Sunday, June 4, 2023

Lafayette County

Photo by H. Tabor
Photo by H. Tabor

Lafayette County was formed from lands ceded by the Chickasaw in the treaty of Pontotoc Creek in 1832. The county was organized in 1836, and in 1837 by three pioneers  John Martin, John Chisom, and John Craig who purchased the  land from Hoka, a female Chickasaw landowner, as a site for the town.

During the Civil War, Oxford suffered an invasion by federal troops under the command of Major General Andrew Jackson “Whiskey” Smith who burned the buildings in the town square, including the county courthouse. In the postwar Reconstruction Era, the town slowly recovered, with the aid Federal Judge Robert Andrews Hill, who secured funds to build a new courthouse. The original drawings of the second Lafayette County Courthouse, by the architect S. Boling, were signed and dated April 1871.

The present day Lafayette County Courthouse was completed in early 1873 and is one of the oldest in the state in continuous use as a courthouse. The courthouse was extended in 1953, adding on to the point past the two arched windows. The courthouse sits on the Oxford town square, which is the geographic center of Lafayette County, and is surrounded by a variety of gourmet restaurants, home décor shops, upscale clothing boutiques, coffee shops and professional offices.

The Lafayette County Courthouse was declared a National Historic Place on September 23, 1977.