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Attala County Mississippi

Attalaville7, Attalaville was about one mile, "as the crow flies," in a southwesterly direction from Sallis, a station on the Aberdeen branch of the Illinois Central railroad. Mr. Harman says that old Attalaville "was the pride of the neighborhood and an ornament to the county; for it was the fairest spot within her limits." At the time of its greatest prosperity (1850-'60) it contained only three residences, one store, a blacksmith shop, a wood shop, and a male and female academy. The residences were occupied by three brothers, Robert L., Silas H., and Simon S. Clark. The homes of the first two citizens, Robert L. and Silas Clark, were large and beautiful two story buildings, costing perhaps five or six thousand dollars each. The third residence, occupied by the youngest of the three brothers, was less pretentious. Silas H. Clark, the founder of Attalaville, owned and controlled the store and shops. His youngest brother was associated with him in the mercantile business for a short time. Besides his store and shops, S. H. Clark owned and operated two large plantations and was engaged in the commission business in New Orleans, under the firm name of Thompson & Clark. He built a turnpike and a bridge across Big Black River on the road leading from Attalaville to the town of Goodman. R. L. Clark also owned and operated a large plantation on Big Black River. He had besides a small farm about his home. Mr. S. S. Clark had a small farm and operated a small tannery. The building of the Mississippi Central railroad (now the Illinois Central) unquestionably affected the prosperity of old Attalaville, but the fatal blow to its existence was the death of its founder, which sad event occurred sometime during the War between the States.

The residence of R. L. Clark is now owned and occupied by Mr. J. C. Ashley. The house of S. H. Clark is unoccupied, though in a good state of preservation. The house of S. S. Clark, or what remains of it, is occupied by a family of Negroes. Not a vestige of the store and shops and academy remain, save a small mound, or hillock, which marks the site of the store chimney.

Valena8 The village of Valena was situated on Big Black River, on the western part of a plantation formerly owned by Silas H. Clark. It was an early trading center for the surrounding country and was a regular stopping place for flatboats from other points on the Big Black. The first sawmill in Attala County was built at this place. The village had two or three stores, a blacksmith shop and a grog shop at the time of its greatest prosperity. As all of the citizens of this place are probably dead, the writer could gather but few facts concerning its history.

Concerning this place Mr. Harman writes as follows:

"I can do no more than give you its location, as its birth and death occurred before my memory of passing events began. None to whom I ever applied for information relative to it, was able to enlighten me. As it was years ago that I sought this information, it would be utterly futile to prosecute an inquiry of that nature now; for I doubt if there is one in a hundred of the inhabitants who live in the neighborhood of its site knows that there once existed such a village. The site of the village is in a field that has long been in cultivation, every vestige of the village having disappeared years ago. I recollect when I first saw the place, when I was a boy, one solitary roofless old log house, well on the road to total decay, marked its site. The site of the village is about eight miles southwest (approximately) of Attalaville and about one and one-half miles east of southeast (approximately) of Goodman."

Burkettsville9, The small village of Burkettsville was situated seven miles north of Kosciusko. During the time of its greatest prosperity (18401850) it contained two stores, a blacksmith shop, a large church and a camp ground. Its most prominent citizens were Burkett Thompson, G. W. Galloway, a merchant, and Dr. Cook, a physician. The place was named for Burkett Thompson, one of its most enterprising citizens. The cause of its decay was the killing of Willis Wingo by Marks, the leading merchant, who left the country. Not a vestige of the village remains to mark its former site.

Rocky Point,10 The little village of Rocky Point was situated twelve miles northwest of Kosciusko. It had its beginning in a tan-yard which was erected by Armstrong and Black in 1842. We are told that at that time "twenty-one head of cattle were exempt from taxation, hence the farmers always had a number of beeves to butcher. The hides were tanned on shares or exchanged for leather. Very many of the farmers knew as well how to make a shoe as to run a plow. They had a last for each member of the family. These lasts were known as 'Mary's,' 'John's,' 'Martha's,' "etc.

In 1843 Armstrong and Black sold their tan-yard to Benjamin F. Rowe, who erected a residence and store at the place. In the same year a Jew by the name of Marks sold goods in this store a short time, being succeeded by Bartain Evans. About this time a post office was established at Rocky Point. In 1847 Williamson McAdory bought the store and the surrounding farms. In 1850 Cooke and Thweatt were granted license to sell liquor at this place. Rocky Point then became a popular resort for marksmen, many shooting matches being held here. It was also the muster ground of the county for a number of years.

The place suffered from the disastrous effects of the War Between the States. The store was closed and the post office died as a result.

Bluff Springs11, The old village of Bluff Springs was situated in Attala County, one mile east of Sallis. Magnus S. Teague and Colonel Coffee were wealthy merchants of this place. At the time of its greatest prosperity Bluff Springs contained two stores, a drug store, a saloon, a gin, a shoe shop, and a post office. It was at this place that Bill Coffee was killed by two masked men two years after the War Between the States. The war and later the Illinois Central railroad caused the village to decay. Only one dwelling house now marks the site of the old place.

Extinct Towns| AHGP Mississippi

Footnotes:
7. This sketch is based upon information derived from Mr. W. A. Harman, of Sallis, Mississippi.
8. This sketch is based upon information derived from C. H. Campbell, Esq., of Kosciusko, Miss., and Mr. W. A. Harman, of Sallis, Mississippi.
9. The facts upon which this sketch is based were kindly collected by Supt. G. F. Boyd, of Kosciusko, Mississippi.
10. The facts upon which this sketch is based were derived from Mr. D. T. Guyton, of Possumneck, Mississippi.
11. This sketch is based upon information derived from Supt. G. F. Boyd, of Kosciusko, Mississippi.

Source: The Mississippi Historical Commission Publications, Volume V, Edited by Franklin L. Riley,
Secretary, 1902.

 

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