Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Marshall County, Mississippi
Town of Great Oaks
Here is a history page for Byhalia.
Byhalia grew up where old Indian trails intersected. As time went by, new settlers built roads and bridges and settlements grew up around these intersections. Byhalia was first known as Farmington, which was the name of the Methodist mission there and later the local Farmington Methodist Church. When a post office was established, Farmington was rejected because it was already in use in Mississippi. The name of Byhalia was then selected and approved by the Post Office. Over time, the use of Farmington disappeared and Byhalia became the official and common name for the town. Byhalia is from the Chickasaw dialect and means "great oaks." The area had many great oaks in the surrounding forests.
Byhalia remained a small town, but a flourishing one with agriculture and trade being prevalent. Many southern planters bought up large portions of land in and around Byhalia. Some built large plantations to live on while others lived in town and had their overseers run the plantations. Though Byhalia became a social center for the planters, the town did not grow large.
Byhalia had great destruction from the Civil War and recovery was slow as it was for many of the southern communities. Real recovery did not occur until 1885 when the Frisco Railroad came through town.
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