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Woodville is the county seat of Wilkinson County, Mississippi, which is in the southwestern part of the state, just north of the Louisiana border. Woodville is one of the oldest European-American settlements in Mississippi, and was incorporated in 1811, after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, and a few years before Mississippi was admitted as a state. The community developed along the corridor between St. Francisville, Louisiana, twenty-four miles to the south, and Natchez, Mississippi, thirty-four miles to the north. Communities along this corridor have been linked since pre-colonial times, first by the Lower Natchez Trace, a footpath developed by Native Americans, and later by US Highway 61, the Blues Highway. Some of Woodville’s families go back to the 1700s. Since before the Civil War, the community has relied upon its timber industry for a portion of its economy, which continues to be an important part of the community. More than a hundred of its buildings are within its National Register Historic District, and the Woodville Republican is the oldest continuously operating newspaper in Mississippi, having been founded in 1821, and still owned by relatives of the original publisher. Rosemont Plantation, near Woodville, was the boyhood home of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, who moved there with his parents at the age of two. The town’s population has remained fairly steady since 1880, with relatively minor rises and falls, although it has been declining slowly since its peak population of 1,856 in 1960. Nearby communities include Ashwood, Donegal, Lessley, Newtonia, and Turnbull. Baton Rouge, Louisiana is about fifty-five miles south of Woodville.

 

 

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