Extinct Towns and Villages of
A large portion of Mississippi was
settled by means of immigrant wagons and packhorses, which moved
slowly and with great difficulty over dim trails or rough wagon
roads. In the course of time these early roads developed into
great thoroughfares, and wayside inns were erected along them at
regular intervals to accommodate the constantly increasing
number of travelers. These hostelries often became the nuclei of
prosperous villages and towns as the highways along which they
were situated grew in popular favor. But subsequent changes in
the modes of travel and the shifting of centers of population
brought decay and death to many of these places.
Changes in the fickle current of
streams and in the methods of water transportation were no less
disastrous to many river towns, which at one time bade fair to
become centers of commerce.
Another class of towns, now extinct, sprang into prominence in
the 30's, when the spirit of speculation was rife in the land.
It was a time of inflation; obscure villages and plantations and
even insignificant landing places for small boats caught the
infection and aspired to become towns and cities. Their lives
were generally short and their deaths tragic. Baldwin tells us
that when the great financial crash came in 1837, "promising
young cities marched back into the wilderness; the ambitious
town plat was re-annexed to the plantation," and "the only
question was as to the means of escape, and the nearest and best
route to Texas."
The loss of political favor, or the changes of county limits,
followed by the removal of court houses and county offices,
resulted in the decay of many of the early seats of justice in
the rapidly developing commonwealth.
Railroads, which are the greatest factors in modern municipal
development, have also been the most potent causes of municipal
decay and death. This fact is illustrated by the history of
scores of innocent country towns, whose only crime was their
distance from the "right of way."
In many cases two or more of these causes of decay have united
in hastening the destruction of the same unfortunate town.
County Listing for Extinct Towns
and Villages by County
Source: The Mississippi Historical
Commission Publications, Volume V, Edited by Franklin L. Riley,