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How Soso (Mississippi) Got Its Name

Author Unknown - Submitted By Betty Nester

 

The first location of Soso Post Office in 1886 was on what was known as the Mobile-Forest road, about half way between the towns of Taylorsville and Ellisville, Mississippi, which towns were about 28 miles apart.  A postman on horseback made the trip from Ellisville to Taylorsville in one day, and back the next.  The mail pouches were locked by the Postmasters, and people living directly on the highway between these point received mail only by going to the post office themselves, or sending by neighbors.

Mr. Jim Eaton for a number of years was Postmaster and a prominent merchant at Taylorsville, purchasing his goods from Ellisville and Mobile.  A large team of oxen was kept busy hauling produce to Ellisville and bringing back needed merchandise.  Mr. Eaton frequently made the trip himself, and with his slow team often found it necessary to spend the night at the home of Mr. S. J. Garner, a former neighbor and schoolmate, who had moved over into Jones County.  It was Mr. Eaton who first suggested to his old neighbor that a post office would be an asset to the scattered farmers round about; and since a star route passed through, it would be an easy matter to secure one.  He assisted in preparing the petition, and on a later trip through took the petition in charge and forwarded it to Washington.

Mr. Eaton's unfailing answer to all inquiries concerning his health, business, etc., was "so so" or "just so so".  When the new post office had been approved and papers were returned for matter of name to be settled, recommendation of Postmasters, etc., Mr. Eaton was assisting.  While a few stood around the neighborhood store discussing these matters, Mr. Eaton was chatting with friends, and the expression "so so" kept being heard as others joined the group.  Finally, Mr. S. J. Garner, who had been recommended as Postmaster, spoke up and said, "So so just describes this community, too; so let's name our post office Soso."  A few held out for "Smith's Store", the store having given its name to the voting precinct, but Soso was finally selected and approved.

A few years later when the Eastman-Gardiner Lumber Company built a railroad from what is now Laurel to Saratoga, al logging camp called Keown was built on the railroad about two miles north of Smith's Store and the post office of Soso.  Keown, preparing to incorporate a town, also wished to have a post office.  The Post Office Department refused to locate another post office so near Soso, but suggested that the post office be moved to the village.  The matter of change of location met with general approval, but the lumber camp objected to the old name.  The Post Office Department in Washington sided with those wishing to retain the name of Soso; so Soso Post Office was moved to the new railroad and the logging camp of Keown.  With the cutting our of the virgin pines, the camp moved, and the name has fallen into disuse, while "Soso" continues to be just what its name implies - - a community of fairly prosperous small-scale farmers, retired citizens and workers who commute to nearby cities - - all in all, a mighty good place in which to live.

 

 


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