Terry, Mississippi

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Terry, Mississippi
Downtown Terry
Downtown Terry
Location of Terry, Mississippi
Location of Terry, Mississippi
Coordinates: 32°6′5″N 90°17′40″W / 32.10139°N 90.29444°W / 32.10139; -90.29444Coordinates: 32°6′5″N 90°17′40″W / 32.10139°N 90.29444°W / 32.10139; -90.29444
CountryUnited States
 • Total3.83 sq mi (9.93 km2)
 • Land3.81 sq mi (9.88 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
292 ft (89 m)
 • Total1,063
 • Estimate 
 • Density303.70/sq mi (117.24/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)601
FIPS code28-72680
GNIS feature ID0678644
Historical marker in downtown Terry

Terry is a town in Hinds County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 1,063 at the 2010 census,[3] up from 664 at the 2000 census. It is located along Interstate 55, about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Jackson and located in Supervisors District Five of Hinds County. The town is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The area to become known as "Terry" was first settled in 1811 by settlers from Virginia. In 1867, the town of Terry was established as a depot when the railroad was built through the area.

For a number of years, Terry was the home of Mississippi governor Albert G. Brown. The town of Terry, originally known as "Dry Grove", changed its name in honor of W. D. Terry, whose land the town was built on. This information comes from the bronze plaque in the town's center at Utica and Cunningham streets.[4]


Terry is in southeastern Hinds County and is bordered to the north by the city of Byram. Interstate 55 passes through the west side of the town, with access from Exit 78. I-55 leads north 16 miles (26 km) to Jackson and south 9 miles (14 km) to Crystal Springs.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town of Terry has a total area of 3.8 square miles (9.9 km2), of which 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2), or 0.50%, are water.[3] The town is drained to the east by Rhodes Creek and Vaughn Creek, tributaries of the Pearl River.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20181,192[2]12.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]

As of the census[6] of 2010, there were 1,063 people, 407 households, and 289 families residing in the town. The population density was 287.4 people per square mile (111.0/km²). There were 288 housing units at an average density of 124.7 per square mile (48.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 38.90% White, 59.30% African American, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.70% of the population.

There were 407 households out of which 37.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.5% were married couples living together, 25.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the town, the population was spread out with 31.6% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.6 years. For every 100 females there were 79.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 69.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $30,192, and the median income for a family was $35,875. Males had a median income of $25,781 versus $24,167 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,011. About 17.0% of families and 16.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.6% of those under age 18 and 18.5% of those age 65 or over.


Joseph O. Kendrick Jr. was elected mayor of Terry on January 12, 2016, in a special election following the removal of the town's former mayor. The Board of Aldermen consists of Virginia Smith Bailey, Terry Johnson, April Owens Miley, Randy Shepherd, and Connie S. Taylor. Terry Johnson and Connie Taylor are the Democrats on the Board of Aldermen; Mayor Kendrick is also a Democrat. The others were elected as "independents."

Past mayors of Terry include Langston, Keith Davis, H. S. Clark, Rowean McCoy Luper, F. M. "Mike" Yates, Rev. Lester Williams, and William "Billy" Pechloff. Roderick T. Nicholson, the town's first African-American mayor, was elected three times in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

Two Hinds County officials are from the Terry area: Pearlie B. Owens (Justice Court Judge for District Five), and Bennie Buckner (Constable for District Five).

The state senator representing the district including Terry is David Blount of Jackson. Terry is represented by Brad Oberhousen of Terry and Gregory Holloway of Hazlehurst in the state House of Representatives. Due to redistricting, Rep. Credell Calhoun and Gregory Dortch now represent a section near Terry. Sen. Blount, Rep. Holloway, Rep. Oberhausen, and Rep. Calhoun are active Democrats.

In August 2015, Rep. Brad Oberhausen was defeated in the Democratic primary by Jarvis Dortch.

All Hinds County officials and state of Mississippi officials representing the Terry area are Democrats.


Terry is served by the Hinds County School District and is home to Terry High School. J. W. Combs was the president of the board of trustees for many years.[which?][citation needed] In addition to Terry High, residents are zoned to Gary Road Elementary School, Gary Road Intermediate School, and Byram Middle School in Byram.[7]

Past principals of Terry High School include Mr. Bishop, Miss Estelle Scott, Roger McDaniel, Jimmy Russell, Gerald Huskey, Johnny Hines, and Dr. Martin Herrington.

The football field at the high school is named after B. C. Lee.

Jackson Hines Library System operates the Ella Bess Austin Library in Terry.[8]


Throughout the twentieth century, the town's weekly newspaper was The Terry Headlight. The Headlight was edited in Terry and printed in Crystal Springs in the office of the Crystal Springs Meteor. Editors of this publication included Mamie Birdsong, Willie Dean Sojourner Brister, Carolyn Booth Patrick, and Elsie Moss Berryhill. Among the columnists were Fanny Dulaney, Dot Champion, and Rev. Ryburn Stancil. The Terry Headlight ceased its publication approximately in 1990.

At the time of the demise of The Terry Headlight, the editor of the Hinds County Gazette (Mary Ann Keith) announced that an insert devoted to the town of Terry would be included in the Gazette. This insert was published for a few weeks, at which time a column about the Terry area was incorporated into the Gazette (as was being included about other towns in Hinds County). The writer of this was Elzena Kitchens Johnson.

In late 2013, The Hinds County Gazette suspended publication. At this time, The Terry Headlight was revived as a weekly online source of information by Elzena Kitchens Johnson. E-mail subscriptions to this were (and remain) free to readers who request a subscription.

In 2014, The Hinds County Gazette was purchased by The Magnolia Gazette of Pike County. The weekly Terry column continues in The Hinds County Gazette.

The Terry News was formerly published monthly to provide information about events in Terry and the surrounding area. The newspaper included a monthly column by Mayor Nicholson and was mailed to every household in the 39170 zip code. The Terry News ceased publishing in early 2015.

Notable people[edit]

Terry is the birthplace of influential blues musician Tommy Johnson. He claimed to have sold his soul to the devil at a secluded Mississippi crossroads in exchange for fame and fortune, a legend that was later popularized by its attribution to bluesman Robert Johnson.

Other persons of note who have lived in Terry include author Rick Bass; Rickey Cole, former chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party; and Bobby DeLaughter, prosecutor in the Byron De La Beckwith murder trial.[9]

R. B. Walden, an attorney who served as director of the Louisiana Department of Hospitals and the mayor of Winnsboro, Louisiana, from 1926–1934, was born in Terry in 1901.[10]

Robert Gray, the Democratic nominee in the 2015 Mississippi gubernatorial election, lives near Terry.


  1. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jan 6, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Terry town, Mississippi". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  4. ^ Brieger, James (1997). Hometown, Mississippi. Town Square Books, Inc. ISBN 1-886017-27-1.
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  6. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. ^ "attendance_zone.jpg." Hinds County School District. July 21, 2011. Retrieved on December 29, 2018.
  8. ^ "Ella Bess Austin Library." Jackson Hines Library System. Retrieved on December 29, 2018.
  9. ^ "Bobby DeLaughter, a Mississippi writer from Jackson, judge and prosecutor in Beckwith trial for the murder of Medgar Evers". www.mswritersandmusicians.com. Retrieved 2016-09-28.
  10. ^ "Walden, R.B." Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography (lahistory.org). Archived from the original on November 20, 2010. Retrieved December 28, 2010.

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