History of Mississippi - Jackson County

Submitted by Denise Wells

Source: Lowry, Robert and McCardle, William H. A History of Mississippi, from the Discovery of the Great River by Hernando DeSoto, Including the Earliest Settlement Made by the French Under Iberville, to the Death of Jefferson Davis [1541-1889]. Jackson, Miss.: R. H. Henry & Co., 1891. Pages 497-499.

Jackson County History

Was established December 14th, 1812, and was named in honor of General Andrew Jackson.

Among the early settlers were Helaine Krebs, John Baptiste, Rene Krebs, Valentine Delmas, Joseph Raby, John Cumbest, J. W. Williams, J. W. Terrell, Mathew Goff, W. D. Sheldon, R. C. Files, J. Flechar, W. C. digs, John McInnis, WIlliam Griffin, R. Trehern, W. G. Elder, Thomas Rhodes, H. Ebless, Lyman Randall, J. J. McRae, A. E. Lewis, John Shanahan, A. Catchot, George Byrd, Chas. Havens, H. C. Haven, D. Reeves, William Reeves, G. Helvestion, J. Parker, C. Ward, A. C. Steede, James Davis and Walter Denny.

The old towns were east Pascagoula, West Pascagoula and Ocean Springs.

The towns now in the county are Ocean Springs, Vancleave, Pascagoula, Scranton and Moss Point.

The principal streams are the Pascagoula and Dog Rivers, into each of which flow numerous creeks, with a capacity for floating logs and timber.

There are about twelve saw mills in the county, with a capacity of probably six hundred thousand feet per day;  in addition there are several valuable planting mills.

The shipment of lumber and hewn timber is the chief industry, and is carried on from mills and booms at Moss Point and Scranton, and for years past has been very extensive.  This timber and lumber is put aboard ships in the harbor at Ship and Horn Islands and sent to England, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, the West Indies, indeed to almost every civilized country.

The magnitude of this industry has never been realized by the people of the State;  nor the beauty of the beach fully appreciated, for  more delightful resort for both summer and winter it is difficult to find, and the prosperous towns along the coast can afford every accommodation to visitors that are found elsewhere.

The county is growing in population and wealth, and in the near future, miles along the beach will be improved and developed, and made so attractive that Mississippians who seek recreation or health will find it on their own coast.

The history of Jackson county would not be complete without reference to the mysterious music heard in summer nights, arising from the waters of the Pascagoula river, as they flow into the broad bosom of the Mississippi Sound.  This has long been a theme of poets and story-writers.  The tradition in regard to this mysterious music is well known to the dwellers on our seashore, and has in it something of the high-heroic scorn of death, which, according to Thomas Babbington Macauly, characterized the Romans “in the brave days of old.”

The Pascagoula Indians were sorely beset by hostile tribes.  They had been defeated on many well-contested fields;  their young braves had fallen in battle;  their towns were destroyed and their fields wasted.  None were left but infirm old men, with the helpless women and children.  The exulting shouts of their victorious foes were already ringing in their ears, when, as moved by one impulse, the remnant of the tribe determined to welcome death beneath the whelming waves rather than live to be the slaves of their detested foes.  To resolve was to act.  In a few brief moments a procession was formed for the river, where the old men, the women and the children, the last of the tribe of the Pascagoulas, clasped hands, marched into the shining waters changing their death long, until bubbles marked the spot where the last of the Pascagoulas ceased to live.

Ever since the Pascagoulas sang their death song on that memorable occasion, soft, sweet sounds may be heard rising in sad cadence during the summer nights from the placid waters of the Pascagoula river, and people of imaginative minds have come to regard those sad, sweet sounds as the echo of the death-wail of women and children who, two centuries ago, perished beneath the waves.  The whole story may be a fiction, but many dwellers in the vicinity of the Pascagoulas do not so regard it.

The Louisville and Nashville Railroad traverses the southern portion of the county.

Jackson county has 2, 750 acres of cleared land - the average value of which, as rendered to the assessor, is $6.96 per acre.  Total value of cleared lands including incorporated towns is $513, 591.

The population of this county as shown by the census report of 1890:  Whites, 7,810;  colored, 3,440;  total 11,250.

1820 Isaac R. Nicholson- McManis
1821-22 Isaac R. NicholsonThomas Bibb
1823-25 Laughlin McKayThomas Bibb
1826 John McLeod John McDonald
1827 John McLeod William C. Seaman
1828 John McLeodWilliam Starks
1829 John McLeod Thomas Bibb
1830 John McLeod John McDonald
1831 Thomas S. Stirling John McDonald
1833 John McLeod John McDonald
1835 Thomas P. Falkner John McDonald
1836-37 Hanson Alsbury Andrew W. Ramsey
1838-39 Hanson Alsbury Collin J. McRae
1840-41 Hanson Alsbury Charles I. Holland
1842-43-44 A. W. RamseyJohn Grant
1846 A. W. Ramsey L. Randall
1848 A. W. Ramsey John Davis
1854 A. W. Ramsey Alfred E. Lewis
1850-52 A. W. RamseyRufus R. Rhodes
1856-57 T. J. McCaughamT. L. Sumrall
1858 T. J. McCaughan R. C. Files
1859-60 J. B. McRaeWalter Denny
1861-62 J. B. McRae Walter Denny
1865-66-67 Roderick Seal William G. Kendall
1870-71 J. J. SealI. N. Osborne
1872 J. J. Seal
1873 J. J. Seal R. Seal
1874 J. P. Carter
1875 J. P. Carter
1876 J. P. CarterJohn M. McInnis
1877 J. P. Carter E. F. Griffin
1878-80 J. P. Carter Charles H. Wood
1882-84 Elliott Henderson James B. McRae 
1886 Roderick Seal James B. McRea [sic]
1888 Roderick SealJ. M. Pelham
1890 H. BloomfieldJ. M. Pelham

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