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Benton County, Mississippi facts for kids

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Benton County
The Old Benton County courthouse in Ashland
The Old Benton County courthouse in Ashland
Map of Mississippi highlighting Benton County
Location within the U.S. state of Mississippi
Map of the United States highlighting Mississippi
Mississippi's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Mississippi
Founded 1870
Named for Samuel Benton
Seat Ashland
Largest town Hickory Flat
 • Total 409 sq mi (1,060 km2)
 • Land 407 sq mi (1,050 km2)
 • Water 2.0 sq mi (5 km2)  0.5%
 • Total 8,729
 • Estimate 
 • Density 21.342/sq mi (8.240/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 1st

Benton County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,729. Its county seat is Ashland.

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.


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. 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)


Historical population
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%
2018 (est.) 8,271 −5.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2020 census

Benton County Racial Composition
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.


Benton County MS sign 002


Unincorporated places


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
  • 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.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Benton (Misisipi) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Renowned Hispanic scientists
Luis Walter Alvarez
Francisco J. Ayala
Baruj Benacerraf
Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski
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