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Smith County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 16,491. Its county seat is Raleigh. Smith County is a prohibition or dry county.
Smith is named in honor of Major David Smith of Hinds County, was born in 1753 in Anson County, NC. Smith served as a private in the battles of King's Mountain, Cowpens, and Euthaw Springs, becoming a hero of the Revolutionary War. He first married in 1776 to Sarah Terry, and later, in 1791 married Obedience Fort. He moved with his family to Mississippi, settling in Hinds County not long after that region was yielded by the Choctaws. His son, Benjamin F. Smith, served as the first representative for Hinds County in the Mississippi Legislature. Major Smith died at Jackson, Mississippi in 1834.
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
Smith County was the southwestern corner of the large tract of land ceded to the United States by the Choctaw treaty of Dancing Rabbit in 1830. It was established December 23, 1833, and was named in honor of Major David Smith of Hinds County. Aurelia Smith, his daughter, married Governor Runnels. Its limits were defined as follows by the act which created the county:
"Beginning on the line between ranges 9 and 10 east, at the point at which the line between townships 4 and 5 crosses said line, and from thence south with the said line between ranges 9 and 10 east, to the southern boundary of the Choctaw nation; from thence west, with said southern boundary line, to the western boundary line of said Choctaw nation; from thence north with said western boundary line, to the point at which the line between townships 2 and 3 strikes said western boundary line; from thence west to the line between ranges 5 and 6 east; from thence north with said line between ranges 5 and 6 east, to the line between townships 4 and 5; and from thence to the place of beginning."
A large influx of settlers from the older parts of the State came to the new county at an early date, and by 1837
there were 1,085 free whites, owning some three hundred slaves.
The original county seat was located at Fairchild, about four miles south of Raleigh, but was soon abandoned. The new county seat was then established and called for Sir Walter Raleigh. There has been four courthouses in Raleigh due to fires. After the first courthouse burned, the Old Floyd Hotel was put to use as a courthouse, only to see the same thing happen to it in 1892. This resulted in the loss of all of the records for Smith County. A new building was erected and again was destroyed by fire in 1912, destroying practically all of the records. The present courthouse was built in 1912.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 637 square miles (1,651 km2), of which, 636 square miles (1,647 km2) of it is land and 1 square miles (4 km2) of it (0.22%) is water.
Bordering counties are as follows: