Many were named after founding fathers and families, some after important people such as a railroad man, a landowner, a preacher or a government official.
A few got their names from the land around them, while others were named for the unity shown by different groups to build one community.
The names of Lee County’s cities, towns and communities have as much history behind them as the county itself. While some have changed over the years, most of the original names of our hometowns have survived since the late 1800s.
Lee County Neighbors takes another look this week at how our communities got their names. If your town was not listed last week or this week, find out how it got its name and give us a call at 842-2612 or 678-1600. The information you provide will be used in a future story.
According to information found in a book published by the Auburn Civic Club in 1992, the name “Auburn” could be traced to two sources. Located northeast of Tupelo, Auburn is in a hilly area where rich reddish-brown dirt (auburn color) is a part of the landscape. The name may have also been inspired by an auburn-haired preacher who came to the area in the late 1880s when the community was starting.
The community located on a ridge between Tupelo and Saltillo got its name supposedly from early settlers after Birmingham, England. The word Ridge was added later, although no one knows when or by whom.
According to the book, “Mississippi Hometown,” the Blair community was named for a townsperson, W.A. Blair Sr., in the 1890s. Blair is located in the northwest sectin of the county.
Brewer, located between Verona and Shannon off U.S. Highway 45, can thank a former Mississippi governor for its name. The community once known as Bethel was renamed in the late 1910s for Gov. Earl L. Brewer. The name change took place when the citizens created a voting precinct.
Cedar Hill, found in northwest Lee County, took its name in the 1870s from the original Cedar Hill school. There are two stories how the school adopted the name. One account is that the tree was planted on the school grounds by a Buck Hamilton. The other story is that the tree was a volunteer plant that was saved by the children.
The East Heights section of Tupelo was created in the 1890s as Longtown by members of the Long family and other settlers. It changed its name to East Tupelo because of its location to Tupelo. The town dissolved in 1946 and was annexed by Tupelo.
Located north of Mooreville, Eggville was the egg capital of Lee County. Created in the 1850s, the rural community took its name from the large amount of eggs produced in hen houses owned by local farmers.
Eureka the Latin phrase meaning “I have found it” was probably what the early settlers said when they decided to settle there in the early 1870s. The community is located on the Lee-Monroe border near Nettleton.
The old community near Baldwyn was given its name by settlers from South Carolina who compared the area to “a level frog pond.” The name provided in the inspiration for the annual Frog Level Festival in the Pratt community.
The community, located in the upper northeast corner of the county, received its name from Buck Pratt, the biggest and richest landowner in that area during the late 19th century.
Located on the eastern edge of Tupelo, Priceville was named for a preacher named Price who lived in the area around the turn of the century. The remaining signs of Priceville are its cemetery and Baptist church.
The railroad town with ties to Lee, Pontotoc and Union counties was named after Sherman, Texas. Sherman was picked because a local resident had visited Sherman, Texas, and was impressed with its beauty. It was incorporated in 1888.
The name of this community located east of Saltillo reflected the cooperation of early pioneers . Settlers of different faith worked together to construct a church and school building, and they helped each other while planting crops.
According to the book “Mississippi Hometown,” the Union community located near Plantersville took its name from Union Presbyterian Church. The church was jointly used by members of different faiths in the community.
“Where We’ve Been” is a feature that runs every four weeks on some aspect of Lee County history. If you know of something about Lee County that would be of interest to our readers, please write to Lee County Neighbors, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, P.O. Box 909, Tupelo, MS 38802-0909, or call Bobby Pepper at 842-2612 or 678-1600.