Neshoba County, Mississippi

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Neshoba County
Neshoba County courthouse and Confederate Monument in Philadelphia
Neshoba County courthouse and Confederate Monument in Philadelphia
Map of Mississippi highlighting Neshoba County
Location within the U.S. state of Mississippi
Map of the United States highlighting Mississippi
Mississippi's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 32°45′N 89°07′W / 32.75°N 89.12°W / 32.75; -89.12
Country United States
State Mississippi
Founded1833
Named forChoctaw for “wolf”
SeatPhiladelphia
Largest cityPhiladelphia
Area
 • Total572 sq mi (1,480 km2)
 • Land570 sq mi (1,500 km2)
 • Water1.5 sq mi (4 km2)  0.3%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total29,087
 • Density51/sq mi (20/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district3rd
Websitewww.neshobacounty.net

Neshoba County is located in the central part of the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2020 census, the population was 29,087.[1] Its county seat is Philadelphia.[2] It was named after Nashoba, a Choctaw chief. His name means "wolf" in the Choctaw language.[3]

The county is known for the Neshoba County Fair and harness horse races. It is home of the Williams Brothers Store, which has been in operation since the early 1900s.

In June 1964, civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were chased down, tortured, and murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan. They were buried in an earthen dam on private property off of Highway 21; Goodman was still alive.[4] Initially treated as a missing persons case, their disappearance provoked national outrage and contributed significantly to the July enactment of the Civil Rights Act by President Johnson.[5]

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI), a federally recognized tribe, is based here and has developed one of the largest casino complexes in the state on their reservation, the Pearl River Resort.

History[edit]

At the time of European encounter, this was part of the territory of the historic Choctaw people, who occupied most of what later was defined as Mississippi. Under President Andrew Jackson, the United States conducted Indian removal in the 1830s in the Southeast, and most of the Choctaw were removed to west of the Mississippi River, to land in Indian Territory, now part of Oklahoma.

Neshoba was founded by European American settlers in 1833. They named it after a Choctaw chief, whose name in the Choctaw language meant "wolf".[6]

Descendants of the Choctaw who remained in the state continued to identify as Choctaw. They lived in relatively distinct communities and reorganized in the 1930s, gaining federal recognition as the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Even in the 1970s, eighty percent of their people continued to speak Choctaw.

Late 19th century to present[edit]

The white-dominated state legislature passed a new constitution in 1890, that effectively disenfranchised most freedmen and other non-whites, such as Native Americans. This exclusion was maintained well into the 20th century, but activists in the 1960s increasingly worked to restore voting rights throughout the state.

At various times, 76 post offices were established within the county. Around the turn of the 20th century, 40 small post offices were operating at the same time. By 1971, only the post offices in Philadelphia and Neshoba were still operational. Today, only the one in Philadelphia remains.[7]

Neshoba County is known as the site of the lynching murder of three young activists in July 1964 during Freedom Summer in Mississippi, a period of education and a voter registration drive to prepare African Americans for voting. The three young men, two from the North, disappeared at a time of heightened violence, and they became the subjects of a state and FBI search. White supremacists were found to have murdered three civil rights activists: James Cheney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner near Philadelphia, the county seat. During the investigation, searchers found the bodies of eight other young black men in nearby locations.[8] Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price was implicated and charged with being part of the group that lynched the three young men and buried them in an earthen dam 15 miles northeast of Philadelphia. Outrage over the crime contributed to congressional passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. The crime and decades-long legal aftermath of investigation and trials inspired the 1988 movie Mississippi Burning.

In 1980 Governor Ronald Reagan launched his presidential campaign at the Neshoba County Fair, delivering a speech about economic policy and referring to "states' rights". He was believed by some to be referring to southern conservative values, in an area associated with the 1964 murders and at a time when the Republican Party was attracting more white conservatives from the Democratic Party.[9][10]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 572 square miles (1,480 km2), of which 570 square miles (1,500 km2) is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) (0.3%) is water.[11]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18402,437
18504,72894.0%
18608,34376.5%
18707,439−10.8%
18808,74117.5%
189011,14627.5%
190012,72614.2%
191017,98041.3%
192019,3037.4%
193026,69138.3%
194027,8824.5%
195025,730−7.7%
196020,927−18.7%
197020,802−0.6%
198023,78914.4%
199024,8004.2%
200028,68415.7%
201029,6763.5%
202029,087−2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2013[1]

2020 census[edit]

Neshoba County Racial Composition[16]
Race Num. Perc.
White 16,426 56.47%
Black or African American 6,380 21.93%
Native American 4,913 16.89%
Asian 122 0.42%
Other/Mixed 812 2.79%
Hispanic or Latino 434 1.49%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 29,087 people, 10,657 households, and 7,184 families residing in the county.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[17] of 2000, there were 28,684 people, 10,694 households, and 7,742 families residing in the county. The population density was 50 people per square mile (19/km2). There were 11,980 housing units at an average density of 21 per square mile (8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 65.50% White, 19.33% Black or African American, 13.80% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. 1.16% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 28.6% identified as of American ancestry, 8.8% as Irish and 6.1% as English, according to Census 2000. Those who identify as having "American" ancestry are predominantly of English descent, but have ancestors who came to the US so long ago that they identify simply as American.[18][19] 88.7% spoke English and 10.2% Choctaw as their first language.

There were 10,694 households, out of which 34.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.50% were married couples living together, 15.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.60% were non-families. 24.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 28.20% under the age of 18, 9.00% from 18 to 24, 27.00% from 25 to 44, 21.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 91.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,300, and the median income for a family was $33,439. Males had a median income of $28,112 versus $19,882 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,964. About 17.90% of families and 21.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.20% of those under age 18 and 22.00% of those age 65 or over.


Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Town[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Politics[edit]

United States presidential election results for Neshoba County, Mississippi[20]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 8,320 71.09% 3,260 27.86% 123 1.05%
2016 7,679 72.77% 2,715 25.73% 159 1.51%
2012 7,837 71.15% 3,089 28.04% 89 0.81%
2008 8,209 72.00% 3,114 27.31% 79 0.69%
2004 7,780 74.67% 2,600 24.95% 39 0.37%
2000 6,409 70.69% 2,563 28.27% 94 1.04%
1996 4,545 58.37% 2,646 33.98% 596 7.65%
1992 6,135 61.09% 3,090 30.77% 817 8.14%
1988 6,363 68.08% 2,942 31.48% 42 0.45%
1984 6,715 71.71% 2,630 28.09% 19 0.20%
1980 5,165 56.45% 3,872 42.32% 112 1.22%
1976 3,859 49.35% 3,891 49.76% 69 0.88%
1972 6,815 88.22% 812 10.51% 98 1.27%
1968 531 6.79% 867 11.09% 6,417 82.11%
1964 5,431 94.88% 293 5.12% 0 0.00%
1960 580 14.02% 1,840 44.49% 1,716 41.49%
1956 502 13.83% 2,827 77.90% 300 8.27%
1952 1,081 23.26% 3,567 76.74% 0 0.00%
1948 33 1.05% 260 8.31% 2,837 90.64%
1944 131 4.15% 3,025 95.85% 0 0.00%
1940 77 2.60% 2,880 97.07% 10 0.34%
1936 67 1.88% 3,495 98.04% 3 0.08%
1932 56 2.43% 2,236 97.22% 8 0.35%
1928 516 21.30% 1,906 78.70% 0 0.00%
1924 228 12.45% 1,603 87.55% 0 0.00%
1920 182 13.74% 1,088 82.11% 55 4.15%
1916 69 4.39% 1,459 92.87% 43 2.74%
1912 22 2.43% 806 88.96% 78 8.61%


Education[edit]

School districts include:[21]

Choctaw Tribal School System maintains Bogue Chitto Elementary School,[22] Pearl River Elementary School,[23] Tucker Elementary School,[24] Choctaw Central Middle School,[25] and Choctaw Central High School in the county.[26]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Byington, Cyrus (1909). Choctaw Language Dictionary. Global Bible Society.
  4. ^ "Murder in Mississippi | American Experience | PBS". www.pbs.org. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  5. ^ The Reader's companion to American history. Eric Foner, John A. Garraty, Society of American Historians. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin. 1991. pp. 424–425. ISBN 0-395-51372-3. OCLC 23766809.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ Baca, Keith A. (2007). Native American Place Names in Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi. p. 62. ISBN 978-1-60473-483-6.
  7. ^ Sledge, Broox (May 29, 1985). "Neshoba County post offices---"gone with the wind."". The Union Appeal. Union, Mississippi. pp. 6–7. Retrieved December 18, 2021. This is the story of the 76 small post offices which have served the people of Neshoba county down through the years. Only one of the 76 remains open today -- Philadelphia.
  8. ^ "Civil Rights Movement -- History & Timeline, 1964 (Freedom Summer)". www.crmvet.org. Retrieved November 8, 2021.
  9. ^ Jim Prince: "War over Reagan's Words." Madison County Journal (11/22/2007)
  10. ^ Montaldo, Charles. "The Mississippi Burning Case". Archived from the original on March 26, 2013.
  11. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  14. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  16. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  17. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  18. ^ Lieberson, Stanley & Waters, Mary C. (1986). "Ethnic Groups in Flux: The Changing Ethnic Responses of American Whites". Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 487 (79): 82–86. doi:10.1177/0002716286487001004.
  19. ^ Fischer, David Hackett (1989). Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 633–639. ISBN 0-19-503794-4.
  20. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  21. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Neshoba County, MS" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved August 6, 2022. - Text list
  22. ^ "Home". Bogue Chitto Elementary School. Retrieved August 6, 2022. 13241 Highway 491 North Philadelphia, MS 39050
  23. ^ "Home". Pearl River Elementary School. Retrieved August 6, 2022. 470 Industrial Road Choctaw, MS 39350
  24. ^ "Home". Tucker Elementary School. Retrieved August 6, 2022. 126 East Tucker Circle Philadelphia, MS 39350
  25. ^ "Home". Choctaw Central Middle School. Retrieved August 6, 2022. 150 Recreation Road Choctaw, MS 39350
  26. ^ "Home". Choctaw Central High School. Retrieved August 6, 2022. 150 Recreation Road Choctaw, MS 39350

Further reading[edit]

  • Carol V.R. George, One Mississippi, Two Mississippi: Methodists, Murder, and the Struggle for Racial Justice in Neshoba County. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°45′N 89°07′W / 32.75°N 89.12°W / 32.75; -89.12