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Welcome to the Yazoo County MSGenWeb site. I'm your county coordinator, Monique Young. I hope everyone that visits this site will find something helpful in the collection of things that I and previous county coordinators have made available. If you have any questions or any resource/information you would like to donate, then click on my name above to email me. If you want to also be a county coordinator, then click on Jeff Kemp's name near the bottom of the page. Have a great day!!!

History of Yazoo County

Yazoo County was established January 21, 1823 as the state's 19th county and is the largest county in Mississippi. Yazoo County covers about 1,018 square miles (625,000 acres), most of which is used for farming. Situated in the west central part of the state, the county has some of the most fertile soil in Mississippi. Yazoo, an Indian name meaning "death", was formed from part of the territory acquired from the Choctaws in 1820; also known as the "New Purchase".

After the acquisition of the Choctaw land, Yazoo County was quickly settled; mostly by pioneers from older parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North & South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The first seat of justice, Beattie's Bluff, was located on the Big Black river, twelve or fifteen miles northwest of the present day site of Canton, Ms. In 1829, the county seat was moved to Benton, and Beattie's Bluff died out.

Benton, incorporated in 1836, became a place of importance in the 1830's and early 1840's. Surnames of some of the early settlers of the area include: Holt, Burrus, Harden, Grayson, Battle, Miles, Morough, Hagerman, Williamson, Yandell, Rawlins, O'Reilly, Fisher, Jennings, McGaughey, & Blundell.

The present day county seat, Yazoo City, was settled by pioneers in 1824. First called Hannan's Bluff by government surveyors, it later became Manchester (named for Manchester, England) and changed to Yazoo City in 1839. In 1849 Yazoo city became the county seat leaving Benton to shrink and in the early 1900's Benton had less than 300 people.

Located on the left bank of the Yazoo river, Yazoo City is the largest town in Yazoo County. In the early 1900's Yazoo city was a town ideal for commerce. It's easy access to railroads and the Yazoo & Mississippi rivers made it a center for shipping cotton and timber.

Yazoo City's first newspaper was the "Political Progress" established in 1829. In 1831, the name was changed to the "Manchester Whig" and later was called the "Yazoo Banner" he "Yazoo Democrat" was edited in 1844 by Major Ethelbert Barksdale and James Clark formed the "Yazoo City Herald" after the Civil War.

Yazoo City burned twice before 1905. The first time was by General Arthur in 1864. After the war, Yazoo City was rebuilt only to burn again in 1904, by the worst fire in state history. The entire business district and some residential areas were burned to the ground, courtesy of a witch, according to local legend.

Yazoo City has had its share of hard times. The city was hit hard twice by Yellow Fever. Epidemics in 1853 and 1878 killed many residents and often entire families. The area also flooded twice before 1930. Once in 1882 and later during the historic flood of 1927 which caused widespread sickness and property damage.

The information above was taken from:
Mississippi planned and edited by Dunbar Rowland; Vol 11, 1907
Hometown Mississippi compiled by James F. Brieger. Second edition, 1980


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