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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

Bolivar County, Mississippi

Bolivar County Education, Geography, and History Bolivar County, Mississippi Courthouse

Bolivar County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 34,145. Its county seats are Rosedale and Cleveland. The county is named in honor of Simon Bolívar, leader of the liberation of several South American countries from Spain in the early 19th century.

The Cleveland, MS Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Bolivar County. It is located in the Mississippi Delta, or Yazoo Basin, of Mississippi.

Etymology - Origin of County Bolivar County Name

Bolivar is named for South American revolutionary Simon Bolívar who freed much of South America from Spanish rule. Simon Bolívar (July 24, 1783 - December 17, 1830), was one of the most important leaders of Spanish America's successful struggle for independence from Spain, along with Argentine general Jos?de San Mart?.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Bolivar County History

The County of Bolivar was created February 9, 1836 from the Choctaw Cession of 1830 during the administration of Governor Charles Lynch. It was named for General Simon Bolivar, a South American patriot. It contained 40 townships with an area of 1440 square miles. Its present area is 879 square, miles.

The County is now divided into two judicial districts, the line of division running north and south. Rosedale, situated on the Mississippi River, is the county seat of the first district, and Cleveland, situated on the main line of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad, is the county seat of the second district.

The first county seat of Bolivar County was located at Bolivar Landing, and again, it was located at a point on a high sand ridge about two miles northwest of the present town of Beulah, this site being known to this day as "the old courthouse field." Subsequently, the county seat was removed to Prentiss on the Mississippi River opposite Napoleon, Arkansas.

The first settlers of Bolivar County were planters who found the forty to sixty foot deep Delta soil to be rich and fertile. The land had to first be laboriously cleared of the evergreen, cane and bamboo, but once cleared, the settlers found rivers, bayous, and lakes filled with edible fish, such as perch, jack, trout, bass, and big river catfish weighing as much as 200 pounds. Game, such as wild ducks, turkeys, deer, and quail were found in large numbers. The levee system was first implemented during the 1850's to the 1860's.

The first settlement in Bolivar County was Georgetown, located in the southern part of the county. Georgetown was a river landing, and was located on a plantation called Timber Lake Place, and belonging to John L. MARTIN of Kentucky.

The County Courthouse was burned by Federals in 1863 and entombed by flood in 1865.


Bolivar County was established by the Mississippi Legislature Feb. 9, 1836. The county was named for Simon Bolivar, the famed South American Liberator.

The first Bolivar County courthouse was a frame building erected in 1841, at a cost of $595. Over the next 30 years, the county seat of government was moved several times, finally coming to rest in Rosedale, in the early 1870. A courthouse was built there in 1872-1873. Rosedale originally was known as Floreyville, but the name was changed to Rosedale in 1876.

Bolivar County had 2,577 residents in 1850, and 10,471 in 1860. The vast majority of the county's pre-Civil War populace was made up of slaves.

The Civil War brought a temporary end to what had been a period of tremendous material progress in Bolivar County. The county suffered numerous assaults by Union troops. At Prentiss, the county seat during the Civil War, invading Union forces burned much of the town including Bolivar County's first brick courthouse. While the county's able-bodied men were off fighting for the losing cause of the Confederacy, their homes and property were destroyed.

Cleveland, which originally was called Sims, was settled in the early 1880s. It was incorporated in 1886. Because of the great distance from the new towns in eastern Bolivar County to the county seat at Rosedale and the difficulty of making the trip, residents of the eastern towns were soon clamoring for the creation of a Second Judicial District. In 1900, Bolivar County's Second Judicial District was established with Cleveland as its county seat. The first courthouse in Cleveland was completed the following year.

The two present-day Bolivar County courthouses were both built in the early 1920s. Flood seep-water wrecked the foundation of the courthouse in Rosedale, and a new courthouse was built there in 1922-1923. The Second Judicial District courthouse at Cleveland was torn down to make way for a new courthouse built in 1923-1924.

In 1924, Delta State Teachers College was chartered, and the new school was located in Cleveland. Since it opened in 1925, Delta State has grown into a multi-purpose university with over 3,200 students


Bolivar County continues to attract new industries. Today, there are 25 manufacturing industries employing over 3,000 people, and a strong effort is being made to attract additional Industrial employers by a team of local government, business and industry leaders and private citizens.

Bolivar County has fully developed industrial parks located in Cleveland, Shelby and Rosedale, totaling approximately 2,260 developed acres. Because these parks have the location, space, utility and transportation requirements needed by industries, it continues to attract new prospects.

The Rosedale-Bolivar County Port is among the fastest-growing ports on the Inland Waterway System.

A large portion of Bolivar County is in the federally designated Empowerment Zone, and Bolivar County is included in the newly formed Delta Regional Authority, a federally funded agency, which covers an eight-state region of 236 counties. The DRA will help economically distressed communities to leverage other federal and state programs which are focused on basic infrastructure development and transportation improvements, business development and job training services.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 906 square miles (2,346 km2), of which, 876 square miles (2,270 km2) of it is land and 29 square miles (76 km2) of it (3.25%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Coahoma County (north)
  • Sunflower County (east)
  • Washington County (south)
  • Desha County, Arkansas (west)


Colleges and Universities

Delta State University (Cleveland)
Public School Districts[edit]
Benoit School District (Benoit)
Cleveland School District (Cleveland)
Mound Bayou School District (Mound Bayou)
North Bolivar School District (Shelby)
Shaw School District (Shaw)
West Bolivar School District (Rosedale)

Private School

Bayou Academy (Cleveland)

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