Japser County History
1836 to Present
Moss Hill ....
Located nine miles east of Montrose and on one of the highest points in the county, Peter Loper built his home here as early as 1829 and in the course of a few years was the center of a little settlement known as the “Loper Settlement”. As early as 1833 John Bisset, an Englishman, came to Jasper County and taught in the Loper Private School. This school continued until the Old Moss Hill grade school was organized. The school was located in Section 33, T4, R12 just of the Enterprise to Jackson Road that went through Garlandville and on the Paulding to Garlandville Road.
Montrose was settled by a colony of Scotch people in the late 1830’s and was named for James Montrose, a Marquis of Scotland. Montrose, located five miles below the Enterprise to Jackson stage coach road in Garlandville (home of the Six Town Tribe of Choctaw), had one of the first high schools in the county.
Before the War Between the States, Claiborne was called “Crossroads”. Here the Paulding-Ellisville (Old pre-WWII US 11), Shubuta and Lake Como Roads cross. After the Civil War, it was named in honor of Governor Claiborne. The community, located about 8 miles west of Heidelberg, faded away after the Claiborne School was consolidated in the early 1900’s with Heidelberg and US 11 was rerouted and paved.
Oak Bowery ....
This community, about six miles northeast of Heidelberg on the old Paulding to Ellisville Road, formed around the Oak Bowery Academy. This school was organized in 1856 by an Act of the Legislature of Mississippi. The school was in a two story building, the upper level being used for the Oak Bowery Masonic Lodge, #198. The school’s last year of existence was July, 1913, afterwards being consolidated with the Pisgah School (History of Educ in Miss., W.H. Weathersby)
Located about twelve miles southeast of the first county seat, Paulding, Heidelberg was formed in 1882 with the arrival of the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad, and was named for T.C. Heidelberg, founder of the town. This town was built where the N.O. & Northeastern crossed old US Highway 11.
Bay Springs ....
This town was first formed around 1892. In 1904, the town came into its own with the building of the Mobile, Jackson and Kansas City Railroad, later named the Gulf, Mobile & Northern Railroad.
Robert Releford, and wife Mary Ann Roberts,
moved their three young children into the newly formed Jasper County in 1836.
They first settled in the Moss Hill area of north central Jasper Co., off
current State Road 503. As a farm family, they raised nine children to adulthood
and as the children matured and married, they had to have space of their own.
The daughters left Moss Hill to be with their husbands, and three sons, James
Paul, Theodore Foster and Robert Franklin, moved nine miles west into the
Montrose area, and one son, William Washington, moved to the Claiborne area
in southeast Jasper Co. This latter family moved into Heidelberg just before
the depression and then to Bay Springs in the late 30’s.
Children of Robert R. and Mary Ann Abney:
|1.||Sarah Elizabeth||b. 1832 in Hinds Co.||married Tom Marvin Tatum|
|2.||Dorothy Caroline||b. 1833 in Hinds Co.||married George Linder Lightsey|
|3.||Jesse Mercier||b. 1834 in Hinds Co.||married Sarah __ Crosby|
|4.||James Paul||b. 1837 in Jasper Co.||married Elizabeth Ann Tatum|
|5.||George Poindexter||b. 1838 in Jasper Co.||married Rachel __ Hartsfield|
|6.||Henry Clay||b. 1840 in Jasper Co.||married Sara Slade Ladner|
|7.||William Washington||b. 1842 in Jasper Co.||married Julia Ann Risher|
|8.||Theodore Foster||b. 1844 in Jasper Co.||married Julia Margaret Beard|
|9.||Robert Franklin||b. 1847 in Jasper Co.||married Bertha Elizabeth Risher(sister to Julia Ann)|