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city, seat (1833) of Oktibbeha county, eastern Mississippi, U.S., 22 miles (35 km) west of Columbus. Founded in 1831, it was originally known as Boardtown for the sawmilling operation there, but it was renamed in 1837 to honour the American Revolution general John Stark. After the American Civil War dairy cattle, brought from the island of Jersey in the English Channel by W.B. Montgomery, were introduced and changed the emphasis of area agriculture from cotton to dairying.