The state has a diverse population that includes Native American tribes such as the Choctaw and Chickasaw, as well as African Americans, European Americans, and Hispanic Americans.
Lafayette County, Mississippi has a rich and diverse history that stretches back to its earliest human inhabitants. The region has seen the rise and fall of Native American civilizations, the arrival of European explorers and settlers, the impact of the American Civil War, and the progressive growth of its communities.

Before European arrival, the area that is now Lafayette County was home to indigenous people, such as the Chickasaw tribe. These Native Americans were skilled hunters and farmers, establishing villages and leaving behind archaeological evidence of their thriving cultures.

European settlement in the area began in the early 19th century. The town of Oxford, which would become the county seat, was founded in 1835. The arrival of the Mississippi Central Railroad in 1857 spurred further growth and development in the county, connecting it to other parts of the state and facilitating trade.

During the American Civil War, Lafayette County played a significant role. It was a site of important battles and military campaigns, including the famous Battle of Oxford in 1862. The county saw the devastation of war, with many homes and buildings destroyed.

In the decades following the war, Lafayette County experienced a slow but steady recovery. Economic activities like agriculture and timber became important for the county's residents. The establishment of the University of Mississippi in 1848 also brought growth and cultural enrichment to the area. Today, Lafayette County continues to thrive as a vibrant community with a rich historical legacy, offering a blend of Southern charm, academic pursuits, and natural beauty.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Lafayette County, Mississippi.

  • 1832 - Lafayette County established as one of the original counties of the Mississippi Territory.
  • 1836 - Oxford, the county seat, is incorporated.
  • 19th century - Lafayette County experiences growth with the rise of agriculture and development of railroads.
  • 1861-1865 - Lafayette County heavily impacted by the American Civil War.
  • 1904 - University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) moves to Oxford, boosting the county's economy and cultural influence.
  • 20th century - Lafayette County continues to develop and modernize.
  • 21st century - Ongoing growth and development, attracting new businesses and residents.