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Benton County, Mississippi
Benton County Mississippi Courthouse.jpg
The Old Benton County courthouse in Ashland
Map of Mississippi highlighting Benton County
Location in the state of Mississippi
Map of the U.S. highlighting Mississippi
Mississippi's location in the U.S.
Founded 1870
Named for Samuel Benton
Seat Ashland
Largest town Hickory Flat
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

409 sq mi (1,059 km²)
407 sq mi (1,054 km²)
2.0 sq mi (5 km²), 0.5
Population
 -  Density

7,646
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website http://bentoncountyms.gov/

Benton County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2020 census, the population was 7,646.[1] Its county seat is Ashland.[2]

It is locally believed that residents convinced the post-Civil War Reconstruction government that Benton County was named after U.S. Senator Thomas Hart Benton, but the name actually honored Confederate Brigadier General Samuel Benton of nearby Holly Springs in Marshall County, nephew of the senator.

Benton County is included in the Memphis, TN-MS-AR Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Geography[]

Bottomland hardwood swamp near Ashland, Mississippi

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 409 square miles (1,060 km2), of which 407 square miles (1,050 km2) is land and 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2) (0.5%) is water.[3] It is the fifth-smallest county by area in Mississippi.

The headwaters of the Wolf River meander and braid their way north and west across northern Benton County from Baker's Pond, the river's source spring (highest origin of continuous flow) in the Holly Springs National Forest approximately one mile southwest of where U.S. Highway 72 passes into Tippah County, Mississippi. The Wolf River passes into Fayette County, Tennessee between Michigan City (on the Mississippi side) and La Grange, Tennessee.

Major highways[]

  • I-22.svg Interstate 22
  • US 72.svg U.S. Route 72
  • US 78.svg U.S. Route 78
  • Circle sign 2.svg Mississippi Highway 2
  • Circle sign 4.svg Mississippi Highway 4
  • Circle sign 5.svg Mississippi Highway 5
  • Circle sign 7.svg Mississippi Highway 7
  • Circle sign 178.svg Mississippi Highway 178
  • Circle sign 370.svg Mississippi Highway 370

Adjacent counties[]

National protected area[]

  • Holly Springs National Forest (part)

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1880 11,023
1890 10,585 −4.0%
1900 10,510 −0.7%
1910 10,245 −2.5%
1920 9,851 −3.8%
1930 9,813 −0.4%
1940 10,429 6.3%
1950 8,793 −15.7%
1960 7,723 −12.2%
1970 7,505 −2.8%
1980 8,153 8.6%
1990 8,046 −1.3%
2000 8,026 −0.2%
2010 8,729 8.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
1790-1960[5] 1900-1990[6]
1990-2000[7] 2010-2020[1]

2020 census[]

Benton County Racial Composition[8]
Race Num. Perc.
White 4,565 59.7%
Black or African American 2,654 34.71%
Native American 6 0.08%
Asian 1 0.01%
Other/Mixed 275 3.6%
Hispanic or Latino 145 1.9%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 7,646 people, 3,149 households, and 2,082 families residing in the county.

2000 census[]

At the 2000 census,[9] there were 8,026 people, 2,999 households and 2,216 families residing in the county. The population density was 20 per square mile (8/km2). There were 3,456 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile (3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 57.12% White (non-Hispanic), 39.76% Black or African American, 0.59% Native American, 0.05% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. 3.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,999 households, of which 33.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.20% were married couples living together, 14.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.10% were non-families. 23.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.12.

Age distribution was 26.90% under the age of 18, 10.00% from 18 to 24, 25.80% from 25 to 44, 22.00% from 45 to 64, and 15.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.80 males.

The median household income was $24,149, and the median family income was $29,907. Males had a median income of $26,291 versus $19,519 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,212. About 19.20% of families and 23.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.00% of those under age 18 and 24.80% of those age 65 or over.


Communities[]

Benton County MS sign 002.jpg

Towns[]

  • Ashland (county seat)
  • Hickory Flat
  • Snow Lake Shores

Census-designated place[]

  • Lamar

Unincorporated places[]

  • Canaan
  • Hopewell
  • Michigan City
  • Winborn

Extinct town[]

Education[]

Benton County School District operates public schools.

From 1965 to the late 1980s, Benton County was also home to Gray's Academy, a private segregation school located in Ashland.

Notable people[]

  • Norris C. Williamson, member of the Louisiana State Senate, 1916 to 1932; worked to eradicate cattle tick pest, born in Benton County in 1874[11]
  • Floyd Lee (1933–2020), was a blues musician who was a founding member of Music Under New York, and later a judge on their board. He was born in Lamar.[12]

Politics[]

United States presidential election results for Benton County, Mississippi[13]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 2,570 59.92% 1,679 39.15% 40 0.93%
2016 2,251 55.97% 1,719 42.74% 52 1.29%
2012 2,041 49.59% 2,051 49.83% 24 0.58%
2008 2,329 50.22% 2,227 48.02% 82 1.77%
2004 1,969 46.36% 2,245 52.86% 33 0.78%
2000 1,561 44.84% 1,886 54.18% 34 0.98%
1996 993 31.36% 1,944 61.40% 229 7.23%
1992 1,253 31.68% 2,402 60.73% 300 7.59%
1988 1,565 47.30% 1,718 51.92% 26 0.79%
1984 1,737 50.12% 1,715 49.48% 14 0.40%
1980 1,254 36.59% 2,094 61.10% 79 2.31%
1976 790 24.62% 2,375 74.01% 44 1.37%
1972 1,483 66.35% 701 31.36% 51 2.28%
1968 185 6.94% 850 31.89% 1,630 61.16%
1964 934 79.83% 236 20.17% 0 0.00%
1960 175 16.04% 568 52.06% 348 31.90%
1956 108 11.44% 786 83.26% 50 5.30%
1952 216 18.32% 963 81.68% 0 0.00%
1948 11 1.36% 118 14.57% 681 84.07%
1944 42 4.70% 852 95.30% 0 0.00%
1940 24 2.50% 935 97.50% 0 0.00%
1936 10 0.58% 1,717 99.42% 0 0.00%
1932 8 0.97% 814 98.91% 1 0.12%
1928 47 5.60% 793 94.40% 0 0.00%
1924 35 6.04% 541 93.44% 3 0.52%
1920 124 23.18% 405 75.70% 6 1.12%
1916 38 5.03% 718 94.97% 0 0.00%
1912 18 3.33% 489 90.39% 34 6.28%


In presidential elections, Benton County was historically a 'Solid South' county for most of the 20th century, voting Republican only in the Nixon and Reagan landslides of 1972 and 1984, as well as for Goldwater in 1964. It also voted for third-party candidates Strom Thurmond in 1948 and George Wallace in 1968, instead of for the regular Democratic tickets. In the 21st century, it has trended Republican. In 2008, it was one of forty-four counties to switch from John Kerry to John McCain.[14] It was the only one of these forty-four to flip back to Obama in 2012, in kind with a scattering of counties in or near the Black Belt, but Trump carried it in 2016 with 56%, the highest vote share the county had given any nominee since 1996. In 2020, Trump improved his vote share in the county by 3.9%, approaching 60% even as he lost nationally.


See also[]

  • Dry counties
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Benton County, Mississippi

Further reading[]

  • DeBerry, Roy; Futorian, Aviva; Klein, Stephen; Lyons, John. 2020. Voices from the Mississippi Hill Country: The Benton County Civil Rights Movement. University Press of Mississippi.

References[]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/28/28009.html. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  3. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/docs/gazetteer/counties_list_28.txt. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  5. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  6. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/ms190090.txt. 
  7. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  8. ^ "Explore Census Data". https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?g=0500000US28009&tid=DECENNIALPL2020.P2. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
  10. ^ Benton County profile, genealogytrails.com;accessed May 2, 2020.
  11. ^ "Georgia Pinkston, A Place to Remember". eastcarrollparishlouisianagenealogy.blogspot.com. http://eastcarrollparishlouisianagenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/08/w-x-y-z-surnames_24.html. 
  12. ^ "FLOYD LEE 1933 - 2020 - Obituary". https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?n=floyd-lee&pid=196327844. 
  13. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 
  14. ^ "Them Changes: The Counties That Switched Parties in 2008" (in en-US). 2008-11-14. https://dailyyonder.com/them-changes-counties-switched-parties-2008/2008/11/14/. 

Coordinates: 34°49′N 89°11′W / 34.82, -89.19

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Benton County, Mississippi. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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