Quitman County, Mississippi

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Not to be confused with Quitman, Mississippi.
Quitman County, Mississippi
Marks MS 038.jpg
Quitman County Courthouse
Map of Mississippi highlighting Quitman County
Location in the state of Mississippi
Map of the United States highlighting Mississippi
Mississippi's location in the U.S.
Founded 1877
Named for John A. Quitman
Seat Marks
Largest Town Lambert
 • Total 406.49 sq mi (1,053 km2)
 • Land 404.84 sq mi (1,049 km2)
 • Water 1.66 sq mi (4 km2), 0.41%
 • (2010) 8,223
 • Density 26/sq mi (10/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Quitman County is a county located in the Mississippi Delta region of the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,223.[1] Its county seat is Marks.[2] The county is named after John A. Quitman, Governor of Mississippi from 1835 to 1836 and from 1850 to 1851.


Poor People's Campaign[edit]

Martin Luther King originally wanted the Poor People's Campaign to start in Quitman County because of the intense and visible economic disparity there. On March 18, 1968, King visited the town of Marks. He watched a teacher feeding schoolchildren their lunch, consisting only of a slice of apple and some crackers, and was moved to tears. After King's death, the Southern part of the Campaign began in Quitman County, riding a train of mules to Washington, D.C. to protest about economic conditions.[3] According to wagonmaster Willie Bolden, white citizens of Marks harassed the mule train on its way out of town. Bolden stated that they "would drive by blowing their horns, purposely trying to spook the mules and us."[4] More recently, Quitman County residents have made an effort to promote tourism based on its role in the Poor People's Campaign.[4]


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 406.49 square miles (1,052.8 km2), of which 404.84 square miles (1,048.5 km2) (or 99.59%) is land and 1.66 square miles (4.3 km2) (or 0.41%) is water.[5]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,407
1890 3,286 133.5%
1900 5,435 65.4%
1910 11,593 113.3%
1920 19,861 71.3%
1930 25,304 27.4%
1940 27,191 7.5%
1950 25,885 −4.8%
1960 21,019 −18.8%
1970 15,888 −24.4%
1980 12,636 −20.5%
1990 10,490 −17.0%
2000 10,117 −3.6%
2010 8,223 −18.7%
Est. 2012 7,798 −5.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 8,223 people residing in the county. 69.6% were Black or African American, 29.0% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.3% of some other race and 0.8% of two or more races. 0.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 10,117 people, 3,565 households, and 2,506 families residing in the county. The population density was 25 people per square mile (10/km²). There were 3,923 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 30.47% White, 68.62% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. 0.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In 2000, there were 3,565 households out of which 34.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.60% were married couples living together, 26.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.70% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.42.

In the county the population was spread out with 32.00% under the age of 18, 9.60% from 18 to 24, 25.70% from 25 to 44, 19.50% from 45 to 64, and 13.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 86.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $20,636, and the median income for a family was $25,394. Males had a median income of $23,571 versus $16,993 for females. The per capita income for the county was $10,817. About 28.60% of families and 33.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.10% of those under age 18 and 30.60% of those age 65 or over.

Quitman County has the fifth lowest per capita income in Mississippi and the 51st lowest in the United States.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) operates the Quitman County Community Work Center (CWC) in an area near Lambert.[8] In addition MDOC operates the Mississippi State Penitentiary (Parchman) in an unincorporated area in Sunflower County, in the area. Camp B, an inmate housing unit, was a satellite complex located away from the main Parchman prison property in unincorporated Quitman County,[9] near Lambert.[10] Camp B was one of Parchman's largest African-American housing units.[10] Camp B's buildings have been demolished.[11] The Mississippi Code (§ 47-5-131) gives Quitman County the right to "not over twenty (20) offenders from the Parchman facility for five (5) workdays of each week for the purpose of working the roads of Quitman County," and goes on to state that "The board of supervisors of Quitman County shall lay out and designate roads to be worked by the offenders, and the board of supervisors shall furnish transportation to and from the Parchman facility for offenders."[12]



On July 24, 1969, federal judge William Keady found that Quitman County school officials were maintaining an unconstitutional de jure racially segregated school system, placing the school board under the supervision of United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. As of 1993, this order had not been set aside.[13] In March 1991, the school board asked the district court for permission to close Crowder elementary and junior high school, a majority white school. The court gave permission, and a group of parents sued for an injunction to prevent the closing. The district court denied them an injunction, and this decision was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.[13] The majority of African-American students in Quitman county were attending public schools by 1975. However, the majority of white students had moved to private academies.[4] This was still true as of 2007, when the Mississippi Department of Education found that the students in the district were 97.92% African American, 1.81% White, and 0.27% Hispanic.[14]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Amy Bach (2009). Ordinary Injustice: How America Holds Court. New York: Metropolitan Books. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-8050-7447-5. 
  4. ^ a b c Amy Nathan Wright. "The 1968 Poor People's Campaign: Marks, Mississippi and the Mule Train". pp. 109–143.  in Emilye Crosby, ed. (2011). Civil Rights History from the Ground Up: Local Struggles, a National Movement. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 978-0-8203-3865-1.  at google books
  5. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ "COMMUNITY WORK CENTERS." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 23, 2010.
  9. ^ "Quitman County General Highway Map." Mississippi Department of Transportation. Retrieved on September 20, 2010.
  10. ^ a b William Ferris. Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-8078-3325-4.  (google books link)
  11. ^ "FEATURED WRITER OF THE MONTH Interview with: WILLIAM FERRIS." Oxford American. December 7, 2009. Retrieved on September 21, 2010. "While many of the communities in which I worked have changed dramatically—Parchman's Camp B buildings in Lambert, Mississippi, have been leveled to the ground,[...]"
  12. ^ "2010 Mississippi Code TITLE 47 Ch. 5 §47-5-131 - Offenders to work certain roads; Quitman County.". Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "1 F. 3d 1450 - Hull v. Quitman County Board of Education". 2 September 1993. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "Mississippi Assessment and Accountability Reporting System". Office of Research and Statistics, Mississippi Department of Education. 
  15. ^ Home. Delta Academy. Retrieved on April 8, 2012. "1150 Riverside Drive Marks, MS 38646"
  16. ^ Sebastian Danchin (2001). Earl Hooker, Blues Master. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-57806-307-9.  Available at Google Books
  17. ^ "Charley Pride". Country Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  18. ^ Tony Russell (10 November 2006). "Obituary of Snooky Pryor". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  19. ^ Tony Russell (1997). The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 171. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 

Coordinates: 34°15′N 90°17′W / 34.25°N 90.29°W / 34.25; -90.29