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

DeSoto County, Mississippi

DeSoto County Education, Geography, and HistoryDeSoto County, Mississippi Courthouse

DeSoto County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 161,252, making it the third-most populous county in Mississippi. Its county seat is Hernando.

DeSoto County is part of the Memphis, TN-MS-AR Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). It is the second-most populous county in the MSA. The county is part of the Mississippi Delta and hill country

Etymology - Origin of DeSoto County Name

DeSoto is named for Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. The county seat, Hernando, is named in honor of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, who allegedly died there in May 1542, although some believe that he died near Lake City, Arkansas. Hernando de Soto (Jerez de los Caballeros, Badajoz, Spain, c.1496/1497-May 21, 1542) was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who, while leading the first European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States, was the first European to discover the Mississippi River.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

DeSoto County History

Established February 9, 1836, De Soto was one of the twelve counties formed in that year from the territory originally belonging to the Chickasaw nation and ceded by the Indians under the Pontotoc treaty of 1832. The original act defined its boundaries as follows:

"Beginning at the point where the northern boundary line of the State intersects the Mississippi River, and running thence down the said river, to the point where the line between townships 2 and 3 intersects the same; thence with the said township line, to the line between ranges 9 and 10 west; thence south with the said range line to the center of township 6; thence east through the center of township 6, according to the sectional lines, to the center of range 5 west; thence north through the center of range 5 west, according to the sectional lines, to the northern boundary line of the State; thence west with the said boundary line to the place of beginning."

Its original area was about 24 townships, or about 864 square miles. December 23, 1873, it contributed to form the new county of Tate. It was organized during the first administration of Gov. Charles Lynch, and was named after Hernando De Soto, the discoverer of the Mississippi.

Its county seat is Hernando, just south of the center of the county. It was named in honor of Hernando De Soto. It was originally called Jefferson and was organized in 1836 by a bill introduced by Senator A.G. McNutt of Warren County. It became the home of many wealthy and prominent families, whose glory before the war is told by the remains of their handsome homes. It was the home of Col. Felix Labauve, who was one of its earliest settlers and quite a remarkable character. A native of France, of distinguished ancestry, and coming as a child to the new world, he was identified in later years with the history of Mississippi. His bequest of $20,000 for the education of poor youths of De Soto County, makes him deservingly remembered as one of its wisest benefactors.

Geography: Land and Water

DeSoto County is the most northwestern of Mississippi's 82 counties, in a corner that borders Tennessee and Arkansas. As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 497 square miles (1,287 km2), of which, 478 square miles (1,238 km2) of it is land and 19 square miles (49 km2) of it (3.81%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Shelby County, Tennessee - north
  • Crittenden County, Arkansas - west
  • Tunica County - southwest
  • Tate County - south
  • Marshall County - east


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