Located 20 miles from the state capital of Jackson, Copiah County was organized after an agreement was reached with the Choctaw Indians in 1820.
Named after a Native American word meaning "calling panther," Copiah County quickly became an agricultural and manufacturing hub. Once known as the "Tomato Capital of the World," the county was the location of the largest Chautauqua assemblies in the South, and the site of the founding of the Mississippi Parent Teacher Association. The former town of Brown's Wells once produced spring water that "healed" the rich and famous. Notable citizens from Copiah County include bluesman Robert Johnson; Maj. R. W. Millsaps, for whom Millsaps College was named; Burnita Shelton Matthews, the first female federal district court judge; Pat Harrison, a former representative and senator; Albert Gallatin Brown, a former governor; and Fannye Cook, an author and the first director of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.
About the Author
LaTricia M. Nelson-Easley is the president of the Copiah County Historical and Genealogical Society and an instructor at Holmes Community College. She spent many hours reviewing photograph collections of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the county libraries, and several private collections in order to find the images that best exemplify the county's rich and wonderful history.