About the time the Creek Indians were leaving this area, two men appeared in 1832 who would be very important to Oxford.  Sylvanus Simmons and Dudley Snow bought land in the newly created Benton County, now renamed Calhoun County.  Both med disposed of land parcels to newcomers, who gradually built a village that became in time a trading center for the area.

Legend has it that the settlement was originally known as “Lick Skillet.”  It seems that in those hard times, a traveler was passing through and inquired at a store where he might get a meal.  He was directed to a shoemaker who, in addition to making shoes, furnished meals to travelers. When the man again returned to the store, he was asked whether he had found anything to eat.  “Yes,” the man replied, “but I had to lick the skillet.”

The community was incorporated in 1852 and its name changed to Oxford.  Oxford became active as a cotton and trading center.  The Civil War slowed its growth.  In 1865, Union soldiers burned almost all of the downtown buildings.  Of present buildings in Oxford, 12 were built before 1855, and 20 were built before 1900.
The twentieth century has seen enormous change and growth in Oxford.  The “pleasant little town” has become a hub of business and light industry.  The city limits continue to expand, and population growth is up to about 10,000.

Oxford reveres its past, but is truly “The Crossroads to the Future.”