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A History of Rankin County Mississippi, Volume I contains interesting facts about communities in our county which we plan to share with you in these pages. Many of these communities you know, others no longer exist, but all figure in our Rankin County heritage. How many do you know?

Located in the Antioch area, the post office was named Rufus in honor of Rufus Patrick. The post office existed from 1902 to 1909.

This community was so named because of its hills and the many beautiful and useful rocks found there. There was a one-room school house, a Baptist church and a Methodist church. The school was organized around 1887. Miss Mary Buchanan was probably the first teacher. The school closed in 1932 and the students were transferred to Johns school.
Rock Hill Baptist Church was organized under a brush arbor in 1892 or 1893. A one room church building was constructed soon afterwards. In 1946 the church was moved to a more suitable location for its members.
Rock Hill Methodist church was probably organized in the 1870′s or 1880′s. Its membership was transferred to Johns Methodist church in the early 1930′s.

Located five miles east of Brandon, Rankin’s post office, named for the county, was opened in 1870, abolished in 1910 in favor of an R.F.D. from Brandon. Rankin was formerly known as Spear’s Cut and was at one time a flag stop on the railroad.

Maggie and Marvin performing in a show. The “show pictures” are from the collection of Rebecca Burnham Kallaher, Texas; and Joy Parker of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Located about 20 miles southeast of Brandon, Puckett was named for one of its early settlers. When application for a post office was made, the name Burnham was requested, but there was already a post office named Burnham, so the request was denied. Another one of Puckett’s early settlers named Merchant built the first water mill and to attract trade, he had blazed a trail along the ridge which forms the dividing line between Campbell and Purvis Creeks to the point now known as Shiloh.
One of the oldest houses in the southeastern part of the county was the Bill Stapleton house, built in 1834. The entire west end was said to be built by slave labor, with a porch 10 feet wide extending the entire length of the house, a hall 12 feet wide, and two rooms each containing two fireplaces.
Puckett during the winter months became the mecca for traveling show people and was called humourously by one writer, “the biggest little show town in America.”
The post office at Puckett was established in 1891.

Leesburg, a community ten miles northeast of Pelahatchie in northeast Rankin County, has a unique claim to fame — the great robbery of the combination store and post office which was never solved. According to postal records the post office at Leesburg opened in 1879 and closed in 1938. Mail was carried from Leesburg to Morton. The community was named for a family of early settlers. The Leesburg Cemetery contains 174 marked graves. Its size indicates the importance of the Leesburg community to this section of Rankin County through the years.