With a diverse past, from Native American tribes to the first European explorers and settlers to the present day, Yazoo has always been intriguing. French explorers first named the river that flows through the area the River of the Yazous after the Yazoo Indian tribe, and the county and city were later named for the river. Yazoo County, established in 1823, is the largest county in Mississippi, situated in the west-central part of the state in the fertile valley formed by the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. After its organization, Yazoo County was rapidly settled by pioneers from other parts of Mississippi and from the Carolinas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
Author Bio: John E. Ellzey, the reference librarian for Ricks Memorial Library in Yazoo City for the past 40 years, specializes in local history and genealogy. He has been active in the Yazoo Historical Society and serves on the Yazoo City Preservation Commission. He was recognized by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in 2009 for documenting Mississippi’s history and by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 2012 for preserving local history.
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