Potts Camp began as a small trading post, founded by Colonel Erasmus Ferdinand Potts (1801-1863), who came to the region in 1836 and purchased large tracts of land in this area.  Potts built a large home and a trading post on the Pontotoc Trail, near the Tippah River.  Colonel Potts became quite wealthy, trading in crops and cattle, and this small trading post prospered.

In 1856, Colonel Potts invested in the Mississippi Central Railroad, and was the primary sponsor for the train tracks between Holly Springs and Oxford. During the Civil War, Colonel Potts was arrested by the Union army and tried and sentenced for giving aid to the Confederacy.  The 62 year old was sent to the Alton Federal Prison in 1863, where he soon died due to the brutal treatment he received there.  His body was returned to his family and the trading post.

In 1886, the new Frisco railroad came through the region, and Colonel Potts’ daughter, Mary Potts Reid (1840-1908) was instrumental in deeding land to both the Frisco and to other individuals and organizations, including a local post office, school, a cemetery, and the lots for both the Baptist and Methodist Churches.  Families began arriving in the area, including the Reids, Greers, Vaughns, and Boatners, and they began building homes and businesses.  In 1912 the town of Potts Camp was officially established, named after the original trading post on the Pontotoc Trail.  Today Potts Camp is a small town (with less than 500 residents) with a big history.

14 thoughts

      1. Phillip, would you be available to speak at some point regarding your sources and the vast amounts of information that you have compiled? I am interested in Marshall County history and am doing a great deal of research on Potts Camp and surrounding areas. I am blown away by the history.


  1. Philip, If you have time I would enjoy speaking with you about the massive amounts of research you have done and to ask for your assistance in my research project. It would be an honor just to learn of your sources for the comprehensive work that you have done. Marshall County, my home County, is fascinating to me.


    1. I love this where is the pontotoc trairls I live in Potts Camp I live on Potts Camp rd if you could help me with this it would much appreciated thank you


  2. What about the black Americans who.live I Potts Camp? Where are their stories? I am. Decendant of the Holdens, who own land and integrated the high schools. They are part of Potts Camp too!


    1. Nicole, thank you for your comment. You are absolutely right that African-Americans are part of Potts Camp. You may have noticed that there is an entire section for African-American history on my blog. I am based out of Holly Springs, and my knowledge of Potts Camp history is more limited. I would be happy to include any African-American history of Potts Camp or influential African-Americans if you can provide me with that history or point me to a source for that information. Thank you again for the comment!


  3. Phillip can you tell me anything about the Gullett family who lived in that area I see a road is named Gullett drive Sam Gullett


  4. I am the oldest grandchild of Christine Potts Brents, daughter of Dallas F. Potts, granddaughter of Robert Lee Potts, great-granddaughter of Ferdinand B. Potts and great-great granddaughter of Col. Erasmus F. Potts. I graduated from Potts Camp High School in 1989. I have become intrigued by my family history as of late and enjoyed this article. Thank you, John Snow


  5. My grandfather, John William Horick, (born in 1855, in Ohio) retired from private carpentry and cabinet making work in Memphis sometime after 1900 and moved to live with a daughter and nieces and nephews in Potts Camp. (John was divorced around 1913 in Arkansas.) John died in 1934 and is buried in the Potts Camp Cemetery. I would like to find any information about his life in Potts Camp, including the circumstances surrounding his last years and death.
    I can be reached by email at


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