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Attala County was established December 23, 1833, and was one of the sixteen counties carved from the territory of the Choctaw nation ceded to the United States in 1830 by the treaty of "Dancing Rabbit." The name Attala is said to be derived from Atala, the heroine of an Indian romance by Chateaubriand. The county has an undulating surface of 707 square miles. It is located a little north of the geographical center of the State and is now bounded on the north by Montgomery and Choctaw counties, on the east by Choctaw and Winston counties, on the south by Leake and Madison counties, while the Big Black river forms its western boundary dividing it from Holmes county.
The original act defined its boundaries as follows: "Beginning at the northeast corner of Leake county, and running thence west with the line between townships 12 and 13, to the line between ranges five and six east; from thence south with said line between ranges five and six east, to the center of township 12, of range 5 east; from thence directly west to the Big Black river; from thence up said river to the point at which the line between townships 16 and 17 crosses said river; from thence east with the line between townships 16 and 17, to the line between ranges nine and ten east; and from thence south to the place of beginning." The boundaries as originally drawn, have never been changed. The Choctaw boundary line of 1820 runs through the extreme southwestern corner of this county.
Its largest town and county seat is Kosciusko, a rapidly growing place of over 2,500 people on the Aberdeen branch of the Illinois Central railway, possessed of excellent public schools, a number of fine churches and a number of growing industries including a large cotton mill with 12,500 spindles. The population of the county is almost exclusively agricultural and there are no other towns of importance, the largest ones being McCool, 400 people, Sallis, 250 people and Ethel, 150 people, all located on the railway. The general face of the country is undulating and rises in places into considerable hills, while scattered throughout the county are extensive areas of level river and creek bottoms. Besides the Big Black river which forms the western boundary of the county, the more important streams are the river Yockanookany, which rises in Choctaw county and is the longest branch of Pearl river, and Long, Apookta, Shakeys, Lobutcha, Seneasha and Zilpha creeks. There are numerous excellent springs found throughout the county including several chalybeate and sulphur springs and one large spring, five miles south of Kosciusko, which is said to have been formed by the earthquake in 1811. The county's entire width is now traversed by a branch of the Illinois Central railroad, and the generous policy of this corporation is rapidly exploiting the great natural resources of the county and rendering it one of the most progressive and productive counties in the State. The soil, very fertile in the bottoms, and moderately rich in the uplands, yielded products in 1900 in excess of $1,500,000, composed of corn, cotton, oats, wheat, potatoes, peas, peanuts, sorghum and all kinds of fruits and vegetables. The live stock industry, once neglected, is growing rapidly, owing to the excellent shipping facilities now afforded and the excellent grass lands of the county. A few miles north of Kosciusko a bed of oyster shells ten feet thick was found and there are many fine beds of marl in the county, which should yield an abundance of fertilizing material. The timber found here is that common to central Mississippi and still contributes largely to the wealth of its people. Manufacturing has attained some growth but is yet in its infancy. A considerable number of saw and planing mills are doing business. As a rule, the early settlers of the county came of good stock, coming chiefly from the Carolinas, Tennessee, the western states on the Ohio, and Georgia and Alabama. Attalaville, Valena, Burkettsville, and Bluff Springs are among the oldest settlements in the county, but all four places are now extinct. Attalaville was founded by Silas H. Clark. His two brothers Robert L. and Simon S. Clark also dwelt here. The first sawmill in Attala county was built at Valena. Burkett Thompson, G. W. Galloway and Dr. Cook were the leading pioneer residents of Burkettsville. Bluff Springs was the home of Magnus S. Teague and Col. Coffee, prominent and wealthy merchants, in the days of its prosperity. The steady pressure of the whites gradually forced out the native Indians and as early as 1837 Attala county had a population of 1,713 whites and 708 slaves, with over 4,003 acres of land under cultivation. The county has since grown steadily and the last census returns give it a total of 4,381 farms with 385,003 acres, 150,341 acres of which are improved; the total value of the land without the buildings was $1,543,880, the total value of the buildings was $553,450,the value of live stock has grown to $679,127, the value of products not fed to stock was given at $1,484,558. The following manufacturing data is from the same source: Number of manufacturing establishments 89, amount of capital $135,275; amount of wages paid $35,271; cost of materials $77,800; total value of products $185,300. The total assessed valuation of real and personal property in the county in 1905 was $2,616,005 and in 1906 it was $3,610,550, which shows an increase of $994,545 during the year. The population of the county in 1900 was as follows: White 13,875, colored 12,373, a total of 26,248, and an increase over the census returns for 1890 of 4,035. The total population in 1906 was estimated at over 30,000. Excellent artesian water has been found at several points in the western part of the county. There are 154 public schools in the county of which 100 are for whites and 54 for blacks. The length of school term is 6 months.
[Source: Encyclopedia of Mississippi History Vo1 1. Pub 1907 by Dunbar Rowland LL.D.]
Attala County is
located in the geographic center of Mississippi and is
located along the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway.
Kosciusko is the county seat of Attala
Attala County Cities
Attala Chancery Clerk, Mr. Gerry
Taylor, 230 West Washington Street, Kosciusko, MS,
Attala County Circuit Clerk, Mrs.
Wanda Fancher, 118 West Washington Street, Kosciusko,
Attala Historical Society,
P O Box 127, Kosciusko, MS, 39390
Attala County Public Library, 201
South Huntington Street, Kosciusko, MS,
Trails National Site
This page last updated on -- 4 Feb 2018
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