Newton County Mississippi
Part of the American History and Genealogy Project


Early Settlers

Mr. Alexander Graham came to Newton County in 1834. This is the father of Judge Wm. Graham, and quite a number of his descendants are still in the county. His wife is still living, probably the oldest lady in the county. These people live in the northeastern part of the county where the father settled sixty years ago.

In that same neighborhood lived the Reynolds, McMullens, Clearman's, Mathesis, Castles, Gilberts, Lairds, Harrises, Jones', Thames', and near Union lived Breland, Hubbard, the Smiths, Boyds, Lewis', Gordons, Isham Daniel, an old North Carolina merchant and postmaster at Union; Claiborne Mann, a large land and slave owner, who married as his second wife the mother of Hon. A. G. Mayers, now judge of this district; and the Hunters.

Towards the southeast were Jno. Blakely, John Joshua and Kit Dyess, John and Edward Ward, Joel and James Carstarphen, two brothers who were Methodist preachers; the Sims', Williamsons, Joshua Tatum, Daniel Sandall, York and Edward Bryant, Henry, Fountain, George C. Hamlet, Elisha West, Wade Holland, a famous Baptist preacher, the Biggs', Williams' and Williamsons'.

In the southern part of the county were Roland Williams, the Walkers, Gibsons, Hamilton Davis, Fatheree, William and Isaac Gary, William and Thomas Mallard, Thos. Caldwell, Thos. Laird, Abel E. and E. E. Chapman, and Henry Evans.

In the western and southwestern part, Watson Evans, John McRae, Judge Duncan Thompson, the McFarlands, McCraney, Archy Black, John Murry, Bird Saffold, William and Elias Price, J. M. Kelly, Thos. Davis, Elezear Harris, Lewis and Hardy Nicholds and A. B. Woodham, who is the only one of the old settlers now living, also Ralph Simmons, (who had eight sons in the late war), and the McDaniels.

In the northwestern part were the Ames, Bright Ammonds, (probably the first white settler in that part of the county), the Paces, Ben Bright, Coot and Sid Sellars, Volentines, Wm. Spradley, Absalom Loper, the Wares, Dempsey Smith, Cornelius Boyd and James Anderson.

Those just west of Decatur, Hamilton Cooper, E. S. and Joel Loper, Hollingsworths.

Those south of Decatur and centrally in the county: James Dunagin, David Riser, Stephen and John Williams, Samuel Stephens, Mint Blelack, Thos. J. Wash and sons. Mr. Thos. Wash was probably the oldest white man that ever died in the county, except Thos. Caldwell, who lived to be 99 years old. Mr. Wash was a native Georgian, came to this county from near Tuscaloosa, Ala., settled northwest from Newton in 1836, and was one of the wealthy men of the county when the war of 1861 commenced. He lived nearly one hundred years.

Also, south of Decatur, lived Willis, Jesse and Wm. Norman and the Wells brothers, Archilaus and Charley. The former is referred to in Col. Claiborne's History, as a captain in some of the Indian wars. He had a large family and quite a number of his descendants are in the county now. R. W. Doolittle, who lived on the site where the town of Newton now stands, was a man having a large family, and many of them still survive him and are citizens of the county. Judge Abner Harralson, one of the early probate judges of Newton County, lived south of the town of Newton; also his son-in-law, Lewis Shotts.

Decatur was early settled, and there were quite a number of citizens making up what was then known as one of the principal towns in east Mississippi. The most prominent men were the McAlpins, Armstrongs, Monroes, Hurd, the Teas brothers, T. S. Swift, Redwines, Dr. Bailey Johnson, R. P. Johnson, Myer Bright, E. E. Scanlan, A. Russell, Rev. N. L. Clarke, W. S. Thompson, Heidleberg, Turner, Lynch, Fred Evans, Russell B. Hide, Elisha Boykin, James Ellis, and Br. Walker. Those compose most of the early settlers. There may be some inadvertently left out, of whom honorable mention should be made, yet it is impossible to get all from memory.

Quite a large number of the descendants of these old families are still in the county. The most numerous from the old settlers appear to be from the Hollingsworths, Wauls, Chapmans and Paces. These have probably the largest connection of any families in the county, all coming from some of the very early settlers.

Whenever there is a court held in the county, or any public business requiring good citizens to attend to it, the names of some, probably all, these prominent names are in it. Whenever there is a neighborhood matter to be settled by arbitration, it is usual to find the names of some of these families to do it. There has not been a great emigration of these families from their native county.

Newton County |  AHGP Mississippi

Source: History of Newton County, Mississippi from 1834 to 1894, By A. J. Brown of Newton County, Clarion-Ledger Company, Jackson, Mississippi, 1894.


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