Walthall County Library

707 Union Road
Tylertown, MS 39667

601-876-4348

History

The present library was dedicated on November 18, 1979 with Ellen Sullivan serving as librarian. A major renovation and expansion was completed in 2002. The library more than doubled in size from 4,144 square feet to its present 8,442 square feet. The expansion added a spacious meeting room and kitchen facilities, a children's area, a genealogy room, additional bathrooms and more shelving areas. A ribbon-cutting ceremony (pictured at right) was held September 15, 2002 in honor of the library's renovation.

The library was founded in 1933 during the Great Depression with WPA funds. The first librarian was Catherine Baillo Futch. Beginning with a shelf of 25 books and a salary of $40 a month, Mrs. Futch drove her own car around soliciting books and donations. The library closed briefly during 1948 because of funding. Hattie Dean Pittman became librarian in October of 1948 when the library opened on the second floor of Tylertown Drug company. The library moved twice in the 1950's. Mrs. Pittman retired in 1973 followed by Mrs. Hilda Hinson and in 1975 by Miss Pat Ginn. Walthall became part of the Pike-Amite-Walthall system in 1977. Friends of the Walthall Public Library formed in July 1979 and continues to take an active role in helping the library. The group meets the second Tuesday of each month. Lunch and an interesting program are provided for a nominal fee.

Although the Walthall County area was one of the first to be settled, it was one of the last counties to be organized. Walthall was carved out of Old Pike County, which had been part of Old Marion County. Old Marion County was originally part of Amite County, which had been part of Wilkinson County, which in turn had once been part of Adams County. The earliest significant community in Walthall County is China Grove, eight miles northeast of Tylertown on Magee's Creek. The creek was the site of several grist mills. China Grove is also the site of one of the oldest churches in south Mississippi. The China Grove Methodist Church was built in 1861 and is still being used on occasions. Some of the earliest settlers, including slaves, are buried in the church's cemetery.

Tylertown was originally named Conerly's Community after Cullen Conerly who, along with his brother-in-law Benjamin Lampton, owned a grist mill, a saw mill, and a cotton gin. In 1879 it was renamed Tyler Town for William G. Tyler and in 1894 became Tylertown.

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