Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dale J. Schmitt

Committee Members

Emmett M. Essin III, Stephen G Fritz


Laurel, Mississippi, exemplifies the new southern development that occurred in the years following Reconstruction. Coinciding with continental rail building and the depletion of northern timber resources, Laurel emerged as one of Mississippi's great industrial centers. Laurel's survival after the early twentieth century timber boom predicated itself on the diversification of its industry coupled with the continued growth of its infrastructure. Although Laurel's industrial ascension is not unique in the annals of southern history, its duality regarding northern capitalistic impulses and southern labor and material serves as a successful industrial model in the era of "cut out and get out" sawmill and timber operations. Along with primary resources this study employs secondary source material to place Laurel, Mississippi in the scope of southern historiography. In addition to contextualizing Laurel's place in southern history, this essay also serves to highlight Laurel's social and economic development after the arrival of its northern benefactors.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

History Commons