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Jasper County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 17,062. Its county seats are Bay Springs and Paulding. Jasper County is part of the Laurel, MS Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Jasper is named for Sgt. William Jasper who first distinguished himself in the defense of Fort Moultrie in 1776. When a shell from a British warship shot away the flagstaff, he recovered the flag, raised it on a temporary staff, and held it under fire until a new staff was installed. Sgt. Jasper was killed in the Siege of Savannah in 1779
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
Jasper County was created December 13, 1833, and was named for Sergeant Jasper of Fort Moultrie (South Carolina) fame. It was carved from the territory just north of the old Mount Dexter treaty line, acquired from the Choctaws in 1830, and was originally occupied by the Six Town tribe of that nation.
Soon after the removal of the Choctaws from the region it was rapidly settled by a thriving class of emigrants from
the older states and the other parts of Mississippi. Garlandville is said to be the oldest town in Jasper County. It
was settled early in 1833, and about this time John H. Ward opened a tavern in a small house owned by John Garland,
a half-breed. He presented the house to the landlord's wife, who reciprocated by naming the town in his honor. Many
wealthy planters resided in the neighborhood, who did their business in the town. The town raised two
fine companies at the outbreak of the War for Southern Independence. The result of the conflict was so disastrous to
the surrounding slave owners, and most of the business of the flourishing old town having moved to the railroad,
little is left to remind one of its former glory.
The Eastern Clarion, among the old newspapers in the State and now published in Jackson under the name of the Clarion Ledger, was issued as a weekly at Paulding in the early thirties.
Of Mississippi's 82 counties, only ten have dual county seats due to the division of court districts. Jasper is a county with two county seats, one courthouse is in Bay Springs, and the other is in Paulding. In 1906 by an act of the Legislature, Jasper County was divided into two Judicial Districts, with Paulding as the seat of the Eastern District and Bay Springs the seat of the Western District.
In 1935-36, a road was built from Bay Springs to Rose Hill, the first road connecting the two districts. This road facilitated travel and increased the stature of Bay Springs as a trading area.
Paulding, named for John Paulding who assisted in the capture of Major Andre during the war of the Revolution, was settled in 1833 and was a thriving and important center prior to the Civil War and was known as "The Queen City of the East". It once had a population of over one thousand, and during the ante-bellum period, it was a metropolis.
Reconstruction devastated Paulding. Soon after reconstruction, a railroad was to be built through Paulding. The county refused to pay for it and the citizens could not afford to pay for it, so the railroad was built through Bay Springs instead.
The old courthouse at Paulding was built out of local materials, including clay which was dug up and baked nearby. It burned in 1932 with the loss of all records.
The Courthouse had a Record loss in 1932
As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 677 square miles (1,755 km2), of which, 676
square miles (1,751 km2) of it is land and 1 square miles (4 km2) of it (0.21%) is water.
Bordering counties are as follows: