EAST CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI 253 officer in the Mexican war, second chancellor of the state, and a Mississippi governor. Jasper County was named for Sergeant William Jasper of Fort Moultrie (South Carolina) fame. Originally occupied by the Six Town tribe of the Choctaw, Jasper County was formed out of Jones and Wayne counties. The county seat of Paulding was named for John Paulding, who assisted in capturing Major Andre during the Revolutionary War. In 1906, by an act of the legislature, Jasper County was divided into two judicial districts. Paulding served the seat of the Eastern District, and Bay Springs became the seat of the Western District. Kemper County was named after Reuben Kemper, an American soldier in the Florida, Mexican, and 1812 wars. Leake County was named for Governor Walter Leake, a member of the 1817 Constitutional Convention, a United States senator, and twice-elected governor of Mississippi. Scott County was named in honor of Abram M. Scott, the seventh governor of Mississippi. On February 8, 1838, the county was enlarged to 597 square miles of territory. Smith County was named for Major David Smith who served as a private in the Revolutionary War at Kings Mountain, Cowpens, and Eutaw Springs. The first county seat was at Fairfield, four miles south of present day Raleigh. Not long afterward, it was relocated to Raleigh, named for Sir Walter Raleigh. Lauderdale County was named in honor of Colonel James Lauderdale of the War of 1812. The county seat remained at Marion (and Marion Station) until 1866, when Meridian became the seat. The County of “Neshoba” derives its name from Nashoba, the Choctaw word for wolf. In the beginning, Neshoba had three county seats because Newton County had not yet been formed. The courthouse was located at Old Union, a village that became a thriving town. Newton County was created due to various economic, political, and transportation issues in Neshoba County. An act of the Mississippi legislature on February 26, 1836, enabled Neshoba County to split and create Newton County from the southern half. Newton County was named in honor of Sir Isaac Newton, and Decatur is the county seat. Early Roads Many early roads followed Native American trails, such as the stage road through Lauderdale Springs and Daleville, which were among the first communities to have stagecoach service. Original surveys showed a road running southwest to northeast between Lauderdale and Enterprise. This was probably the early route of U.S. Highway 11 and most likely ran through present-day Meridian by way of Sixth Street. One mail and stage route was possibly the “Choctaw Trail.” On that route in 1800, a stagecoach stop was established in the community of Lauderdale. A major stage line was the Jemison and Ficklin. Coaches arrived in Marion on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings and stopped at the Bains Hotel in the town square so passengers could eat in the hotel’s café. Other important roads were the Marion–Livingston Road and the Gaston Road running from Marion to Alabama by way of Alamucha. An early road to Alabama probably followed the route of Highway 19 through Lauderdale County. Decatur Road from Marion may have followed today’s Seventh Street in Meridian. Under the management of B. B. Smith, Lauderdale Springs resort had a two-story hotel, cottages, bathhouses, and a dance pavilion. A first-class stage line took guests to and from the hotel to Lauderdale and Marion Stations in Lauderdale County. By late 1835, Scott, Newton, and Lauderdale county residents had persuaded the legislature to establish a mail route from Jackson eastward through Brandon, to the three county seats of Scott, Newton and Lauderdale counties passing through Alamucha to the county seat of Sumter County, Alabama. Postal authorities wished to upgrade three routes to Lauderdale County so that the coaches pulled by four horses would have greater speeds. Early Schools Usually located near a spring or creek to ensure ample water supply, schoolhouses were normally one room log structures with bench seats and a fireplace at one end. Church services, community meetings, and justice of the peace court could also be held in the school. When a new Many early roads followed Native American trails, such as the stage road through Lauderdale Springs and Daleville, which were among the first communities to have stagecoach service.