In 1848, the first successful, mechanically powered textile mill in Mississippi was founded in Bankston by James Madison Wesson. It was named for one of Wesson's financial backers, Mr. Banks from Columbus, Georgia. Located on McCurtain’s Creek, a tributary of the Big Black River, the Bankston Textile Mill, also known as Mississippi Manufacturing Company, produced cloth and shoes for the Confederacy after Mississippi seceded from the Union.
Because of its isolated location in the backwoods of Choctaw County, the Bankston Mill continued to operate through 1864. The end came when scouts for the Union Army learned that the mill was turning out one thousand yards of cloth and 150 pairs of shoes each day.Benjamin Grierson’s federal troops arrived on the night of December 30, 1864, and set fire to the cotton factory, the wool factory, the flour mill, and the shoe factory while locals slept.
All that remains of the town is the Bankston Cemetery.