D'Lo, Mississippi

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D'Lo is a town in Simpson County, Mississippi, along the Strong River. The population was 394 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area.

D'Lo was featured in Life magazine for sending proportionally more men to serve in World War II than any other town of its size; 38 percent of the men who lived in D'Lo served.

Contents

Geography

D'Lo is located at 31°59′12″N 89°54′4″W / 31.98667°N 89.90111°W / 31.98667; -89.90111 (31.986665, -89.901030).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.7 square mile (1.8 km²), all land.

History

D’Lo was originally known as the village of Millhaven during the early 19th century due to the many watermills that dotted the Strong River in that area. It was not until 1874 that the first home was built there and the population began to grow slowly.

D'Lo post office was established May 23, 1881, with Mary F. May as first postmaster. The name was changed to D'Lo effective January 1, 1950.[2] After 1881 the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad was allowed to lay tracks through D’Lo resulting in a surge in population. Due to this increase of settlers in the community, on October 27, 1905, Governor James K. Vardaman declared D’Lo an official town.

The Town of D’Lo began to expand in 1916 when the Finkbine Lumber Company chose it as the location for a $1,000,000 sawmill plant. Finkbine constructed many homes in the community for their workers as well as a combination drygoods, hardware, grocery store, farm supply, feed and seed, general store known as Kew Mercantile Company. During the peak of the Finkbine’s sawmill plant operation, between 1916 and 1930, D’Lo was recognized as the largest town between Jackson and Hattiesburg. The town featured two large YMCA buildings, a movie theater, ten grocery stores, a furniture store, three appliance dealers, ten gas stations, seven butcher markets, a dry cleaner, five cafes, three auto shops, a boat building and cabinet shop, a machine shop, three pharmacies, a bank, lighted basketball courts, professional basketball and baseball teams, and a newspaper called The D’Lo Herald. The town also had Baptist and Methodist churches, a three-story brick school with 550 students and 17 teachers, and a three-story hospital called Pine View which was considered the best hospital between Jackson and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, as far as equipment and doctors were concerned. During this time the population of D’Lo was estimated to be around 5,000, which made it the second largest milling town in the United States. However, by the 1930s the Finkbine Mill had consumed almost all the timber in the surrounding counties resulting in the plant being permanently shut down.

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