The Land upon which present day Batesville is situated originally belonged to a Chickasaw Indian called Ish-Sho-Nu-Nah. It was part of the Chickasaw cession to the Federal Government, which in turn vested title to over2,000 acres (8.1 km2) of land to Ish-Sho-Nu-Nah by the treaty of Pontotoc Creek in 1832. In early days, the town of Batesville was a secondary frontier community, lacking the river location of Panola and Belmont, the two leading towns of that day in North Mississippi. Old Panola, as it is now called, was located about one mile (1.6 km) northwest of the present site of Batesville, and was a bitter rival of Belmont for the location of the county seat in 1864.
An accusation was made by the citizens of Belmont that Panola used bribery in obtaining designation as the county seat of Panola County. In those days, Panola was the dominating scene of the south side of the Little Tallahatchie River, and Belmont reigned supreme on the north. This rivalry is still carried on in a friendly way between Batesville and Sardis.