My name is Phillip Knecht, and I am a 30-something year old attorney, historian, photographer and preservationist.  Along with my wife Amanda and our six dogs, I live in beautiful Holly Springs, in the heart of the Hill Country, in our nearly 120-year-old home, called Coopwood.

The primary purpose of this blog is to explore the history, architecture and culture of North Mississippi’s Hill Country, with history, photographs and maps of historic homes, churches, town squares battlefields and other historically important locations in the Hill Country.  For a general overview of the history of the Hill Country, visit this page here.

All photographs, unless otherwise marked, were taken by me.  The majority of the pictures were taken in high definition HDR.

You can follow Hill Country History on Facebook at “Hill Country History” and on Instagram at #hillcountryhistory.

If you have comments, questions or suggestions, I can be reached at

8 thoughts

  1. Mr. Knecht:

    There is a photograph (dated 1870) of the Turner Lane House on the campus of the State Normal School for Negros, Holly Springs, Marshall County, Mississippi. Students a faculty appear to be on several levels of the building.

    I am unable to retrieve the photo from the url:

    Use of this photograph would be greatly appreciated. I am drafting a paper on the Highgate family, the youngest son of whom became principal at the normal school in 1876. William Baldwin Highgate was the youngest son of black abolitionists, most of whom went south from Syracuse, New York to teach in the Freedmen’s Bureau schools. Mr. Highgate held both a BA and MA from Lincoln University.

    If you could send me an electronic copy of the photograph, I would be delighted.


    John Wands Sacca, PhD
    The Esteves School of Education
    The Sage Colleges
    65 1st Street
    Troy, NY 12280


  2. Phillip Knecht, Esq.:

    I neglected to give you my contact information:

    John Wands Sacca, PhD
    Adjunct Professor and Student Teacher Supervisor
    Secretary, Leadership and Community Advisory Boards, Academy for Character Education
    The Esteves School of Education
    Walker Building, Room 304
    65 First St., Troy, NY 12180
    Cell: 518.486.0528
    Office: 518.244.2290

    Once again, thank you in advance for any assistance you might be able to give me in this matter.


    john s.


  3. Mr. Knecht,
    I just came across your Blog, and was delighted. I now subscribe. I am African American and most of my Family history centers around Marshall and Benton Counties. I am a descendant of both Bishop Elias Cottrell,and Professor Logan Gorman- early educators in the area. I would like to meet you. Please let me know of any public event that I could attend. It would be such an honor. Also, any references to publications about the area would be appreciated.


    1. Charles, thank you so much for the kind words. I’m delighted you are enjoyed my blog. I’ll be doing s large blog on Bishop Cottrell’s long-destroyed house during Black History Month in February 2018, so hopefully you will enjoy that as well. As far as meeting me or attending any events I’m town, there are lots of great events coming up (all of which I’m involved in), including the Haunted Holly Springs Walking Tours in October and the Tracks of Generals event at the Holly Springs Depot in December. Thanks again, and I look forward to meeting you soon!


  4. Mr. Knecht,
    I am researching my grandfather, George L Hays who attended Mississippi Industrial College sometime between 1906 and 1920. Do you know how I can get in contact with someone with any records related to his enrollment dates, trranscripts, and photos?

    Thank you,

    Jeanne Rhynsburger


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