The Origin Of Certain Place Names In The State Of Mississippi

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By Henry Gannett

The contribution, of which this paper forms a part was prepared for publication as a bulletin of the U. S. Geological Survey under the title of The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States.

Henry Gannett was born at Bath, Me., August 24, 1846. He graduated at the Lawrence Scientific School, Harvard, in 1869, and at the Hooper Mining School, 1870. Mr. Gannett was geographer for the 10th, 11th, and 12th censuses. In 1882 he was appointed Geographer of the United States Geological Survey. He has made the following contributions to knowledge: Manual of Topographical Surveying; Statistical Atlas, 10th and 11th Censuses; Commercial Geography; Dictionary of Altitudes; Building of a Nation; United States; Stanford Compendium. A sketch of his life may be found in Who's Who in America (1901-2).

Aberdeen; city in Monroe county, named for the city in Scotland.

Ackerman; town in Choctaw county, named for a land owner.

Adams; county, named for President John Adams.

Alcorn; county, named for James L. Alcorn, Governor of the State in 1870-71.

Amite; county and river. The French named the river in commemoration of the friendly manner in which they were received by the Indians.

Amkalli; tributary of the Flint river. Indian word meaning "tumbling water."

Artesia; town in Lowndes county, so named because of an artesian well near.

Ashland; town in Benton county, named for the home of Henry Clay.

Attala, county, named for Atala, the heroine of an Indian romance by Chateaubriand.

Attalaville; village in Attala county, named for Atala, the heroine of an Indian romance by Chateaubriand.

Austin; town in Tunica county, named for Colonel Austin, upon whose plantation the town was built.

Baird; town in Sunflower county, named for the former owner of the town site.

Baldwyn; town in Lee county, named for the land owner.

Bay St. Louis; city in Hancock county, named for Louis XL of France, and, from its position on a bay given the prefix.

Bay Spring; town in Tishomingo county, named for the home of Robert Lowry in the same county.

Beauregard; town in Copiah county, named for General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, Confederate army.

Belen; town in Quitman county, named for the battle ground upon which Colonel John A. Quitman fought during the Mexican War.

Belzoni; town in Washington county, named for a celebrated Italian archaeologist, Giambattuta Belzoni.

Ben Lomond; village in Issaquena county, named for the beautiful lake in Scotland.

Benton; county, named for Senator Thomas H. Benton, of Missouri.

Bentonia; town in Yazoo county, named for the Christian name of Mrs. Hal Green, a resident.

Biloxi; bay, and city in Harrison county, named for an Indian tribe who formerly occupied this region. The name said to mean, "trifling or worthless," or according to another authority, "turtle."

Blackhawk; town in Carroll county, named for a Choctaw Indian chief.

Blue Mountain; town in Tippah county, named from a large bluish hill near the site.

Blue Springs; town in Union county, named from springs with water of a bluish cast.

Bogue Chitto; town and creek in Lincoln county, Indian word meaning, "big creek."

Bolivar; county and village, named for General Simon Bolivar.

Bolton; town in Hinds county, named for a man interested in the building of the railroad from Vicksburg to Jackson.

Booneville; town in Prentiss county, named for an early settler, Colonel Boone.

Brandon; town in Rankin county, named for Gerard C. Brandon. Governor in 1828-32.

Brooksville; town in Noxubee county, named for a resident family.

Byhalia; town in Marshall county. Indian word meaning, "standing white oaks."

Calhoun; county, named for John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, Vice-President of the United States in 1825-33.

Carroll; county, named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton.

Carrollton; town in Carroll county, named for the home of Charles Carroll.

Chaney; creek, named for Robert Chancy, an early settler in Perry county.

Charleston; town in Tallahatchie county, named for Charles II of England.

Cherokee; village in Lowndes county, named for an Indian tribe, the name is derived from cheere, "fire," and is said to be the name of their "lower heaven."

Chickasaw; county, named for the Indian tribe. According to Edward Fontaine, the tribe divided on account of a feud and one part took the name of one brother, Chickasaw, and the other, the name of the other brother, Choctaw. The name is said to mean "rebels" or "renegades."

Choctaw; county, named for an Indian tribe. Gatschet says the word means, "flathead." but another authority gives, "charming voice," because of the aptitude of the tribe for singing and music.

Chulahoma; town in Marshall county. Indian word meaning, "red fox."

Claiborne; county, named for William C. C. Claiborne, Governor of Mississippi Territory.

Clarke; county, named for Joshua G. Clarke, first Chancellor of the State.

Clarksdale; town in Coahoma county, named for Captain Clark, brother-in-law of Governor Alcorn.

Clay; county, named for Henry Clay, the statesman.

Coahoma; county and town. Indian word meaning, "red panther."

Coffeeville; town in Yalobusha county, named for General John Coffee, noted Indian fighter.

Coldwater; town in Tate county, named for a nearby creek.

Como; town in Panola county, named for a highland pond upon the place of Dr. G . G. Tate, who settled it.

Copiah, county, Indian word meaning, "calling panther."

Copiah Creek; village in Copiah county. Indian word meaning, "calling panther."

Corinth; city in Alcorn county, named for the ancient city in Greece.

Covington; county, named for General Leonard Covington.

Crawford; town in Lowndes county, named for the Reverend Crawford, a Baptist minister.

Decatur; town in Newton county, named for Commodore Stephen Decatur.

DeSoto; county, named for the discoverer of the Mississippi river, Hernando de Soto.

Drew; village in Sunflower county, named for a railroad man.

Duck Hill; town in Montgomery county, named for a hill near the town, where ducks were formerly plentiful.

Duncan; town in Bolivar county, named for a leading citizen.

Ebenezer; town in Holmes county, named by its early settlers for the Jewish city.

Edwards; town in Hinds county, named for Dick Edwards, owner and proprietor of the Edwards House, Jackson, Miss.

Ellisville; town in Jones county, named for Powhattan Ellis, member of the Supreme Court, and United States Senator.

Ethel; town in Attala county, named for the daughter of Captain S. B. McConnico.

Flora; town in Madison county, named for the wife of W. B. Jones.

Franklin; county, named for Benjamin Franklin.

French Camp; town in Choctaw county, named for an old settlement made by the French.

Friar Point; town in Coahoma county, named for an old wood-chopper, early settler.

Goilman; town in Copiah county, named for a leading citizen.

Goodman; town in Holmes county, named for the first president of the Mississippi Central Railroad.

Greene; county, named for General Nathaniel Greene, officer of the Revolution.

Greenville; town in Washington county, named for its first settler.

Greenwood; city in Leflore county, named for Greenwood Leflore noted Choctaw Indian Chief.

Grenada; county, and town in same county, named for the Spanish province.

Gulfport; town in Harrison county, named by W. H. Hardy, because of its situation.

Hancock; county, named for John Hancock, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Handsboro; town in Harrison county, named for a Northern man who established a foundry there before the Civil War.

Hardy Station; town in Grenada county, named by the railroad company for Richard Hardy, the owner of the land upon which the depot was built.

Harperville; village in Scott county, named for G. W. Harper, an old resident.

Harrison; county, named for William Henry Harrison, former President of the United States.

Harrison; town in Tallahatchie county, named for James T. Harrison, prominent lawyer.

Hattiesburg; town in Perry county, named for the wife of Captain W. H. Hardy, its founder.

Hernando; city in DeSoto county, named for Hernando de Soto, discoverer of the Mississippi river.

Hickory Flat; town in Benton county, so named because of the presence of a grove of trees of this species in the vicinity.

Hinds; county, named for General Thomas Hinds, former Congressman from Mississippi.

Hollandale; town in Washington county, named for Dr. Holland, upon whose plantation the town was built.

Holly Springs; city in Marshall county, named on account of the prevalence of these two features.

Holmes; county, named for David Holmes, Governor of the Territory and State, 1809-17.

Houston; city in Chickasaw county, named for the famous Indian fighter, General Samuel Houston.

Issaquena; county. Indian word meaning, "deer river."

Itawamba; county, said to have been named for the daughter of a Chickasaw Indian chief.

Jacinto; village in Alcorn county. Spanish word meaning, "hyacinth."

Jackson; county, named for General Andrew Jackson.

Jasper; county, named for Sergeant Jasper of Fort Moultrie (S. C.) fame, killed in the siege of Savannah.

Jefferson; county, named for Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States.

Jones; county, named for Commodore John Paul Jones.

Kemper; county, named for Colonel Reuben Kemper, an American soldier in the Florida and Mexican wars.

Knoxville; town in Franklin county, named by its Tennessee settlers from the town in their own State.

Kosciusko; town in Attala county, named for Tadeusz Kosciusko, the Polish patriot.

Kossuth; town in Alcorn county, named for Louis Kossuth, the Hungarian patriot.

Lafayette; county, named for Marquis de La Fayette, who served in the American army, during the Revolution.

Lamar; town in Benton county, named for the Honorable L. Q. C. Lamar, a former Secretary of the Interior.

Lauderdale; county and town in same county, named for Colonel James Lauderdale.

Laurel; town in Jones county, so named because of the dense laurel thickets growing within its limits.

Lawrence; county, named for James Lawrence, captain in the memorable battle with the British on Lake Erie.
 
Leake; county, named for the Honorable Walter Leake, an early Governor of Mississippi.

Leakesville; town in Greene county, named for the Honorable Walter Leake, an early Governor of Mississippi.

Lee; county, named for Robert E. Lee, commander of the armies of the Confederacy.

Leflore; county, named for Greenwood Leflore.

Lincoln; county, named for President Abraham Lincoln.

Louisville; town in Winston county, named for Colonel Louis Winston, a prominent early settler.

Love; town in DeSoto county, named for Colonel Love.

Lowndes; county named for William Jones Lowndes, member of Congress from South Carolina.

Lumberton; town in Pearl River county, so named on account of its principal industry.

McComb; town in Pike county, named for a former owner of the Mississippi Central Railroad.

McCool; town in Attala county, named for the Honorable James F. McCool.

McLaurin; village in Perry county, named for General McLaurin, first president of the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad.

Macon; town in Noxubee county, named for General Nathaniel Macon, United States Senator from North Carolina.

Madison; county, named for James Madison, fourth president of the United States.

Mahon; village in Marshall county, named for John Mahon.

Marion; county, named for General Francis Marion.

Marshall; county, named for Chief Justice John Marshall.

Martin; town in Claiborne county, named for General W. T. Martin, of Natchez, Mississippi.

Mayersville; town in Issaquena county, named for David Meyers, a large land owner.

Meadville; town in Franklin county, named for Cowles Meade, second Secretary of the Territory.

Montgomery; county, named for General Richard Montgomery, who was killed in the assault on Quebec.

Morton; village in Scott county, given the maiden name of the wife of Colonel E. W. Taylor.

Mound Bayou; town in Bolivar county, named for the Indian mounds on the bayou.

Myrtle; village in Union county, so named because of the abundance of myrtle trees in the vicinity.

Natchez; city in Adams county, named for the Indian tribe, the name meaning, "hurrying men," or "one running to war."

Nesbitt; town in DeSoto county, named for early settlers.

Neshoba; county. Indian word meaning, "grey wolf."

Nettleton ; town in Lee county, named for a former vice-president of the Kansas City, Memphis and Birmingham Railroad.

Newton; county, named for Sir Isaac Newton.

Noxubee; county. Indian word meaning, "stinking water."

Oktibbeha; county. An Indian word meaning, "ice there in creek," or, according to another authority, "bloody water," because of the battles fought there between the Chickasaws and Choctaws.

Okolona; town in Chickasaw county. Indian word meaning, "much bent."

Oxford; city in Lafayette county, so named from the university town in England in anticipation of the subsequent choice of this place as the location of the State University.

Pachuta; town in Clarke county. A Choctaw Indian word meaning, "possum creek."

Panola; county. An Indian word meaning, "cotton."

Pascagoula; river, and town in Jackson county, named for an Indian tribe, the name meaning, "bread nation."

Paulding; town in Jasper county, named for John Paulding, who helped capture Major Andre.

Pearl; river, so named on account of the pearl fisheries which were early established by the French upon the above mentioned river.

Pearlington; town in Hancock county; so named on account of the pearl fisheries which were early established by the French upon the above mentioned river.

Pearl River; county, so named on account of the pearl fisheries which were early established by the French upon the above mentioned river.

Perry; county; named for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry.

Pheba; village in Clay county, named for Mrs. Pheba Robinson.

Pickens; town in Holmes county, named for James Pickens, a land owner.

Pike; county, named for General Zebulon M. Pike, the explorer.

Pinckneyville; town in Wilkinson county, named for the celebrated Pinckney family of South Carolina.

Pittsboro; town in Calhoun county, named for an early settler.

Pontotoc; county and town in same county, named for a Chickasaw Indian chief, the word meaning, "weed prairie."

Poplarville; town in Pearl River county, named for "Popular" Jim Smith, owner of the store in which the first railroad depot at this point was located.

Potts Camp; town in Marshall county, named for Colonel E. F. Potts.

Prentiss; county, named for Sergeant Smith Prentiss, a gifted forensic orator.

Purvis; town in Marion county, named for the former owner of the railroad depot site.

Quitman; county, and town in Clarke county, named for General John A. Quitman, former Governor of Mississippi, and an officer of the Mexican War.

Raleigh; town in Smith county, named for Sir Walter Raleigh.

Rankin; county, named for Christopher Rankin, congressman from Mississippi.

Red Bank; town in Marshall county, so named because of the reddish appearance of the banks of the river upon which it is located.

Rienzi; town in Alcorn county, named for the Roman tribune.

Rodney; town in Jefferson county, named for Judge Rodney of the State.

Runnellsville ; town in Madison county, named for a prominent family of the State.

Sallis; town in Attala county, named for Dr. James Sallis, the former owner of the town site.

Sardis; town in Panola county, named for the ruined city of Asia Minor.

Satartia; town in Yazoo county. Derived from an Indian word meaning, "pumpkin place."

Scooba; town in Kemper county. Indian word meaning, "reed brake."

Scott; county, named for Governor Abram M. Scott.

Scranton; town in Jackson county, named for the town in Pennsylvania.

Senatobia; creek, and town in Tate county. A Choctaw Indian word meaning, "white sycamore."

Sharkey; county, named for William L. Sharkey, provisional governor during Governor Clark's absence at Fort Pulaski in 1865-66.

Sharon; town in Madison county, so named because the Sharon seminary for girls was situated there at an early day.

Shaw; town in Bolivar county, named for the owner of the land through which the railroad passes.

Sidon; town in Leflore county, named for the ancient city of Palestine.

Simpson; county, named for Judge Josiah Simpson.

Smith; county, named for Major David Smith.

Starkville; town in Oktibbeha county, named for General John Stark of Revolutionary fame.

State Line; town in Wayne county, near the boundary line between Alabama and Mississippi.

Sunflower; county, named for the river, which was doubtless descriptively named.

Tallahatchie; county, named from the principal branch of the Yazoo river. An Indian word meaning, "river of the rock."

Tate; county, named for a prominent family of which T. S. Tate was a member.

Taylor; town in Lafayette county, named for an early settler.

Terry; town in Hinds county, named for "Old" Bill Terry, a resident.

Thornton; town in Holmes county, named for Dr. C. C. Thornton, a large land owner.

Tibee; creek. For derivation see Oktibbeha.

Tippah; county, named for the wife of Pontotoc, a Chickasaw Indian chief, the word meaning, "cut off."

Tishomingo; county, named for the king of the Chickasaw Indians, the name meaning, "warrior chief."

Tombigbee; river. Derived from the Indian, Itumbibikpe, coffin-makers."

Troy; city in Pontotoc county, named for the ancient city of Asia Minor.

Tunica; county and town in same county, named for the Indian tribe, the word meaning, "the people."

Union; county, named to express the sentiment now actuating the States.

Vaiden; town in Carroll county, said to have been named for Dr. Vaiden, a resident planter.

Vaughns; creek in Simpson county, named for an early settler.

Vicksburg; city in Warren county, named for Neivitt Vick, its founder.

Waco; town in Smith county, named for an Indian tribe, the name meaning, "heron."

Wall Hill; town in Marshall county, named for William Wall.

Walthall; town in Webster county, named for General Edward Walthall.

Warren; county, named for General Joseph Warren, officer of the Revolution, who fell at the battle of Bunker Hill.

Washington; county, named for General George Washington.

Waterford; town in Marshall county, so named on account of the volume of water contained in Spring creek at this point.

Water Valley; city in Yalobusha county, so named on account of the perpetual stream passing there.

Wayne; county; named for General Anthony Wayne, hero of the Revolution.

Waynesboro; town in Wayne county, named for General Anthony Wayne, hero of the Revolution.

Webster; county, named for Daniel Webster, the statesman.

West Station; town in Holmes county, named for A. M. West, prominent citizen, president of the Mississippi Central Railroad.

Westville; town in Simpson county, named for Colonel Cato West.

Wilkinson; county, named for General James Wilkinson of Maryland.

Winona; town in Montgomery county. Indian word meaning, "first born daughter."

Winston; county, named for Colonel Louis Winston.

Yalobusha; county. Indian word meaning, "tadpole place."

Yazoo; county and river, named for a tribe of Indians, the name said to mean, "to blow on an instrument."

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