Newton County
Location within the U.S. state of Mississippi
Mississippi's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 32°25′N 89°07′W / 32.41°N 89.12°W / 32.41; -89.12
Country United States
State Mississippi
Founded1836
SeatDecatur
Largest cityNewton
Area
 • Total580 sq mi (1,500 km2)
 • Land578 sq mi (1,500 km2)
 • Water1.5 sq mi (4 km2)  0.3%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total21,720
 • Estimate 
(2018)
21,443
 • Density37/sq mi (14/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district3rd
Websitewww.newtoncountyms.net

Newton County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 21,720.[1] Its county seat is Decatur.[2]

History

Newton County was formed in 1836 and named after scientist Isaac Newton.[3]

The Battle of Newton's Station was fought in the county on April 24, 1863 during Grierson's Raid of the American Civil War.[citation needed]

In February 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman crossed the county, burning the county seat at Decatur and was nearly captured during the Meridian Campaign. Sherman stopped during the return trip from Meridian and slept in the town of Union.[citation needed]

On October 10, 1908, a mob of white people brutally shot, tortured, and lynched Frank Johnson, Dee Dawkins, and William Fielder near Hickory, Mississippi.

On October 8, a Black sharecropper named Shep Jones had a disagreement about his work schedule with his white employer. The white planter assaulted Mr. Jones, leading to an altercation that ended with the white man’s death. Mr. Jones fled Newton County, aware that Black people were not believed to have a right to defend themselves against white people and that he was at risk of being lynched.

For the next two days, an angry white mob terrorized the entire Black community in a manhunt for Mr. Jones. The mob destroyed property owned by Black people, burned a Black church and meeting lodge near Gardlandville, and threatened Black families.

On October 9, the mob hanged Mr. Jones’s father-in-law, William Fielder, from a tree near his home. The next morning, unable to locate Mr. Jones but refusing to be denied a lynching, the mob lynched Dee Dawkins and Frank Johnson, two Black men who were targeted merely for being associated with Mr. Jones.

Many Black people were so traumatized by the violence that they fled Newton County. White elected officials and law enforcement failed to hold anyone accountable for the destruction of Black property or the lynchings.[4]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 580 square miles (1,500 km2), of which 578 square miles (1,500 km2) is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) (0.3%) is water.[5]

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18402,527
18504,46576.7%
18609,661116.4%
187010,0674.2%
188013,43633.5%
189016,62523.7%
190019,70818.5%
191023,08517.1%
192020,727−10.2%
193022,91010.5%
194024,2495.8%
195022,681−6.5%
196019,517−14.0%
197018,983−2.7%
198019,9445.1%
199020,2911.7%
200021,8387.6%
201021,720−0.5%
2018 (est.)21,443[6]−1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 21,838 people, 8,221 households, and 6,001 families residing in the county. The population density was 38 people per square mile (15/km2). There were 9,259 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile (6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 65.01% white, 30.37% black or African American, 3.68% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.33% from other races, and 0.44% from two or more races. 0.91% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,221 households, out of which 33.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 16.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.00% were non-families. 24.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.20% under the age of 18, 11.20% from 18 to 24, 26.00% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 14.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 92.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,735, and the median income for a family was $34,606. Males had a median income of $27,820 versus $20,757 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,008. About 16.40% of families and 19.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.30% of those under age 18 and 21.70% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

City

Towns

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

Politics

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[12]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 68.7% 6,997 30.2% 3,075 1.1% 111
2016 69.4% 6,548 29.2% 2,756 1.4% 134
2012 65.4% 6,394 34.0% 3,319 0.7% 64
2008 66.8% 6,579 32.7% 3,218 0.6% 58
2004 72.6% 6,165 26.9% 2,280 0.5% 43
2000 71.6% 5,540 27.8% 2,147 0.7% 51
1996 61.3% 4,223 31.4% 2,163 7.3% 503
1992 65.7% 5,128 27.5% 2,146 6.8% 532
1988 70.7% 5,658 29.1% 2,332 0.2% 13
1984 73.2% 5,911 26.4% 2,127 0.4% 34
1980 54.4% 4,317 43.5% 3,455 2.1% 169
1976 57.0% 3,813 41.0% 2,741 2.0% 136
1972 88.1% 5,585 9.4% 597 2.5% 161
1968 7.9% 542 11.6% 799 80.6% 5,561
1964 95.2% 4,735 4.8% 238
1960 15.1% 508 27.0% 912 57.9% 1,956
1956 11.5% 360 75.5% 2,359 13.0% 407
1952 25.7% 851 74.3% 2,460
1948 1.5% 39 6.4% 169 92.2% 2,442
1944 2.2% 56 97.8% 2,516
1940 1.6% 41 98.3% 2,495 0.1% 3
1936 1.5% 39 98.4% 2,624 0.1% 3
1932 2.4% 56 97.1% 2,253 0.5% 11
1928 15.1% 368 84.9% 2,074
1924 4.0% 72 90.9% 1,657 5.1% 93
1920 7.7% 108 86.4% 1,208 5.9% 82
1916 1.3% 19 94.7% 1,341 4.0% 56
1912 0.5% 6 94.6% 1,197 4.9% 62

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on March 9, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Rowland, Dunbar (1907). Mississippi: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form. 2. Southern Historical Publishing Association. p. 339.
  4. ^ "Descendants of Lynching Victims Dedicate Historical Marker in Hickory, Mississippi". Equal Justice Initiative. August 19, 2021. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  12. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 4, 2018.

Further reading

Coordinates: 32°25′N 89°07′W / 32.41°N 89.12°W / 32.41; -89.12