BOOTS SMITH Established by G.B. “Boots” Smith in 1954, Boots Smith Oilfield Services is a leader in pipeline construction and oil and gas support services. Three generations of Smith family members—including its current president, Jason Smith—have led the company. Headquartered in Laurel, Boots Smith has offices located throughout the southern United States. The company prides itself on its wide variety of services offered, which are divided into three main categories: pipeline construction, drilling support services, and production support services. This provides customers with convenience, allowing them to use one contractor for all their oilfield needs. PHOTO COURTESY OF BOOTS SMITH Mississippi. After 1880, railroads proliferated in the Piney Woods. As quickly as the rails were laid through the Pine Barrens, new towns came to life, many of them boasting newly- erected sawmills. Hattiesburg is a prime example of this development and would ultimately become the Piney Woods’s leading city. Captain William Harris Hardy determined the fate of the yet unformed city in the late summer of 1880 while surveying the southern section of the proposed tracks of the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad. Stopping for a noontime rest on a creek near the Leaf River, Hardy took time to contemplate the geography of southern Mississippi in relation to his proposed railroad line. As he studied the topography, the realization set in that a locale very near the spot in which he was relaxing was the logical choice for the intersection of any future route built from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to the state capital. As related in his memoirs, Hardy “...then and there determined to locate a station here because this was the place where the line from the Gulf Coast would cross the New Orleans and Northeastern. I also decided to name the place Hattiesburg for my wife, Hattie.” True to his word, Hardy located a station in the area, just south of the confluence of the Bouie and Leaf rivers. In 1882, Hardy purchased the land that would become the 176 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI