Its early county seat was located at Marion until 1866; at Marion Station from 1866 to 1870' it was then removed to Meridian, the present county seat. In addition to the old county seat of Marion, the towns of Alamutcha and Daleville, and the villages of Sageville and Chunkeyville, were settled at a very early date in the history of the county. All four towns are now extinct.
Alamutcha was once an Indian village, situated not far from Kewanee. Daleville is now known as Lizelia, and was about 10 miles northwest of Meridian; it was named by Gen Sam. Dale, who first settled there. A few miles distant is Cooper Institute, now known as Daleville. Sageville was near the present station of Okatibbee, on the Mobile & Ohio R.R.; E.J. Rew and Abram Burwell were citizens of the old village. Chunkeyville was absorbed by Chunkey Station, on the Alabama & Vicksburg. R.R.. Before the War, Lauderdale Springs was a popular health resort.
No city in the State can show a more remarkable growth since the War than Meridian. Up to 1854, it was a junction point, whose very name was in dispute; in 1866, its first factory was established -- a foundry and a machine shop. Its growth was then steady, being only interrupted by a number of disastrous fires, and by the great fever epidemic of 1878. There were 22 manufacturing establishments in 1890; 119 in 1900, showing a gain in one decade of 440.9 per cent. Today it is the largest manufacturing center in the State according to the twelfth census, and contains a population which was estimated at 25,000 in 1906, having passed Vicksburg since the last census. It is the most important railroad center in the eastern part of the State, and it is the junction of the Mobile & Ohio, New Orleans & North Eastern, Alabama & Vicksburg, Alabama Great Southern, and the St. Louis & San Francisco railroads. The last named road runs its trains into the city over leased lines.
The State's East Mississippi Insane Hospital is located at Meridian, which was also the seat of the East Mississippi Female College, recently destroyed by fire, and now succeeded by the Meridian Female College and Conservatory of Music. The Meridian Male College is another excellent school located here.
Some of the other towns in the county -- all of them small in size -- are Lauderdale, Lockhart, Marion Station, Toomsuba, Russell, Arundel, Savoy, Meehan Junction, Graham, Kewanee, Lost Gap and Bonita, which are railroad towns, and Daleville, Obadiah, Morrow, Post and Increase, interior villages away from the railroads. The superior transportation facilities of the county, afforded by the numerous roads, which cross its borders, and its great natural advantages of soil, climate and forests, assure to the county a continuance of its remarkable growth in wealth and prosperity.
Lauderdale County is well watered by numerous small creeks and streams, which are for the most part head waters of the Chickasawhay river, or small branches of the Tombigbee, and it is well timbered with pine, oak, hickory, gum, beech, chestnut, poplar, and sycamore, which are being rapidly worked up by its numerous mills and factories. It is one of the few counties in the State where the value of the manufactured products is greatly in excess of that of the farms. The soil, however, produces good crops of cotton, corn, sugar-cane, oats, peas, potatoes, vegetables and fruits of all kinds, the last two items being extensively raised for market, and the live stock industry is in a flourishing condition.
The following statistics taken from the United State census for 1900, will prove interesting as an illustration of the resources at that time of Lauderdale county: Number of farms, 3,358; acreage in farms, 315,542; acres improved, 130,159: value of the land exclusive of buildings, $1,616,880; value of the buildings, $675,930; value of the livestock, $623,959, and total value of farm products not fed, $1,388,146. Number of manufacturing establishments 194; capital invested, $2,128,954; wages paid, $613,112; cost of materials, $1,818,306, and total value of products, $3,292,923. The population of the county in 1900, consisted of whites, 19,190' colored, 18,960, a total of 38,150 and an increase of 8,489 over the year 1890. The total assessed valuation of real and personal property in the county in 1905 was $8, 755,762 and in 1906 it was $11,515,689, showing an increase of $2,759,927 during the year Artesian water is found in the county, there being several flowing wells, The county is taking a great interest in its public highways.
Source: Rowland, Dunbar, LL.D., MISSISSIPPI, COMPRISING SKETCHES OF COUNTIES, TOWNS, EVENTS, INSTITUTIONS , AND PERSONS, ARRANGED IN CYCLOPEDIC FORM, v.2. Atlanta, Southern Historical Publishing Association, c1907.