Jonesboro City Hall
Location of Jonesboro in Jackson Parish, Louisiana
|• Mayor||Mayor-elect Leslie Cornell Thompson (D)
(unseated Democrat James E. Bradford, December 8, 2018)
|• Total||4.90 sq mi (12.70 km2)|
|• Land||4.85 sq mi (12.55 km2)|
|• Water||0.06 sq mi (0.15 km2)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||943.06/sq mi (375.1/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
Jonesboro is a town in and the parish seat of Jackson Parish in the northern portion of the U.S. state of Louisiana. The population was 4,704 at the 2010 census, up from 3,914 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Ruston Micropolitan Statistical Area[dubious ].
Founded on January 10, 1860, by Joseph Jones and his wife, Sarah Pankey Jones, as a small family farm, Jonesboro is now a small industrial mill town. Originally founded as "Macedonia," the name of the small town changed to Jonesboro on January 16, 1901, after the United States Post Office Department approved the change and became the seat of government for Jackson Parish on March 15, 1911, following a parish-wide referendum.  Jonesboro remains agricultural, industrial, economic, and governmental center of the parish.
During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, whites violently resisted African-American efforts to gain their constitutional rights as citizens, even after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Ku Klux Klan, which was active in the area, conducted what was called a "reign of terror" in 1964, including harassment of activists, "the burning of crosses on the lawns of African-American voters," murder, and destroying five black churches by fire, as well as their Masonic hall, and a Baptist center.
In November 1964, leaders Earnest "Chilly Willy" Thomas and Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick (the latter ordained that year as a minister of the Church of God in Christ), founded the Deacons for Defense and Justice in Jonesboro. It was an armed self-defense group, made up of mostly mature men who were veterans of World War II and the Korean War. At night, they conducted regular patrols of the black community in the city, which occupied an area known as "the Quarters". They protected civil rights activists and their families during and outside demonstrations. At the request of activists in Bogalusa, Louisiana, another mill town where blacks were under pressure by violent whites, Thomas and Kirkpatrick helped found an affiliated chapter in that city. Ultimately there were 21 chapters in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, operating through 1968. In Jonesboro, the Deacons achieved some changes, such as integrating parks and a swimming pool. Activists achieved more after congressional passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and their entry into politics.
Jonesboro is located in southwestern Jackson Parish. U.S. Route 167 passes through the northern and eastern sides of town, leading north 22 miles (35 km) to Ruston and south 23 miles (37 km) to Winnfield. Louisiana Highway 4 passes through the center of Jonesboro, leading east 17 miles (27 km) to Chatham and west 19 miles (31 km) to Lucky.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Jonesboro has a total area of 4.9 square miles (12.7 km2), of which 4.8 square miles (12.5 km2) are land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 1.17%, are water. Jonesboro water bodies drain north to the Little Dugdemona River, which turns southwest and forms the south-flowing Dugdemona River.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Jonesboro has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,914 people, 1,602 households, and 1,012 families residing in the town. The population density was 806.6 people per square mile (311.6/km²). There were 1,852 housing units at an average density of 381.7 per square mile (147.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 54.01% White, 45.02% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.03% from other races, and 0.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.43% of the population.
There were 1,602 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.3% were married couples living together, 21.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.8% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the town, the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 20.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 81.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $19,734, and the median income for a family was $28,048. Males had a median income of $29,071 versus $18,143 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,869. About 28.7% of families and 32.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.2% of those under age 18 and 16.1% of those age 65 or over.
The previous mayor, Leslie Cornell Thompson, was suspended from office in September 2013 after being convicted of malfeasance in office. As of 2013, Jonesboro had not had a budget since 2008. His wife, Yoshi Chambers Thompson, was initially appointed by the city council to succeed him as interim mayor. Her legitimacy was questioned by Kenneth David Folden, the fiscal administrator appointed by the state the day after Thompson's conviction to bring city finances back into order. Tammy Sheridan Lee, the Monroe city judge who administered the oath to Yoshi Thompson, has withdrawn the authorization. Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is reviewing the legality of the situation.
Meanwhile, Judge James Cecil "Jimmy" Teat of the Louisiana 2nd Judicial District Court in Jonesboro ruled that Thompson had violated the conditions of his bond through continued interference in municipal business. Judge Teat ordered Thompson to be incarcerated in the Jackson Parish Correctional Center until his sentencing on the malfeasance charges.
On October 17, 2013, based on the conviction of malfeasance, Judge Teat sentenced Mayor Thompson to six years of hard labor, large fines, $51,000 in restitution to the city of Jonesboro, five years' suspended sentence, and five years of supervised probation. Thompson will remain incarcerated pending appeal.
In the runoff election for mayor held on December 8, 2018, Thompson unseated Bradford.
Arts and culture
Jonesboro also has a "Sunshine Festival" in the summer, featuring antique cars and tractors, food, and games.
Zoned schools include:
- Jonesboro-Hodge Elementary School 
- Jonesboro-Hodge Middle School 
- Jonesboro-Hodge High School 
This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- Rodney Alexander, Republican former U.S. Representative and secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs in Baton Rouge
- H. Welborn Ayres, former judge of the Louisiana Second Judicial District based in Jonesboro
- Marty Booker, NFL wide receiver
- Marvin T. Culpepper, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Jackson Parish from 1964 to 1968
- Robert C. Culpepper, Jackson Parish clerk of court, state senator, and later judge in Alexandria
- James Houston "Jimmie" Davis, who is buried here, was a Louisiana governor, actors in the 1940s and 1950s, and writer of the song "You Are My Sunshine".
- James R. Fannin, state senator and former state representative from Jackson Parish since 2003; nephew-by-marriage of Jimmie Davis.
- John Garlington, American football linebacker in the National Football League, played with the Cleveland Browns
- E.L. "Bubba" Henry, former Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, lawyer in Baton Rouge
- Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick, singer-songwriter, ordained minister, civil rights activist and co-founder of Deacons for Defense and Justice here in November 1964; he recorded three albums for Smithsonian Folkway Recordings (1968-1978)
- Randy Moffett, president of the University of Louisiana System from 2008 to 2012, was born in Jonesboro in 1947.
- James P. Pope, former U.S. Senator from Idaho and former mayor of Boise.
- Jerry Robinson, NFL kick returner, born in Jonesboro, played professional football for the San Diego Chargers/NYJets, 1962-1965
- Lil Snupe, Addarren Ross (June 13, 1995 - June 20, 2013), Rapper affiliated with Meek Mill's Dream Chasers Records
- "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 2, 2017.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Jonesboro town, Louisiana". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
- James-Wilson, Sonia (2004). "Understanding Self-Defense in the Civil Rights Movement Through Visual Arts" (PDF). In Menkart, Deborah; Murray, Alana D.; View (eds.). Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching: A Resource Guide for K-12 Classrooms (1st ed.). Washington, D.C: Teaching for Change and the Poverty & Race Research Action Council. ISBN 9781878554185.
- Hill, Lance E. (2004). The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement (1 ed.). Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9780807828472.[page needed]
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Climate Summary for Jonesboro, Louisiana
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Cole Avery (24 September 2013). "Suspended Jonesboro mayor's bond revoked". Monroe News-Star. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- "Louisiana primary el3ection returns, October 2, 2010". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- "Suspended Jonesboro mayor sentenced to 6 years". Alexandria Daily Town Talk. 18 October 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- "John Garlington". databaseFootball.com. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
- Adam Fairclough, Race and Democracy: The Civil Rights Struggle in Louisiana, 1915-1972, University of Georgia Press: 1995/reprint 1999
- Hill, Lance E. (2004). The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement (1 ed.). Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9780807828472.