History of Forrest County

From Hattiesburg Memory, the history and present of Hattiesburg, MS
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Published in 2000 by the Hattiesburg Area Historical Society.

(nearly all the stuff about Forrest County and Hattiesburg from this section was written by guy named George R. Watson)

  • p 15 -- Bill Hardy was born in Collerine, AL. In 1856 he moved to Montrose, Jasper County, and taught school for a year. At the beginning of the civil war he raised a company from Smith County and became captain of Company "H" of the 16th Mississippi Regiment. "In 1868 he conceived the idea of building a railroad from Meridian to New Orleans. In August, 1880, during a survey trip from Meridian to New Orleans, Captain Hardy stopped at noon to eat lunch. This was at a spot on the north side of Gordon's Creek near a large oak and several hickory trees. This was at a palce which would be now in the downtown section of Hattiesburg."
  • p 15 -- "While resting, Captain Hardy spread a map of Mississippi upon the ground and studied the surveyed line of the NO and NE Railroads. [...] He drew a line through the virgin pine forest and intersected the New Orleans and North Eastern railroad where the city of Hattiesburg is now located. He decided to locate a railroad station here and named it Hattiesburg, in honor of his 2nd wife, Hattie Lott Hardy."
  • p 15 --
    • HBurg incorporated on March 11, 1884.
    • 600 residents and 54 registered voters
    • Total assessed "valuation": about $28,000
    • Mr. D. H. McInnis built the first home, a log cabin.
    • 1884 - trains started. (Facts About Hattiesburg says 1883 first train runs)
    • Timber floated down from Leaf and Bouie rivers from upstream.
    • March 1899 - Gov. A. J. McLaurin declares HBurg a "city" (pop: 3600)
Year Population
1900 4000
1902 5500
1903 7000
1904 11000
1905 14500
  • p 15 (I think) -- October 11, 1893, fire destroys 26 businesses (and Facts About Hattiesburg agrees!). It started in the flue of the Southern Hotel, which is where an opra house was later built (opera house? What opra house? -- Brad).
  • p 42 -- Pic of Thad L. Fowler Gas Appliance Store. Sign says "Fowler Hardware Co."
  • p 67 -- Lots of stuff about street cars in Hattiesburg.
  • p 79 -- The caption says it's the Hattiesburg Chamber of Commerce, but it looks like a bunch of people and cars standing in front of the Masonic Temple
  • p 102 -- Two pics of Methodist Hospital, one of the old building and one of the new one.
  • p 107 -- Pic of a crowd gathered at the end of WWI at Newman St. looking north.
  • p 114 -- About 1948 E. T. Culpepper bought some land and dammed Providence Creek and named it Pep's Point
  • p 118 - 119 -- Apparently there might have been a murder on the Leaf River back in the early to mid 1800's. I'm not sure exactly where. The victim's name was Bartlett, maybe John Bartlett Jr., born in 1805. There's a lot more info in the book.
  • p 134 -- Lots of pics, including Front St. and Danohoe's Grocery and Meat Market, Kyker's News Stand
  • p 135 -- Pics from civil rights era
  • p 141 -- Pic of a barber ship inside Carter Building adjoining Service Drug Store where Rawls and Carter Drug Co. was previously. Pre 1900
  • p 156 -- There was (is?) a Batson Plantation near the Sunrise Community.
  • p 176 -- Two pics of downtown, both from around 1900
  • p 463 -- Pic of Donovan-Lane, believed to be the first air-conditioned retail store in HBurg (from the 1940s I think)

The book also has a HUGE list of photo contributors in the back!