Middleton

History

 

Where was Middleton?  Map 1     Map 2     Map 3

 

Middleton, Mississippi is listed as having an elevation of 440 feet, and being located in Montgomery County (present day site).  However, when Middleton was first incorporated, it was located in Carroll County, until the allocation of part of Carroll County to form Montgomery County in the early 1870s.  The current location is listed as Bailey Lake, according to the U.S. Geological Service.  Middleton was located at 33 degrees 29 minutes and 10 seconds North, and 089 degrees, 45 minutes, and 03 seconds West.  Winona is listed at 33 degrees 29 minutes and 10 seconds North and 089 degrees 44 minutes and 59 seconds West.

 

 

Source: History of Middleton, Carroll County.  By Mrs. O. K. Gee, Sr., Carrollton, MS.

Lowry Printing Company, Winona, Miss.  June 1, 1961. 

 

From the Department of Archives and History, Jackson, MS.  Call No. 976.263 C23ha.

 

[Ed. Note:  I can take NO credit whatsoever for the information contained herein.  This work was compiled by the diligent efforts of Mrs. O.K. Gee, Sr., of Carrollton, MS, in 1961, which was the year of Winona’s Centennial, and I have presented it here as a verbatim copy of the actual document.  I have made no attempt to correct any spelling, dates, punctuation, pagination (such as incomplete sentences or paragraph construction), or source materials.  Several words of mention, however:  (1) The Middleton Cemetery has now been restored by the hard work of the Winona Lions Club and (2) although this document alludes to the fact that Middleton was ALWAYS named or known as Middleton, it was, in fact, officially established as IRWIN, MS in 1837.  The link to Irwin can be found at the bottom of this page, and the information in the Irwin link is a copy of the Official Laws of the State of Mississippi, as contained in the Mississippi Supreme Court Law Library in Jackson, MS.  The only plausible explanation is that, despite its incorporation as Irwin in 1837, the town had been unofficially known as Middleton for many years prior to that date.  Nine months after the incorporation of the town as Irwin, the name was changed officially to Middleton.]

 

 

 

HISTORY OF MIDDLETON, CARROLL COUNTY

 

     “In writing this history, the writer shall attempt to define and portray the settlement, development and removal of a small town or village that existed long ago in Carroll County, Mississippi.

 

     This village was situated on a small plateau eight miles east of Carrollton and two miles west of Winona and was known for its beauty, cultural and educational advantages as Middleton, or the Athens of Mississippi.

 

     About the year 1790 one Irelton C. DeVane came to this plateau and built a small log store for a trading post with the Indians and occasional travelers.  Then Western Mississippi in 1800 was a virgin territory full of wild game such as bear, deer, Fowls of many kind, wild pigeons by the thousand, too there were packs of wolves, wild cats, panthers and foxes.

 

     Valuable forests stood every where of oak, gum, poplar, pine, walnut, chestnut, hickory, dogwood, and holly.  The land was fresh and new.

 

     In 1818 when Mississippi was admitted as a State to the Union, white settlers came to this section seeking new homes.  Middleton was not in existence at this time.

 

     One of the early settlers was William Pace who came from Kentucky prospecting in 1820.  He liked the country and returned to Kentucky, married and in company with others returned.  Mt. Pace and his bride shared the same horse returning to their new home in Mississippi.

 

     Mr. Pace had built what was known as a block house of logs.  The lower portion was a room twelve feet square, had a large stone chimney, no doors or windows; above this room was another, the same size with a door and small windows on all four sides to look out.  This door was the only one to the block house and was entered by a rope ladder made of twisted vines.  After entering the ladder was pulled up into the room and the door securely bolted.  The lower room was accessible through a trap door and rough wooden steps leading down.  After entering the trap door was fastened.  Every precaution was taken against wild animals.  The Indians were peace loving and liked the settlers.  In this room all domestic work and cooking was done.  The cooking utensils used on the large open fire place were of iron.  Pots on winging cranes, pulled over the fire cooked stewed meats of many kinds.  The cranes were made of iron and fastened to the sides of the chimney on hinges.  Forty-two inch long handled skillets with lids stood on four inch legs were used for baking breads and honey cakes.  Lids on pots and skillets were removed with a long poker that had a hook on the end.  Large shovels and tongs kept the log fire in place.  All cooking utensils were of iron, they were heavy and cumbersome to say nothing of flat iron that weighed eighteen to twenty pounds.

 

     A few years later Mr. William Pace bought Dr. Allen Gary’s house and part of the household furniture.  Some of this house is still in the possession of the Pace family.  This house stood directly in front of the block house.  Mr. Pace was fond of his new home, and it was here Mr. Charles Pace was born.  He said he supposed he was the only man in Carroll County who was born and lived all of his life in a house that was in a town, two counties and is now in the country.  He and the house were written up in Believe It or Not in the Commercial Appeal.

 

     Dr. Gary built another home on the outskirts of Middleton which was very beautiful and spacious.

 

     In 1830 Dancing Rabbit Creek Treaty was signed, and this opened the floodgates for new settlers.  Many fine people came seeking new homes from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.  The settlement grew and soon a village was established which had its beginning at the Little Log Store on the road that led from this section to Greensboro, the county seat of Choctaw County, and connecting with the Natchez Trace to Natchez.

 

     Carroll County was established on December 23, 1833 from a portion of the territory acquired from the Choctaw Indians by the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.  The State legislature passed an act which authorized Edmond G. Whitehead, James Collins, Titus Howard, Absalom Herring and William Collins to organize the county.  The county was named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Maryland, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

 

     On December 23, 1833 the Board of Police was granted by the charter permission to organize and form Carroll County.  This Board consisted of Edmond G. Whitehead, President of the Board, Dan McEachern, John Rogers, Thomas Mathis, and Woody Appleton.  They at once laid out and built many roads, two of which crossed at the Little Log Store as trading post.  Occupying a favorable position this store attracted many new comers, as it was the junction of Carrollton and Shongalo roads and was called Oxford, then later Bowling Green, because the young men bowled on the Green, but finally the name of Middleton was acquired and from here on grew into a town of 2900 and was incorporated in 1840.

 

     Letters were sent as early as 1824 by stage coach mail for twenty-five cents.  The envelope was made by folding a square of note paper, sealed with a sealing wax and stamped by the sender with his or her signet ring or crest ring.  One letter of this 1827 type is owned by Mrs. Sam Young of Winona.

 

     Early in 1830 Ephriam Walls was granted a license to keep a tavern and to sell wines and spirituous liquors at Middleton.  His successors were Mr. Newton and later Mrs. Bridges.

 

     It is interesting to note that in 1836 the Board of Police regulated the price at inns to be charged as follows: 25¢ for breakfast, 25¢ for dinner, 25¢ for supper, and 25¢ for a nights lodging.  There are records of licenses granted in 1836 to retail liquor at the inns and taverns at Middleton, as there were some there at a very early date.

 

     The business part of the town was built around a square which measured 250 feet on all sides.  On the south of the square were located two doctors offices, cabinet shop where furniture was made, and a shoe factory where shoes were made to order by measurement.  Two general merchandise stores were on the west and two on the north side.  The second largest store built at Middleton was called the Big Store.  A taylor shop where mens suits were made and tailored to order.  Another large merchandise store, a clock shop was opened in 1836 where clocks were repaired for the newly arrived settlers who needed their time pieces regulated after a long and strenuous journey.

 

     In 1839 Col. O. J. Moore and Peter Gee arrived from Virginia and established the Big Store.  It is known that Middleton had a newspaper called The Family Organ published there in 1843.  How long it was published is not known, as no copy can be found.  A hotel was on the east side called Middleton Hotel, also a large two-story building.  This building was one of the town’s attractions; the upper floor was used as a photographers shop where daguerreotype pictures were made on tin and placed in small frames with a hinged front.  The cases looked like small leather covered locks.  These pictures were made on tin or silver coated metal.  Also there were cabinet sized photographers made and tintype photographs of various sized.  The lower floor was used as a town hall for entertainments and occasionally travelling shows.

 

     Near the east end of the square was a blacksmith shop and carriage factory where closed carriages called barouches, coaches small and large, carriages and wagons were made to order.  The coaches were closed with seats facing each other, small windows with panes of glass.  The doors had panes of glass with wide fringed curtains.  The doors were hinged on with strong iron hinges, door knobs were often of silver, and side lamps trimmed in silver.  The coaches were quite handsome upholstered in silk brocade or velvet in colors to suit the taste of the owners, were drawn by one or two horses, all depended on the size of the coach.

 

     A row of law offices were east of the blacksmith shop and carriage factory.

 

     Business enterprises were run by Alfred Drake and Mike Hill, others by Baker, Townsend, James Bryant, Hemmingway, Col. O. J. Moore, Peter Gee, Alexander Ray, Small and Davidson and many other people.

 

     About three miles west of Middleton was located a mill which made wool into rolls of batting ready to be spun into yarn by the spinning wheel, then put in the loom and woven into cloth by the yard.  The yarn was dyed in colors of red, blue, brown and grey.  Coverlets were woven this way also and were quite beautiful in design and color.  This wool mill was run by horse power.  Two horses were hitched to an immovable beam and made to walk on a movable round platform which revolved, supplying power for the mill.  A cotton gin was operated in the same way.  Other mills were run by water power.

 

     Most of the spinning and weaving were done by slaves who came from the Carolinas with their owners who brought with them spinning wheels and looms.  The settlers traveled the usual mode by covered wagons and ox carts drawn by oxen.  Household furniture was stored in the covered wagons, four post beds were strapped to the sides of the carts with thongs of leather made from raw hides.  Clocks and other valuable possessions were carefully packed and stored in clothes chests.  The journey was slow and tedious and often dangerous.  Settlers came in small groups or caravans, often stopping to make a log shelter, raise a corn crop and vegetable garden.

 

     Northwest of Middleton were several large strong flowing springs.  One still exists today.

 

     It was here a company built a three-story flour mill, a cotton mill, and a large cotton factory prior to the Civil War, the outbreak of which prevented the cotton factory from operating as they could not get all the necessary machinery to run it.  The flour mill was also confiscated by the Confederate Army and operated to feed their soldiers.

 

     North of Middleton down the hill on a branch was built a tanyard.  Leather was tanned here by being put through a lime solution, then soaked in a vat filled with water and bark taken from the Red Oak tree.  It was then taken out, stretched, dried, and made into shoes.  Some were retailed to the public.

 

     Three brothers by the name of Young owned and ran the shoe factory.  All three factories were confiscated by the Confederate Army and used or operated for the use of the Army.  Those taken were the carriage factory, flour mill and shoe factory.  They were never operated thereafter at Middleton but were moved elsewhere.

 

     A large stage coach line ran from Holly Springs by way of Middleton to Durant over which passengers and mail were carried daily.  Four horses were changed about every twenty miles, as they were urged to travel at a high rate of speed while drawing the stage coaches.

 

     At the outbreak of the Civil War twenty of the fine coaches and much harness were stored in the big coach barn at Middleton.  During the Civil War the barn was broken into by the farmers of the surrounding country who took most of the harness and used it.  They also disassembled many of the coaches and used the parts to repair their wagons for farming use.

 

     Middleton was always a religious center, having from its very beginning a Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and Christian Church.  The Episcopalians did not have a building so worshiped in one owned by the Presbyterians.  Later the Episcopalians built a small church.  It is on Highway 82 going into Winona, but it is now used as a Dwelling.  It too was in Middleton but is now in the country.

 

     An interesting thing about these early churches was a place in the back paneled off or a gallery running the whole back length of the church, high up, with steps or stairs entered from the outside.  The places were set aside for the slaves to worship with their masters.  At this time the Negroes had no separate churches of their own.

 

     From the Methodist records we find a few of the ministers who served Middleton.  In 1836 N. C. Pain was a Circuit Rider who served many other places.  In 1836 Rev. James Applewhite and Rev. Jessie Morris were evangelist missionaries, Thomas Davidson and J. I. E. Byrd in 1837.  These are very early Methodist Ministers.

 

     From the Methodist Records we also have M. E. Church, December 15, 1849, Rev. H. Williamson was from the Yazoo District which was founded in 1849.  Rev. David Dilbehay pastor November 26, 1856 and 1857.  Rev. James D. Carlisle November 16, 1859.  Rev. James Weldon and Rev. William Wardsworth were presiding elders at Middleton November 24, 1860.

 

     The early Presbyterian ministers of Middleton were Rev. A. Newton in 1836 and was followed by Rev. W. E. Holly in 1837.  Then came others, Atkinson, Hart, Harrison and Morrison.

 

     The Baptists in 1836 were served by the following ministers: Rev. S. L. Lattimer, Lowery, Schols, Pitman and Morris.

 

     The Rev. S. L. Lattimer, the Baptist minister, had a bitter debate upon points of differences between the Presbyterian and Baptist belief.  The argument was so bitter and furious it took many years for the results of this bitter debate to quiet down.

 

     The Christian Church was served by a Rev. Brown who ably conducted services for his members at Middleton.  They did not have a church of their own so rented a building.

 

     The cemetery which belonged to Middleton is the most historical and perhaps one of the oldest in this section of the country.  Instead of having a fence (built around the cemetery) a deep ditch like the moats of old was dug all around it.  Some people say to prevent cattle from grazing on the graves.  Others say this moat was dug during the Civil War to keep the Yankees from stabling their horses and camping there.

 

     Today you can see traces of this deep moat under the brush and brier bushes.  The tombstones and monuments are in bad condition.  Some are down, and many others are broken and covered with vines and weeds.  In places the trees have pushed the headstones aside.

 

     Middleton, having many stores and other established businesses, all merchandise was hauled from Greenwood by wagon train.

 

     Cotton was hauled by Middleton as far away as Choctaw and Chickasaw Counties to Greenwood by wagon trains of fifteen and twenty-five teams, with four to six and sometimes eight mules to a wagon and often a lead mule.  The mule teams had bells on their harness that made much noise if not a pleasing tinkling sound.  The bells were used to let people know the teams were coming and to avoid the causeway roads and covered bridges both of which were narrow.  At night the slave drivers took turn about, singing and popping their long whips to scare the howling wolves and screaming panthers away.  They were not very pleasant to hear in the wee dark hours of a cold night, as the slaves stood guard by the huge camp fires over their teams.

 

     On the return trip they would bring back greatly needed merchandise for Middleton and other near by towns.  Usually among the merchandise would be found a five gallon keg of whiskey with which the drivers would make the long nights spent in camp more enjoyable.  This whiskey cost 25¢ a gallon.  The wagon driver would thrill the young people along the road by doing the double pop with their long whips which sounded like pistol shots.

 

     Middleton, the Athens of Mississippi boasted of two famous schools, “Judson Institute” and “Peoples Academy”.  Judson Institute became “Middleton Female Institute”.  “The Peoples Academy” became “Middleton Male Academy”.  Judson Institute was the outgrowth of a movement by the Baptist of Hinds County to locate Judson Institute there, but financial trouble arose, so the school was established at Middleton and finally became non denominational.

 

     In 1842 Mr. Benjamin Holt of Aberdeen became the president of Middleton Female Academy.

 

     The schools were of the boarding type and drew students from all sections of the state.

 

     The Female Institute had an enrollment of 100 to 150 students.  The curriculum of the two schools was splendid, including the classical language, English composition, chemistry, mathematics, Astronomy, history, philosophy, and physical education.  Each school had an excellent music department of voice, piano and harp as well as other instruments, violin and flute.  A very fine dancing school was conducted by a dancing master by the name of Strickland and others who came before Strickland.  The dancing master used the violin and flute for the music in teaching the dance steps.

 

     The first professor who served Middleton Female Institute was Dr. White, then Professor Finney.

 

     The boy’s school, “The Peoples Academy” was taught by Professor A. S. Baily.  Dr. Harper Howell Hudgins, taught a private school on their plantation known as the Hudgens Place, owned now by Mrs. O. K. Gee.  The Peoples Academy was taught for a long time by W. H. Williams and S. S. Brown who most ably and successfully instructed the boys.  When they finished under S. S. Brown they were accepted for entrance in the University of Mississippi and other colleges.

 

     Miss Murtha was the first lady to conduct school at Middleton.  This school later became the Female College.

 

     In 1841 Middleton was one of the seven candidates for the location of the State of Mississippi University.  This movement was bitterly opposed by the two colleges, so the movement was defeated by two votes.  The University was located at Oxford.  Middleton did not want the third college, said it would ruin their two colleges.

 

     At one time Middleton was even considered a suitable location for the capitol of Mississippi, but this was voted down by a losing vote of three.

 

     The Rev. Mr. Robert Porterfield and S.S. Brown were sent as missionary ministers from the Alleghaney College in Pennsylvania where they both had graduated.  They served Middleton as ministers and educators for years most efficiently.

 

     The popular mode of fun participated in by the inhabitants at that time was rather unusual, such as street fights, horse swap, gander pulling, horse racing and foot racing and jumping contests.

 

     The shooting match was a much enjoyed sport.  The guns were usually named such as Long Tom,Fast John, Pretty Susan, Faithful Betty.  Log rolling, house raising and building of log houses, corn husking, quilting bees, dancing and singing contests.  Often in town there were parties where the young people enjoyed parlor games, music, singing and dancing.

 

     At the inns, taverns and hotels many jokes, tricks and pranks were gotten off among the men.

 

     Alexander K. McClung, and famous duelist and one time United States Marshall for Northern Mississippi, visited Middleton frequently.  He is said to have been sharing a room in the hotel with a fellow by the name of Nelson, and in the night a big commotion aroused.  McClung who thought Nelson was trying to play a trick on him drew his pistol, had him down on his knees begging for his life when the hotel manager rushes in to explain the noise was caused by an old Drake that slept on top of the dirt chimney and often lost his balance while asleep and fell down the chimney.

 

     One in listening to tales told by the fireside will hear of a duel fought in Middleton by two men stripped to their waists who were given butcher knives and locked up in a dark room during the night to fight the duel.  The next morning each was found crouched in a corner without either having a scratch.

 

     During the later days of Middleton a daughter of a very wealthy merchant married.  In celebrating the wedding her father gave her a dinner and invited the public.  So many people came it became necessary to shoot fireworks at a distance to disperse part of the crowd.

 

     When captain Roy married Miss Barry so many people attended the wedding it was decided by her people to have the ceremony on te front steps to the house as the front porch and steps were large and spacious.  The guests assembled in the yard where all could witness the ceremony.

 

     Another wedding that took place in Middleton long ago was an all white affair, very beautiful and spectacular.  The whole wedding party wore white and approaching the church marched through an avenue of pine torches held high by young men dressed also in white.  This wedding took place in one of the many churches at Middleton.

 

     May cultured, wealthy and educated people had settled at Middleton.  They came from Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia, also from Kentucky and Tennessee.  Some came very early as has been previously mentioned.  They settled in Middleton thinking their new home would be peaceful and profitable.  All had slaves and valuable holdings.

 

     In 1834 the William Barrow family came with his father-in-law, Warner Waddlington of Madison County.  They were educated cultured people of wealth and owned slaves and land.  The Civil War caused William Barrow heavy losses as well as money lost in Georgia on a large note to a friend.  He worried so much he lost his health and died at a cousin’s home near Middleton.

 

     During the 1849 Gold Rush two of his children, William and Mrs. Baily went to California.

 

     Warner Waddlington and his son, William K. made their home west of Middleton and were quite active in the development of Carroll County.  Warren’s daughter married Smith McMillan.  After his death during the Civil War she accidentally shot herself, leaving three children and a stepson, Lee McMillan.  They owned land on Pelucia Creek.

 

     The people of Middleton were not slow in fighting for their rights, and on November 30, 1861 Middleton Rebels (3rd Regiment) Alcorne Brigade of Carroll County was organized.  Captain Hulett P. Atkins; Lieutenants John L. Lawrence; Isaac C. Sullivan; Milton C. M. Carroll.  (From Fighting Units Civil War Page 122 History of Carroll County Court House)

 

     Carroll Rebels was organized Company H. Fourth Mississippi regiment was mustered into State Service at Carrollton Augut 24, 1861.  J. J. Gee was elected First Lieutenant; Joseph Drake as Captain.  (Page 127, Volume 8 Part I)

 

     The above companies took many of the young men from Middleton and surrounding community.

 

     In the very early settlement of Middleton Alexander McC. Townsend and Christian Herring Townsend came to Carroll County from Robeson County, North Carolina.  Both of these names are in Lunebert County, Virginia, so these must be definite kinship.  Simeon Stovall came in 1828 with wife Lucy (Louisiana) Jenkins Stovall.  Her inscription is on tombstone at Middleton Cemetary. 

 

     Allen Jenkins came about 1830-40, and Mrs. Alexander McC. Townsend’s two brothers by the name of Absolom and William C. Herring helped to establish Carroll County.

 

     The above data was sent by Mrs. John Valentine, 58 West Lafayette Circle, Memphis, Tennessee.  She was Virginia Townsend.

 

     The W. Y. Collins came from Madison County.  They were refined educated, wealthy people.  His oldest daughter, Miss Sallie Collins, married Dr. William Dabney, who came from middle Tennessee.  The oldest Collins son married a daughter of West Gary.  Betty Collins married Reuben Baskin.  Mollie, the youngest daughter, married Dr. Washington Stovall, a dentist.  Thomas H. Collins, a son, was a lieutenant in Company “B” 15th Mississippi Regiment.  He married Miss Kate Wesley and moved to Tennessee.

 

     In 1838 Col. O. J. Moore in company with his brother-in-law, Peter Gee and kinsmen, Thomas Gee, William Gee and Mr. Nolly, came from Virginia (via Summerville, Tennessee) and settled east of Middleton, owned and operated a large mercantile store at Middleton called the “Big Store”.  This partnership ended at the outbreak of the Civil War.  In Virginia prior to coming to Mississippi Col. O. J. Moore married Rebecca Gee and Peter Gee married Mary Ann Moore owned a plantation near Middleton.  They had three sons, married Mr. J. T. Lay, a business man from Grenada.  They had one son who died in his youth.  His mother died soon after of a broken heart, Mr. Lay having died also about this time.  Laura, the second daughter, married Dr. David E. Turner, who came from Alabama in 1860.  They had several children who grew to womanhood and manhood, married and moved away.

 

     In 1850 there was talk of a railroad coming through Middleton.  The people said if it came through there the town would be ruined.  There was so much opposition to this, that Col. Moore offered a right of way through his plantation, also a depot sight.  In 1858 this roadway was started, and workmen were busy laying out the road.  This caused much talk, speculation and discord as to the influence and bearing it would have on Middleton.

 

     John E. Palmer and family came from Southwest Mississippi and settled early at Middleton.  His daughter, M. E., married Dr. William Sykes.  Ellen, his second daughter, married Md Carley, Martha married Dr. Allen W. Gary who went to Winona lived there for a while and moved westward.  (Westward usually meant to the Yazoo Mississippi Delta).  The other members of this fine family left Carroll County.  Octavia Palmer, the youngest daughter, Married William T. Turner, a Captain in the 4th Alabama Reg. of Virginia.  Captain Robert Palmer served in the 5th Mississippi Regiment, died soon after the War.  John Palmer never married.  Phil Farmer was a member of Company B. 15th Mississippi Regiment, lived at Middleton, married and moved to Madison County, Mississippi.  Hugh was too young to serve as a soldier.  He later moved to Tennessee.

 

     Of the Gee and kinsmen, much could be said and written.  William and Thomas Gee with their families lived east of Middleton and quietly spent their days in ease and peace on their plantation.

 

     Peter Gee was born November 16, 1803, died January 22, 1883.  Peter Gee and his wife, Mary Ann Moore Gee owned a nice home and plantation west of Middleton.  It is said Mrs. Peter Gee had the finest mantel in Middleton.  (It was marble.  This house burned and most everything in it was lost.)  The Peter Gees gave their attention to farming and their two children, Joseph James and Mary Louise.  Joseph James Gee was educated at Middleton, where there were very fine schools, at an early age went to work in a mercantile establishment in Middleton.  He was a Lieutenant in the 4th Mississippi Regiment; later he was a Captain and Major and was brevited Lieutenant Colonel at the last of the Civil War.  He came to Carrollton and entered the firm of Bingham and Gee but later formed his own firm, J. J. Gee and Sons.  This firm is still in operation, has been since 1882.  Major J. J. Gee, as he was better known, married Miss Charlie A. Kinbrough.  They had three boys and three girls; sons Charles J. Gee, Orman K. Gee, Clinton L. Gee; daughters Mary Gee, Florence Gee, and Stella R. Gee all of Carrollton.

 

     Mary Louise Gee, daughter of Peter and Mary A. Gee, married a business man of Carrollton, Robert Leroy Bingham.  He has one son, Tom Bingham by his first marriage.  One son by his second marriage, Joseph Reid Bingham, who married a Miss Eva Turner.  Mr. Bingham and his brother, Tom, engaged in the mercantile business at Carrollton for many years, the firm known as Bingham & Company.

 

     There is a tale told about Peter Gee that goes thus.  He owned six wagon teams that hauled cotton from Middleton where he lived, to Greenwood for shipment to New Orleans.  This team was delayed on one o its return trips and passed through Carrolton at the hour the Methodists were having their Sunday morning worship.  The team bells on the harness, drivers popping their whips, and calling to the teams made so much noise the Methodists complained bitterly and said the noise disturbed their worship.  The Session called Mr. Gee in wanting him churched.  They could do nothing about this matter, as the team train was providentially delayed by a breakdown.  All Peter Gee would say they will start out on time, if they break down that would be providential hinderance; so the Methodist Session decided not to go against Providence.

 

     Three brothers, John, Samual, and Lucien Young came at an early date when quite young to Middleton.  They were most worthy young men and made good citizens.  They were merchants and engaged in tanning and a shoe factory until after the Civil War.  Samuel and John died soon after the war.  Of Sam’s family, John William Young, the eldest of three sons was a doctor; he was a Confederate soldier, a Presbyterian, and a planter, lived in Beat 2 of Carroll County, at Teoc for a few years then moved and practiced medicine at Grenada.  Sam, his brother, engaged in business in St. Louis, Missouri.  Harry, the youngest son, removed to Tennessee and practiced law and died in Tennessee.  The oldest sister married and also lived in Tennessee.  The second sister, Elizabeth Young, married John S. McCain, and lived at Teoc on the McCain Plantation.  The youngest, Miss Kate Young, died while a young woman.

 

     The early lawyers who settled in Middleton were Gould and Carpenter.  Walter Gould came from New England, was highly educated but could not adapt himself to his new circumstances.  He tried law, taught school at Middleton, and after the War settled down as a surveyor, later was elected superintendent of education.  His son, Walter, was a successful lawyer in Webster County.

 

     The early doctors were Dr. Allen W. Gary, H. B. Atkins, Dr. Satterwhite, Dr. Lipscome, Dr. J. W. Holman, Dr. H. B. Danbridge, and Dr. W. W. Liddell, Dr. Montgomery, and Dr. W. B. Ward came later.

 

     The Gold Rush of 1849 came, and Dr. Dainbridge joined with many of his fellow townsmen and went to California.  He later returned with some of the others to Middleton.

 

     There were many fine settlers in Middleton, too many to give histories of all but a few were: The James, Webb, Collins, Rays, Blaylock, Penticost, Joiners, Scrivinas, Bibbs, Sawyers, Townsends, brothers Alexander Mc C. Townsend, Christian Herring Townsend, Bakers, Herrings, W. McFather, Yelvertons, Sandridge, Kents, Taylors, McLeans, Strongs, Gooches, Steadman, Stevens, Pullen, Sturdivants, Coopwoods, Halls, Samuel Jenkins, William Barrow, W. Z. Collins, John E. Palmer, George A. Hogsetts, John E. Palmer, Huffman, Mr. Y. Harrison, Whitehad, Anders Wood, Young brothers, Campbells, Reeses, James Jones, James Penticost, James Collins, Joe Eubanks, Smalls, Goza, Harry Merrett, Jack Turner, Hugh and Lewis Davis, John P. Thompson, Stovalls, Mary Baskin, Ned Inman, Mrs. Dubard, Doyles, Cullpeppers, John Tulard, W. H. Curtis.

 

     When the Civil War closed a new town had been started on Col. O. J. Moore’s place two miles east of Middleton.  In 1858 as previously stated Col. Moore was interested in this railroad.  In 1859 the Mississippi Central ran by his place, he having agreed to give them a right of way and ground for a station.  The survey was made, and the station site agreed upon.  Winona was selected as the name which comes from the Dakota Indian dialect and means the first born of a daughter.

 

     One by one the merchants of Middleton moved their businesses to the new town.  Not all of the people in Middleton moved to Winona.  Some went back to Tennessee and Kentucky.  Others moved to Carrollton and nearby towns.  In 1859 when the construction gang from the south finished the Mississippi Central and passenger trains were going in both directions a large crowd gathered at Winona to celebrate the driving of the Golden Spike, emblem of the finished road.

 

     It was then that the bells of the locomotives sounded the death knell of the Athens of the State of Mississippi.”

 

 

Article Endnotes:  “The material for this history of Middleton has been acquired from: Field Records and notes at Carrollton, Carroll County, Mississippi; Court House; W. P. A. History of Carroll County; Mr. T. J. Holmes; Article on Middleton; W. F. Hamilton’s History of Carroll County; David Duncan’s History of Carroll County; Archives at Jackson; Annals of Carroll County by W. F. Hamilton; Mrs. Sam Young and Mrs. Emmons of Winona; Conservative, Carrollton newspaper; Carrollton, Carroll County, Mississippi; also Mississippi by Dunbar Rowland LLD Vol. II, page 232 (1907)”

    

 

 

Middleton Information

From the 1860 Census of Carroll County, Mississippi

 

 

The following information is taken from the 1860 Census of Carroll County, Mississippi, which appears on pages 119 of the Census Books.  According to those figures, there were 409 White Males, 340 White Females, and 1 Colored Female listed.  Of these, 156 children were enrolled in schools, 3 citizens were blind, and 5 were of foreign birth.  The cumulative valuation of Real Property was $461,125.00, and the cumulative valuation of Personal Property was $1,193,833.00.  This is the last year that Middleton would appear on the Census, due to abandonment of the town in favor of moving closer to the railroad at Winona.  The move was in progress at the time of this Census.

 

Places of family origin are listed as follows:  North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, South Carolina, Scotland, South Africa, Virginia, England, Ireland, Arkansas, Maine, New Jersey, Spain, New Brunswick, Louisiana, and Ohio.

 

Family names were as follows:

 

Applegate, Atkins, Barrow, Baskell, Baskins, Beckwith, Bennett, Bibb, Bird, Blackwell, Blalock, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Brown, Carpenter, Chotham, Coalson, Collins, Curtis, Davis, Elliott, Eskridge, Finley, Forelance?, Freeman, Gary, Gee, Gibson, Given, Gooch, Grantham, Hammonds, Harvey, Heilipper?, Herring, Holman, Hood, Howell, Kelton (or Skelton), King, Landers, Lipscomb, Lott, McBride, McCarroll, McCoy, McLean (or McLeon), McMahon, McNeal, McWilliams, Merrill, Morgan, Mortimer, Neighbors, Palmer, Pamula?, Pasham, Patterson, Pearce, Penticost, Pitman, Pratt, Putman (or Pitman), Ratliff, Ray, Reeves, Riddle, Rofs, Rose, Ruse, Sailes, Savage, Sawyer, Scrivner, Scruggs, Shelton, Shrivez?, Skinner, Spivey, Sprouce, Stokes, Stovall, Swims, Townsend, Tyson, Vance, Wadlington, Webb, Whitehead, Whitley, Williams, Woods, Wright, Young,  and Ysainus?

 

 

Middleton Cemetery

 

Middleton Events

 

Incorporation of Irwin

 

 

Note:  Middleton and Shongalo were both incorporated on the same day: February 22, 1840,

and were both abandoned in the same year; 1859.

 

 

 

 

 

Winona's Early Days

Winona Streets in 1907 -- Postcard

Winona's Infirmary

Winona's Trailways Bus Station -- Early Postcard

Winona High School -- Early Postcard

The two preceeding postcards were submitted by Nell Collins Stewart