|Nickname(s): StarkVegas, Boardtown|
Location of Starkville, Mississippi
|• Type||Mayor-Council government|
|• Mayor||Parker Wiseman (D)|
|• Total||25.8 sq mi (66.9 km2)|
|• Land||25.7 sq mi (66.5 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)|
|Elevation||335 ft (102 m)|
|• Density||851.4/sq mi (328.7/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0678227|
|Website||City of Starkville|
Starkville is a city in and the county seat of Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, United States. The Starkville Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Oktibbeha County. The population was 23,888 at the 2010 census.
The campus of Mississippi State University is located adjacent to and partially within the east of Starkville. As of the fall of 2011, MSU has over 20,000 undergraduate students, more than 4,000 graduate students, and more than 1,300 staff. The university is also the largest employer of Starkville. Students have created a ready audience for the Magnolia Film Festival. Held every February, it is the oldest film festival in the state. Other major events held in Starkville and heavily supported by the MSU Student Body are the Dudy Gras Parade, Cotton District Arts Festival, Super Bulldog Weekend, Old Main Music Festival, Ragtime & Jazz Music Festival, and Bulldog Bash.
The Starkville area has been inhabited for over 2100 years. Artifacts in the form of clay pot fragments and artwork dating from that time period have been found east of Starkville at the Herman Mound and Village site, a National Historic Register site that can be accessed from the Indian Mound Campground. Shortly before the American Revolutionary War period, the area was inhabited by the Choccuma (or Chakchiuma) tribe, who were annihilated about that time by a rare alliance between the Choctaw and Chickasaw. The modern early settlement of the Starkville area was started after the Choctaw inhabitants of Oktibbeha County surrendered their claims to land in the area in the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830. White settlers were drawn to the Starkville area because of two large springs. A mill southwest of town provided clapboards which gave the town its original name, Boardtown. In 1835, Boardtown was established as the county seat of Oktibbeha County and its name was changed to Starkville in honor of Revolutionary War hero General John Stark.
On March 21, 2006, Starkville became the first city in Mississippi to adopt a smoking ban for indoor public places, including restaurants and bars. This ordinance went into effect on May 20, 2006.
Starkville is located at (33.462471, -88.819990).
US Highway 82 and Mississippi Highways 12 and 25 are major roads through Starkville. The nearest airport with scheduled service is Golden Triangle Regional Airport (GTR). George M. Bryan Field (KSTF) serves as Starkville's general aviation airport. There are multiple privately owned airstrips in the area.
As of the census of 2010, there were 23,888 people, 9,845 households, and 4,800 families residing in the city. The population density was 936.4 people per square mile (328.7/km²). There were 11,767 housing units at an average density of 396.7/sq mi (153.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 58.5% Non-Hispanic White, 34.06% African American, 0.2% Native American, 3.75% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.64% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.
There were 9,845 households out of which 24.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.1% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.1% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the city the population was spread out with 18.8% under the age of 18, 29.7% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 15.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 102.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,357, and the median income for a family was $40,557. Males had a median income of $35,782 versus $23,711 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,787. About 19.1% of families and 33.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.3% of those under age 18 and 17.8% of those age 65 or over.
Starkville boasts over 80 places of worship, accommodating almost all religious traditions, largely due to the presence of Mississippi State University, which attracts people with a diverse range of nationalities. As of October 2007, approximately half (49.74%) of people in Starkville claim a religious affiliation, with (41.59% ) self-identifying as Protestant. Starkville has small percentages of Catholic, Hindu, Mormon, and Islamic adherents as well, and moderate percentages of Baptist (25%) and Methodist (11%) adherents.
Arts and culture
The Cotton District
The Cotton District is a community located in Starkville and was the first new urbanism development in the world. It was founded by Dan Camp, who is the developer, owner and property manager of much of the area. The Cotton District has elements of Greek Revival mixed with Classical or Victorian. The Cotton District is a walkable neighborhood that contains many restaurants and bars in addition to thousands of unique residential units.
Starkville is located in Mississippi's 3rd congressional district and its 3rd state Supreme Court district.
The City of Starkville is served by the Starkville School District. Starkville High School athletics are designated as Class 6A, Region 2. The Yellowjacket football team is one of the most successful in the state of Mississippi, with 10 title game appearances and 6 state championships since 1981 (most recent being in 2015).
- Starkville Academy
- Starkville Christian School
- Luqman Ali, musician.
- Dee Barton Composer 
- Cool Papa Bell, African-American baseball player; member of Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Fred Bell, baseball player in the Negro Leagues; brother of Cool Papa Bell.
- Josh Booty, professional baseball and football player.
- Julio Borbon, professional baseball player.
- Marquez Branson, professional football player.
- Harry Burgess, governor of the Panama Canal Zone from 1928 to 1932.
- Cyril Edward Cain, preacher, professor, historian; lived in Starkville.
- John Wilson Carpenter III, distinguished U.S. Air Force pilot and commander.
- Jemmye Carroll, appeared on MTV's The Real World and The Challenge.
- Joe Carter, professional football player.
- Hughie Critz, professional baseball player.
- Sylvester Croom, first African-American head football coach in the Southeastern Conference and former Mississippi State University head football coach; lived in Starkville.
- Dak Prescott, NFL Quarter Back for Dallas Cowboys
- Kermit Davis, Jr. - Head college basketball coach at Idaho, Texas A & M and Middle Tennessee State University.
- Al Denson, musician and Christian radio and television show host.
- Antuan Edwards, professional football player.
- Rockey Felker, professional football player and coach; lives in Starkville.
- William L. Giles, former president of Mississippi State University; lived in Starkville.
- Scott Tracy Griffin, author, actor, and pop culture historian.
- Beth Howell Hansen businessperson, lobbyist, grew up in Starkville.
- Kim Hill, Christian singer.
- Shauntay Hinton, Miss District of Columbia USA 2002, Miss USA 2002.
- Richard E. Holmes, medical doctor and one of the five young black Mississippians who pioneered the effort to desegregate the major universities of Mississippi. Graduate of Henderson High School.
- Bailey Howell, college and professional basketball player; lives in Starkville.
- Gary Jackson, served in Mississippi Senate.
- Paul Jackson, artist; spent childhood in Starkville.
- Hayes Jones, gold medalist in 110-meter hurdles at Tokyo 1964 Olympics.
- Mark E. Keenum, president of Mississippi State University.
- Martin F. Jue, amateur radio inventor, entrepreneur. Founder of MFJ Enterprises.
- Harlan D. Logan, Rhodes Scholar, tennis coach, magazine editor, and politician.
- Ray Mabus, former Mississippi governor.
- Ben McGee, professional football player.
- Jim McIngvale, businessman in Houston, Texas.
- Shane McRae, actor.
- William M. Miley, U.S. Army major general; professor of military science; lived in Starkville.
- Freddie Milons, college and professional football player.
- Monroe Mitchell, professional baseball player.
- William Bell Montgomery, agricultural publisher.
- Jess Mowry, author of juvenile books.
- Dan Mullen, Mississippi State University head football coach; lives in Starkville.
- Jasmine Murray, singer.
- Travis Outlaw, professional basketball player.
- Archie Pate, baseball player in the Negro leagues.
- Ron Polk, Former Head Baseball Coach of Mississippi State University and The United States Olympic Team.
- Del Rendon, musician; lived in Starkville.
- Jerry Rice, professional football player; member of NFL Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame.
- Dero A. Saunders, journalist and author.
- Roy Vernon Scott, professor emeritus at Mississippi State University.
- Jimmy G. Shoalmire, historian; lived in Starkville.
- Rick Stansbury, Basketball coach
- John Marshall Stone, longest-serving governor of Mississippi; second president of Mississippi State University; namesake of Stone County, Mississippi.
- Scott Stricklin, Mississippi State University Athletic Director; lives in Starkville.
- April Sykes, professional basketball player in the Women's National Basketball Association.
- Amy Tuck, former Mississippi Lieutenant Governor; lives in Starkville.
- Latavious Williams, professional basketball player.
In popular culture
Famous American pilot Charles Lindbergh made a successful landing on the outskirts of Starkville in 1927 during his famous Guggenheim Tour and stayed at a boarding house in the Maben community. Lindbergh later wrote about that landing in his autobiographical account of his barnstorming days, titled "WE."
Starkville is one of several places in the United States which claims to have invented Tee Ball. Tee Ball was popularized in Starkville in 1961 by W.W. Littlejohn and Dr. Clyde Muse, members of the Starkville Rotarians. Dr. Muse was also an educator in Starkville, having been Principal of Starkville High School for many years. He also was a renowned baseball and basketball coach (one of his early teams won a State Championship. Members included Lewis Mallory, Jackie Wofford, Barry Wood, and Carse Smith.) The town itself is considered to be the Baseball Capital of the South,[according to whom?] having been the birthplace of National Baseball Hall of Famer Cool Papa Bell and Mississippi State University, whose Diamond Dogs have made nine trips to the NCAA Baseball College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
Johnny Cash was arrested for public drunkenness (though he described it as being picked up for picking flowers) in Starkville and held overnight at the city jail on May 11, 1965, which was the inspiration for his song Starkville City Jail:
They're bound to get you,
Cause they got a curfew,And you go to the Starkville city jail.
The song appears on the album At San Quentin.
From November 2 to November 4, 2007, the Johnny Cash Flower Pickin' Festival was held in Starkville, the city where Cash had been arrested over 40 years earlier. The festival, where he was offered a symbolic posthumous pardon, honored Cash's life and music, and is expected to become an annual event. The festival was started by Robbie Ward,who urged the town to hold it annually based on the premise that: "Johnny Cash was arrested in seven places,but he only wrote a song about one of those places."
A song entitled Starkville appears on the Indigo Girls' 2002 album Become You.
Starkville also appears on a map of Mississippi in the controversial 2007 film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.
The Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville is a National Top 40 Rodeo Facility and is considered to be one of the top tourist attractions in North Mississippi.
Starkville has The Magnolia Independent Film Festival, held annually in February. It is the oldest festival in the state for independent films.
The annual Cotton District Arts Festival in Starkville, held in the Cotton District on the third weekend of April, is considered to be one of the top arts festivals in the state,[according to whom?] drawing a record crowd of nearly 25,000 in 2008. On hand for the festivities were Y'all Magazine, Southern Living, Peavey Electronics and over 100 of the state's top artisans and 25 live bands.
Starkville is also the home of Bulldog Bash, Mississippi's largest open-air free concert.
Located on the MSU campus, the Cullis and Gladys Wade Clock Museum boasts an extensive collection of mostly American clocks and watches dating as far back as the early 18th century. The collection of over 400 clocks is the only one of its size in the region.
Starkville is mentioned in the NBC drama series, The West Wing, which aired from 1999-2006. Toby is detailing an appropriations bill and says it includes 1.7 million dollars for manure handling in Starkville, Mississippi.
Crime and criminals
Notorious American gangster Machine Gun Kelly lived in Starkville for two years when he attended Mississippi State University. He enrolled in the university to study agriculture in 1917. From the beginning, Kelly was considered a poor student, having been awarded his highest grade (a C+) for good physical hygiene. He was constantly in trouble with the faculty and spent much of his academic career attempting to work off the demerits he had earned.
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- Miller (January 2002). "New Towns -- Cotton District, Mississippi". The Town Paper. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
- "'Community Visionary' Continues Shaking Up Starkville". Mississippi Business Journal. July 31, 2000.
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- Lloyd, James B. (ed). 1981. Lives of Mississippi Authors, 1817-1967. The University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi.
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- "April Sykes Looks to Help USA Defend Pan American Games Gold". Rutgers University. September 27, 2011.
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- Guggenheim Tour website
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- The New York Times "Facts Mix With Legend on the Road to Redemption." Barry,Dan. Oct.20, 2008.
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