Vardaman History Project - Ellzey


In 1836, four years after the Treaty of Pontotoc with the Chickasaw Indian Nation, the Mississippi legislature created Chickasaw County which included the area that was to later become Ellzey. Sixteen years after that, in 1852, the legislature created Calhoun County from parts of Chickasaw, Lafayette, and Yalobusha counties. The area that became known as Ellzey was in that part of Chickasaw County that later became Calhoun County.

Ellzey Incorporation Settlers began arriving in the western part of what was then Chickasaw county about 1839. One of the first settlements in the area that became known as Ellzey was a few miles northeast of where Ellzey is now and was called Cherry Hill. A post office was established for Cherry Hill in 1846.

By the 1870s, the southern end of the Cherry Hill community was growing. A road from Houston to Pittsboro intersected another road from Atlanta to Reid in this area. Berry Ellzey was an early merchant here and the settlement near this intersection became known as Ellzey. Another early store was "D. Blue & Son". A surviving journal from this store indicates that it probably opened in 1871. This journal covers a bit more than two years. Based on the entries in the journal, this store became "Young & Blue" in the mid-1870s. Over 130 different customers with credit accounts are listed in that journal. Although addresses aren't included, the names include well-known people from the immediate area as well as from more distant communities such as New Liberty and Hollis.

An Ellzey post office was opened in 1880. It was closed for a while but reopened in 1891.

Ellzey Town, as it was often called, reached its peak during the 1890's and early 1900's with seven stores, a doctor, the Cherry Hill Male and Female College, the Smith brothers brick yard, the Young Brothers & Co. Wagon and Buggy Spokes factory, a Methodist church, a Baptist church, and probably other businesses that I haven't been able to find written records or historical accounts for.

In late 1899 a group of local citizens petitioned the Mississippi governor to incorporate the community as the Village of Ellzey. A copy of the petition and the ensuing proclamation is shown here.

Village Boundaries The village incorporation limits shown in yellow on this modern aerial photo are approximate and are based on the description given in the petition and proclamation. The starting point, the house of M. G. Blue, is assumed to have been in the northeast corner of the intersection of the Houston-Pittsboro road and the Atlanta-Reid road. The "Blue Home on 341" picture below is from James E. Clark's excellent compilation of east Calhoun County information and is probably the M.G. Blue house. Any information to verify or refute this is welcome.

M.G. Blue House ? Ellzey Village flourished for only a few years after it was incorporated.

It had long been the dream of many who lived in eastern Calhoun County for a railroad to be built to serve the timber and farming interests of the area. One survey had been made for a route from Houston to Pittsboro which came through Ellzey; and when the rumors began to fly about the strong possibility that the railroad was actually going to be built, land buyers began coming into the Ellzey area and buying property in anticipation of the railroad.

However, as discussed in the section of this history dealing with the railroad, the hopes of the Ellzey folks were not realized. A new survey was made which brought the railroad from Houston three or so miles south of Ellzey on its way west. This re-routing proved fatal to Ellzey's future prospects of growing and becoming a town. When the railroad construction began, many of the merchants in Ellzey moved south to the new community that became Vardaman.

The post office at Ellzey was closed for good in January 1908 and the mail was sent to the Timberville post office at Vardaman.

Ellzey Cemeteries

Young's Chapel Methodist Church

New Hope Baptist Church

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