Jackson County was founded in 1812. Two consistent threads run through the history of this beautiful Coastal county; progressive leadership and the ability to change with the times. Its greatest resources have been and continue to be its people and its strategically located waterways.
The county's transition from Spanish to American rule was made in 1810 when it was absorbed into the Mississippi Territory and brought under the Constitution of the United States. In December, 1812, Mobile County was divided into three counties- Mobile on the east, Jackson in the middle, and Hancock on the west. The northern row of townships was taken from Jackson and added to Greene County in 1822. George County was created from the remaining boundaries in 1910.
Jackson County's destiny was to prosper. In 1840, Captain John Grant's leadership resulted in the birth of the Port of Pascagoula. Earlier in 1838, his efforts resulted in opening the Mississippi Sound to Mobile Bay with a channel called Grant's Pass.
The county's timber and sawmill industry prospered in those early days bringing about the first economic boom lasting from 1880 to 1910. Pecans were a big industry at the turn of the century. Shipbuilding was recorded as early as 1838 with Ebenezer Clark's constructing flat-bottomed schooners for coastal trade. It and other early shipyards were precursors of the state's largest employer, Ingalls. In more modern times, Jackson County continued to attract new industries. The Jackson County Board of Supervisors established the Bayou Casotte Industrial Park in 1954. Major industries, like Chevron USA, moved here in the early 1960s.
When the Jackson County Port Authority was organized in 1958, it was structured around a bootstrap concept aimed at attracting industry to the county. Local monies were used to finance port development as well as dredging of the Pascagoula River and Bayou Casotte channels.
Jackson County has been successful in securing federal and state aid to deepen and maintain channels essential for further industrial and economic development. The Port of Pascagoula has been the catalyst for industrial and economic development and has kept up-to-date with modern equipment and facilities.
The county has kept a steady pace of growth in modern times and is described as the "most industrialized county in the state." The county owns a state-of-the-art hospital system, has excellent schools, a top-rated community college and a university branch within its borders. The citizens of Jackson County are making the future happen every day.