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  • Mayhew, Lowndes County, Mississippi

    In 1819 the American Board of Missions sent evangelists to establish a mission for the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians. The mission was originally located in what is now Oktibbeha County, but after the Indians were removed to Oklahoma territory, this mission was abandoned.

    Mayhew Church History written in 1972 by Bess Y. Swedenburg. Also see MAYHEW MISSION TO THE CHOCTAW INDIANS written by Libba Johnson. Local folk say that for twenty years or more after the mission was abandoned, the community around the old mission continued to thrive. However, in the 1850s, the Mobile and Ohio Railroad began laying tracks to the east. By 1857 when the railroad was completed, the community had picked up and moved to its present location alongside the tracks.

    Early settlers of Mayhew were the Askews, Burgins, Connells, Forts, Garners, Herrons, Lockes, Pilkintons, and the Turners. The Civil War had adverse effects on the rail roadbeds, both north and south of Mayhew, as most were destroyed. These families still raised their cotton as before, but with no way to ship it, it rotted at the railhead or it was confiscated by the Confederate government.

    In 1870 the Mayhew Academy, a public school, was established. It operated until 1929 when it was consolidated with the public school in Artesia. Today, there is not much left in Mayhew except a few old homes, a couple of new ones, the Old Church and a new Post Office. When I drove down the old highway trying to remember how I used to enter Mayhew as a child to visit my friends, I missed the first turn into the town and had to pass under the railroad overpass to turn in what I used to remember as the "Exit" road. I was saddened to see how it had changed. But I guess change is inevitable and we all dream of the way things were in our childhood days.

    If you have data/history/photos of Mayhew that you would like to see published here, please send that to me, C. L. Herrick

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