This is a work in progress, but when it is complete it will be the full text of a book originally published in 1894.
The book went out of print, was republished in 1964 and when out of print again. So to make it available to genealogists and historical researchers, I have undertaken the project of scanning the book and using OCR (optical character recognition) software to convert it to text and then to HTML format. To aid genealogists, I am also adding an index of names, which the original book does not have.
However, it had been recently
republished again in paper back and is available from
If you find any errors in the reproduction of the original text please let me know by sending e-mail to ScottLee@pobox.com. Note that I have corrected a few obvious typographical errors that exist in the original text, but have otherwise attempted to reproduce the text as originally published.
Page numbers: Because HTML (Web) documents are not divided into pages as books are I have retained the original page numbers by numbering each paragraph based on the page number where it starts. In other words, a paragraph that spans a page boundary in the original book will be numbered as if it were on the page that contains the first word. Also, each paragraph on a page is numbered.
No copyright: Any copyright that may have existed on this book has expired. For more information on copyrights see the United States Copyright Office.
Genealogists: Tired of not finding original source material on the Web? Do something about it! How many times have you read a microfilm reel or book looking for your surnames and thought "I wish someone would convert this to a computer searchable document?" Well, maybe that someone should be you. If it is a typeset document, such as this book, a flatbed scanner ($100 up) and OCR software (included with most scanners) will make the work go quickly. Remember, a journey of a million Web pages begins with a single scanner. But be careful not to violate someone's copyright.
My home page: www.ScottLee.net/
The writer of this History entertains the hope that his labors will be appreciated not only by resident citizens of Newton county, and those who formerly lived there, but that they will be found of some interest and value to the general reader. He has endeavored not only to give a full and faithful chronicle of local events and personages, but in discussing the war and reconstruction periods, necessarily referred to matters of State and national interest. And what has thus been accomplished in the case of Newton county may be done in many other countries of the State. It will require much patience and perseverance, but the people will respond generously to any earnest effort in that direction. In this way many facts and incidents will be preserved from oblivion, and the names of men and women who have served well their day and generation will be cherished in perpetual remembrance.
It is the purpose of the writer to speak of some things but partially understood by the older citizens, and of many transactions entirely unknown to the younger people of the county, for forty years, and to place before the public the most important persons of that period, will be a part of this work. To give the early appearance of the county; earliest settlers; first public buildings; as well as private enterprises, will engage the attention of the writer. All this important information will be derived from men and women who have lived in the county from fifty-five to sixty years.
The information necessary to "write up" the war period will also be obtained from active participants, as it is only from those sources that reliable data can be had. The child of the future will be as anxious to know what part his ancestors took in the late war between the States as the young man of the present.
The old people now in the county who can give information of the early settlement will soon be gone. The old soldiers that enlisted from 1861 to the close of the war will soon be numbered with the great majority who have passed over the river; but placed upon the pages of history, they will be handed down to future generations.
In this work a period of sixty years will be embraced from 1834 to 1894. The best efforts have been made to have statements correct. Federal, State, county and railroad records have been used in gaining the data needed. The loss of the public records of the county by fire has greatly increased the difficulties of preparing this volume, and should any inaccuracies or omissions appear, this fact is suggested in extenuation.
To those who have so generously assisted in giving this information, and others who have so ably contributed to this work, the thanks of the writer are most gratefully acknowledged, with a hope that a perusal of its contents may both benefit and instruct.
Respectfully submitted by
Judge John Watts.....................Frontispiece Court House..............................Page 103 R. H. Henry..............................Page 197 Dr. J. B. BAILEY.........................Page 225 Baptist Church at Decatur................Page 263 New Methodist Church at Newton...........Page 335 Male and Female Collage at Newton........Page 349 Hickory Institute........................Page 359 Elder N. L. Clarke.......................Page 397 A. B. Amis, Esq..........................Page 463 A. W. Whatley, Esq.......................Page 467
Organization of County -- Commissioners -- for whom County named -- pages 1 to 3.
The Indians, first Settlers -- Their Removal -- Legendary Accounts of the Tribes -- Present Number and Condition -- Missionaries -- Pages 3 to 13.
Indian Ball Play -- Visit to Indian Church -- Old and New Customs -- pages 14 to 27.
Number of White Settlers when first organized -- Face of the Country -- Game -- Style of Society -- Ardent Spirits -- Morals of the People -- pages 28 to 35.
First Officers -- First Representatives -- First White Settlers -- Grasses and Stock Range -- Wild Fruits -- pages 36 to 44.
Settlement of Decatur, the County Seat -- Number of Men Killed there from First Settlement to 1861 -- Decatur Bank, its Failure -- Churches -- pages 45 to 52.
Character of Lands -- Market for Stock and Cattle -- What was Made on the Farm -- Home-Made Clothing -- Population first Ten Years -- pages 53 to 57.
Attempts to Move Court House from Decatur -- Re-building Court Houses -- Influx of Population -- Old-Time Teachers -- Number of Schools now in County -- Annual Cost -- Enrollment and Attendance -- pages 58 to 67.
First Railroad Through County -- Railroad Lands -- Advantages of Railroads -- Railroad Tax now Paid County -- pages 68 to 74.
The Civil War Period -- Secession of the State -- The First Company to leave for the War -- Scenes at its Departure -- Total Enlistments in the County -- pages 75 to 82.
Military Companies that went from the County -- Their Officers, Numbers, Battles, Casualties -- pages 83 to 99.
The Problem of Feeding and Clothing the Army -- The Blockade -- High Price of Cotton -- Scarcity of Salt -- Planting of Cereals -- Our Patriotic Women -- Their Labors and Sacrifices -- 100 to 107 -- Tribute to the Women of the South, by Capt. J. J. Hood -- pages 107 to 114.
Grierson's Raid -- Sherman's March from Vicksburg to Meridian -- Both Pay their Respects to the Farmers of Newton County -- pages 115 to 120.
Condition of Country After Sherman's March -- Depreciated Currency and High Price of Goods -- Confederate "Tax in Kind" -- Value of Slave Property Freed by the War -- Confidence in President Davis -- The Collapse and Consequent Confusion -- The People Take Courage and Enter on a New Experience -- pages 121 to 127.
The New Order of Things -- Labor Contract with Freedmen -- The Deed of Trust Law -- Reconstruction -- Removal of Gov, Humphreys -- Constitution of 1868 -- Jas. L. Alcorn Elected Governor -- Ames and Revels Elected U. S. Senators -- R. C. Powers Elected Governor -- Heavy Taxation -- Emancipation from Alien Rule -- Administrations of Governors John M. Stone and Robert Lowry -- The Convention and Constitution of 1892 -- The Cotton Crops from 1866 to 1894 -- pages 128 to 140.
Introduction and Use of Commercial Fertilizers -- Great Benefit to the County -- Official Analysis of the Principal Brands -- pages 140 to 156.
Reconstruction Period -- Removal of Gov. Humphreys and Attorney General Hooker -- Political Excitement -- The Reign of Carpet-Baggers, Scalawags and Negro Teachers -- The Election of 1869 -- Alcorn Chosen Governor -- Brilliant Canvass by Gen. Robert Lowry -- pages 157 to 161.
Freedmen's Bureaus -- Race Troubles -- The Dennis Brothers -- Arrests -- pages 162 to 172.
Secret Political Organizations -- Arrest of Prominent Citizens, Notably, T. M, Scanlan -- The "Black and Tan Convention" -- Extravagance and Corruption -- Proscription Clauses of Constitution of 1868 Rejected by the People -- A Solid South -- pages 173 to 181.
The Year of Jubilee, 1875 -- Tax-Payers' Convention -- Enormous Increase of Taxation, amounting to Confiscation -- Democratic State Convention of 1875 -- Presided Over by Ex-Governor Clarke; Addressed by Col. Lamar; Gen. George Elected Chairman State Executive Committee -- Riots at Vicksburg and Clinton -- Citizens interview Gov. Ames -- Radical Ranks Broken -- A. K. Davis Impeached -- Cardoza and Ames allowed to Resign -- John M. Stone Becomes Governor -- Home Rule Inaugurated -- pages 182 to 185.
Prominent Men of an Classes -- Lawyers, Physicians, Preachers, Politicians, Merchants and Other Citizens in all the Walks of Life -- pages 186 to 193.
Newspapers of the County and their Editors -- The Newton Ledger, and Portrait of R. H. Henry; New Democrat, Newton Bulletin, The Report, The Free Press, The Dispatch, The Mississippi Baptist, Conehatta Index, Newton County Progress -- Commercial -- Duty to Patronize the County Paper -- pages 194 to 206.
Introduction of the Grange -- The Alliance -- Their Influence in Politics and Effect on Society -- Good Results of the Grange -- Officers of County Grange and Local Granges -- The State Grange -- pages 206 to 223.
Patrons' Union -- Its Benefits as an Educator -- Organization, Location, Value of Property -- How Exercises Conducted -- Officers -- Camp Meetings and Normal Institutes -- Portrait of Dr. J. B. Bailey, President -- pages 224 to 236.
Benevolent and Secret Orders: Masons, Knights of Honor, Knights of Pythias -- Large Sums Paid to Beneficiaries -- pages 237 to 239.
Free Schools in County -- How Attended -- Number of Educable Children in County -- State Colleges -- Schools in County, Teachers and Cost -- Indian Schools -- Text-Books -- Should be a Uniform Series for State -- pages 240 to 260.
Religious Denominations in the County -- Churches and Membership -- Picture of Church at Decatur -- pages 261 to 273.
Sabbath Schools -- Number in County -- Teachers and Scholars -- The County Sunday School Convention -- The Sunday School a Special Attraction to the Colored People -- pages 274 to 279.
A Law-Abiding, Orderly People -- Sobriety and Good Morals the Rule -- Harmonious Relations of the Races -- The Negro knows his Place and keeps it -- The White Caps -- pages 280 to 283.
Land Acreage and Value -- Railroad Grant -- Timbers and Grasses -- Creeks and other Streams -- Agricultural Productions -- pages 284 to 293.
Products Shipped by Rail -- The Lumber Interest -- Cotton Gins, Planing Mills -- Profitable Timber -- pages 294 to 297.
Stock-Raising -- Number of Horses and Mules in County -- No Large Buyers, but Sellers -- Poultry Raising -- the Egg Industry -- pages 298 to 305.
County Taxation -- Value of Land and Live Stock -- Advice to the Young Farmers of Newton -- pages 306 to 308.
Spirit of Improvement -- Quality of Dwelling Houses now being Built -- Improved Fencing -- The Stock Law -- pages 309 to 313.
Advantages of Co-operation -- Emigration vs. Immigration -- Health of the County -- Young People Disposed to Marry at Home -- Abundant and Good Water and Rich Soil -- Good Society -- Some Suggestions to all Classes -- Elements of Prosperity -- Population -- Rate of Taxation -- pages 314 to 320.
Professional Men of the County: Lawyers, Physicians, Teachers -- Some of the Good Old Doctors -- pages 321 to 327.
Various Towns of the County -- First Settlement of Each -- Professional and Business Men and other Citizens -- The Court-Houses Built and Burned -- Pictures of the New Methodist Church at Newton and Hickory Institute -- pages 238 to 265.
County Officers Since Organization of County -- Senators and Representatives from 1837 to 1894 -- pages 366 to 370.
Circuit Judges: Thos. S. Sterling, Henry Mounger, A. B. Dawson, John Watts, Jonathan Tarbell, R. E. Leachman, A. G. Mayers. Chancellors: Thos. Christian, -- Dennis, Thos. B. Graham, Sylvanus Evans, Wm. T. Houston. District Attorneys: George Wood, Richard Cooper, Thomas H. Woods, Simon Jones, A. Y. Harper, S. H. Terral, Green B. Huddleston, R, S. McLaurin -- pages 371 to 395.
[Note, the following chapters are missing in the Table of Contents in the original text.]
pages 396 to 415.
pages 416 to 445.
pages 446 to 456.
pages 457 to 472.
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