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The city of Collins is the county seat of Covington County, in lower central Mississippi. The community was originally incorporated as Williamsburg Depot in 1899, after the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad had bypassed Williamsburg, which was the county seat at the time. The sawmills moved to the new town of Williamsburg Depot in order to be nearer to the railroad, and the town moved with them. Concerned that the town’s name was too long, the postal service asked to have its name changed in 1905, and propose naming the town “Bad,” an idea that was rejected by its residents for obvious reasons. Instead, the town was renamed “Collins,” for Fred W. Collins, leader of the Republican Party and U.S. Marshall for the Southern District of Mississippi. In 1906, the western portion of Covington County became Jefferson Davis County, and Williamsburg was no longer in the geographical center, so Collins was chosen to be the new county seat. When the area’s timber resources were exhausted, the lumber industry moved and the town went into a decline, its population reduced from seven thousand to seven hundred. However, in 1935, US Highway 49 and US Highway 84 were constructed, with Collins at the crossroads of these two major thoroughfares, and the Plantation Pipeline, which delivered petroleum products, passed through the small community of Kola, which was annexed by Collins. US Highway 49 runs northwest from Collins to Jackson and southeast to Hattiesburg, while US Highway 98 bypasses the center of Collins, crossing US Highway 49 in the northern part of the city, running east to Laurel and west to Brookhaven.


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