Liberty, Mississippi

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Liberty, Mississippi
Town
Amite County Courthouse in Liberty
Amite County Courthouse in Liberty
Location of Liberty, Mississippi
Location of Liberty, Mississippi
Liberty, Mississippi is located in the US
Liberty, Mississippi
Liberty, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 31°9′39″N 90°48′14″W / 31.16083°N 90.80389°W / 31.16083; -90.80389Coordinates: 31°9′39″N 90°48′14″W / 31.16083°N 90.80389°W / 31.16083; -90.80389
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Amite
Government
 • Mayor Richard H. Stratton
Area
 • Total 2.0 sq mi (5.3 km2)
 • Land 2.0 sq mi (5.3 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 338 ft (103 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 728
 • Density 353/sq mi (136.4/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 39645
Area code(s) 601
FIPS code 28-40640
GNIS feature ID 0672435

Liberty is a town in Amite County, Mississippi. It is part of the McComb, Mississippi Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 728 at the 2010 census.[1] It is the county seat of Amite County.[2]

The town can be accessed via I-55, then west on Mississippi Highway 24. McGehee Air Park is located about a mile west of town.

Liberty celebrates its Heritage Days Festival during the first weekend of each May.

Air Cruisers manufacturing plant is located in Liberty. Owned by Zodiac Aerospace, the plant produces evacuation slides, life rafts, and life vests for the aviation industry.

Eleven sites in or near Liberty are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

History[edit]

Erected in 1871, the Confederate Monument in Liberty was the first in Mississippi.[3]

Liberty was incorporated on February 24, 1809.

The Amite County Courthouse in Liberty is the oldest in Mississippi. Erected in 1839, the courthouse was enlarged and modernized in 1936.[4] It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Amite Female Seminary (also known as the 'Little Red Schoolhouse'), built in 1853, was a girls finishing school located in Liberty. During the American Civil War, in the spring of 1863, Federal troops under the command of Colonel Benjamin Grierson, a former music teacher, burned the school, but spared the school's music building. The Federal commander permitted musical instruments to be removed, and was prepared to give the order to torch the building, when he recognized the music school's director, Rev. Milton Shirk, as a former classmate from New York. The two-story, two-room music building survives to this day on Mississippi Highway 569, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5][6]

Gail Borden, who developed a process in the early 1850s for condensing milk and founded the New York Condensed Milk Company (later known as Borden Inc., lived in Liberty from 1822 to 1829.

Between 1904 and 1921, a branch of the Liberty–White Railroad, a narrow-gauge logging rail line serving the White Lumber Company, ran between McComb, Mississippi and Liberty.[7]

During the Civil Rights Movement, in September 1961, Herbert Lee, an African-American dairy farmer and member of NAACP, was murdered in Liberty at the Westbrook Cotton Gin by E.H. Hurst, a white state legislator. Lee had attended voter registration classes and volunteered to try to register to vote, Witnesses to the killing were intimidated by armed white men in the courtroom to support Hurst's claim of self-defense, and he was released without charges. Louis Allen, a married African-American landowner with a logging business, reported the truth about the crime to federal officials while seeking protection for testimony. He did not get protection. He suffered economic blackmail, arrests and harassment, and was killed in January 1964.

Since 1994, three investigations have suggested that the county sheriff was the perpetrator, but no prosecution was undertaken. Since that period, Amite County has continued to lose population because of its poverty and limited opportunities. It now has a white majority, although the margin is less than in Liberty. The Westbrook Cotton Gin has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Liberty was the location of the fourth-wettest tropical cyclone in Mississippi in 2001; Tropical Storm Allison dropped 18.95 inches (481 mm) of precipitation.

Liberty, Texas is thought to have been named after this town, as numerous families from Amite County moved west in the 1820s to settle in the Atascosito district north-east of Houston.[8]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town covers an area of 2.0 square miles (5.3 km2), of which 0.00077 square miles (0.002 km2), or 0.03%, is water.[1]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 392
1910 556 41.8%
1920 515 −7.4%
1930 551 7.0%
1940 665 20.7%
1950 683 2.7%
1960 642 −6.0%
1970 612 −4.7%
1980 669 9.3%
1990 624 −6.7%
2000 633 1.4%
2010 728 15.0%
Est. 2015 694 [9] −4.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 633 people, 263 households, and 170 families residing in the town. The population density was 307.6 people per square mile (118.6/km²). There were 309 housing units at an average density of 150.1 per square mile (57.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 74.25% White, 24.17% African American, 1.11% from other races, and 0.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.90% of the population.

There were 263 households out of which 25.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.0% were non-families. 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 23.4% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $23,882, and the median income for a family was $35,179. Males had a median income of $38,000 versus $16,944 for females. The per capita income for the town was $13,062. About 19.5% of families and 21.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.7% of those under age 18 and 25.4% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

The town of Liberty is served by the Amite County School District.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Liberty town, Mississippi". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Taylor, Dawn (August 31, 2014). "Confederate Monument, Liberty, MS". The Battle of Liberty, MS. 
  4. ^ "Amite Repairs Court House". Woodville Republican. May 2, 1936. 
  5. ^ Anders, Billy (Jan 25, 2008). "Give me Liberty, or Give Me...Cloudcroft!!!". Southern Herald. 
  6. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form" (PDF). U.S. Dept. of the Interior. 1980. 
  7. ^ McElvaine, Robert S. (1988). Mississippi: The WPA Guide to the Magnolia State. University Press of Mississippi. 
  8. ^ Schaadt, Robert L. (July 13, 2011). "Texas History ~ Founders of Liberty: Hugh Blair Johnston". The Vindicator. 
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ Obituary of Clyde V. Ratcliff, Sr., Tensas Gazette, October 8, 1952
  13. ^ Lee, Ching (2004-08-18). "Legendary Mid-Valley blues man dies at 82 - Appeal-Democrat: Home". Appeal-Democrat.com. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 

External links[edit]