A Rich History
Although no definitive evidence of settlement has been found, Magee and the rest of Simpson County once belonged to the Six Towns district of the Choctaw Nation until 1820, when the area was ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Doak’s Stand, signed by President Andrew Jackson and the legendary Choctaw Chief Pushmataha. A wave of white settlement soon began, and in 1840 Willie Magee built his grist mill on Little Goodwater Creek inside what are now Magee city limits.
The grist mill proved to be an excellent source of nourishment, feeding area residents and nurturing a small town that grew steadily throughout the following years, so that by the turn of the twentieth century, this bustling Piney Woods city was leading the way for a thriving county ready to take on any challenge, including what was at the time the scourge of public health.
In 1916, spurred by Dr. Henry Boswell, the Mississippi legislature established the Mississippi Tuberculosis Sanatorium three miles north of Magee; the city donated 200 acres for the hospital and grounds. While tuberculosis was eventually tamed and the hospital became an intermediate care facility for persons with developmental disabilities, several of the hospital’s original buildings, some of them listed on the National Register of Historic Places, still stand on the campus, which is open for public tours.
In Magee, historic structures also worth exploration include the McAlpin House, a Victorian built in the early 1900s and now a popular event venue, and the Magee Community House, now home to Lamplighter Community Theatre.
The McAlpin House