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