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Tippah County Mississippi

Orizaba71 In 1837 a large Cumberland Presbyterian church was organized seven miles south of Ripley, the county seat of Tippah County. This was among the first church organizations in that county. Around it grew a village containing one hundred and fifty inhabitants in its palmiest days. It had a flourishing Masonic Lodge, a fine school, five business houses, and the shops and industries usually found in a country village at that time.

In the early 50's Orizaba did much business with the surrounding country, which was occupied by a large number of prosperous planters. Laird, Wear, Noah Roberts, W. T. Ratliff, and Robert I. Hill were the principal merchants. This place also had a drug store and blacksmith shops. Its physicians were Dr. Laird, Magill, Ford, Ellis, and King. It also had a Masonic lodge and a Cumberland Presbyterian church, both of which had a large membership. During the War Between the States the business men of Orizaba either died or removed to other places. With the abolition of slavery the planters who had supported this village were financially ruined. What completed its destruction was the building of a great female college (1869), by the late Gen. M. P. Lowrey, at Blue Mountain, three miles to the northwest, and the building of the Gulf and Chicago railroad. Mr. Hearne, in writing of the final destruction of Orizaba, says that "the last business that was done there was to burn all its stores and outbuildings in 1882."

Orizaba still retains a post office. Magistrates' courts are also held there, but under the tall oaks, as the church and lodge hall and other houses are gone. All of its old citizens are dead.

Ruckersville72 About the year 1842 two brothers, John and Daniel Finger, established a blacksmith shop and a drygoods store where the Ripley and Pocahontas and Salem public roads cross. The place was known as Finger's Cross Roads.

About the year 1846, Dr. Charles Rucker, an able physician, bought a home at Finger's Cross Roads and put up a drug store. The place soon took the name "Ruckersville." By this time a post office had been established and business increased until the village bade fair to develop into a thriving town.

In 1847 a licensed whisky saloon was established. From that date until the War Between the States no improvement was made in the town. It became noted as a place where men of sporting and drinking propensities met. Discord and riot were the leading features of its history during this period. A living witness remembers having seen horses stand hitched for two or three days without food or drink, while the miserable masters engaged in drunken debauches.

The war closed out business of all sort. After the war, Fant, Gibbs & Company ran a thriving business in the line of dry goods and groceries until a railroad was built from Middleton, Tennessee, to Ripley, Mississippi. This road ran within five miles of Ruckersville and absorbed the business so completely that Fant, Gibbs & Company moved to the railroad. This was in 1876. C. C. Rucker, son of Dr. Chas. Rucker, kept a small stock of goods and the post office for a few years. For fifteen years or more there has not been even a post office at Ruckersville to perpetuate the name of the place.

Extinct Towns| AHGP Mississippi

Footnotes:
71. This sketch is based upon information derived from Mr. Joel A. Hearne and Dr. E. M. Alexander, of Ripley, Mississippi.
72. This sketch was kindly furnished by Mr. J. M. Stephens, of Ripley, Miss., County Superintendent of Education of Tippah County.

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

 

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