December 17, 1852
Columbia County was created from portions of Lafayette, Hempstead, Ouachita, and Union counties. The county seat, Magnolia, was incorporated in 1855. The early residents depended on an agricultural economy with cotton, and to a lesser extent corn, as a cash crop. Some settlers brought slaves. Early tax records indicate that in 1854, Columbia County had 1,675 slaves in a total population of almost 6,000. The first formal federal census of the county in 1860 showed a population of 12,449, of whom 3,599 were slaves. About 1,000 farms were in operation at that time.