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Guideposts to history

Eliot marker
Organized here in 1818 by the Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury. The 1st in a series of 13 missions for the education of the Choctaws into western culture. It was closed in 1832 due to removal of many Choctaws to Oklahoma.
Chocchuma marker
Extinct village 3 mi. N.W. on Yalobusha River. Once a busy shipping point & site of U.S. Land Office. 1833-1840. Declined when office moved to Grenada. Probably named for Chakchuma Indians.
Holcomb marker
Organized in 1901 on the home site of Captain Isaac Perry, a Choctaw chief. Holcomb was named in honor of founder D.L. Holcomb, a Confederate veteran, and was incorporated on May 12, 1905.
Three state historic markers point to Holcomb's history, recalling the founding of the Eliot Mission, the first Protestant mission to the Choctaw Nation; the vanished village of Chocchuma, from which Indian lands were sold to white settlers; and finally the founding of the town of Holcomb itself.

But there also have been human guides to Holcomb's history who have cared enough to keep the past alive and share it with those of us who follow them.

J.C. Hathorn
J.C. "Happy" Hathorn
J.C. "Happy" Hathorn, a much-loved superintendent of Grenada County schools, privately published "A History of Grenada County" in 1967. It has vivid descriptions of the county's early history, including the area that now is Holcomb. Although it is long out of print, copies are available at the Grenada County Library.
Henry Watterson Heggie in 1989 gathered a wealth of information on the Choctaws and Eliot Mission in his "Indians and Pioneer of Old Eliot," published by Tuscahoma Press in Grenada. This book included previously unpublished journals of Henry Sale Halbert, who lived and taught in the Choctaw Nation in this area of Mississippi. Henry Heggie
Henry Heggie
But history is never perfectly told. There's always more to find out. Archives, memories rich in information are waiting for new researchers to bring them to light. Oral history is there to be recorded. You never know till you look. You never hear till you ask. Some of history's best researchers haven't been scholars, they've been children asking their parents and grandparents questions, keeping family and community traditions and memories alive. Giving future generations a sense of place and meaning in a fast-changing world.

If you can add to Holcomb's history, message history@holcomb.org.

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