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The New International Encyclopædia/Meridian (Mississippi)

MERIDIAN. A city and the county-seat of Lauderdale County, Miss., 87 miles east of Jackson; on the Queen and Crescent Route and the Southern Railway (Map: Mississippi, H 6). It is the seat of the East Mississippi Female College (Methodist Episcopal), opened in 1869, and of the Meridian Academy (Methodist Episcopal South), and Lincoln School (Congregational), the last two for colored students. The city has an extensive trade, due to its position in a cotton-growing region, and is the most important manufacturing centre in the State. Its industries, represented by railroad machine shops, cotton mills, cottonseed oil mills, lumber mills, etc., had, by the census of 1900, a production valued at nearly $3,000,000. Meridian was an important Confederate railway centre during the Civil War, and in February, 1864, General Sherman was sent against it. Arriving on the 14th, he remained unmolested until the 20th, completely destroying the railroads in the vicinity and demolishing the large store-houses and many private residences. Population, in 1890, 10,024; in 1900, 14,050.