The Beginnings of Kilmichael

Leasville, a community about three-quarters of a mile from present-day Kilmichael was formed in 1840 by settlers from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. This was one of the oldest settlements formed in Choctaw County, now Montgomery County. This community was never incorporated but had a store operated by Edmon Holmes. This store served as post office and town meeting hall. Due to the confusion of Leasville with Louisville, in Winston County, it was decided to rename the town. Community leaders gathered in Holmes’ store to select a new name. After not being able to agree on a new name, the community leaders listened to a suggestion offered by Duncan McKinley, a Scottish traveling salesman. He said there was a town in Scotland named Kilmichael and to the best of his knowledge there was not another anywhere else. They decided to name the town Kilmichael.

Other stores were built and just prior to the Civil War, the post office moved from Edmon Holmes’ store to Dr. Henry P. Turner’s store located on the Vaiden Road. In 1867, the post office moved to the Blackmore House located further down the Vaiden Road and remained there until the railroad began to be built through the site of present-day Kilmichael.

Construction of the railroad began in 1888 and was mostly complete by 1889. In May of 1889, the first train passed through the site of present-day Kilmichael. By 1890 the railroad was completed and most of the stores and the post office had moved to the site of present-day Kilmichael. The original settlement was then known as Old Kilmichael.

Once again difficulties with the name arose because railroad officials changed the name to Rutherford. There was a second Rutherford in Mississippi. The name was then changed back to Kilmichael and the town was incorporated.

Other stores were soon built including one by a local black man named Guinea Tom Polson. A street was named in his honor, Guinea Tom Avenue, and remains in use today.

The early 1900’s saw several changes: most of the wooden buildings were torn down and replaced by brick ones and the railroad changed names from Georgia Pacific to Southern Railroad and many years later Columbus and Greenville.

The first church in the community was completed in 1850. The Friendship Methodist Church was outside the city limits near the Kilmichael Cemetery. The first church inside the city limits was The Baptist Church built in 1891. The first Methodist Church inside the city limits was built in 1895 at the location of the present-day Methodist Church. It stood until 2005.

Kilmichael Population from Census Bureau

1900       227

1910       380

1920       395

1930       577

1940       556

1950       511

1960       532

1970       543

1980       906

1990       826

2000       830

2010       699

2015 (est.) 602