept !his queue, and was arrested, but before his rial, he contracted an illness .that was shortly te IRELAND The settlement of Ireland was established about 1860, three miles northeast of Dar.rington. Henry Ireland, a Negro, for whom the plantation and post office was named, killed his wife and was sent to the prison farm. The land was then pur- chased by a foreigner, :named Ferrel, who died here, and his wealth, including his plantation, [ became the property of the I I State. The plantation was then l / puxchased by W. E. Davidson, i IIIRAM ]who lived here for thirty years, I eight miles north-iserving as a merclmnt, and also as postmaster, until the ofiice was discontinued in 1922. LANEItEART Laneheart, about seven miles northwest of W, oodville, was settled in th e early part of 1800 by cotton farmers, and was first :alled Bunker Hill. A post office was secured .bout 1890, and was named foe A. W. Laneheart, who was post- master for many years. The plantation later .became the property of J. M. Sessions, of .Wcodville. I Woodville's own Friday, March 23, 1973 LESSI,EY According to larid records of Wilkinson County, Lessley, or Percy's Creek, nine miles north- west of Woodville, was first set- tled during the eaxly part of 1850. Being near the Mississippi Rive'r, and on lhe banks o[ I Per(ty's Creek, these lowlands proved ideal for farming. As a result of this, plus the fact that cotton could be s:o easily shipped on the river, large cotton plan- lot, ions sprang up throughout this section. Lessley was named for Dr. Robcrt Lessley, who practiced medicine here for over fifty years, and was also a great help in the social, religious, and civic life of the community. The peo- ple of Percy's Creek became fa- mou,s througtmut this and sev- eral adjoining counties for their hospitality. Most of the county picnics, political rallys, fishing outing.s, dances, and other rec- rcati:cnal activities wexe held here, MORGAN The site of Morgan. one and (Continued on Page 13) Western Auto Associate Store 888-3911 is proud to welcome all our pilgrimage guests and We heartily congratulate those who worked so hard to make it possible. Mike Logan, Owner .LongDistance ,s for love A lovin' phone call is the best thing..,- next to being there.., and when you're in love no one wants to count the cost. But you can have .a lot of visits by phone for the cost of one trip. For extra savinfls dial direct the fast, personal 1-plus way. Isn't there some one who would love to hear from you tonight? Love that Long Distance . South Central Bell Mississippi people keeping you in touch NOTICE to Patrons of Williams & Williams Funeral Home and Policy Holders of Standard Burial hss0ciati0n Contrary to recent Rumors, we are not going out of business. We are looking forward to our 40th anniversary in 1974. signed Mrs. Hattie Hull: Woodville Branch Manager Clifford Robinson: President