Montgomery County, Mississippi was formed on May 31, 1871 from portions of both Carroll and Choctaw counties. There is some controversy on how the county received its name. One is that it was named for General Richard Montgomery who was killed at the Battle of Quebec in December 1775 during the Revolutionary War. The other is that a Dr. Hart from Lodi had come from Montgomery County, Tennessee and resided in the new county after its formation and was one of the first legislators. In "Mississippi the Heart of the South" Vol. 2 by Dunbar Rowland, it states that Dr. Hart requested that the new county be named after his home town. Of the two stories, the accepted is that Montgomery County was named after General Montgomery.
The first county officers appointed by Governor Alcorn were John C. McKenzie, Sheriff; Thomas C. Blackmore, Chancery Clerk; W. H. Harris, Circuit Clerk; Thomas B. Brown, Tax Assessor; Frank M. Shyrock, Treasurer; and W. H. Parke, Superintendent of Education. Members of the Board of Supervisors were: W. B. Peery, Eli Cartlidge, Thomas Curry, and James Thomas.
Five commissioners were appointed to adjust the financial affairs of the county in regard to the counties from which it was formed. This commission was composed of John A. Binford, Sr., H. P. Turner, Samuel Hill, O.J. Moore and Willis Barefield. They met January 16, 1872, at Greensboro, Mississippi in Choctaw County. After investigation, Choctaw County indebtedness was rated to be $12,260, and this was adopted as a basis of settlement between the two counties. The Commissioners found that Montgomery's prorata of indebtedness of Choctaw County amounted to $5,756. On March 6, 1872, the board of supervisors of Montgomery County rated Montgomery's indebtedness to Carroll at $7,620, and ordered said amounts to be settled by the issuance of bonds. ( Minutes, Board of Supervisors, March, 1872, Vol. I; Page 69.)
Montgomery County comprises approximately 340 square miles of land. The county seat at the time the county was organized and also today, is Winona, The word “Winona,” comes from the Indian word "Wenonah" meaning first-born daughter which goes back to the counties strong Indian heritage. The original boundaries established in 1871 remain in effect today. Surrounding counties are Grenada, Webster, Choctaw, Attala and Carroll.
Other Historical Information:
- Duck Hill Train Wreck (October 19, 1862)
- Cotton Mills History and Lewis Wickes Hines Library of Congress photos
- Colonel O. J. Moore House, Winona