Yesterday, Sunday November 29, 2015, I found something on the Internet about a community in Mississippi that has ties to my family. The website asked for those with information to contact them, so I did. I have yet to receive a reply, but since this has to do with my family history, I’m going to post here on my website the same information I sent them.
Hello, my name is Larry Gene Overton. I was searching today to see if anything new about Overton, Mississippi was on the Internet. (It’s been a few years since I last checked.) In the process, I stumbled upon your page for Overton, Mississippi.
As you requested, I am contacting you with information. I hope that you will find it helpful.
I live in Corpus Christi, Texas, and it’s been 13 years since I was last in Overton, Mississippi. But Overton is indeed a community, not just a landmark. And yes, it is in Alcorn County. Here’s the history from my family’s perspective.
My great-great-great-great grandfather Abel Overton (1805–1886) moved to this area sometime in 1841, from McNairy County, Tennessee. His fifth child (second son) was Jesse Dial Overton, the first of his children to be born in Mississippi, on April 9, 1842, in what was then Tippah County.
(Alcorn County was created in 1870 by a re-drawing of boundaries involving land previously in Tippah and Tishomingo counties. The part of Alcorn County that my family is from was originally listed in Tippah County before 1870. Abel Overton was listed in Tippah County in the both the 1850 and 1860 censuses.)
On December 8, 1890, four years after Abel Overton passed away, his son, my great-great-great grandfather Jesse Dial Overton became the postmaster in the area (Section 30, Township 1, Range 5E), with his log cabin on “Overton Hill” serving as the post office, thus putting “Overton” on the Mississippi map. However, a postal map of Alcorn County dated 1911 indicates that a number of post offices were being closed out due to rural free delivery, including the “office” in Overton.
The community is also known as Overton Hill. Leaving Corinth, the county seat of Alcorn County, you drive west on highway 72 for a number of miles (I want to say about a dozen miles, but I don’t remember for sure), then turn right (north) onto County Road 747. After a short distance, you come to something of a “Y” in the road. A road sign directs you to the right on County Road 770 for “Overton Hill.”
After driving about a mile, you come to a hill on the right. Atop that hill is the Overton Hill Community Church, where my ancestors worshiped, and where some distant relatives still worship.
I’ve been to Overton Hill twice, the first time in 1985 and the last time in 2002. When I was there last, the church building was still standing and served as a place of worship for the congregation in that community. Behind the church building is the old cemetery where some of my ancestors are buried.
Again, I hope that this information is helpful. I’ve included a lot of family data because my family and the region in question are inexorably linked, and because this information establishes the historical context for why it was once on the map in Mississippi but is so no longer. Feel free to use this information as you see fit.