Bentonia, Mississippi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bentonia, Mississippi
Blue Front Café in Bentonia
Blue Front Café in Bentonia
Location of Bentonia, Mississippi
Location of Bentonia, Mississippi
Bentonia, Mississippi is located in the United States
Bentonia, Mississippi
Bentonia, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 32°38′38″N 90°22′5″W / 32.64389°N 90.36806°W / 32.64389; -90.36806Coordinates: 32°38′38″N 90°22′5″W / 32.64389°N 90.36806°W / 32.64389; -90.36806
CountryUnited States
 • Total1.42 sq mi (3.69 km2)
 • Land1.42 sq mi (3.69 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
197 ft (60 m)
 • Total440
 • Estimate 
 • Density294.24/sq mi (113.57/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)662
FIPS code28-05380
GNIS feature ID0666837

Bentonia is a town in Yazoo County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 440 at the 2010 census.

The Bentonia School of blues singing and guitar-playing is named for Bentonia.


Illinois Central Railroad depot in Bentonia

Bentonia began as a postal town along the Illinois Central Railway. It is named for an early resident. Bentonia had a population of 167 in 1900.[3]

Bentonia Blues[edit]

The Bentonia School, "Bentonia-style" or "Bentonia Blues" describe a country blues style that originated in and immediately around Bentonia.[4] The annual Bentonia Blues Festival is held in June in Bentonia.[5] The festival's stage is set up in front of the Blue Front Cafe, which is operated by Jimmy "Duck" Holmes who, as a young man, learned the local style from Bentonia Blues musician Jack Owens.

Three markers on the Mississippi Blues Trail are located in Bentonia: one each to musicians Skip James and Jack Owens, and one located at the Blue Front Café.[6][7][8][9]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)419[2]−4.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

Bentonia's largest population count, 544, was recorded in 1970. Bentonia had sixty fewer residents in 2010 compared to 2000,[11] and the 2015 estimate is another fourteen fewer.[12] As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 500 people, 203 households, and 130 families residing in the town. The population density was 366.0 people per square mile (140.9/km2). There were 214 housing units at an average density of 156.6 per square mile (60.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 62.80% White, 35.80% African American, 0.20% Asian, 0.20% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.40% of the population.

There were 203 households, out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.9% were married couples living together, 21.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 25.2% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 79.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $21,458, and the median income for a family was $39,583. Males had a median income of $28,000 versus $26,875 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,440. About 23.3% of families and 27.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.5% of those under age 18 and 22.2% of those age 65 or over.


The Town of Bentonia is served by the Yazoo County School District. Residents are zoned to Bentonia Gibbs Elementary School, Yazoo County Middle School, and Yazoo County High School.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ Rowland, Dunbar (1907). Mississippi: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form. 1. Southern Historical Publishing Association. p. 234.
  4. ^ "Bentonia Blues - unique, haunting, country blues still heard in Bentonia, Mississippi". Retrieved 2009-08-20.
  5. ^ "The Official Bentonia Blues Festival Webpage". Retrieved 2009-08-20.
  6. ^ "Mississippi Blues Commission - Blues Trail". Retrieved 2008-05-27.
  7. ^ "Blue Front Cafe". Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  8. ^ "Skip James". Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  9. ^ "Jack Owens". Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "Bentonia, MS Population - Census 2010 and 2000 Interactive Map, Demographics, Statistics, Quick Facts - CensusViewer". Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.