Woodville, the county seat of Wilkinson County, Mississippi, was begun around the turn of the nineteenth century, and evidence of this small town’s rich history is everywhere. From nearby Fort Adams, the setting of Edward Everitt Hale’s famous story, “The Man Without a Country”; to Rosemont Plantation, the boyhood home of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy; to nearby Lake Mary with its diversions of hunting, fishing, and water sports for the outdoorsman; to the well-preserved Woodville business district; this small town invites residents and visitors to bask in the wealth of its stunning landscape and the still-glorious remnants of antebellum splendor.
Like many old Southern towns, Woodville is built around a square in the center of which stands the courthouse, the third structure to be located there. Surrounding this imposing building are many stately live oak trees, including the ancient bulk of the Jefferson Davis Oak, named for the area’s most famous former resident and, due to its age and massive size, awarded the distinction of membership in the American Society of Live Oaks.
The town is served by The Woodville Republican, a weekly newspaper founded in 1823. This local paper has been owned by the Lewis family since 1879, and is the oldest continuously operated business in Mississippi. Other sites of note include the Wilkinson County Museum, located in the historic building that once housed the offices of the long-defunct West Feliciana Railroad, and the African American Museum, housed in the slightly older headquarters of the Bank of the State of Mississippi; both of these sites on the courthouse square have been restored and are maintained by the town?s active Civic Club.
The population of the county is virtually the same today as it was nearly two centuries ago, and the town has retained the sense of history, purpose, and community that are the hallmarks of its proud heritage of southern culture and traditions. Visitors and newcomers alike are welcome to come and appreciate the serenity and deeply rooted sense of history unique to the small-town South.