1997: Me Linda's Fine Gifts
Picayune is the largest city in Pearl River County, Mississippi. The population was 10,878 at the 2010 census. Located approximately 45 miles (72 km) from New Orleans, Hattiesburg, and Gulfport/Biloxi. The Stennis Space Center is 10 miles (16 km) away.
Picayune was founded in 1904, named by Eliza Jane Poitevent Nicholson, the owner and the publisher of the New Orleans Daily Picayune, a newspaper named for the Spanish Coin. In the early years of European settlements, France, Spain and England all vied for possession of the area that now encompasses Picayune and Pearl River County. The Picayune area, long inhabited by the Choctaw Indians, was first claimed for France and called Louisiana. The first capital of French Louisiana was at nearby Biloxi, founded in 1669.
In 1763, the French surrendered all their possessions in North America east of the Mississippi to the English. At the same time, the Spanish also ceded to the English their claims to what were called East Florida and West Florida.
The Spanish reasserted their claim to the area in 1799 by attacking British forts in Baton Rouge, Mobile, and Pensacola. The area was returned to Spanish dominion until 1800 when Spain ceded the area to France.
Napoleon Bonaparte's brother Jerome is said to have visited the area sometime during this period. Legend has it that he was headquartered on the river below Picayune - hence the name Napoleon was given to a settlement there.
Napoleon sold the area to the young United States as part of the historic Louisiana Purchase. Although the Americans claimed the area, the Spanish continued to claim that West Florida extended to the East Pearl River, and the area did not officially come under U. S. control until 1810.
In 1811, while the territory was yet the lawless abode of pirates and Indians, Stephen Jarrell became the first permanent white settler in what is now Picayune. Jarrell built a trading post on a bluff overlooking Hobolochitto Creek.
The next year, 1812, Gen. Andrew Jackson passed through the area on his way to the Battle of New Orleans, and "Old Hickory" had a young quartermaster named Moses Cook who was sent to obtain supplies at Jarrell's post.
Cook was so taken with the area, that he returned after the war to buy Jarrell out and take over the post. When Mississippi was admitted to the union in 1817, the area of Cook's post was included in the newly formed Hancock County.
In 1832, Cook was able to establish a post office at his stand, which he named Hobolochitto. The area grew slowly in the antebellum years and was still sparsely populated by the time of the War Between the States. Most of the able-bodied men in the area joined the Confederate Army and went away during the war, and those left behind experienced hardships inflicted by jayhawkers and the occupying Yankee soldiers.
In 1905 it was incorporated as a town, and, in 1922 it was incorporated as a city.