Lamar County, Mississippi Genealogy and History


Pamela J. Gibbs County Coordinator

Lori Thornton,  State Coordinator
Deb Haines
, Assistant State Coordinator


Lamar County W. P. A. History


        The highest point of elevation in Lamar County is at Baxterville in the western part of the county, 404 feet.

        The lowest point of elevation in the county is at Okohola on Black Creek in the eastern part of the county, 232 feet.

        In most cases the bottom lands along the small drainage ways have a width of 50 to 100 yards and are poorly drained and swampy; there are some swampy areas along the larger streams but of small extent.

        There are no prairie lands or flat wood regions in Lamar County.
        In the western part of Lamar County is a very rugged or hilly section known as the "Devil's Backbone". This extends into Marion County.


        Lamar County has no rivers within its boundry but it occupies the divide between the Pearl River on the west and Leaf River on the east.

        The county as a whole has a well established natural drainage system in three main creeks and their tributaries. These are Black Creek, Little Black Creek and Red Creek.

        BLACK CREEK rises in the north west part of the county and flows southeastward through the county in its confluence, toward Dead Lake in Jackson County into which its waters flow. LITTLE BLACK flows from the source of its origin from the foothills near Baxterville southeastward through the county toward its converging point with Big Black, south of Camp Danzler in Forrest County. RED CREEK flows from the spring heads of the Rayborn Hills in the central eastward part of the county (to the) southeastward part of Lumberton, merging its waters with the aforesaid old lake in Jackson County, and thence into the fabled waters of the Pascagoula River. By what names these streams were identified by the Indians we do not know. Their waters are tinted by soil erosion and vegetable extracts, hence they are all named from the tint of their waters. We have no other record of the origin of their names.

        Tributaries of Black Creek are Monroe, Parker, and Perkins Creeks. Their names originated from the first settlers on these creeks and were so handed down through generations. Sandy Run is named for its sandy bed. Little Black is named for the color of its water. Two other creeks in the extreme northern part of the county are Tick Creek, so named because it is infested with these insects, and Big Creek, supposedly named in comparison to other adjacent creeks. Tributaries of Little Black Creek are Boggy Hollow, so called from the miry nature of its soil and cows would bog easily when they would go there to drink water; and Little Beaver Creek, so called for the many beavers that inhabited it once. Dry Branch just south of Lumberton is a tributary of Red Creek, so called because it never runs dry. It is a very swift stream and drains so well the southern section of the county and the Bass Pecan Nursery. In the north western part of the county is Upper Little Creek and its tributaries are Herron Creek and Polk Creek, named for the first settlers. In the western part is Lower Little Creek and its tributaries are Gully, Beaver Dam, Hurricane Bay, Half Moon, Burnt Reed Brake, Spice Pond Creek and Grantham Creek. In the southwestern part are White Oak, Middle Fork, Dry and Clear Creeks.

        Black Creek flows in a southeasterly direction, Little Black in an easterly direction and Red Creek in a southeasterly direction. All three ultimately flow into the Pascagoula River. Big Creek and Tick Creek in the northern part of the county flow in a northeastern direction into Bowie River. In the north western and western parts of the county Upper and Lower Little Creeks with their tributaries flow westward into Pearl River. In the southwestern part of the county White Oak, Middle Fork, Dry Creek and Clear Creek flow westward into Pearl River.

        This network of streams and their tributaries afford an excellent drainage system for the entire county, which gives a good health record and a salubrious climate. The County Health Officer, Dr. Mason, attributes the excellent health record of the county to its drainage which prevents stagnant waters and miasmic ponds, the presence of which is detrimental to the health of the people. The drainage and rain fall also carries disease breeding debris away where it is less harmful.

        In some places drainage is excessive; this necessitates terracing to hold the soil.

        The principal tributaries of these streams within the boundry of Lamar County are: Big Black Creek, Carter Creek, Turkey Creek, Monroe Creek, Parker Creek Perkins Creek, Boar Bay, Mill Creek, Sandy Run, Mixon Creek and Black Tom. Little Black, Boggy Hollow, Beaver Dam and Spring Branch. Red River, Dry Branch and Carters Creek.

        The above mentioned streams and their tributaries afford an excellent drainage system for the entire county. Dr. J. N. Mason, County Health Officer, attributes the excellent health record of the county to its drainage which prevents stagnant water and miamic ponds. In some places the drainage is excessive, this necessitates terracing to hold the soil.


        There are no lakes, marshes or bayous in Lamar County to affect health conditions in any way.


        Throughout the county are numerous small springs which supply a constant flow of waters to the smaller streams. Other than these we have only one spring of note, Sawed Horn Spring in the southeastern part of the county, so named for Sam Slade who was first to homestead the land on which the spring is situated. Mr. Slade was wounded in a rather peculiar manner at the Battle of Shiloh by being struck with a spent minie ball. The bullet struck the nose causing a deformity which made one think of a sawed horn steer; thus the spring derived its name.

        Artesian water has been found at Sumrall, a little city on the Mississippi Central Railroad and at Lumberton at the Junction on the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad.

        Almost every farm house has a shallow well either bored or dug which supplies the family with necessary water.

        There are no overflowing artesian wells in the county, but in each town of note there is a deep water well with water running nearly to the surface which requires pumping to force it into tanks.

        There are no mineral waters in Lamar County.


1. Metallic Minerals
        a. Iron - none
1. Bessemer ores - none
2. Non-Bessemer ores - none
        b. Aluminum - none
1. kind of ore - none
2. Non Metallic Minerals
        a. Cement resources - none
        b. Lignite - none
        c. Clays, kinds - none
        d. Special clays - none
        e. Bentonite - none
        f. Other minerals (1 )Silicon (2) Ochres - none
        g. Sands, for glass manufacture and pottery - none
        h. Mineral Waters - none

        Reports that anhydrite has been penetrated in a well being drilled for oil in Lamar County, ten miles from Purvis, by the Sun Oil Company were received by Dr. W. G. Morse, director of the State Geological Survey of University, Mississippi.

        "Outside of the actual finding of oil or encountering of oil salt in a well, the discovery of anhydrite is the most important discovery made in the search for gas and oil in the state", he said.

        A rock salt dome was encountered Saturday in the Sun Oil Company's deep test well in Lamar County at a depth of slightly more than 2,400 feet.

        The salt strata, the first ever discovered in a Mississippi test well, showed up underneath more than 800 feet of anhydrite, an anhydrous sulphate formation of granite-like character.

        August 14. Sunwell, Mississippi--Salt water and mud came up in another drill stem test completed at midnight in the Sun Oil Company's Tally number three well in Lamar county.

        The test was made yesterday after about two feet of oil sand had been encountered Thursday night in a core which was out in the black shale formation.

        The first oil sand, saturated with asphalt, was found at 5,643 feet. The same formation lasted for 152 feet after which came white sand and then black shale.

        The asphalt formation found was gummy in character and jet black in color. A Schlumberger Survey was made in the Sun Oil Company's Tally three well in Lamar County. Results of the survey were not divulged. For five or six hours work the company charged $700.

        Sunwell, Mississippi August 16 The Sun Oil Company's Tally number three well was below 6,000 feet today after a weekend spent in coring and reaming. Reaming continued today.

        The formation was described as a brownish black shale. The depth of the hole was reported at 6,028 feet. Experts are frank to say that they are puzzled by the strangeness of the log on this hole in which asphaltic oil, sand, anhydrite, salt water, black shale and other formations have been encountered.

        It is probable that the well will be drilled to 10,000 feet or deeper unless producing sand is discovered at some higher level.

        A new well is to be drilled a mile and a half from Purvis operations starting no later than September 1. (Ref. Hattiesburg American.)


        No oil or gas has been found in Lamar County but two wells have been drilled about two miles from Purvis. With complications setting in the wells have had to be abandoned. There is a well under construction now near Victory. The people of Lamar County believe that oil and gas will be found.


        Let us give as much credit as we can to the original thinkers of the past and present administration in that they have discovered for themselves the urgent need of soil conservation.

        Farmers by the thousand have had their minds upon the subject of soil recovery and maintenance for a century or less. The Agricultural colleges and experiment station have done praiseworthy work on this subject.

        Soil is a mixture of rock particles and organic matter capable of supporting plant life. The formation of soil is classed as physical or chemical.

        Lamar County lies within the Gulf Coastal plain province and in the Long Leaf Pine region of Mississippi, locally called the "Piney Woods" country.

        The upland soils of the county are derived from two main classes of coastal plain materials; (1) beds of sandy clay, and (2) beds of heavy clay.

        There are in Lamar County 20 different types, exclusive of swamp.

        Ruston fine sandy loam is a grayish soil type, to slight brownish-gray on the surface with a subsoil of either a dull-red or yellowish-red fine sandy clay with moderately friable subsoil. The surface is undulating to rolling and the drainage is good. It is the most extensive soil type in the county.

        Orangeburg fine sandy loam is a grayish brown to brown surface with subsoil of red fine sandy clay, the subsoil being friable. The surface in general is hilly or broken, with some small, gently rolling areas. The drainage of both the surface and underground is good.

        Susquehanna fine sandy loam is grayish on the surface with a subsoil of either yellow clay or red clay. (impervious subsoil, plastic heavy subsoil). The surface is rolling to gently sloping or comparatively smooth. Owing to the subsoil under drainage is imperfect, but where the type is rolling the surface is usually good.

        Norfolk fine sandy loam has a gray surface with a subsoil of yellow fine sandy clay. The subsoil is friable. The surface is flat to gently undulating. Most of it has good drainage.

        Thompson fine sandy loam has a grayish surface with a subsoil of yellow fine sandy clay. The subsoil is friable. The surface is level and flat, interrupted by occasional slight depressions. The drainage is not very good.

        Kalmia fine sandy loam has a gray to dark gray surface. The surface is level but in low lying areas there are depressions and the level surface is somewhat interrupted. These depressions are poorly drained but the drainage of the rest is fairly good.

        Bibb fine sandy loam has a gray surface of light gray or bluish gray. The subsoil is level except for occasional slight depressions and a few swells and hubbocks. It has poor drainage.

        Cahoba fine sandy loam has a brown to light brown surface with a subsoil of reddish yellow fine sandy clay. This subsoil is friable. The surface is smooth to gently sloping toward the streams. Both surface drainage and under drainage are generally good.

        Caddo fine sandy loam has a gray to brown gray surface and a subsoil of fine yellow sandy clay. This subsoil is plastic sandy clay. The Caddo occupies level to flat areas and on slopes drainage is imperfect.

        Ruston sandy loam has a gray, brownish gray or light brown surface. The subsoil is a reddish yellow to yellowish red sandy clay. The subsoil is friable. The surface is gently rolling and undulating. Both the surface and the subsoil drainage are satisfactory.

        Orangeburg sandy loam has a grayish brown to brownish surface with a subsoil of red sandy clay. The subsoil is friable. The surface is hilly and broken. The drainage in most places is excessive.

        Susquehanna silt loam has a grayish brown to light brownish surface with a subsoil of mottled red, yellow and gray clay. The subsoil is plastic. The surface is gently sloping to undulating with the areas low lying. Both surface drainage and under drainage is imperfect.

        Plummer silt loam has a bluish gray and brownish surface with a subsoil of gray to bluish gray and pale yellow clay. The subsoil is silty. This series occurs on low flats and slopes. The drainage is poor.

        Myatt silt loam is light gray on the surface with a subsoil of mottled yellow and gray clay. The subsoil is silty. The surface is flat or nearly level. The drainage of both surface and underground is imperfect.

        Kalmia loam is gray to brownish gray on the surface with a subsoil of pale yellow loam underlain by a pale yellow sandy clay to silty clay. It is somewhat plastic. The surface is generally flat, the drainage poor.

        Norfolk loam is gray to light grayish brown on the surface. The subsoil is yellow and with some gray fine sandy clay. The subsoil is friable. The surface is flat to gently undulating. The drainage is fairly good.

        Caddo loam has a brownish gray to gray or light brown surface with a subsoil of yellow or pale yellow fine sandy clay. The subsoil is friable. The surface is flat to gently undulating areas, the drainage poor.

        Ruston fine sand has a gray to brownish gray surface. The subsoil is light gray or yellowish gray sand. The subsoil is loose and fine. The surface is hummocky with occasional short steep slopes facing in a southerly direction. The drainage is good to excessive.

        Ruston gravelly sandy loam has a grayish surface. The subsoil is reddish yellow to dull red. The subsoil is plastic clay. This soil is found on slopes, knolls and sharp ridges. The drainage is good.

        Susquehenna clay has a gray surface with a subsoil of red mottled gray and yellow clay. The subsoil is heavy plastic clay. This type represents eroded areas of Susquehanna fine sandy loam and Susquehanna silt loam, the drainage is perfect.

        The classification swamp includes low first bottoms which are continually wet, it consists of a mingling of various soil types.

        There are eleven soil series in Lamar County; the Ruston, Norfolk, Orangeburg, Susquehanna, Plummer and Caddo are upland series soils. The alluvial soils of the county are grouped in five series. There are two divisions - terrace soils, the Kalmia, Myatt and Cahaba soil and the first bottom soils: the Thompson and Bibb soils. The upland soils are residual in origin and the races and first bottom soils consist of alluvium deposited during overflow.

        Seventy five percent of all cultivable crop land in Lamar County is the Ruston fine sandy loam and the Ruston sandy loam. These types grow all crops in Lamar County, especially truck farming. It is good for grazing on open range but makes only fair permanent pasture. It is excellent for growing long leaf yellow pine. The Ruston has fine sand, no value as to crop growing or grazing and the only timber that will grow on it is oak. The Ruston gravelly sandy loam is poor for crop raising and grazing. It is excellent for building material. The Norfolk fine sandy loam and Norfolk loam is about five percent. The Orangeburg fine sandy loam is about fifteen percent. It is excellent for grazing and growing timber.

        The Susquehanna consists of one to three percent in gray silt loam. The Kalmia, Caddo, Cahaba, Thompson and Bibb are fine sandy loam made up of five percent of the crop land under cultivation. They are good for grazing. The Susquehanna clay and Susquehanna silt loam have no value to crops, are very good for grazing. The Kalmia loam has very little value, also the Myatt silt loam.

W. P. A. Table of Contents
Forests, Flora and Fauna


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


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