Short History Contributed by John Allred:
Formed under Second
Constitution (1832-1869) - December 23, 1833
Lauderdale County, an original county of the
Choctaw Cession of 1830, was the third of the
sixteen counties created by the act of December
Lauderdale County, as recited in the
establishing act, was named "in memory of Col.
James Lauderdale, who fell in battle at New
Orleans". James Lauderdale, of Tennessee, a
member of John Coffee's mounted brigade, was
wounded in the battle of Talladega during the
Creek Wars and was killed in the night attack on
the British below New Orleans on December 23,
1814. The counties of Lauderdale in Alabama and
Tennessee also were named for him.
Marion undoubtedly was named for General Francis
Marion, for whom Marion County had been named in
1811. The earliest county seat was located at
Marion until 1866. In 1866 to 1870, the county
seat was located at Marion Station. Marion
Station derived its name from the town of
Marion. In 1870, the county seat was moved to
Meridian, and so remains.
Meridian had its beginnings in a rivalry between
two railroad men, whose respective choices for
the name of the town were Ragsdale City and
Sowashee. The name Meridian eventually emerged
as a compromise choice.
Meridian is not on or near any meridian, and it
is said that the founders thought the name meant
something else, such as "junction", "midpoint"
or "central location", but it is more likely
that they chose the word for its meaning of
"zenith", the highest point reached by a star. A
county seat in Texas also is named Meridian.