Waynesboro, the seat of justice of Wayne County, is situated northwest of the center of the county, on the Mobile & Ohio railroad, and has a population of three hundred. The first county seat of this county was Winchester, five miles south of Waynesboro, and on the Mobile & Ohio railroad. About 1822 the courthouse at Winchester was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt and is now standing. The old jail also yet stands at Winchester, built in the forties, with walls three feet thick of heavy hewed pine, by John McDonald, at a cost to the county of $400 or $500.
The county seat was located at Waynesboro in 1870. Schools were introduced in this county by itinerant teachers. One of them, Samuel M. Dickson, taught a classical school three miles and a half south of Winchester, on the Mobile road. Patterson taught on the Ridge next; Jacob Collins taught also on the Ridge east of Winchester; General Falconer and John A. Edwards alternated at the Ridge about 1828.
Among early churches in Wayne county were: Zion (Baptist), on the Ridge, of which William Powell and Nathan Clay, Jr., were early pastors; Salem (Baptist), in the present town of Waynesboro, though it stood at first on the Winchester road, William Morris, noted for his arbitrary rulings, acting as pastor in the twenties. Rev. Mr. Chambers was another early Baptist preacher here. The Methodists preached in the old Winchester courthouse in early days. Rev. William A. Cotton was a noted early circuit rider, and is said to have been something of a fighter when occasion demanded.
Back to: Mississippi Counties, Cities and Towns, 1891
Source: Biographical and Historical Memories of Mississippi, Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1891