Soso, Mississippi

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Soso, Mississippi
Location of Soso, Mississippi
Location of Soso, Mississippi
Soso, Mississippi is located in the United States
Soso, Mississippi
Soso, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 31°45′16″N 89°16′27″W / 31.75444°N 89.27417°W / 31.75444; -89.27417Coordinates: 31°45′16″N 89°16′27″W / 31.75444°N 89.27417°W / 31.75444; -89.27417
CountryUnited States
 • Total2.04 sq mi (5.28 km2)
 • Land2.03 sq mi (5.26 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.01 km2)
315 ft (96 m)
 • Total408
 • Estimate 
 • Density193.90/sq mi (74.87/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)601
FIPS code28-69160

Soso is a town in Jones County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 408 at the 2010 census.[3]

Paul Davis, a singer and songwriter from Meridian, Mississippi, wrote a song called "Sweet Magnolia Blues", which refers to Soso.


According to tradition, the name "Soso" was derived from an old settler's common response to a question about how he was doing: "so-so".[4]

After the Civil War, yeoman farmers returned to the area. The town developed a small mixed-race community. Among its notable residents was Unionist Newton Knight, who lived there mostly after the Reconstruction era with his wife Rachel and family. Knight was known for having led the Knight Company in and around Jones County during 1863 and 1864 in resistance to Confederate authorities, trying to protect local farmers. After the war he lived in Jasper County for a time, where he was active in the Republican Party. In 1872 he was appointed as a deputy U.S. Marshal for the Southern District. After Reconstruction ended, Knight retired from politics, as white Democrats took over county and state offices.[5]

Rachel was a freedwoman who had aided the resistance. (In an historic photograph she appears to have been of mixed race.)[5] She and Knight had several children together.

Tornado history

On April 12, 2020, Soso was struck by a large and deadly EF4 tornado. It caused major damage to homes, churches, and the fire station. Numerous trees were snapped throughout town, the old elementary school was damaged, multiple buildings and churches in town were leveled and several homes were destroyed.[6] The tornado's path mirrored that of a long-tracked F3 tornado that struck the south side of town on April 21, 1951, also causing severe damage.[7][8]


Soso is in northwestern Jones County at 31°45′16″N 89°16′27″W / 31.75444°N 89.27417°W / 31.75444; -89.27417 (31.754465, -89.274120).[9] Mississippi Highway 28 passes through the center of town, leading southeast 5 miles (8 km) to U.S. Route 84 and northwest 10 miles (16 km) to Taylorsville. Laurel, the largest city in Jones County, is 10 miles southeast of Soso via Highways 28 and 84. Mississippi Highway 29 has its northern terminus in Soso and leads south 12 miles (19 km) to Ellisville.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Soso has an area of 2.1 square miles (5.5 km2), of which 0.004 square miles (0.01 km2), or 0.23%, is water.[3]


Among government and public services, Soso is home to the Soso Volunteer Fire Department, the Soso Police Department, the Soso Town Hall, and the Soso Community Water Service.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)394[2]−3.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

As of the census[11] of 2010, there were 408 people, 160 households, and 116 families residing in the town. The population density was 189.7 people per square mile (73.2/km2). There were 174 housing units at an average density of 87.1 per square mile (33.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 79.2% White, 20.3% African American, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.

There were 157 households, of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.3% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 27.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 29.7% under the age of 19, 36.5% under the age of 50 and 33.8% over the age of 50

The data below is from the 2000 census.

The median income for a household in the town was $29,135, and the median income for a family was $31,346. Males had a median income of $19,231 versus $22,250 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,455. About 15.7% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.6% of those under age 18 and 21.3% of those age 65 or over.


Soso is served by the Jones County School District.

Elementary-aged students attend West Jones Elementary School, while middle and high school students attend West Jones Middle and High Schools.


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Soso town, Mississippi". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  4. ^ Jun 9, 1971. "Some towns sure have funny names". The Miami News. pp. 4A. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  5. ^ a b James R. Kelly, "Newton Knight and the Legend of the Free State of Jones", Mississippi History Now, April 2009; accessed 11 July 2016
  6. ^ Dangerous Storms with Damaging Winds and Tornadoes Spread Into Southeast; The Weather Channel; April 13, 2020.
  7. ^ NCDC Storm Events Database Item 10047279 (Report). National Climatic Data Center. National Climatic Data Center. Retrieved June 9, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ NCDC Storm Events Database Item 10047280 (Report). National Climatic Data Center. National Climatic Data Center. Retrieved June 9, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.