Indianola, Mississippi

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Indianola is a city in Sunflower County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 12,066 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Sunflower County[1].



Indianola was originally named Indian Bayou, for the stream on which it was built. Between 1882 and 1884, the town's name was changed from Indian Bayou to Eureka, then to Belengate, and finally Indianola. As with most Mississippi Delta towns, Indianola was built on the site of ancient Indian camps. A story has been circulated about the town being named after an Indian princess named "Ola." A search by this author in the papers of Mr. W. R. French, a local historian, in the early 1970s revealed that many other Indianolas in the United States claimed the same origin for their name. The story about the origin of the town coming from an Indian princess named "Ola" is folk etymology. The last Choctaw Indians had been forcibly removed from the area through the Treaty of Doak's Stand in 1820, and the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830. Indianola was not incorporated under its current name until 1886. (Brieger, Hometown Mississippi 1980). Mr. French speculated that name was selected by the Board of Supervisors in memory of Indianola, Texas, which had been totally destroyed by a hurricane in 1875.

In his Delta Discovery series, Terry Graham stated that the name did indeed come from an Indian princess named "Ola". The majority of historians agree with Graham's findings.


Indianola is located at 33°26′53″N 90°38′51″W / 33.44806°N 90.6475°W / 33.44806; -90.6475 (33.447999, -90.647414)[2] at the junction of MS Highways 82 and 49W.

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