Petal, Mississippi

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Petal, Mississippi
2017 tornado damage in Petal
2017 tornado damage in Petal
Nickname(s): 
The Friendly City
Location of Petal, Mississippi
Location of Petal, Mississippi
Petal, Mississippi is located in the United States
Petal, Mississippi
Petal, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 31°20′48″N 89°15′20″W / 31.34667°N 89.25556°W / 31.34667; -89.25556Coordinates: 31°20′48″N 89°15′20″W / 31.34667°N 89.25556°W / 31.34667; -89.25556
CountryUnited States
StateMississippi
CountyForrest
Government
 • TypeMayor-Council
 • MayorHal Marx
 • State RepresentativeLarry Byrd[1]
 • State SenatorBilly Hudson[1]
Area
 • Total17.15 sq mi (44.41 km2)
 • Land16.77 sq mi (43.44 km2)
 • Water0.38 sq mi (0.97 km2)
Elevation
157 ft (48 m)
Population
 • Total10,454
 • Estimate 
(2019)[4]
10,632
 • Density633.95/sq mi (244.77/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
39465
Area code(s)601
FIPS code28-56800
GNIS feature ID0675641
Websitewww.cityofpetal.com

Petal is a city in Forrest County, Mississippi, along the Leaf River. It is part of the Hattiesburg, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 10,454 in the 2010 census.[5]

History[edit]

The first postmaster of Petal was Irving A. Polk.[6] The post office was established in 1903[7] and was named after the daughter of a first settler.[8] It is the only city in the U.S. with this name. Petal separated from the city of Hattiesburg on April 4, 1974. Petal was a community filled with farmers. This is slowly changing with new businesses coming into the city.[citation needed]

The International Checker Hall of Fame was located in Petal until September 29, 2007, when 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) of the 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) building caught fire.[9][10]

Petal was extensively damaged by an EF3 tornado on January 21, 2017.

Protests against Mayor Hal Marx[edit]

On May 26, 2020, Petal mayor Hal Marx shared several posts relating to the killing of George Floyd. The posts were later deleted but garnered criticism and, eventually, national attention.[clarification needed][11]

On May 28, a special public meeting of aldermen officially censured Mayor Marx and called for his resignation, which Marx declined.[12][13] Protests began on May 29 at Petal city hall calling for the mayor’s resignation.[14]

Geography[edit]

As of the 2010 census, the city had a total area of 17.1 square miles (44.4 km2), of which 16.9 square miles (43.7 km2) was land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km2), or 1.62%, was water.[3] The city's area had increased by nearly 75% since 2000, following an annexation effort approved in 2002. Major sub-communities as of the annex are Macedonia, Barrontown, Sunrise, and Leeville. The Harvey community (currently downtown Petal) hosts city departments.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
19808,476
19907,883−7.0%
20007,579−3.9%
201010,45437.9%
2019 (est.)10,632[4]1.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]

As of the census of 2010, there were 10,454 people, 3,918 households, and 2,867 families residing in the city. The population density was 619.8 people per square mile. There were 4,261 housing units at an average density of 331.7 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 86.1% White, 9.9% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 1.3% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.5% of the population.

There were 3,918 households, out of which 23.5% had own children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.1% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.8% were non-families. 39.3% of all households were made up of individuals under 18 and 26.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.13.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,637, and the median income for a family was $35,343. Males had a median income of $27,500 versus $20,741 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,996. About 11.9% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.4% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over.

Sex 16+ 18+ 21+ 62+ 65+ Median age
Male 3,702 3,537 3,325 730 596 35.8
Female 4,269 4,107 3,914 1,034 844 33.8
Overall 7,971 7,644 7,239 1,764 1,440 37.5

Education[edit]

The city is served by the Petal School District.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Home". web.archive.org. June 7, 2017.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001), Petal city, Mississippi". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  5. ^ Archived 2013-03-09 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
  6. ^ Gallagher, John S. and Patera, Alan H. (1996). Mississippi Post Offices, p. 247. Lake Grove, Oregon: The Depot, ISBN 0-943645-35-2.
  7. ^ "Notification Service | Post Offices". www.postalhistory.com.
  8. ^ Moyer, Armond; Moyer, Winifred (1958). The origins of unusual place-names. Keystone Pub. Associates. p. 102.
  9. ^ "Checker Hall of Fame: Game Over". Roadside America.
  10. ^ "Cause Sought in Sept. 29 Fire". Scripps Interactive Newspapers Group.
  11. ^ Rojas, Rick (2020-06-09). "A Small Mississippi Town, 'Asking for a Breath' After Mayor's Remarks Unleash Protests". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  12. ^ "Mississippi mayor refuses to resign after facing backlash for George Floyd comments: 'I didn't see anything unreasonable'". USA Today.
  13. ^ "Protestors call for Petal Mayor Hal Marx to resign". WDAM.
  14. ^ "Protesters call for ouster of Petal mayor over George Floyd death comments". Clarion Ledger.
  15. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  16. ^ "Larry Byrd's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  17. ^ "CHAPLAIN (BRIGADIER GENERAL) WILLIAM LEON CLARK". af.mil. United States Air Force. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  18. ^ Richard J. Jensen (1 October 2017). Social Controversy and Public Address in the 1960s and Early 1970s: A Rhetorical History of the United States, Vol. IX. Michigan State University Press. p. 143. ISBN 978-1-62895-300-8.
  19. ^ "Demarcus Evans #67". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  20. ^ "Thomas King Jr.'s Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  21. ^ "Retired Mississippi Chief Justice Dan Lee dies at 84". The Meridian Star. 12 May 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  22. ^ "Javon Patterson". olemisssports.com. University of Mississippi. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  23. ^ Weigl Publishing, Inc. (1 May 2008). Mississippi: The Magnolia State. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-59339-770-8.

External links[edit]