Some places have romantic names, some places have exotic names, but in Mississippi, we have lots of places with unusual names. One such place got its name from a man who never really felt on top of the world.
It's on the road between Taylorsville and Laurel on one highway, Bay Springs and Ellisville on the other, in the northern end of Jones County.
According to researcher Jim Brieger in his book, Hometown Mississippi, the first name of the area was Woodbury.
I don't know a lot about Woodbury except when the railroad came through, the tracks were laid near it and not through it. So when they moved the post office to the tracks, the name of the village was changed to reflect a saying most folks in the area had picked up from one of the early citizens.
Maybe he had aches and pains, or just a melancholy disposition, but he never seemed to feel great. But then again he never seemed to feel rotten, either. Just sort'a so-so. And the townspeople decided that was an apt description for their part of the world.
It ain't Hawaii, but it ain't Death Valley, either. It's just soso. So the post office, when it relocated to the tracks officially adopted the name, the same name its know by today. Soso, Mississippi.
What's to see in soso? Well, it's one of those small towns like so many once thriving little country towns that is having to reinvent itself in light of modern day world and modern day shopping patterns that lean toward the big stores in the big towns.
There are old buildings that, no doubt, date back to a day and time when there was less entertainment to be had around the house. So there was more time for other interests.
The past is evidently revered at Soso. Old cemeteries reflect the care that is taken to keep up the graves of people, who in most cases, died so long ago that no one today could possibly have ever known them.
There is one celebrity of sorts buried in Soso, hymn writer J. B. Coats. You may have heard or even sung his, "Where Could I Go But to the Lord." Elvis recorded it.
The tall pines of the Mississippi piney woods first attracted attention to the area for logging. And when the pines were logged out, people stayed for the pastoral farmland. And for the tolerable surroundings that they found to be pretty okay, or, as they put it, soso.
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