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Clay County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 20,634. Its county seat is West Point. Its name is in honor of American statesman Henry Clay, member of the United States Senate from Kentucky and United States Secretary of State in the 19th century.
Clay is named for Speaker of the US House of Representatives Henry Clay. Henry Clay, Sr. (April 12, 1777 - June
29, 1852) was a nineteenth-century American statesman and orator who represented Kentucky in both the House of
Representatives and Senate.
He was a dominant figure in both the First Party System to 1824, and the Second Party System after that. Known as "The Great Compromiser" and "The Great Pacifier" for his ability to bring others to agreement, he was the founder and leader of the Whig Party and a leading advocate of programs for modernizing the economy, especially tariffs to protect industry, a national bank, and internal improvements to promote canals, ports and railroads.
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
Clay County was erected May 12, 1871, during the administration of Governor Alcorn, and marks the southern boundary line of the old Chickasaw Indian territory. It was originally organized from parts of Chickasaw, Lowndes, Monroe and Oktibbeha Counties, and named Colfax after Schuyler Colfax, a Republican. In 1876, after the Democrats came into power and had thrown off carpetbag rule, the name was changed to Clay in honor of the great Kentuckian.
Its county seat is West Point, located at the junction of three lines of railway- the Illinois Central, the Southern, and the Mobile and Ohio. Within easy distance of the Alabama coal fields and possessed of excellent railroad facilities.. There are no other large towns in the county, though there are a number of thriving small ones, among which may be mentioned Cedar Bluff, Pheba, Montpelier, Abbott, Griffith and Siloam. The Tombigbee River washes a part of its eastern border and the Tibbee, Line Houlka, Sun, Chewah and Chuquatonchee creeks, tributaries of the Tombigbee, afford it ample water. The three lines of railway above mentioned give the county excellent shipping facilities and many northern settlers are now coming into this region.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 416 square miles (1,077 km2), of which, 409
square miles (1,058 km2) of it is land and 7 square miles (19 km2) of it (1.79%) is water.
Bordering counties are as follows:
Clay County is within the service area of the East Mississippi Community College system