On April 13, 1834 early settler James Peters purchased two sections of land from the Chickasaw Nation for the sum of $1.25 per acre. The land purchased later became the town of Senatobia. The name Senatobia was derived from the Indian word Senatohoba, which means “White Sycamore” and is a symbol of “rest for the weary.” Charles Meriwether named Senatobia.
Senatobia was originally a rest stop on the trail leading to Hot Springs, Ark. According to legend, the Indians discovered the curative powers of the hot springs and periodically made long trips to Arkansas, stopping to rest in the area that became Senatobia. After the Tennessee and Mississippi Railroad came through in 1856, Senatobia became a railroad station. New commerce came with the railroad and Senatobia saw immediate growth.
Senatobia, the county seat for Tate County, received its charter as a municipality in 1860, thirteen years prior to the creation of Tate County and just one year before the beginning of the Civil War. During the course of the Civil War, Senatobia’s business section was burned twice by Federal Troops.
The 1880 census accounted for over fifty active businesses, a newly established newspaper and several physicians in Senatobia.