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Waynesboro is the county seat of Wayne County, in southeastern Mississippi. The community began as a stop along the Mobile and Ohio Railroad in the 1850s. The town was laid out around the train stop, and the railroad offered the property for sale. By the time of the American Civil War in 1861, about twenty families were living in Waynesboro, although the town was not incorporated until 1876, when it became the seat of county government. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the town grew as a regional hub for commercial activity, as roads were improved and homes sprung up on both sides of the railroad, and general stores, drug stores, a bank, hotels, taverns, livery stable, blacksmith shops, sawmills, a brick factory, newspaper, and a post office were begun there. The Great Depression hit the area hard, as the local bank and several businesses failed, including some of its sawmills, putting people out of work. Soon, the town’s bank was replaced with First State Bank, which is still headquartered in Waynesboro. The DeSoto National Forest is southwest of Waynesboro. Neighboring communities include Battles, Belmont, Boice, Buckatunna, Chicora, Clara, Denham, Eucutta, Gretna, Hiwannee, Hollis Creek, Lightsey, Mill Creek, Myrick, Strengthford, West King, Whistler, and Woodwards, as well as Isney and Mehavvey, Alabama. Laurel, Mississippi is about thirty miles west of Waynesboro.


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