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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.

Formerly known as Oakdale, because of the large number of oak trees in the area, and located six miles south of Fannin, the community’s name was changed to Langford in honor of Charles R. Langford, the first postmaster, in 1890.


First named Gates in honor of Tom Gates, an early settler, the name of the community was changed to Johns in honor of John Anderson, the first postmaster, in 1891. It is located in the southeastern part of the county. Johns was the home of Rankin County’s Agricultural High School, which was discontinued in 1932.


Originally known as Mountain Creek, the name was changed to Kings, probably in honor of Bee King, when the post office was established in 1881. This settlement was located in southwest Rankin, five miles west of Florence.

saw mill

Rural Saw Mill

Another sawmill town, Koch, located one mile north of Sand Hill, was named for H.C. Koch, general manager of Pearl River Lumber Company.