Ruleville, Mississippi

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Ruleville, Mississippi
Ruby Avenue in Ruleville
Ruby Avenue in Ruleville
Location of Ruleville, Mississippi
Location of Ruleville, Mississippi
Ruleville, Mississippi is located in the United States
Ruleville, Mississippi
Ruleville, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 33°43′37″N 90°32′57″W / 33.72694°N 90.54917°W / 33.72694; -90.54917Coordinates: 33°43′37″N 90°32′57″W / 33.72694°N 90.54917°W / 33.72694; -90.54917
CountryUnited States
 • Total2.53 sq mi (6.54 km2)
 • Land2.52 sq mi (6.52 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)
135 ft (41 m)
 • Total2,642
 • Density1,049.25/sq mi (405.07/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code662
FIPS code28-64200
GNIS feature ID0676950

Ruleville is a city in Sunflower County, Mississippi, United States, in the Mississippi Delta region. The population was 3,007 at the 2010 census. It is the second-largest community in the rural county.[2]


Ruleville was described as "surrounded by a fine fertile country and timber lands".[3]: 580  Development of the settlement followed construction of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad, which established a stop here.[3] The village was laid out in 1898 by J. W. Rule, for whom it was named.[3] In September 1899 the official petition to Governor Anselm J. McLaurin to incorporate contained 98 names of the 'citizens and electors of Sunflower County...[who] reside in the village' noting that 150 people currently lived inside the village.[4]

The rural area was being developed for cotton plantations after the American Civil War. Ruleville was established as an important cotton shipping point on the railroad. By the early 1900s, Ruleville had telephone and telegraph facilities, about 20 businesses, two white churches and one black church, a water works system, an electric light plant, three public gins, and excellent public schools for the white population. The population in 1900 was 336.[3] The Bank of Ruleville was established in 1903.[3]

During the Civil Rights Movement that expanded beginning in the 1950s, Fannie Lou Hamer, a farm worker, started a movement for poor people.[2]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), of which 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2) is land and 0.39% is water.

Ruleville is along U.S. Route 49W.[2] Ruleville is about 15 miles (24 km) from the Mississippi State Penitentiary (Parchman).[5]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial in Ruleville

2020 census[edit]

Ruleville Racial Composition[7]
Race Num. Perc.
White 344 13.02%
Black or African American 2,238 84.71%
Other/Mixed 45 1.7%
Hispanic or Latino 15 0.57%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 2,642 people, 986 households, and 521 families residing in the city.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 3,007 people living in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 85.3% black, 12.8% white, 0.1% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from some other race and 0.5% from two or more races. 0.7% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 3,234 people, 1,020 households, and 774 families living in the city. The population density was 1,278.3 people per square mile (493.5/km2). There were 1,096 housing units at an average density of 433.2 per square mile (167.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 80.77% black, 18.65% white, 0.43% Asian, 0.06% Native American, 0.03% from other races, and 0.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.87% of the population.

There were 1,020 households, out of which 36.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.5% were married couples living together, 34.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family size was 3.55.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 31.3% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 23.0% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 80.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 71.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $21,351, and the median income for a family was $23,036. Males had a median income of $25,104 versus $21,063 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,664. About 29.5% of families and 36.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 47.7% of those under age 18 and 27.4% of those age 65 or over.


The City of Ruleville is served by the Sunflower County Consolidated School District.[9] Schools serving Ruleville and in Ruleville include Ruleville Central Elementary School, Ruleville Middle School, and Thomas E. Edwards, Sr. High School (formerly Ruleville Central High School).[10]

North Sunflower Academy is in an unincorporated area of Sunflower County, about 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Ruleville.[11][12] The school originated as a segregation academy, founded to evade orders to integrate the public schools.[13]

Delta State University is located ten miles away in Cleveland.

During the Civil Rights Movement, 1964 was Freedom Summer, organizing for voter registration and education, and adding to the curriculum in the local segregated schools for blacks. The "Ruleville Freedom School" was established to try to provide an alternative to the second-class education that had been provided to black students. It tried to prepare students to be part of change and a democratic society, to prepare for the civil freedom that the movement supported and would press the political system to provide.[14]

The Sunflower County Library operates the Horace Stansel Memorial Library in Ruleville.[15]



Ruleville-Drew Airport is in unincorporated Sunflower County, between Ruleville and Drew.[16] The airport is jointly operated by the cities of Ruleville and Drew.[17]


  • Ruleville Inn Motel[18]


The North Sunflower Medical Center is a rural critical access hospital located in Ruleville, with 95 beds and approximately 500 employees. The medical center includes a surgical center, sleep center and outpatient rehabilitation unit.[19] The center partners with other facilities to provide specialty care, including the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Diabetes Telehealth Network and Mississippi Sports Medicine Center.[20][21]

Notable people[edit]

A sign honoring Fannie Lou Hamer for her work in Ruleville, Mississippi.


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Moye, J. Todd. Let the People Decide: Black Freedom and White Resistance Movements in Sunflower County, Mississippi, 1945-1986. University of North Carolina Press, November 29, 2004. 28. Retrieved from Google Books on February 26, 2012. ISBN 0-8078-5561-8, ISBN 978-0-8078-5561-4.
  3. ^ a b c d e Rowland, Dunbar (1907). Mississippi: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form. Vol. 2. Southern Historical Publishing Association. p. 580.
  4. ^ Robertson, John A. (1993). Early history of the town of Ruleville, Mississippi : in the heart of the Mississippi delta. Parchman, MS : Magnolia State Enterprises. originally published: Greenville, Miss. : Democrat Print Co., c1965. p.9
  5. ^ "Tornado Damages Mississippi Homes." Associated Press at the Daily Union. Sunday November 27, 1988. Page 4. Retrieved from Google News (3 of 20) on July 4, 2011.
  6. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  7. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2021-12-07.
  8. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. ^ "Ruleville Schools." Sunflower County School District. Retrieved on August 17, 2010.
  10. ^ "Sunflower County Archived 2011-06-17 at the Wayback Machine." Mississippi Department of Education. Retrieved on August 17, 2010.
  11. ^ "Driving directions Archived 2011-07-14 at the Wayback Machine." North Sunflower Academy. Retrieved on August 10, 2010.
  12. ^ Murray, Coddy. "SERVICE NOTES." St. Charles Post at the St. Louis Post Dispatch. July 2, 1998. Retrieved on February 27, 2011. "He is a graduate of North Sunflower Academy of Ruleville, Miss.,[...]"
  13. ^ Moye, J. Todd. Let the People Decide: Black Freedom and White Resistance Movements in Sunflower County, Mississippi, 1945-1986. UNC Press Books, 2004. 243. Retrieved from Google Books on March 2, 2011. "Sunflower County's two other segregation academies— North Sunflower Academy, between Drew and Ruleville, and Central Delta Academy in Inverness— both sprouted in a similar fashion." ISBN 0-8078-5561-8, ISBN 978-0-8078-5561-4.
  14. ^ Moye, p. 128. - p. 125 says "In the early months of 1964," so page 128 is talking about things in 1964
  15. ^ "Sunflower County Library Directory." Sunflower County Library. Retrieved on July 21, 2010.
  16. ^ FAA Airport Form 5010 for M37 PDF - Retrieved on September 23, 2010.
  17. ^ "Poplarville, Hattiesburg among airports receiving grants Archived 2012-02-28 at the Wayback Machine." WDAM. March 12, 2010. Retrieved on September 23, 2010.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "About NSMC - North Sunflower Medical Center". Retrieved 2016-08-11.
  20. ^ "Diabetes Telehealth Network Sees Early Success in Mississippi". University of Mississippi Medical Center. December 3, 2014.
  21. ^ "Mississippi Sports Medicine Comes to North Sunflower Medical Center". North Sunflower Medical Center. 30 June 2016. Retrieved August 11, 2016.

Further reading[edit]

Larson, Kate Clifford "Walk With Me, a biography of Fannie Lou Hamer" Oxford University Press 2021

External links[edit]