When the Boykin family deeded the land to Israel Mathis in 1786, nine acres were reserved for a dam across Swift Creek. The mill dam proved to be a great location for water power, and would benefit surrounding land owners. Water powered mills not only were vital for industry, but also for trade, communication, and travel. This town would be called Boykin, in honor of the family who purchased and farmed the land. The town of Boykin features several mills, but the main one produces items like cotton, flour, meal, sawn lumber, and rice.