Lamar County, Mississippi Genealogy and History


Pamela J. Gibbs County Coordinator

Lori Thornton,  State Coordinator
Deb Haines
, Assistant State Coordinator


WPA History of Lamar County, Mississippi



        The Choctaw Indians were a friendly tribe. They made baskets and traded them to the white people for meal. Many of these baskets are still in use in this county. One of the oldest settlers of the county, Mr. Sam Slade, says that he remembers seeing the log with notches cut into it where the Choctaw Indians beat corn into meal for bread. We still call our red corn Indian corn and the bread King Bread.

        All indications show that long before the Civil War the place where Lumberton now stands was once an Indian village, also a small tribe of Choctaw Indians remains there for a long time after. In fact, Indian Bill spent his life here. He went from place to place working for white people and is said to have been a good hand. He was buried on Red Creek near where the tribe used to camp.

        There is an Indian mound on the north bank of Black Creek about halfway between the bridges on the Jackson Highway and on the Richburg Road. The mound is about 25 feet high. It was built close to the bank of the creek on the flats or lowlands. At the present time there are several large white oaks, red oaks and magnolia trees and several pine trees have been recently cut and removed from the mound. A visit to the mound shows that at different periods there have been explorations into it but so far as the writer knows nothing of interest has ever been discovered or removed from the mound.

        An Indian relic bearing the date 1771--five years before the signing the Declaration of Independence of the American Colonies--151 years before that in which it was found, was on Wednesday deposited in Lamar County Bank, by W. I. Boone, father of Ray Boone, the nine year old lad picked it up near his home on Saturday, March 4, 1922.

        When the lad brought the relic for his father's inspection, the implement--a miniature tomahawk--was seemingly an old piece of iron. Its form was that of a George Washington hatchet, attracted sufficient attention to prompt Mr. Boone to examine it closely. He soon discovered that he had a rare relic and this was confirmed when Dr. M. J. Murphy had applied tests to prove that the implement was made of gold and silver alloy with inlaid figures and mountings of pure silver of artistic design and carvings.

        The jeweler who designed and manufactured the relic followed closely the idea of a tomahawk, a weapon of warfare. Manifestly, however, the trinket was meant for use as a pipe. Suggestion has been made that it may have served as a pipe of peace or was the cherished solacer of some Indian chief who smoked the reed to smooth his spirits after a chase of deer or bear or when resting from battle in which his tribe had participated.

        Irrespective of any conjectures as to the history of the relic it is an interesting find, and the little golden pipe made in the form of a weapon may prove of great ethnological value, suggesting possibly, to those who decipher hieroglyphics, much of interest relative to the extinct tribe of Natchez Indians. R. L. Bennett has been given custody of the relic and authorized by Mr. Boone to correspond relative to its intrinsic and historical value.

        In a letter to the Smithsonian Institutions Mr. Bennett said, "It may interest you to know that I now have custody of what local connoiseurs declare to be a valuable relic of Spanish artcraft, made, evidently, for some Indian chief and possibly at one time serving as a servitor of peace between warring tribes. The relic was picked up here March 4, 1922--151 years after the date, 1771, inscribed thereon in roman numerals."

        "It is nothing less than an Indian tomahawk composed of gold and silver alloy with pure silver mountings and a steel bar serving as the blade of the tomahawk. It was manifestly not meant as a real weapon of offense unless perchance the strong native tobacco used by the tribal head was offensive to the ladies of the wigwam as some indolent son of the forest lazily dozed while he used the relic as his solacing pipe."

        "The head or pole of the implement is hollow and cylindrical and an opening into the eye of the blade appears to have conveyed tobacco smoke into the stem for which the eye served as an opening. A local metallurgist stated that the implement is composed of silver and gold alloy in about the proportions of two-thirds gold and one-third silver."

        "The principal figure made by silver inlay and carved radials is evidently meant to suggest the artists face of a Sun-God. Another carving is the letter R crossed transversely with double lines which descends and terminates in the form of a pipe bowl."( Research work of T. W. Davis, Sr.; taken from the Thursday, March 9, 1922 edition of the Booster.)

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Large and Historic Trees


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  by Pamela J. Gibbs except where otherwise noted.


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