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Lee County Mississippi

Harrisburg50 This village was located in Lee county, one and one-half miles west of Tupelo. Harrisburg was never incorporated. At the time of its greatest prosperity it had a population of about one hundred. It was named in honor of Judge W. R. Harris, a wealthy planter, on whose land it was situated.

The first settlement in this place was made in 1847 by G. C. Thomason, who opened a store there in that year. Three years later another merchant, Robert Acre, began business there. In 1853 Simon Wolf, a Jew, opened a third store in the village. In 1851 a Methodist church and a Masonic lodge were erected. The first pastor of this church was A. B. Fly, who afterwards became chancellor of his district. The village blacksmith was B. I. Barham, who lived there in 1851. A saddler by the name of Williams also lived in this place. The hotel was kept by Gilbert Kennedy. The first teacher of the village school was the Rev. A. B. Feemster, a Presbyterian minister of wide reputation for piety and learning. He was succeeded by Isaac Anderson. The Rev. Absalom Stovall, a Baptist minister of ability, also preached there for several years, beginning in 1851. The physicians of the place were Dr. R. C. Cunningham, Dr. W. I. Stovall, and Dr. Bond. The postmaster was John H. Long, now a citizen of Verona, who went to Harrisburg in 1851. John Sullivan was Justice of the Peace.

The business houses of the place were removed to Tupelo in 1860, when the Mobile and Ohio railroad was completed to that point. The history of Harrisburg was uneventful until July 19, 1864, when it was utterly destroyed by the bloody battle which was fought there between the Federal troops under Gen. A. J. Smith and the Confederate troops under Gen. Stephen D. Lee and Gen. N. B. Forrest. In this engagement the Confederates alone lost nearly one thousand men. Many evidences of the battle are still left to mark the site of this unfortunate village.

Extinct Towns| AHGP Mississippi

Footnotes:
50. The writer is indebted to the Hon. James Kincannon, of Tupelo, Mississippi, and Mr. John H. Long, of Verona, Miss., former post master at Harrisburg, for valuable assistance in preparing this sketch.

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

 

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