Neshoba County was established by the Mississippi legislature on December 23 1833. The word Neshoba is believed to be derived from an Indian word for wolf. Philadelphia became the county seat of Neshoba County on August 15 1837. The Pearl River, which flows east to west through Neshoba County, was an important waterway for early settlers, especially between 1830 and 1860. It reportedly took 15 days to travel by keel boat from Philadelphia to Jackson and about 30 days of vigorous labor to bring a keel boat upstream from Jackson to Philadelphia.