Batesville, Mississippi

Batesville, Mississippi

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Batesville is a city in Panola County
Panola County, Mississippi
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 34,274 people, 12,232 households, and 9,014 families residing in the county. The population density was 50 people per square mile . There were 13,736 housing units at an average density of 20 per square mile...

, Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

, United States. The population was 7,113 at the 2000 census.


The Land upon which present day Batesville is situated originally belonged to a Chickasaw Indian called Ish-Sho-Nu-Nah. It was part of the Chickasaw cession to the Federal Government, which in turn vested title to over2000 acres (8.1 km²) of land to Ish-Sho-Nu-Nah by the treaty of Pontotoc Creek in 1832.
In early days, the town of Batesville was a secondary frontier community, lacking the river location of Panola and Belmont, the two leading towns of that day in North Mississippi. Old Panola, as it is now called, was located about one mile (1.6 km) northwest of the present site of Batesville, and was a bitter rival of Belmont for the location of the county seat in 1864.

An accusation was made by the citizens of Belmont that Panola used bribery in obtaining designation as the county seat of Panola County. In those days, Panola was the dominating scene of the south side of the Little Tallahatchie River, and Belmont reigned supreme on the north. This rivalry is still carried on in a friendly way between Batesville and Sardis.

The beginning of the end for Old Panola and Belmont, and the first glimmer of a bright future for Batesville came when the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad laid tracks from Memphis to Grenada, Mississippi, directly through Batesville. Steamboat traffic, which had made Old Panola and Belmont shipping and transportation centers was being replaced by railroad travel, which meant, of course, that Batesville was replacing the two towns as a business center.

Batesville was named for, Mr. Jim Bates, a conductor on the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad, and a prominent Methodist minister in the county. (Old newspaper articles mention "Brother Jim Bates" preaching 'eloquently' at a hanging.) The town of Batesville received its charter in 1866.

The Illinois Central Railroad brought out the old MT line and extended the tracks to New Orleans. Shortly after this move, the town of Ole Panola began to make a mass movement to Batesville. Leading families of Old Panola moved houses, business establishments and churches to the new center of business and social live. The process of moving was extended by a few old families who chose to remain in Old Panola, but as the buildings deteriorated and some burned, they rebuild in Batesville. In a few short years, the once booming river port had vanished except for the ruins of the buildings. One of the foundations is said to have been a brick two-story jail, the only one in this part of the country at that time, and the pride of the people of Panola County.

Batesville has always been the center of excellent agricultural
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 lands, thriving on the proceeds of farming and livestock raising since it was settled.

Since, the beginning, Batesville has been a 'natural' for industrial sites. The first such interest was developed during the early years of the Civil War when a gun foundry was established in Batesville which employed 1 people. A canning plant, established in Batesville shortly after the purchase of the M&T Railroad by the Illinois Central was one of the greater influences on rapid and steady settlement of Batesville. Darnell's mills, garment manufacturer was located in Batesville in the early 1900s and remained prosperous until the 1930s. Foundations of this mill are still standing southeast of the present town.

Panola County is rich in tradition and history of the Civil War. During the early part of 1861, "The Weekly Panola Star" reported that people were only lukewarm on the subject of war, but were unanimously in favor of the Confederacy and secession.


Batesville is located at 34°19′4"N 89°56′33"W (34.317809, −89.942626).

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 11.1 square miles (28.7 km²), all of it land.


As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 7,113 people, 2,577 households, and 1,821 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 638.2 people per square mile (246.3/km²). There were 2,791 housing units at an average density of 250.4 per square mile (96.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.43% White, 41.88% African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.82% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 0.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.60% of the population.

There were 2,577 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 21.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 26.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 85.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.4 males. The median income for a household in the city was $29,875, and the median income for a family was $38,849. Males had a median income of $30,998 versus $22,029 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $15,814. About 21.9% of families and 28.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.1% of those under age 18 and 27.0% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure

The United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

 operates the Batesville Post Office.


Rail service is provided by Grenada Railway (formerly Illinois Central Railroad
Illinois Central Railroad
The Illinois Central Railroad , sometimes called the Main Line of Mid-America, is a railroad in the central United States, with its primary routes connecting Chicago, Illinois with New Orleans, Louisiana and Birmingham, Alabama. A line also connected Chicago with Sioux City, Iowa...


The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

's City of New Orleans
City of New Orleans
The City of New Orleans is a nightly passenger train operated by Amtrak which travels between Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. Before Amtrak's formation in 1971, the train was operated by the Illinois Central Railroad along the same route . The train currently operates on a 19½ hour...

 formerly provided passenger service, but the train was rerouted to the delta region in 1995.

The short-lived Batesville Southwestern Railroad
Batesville Southwestern Railroad
The Batesville Southwestern Railroad was a shortline railroad established in 1910 and built jointly by Illinois Central Railroad and R. J. Darnell, a local lumber mill owner. Construction of the line started in 1911 and was completed in 1914. The line extended from Batesville, MS to Crowder, MS and...

 was established in Batesville.


South Panola School District
South Panola School District
The South Panola School District is a public school district based in Batesville, Mississippi .In addition to Batesville, the district also serves the village of Pope, the town of Courtland, and the Panola County portion of Crowder as well as rural areas in southern Panola County.-Schools:*South...

 (SPSD) operates schools in Batesville and has its headquarters in Batesville. Batesville Elementary School, Batesville Intermediate School, Batesville Middle School, Batesville Junior High School, and South Panola High School serve Batesville.

An academy founded in 1987, North Delta School, also serves Panola county and the surrounding area.

Notable natives

  • Deshea Townsend
    Deshea Townsend
    Trevor Deshea Townsend is a former defensive back in the National Football League, and is currently a defensive backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals and most recently a player for the Indianapolis Colts...

     – Pittsburgh Steelers
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team currently belongs to the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League . Founded in , the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC...

     defensive back
    Defensive back
    In American football and Canadian football, defensive backs are the players on the defensive team who take positions somewhat back from the line of scrimmage; they are distinguished from the defensive line players and linebackers, who take positions directly behind or close to the line of...

  • Dwayne Rudd
    Dwayne Rudd
    Dwayne Rudd is an American football linebacker who is a free agent in the National Football League, having not played in the NFL since 2003. During his career he played for the Minnesota Vikings, the Cleveland Browns and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers...

     – former NFL player for the Minnesota Vikings
    Minnesota Vikings
    The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings joined the National Football League as an expansion team in 1960...

    , Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a professional American football franchise based in Tampa, Florida, U.S. They are currently members of the Southern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League – they are the only team in the division not to come from the old NFC West...

    , Oakland Raiders
    Oakland Raiders
    The Oakland Raiders are a professional American football team based in Oakland, California. They currently play in the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

    , and Cleveland Browns
    Cleveland Browns
    The Cleveland Browns are a professional football team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are currently members of the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

  • Soulja Boy Tell 'Em
    Soulja Boy Tell 'Em
    DeAndre Cortez Way , better known by his stage name Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, or simply Soulja Boy, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, entrepreneur, and internet personality....

     – rapper
  • Peria Jerry
    Peria Jerry
    -Atlanta Falcons:Jerry was signed to a five-year contract by the Falcons on July 30, 2009. Jerry competed with Trey Lewis to replace Grady Jackson, who was not re-signed by the Falcons, at defensive tackle....

     – Atlanta Falcons
    Atlanta Falcons
    The Atlanta Falcons are a professional American football team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are a member of the South Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

     defensive tackle
  • Ronnie Musgrove
    Ronnie Musgrove
    David Ronald "Ronnie" Musgrove is an American politician who was the 29th Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi from January 16, 1996 to January 11, 2000 and the 62nd Governor of Mississippi from January 11, 2000 to January 13, 2004 of the U.S. state of Mississippi. He was recently defeated by...

     – politician, born in Tocowa
    Tocowa, Mississippi
    Tocowa was a town located just outside of Batesville in Panola County, Mississippi, United States, but it is now an unincorporated ghost town.-History:Description of Tocowa from the 1938 book, Mississippi: A Guide to the Magnolia State:...

     and raised in Batesville
  • Wally Pang, Afro-Chinese American
    Chinese American
    Chinese Americans represent Americans of Chinese descent. Chinese Americans constitute one group of overseas Chinese and also a subgroup of East Asian Americans, which is further a subgroup of Asian Americans...

     politician and restaurant
    A restaurant is an establishment which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services...

  • William McKenzie - Handbag
    A handbag, or purse in American English, is a handled medium-to-large bag that is often fashionably designed, typically used by women, to hold personal items such as wallet/coins, keys, cosmetics, a hairbrush, pepper spray, cigarettes, mobile phone etc....

    A designer is a person who designs. More formally, a designer is an agent that "specifies the structural properties of a design object". In practice, anyone who creates tangible or intangible objects, such as consumer products, processes, laws, games and graphics, is referred to as a...


External links