Holly Springs, Mississippi

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Holly Springs, Mississippi
Business District of Holly Springs
Business District of Holly Springs
Nickname(s): Glamis
Location of Holly Springs, Mississippi
Location of Holly Springs, Mississippi
Holly Springs, Mississippi is located in USA
Holly Springs, Mississippi
Holly Springs, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 34°46′24″N 89°26′47″W / 34.77333°N 89.44639°W / 34.77333; -89.44639Coordinates: 34°46′24″N 89°26′47″W / 34.77333°N 89.44639°W / 34.77333; -89.44639
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Marshall
 • Total 12.7 sq mi (33.0 km2)
 • Land 12.7 sq mi (32.9 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 600 ft (183 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 7,957
 • Density 626.3/sq mi (241.8/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 38634, 38635, 38649
Area code(s) 662
FIPS code 28-33100
GNIS feature ID 0693510
Holly Springs railroad depot. Photo by Jack Boucher.
Montrose, a Holly Springs mansion. Photo by Jack Boucher.
Graceland Too in Holly Springs

Holly Springs is a city in and county seat of Marshall County, Mississippi, United States near southern Tennessee.

Near the Mississippi Delta, the area was developed as cotton plantations and dependent on enslaved labor. Since the 19th century the county has had a majority-black population. After the American Civil War, many freedmen continued to work in agriculture but as sharecroppers and tenant farmers. As the county seat, the city is a center of trade and court sessions.

The population was 7,957 at the 2000 census. A slight decrease in population was calculated in the 2010 census.[1] Opportunities are limited in the rural area and young people leave to find work.


Holly Springs was founded by European Americans in 1836, on territory historically occupied by Chickasaw Indians for centuries before Indian Removal in the 1830s.[2] They developed extensive cotton plantations, bringing or purchasing African-American slaves as laborers.

The settlement served as a trading center for the neighboring cotton plantations. In 1837 it was made seat of the newly created Marshall County, named for John Marshall, the United States Supreme Court justice. The town developed a variety of merchants and businesses to support the plantations, and its population into the early 20th century included a community of Jewish merchants, whose ancestors were immigrants from eastern Europe.[3]

By 1855 Holly Springs was connected to Grand Junction, Tennessee by the advancing Mississippi Central Railway.[4] In ensuing years, the line was completed to the south of Hill Springs. Toward the end of the century, the Kansas City, Memphis and Birmingham Railroad was constructed to intersect this line in Holly Springs.

During the Civil War, the town was used by General Ulysses S. Grant as a supply depot and headquarters. Confederate Earl Van Dorn led a raid of the area in December 1862, destroying most of the Union supplies.

In 1878 the city suffered a yellow fever epidemic, common to many river cities along the Mississippi and Ohio that year; 2,000 of its residents died. The existing Marshall County Courthouse, at the center of Holly Springs' square, was used as a hospital during the epidemic.[2]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.7 square miles (33 km2), of which 12.7 square miles (33 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.16%) is water.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Holly Springs has a humid subtropical climate, in common with the vast majority of the South.[5]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 2,987
1870 2,406 −19.5%
1880 2,370 −1.5%
1890 2,246 −5.2%
1900 2,815 25.3%
1910 2,192 −22.1%
1920 2,113 −3.6%
1930 2,271 7.5%
1940 2,750 21.1%
1950 3,276 19.1%
1960 5,621 71.6%
1970 5,728 1.9%
1980 7,285 27.2%
1990 7,261 −0.3%
2000 7,957 9.6%
2010 7,699 −3.2%
Est. 2014 7,574 [6] −1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 7,699 people residing in the city. This is a minority-majority city, as 79.2% of the residents were African American, 19.3% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.6% from some other race and 0.5% from two or more races. 1.2% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 7,957 people, 2,407 households, and 1,699 families residing in the city. The population density was 626.3 people per square mile (241.9/km²). There were 2,582 housing units at an average density of 203.2 per square mile (78.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 22.81% White, 76.18% African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.06% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.59% of the population.

There were 2,407 households out of which 36.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.3% were married couples living together, 31.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.4% were non-families. 27.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.22.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 19.1% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 17.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 101.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,408, and the median income for a family was $25,808. Males had a median income of $29,159 versus $20,777 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,924. About 27.5% of families and 32.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 44.6% of those under age 18 and 21.2% of those age 65 or over.


The City of Holly Springs is served by the Holly Springs School District.

Rust College was established in 1866 by the Freedman's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church to serve freedmen and is a historically black college.

The now defunct Mississippi Industrial College, intended as a vocational training school, was located in Holly Springs, as was the Holly Springs Female Institute.

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • William Faulkner was inspired to create his fictionalized Yoknapatawpha County by a diary found at a Holly Springs plantation.[9]
  • The 1999 movie Cookie's Fortune was set and filmed in Holly Springs.
Town square in Holly Springs
Town square in Holly Springs


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ a b Haines, Deb. "History of Holly Springs". Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  3. ^ "History of Holly Springs' Jewish community", Institute of Southern Jewish Life
  4. ^ "Mississippi Central and Tennessee Rail Road.". Nashville Union and American (John L. Marling & Co). 1856-04-29. Retrieved 2011-10-25.  via Chronicling America website
  5. ^ Climate Summary for Holly Springs, Mississippi
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ Cohen, Patricia (2010-02-11). "Faulkner Link to Plantation Diary Discovered". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]