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Smith County Watermelons


Excerpt from HOMETOWN MISSISSIPPI by James Breiger
Antique Car

"The land on which the town was situated was owned by Albert Little and James Sellers, and the township was formed in the early 1800's. Later a post office was established and the railroad came in 1900.
Sarah Page, an early settler, owned many cattle and grazed them forseveral miles around this section. The spot that she salted for her cattle is known as Page's Licking Ground, a barren waste with no vegetation, owing to the salt left in the soil. Arrow heads can be found in this vicinity and tradition has it that at one time buffalo came to lick the salt...."

Long before the appearance of European explorers and east coast colonial settlers, the land area that would become Mississippi was the home of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and other American Indian tribes. For many centuries, these peoples called this land home. The area that today is known as Smith County was part of the Choctaw Nation's domain, but this would end in 1830 with the “Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.” This was the last treaty between the white man and the Choctaw people, and it would be the one that gave up all remaining land in Mississippi. Some three years later, on December 23, 1833, Smith County was carved out of this land area. It was one of several counties formed at this time from this vast area ceded in the Treaty of 1830. Like many small Mississippi towns, Mize began with small groups of people as they merged and banded together. Rolling hills, plentiful game and fresh running water compelled these settlers to remain in the area. The land was being granted from the Federal Government for homesteading to veterans. It is known that the early settlers of Mize were of the Hopkins family. The first school/church was in the same building, and a post office/trading post was built.
The southern area of Mize, Sullivan’s Hollow, lies about five miles south of town and is quite renowned for “Wild Bill” Sullivan’s activities there.The local area has a rich history since being settled around 1800 by the large Sullivan family. Sullivan's Hollow has generated much of the area.  Much has been written and told about Sullivan and his Irish clan. These stories account for much of the legend and lore of  Mize, MS. Sullivan’s log house still stands today. More about Sullivans Hollow.

These people survived because they knew how to live off the land. They grew good produce and began to grow fine watermelons, becoming famous in the twenties and thirties with “Cuban Queen Watermelons.” This reputation continues, and today the area is famous for its sweet watermelons. Mize holds an annual watermelon festival in honor of this “superior sweet crop.” The eastern side of Mize was settled by a Jones family. There was a mill there and the area is called the “Y” because three roads converge there. This became the post office and was named Mize for a Sheriff of Smith County, named John Clay Mize. This post office was moved over to the town of Hopkins sometime around 1902.
Louisianna Governor Huey P. Long's father was born in Sullivan's Hollow where his grandfather, John Murphy Long, lived for many years.
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Town of Mize     208 Hwy 28      Mize, Mississippi 39116     Phone: 601 733-2221     EMAIL
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