Tchula, Mississippi

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Tchula, Mississippi
Location of Tchula, Mississippi
Location of Tchula, Mississippi
Tchula, Mississippi is located in the United States
Tchula, Mississippi
Tchula, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 33°10′51″N 90°13′21″W / 33.18083°N 90.22250°W / 33.18083; -90.22250Coordinates: 33°10′51″N 90°13′21″W / 33.18083°N 90.22250°W / 33.18083; -90.22250
CountryUnited States
 • Total1.44 sq mi (3.73 km2)
 • Land1.41 sq mi (3.65 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.09 km2)
112 ft (34 m)
 • Total2,096
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,403.41/sq mi (541.72/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)662
FIPS code28-72440
GNIS feature ID0678607

Tchula is a town in Holmes County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 2,096 at the 2010 census,[3] down from 2,332 in 2000.

A 2015 article in The Guardian described it as the poorest community in the United States.[4]


The first permanent settlement at Tchula was made in the 1830s. The community takes its name from Tchula Lake.[5]

In the 1960s most residents were farmworkers; the properties they worked on belonged to people living in other communities in the area. Mississippi columnist Sid Salter stated that the Tchula area had "Some of the best farmland in America" and "some of the most successful plantations".[6]

In 1982 the mayor was incarcerated; he was the town's first black mayor. Chris McGreal of The Guardian stated that the criminal charges were "trumped-up".[4][7]

In the 2000s the community elected Yvonne Brown as mayor. She was a Republican, and the community hoped this would convince George W. Bush, the President of the United States, to provide additional funding. She was the first black Republican woman to be elected as a mayor in the country.[4]

By 2015 many of the jobs in the area had vanished, partly due to increased use of machines in agriculture. Many businesses formerly in the town had disappeared.[4]


Tchula is in western Holmes County along Tchula Lake, an old river channel in the Mississippi Delta region of the state. U.S. Route 49E passes through the center of town, leading north 25 miles (40 km) to Greenwood and southwest 27 miles (43 km) to Yazoo. Mississippi Highway 12 leads southeast from Tchula 11 miles (18 km) to Lexington, the Holmes County seat.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.7 km2), of which 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 2.31%, is water.[3]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20181,970[2]−6.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 2,332 people, 724 households, and 524 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,683.6 people per square mile (647.8/km²). There were 772 housing units at an average density of 557.4 per square mile (214.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 3.43% White, 95.93% African American, 0.09% Native American, and 0.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.47% of the population.

There were 724 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 21.4% were married couples living together, 45.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.22 and the average family size was 3.92.

In the town, the population was spread out with 37.9% under the age of 18, 13.0% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 14.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females, there were 80.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 71.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $11,571, and the median income for a family was $14,773. Males had a median income of $22,250 versus $16,310 for females. The per capita income for the town was $6,373. About 49.4% of families and 54.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 66.6% of those under age 18 and 55.8% of those age 65 or over.

In 2010, Tchula had the fifth-lowest median household income of all places in the United States with a population over 1,000.[10]

Government and infrastructure

In 2015 McGreal stated that the police forces were under-equipped. The police chief himself had a second job.[4]


The town of Tchula is served by the Holmes County School District.

Current schools in the area include S.V. Marshall Elementary School and Holmes County Central High School.

The Holmes County Learning Center is in Tchula itself.[11][12]

Previously Marshall's campus housed S.V. Marshall High School.

Mississippi Blues Trail marker

Mississippi Blues Trail marker documents the importance of Tchula in the development of the blues

Notable people


  1. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jan 6, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Tchula town, Mississippi". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e McGreal, Chris (2015-11-15). "Poorest town in poorest state: Segregation is gone but so are the jobs". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  5. ^ Baca, Keith A. (2007). Native American Place Names in Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-60473-483-6.
  6. ^ a b c Samaha, Albert (December 5, 2014). "The Prison Reform Blues". Buzzfeed. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  7. ^ Jarvie, Jenny (May 3, 2019). "He's a felon and a politician. Mississippi says he can't be both, and wants him to pay up". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. ^ "US Census". Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  11. ^ "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Tchula town, MS." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on July 9, 2017.
  12. ^ "Schools." Holmes County School District. Retrieved on July 9, 2017. "Holmes County Learning Center 32 School Street Tchula, Mississippi 39169"
  13. ^ Pettus, Emily Wagster. "Epps’ star falls in Miss. after federal indictment" (Archive). Washington Times. November 8, 2014. Retrieved on February 27, 2015.
  14. ^ Blinder, Alan (2015-02-25). "Former Mississippi Officials Plead Guilty in a Graft Case Involving Private Prisons". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  15. ^ "Hartman Turnbow – Mississippi Civil Rights Project". Retrieved February 28, 2015.

External links