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Marquis de Lafayette


Established in 1836, Lafayette County was named in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette, the Frenchman who had heroically befriended the new American Republic. It was one of ten counties into which the Chickasaw Cession was divided. People flooded into the area hoping to buy cheap land and make their fortunes. Private land was purchased from the Indians, one of whom was Hoka, an Indian princess by legend, and another Chief Toby Tubby. Oxford was selected as the name of the county seat in hopes that it would also become a seat of higher learning. This goal was realized when the University of Mississippi was chartered in 1844 and opened in 1848. The area became a cultural, educational, agricultural and business center with educated people and beautiful homes until the Civil War when the town was burned by Federal troops in 1864. Oxford rose from the ashes and survived the Great Depression and World War II to become the vibrant and growing area that we know today. The past has truly had a future in Oxford and Lafayette County, Mississippi.

By Maralyn Bullion, 10-23-07