Chunky, Mississippi

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Chunky, Mississippi
Town
Location of Chunky, Mississippi
Location of Chunky, Mississippi
Coordinates: 32°19′38″N 88°55′47″W / 32.32722°N 88.92972°W / 32.32722; -88.92972Coordinates: 32°19′38″N 88°55′47″W / 32.32722°N 88.92972°W / 32.32722; -88.92972
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Newton
Area
 • Total 0.8 sq mi (2.2 km2)
 • Land 0.8 sq mi (2.2 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 318 ft (97 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 344
 • Density 412.9/sq mi (159.4/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 39323
Area code(s) 601
FIPS code 28-13580
GNIS feature ID 0668441

Chunky is a town in Newton County, Mississippi. The population was 344 at the 2000 census.

Geography[edit]

Chunky is located at 32°19′38″N 88°55′47″W / 32.32722°N 88.92972°W / 32.32722; -88.92972 (32.327201, -88.929717)[1], along the Chunky River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), all land.

Chunky is located 10 miles (16 km) west of Meridian. U.S. 80 passes through the town.

History[edit]

Chunky was named for a Choctaw Indian Village called Chanki Chitto, meaning "Big Chunky". The name comes from an old Native-American game of Chunka, a corruption of the word Tuchungkee, which was a ball game played with Chunka Stones. An area nearby called Chunky Shoals on the Chunky River was where the games were believed to be played. Chunky was the southernmost town of the Choctaws which was visited by Tecumseh in 1811. The original white settlement of Chunky was called Chunkyville, and was adjacent to the Native-American settlement of Chunky Chitto. Chunkyville was established as a post office in 1848 with John G. Gallaspy serving as postmaster. In 1861, the A & V (Alabama and Vicksburg) Railroad was constructed two miles north of Chunkyville, and a depot built there was named Chunky. Chunkyville became extinct in 1868, when the post office was discontinued and the place was absorbed into the railroad town of Chunky in Newton County. The Jackson Military Road passed through what is now Chunky in 1816. In the early 1890s, the lumber industry was active in and around Chunky with sawmills, a turpentine still, a barrel factory and a large cotton gin being operated there. (Brieger, J. F., Hometown, Mississippi, p. 262,358). The only remnant of the original town of Chunkyville is the cemetery, currently known as St Mark Cemetery, where many of the residents are interred.


Demographics[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 344 people, 120 households, and 95 families residing in the town. The population density was 412.9 people per square mile (160.0/km²). There were 136 housing units at an average density of 163.2 per square mile (63.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 87.79% White, 1.74% African American, 9.30% from Choctaw races, and 1.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.76% of the population.

There were 120 households out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.8% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.8% were non-families. 18.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.28.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $34,861, and the median income for a family was $45,313. Males had a median income of $32,813 versus $26,000 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,498. About 16.2% of families and 16.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 12.7% of those age 65 or over.

Government[edit]

There is a United States Post Office in Chunky. Chunky also has a Town Hall and a Volunteer Fire Department.

Education[edit]

The Town of Chunky is served by the Newton County School District, though some of the households within the 39323 postal district are in the West Lauderdale school district, part of the Lauderdale County School District.

Commerce[edit]

Businesses in Chunky include a beauty salon, a medical records business, Chunky Mini Storage, and the Chunky Trading Post. The Chunky post office serves Chunky and the surrounding area. A nearby restaurant, Chunky Shoals Fish Camp, est. 1951, is located on the site of Chunky Shoals, approximately 1/2 mile east of the town of Chunky.

One mile north of Chunky is the Lazy Acres Christmas Tree Plantation and Pumpkin Patch. The farm provides seasonal activities. Attractions include live reindeer, animal park, corn maze, hayrides, etc.[3]

Other businesses in the Chunky area are an automotive repair shop, and a taxidermist [4]

Chunky Churches[edit]

The Chunky Baptist Church and the United Methodist Church are in the town of Chunky. Chunky is home to many who worship in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, most of whom attend church in Meridian.

Other Community Activities[edit]

There is a Masonic Hall in Chunky. For the youth, there is a baseball field. There is also a swimming pool association.

Chunky River[edit]

Floating the Chunky

The Chunky River is the premier attraction for most people who visit Chunky. The river forms from the confluence of two creeks a few miles west of the town. The Chunky River is a hidden treasure with very little development along its shores, making it an attractive adventure to those who choose to canoe or kayak in it. While the river is shallow, occasionally, there are sections where the paddle will not reach the bottom. One such section is known as the "Deep Eddy". Otherwise, the river is seldom deeper than a few feet, and where there are mild rapids, the river may only be a few inches in depth. There is a public landing just east of town on the Highway 80 bridge, and another public landing 1/2 mile farther east on another Highway 80 bridge. This section of river is known as the "Seven Mile Bend", although it is scarcely over three miles (5 km) in length. The ability to put in and take out in very close proximity make this area the most highly used section of the river.

Great Chunky River Raft Race (1995)

Railroads[edit]

The Kansas City Southern Railroad goes through Chunky. Approximately 25 freight trains per day travel through the town. On each side of Chunky, there are 9,000-foot (2,700 m) sidings at Meehan Junction to the east, and Hickory to the west. The railroad crosses the Chunky River in two places just east of town, and between these two trestles is a very popular photography spot for train buffs to take photos of the trains as they cross the river. The railroad crosses the Chunky River west of town on a much smaller trestle, known locally as "break down". It was on this site that the trestle collapsed under a troop-carrying train of Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War; the wreck is called the Chunky Creek Train Wreck of 1863. A Confederate regiment of Choctaw Indians camping nearby saved many lives of soldiers who had been thrown into the raging flood swollen river.

Mississippi Historical Marker

References[edit]

  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ http://www.lazy-acres.com
  4. ^ http://www.mstaxidermist.com