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Amite County was organized February 24, 1809, while Mississippi was still a Territory during the administration of Gov. Robert Williams. The county has a land surface of 704 square miles. The original act recites that the county of Wilkinson shall be divided as follows: "Beginning at the thirty-mile post, east of the Mississippi river, on the line of demarcation, and running with the township line due north until it intersects the line of Adams county, thence with the said line east to the line of Washington county; thence along said line to the aforesaid line of demarcation, thence west along the said line to the place of beginning." From its eastern area were subsequently formed the counties of Pike, Marion, Perry, Greene and Lamar. Its present eastern boundary is a line drawn due north from the sixty-mile post, east of the Mississippi, on the 31st parallel of latitude, to the southern limits of Lincoln county. The old boundary line, as established by the treaty of Fort Adams, in 1801, with the Choctaws, runs a few miles west of this eastern boundary line. It contained a population of about 1,500 souls at the time of its establishment. Its name is derived from the Amite river, whose two branches water its soil, the name Amite having been given the river by the French in commemoration of their friendly treatment by the Indians. It is located in the southwestern part of the State next to the Louisiana border in what is known as the Long Leaf Pine Region, and is now bounded on the north by Franklin and Lincoln counties, on the east by Pike county, on the south by Louisiana and on the west by Wilkinson county. The first county court, composed of five Justices of the Quorum, and having jurisdiction over general county business, roads, and the trial of slaves, held its first session in the autumn of 1809. Micajah Davis was the Chief Justice, Thomas Batchelor was the first clerk, and David Lea, the first sheriff. The first Circuit Court of the county was held in the county the same year (1809) by Hon. Francis Xavier Martin, afterwards Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Louisiana. The county was represented in the Constitutional Convention of 1817 by Henry Hanna, Thomas Batchelor, John Burton, Thomas Torrance, Angus Wilkinson and William Lattimore. Among the earliest divines in the county were Ezra Courtney, James Smylie, Zachariah Reeves and Charles Felder. In 1812, Ludwick Hall published the Republican at Liberty; subsequently, the Liberty Advocate and Piney Woods Planter, both weeklies, were published here. The county seat is Liberty, which was incorporated in 1828 and now contains about 600 people; it is located almost at the center of the county. The first Confederate monument in the South was erected at Liberty in 1871. Gloster, a new town of 1,661 people, founded in 1883, located on the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley railway in the western part of the county, is the metropolis of the county and a prosperous growing town. Other towns are Travis, Little Springs and Gillsburg. The county is as yet poorly supplied with railroads and consequently there are no large towns or cities within its borders; it is essentially a farming community, though there are several gins, grist and saw mills within its borders. The Yazoo & Mississippi Valley railway runs along its extreme western border, and one short branch known as the Liberty-White R. R. extends from South McComb to Liberty. Extensions of these lines will naturally follow in the near future, and the interior of the county will then have the transportation facilities it has so long lacked.
It is well watered by the east and west branches of the Amite river, by Big Beaver creek in the west and Tickfaw creek in the east together with their numerous branches. The general surface of the county is undulating with some very level and some very hilly sections. The soil is that common to most of the western Long Leaf Pine Region, being a light, easily worked sandy loam with a strong subsoil which makes it quite retentive. Good crops of cotton, corn, oats, hay, sweet and Irish potatoes, jute, field peas, pumpkins, rice, sorghum and sugar cane are grown, and all kinds of vegetables, melons, large and small fruits, are raised in abundance. The timber is valuable and consists of oak, pine, poplar, beech, ash, hickory, sweet gum, black gum, holly, magnolia, sassafras, locust, china, mulberry, walnut and cypress. Good pasturage for stock and abundant springs exist throughout the county.
While agriculture forms the chief source of its wealth, yet manufactures flourish to some extent and the following statistics, derived from the last census returns for 1900 will be found of interest. The total number of manufacturing establishments is given at 69, total capital invested $142,919, wages to the amount of $29,096 were paid, total amount of materials used was $60,966 and the total value of products was $145,762. Agricultural statistics derived from the same source are as follows: Number of farms in the county 3,280, acres in farms 325,269, acres improved 122,868, value of land without buildings $1,327,780, value of buildings $597,500, value of live stock $580,110 and value of products $1,405,225. The white population for 1900 was 8,400, colored 12,308, total of 20,708, an increase over 1890 of 2,510. The total assessed valuation of real and personal property in the county in 1905 was $3,478,046, and in 1906, it was $4,647,305, which shows an increase of $1,169,259 during the year. The agricultural interests of the county have increased at least 25 per cent, in the last five years, while the population is estimated now at fully 25,000.
[Source: Encyclopedia of Mississippi History Vo1 1. Pub 1907 by Dunbar Rowland LL.D.--Transcribed by Gene P.]
Cities & Towns of Amite County
East Feliciana Parish,
St. Helena Parish, LA
Tangipahoa Parish, LA
* Amite County Chancery
Clerk, P O Box 680, Liberty, MS 39365, Phone: (601) 657-8022, Fax: (601) 657-8288
*Amite County Historical & Genealogical Society, P O Box 2, Liberty,
*Liberty Public Library, 196 Clinic Drive, Liberty,
This page last updated on -- 30 Oct 2017
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