The famous blues guitarist Robert Johnson, who is often cited as a major influence on rock and roll, was born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi.
Kemper County, located in the state of Mississippi, has a rich history that dates back to the pre-Columbian era. The region was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. European explorers arrived in the area in the 16th century, with French and Spanish settlers establishing a presence in the region.

During the colonial period, Kemper County experienced a significant amount of settlement and development. In the early 19th century, the region became a part of the United States as Mississippi became a state. The county was officially established in 1833 and named in honor of Reuben Kemper, a veteran of the War of 1812.

Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, Kemper County was primarily an agricultural area, with cotton being the dominant crop. The county's economy relied heavily on enslaved labor during the antebellum period, and the Civil War had a significant impact on the region. Many of the county's buildings and infrastructure were destroyed during the conflict.

In the decades following the Civil War, Kemper County began to rebuild and diversify its economy. The timber industry became an important sector, and with the arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century, logging became a major industry. Agriculture continued to play a role, with livestock farming and the production of poultry becoming important in the county. Today, Kemper County is known for its scenic landscapes, outdoor recreational opportunities, and a rich cultural heritage.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Kemper County, Mississippi.

  • 1812: Kemper County is established as one of the original counties of Mississippi.
  • 1833: DeKalb becomes the county seat.
  • Late 19th century: The county's economy heavily relies on agriculture, primarily cotton farming.
  • 1923: The first oil well is drilled in the county, leading to the discovery of oil and gas reserves.
  • 1930s: The Great Depression hits the county hard, causing economic hardships for its residents.
  • 1940s: World War II brings economic opportunities to the county as it experiences a boom in industrial development.
  • 1954: The county's educational system is racially integrated following the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.
  • 1960s: The Civil Rights Movement brings struggles and progress in the fight for racial equality.
  • 2004: Mississippi Power begins construction of the Kemper County Energy Facility, a coal-fired power plant.
  • 2014: The Kemper County Energy Facility shifts focus to natural gas due to cost and construction issues.