Saturday, March 15, 2008

Monday, January 7, 2008

Choctaw in Winston County, Mississippi

Choctaw Indian legends say the tribe originated at Nanih Waiya in what is now the extreme southeastern part of Winston County.

A large mound at Nanih Waiya is a sacred place to the Choctaws and is preserved today as a Mississippi State Park.

Winston County is one of 16 Mississippi counties formed in the 1830s from lands ceded to the United States in September 1830 by Chief Greenwood LeFleur, the Chief of the Choctaws, in the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. Soon after the treaty was signed, most of the Choctaws were removed to what is now the State of Oklahoma.

The few Choctaws who remained in Mississippi after the 1830 treaty were the direct ancestors of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, today one of the most prosperous and progressive Indian tribes in America.

Winston County was established December 23, 1833. Louisville was charted in 1836. Both were named for the same man, Louis Winston, a Natchez lawyer then prominent in Mississippi politics.

Colonel Louis Winston (1784-1824), a native of Virginia, moved to the Mississippi Territory and became a prominent lawyer and the colonel of a regiment of militia. In 1809 he was appointed the district attorney general for Madison County, but it appears that he moved to the Natchez District in about 1817. He was the secretary of the Constitutional Convention of 1817, and he served as a judge of the Mississippi Supreme Court from 1821 until his death, on August 20, 1824, at his home in Washington, Mississippi.

By the start of the American Civil War, Louisville was a prosperous city, serving as a regional commercial center.

Although there were no Civil War battles fought in Winston County, more than 400 Winston County men died in the service of the Confederacy during the war.

Several prominent Winston Countians lost fortunes loaned to the Confederacy.

Union Colonel Benjamin H. Grierson marched his 900 troops through Louisville on April 22, 1863 while on his famous "raid" through the heart of Mississippi. Grierson's troops camped for the night in Winston County.

There was no fighting. Having been spared from significant destruction of property, Louisville and Winston County recovered earlier than some other places in the South and continued to grow after the war.

Much of Winston County's economic strength, starting from the earliest years of the 20th century, came from the plentiful growth of timber. The timber industry and industries closely allied to it continue today as the back bone of the local community, as witnessed by the large Georgia Pacific Plant and other industries.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cedar Crossing--Lacon


Rhona H. Summerford

The Alabama Enquirer of January 7, 1892 announced that Cedar Crossings was no more. Cedar Crossing had long been in existence and had a post office as early as 1818, with Sandy H. Morris as the first postmaster. Malcolm Patterson was postmaster at Lacon in 1897, followed by Sandy H. Morris, again, and by Green P. Orendorff in 1898. He was succeeded by John King in 1900 and Jacob B. Patterson in 1902.

On New Year’s Day of 1892, the name of the town was changed to Lacon. It was said that the purpose of the founder of the “modern” Lacon, was that it should become famous as one of the most prosperous and enterprising towns in Alabama. Mr. G.P. Orendorff was the founder of the town of Lacon, and the newspaper said he would spare no pains and money to make it a success.

Mr. G.P. Orendorff, founded the large Standard Brick Works, and it was one of the largest facilities of its kind in North Alabama, and was the main enterprise of the town. Mr. S.H. Morris, was considered the leading merchant of the town, and took great pride in trying to advance its interest.

In the 1890’s the town’s newspaper, “The Affiance Monitor” was published there, and was doing all it could to Advertise the town.

For many, many years after the turn of the century, the largest store was owned by Mr. J.B. Patterson, and this was the store in which the post office was located.