Jonestown, Coahoma County, Mississippi

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Jonestown, Mississippi
Town
JonestownSign.jpg
Location of Jonestown in Coahoma County, Mississippi
Location of Jonestown in Coahoma County, Mississippi
Coordinates: 34°19′19″N 90°27′21″W / 34.32194°N 90.45583°W / 34.32194; -90.45583Coordinates: 34°19′19″N 90°27′21″W / 34.32194°N 90.45583°W / 34.32194; -90.45583
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Coahoma
Area
 • Total 0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)
 • Land 0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation[1] 174 ft (53 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 1,701
 • Density 4,315.1/sq mi (1,666.1/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 38639
Area code(s) 662
FIPS code 28-36800[2]
GNIS feature ID 0672011[1]

Jonestown is a town in Coahoma County, Mississippi. The population was 1,701 at the 2000 census.

History[edit]

The Matagorda Plantation, located north of Jonestown, was established by Colonel D.M. Russell and his wife before the Civil War. Matagorda was named after a special variety of long-staple cotton raised there.[3]

Jonestown was a stop on the Mobile & North Western Railroad, completed from Jonestown to Lula in 1879. Jonestown was incorporated in 1880.[4]

In 1965, John Wing was elected mayor of Jonestown, the first Chinese-American mayor in Mississippi.[5]

Geography[edit]

Jonestown is located at 34°19′19″N 90°27′21″W / 34.322016°N 90.455764°W / 34.322016; -90.455764.[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.4-square-mile (1.0 km2), all land.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 1,701 people, 491 households, and 364 families residing in the town. The population density was 4,315.1 people per square mile (1,684.0/km2). There were 514 housing units at an average density of 1,303.9 per square mile (508.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.30% African American, 2.59% White, 0.06% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.47% of the population.

There were 491 households, of which 47.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 21.2% were married couples living together, 47.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.7% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.46 and the average family size was 4.05.

In the town the population was spread out with 44.4% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 25.0% from 25 to 44, 11.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 21 years. For every 100 females there were 82.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 65.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $17,250 (in 1999 dollars), and the median income for a family was $18,958. Males had a median income of $16,146 versus $19,125 for females. The per capita income for the town was $8,258. About 49.6% of families and 52.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 57.7% of those under age 18 and 56.3% of those age 65 or over.

Economy[edit]

Delta Oil Mill has been producing cottonseed products in Jonestown since 1942.[7]

In a 2000 study published by Mississippi State University, Jonestown was described as a community "plagued by difficult problems." Agriculture no longer supported the town as it once had, and many Jonestown residents were employed outside the community. "The direction of Jonestown has declined because of the loss of its financial independence. Citizens have been forced to seek opportunity outside of their own town. As people become more dependent on other cities, the need to stay in Jonestown diminishes."[8]

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic wrote in 2006:

There are towns like Jonestown, Mississippi, that in their shocking poverty make one gasp. Weathered, sagging and unpainted houses, boarded-up windows, others covered with plastic, yards full of dismantled rusty cars, their parts scattered about amid all kinds of other junk and trash, are everywhere. Idle people of all ages lounge on collapsing porches or stand on street corners waiting for something to do. In the countryside with its fertile dark soil, soybeans have become the chief crop, poultry farms are a major business, and there are nine gambling casinos in the next county. All that has increased per capita income in the region, but there was no evidence of it among the blacks I saw.[9]

Education[edit]

Jonestown is served by the Coahoma County School District.

Infrastructure[edit]

Durocher Service Program is a well-regarded benevolent organization providing social services to Jonestown residents. It is operated by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.[10] Catholic Cardinal Avery Dulles described the work of the ministry in Jonestown as "bringing hope to people on the verge of desperation."[11] In 2012, one of the program's nuns survived being beaten and stabbed during a robbery at her Jonestown home.[12]

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Mississippi: The WPA Guide to the Magnolia State. Viking Press. 1938. 
  4. ^ Howe, Tony. "Jonestown, Mississippi". Mississippi Rails. Retrieved February 2014. 
  5. ^ Osborn, Jeffrey (Nov 10, 2011). "How Asians have Clashed with U.S. Politics". Northwest Asian Weekly. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ "Company Profile". Delta Oil Mill. Retrieved December 2013. 
  8. ^ Criss, Shannon (2000). "Jonestown, Mississippi: 1999". Mississippi State University. 
  9. ^ Simic, Charles (2006). Memory Piano. University of Michigan Press. 
  10. ^ "Jonestown Family Center for Education and Wellness". Jonestown Family Center. 2010. 
  11. ^ Avery Cardinal Dulles (2003). "Christianity and Humanitarian Action". Traditions, Values, and Humanitarian Action (Center for International Health and Cooperation). 
  12. ^ Miles, Jason (May 14, 2012). "Nun Attacked in Rural North Mississippi Home". WMCTV. 
  13. ^ Larkin, Colin (2013). The Virgin Encyclopedia of The Blues. Random House. 
  14. ^ "Luke Easter". Sports Reference. Retrieved December 2013. 
  15. ^ Sewell, George A.; Dwight, Margaret L. (1984). Mississippi Black History Makers. University Press of Mississippi. 
  16. ^ "Oscar Reed". DatabaseSports.com. Retrieved December 2013. 
  17. ^ Craig, Robert H. (1992). Religion and Radical Politics: An Alternative Christian Tradition in the United States. Temple University Press. 
  18. ^ "Seelig Bartel "Bushie" Wise, September 7, 2004". Clarksdale Press Register. Retrieved May 10, 2014. 

External links[edit]