History & Facts of Prentiss & Jefferson Davis County


  Prentiss was established in 1903 and was originally located in Lawrence County.  When Jefferson Davis County was formed in 1906, a special election was held in April of that year, and Prentiss was made the county seat of the new county.  The first bank in the town was called The Bank of Blountville.  It is understood that the early settlement was called Blountville for William Blount, an early settler and merchant.  On Christmas Eve, 1902, Prentiss Webb Berry held a light as the final spike was driven on the new Mississippi Central Railroad, in what is now Jefferson Davis County. The first train rolled into the site of the town known as Prentiss.  Mr. Berry, a farmer and large land owner, deeded half of the town to the railroad, to get it to locate through the center of the present site of Prentiss.  On March 3, 1903, Governor A. H. Longino signed a proclamation of Incorporation as the Village of Prentiss, Lawrence County, Mississippi with a population of one hundred fourteen (114).  Then on November 11, 1904, Governor James K. Vardaman signed a declaration of incorporation as the Town of Prentiss, Lawrence County, Mississippi with three hundred and fifty citizens (350). 

  The farmers in the county were the first in the state to vote against beer after its legalization in 1933.  In 1938, the residents of Prentiss, with this same standard of morality, refused to sanction round dancing in the Community House that had been constructed with Works Progress Administration assistance.

One of the many stories of Prentiss concerns what is locally known as the Battle of Mississippi Run.  The Bank of Blountville was robbed in 1935 by Raymond Hamilton, a public enemy who had found a hideout in the Jefferson Davis hills. Raymond took two men hostage in order to make his getaway from the posse that later formed.  He drove a car to Memphis and after locking the hostages in the rumble seat, left the car in a parking lot.  The men finally escaped from the car and called the Jefferson Davis County Sheriff. 

  Prentiss has a population of approximately 1500 and sits on 29 acres.  The town is protected by fire from the Prentiss Fire Department located in the City Hall building with a rating class of 7.  There is natural gas with a gas main of 2 inches.  Entex, Inc. is the distributor with United Gas Pipeline as the supplier. The water and sanitary sewer is provided by the town.  The water main is 8 inches and the sanitary sewer is also 8 inches.  The waters pressure is 100 psi. The water tank capacity is 150,000 gallons.

There are several Historical sites in and around Prentiss with the Jefferson Davis County Courthouse, Garraway's Store, and St. Stephens Road all within the city limits.  In Jefferson Davis County, the Magee Home and Holloway/Polk Home are close by.  Prentiss is also home to the Prentiss Institute.  There are ten denominations and over 60 churches located within the county.

  Prentiss has a Veteran's Monument located on the grounds of the Jefferson Davis County Courthouse. The US Army National Guard has a unit stationed in Prentiss. There are several schools located in Prentiss; Prentiss Elementary School for grades kindergarten through 6, Prentiss High School for grades 7 through 12, Prentiss Christian School for grades K4 through 12, and Five County Head Start for preschool children. The Jefferson Davis County Vo-Tech School is located outside the city of Prentiss.

Health care is provided by the Prentiss Regional Hospital and Extended Care Facility, Jefferson Davis County Rehab and Physical Therapy, South Mississippi Home Health, Forrest General Home Health, the Jefferson Davis County Health Department, and the Pine Belt Mental Health Center. There are ten (10) doctors, three (3) dentist, and one (1) optometrist serving our community.

Prentiss Complex

  The Prentiss Complex is located on John Street Extension on three (3) acres with an additional seven (7) acres available. The total square footage of the building is 78,500 with a manufacturing square footage of 71,500. There is 7,000 square feet of office space available. The ceiling clearance is 24 maximum and 15 minimum. The building is completely air-conditioned and heated with a sprinkler system installed. There is a shipping and receiving area with four (4) floor level doors and two (2) dock high doors with levelers. Parking space comes in with 200 spaces and is paved.

Prentiss Industrial Park

  The Prentiss Industrial building is located on John Street Extension on tow (2) acres with an additional eight (8) acres available. The total square footage of this building is 44,625 with a manufacturing square footage of 42,000. Office space comes in at 1,200 square feet. The ceiling clearance is 25 maximum and 12 minimum. The the building is completed heated and air conditioned. There is shipping receiving space with four (4) floor level doors and two (2) dock high doors with levelers. The paved parking lot has 150 spaces.

Berry Street Complex

  The Berry Street Complex in located at 1110 Berry Street, Prentiss. There are 3.75 acres with a total square footage of 32,000. The manufacturing square footage total is 28,175 with office space of 3,825 square feet. The ceiling clearance is 10 maximum and 10 minimum. The building is air conditioned and heated with a sprinkler system installed. The are 2 dock high doors in the shipping receiving are and parking spaces of 100 on gravel.


Jefferson Davis County

    Jefferson Davis County is located in South Central Mississippi. Jefferson Davis County was formed in 1906, and was named after a prominent Mississippian and President of the Confederacy. Prentiss is the county seat housing the courthouse and local government offices. Prentiss is governed by a board of aldermen elected at large. The county offers recreational facilities including a golf course, fishing lake, city park with tennis courts, walking trail, show barn for cattle, riding arena and rodeo facility, baseball and softball facilities, and woodlands for hunting. The second Saturday in April hundreds of runners/walkers come to Prentiss for the annual Run for the Roses 5 K race. Prentiss is a beautiful small town with crepe myrtles lining Columbia Avenue providing a colorful welcome to visitors and residents. Prentiss has a historical district and an urban tree walk with many interesting old homes in a beautiful setting of tree-lined streets. US Highway 84 and Mississippi Highways 13, 35 and 42 intersect the county. The Prentiss Regional Airport with 3200 feet of runway is available, with the Pine Belt Regional Airport and Jackson International Airport within an hour drive.

  Jefferson Davis County has an agriculture consisting of forestry, poultry, beef, and vegetable crops. The forestry industry has an annual economic impact of $10 million. The poultry industry, which consists of broilers and egg production, has an economic impact of $11 million annually. The vegetable industry has an economic impact of $2 million annually.