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

Prentiss County, Mississippi

Prentiss County Education, Geography, and HistoryPrentiss County, Mississippi Courthouse

Prentiss County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 25,275. Its county seat is Booneville. The county is named for Seargent Smith Prentiss, a famous speaker and debater from Natchez, MS. (Seargent was his first name, not a military title).

Etymology - Origin of Prentiss County Name

Prentiss is named for Smith Prentiss, a famous speaker and debater.

Seargent Smith Prentiss (30 September 1808-1 July 1850) was the representative for Mississippi in the Twenty-fifth United States Congress. He attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine and served from 1838 to 1839.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Prentiss County History

Prentiss County was created on April 15, 1870, during the administration of Governor Alcorn, from Tishomingo County, one of the numerous counties formed in 1836 from the Chickasaw cession of 1832. The County seat is Booneville and was named in honor of Sargent Smith Prentiss, the gifted statesman, jurist and orator.

By the year 1850 the region comprising this county had become thickly settled with an excellent class of emigrants from Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, and northern Alabama. Many of the best settlers of the other counties of the State removed to Prentiss and like nearly all of the State the population was mainly Anglo-Saxon or British. The old village of Carrollville, founded in 1834, in what was then Tishomingo County, was once a thriving trade center for southeastern Tishomingo County. When the Mobile & Ohio railroad was completed to Baidwyn, two miles away, the latter town absorbed its business and population. During the early days before the railroad, all shipments were made to and from Memphis over 100 miles away by wagon, and later to and from Eastport on the Tennessee River. With the railroad came a shifting of trade centers, as well as increased population and wealth. The act creating the county established the seat of justice at Booneville, near the center of the county. It is the largest town in the county.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 418 square miles (1,083 km2), of which, 415 square miles (1,075 km2) of it is land and 3 square miles (9 km2) of it (0.79%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Alcorn County (north)
  • Tishomingo County (east)
  • Itawamba County (southeast)
  • Lee County (southwest)
  • Union County (west)
  • Tippah County (nothwest)


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