Starkville, the county town of Oktibbeha County, is located at the intersection of the Mobile & Ohio, Illinois Central and Georgia Pacific railway lines, and has a population of two thousand. It is the largest town and principal shipping point of the county.
There are in this town live congregations of the following named religious denominations, all of whom own good houses of worship: Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Associate Reformed Presbyterian, Cumberland Presbyterian and Episcopalian. There are three colored churches, two Methodist and one Baptist, all with substantial buildings and large congregations.
The Starkville Female institute, a chartered institution opened in 1889 by Rev. T. G. Sellers, D. D., provides a complete collegiate course for young ladies. The average attendance for the past seventeen years has been nearly two hundred pupils. This school takes first rank among the seminaries of the South. Starkville high school, founded in 1880 by its present principal, Mr. W. E. Saunders, prepares its students for practical business lives or to enter college. This school has an average attendance of one hundred and fifty. There are also several private schools, besides two colored schools. The Agricultural college of Mississippi was opened in 1880; it is pleasantly situated just outside the city limits, and has an average attendance of three hundred and fifty students. This college is ably managed by its president, S. D. Lee, and a large faculty of the best men that can be secured in the country. It has enjoyed unusual prosperity, is popular with the people of the state, and takes first rank with the agricultural colleges in the country. $325,000 have been expended in the equipment and support of this college. The curriculum embraces technical training of students in agriculture, and to carry out this work a large farm has been equipped as a model farm, on which the breeding and feeding of stock, the growing of all crops adapted to the climate, fruits, vegetables, nursery stock, etc., is pursued in a skilled manner. Among other things the college carries on a creamery, from which butter and cream are shipped daily through the year to towns in this and other states. The influence of the college is felt in the surrounding country, and is shown by the attention being paid to stock growing and the improvement of the lands, which is carried to a greater extent than will be found in any other portion of the state.
Three papers are published in Starkville, The Southern Live- Stock Journal, devoted specially to the live-stock interests of the South, a well edited paper, and having a wide circulation. It is the leading stock and agricultural journal of the Southern states. The East Mississippi Times and Oktibbeha Citizen, political and general newspapers, both have a good circulation in the eastern portion of the state.
Abert lodge No. 89, A. F. &. A. M. (formerly Oktibbeha lodge), was organized under a dispensation granted in 1847 and was chartered 1848. O. L. Nash, past master; William R. Cannon, W. M.; Simeon Muldrow, S. W.; S. W. Easley, J. W.; Moses F. Westbrook, treasurer; William G. Lampkin, secretary; John T. Freeman, S. D.: Alex Walker, J. D.; Charles Dibrell, S. and tyler.
Other lodges A. F. &. A. M. in this county are
Big Creek lodge No. 204, Double Springs lodge No. 251, and
Whitfield lodge No. 365, the last at Sturgis.
Ridgeley lodge No. 23, I. O. O. F., was organized December 23, 1846, with A. J. Maxwell as N. G. E. L. Tarry is the present
N. G. Starkville lodge No. 783, K. of H., was organized October 29, 1 877, with W. E. Saunders as dictator. T. M. Cummings is the present dictator.
Starkville council No. 900, A. L. of H., was established April 1, 1882, with C. E. Gay as commander. The original membership was twenty-seven; the present membership is fifty-seven.
Oktibbeha lodge No. 38, K. of P., was established November 23, 1883, with Simon Field as C. C, and a membership of twenty-five. The members now number twenty-six, and T. J. James is C. C.
Whitfield, Salem and Montgomery are other towns in Oktibbeha County.
Source: Biographical and Historical Memories of Mississippi, Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1891