PAULDING, Miss. (WHLT) – The second oldest Catholic church in Mississippi is located in Paulding, which is in Jasper County.
Why was St. Michael Catholic Church built in Paulding? Well when it was first built, this part of the nation was very attractive to settlers from the east who were looking for land. At first, they wanted to put cotton plantations here, but the large scale planter quickly moved farther west to the Natchez District and to Louisiana. It was the yeoman farmers and the merchants who built up the piney woods and the lumber boom.
Paulding was a bustling town before the Civil War. It was called the Queen City of the East. One thousand people lived here about the same time Jackson was still climbing out of the Pearl River swamps.
So why have we never heard of Paulding? One slight miscalculation, the town refused to come up with the funds to put the railroad through it. So the tracks were laid farther west through Bay Springs. And Paulding’s mistake ended up biting it in the caboose.
A couple of landmarks still remains from those early halcyon years, including the courthouse and the church.
Don’t turn your back on progress, because it will never look back at you. And Paulding’s your example.
The Eastern Clarion newspaper was started in Paulding. It later moved to Meridian and then to Jackson. It’s now known as the Clarion-Ledger.
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