Location of Flora, Mississippi
|• Mayor||Les Childress|
|• Total||3.4 sq mi (8.8 km2)|
|• Land||3.4 sq mi (8.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||240 ft (73 m)|
|• Density||454.2/sq mi (175.4/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0670043|
The town is named for Flora Mann Jones, an early resident.
Graves in Flora's cemetery date to 1821. A post office was established in 1883. That same year, Flora became a stop on the newly constructed Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad. The railroad depot is now a museum, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Flora was incorporated in 1886.
Mississippi Ordnance Plant
In 1941, the Mississippi Ordnance Plant was constructed north of Flora to produce propellant and igniter charges for large-caliber guns. The site also had firing ranges for sub-machine guns, rifles, anti-aircraft guns, live grenades, and demolition explosives. A notable employee was science fiction writer Cyril M. Kornbluth.
The plant was operated by General Tire, and supported a policy that African-American men were to be employed only as janitors, yard workers, freight loaders, truck drivers and maintenance workers, and could only work in production jobs if white men were not available. African-American women could only be employed as maids and cafeteria helpers. In 1942, a local group of African-American citizens met to protest the company's policy.
The site was declared surplus in 1945, and the army certified it "completely decontaminated".
In 1947, the Mississippi Department of Education planned to turn part of the plant into a vocational school for African-Americans, until white residents protested the governor, stating that property values would be ruined.
National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that the Flora Industrial Park was one of six locations in the United States being considered for the construction of a new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. Flora's Mayor, Scott Greaves, responded to opposition to the facility by stating in 2007: "Education is the whole key to it.. You have to find the people who are concerned and educate them. In the end, you're still going to have a few idiots". Manhattan, Kansas was selected as the site for the new facility.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), all land.
Just outside the Flora city limits lies a forest collection of petrified wood, the Mississippi Petrified Forest, which purports to be the only such forest east of the Mississippi River.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,546 people, 575 households, and 416 families residing in the town. The population density was 454.2 people per square mile (175.6/km²). There were 606 housing units at an average density of 178.0 per square mile (68.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 57.05% White, 42.04% African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.06% from other races, and 0.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.32% of the population.
There were 575 households out of which 36.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 25.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.21.
In the town, the population was spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 86.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $38,077, and the median income for a family was $41,324. Males had a median income of $31,786 versus $22,176 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,075. About 18.7% of families and 25.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 44.4% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.
The Town of Flora is served by the Madison County School District.
The Tri-County Academy, a private school, is located in Flora. East Flora Elementary, a public school, is also located in Flora.
Flora is served both by radio station WYAB 103.9 FM and The Flora News, a monthly free community newspaper.
- E. C. Coleman, professional basketball player.
- Parys Haralson, professional football player.
- Paul "Wine" Jones, blues singer and guitarist.
- Belle Kearney, temperance reformer, suffragist, teacher, white supremacist, and first female Mississippi State Senator in 1923.
- "Historic Preservation". Town of Flora. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- Howe, Tony. "Flora, Mississippi". Mississippi Rails. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- "Mississippi Ordnance Plant" (PDF). U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- Rich, Mark (2009). C.M. Kornbluth: The Life and Works of a Science Fiction Visionary. McFarland.
- Mitchell, Clarence Maurice (2005). The Papers of Clarence Mitchell, Jr: 1942-1943. Ohio University Press.
- Altschuler, Glenn; Blumin, Stuart (2009). The GI Bill: The New Deal for Veterans. Oxford University Press.
- Grayson, Walt (August 15, 2006). "Look Around MS: WWII". Msnewsnow.com.
- Husted, Glenn (September 1, 2011). "Armed Forces Museum is Home to One of First Production-Model Tanks" (PDF). Mississippi National Guard.
- "Some Sure, Some Not, of Lab's Safety". Athens Banner-Herald. September 16, 2007.
- Kingsbury, Nancy (2009). Biological Research: Observations on DHS's Analyses Concerning Whether Foot and Mouth Disease Research Can be Done as Safely on the Mainland as on Plum Island. General Accounting Office.
- "National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.[permanent dead link]
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "E. C. Coleman". Basketball Reference. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- "Parys Haralson". NFL.com. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- Russell, Tony (14 October 2005). "Paul 'Wine' Jones". The Guardian.
- Lemon, Armistead; Henderson, Harris. "Belle Kearney, 1863-1939". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved February 1, 2014.