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 Hinds County Mississippi

Hamburg32 About 1826 the town of Hamburg in Hinds County was laid out. It was situated on the Big Black River, two miles north of the point where the present Alabama and Vicksburg railroad crosses that stream. The site proved too marshy, and the town was abandoned two years later. Mr. R. H. Smith, of Edwards, Miss., writes that he remembers seeing a steamboat moored at the Hamburg landing in 1831, and that as the boat was coming up the river, someone cried out that the "Big Black" was running up stream, and so it was, but it was the boat and not the river.

Amsterdam Another town was laid out on the bluffs about two miles above Hamburg and named Amsterdam. This became a good sized village; steam and keel boats visited it every year during high water. They even went as high as Antibank, one hundred miles above, by water, which landing was a few miles west of Flora in Madison County. An extensive wagon trade was carried on between Amsterdam and a large section of county to the east of that place. In December, 1833, the town was incorporated by the Legislature. Another act relating to its charter was passed in May, 1837. In 1832 or 1833 about one-half of the population of Amsterdam was destroyed by the cholera. It never recovered from this epidemic. A few years later it received its death blow, when the present Alabama and Vicksburg railroad was constructed from Vicksburg to Jackson. This railroad missed Amsterdam and established the town of Edwards, two miles away. In a short time Amsterdam was numbered among the extinct towns of Mississippi.

In the days of its prosperity Amsterdam was made a port of entry, by an act of Congress, which act has probably never been repealed. In May, 1841, a banquet was given at Clinton, then as now, noted as an educational center, when a toast to Hinds county was called for and William L. Sharkey, afterwards Chief Justice, responded, as follows: "To Hinds County, an Empire in itself, holding Jackson, the seat of government, Raymond, the seat of justice, Clinton, the seat of science, and last though not least, Amsterdam, the port of entry."

Antibank34 The old town of Antibank was first settled in 1836 by T. L. Sumrall, who came from Clinton, Hinds County, to Antibank, having been an employee in the Land Office there before its removal to Jackson. Mr. Sumrall built a store house on the high bank of Big Black opposite to the ferry of T. A. Holloman of Yazoo county, and the Dickson Bros, (for whom Mr. Sumrall was guardian), began a mercantile business, and kept a warehouse for cotton, which was shipped by keelboats down Big Black to Grand Gulf on the Mississippi river.

An unfortunate occurrence destroyed their business venture. The older Dickson and one of his clerks, Laurence Sley, were wrestling on the gallery of Mr. Sumrall, when Sley threw Dickson and broke his neck.

The many farmers around received their supplies at this landing. Many of their descendants the Trotters, Sleys, Reynolds, Gaords, Bush and Birdsongs - still live in this community.

The Vicksburg and Jackson railroad (now the A. & V.) was finished to the Big Black, and then to Bolton a few years later, when the shipping of cotton and supplies from Antibank ceased and the place became part of a cotton farm. The buildings were removed to the lower end of this large tract of land by Mr. Sumrall's son-in-law, Mr. Stratton, and became a farm house on one of the finest plantations of Big Black. The site of Antibank is now owned by James and George Ashford, and still produces fine cotton and corn.

Auburn35 The history of Auburn, Hinds county, must be brief. Of itself it has but little history. It was a country post office kept at a country store, sometimes at one place and then at another. Its name tradition says came in this way: Within six miles of where the first Auburn was located, there were in the pioneer days, two other country stores which were about seven miles apart. They were made post offices at an early date, perhaps in the 30's; and at one of these points a gentleman, then a young man fresh from New York State, near where Utica, Cayuga and Auburn are, had come and settled. He suggested that these three places be named Utica, Cayuga and Auburn, after the towns he knew in New York, and this was done.

Auburn has its interest in history from the people who surrounded it. It was in the early days of the country down to 1861 one of the most populous, wealthy and refined neighborhoods in the State. The first post office named Auburn was located on the old Natchez and Nashville road. The first store built in the neighborhood at which the Auburn post office was kept, was built and kept by a man named Kinchen A. Martin, in 1835 the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of section 17, Township 4, Range 4, West. It was built of hewn logs. In 1838 the place was bought by M. J. Standard. J. J. Lewis afterwards kept the store and post office. In 1849 J. P. Daniels bought a piece of land and erected a store one-half a mile east of this place. He kept the post office there for several years. The same year, Wm. Montgomery built a store three miles northeast of the one just mentioned, in section 2, Township 4, Range 4, West, and had for his clerk the same J. J. Lewis before spoken of. A year or two later the post office was moved to this store, and there kept until the Confederate war laid the whole country waste. After the Confederate war closed, it was kept as a post office for a few years and then abandoned.

At the last Auburn there was a Baptist church called Harmony, and over it a Masonic lodge room. In 1881 the Natchez, Jackson & Columbus R. R. was built to the east of Auburn a few miles. The town of Learned was established nearby on this railroad, and the storehouse, church and Masonic lodge were all taken down and moved to it.

The hospitality of the people was unstinted. Statesmen met there and debated the great political questions of the day, and magnificent dinners were given on the grounds on the 24th of June and 4th of July; and the people vied with each other in the display of their equipages and wearing apparel. On an ordinary Sabbath at one of these churches, one could see carriages and horses worth thousands of dollars each, and they were there by the dozens, not to speak of those by the hundreds of lesser value.

Of those who were reared in wealth and affluence, the writer knew one who since then died in the county poor house. Another whose father died in his childhood, who, with his mother's family, was cared for by the good people of the neighborhood, is now the richest man in the county. The war and its subsequent events have marred the beauty and prosperity of the whole neighborhood. The large number of Negroes was and is yet an incubus on the community, and where wealth and prosperity were once so conspicuous, poverty is now the lot of many of its citizens.

Extinct Towns| AHGP Mississippi

Footnotes:
32. Information with reference to Hamburg and Amsterdam was obtained from Mr. R. H. Smith, of Edwards, Mississippi.
34. The writer is indebted to the Hon. Clay Sharkey, of Jackson, Miss., for the sketch of Antibank.
35. This sketch was kindly contributed by the Hon. W. Calvin Wells of Jackson, Mississippi.

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

 

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