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Raleigh History

County: Smith

Smith County, as recited in the establishing act, was named "in honour of major David Smith, of Hinds County". At the time, Hiram Runnels, the husband of David Smith's daughter Aurelia, was Governor of Mississippi, the first under the Constitution of 1832. David Smith (1753-1834?), a native of North Carolina, moved to the Natchez District after serving in the North Carolina militia during the American Revolution. He later moved to Nashville, and he evidently received the title of major while serving with Jackson during the Creek Wars. His son, Ben Fort Smith, was the first Representative from Hinds County in the State Legislature, and David Smith moved to Hinds County in about 1822. His home, which he called Soldier's Rest, was a popular social and political gathering-place.

Another of his daughters, Sarah, married George W. Humphreys, and their son, Benjamin G. Humphreys, was Governor of Mississippi from 1865 to 1868, the last under the Constitution of 1832. The second son of B. G. Humphreys was named David Smith Humphreys.

Fairfield. No information has been found on the origin of this name.

Raleigh may have been named directly for Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), the famed English sailor and sometime favorite of Queen Elizabeth I, but it probably was named for Raleigh, North Carolina, which, like Raleigh County, West Virginia, was named for Sir Walter.

Formed under Second Constitution (1832-1869) - December 23, 1833

Smith County, an original county of the Choctaw Cession of 1830, with a small tract from Rankin County added to form its territory, was the thirteenth county created by the act of December 23, 1833.

In the Piney Woods soil area of southeast part of the state.

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