Oxford and Lafayette County were formed from lands ceded by the Chickasaw in
the treaty of Pontotoc Creek in 1832. The county was organized in 1836, and in
1837 three pioneers—John Martin, John Chisom, and John Craig—purchased land
from Hoka, a female Chickasaw landowner, as a site for the town. They named it
Oxford, intending to promote it as a center of learning in the Old Southwest.
In 1841, the Mississippi legislature selected Oxford as the site of the state
university, which opened in 1848.
During the American Civil War, Oxford suffered invasion by federal troops
under Generals Ulysses S. Grant and