- Goodspeed's History of Itawamba County, Mississippi (1891)
From: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi, Embracing an Authentic
and Comprehensive Account of the Chief Events in the History of the State and a
Record of the Lives of Many of the Most Worthy and Illustrious Families and
Individuals. Vol. 1. Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1891.
From: Chapter XII. Counties of the Chickasaw Cession. pp. 252-253.
Itawamba county is bounded north by Prentiss and Tishomingo counties, east by
Alabama, south by Monroe and west by Lee county. It has an area of five hundred and
forty square miles, of which thirty thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine acres are
cleared land. It was named in honor of an Indian named Colvert, who received the
name Itawamba under the following circumstances: The Chickasaws went out on their
annual hunt, and while out a tribe from the east attempted to attack their camp and
take what they had. Young Colbert, about sixteen years of age, got the old men and
boys of his tribe together, waylaid them, and killed and put to flight the whole
tribe; and when the hunters returned and found out what had been done they called a
grand council and made him chief. In order to make him more conspicuous, they placed
him on a bench from which fact he was called Itawamba, or bench chief. This occurred
near old Cottongin, on the Tombigbee river.
All that part of the Chickasaw bordering on the Tombigbee river was called
Monroe, and February 9, 1836, Itawamba was formed out of that territory and organized
into a county, embracing about half of what is now Lee county, and part of Prentiss
and Tishomingo counties.
The town of Fulton, the county seat, situated on the east bank of the
Tombigbee, was laid off in 1836, and Charles Warren was elected the first sheriff;
Louis Gideon, probate clerk; C. H. Ritchie, probate judge; R. O. Beene, circuit
clerk. The first board of supervisors met in September, 1836; J. S. Bourland was
elected president. The other members were A. G. Lane, John Beene, S. S. Sperman
and E. Allen.
It is possible that the first white man to visit and settle in this section
was Isaac Edwards in 1827. He was soon followed by J. S. Bourland, Everett
Sheffield, John and Alfred Dulaney, M. Harrison, Reuben Wiygul, H. Jamison,
Holland Lindsey, Jacob Green, Dorn Patton, Charles Warren, Josiah Lindsey, E. G.
Thomas, Samuel Bell, Ed. Lesley, all now dead. J. Robins and M. C. Cummings,
still living, were among the first settlers in 1836. The land sales took place
at Pontotoc and the county rapidly settled up.
The Tombigbee river runs through the county from north to south, a
numerous crreeks afford fine water power. There are several earthenware
factories and some wool carding mills in the county. The river furnishes
transportation during part of the year. Much of county is finely timbered. Some
timber is being rafted out by the river. The principal varieties growing here
are the oaks, pine, hickory, maple, beech, walnut, gum and cypress. This is a
hilly county, with fertile valleys, and the chief products are corn, cotton,
fruits of all kinds, oats and some wheat. The county abounds in good water from
never-failing springs. Many fine streams run into the Tombigbee in this county.
Fulton, the county seat, contains about two hundred and fifty inhabitants,
with good schoolhouses and churches. No railroad touches the county. Tupelo is
the nearest railroad market, twenty miles west of Fulton.
In 1840 this county had a population of five thousand three hundred and
seventy five; in 1850, thirteen thousand five hundred and twenty-eight; in 1860,
seventeen thousand six hundred and ninety-five; in 1870, seven thousand eight
hundred and twelve; in 1880, ten thousand six hundred and sixty-three; in 1890,
eleven thousand seven hundred and eight. In 1860 there were two thousand one
hundred and twenty two voters, and three thousand four hundred and fifteen
taxable slaves. The colored population in 1870 was nin [sic.] hundred and
eighty-six;in 1880, one thousand one hundred and eight; in 1890, one thousand
The towns and postoffices in Itawamba county are Abney, Ballardsville,
Bigby Fork, Boland's, Bowen, Cardsville, Cliff, Eastman, Evergreen, Fulton
(population, two hundred and seventy-nine), Ita, Jerico, Kirkville, Mantachie,
Miston, Pleasant Ridge, Raburnville, Rara Avis, Ratliff, Tilden, Tremont, Tubby