Copiah County, Mississippi

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Copiah County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of 2000, the population was 28,757. The county seat is Hazlehurst[1]. It is part of the Jackson, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Copiah, from a Choctaw Indian word meaning calling panther, was organized in 1823 as Mississippi's 18th county. In 2004 Calling Panther Lake, commemorating this name, was opened up just West and North of Crystal Springs near the Jack community. The county ranks seventh in land area. In the year of organization, Walter Leake served as governor and James Monroe as President of the United States.

The county is known as a tomato and cabbage producing area, and for many years was called the "Tomato Capital of the World." Specifically, Crystal Springs was known as "The Tomato Capital of the World" because for a few years in the late 1930s it canned and shipped out via railcar more tomatoes than any other locale, but this was disrupted by the onset of World War II. The title stuck, and twelve years ago an annual Tomato Festival was re-established, replete with a tomato growing contest, tomato tasting, farmers market, vendor's booths, 5K run and, of course, the crowning of the new Tomato Queen. There is a tomato museum at the Chautauqua Park Visitor's Center that exhibits historical pictures, agricultural relics from the era and examples of some of the shipping and canning labels.

Albert Gallatin Brown, the 14th governor of Mississippi, was elected from Copiah County, serving from 1844-48.

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Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 779 square miles (2,017.6 km2), of which 777 square miles (2,012.4 km2) is land and 3 square miles (7.8 km2) (0.36%) is water.

Major highways

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