Chester, Mississippi

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Chester is a small community in central Choctaw County, Mississippi about nine miles northwest of Ackerman.

Chester was founded in 1874 to be the county seat of Choctaw County, and was the sole county seat from 1874 until 1887. During this period of time, Chester was a prosperous town with many businesses, lawyers, and doctors located around the town square. This changed, however, in 1883, when the Canton, Aberdeen, and Nashville Railroad was completed through Choctaw County. The railroad ran through Choctaw County several miles south of Chester, and many residents of the community moved to live closer to the railroad.[1]

In 1887, a second county courthouse was erected in Ackerman, which was located on the new railroad. Chester then became the seat of the First Judicial District of Choctaw County, while Ackerman held the Second Judicial District. Chester continued to decline, and in 1923 the voters of Choctaw County voted to consolidate the two judicial districts, closing the courthouse in Chester. Today Chester is a small, unincorporated community with few residents and almost no business near the old town square, though there is an active Baptist church (Chester Baptist Church) located in the area.[2]

The Red Hills Mine (a reclaimed open-pit lignite mine) opened nearby in 1998, with the first excavation in 1999.

Coal from the mine feeds the Red Hills Power Plant, which supplies electricity to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

Notable people[edit]

Cheryl Prewitt, Miss America of 1980.

Coordinates: 33°21′31″N 89°14′18″W / 33.35861°N 89.23833°W / 33.35861; -89.23833


  1. ^ Choctaw County Chronicles: A History of Choctaw County Mississippi, 1830-1973, by J.P. Coleman, 114-17.
  2. ^ Ibid. at 88-90.