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Decatur, Mississippi is the county seat of Newton County. Named for Commodore Stephen Decatur, the city was created to be the seat of government for the county after it was organized in 1836. In its early days, the court house building was used for court during the day, and served as a bank at night. Decatur was also known for being wild, with a race track and horse racing, gambling, dog fights, drinking, and a dance hall. There were no churches in Decatur until 1851 when the Baptist Church was constructed. A Methodist Church followed in 1855. There were no schools until 1886. During the War of Northern Aggression, troops under Union General Sherman created a large amount of destruction in Decatur, burning the town’s courthouse, churches, businesses, and homes. The people of Decatur rebuilt after the Civil War, however. Originally chartered as a village, Decatur became a town in 1912, and several schools were built. Decatur is situated north of Interstate Highway 20 and the community of Newton. Other nearby communities include Conehatta, Duffee, Little Rock, Perdue, Prospect, Stratton, and Union. Meridian is just under thirty miles to the southeast, and Jackson is just over seventy miles to the west.



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