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Bentonia, Mississippi
Blue Front Café in Bentonia
Blue Front Café in Bentonia
Location of Bentonia, Mississippi
Location of Bentonia, Mississippi
Bentonia, Mississippi is located in the United States
Bentonia, Mississippi
Bentonia, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Yazoo
 • Total 1.42 sq mi (3.69 km2)
 • Land 1.42 sq mi (3.69 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
197 ft (60 m)
 • Total 319
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 662
FIPS code 28-05380
GNIS feature ID 0666837

Bentonia is a town in Yazoo County, Mississippi, United States. The population as of the 2020 census was 319.

The Bentonia School of blues singing and guitar-playing is named for Bentonia.


Illinois Central Depot, Bentonia, Miss. (25647030214)
Illinois Central Railroad depot in Bentonia

Bentonia began as a postal town along the Illinois Central Railway. It is named for an early resident. Bentonia had a population of 167 in 1900.

Bentonia Blues

The "Bentonia School," "Bentonia-style" or "Bentonia Blues" is more accurately described as the unique, haunting, country blues style that originated in and immediately around the small town of Bentonia. The annual Bentonia Blues Festival is held the third Saturday of June in downtown Bentonia. The festival's Blues Stage is always set up in front of the world-famous Blue Front Cafe [sic erat scriptum], which is still operated by proprietor Jimmy "Duck" Holmes who, as a young man, largely learned the local style from Bentonia Blues master Jack Owens.

Bentonia was the hometown of Henry Stuckey, founder of the Bentonia style of Blues, and his two famous students, Skip James and Jack Owens. Bentonia is also home of the historic Blue Front Café where owner Jimmy “Duck” Holmes keeps it authentic, especially when he breaks out his guitar for an impromptu performance.

Historical markers

The Blue Front Café in Bentonia and native sons Skip James and Jack Owens have received historical markers by The Mississippi Blues Commission commemorating their importance in the history of the development of the blues in Mississippi. These markers are located in front of the Blue Front Café in downtown Bentonia, at the southeastern corner of the intersection of U.S. Route 49 and Mississippi Highway 433 West (…one block west of Bentonia Gas and Food, formerly Osborne's Grocery, which locals called "Poochie's." Clarence "Poochie" Osborne still runs the adjoining tire shop, Osborne's Tire Repair, and a stop there to chew the fat with Poochie and/or his top tire man, Samuel "Sammie" Bassett is as unique an experience as a visit with Jimmy "Duck" Holmes at the historic Blue Front Café.), and at the intersection of Mississippi Highway 433 South and Rose Hill Road (just east of the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church), respectively. The three markers are officially on the Mississippi Blues Trail.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 180
1940 440
1950 496 12.7%
1960 511 3.0%
1970 544 6.5%
1980 518 −4.8%
1990 390 −24.7%
2000 500 28.2%
2010 440 −12.0%
2020 319 −27.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
2010 2020

2020 census

Bentonia town, Mississippi – Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 286 201 65.00% 63.01%
Black or African American alone (NH) 148 92 33.64% 28.84%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 0 0 0.00% 0.00%
Asian alone (NH) 0 1 0.00% 0.31%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 0 0 0.00% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 1 0 0.23% 0.00%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 3 25 0.68% 7.84%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 2 0 0.45% 0.00%
Total 440 319 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.


The Town of Bentonia is served by the Yazoo County School District. Residents are zoned to Bentonia Gibbs Elementary School, Yazoo County Middle School, and Yazoo County High School.

Notable people

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Bentonia para niños

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