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Mississippi Counties
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Mississippi Counties

There are eighty counties in Mississippi. Two original counties were Adams County and Jefferson County (formerly Pickering) established in 1799

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Panola County, Mississippi

Panola County Education, Geography, and HistoryPanola County, Mississippi Courthouse

Panola County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 34,707. Its county seats are Sardis and Batesville. Panola is a Cherokee word which means cotton. The county is located just east of the Mississippi Delta and bisected by the Tallahatchie River flowing to the southwest, separating the two county seats.

Etymology - Origin of Panola County Name

Panola is a Native American word meaning cotton.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Panola County History

Panola County was established February 9, 1836, and is one of the twelve large northern counties created in that year out of the Chickasaw cession of 1832. The original act defined its limits as follows:

"Beginning at the point where the line between ranges 9 and 10 strikes the center of section 6, and running thence south with the said range line, and from its termination in a direct line to the northern boundary of Tallahatchie County, and thence along the northern boundary of Tallahatchie and Yalobusha counties, to the center of range 5 west; thence north through the center of range 5 west, according to the sectional lines, to the center of township six; thence west through the center of township six, according to the sectional lines, to the beginning."

February 1, 1877, when Quitman County was created, Panola surrendered a small fraction of its southwestern area to assist in forming that county. The name Panola is an Indian name signifying cotton, and the fertile sunny valleys of the county have enabled the region to live up to its name.

Two of the oldest settlements in the county were at Belmont and Panola, a few miles apart, and on opposite sides of the Tallahatchie River. For several years there was a spirited contest between these two towns over the location of the courthouse of Panola County. With the advent of the Mississippi and Tennessee (now the Illinois Central railroad) Belmont was absorbed by Sardis, and Panola was absorbed by Batesville. One result of the above contest is found in the two judicial districts of the county, Sardis being the seat of justice for the first judicial district, and Batesville for the second judicial district into which the county is divided.

The county suffered some record loss in 1886.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 705 square miles (1,826 km2), of which, 684 square miles (1,772 km2) of it is land and 21 square miles (54 km2) of it (2.97%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Tate County (north)
  • Lafayette County (east)
  • Yalobusha County (southeast)
  • Tallahatchie County (southwest)
  • Quitman County (west)
  • Tunica County (northwest)


The elected school board selects the school superintendent. School districts include:

North Panola School District
South Panola School District

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