Kosciusko, Attala County, Mississippi, 1891
About fifty-five years ago the wife of a Choctaw chief gave her name to
Attala County, and the settlement known then as Redbud was rechristened after
the illustrious Polish hero. Kosciusko, in its early days, must have been a wild
place. It was the haunt of robbers and desperadoes of all kinds, but it has
undergone a very radical change, so that at present Mississippi knows no more
orderly, peaceable or proportionately solid constituency. The county seat of
Attala is a cotton town of one thousand six hundred and fifty inhabitants.
Kosciusko enjoys the trade of three adjoining counties Leake, Winston and
Neshoba. It also draws a little from Choctaw and Montgomery counties. The
country around is almost entirely in the hands of white small farmers, and a
large proportion of the colored people own their own lands.
About twelve years ago Kosciusko became a railroad town, and is now one of the most prominent stations on the Canton, Aberdeen & Nashville branch of the Illinois Central rail-road. The coming of the railroad naturally helped to develop the place.
The Yockanowkaney River, one and a half miles from the town, affords a wonderful natural water power, which would be invaluable for mill purposes. Kosciusko would, in fact, be a first-rate location for a mill or factory. Already two wagon factories are in full opera-tion here and are supplying all the home demand. All except the wheel timber is of local growth. Other industries here are a barrel factory, a furniture factory, two sawmills, a gristmill and gin and an extensive flouring mill.
Kosciusko is a well-governed, orderly, breezy little city. It boasts of a cozy little opera house, has good public schools, open ten months in the year, and its churches are eight in number, of which three belong to the colored people. The denominations represented are Presbyterian, Methodist, Cumberland Presbyterian and Baptist. Rev. Dr. J. H. Alexander has been pastor of the Presbyterian Church since 1855. The town was named Pekin in 1833, was later called Paris, and since about 1830 has been known as Kosciusko.
Trinity lodge No. 88, A. F. & A. M., Royal Arch chapter No. 20, the local lodge K. & L. of H., and Farmers' Alliance No. 105 are flourishing societies at Kosciusko.
Other towns in this county are Ethel, named in honor of a daughter of Capt. S. B. McConnies; Sallis, named in honor of Dr. James Sallis, and McCool, named in honor of Hon. James F. McCool. The Methodists and Presbyterians have good houses of worship at Sallis.
Source: Biographical and Historical Memories of Mississippi, Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1891