Pocahontas heart lies in southeastern corner of Hardeman County, while part of it’s community overflows into McNairy County.
Pocahontas started when a land owner by the name of Dr. William H Fleming. Mr. Fleming, in 1828, willed all his rights and interest to Thomas, John and Dauglas Rivers the forks of the Tuscumbia and Hatchie River, for the purpose of locating a town. Pocahontas got it’s name after the Indian Princess, Pocahontas.
The heart of Pocahontas has moved threw time. The first settlement began at Ray’s Bluff, inching it’s way to Matamora Hill, where a stagecoach ran. After the civil war the two communities merged bringing the heart to Matamora Hill. When the Memphis & Charleston Railroad began it’s first run in 1848, this brought an end to the stagecoach at Matamora Hill, and the heart of Pocahontas moved it’s final time to it’s present location next to the railroad.
By 1867, business was growing bringing a saloon, a manufacturer of buggies, wagons and carriages, a tin shop, dealer in shoes, grocery stores, logging, and sawmills. Some of the names in business was W. H. Davis, C. C. Gibbs, W. R. Reid, and Elisha Ragan. With business booming, a tornado devastated the town in February of 1871, destroying the railroad station, a two story Masonic Hall and crumbling 21 buildings of homes and businesses. But with determination, residents stood guard, overseeing the area while their fellow neighbor tried to rebuild Pocahontas.
In 1890′s saw-milling and logging was going strong. Logs were rafted down the Hatchie River during the winter, of only six to eight logs wide. Each camp had their mark to make correct account of each log as they arrived at the mill. Rafters would build fires that redden the path of the Hatchie River, doing their best to keep logs from jamming up with the help of a near 15 foot jam pole. When the river level fell, rafters would have to wait for weeks for enough rising water to get to the terminal at Pocahontas from Alcorn or Tippah County. In 1899 Pocahontas took a fall as the Pocahontas Lumber Company burnt down, instead of rebuilding in Pocahontas, the mill was moved to Corinth.
By 1906, a Post Office was establishedwith W. Reid being the first postmaster, with three rural routes serving nearly 2,000 residents. The post office was once a plank building then moving to the known Shea Building. In time, the post office received it’s own brick building located on Hwy 57.
In 1968, Pocahontas took yet another fall when the Schoolhouse, being established in 1924, was consolidated with Middleton. One unknown resident was known to of bought his own bus to help provide transportation for residents to Middleton School.
Pocahontas has no intention of becoming a ghost town, with it’s potential of growing and one day being incorporated. Today Pocahontas still has it’s Post Office, a saw-mill, a store with food and gas, churches, and self employed residents along with it’s rich history.
source: Bolivar Bulletin-Times, Bolivar Archives, Community Residents