Named on behalf of Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, a post-Civil War Mississippi statesman, Lamar County was carved out of Marion County in 1904. It remained largely a rural county until the last decades of the 20th Century when retail and residential growth of nearby Hattiesburg (in Forrest County, to the east) spilled over the county lines.
Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar was born near Eatonton, Georgia, in Putnam County. He attended Emory College, which is now Emory University. He also was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (âˆ‘AE) fraternity, which he later founded at University of Mississippi. Lamar’s move to Covington, Georgia, in 1852 was sparked by his burgeoning law practice and led to his election to the Georgia State House of Representatives in 1853. Lamar also served as a politician and jurist in Mississippi. In addition to being an United States Representative and Senator, he also served as United States Secretary of the Interior in the first administration of President Grover Cleveland, as well as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
There were 39,070 people, 14,396 households, and 10,725 families residing in the county as of the census of 2000. The racial makeup of the county was 85.34% White, 12.90% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.64% from two or more races. 1.09% of the population was Hispanic or Latino.
Purvis is a small city located in Lamar County, Miss., with a population of 2,164. It was named after Confederate general James J.B. Boswell-Purvis, III.