[Pronunciation: Shongalo rhymes with Bungalow]
Where was Shongalo? Map 1 Map 2 Map 3
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Shongalo
was located at an elevation of 410 feet. Its location is Peachahala Creek, and is
also listed with an alternate spelling of Shongolo. Its map coordinates are 33 degrees 19 minutes and 40 seconds North, and 089 degrees 45 minutes and 15 seconds West.
from the W.P.A. Files, 1936-1938. Carroll County, Mississippi.
Shongalo, a prosperous
little village, was the first settlement made in what is now Carroll County,
and was located a mile from the present town of Vaiden.
Shongalo was named by
early pioneers from an Indian legend which claimed that a beautiful maiden,
while singing one day, disappeared and soared away on a cloud. The Indians were so surprised at seeing her
ascend in such manner that they used the word Shongalo to show their
surprise. When the white people came
here and were told the story, they used the word to name the village.
The first man to open a
store for business was William Pickens, who lived a mile farther west from
where the village was located later.
After this store was opened, some public roads were laid out by the
Board of Police – one from [the] neighborhood of William Kirkwood along the
line of Big Black River to ward the county line of Choctaw County and one
intersecting that, which was named Shongalo and Tchula Road.
A Mr. Eskridge built and
operated a store at the point of intersection, and the name of Shongalo was
Another store was soon
opened and operated by J.V. Stein, who, in a few years, moved to Greensboro in Choctaw
County. Other business firms came and built stores
and homes; a post office was also established, and mail delivered
weekly. John Eades had a carpenter
shop, John Dean a grocery, and a Frenchman, who was known as “Monsieur,” made
spinning-wheels and reels for housewives and did a good business. John K. Oaks had a wood shop here, too.
The first tavern-keeper
has been forgotten, but the first one that can be recalled was Bob Cruss, a
Virginian. He was succeeded by James
Eades, who kept open-house until the town was broken up by the building of
the railroad in 1859.
The first physician was
Dr. H.H. Weir, who came from Virginia
with his bride of a few months. Their
baby, Bob, was the first white child born in the neighborhood.
Dr. Nathaniel Wells was
the next physician to settle here. He
married Mary Smith, a daughter of Douglas Smith who lived here at that time
on the Hudson Place southeast
of Shongalo. Many of their descendants
live in the county now.
In the neighborhood of
Shongalo, there lived Wiley and Berry Kelly, John Murphy, Jeff Fullilove,
William Stovall, Thomas Harris, James Crocker, John Mann, Thomas Ely and his
sons, Netwon, Wash, Elias, and Rich; and Nat Carter and his sons, Warren,
John, Tom, Jim, Polk, and William.
The first marriage of
record in the community took place a few miles west of Shongalo, the ceremony
being performed by a magistrate who was also inn-keeper at Shongalo. This wedding date was January 1,
and the contracting parties were Mr. Foster and Miss Lambright.
[Ed. Note: The Carroll County,
Census of 1860
(P. 25), lists 21 white males and 19 white females, with 11 children attending
school. Cumulative value of Real
Property was assessed at $50,000. Cumulative value of Personal Property was
assessed at $133,380. Names appearing in this Census are: Wood,
Mattox (or Mallox), Ream, Gayden, Oaks, Boone, Ferguson, Stone, Cain and Johnson.]
Laws of Mississippi
AN ACT to incorporate the
town of Shongola, in the county of Carroll. Pp. 221-223.
Section 1. Be
it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Mississippi,
That the town of Shongola, in the county of Carroll, located upon the east half of
section twenty-two, township seventeen, in said county, be, and the same is
Sec. 2. Be
it further enacted, That Milton Wardlaw, James W. Eskridge, William L.
Pickens, Charles Kopprel, and H.H. Weir, shall hold in said town on the first
Monday in April next, by giving three days public notice, an election for
Selectmen, one Constable, one Clerk and Treasurer, and one Assessor and
Collector to hold their offices for the term of one year, from the said first
Monday of April, and continue until their successors shale have been elected,
which election shall be annually thereafter, on the first Monday in April,
and the said board of selectmen, shall, at their meeting, select one of their
number to act as President of said board, which said President, shall have
all the powers of a Justice of the Peace within said town of Shongalo.
Sec. 3. Be
it further enacted, That all free white male inhabitants twenty-one years
of age, who may have resided the last four months preceding said election
within the aforesaid limits of said town, shall be qualified voters in said
Sec. 4. Be
it further enacted, That the said President and Selectmen shall be called
and known by the name of the President and Selectmen of the town of Shongalo,
a majority of whom shall form a quorum, to transact business, and by such
name, shall sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered
in all or any manner of suits, plaints, matters, and things either and both
in law and equity; may have a common seal, may make all by-laws, ordinances,
rules, regulations, and shall
cause the same to be published within said town, at least three days previous
to their enforcement; they shall have power to punish all violations of their
by-laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations,
by fine or fines for such violation, not exceeding fifty dollars, recoverable
before said President and Selectmen for the use and benefit of said town, and
to levy a tax in each and every year of not more than fifty per cent on the
state tax, and all persons and property within the limits of said town, for
the use and benefit of the same, all of which shall be under the direction of
said President and Selectmen for the purposes aforesaid, and compel all
persons living in said town, who are now under the laws of this state, liable
to work on the public roads, to work on the streets of said town not
exceeding six days in any one year, and in case of neglect, refusal, or
failure so to do, to prescribe a penalty for forfeiture for every such
failure, not to exceed in any one case the sum of five dollars, and shall
have the further power to require bonds of the said Treasurer, Assessor, and
Collector and Constable for the discharge of their respective duties, which
duties they are authorized to define, as well as those of clerk.
Sec. 5. And
be it further enacted, That the regular
meetings of said board shall be once in every month, and that said board
shall conduct all elections herein provided for, and prescribe the manner of
Approved February 22nd, 1840.
Laws of Mississippi
AN ACT to incorporate the
town of Shongolo, in the county of Carroll. Pp. 405-407.
Section 1. Be
it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Mississippi, That the town
of Shongolo, in Carroll County, be, and the same is hereby incorporated; and
that the corporate limits of said town shall run to the four cardinal points,
having for its northern and southern boundary the section line of section
number twenty-two, and taking lot number six, of said town, as at present
laid off and surveyed, as a center, to extend from the front of said lot a
quarter of a mile east, and from said point a quarter of a mile west; thus
forming a square, one mile long and half a mile wide, and embracing an area
of one hundred and twenty acres.
Sec. 2. Be
it further enacted, That any free white male person, having attained the
age of twenty-one years, and having resided within the State twelve months,
and in the corporate limits of said town four months, next preceding an
election for town officers, shall be a qualified elector, and shall be
eligible to any town office: Provided, however, that any qualified
voter of the county, who may have resided within the corporate limits of said
town ten days next preceding, shall be entitled to vote at the first election.
Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That
the sheriff of said county, or any acting justice of the peace for said
county, shall, on the first Monday of April, in each and every year, hold an
election, in strict conformity with the laws of the State, for a mayor, six
aldermen, and constable, for said town; and the sheriff, or justice of the
peace, as the case may be, shall give to each of the eight persons who may
have received the greatest number of votes, for the several offices, a
certificate that he is duly elected for one year from and after his election,
who shall continue in office until their successors are duly elected, and
Sec. 4. Be
it further enacted, That the mayor elected in pursuance of this act,
shall be commissioned by the Governor as a justice of the peace, and shall
have jurisdiction within the limits of said corporation; he shall preside at
each meeting of the board of mayor and aldermen of said town, and by virtue
of his office, shall have power to perform all such duties, and receive the
like emoluments and immunities, as are performed and received by other
magistrates in the said county; but in case of his absence from any meeting
of said board of aldermen, any member thereof may be called to the chair, and
execute the duties of the president, pro tempore.
Sec. 5. Be
it further enacted, That the said mayor and aldermen, shall be a body
corporate and politic, by the name and style of the mayor and aldermen of the
town of Shongolo; and as such, they, and their successors in office, shall be
capable of suing and being sued, of pleading and being impleaded, of
defending and being defended, in all manner of suits and actions, either in
law or equity; and also receive the donations, purchase, give, grant, sell,
convey and contract, and do any and all other such acts as are incident to
bodies corporate and politic.
Sec. 6. Be
it further enacted, That said mayor and aldermen shall have power to pass
all necessary by-laws for the good order and government of said town, not
inconsistent with the constitution and laws of this State, and of the United
States, whereby education and morality may be promoted, and the retailing and
vending of ardent spirits, and gambling, and every species of vice and immorality
may be suppressed; and in their corporate capacity, they may inflict a fine
or penalty on any person for a violation of any such laws, not exceeding
fifty dollars for any offence, recoverable with costs, before any justice of
the peace for said county, in the name of said corporation, for the use and
benefit of said town; and that no law of the State now in force, or that
hereafter may be passed, legalizing either retailing or vending spirituous
[liquors,] or any species of gaming, shall apply in any respect to the said
corporation; nor shall the said mayor and aldermen have power, by any by-laws
to authorise any person to sell spirituous liquors, either in small or large
quantities, or to authorise any species of gaming in the said corporation, unless
upon petition, by at least three-fourths of the citizens of said town.
Sec. 7. Be
it further enacted, That the corporate limits of the said town of
Shongolo, are hereby declared to be a district, entitled to a justice of the
peace, and constable; and the said mayor and constable, when elected, and
commissioned by the Governor, shall each be subject to perform all the
duties, and receive all such profits, as are performed and received by other
justices of the peace and constables of this State.
Sec. 8. Be
it further enacted, That the board of mayor and aldermen shall appoint,
annually, a treasurer and recorder, whose duties, responsibilities, and
compensation, shall be prescribed by said board.
Sec. 9. Be
it further enacted, That for the purposes of revenue, the said mayor and
aldermen may tax such property as is liable to taxation under the existing
laws of this State: Provided, such tax shall not exceed fifty cents on
each white poll, fifty cents on each slave, and twelve and a half cents on
every hundred dollars worth of other personal and real estate within the
limits of the said town, for any one year; and the money so raised, shall be
appropriated by the said mayor and aldermen, exclusively to the use and
benefit of said town.
Sec. 10. Be it further enacted, That the citizens of the
said town, subject to road duties, shall be exempt from such duties beyond
its corporate limits; and the said mayor and aldermen may release them for
any equivalent therefor, not to exceed ten dollars in any one year.
Sec. 11. Be it further enacted, That, if from any cause,
the said board should not be constituted as contemplated by this act, any
three citizens of said town may call a meeting at any time, for the purpose
of such election, by giving ten days previous notice, by advertisement set up
in said town; and such election shall be as valid as though it had been held
on the regular appointed days
Sec. 12. Be it further enacted, That when said board has
been organized, the said mayor may call a meeting at any time, by giving five
days’ notice; that a majority shall constitute a quorum; that, in case of a
tie, the mayor shall give the casting vote; and that the said board shall
have power to fill all vacancies which may occur in their body, from an annual
election to the next preceding one.
Sec. 13. And be it further enacted, That this act take
effect and be in force from and after its passage.
February 19, 1850.
Laws of Mississippi
AN ACT to amend an act to
incorporate the town of Shongolo in the county of Carroll. P. 431.
Section 1. Be
it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Mississippi, That so much
of the above recited act as refers to the east and west limits and bounds of
said town of Shongolo, be, and the same is hereby repealed, and that
hereafter the corporate limits of said town shall run to the four cardinal
points, taking lot No. six of said town, as at present laid off and surveyed,
as a center to extend from the front of said lot a half mile west, and from
said point a half mile north, and from said point a half mile south.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That
this act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.
Note: Middleton and
Shongalo were both incorporated on the same day: February 22,
and were abandoned in the same
The Oldest House in Shongalo (and in
the Vaiden Area)
[Ed. Note: The
last owner of this house was Silas Weeks.
As of 2003,
it is still standing, and is located at the site of the small black dot
within the oval on this map. The approximate area of Shongalo is all of
the area within the oval.]
2003 Photos Courtesy of Susie James.