PI/1992.0001

Current Lee County Courthouse. Call Number: PI/1992.0001 (MDAH Collection)

Lee County was established in 1866 and named for Confederate general Robert E. Lee (1807-1870). The current courthouse in Tupelo was built in 1905 at a cost of $60,000. It was preceded by an initial two-story frame building (1867) and two other brick courthouses, built in 1871 and 1875, both of which burned. These images of the courthouse are from the Cooper Postcard Collection.

Knowing when courthouse fires occured isn’t just lagniappe–it can explain gaps in county records, like the marriage books that are useful for genealogy research. Though in Lee County, the marriage records somehow survived the fires. A catalog search reveals that they go back to 1867, or one year after the county was established. Check out the County Records section of the online catalog’s Master List of Microfilm to see what records exist for the county where your family lived.

 PI/1992.0001

Current Lee County Courthouse. Call Number: PI/1992.0001 (MDAH Collection)

Source: Bill Gurney, Mississippi Courthouses: Then and Now (Ripley, Mississippi: Old Timer Press, 1987), 87-88.

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Marshall County Courthouse

On September 7, 2010, in Photographs, Sketches & Engravings, by Amanda
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Call Number: PI/CW/B38.8, Item 77 (MDAH Collection)

Marshall County, named for Chief Justice John Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court, was formed in 1836. The courthouse and town of Holly Springs, Mississippi are depicted in this sketch from Harper’s Weekly Magazine, January 10, 1863. The courthouse was burned during the Civil War, and rebuilt in 1872.

Call Number: PI/SF/COL/1987.0127, Item 127 (MDAH Collection)

This photograph of the courthouse was taken at some point before 1925, when east and west wings were added to increase office space.

The Marshall County Courthouse, with its clock tower and Greek revival architecture, is an example of the classic courthouse style employed in Mississippi in the 19th century. You can view other courthouses from around the state in the Cooper Postcard Collection, just type in “courthouse” as the search term.

Source: Bill Gurney, Mississippi Courthouses: Then and Now (Ripley, Mississippi: Old Timer Press, 1987), 99-100.

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