Laurel, Mississippi

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Laurel, Mississippi
City
Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel
Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel
Nickname(s): "The City Beautiful"
Location of Laurel in the State of Mississippi
Location of Laurel in the State of Mississippi
Laurel, Mississippi is located in the US
Laurel, Mississippi
Laurel, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 31°41′51″N 89°8′22″W / 31.69750°N 89.13944°W / 31.69750; -89.13944Coordinates: 31°41′51″N 89°8′22″W / 31.69750°N 89.13944°W / 31.69750; -89.13944
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Jones
Incorporated 1882
Government
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor Johnny Magee
Area
 • Total 15.8 sq mi (40.8 km2)
 • Land 15.4 sq mi (40.0 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.9 km2)
Elevation 269 ft (82 m)
Population (2012)
 • Total 18,838
 • Density 1,203.90/sq mi (463.5/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 39440–39443
Area code(s) 601
FIPS code 28-39640
GNIS feature ID 0672321
Website www.LaurelMS.com

Laurel is a city in and the second county seat of Jones County, Mississippi, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 18,548. It is located northeast of Ellisville, the first county seat, which contains the county courthouse.

Laurel is the principal city of a Micropolitan Statistical Area named for it. Its major employers include Howard Industries, Sanderson Farms, Masonite, Family Health Center, Howse Implement, Thermo-Kool and South Central Regional Medical Center. Laurel is home to the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Mississippi's oldest art museum, which was established by a family that made its wealth in timber.

It is the headquarters of the Jones County Sheriff's Department, which administers in the county.

History[edit]

Oak Street, circa 1900

Laurel was founded in 1882 as a lumber town, as the industry harvested yellow pine forests in the region.[citation needed] The city was named for laurel thickets near the original town site.[1]

By the turn of the century, the city became a site of cotton mills, to process and manufacture textiles from the state's commodity crop of cotton. The city population grew markedly during the early 20th century, as rural people were attracted to manufacturing jobs. Mechanization of agriculture reduced the number of farming jobs. The city reached its peak of population in 1960, and has declined about one third since then.

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.8 square miles (41 km2), of which 15.4 square miles (40 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2), or 2.09%, is water.

Climate[edit]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Laurel has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[2]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 3,193
1910 8,465 165.1%
1920 13,037 54.0%
1930 18,017 38.2%
1940 20,598 14.3%
1950 25,038 21.6%
1960 27,889 11.4%
1970 24,145 −13.4%
1980 21,897 −9.3%
1990 18,827 −14.0%
2000 18,393 −2.3%
2010 18,540 0.8%
Est. 2015 18,837 [3] 1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
2012 Estimate[5]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 18,393 people, 6,925 households, and 4,542 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,192.3 people per square mile (460.2/km²). There were 7,804 housing units at an average density of 505.9 per square mile (195.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 40.64% White, 55.08% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 3.17% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.87% of the population.

There were 6,925 households out of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.2% were married couples living together, 23.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.9% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 85.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,988, and the median income for a family was $30,185. Males had a median income of $27,077 versus $17,336 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,561. 28.9% of the population and 21.4% of families were below the poverty line. 37.5% of those under the age of 18 and 19.3% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Government[edit]

City government consists of a mayor-council form. The mayor is elected at-large. Council members are elected from single-member districts.

City Officials
  • Johnny Magee – Mayor
  • La'Juan Jones – Ward 1 Councilman
  • Tony Wheat – Ward 2 Councilman
  • Tony Thaxton – Ward 3 Councilman
  • George Carmichael – Ward 4 Councilman
  • Manuel L. Jones – Ward 5 Councilman
  • Travares Comegys – Ward 6 Councilman
  • David Wash – Ward 7 Councilman

The United States Postal Service operates the Laurel Post Office and the Choctaw Post Office, both located in Laurel.[7][8]

The Mississippi Department of Mental Health South Mississippi State Hospital Crisis Intervention Center is in Laurel.[9]

Education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

  • Laurel School District
  • Jones County School District

Private schools[edit]

Media[edit]

Infrastructure[edit]

Train Station

Amtrak's Crescent train connects Laurel with the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham and New Orleans. The Amtrak station is situated at 230 North Maple Street.

Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport is located in an unincorporated area in Jones County, near Moselle.[12][13]

Major highways

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 182. 
  2. ^ Climate Summary for Laurel, Mississippi
  3. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  4. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ "Post Office Location – LAUREL." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on November 1, 2010.
  8. ^ "Post Office Location - CHOCTAW." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on November 1, 2010.
  9. ^ "Contact Us." South Mississippi State Hospital. Retrieved on November 1, 2010. "SMSH Crisis Intervention Center 934 West Drive Laurel, MS 39440."
  10. ^ "The Chronicle". Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  11. ^ "IMPACT". Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Contact." Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport. Retrieved on July 15, 2011. "Our Address Airport Director, 1002 Terminal Dr. Moselle, MS 39459"
  13. ^ "Hattiesburg city, Mississippi." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on July 16, 2011.
  14. ^ "Charles Marsh". Mississippi Writers & Musicians. Retrieved October 28, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Book Discussion on 'The Last Days: A Son's Story of Sin and Segregation'". C-SPAN. March 19, 2001. Retrieved October 28, 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Alex Heard, The Eyes of Willie McGee: A Tragedy of Race, Sex and Secrets in the Jim Crow South (New York: Harper, 2011)
  • Nollie W. Hickman, Mississippi Harvest: Lumbering in the Longleaf Pine Belt, 1840-1915 (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, new edition, 2009)
  • Gilbert H. Hoffman and Tony Howe, Yellow Pine Capital: The Laurel, Mississippi Story (Toot Toot Publishing Company, 2010)
  • Charles Marsh, The Last Days: A Son's Story of Sin and Segregation at the Dawn of a New South (New York: Basic Books, 2000)
  • Cleveland Payne, The Oak Park Story: A Cultural History, 1928-1970 (National Oak Park High School Alumni Association, 1988.
  • Cleveland Payne, Laurel: A History of the Black Community, 1882-1962(Cleveland Payne, 1990)

External links[edit]