It originally fell in Tallahatchie County and was incorporated in 1836. Shortly
afterwards, the first license to operate a saloon in Tallahatchie County was granted in
According to Hathorn, the town had a ferry, numerous businesses and a hotel, the
Wayside Inn, the remains of which survived into the 1930s. The Wayside Inn was set up by
Loring S. Williams and his wife, former staff members at Eliot Mission. A school,
Tuscahoma Academy, was located about a mile and a quarter away at Guy's Corner (named for
Maj. Curtis Haywood Guy, who came from North Carolina and owned a large plantation there),
near the later site of the Holcomb School. A newspaper, The Tuscahomian, began publication
By 1842, however, a traveler wrote: "A few days ago in company with Maj. James A.
Girault, a planter residing near Tuscahoma, I visited that place, once the principal
commercial emporium of North Mississippi, but now a deserted village." At that time,
according to Hathorn, "Girault was living on the plantation known as Bellview Place
... later bought by D.L. Holcomb."
The ferry, however, continued to operate until well after the Civil War, and the
Tuscahoma post office was in operation as late as 1873.
The name Tuscahoma remains as the name of one of Holcomb's streets.
The nearby community of Oxberry, just across the Yalobusha River from Holcomb, also has
early roots. The name comes from the family of Chief James Oxberry, who was a Choctaw
interpreter employed by the Chocchuma Land Office. His family was one of those native
families determined to remain in the area. Under the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, they
were able to claim "reservations," and several Oxberrys are listed in the Tract
Book of land sales. The early Memphis-Rankin road ran through their land, and it is here
that the Oxberry community developed.
Early white families in the area included those of Will Hoffa and Hernando DeSoto
Staten. Bethel Baptist Church and a general store run by LaRue Fite and later Gladys
Staten were centers of the community. An immense tornado, the longest continually on the
ground in recorded history, destroyed the store in 1972.