kids encyclopedia robot

Brookhaven, Mississippi facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Brookhaven, Mississippi
Brookhaven City Hall
Brookhaven City Hall
Location of Brookhaven, Mississippi
Location of Brookhaven, Mississippi
Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Lincoln
 • Total 21.73 sq mi (56.28 km2)
 • Land 21.64 sq mi (56.05 km2)
 • Water 0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)
489 ft (149 m)
 • Total 12,513
 • Estimate 
 • Density 552.03/sq mi (213.14/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 601
FIPS code 28-08820
GNIS feature ID 0667590

Brookhaven is a small city in Lincoln County, Mississippi, United States, 55 miles (89 km) south of the state capital of Jackson. The population was 12,520 at the 2010 U.S. Census. It is the county seat of Lincoln County. It was named after the town of Brookhaven, New York, by founder Samuel Jayne in 1818.


Brookhaven, Mississippi (1952)
South Railroad Avenue, 1952

Brookhaven is located in what was formerly Choctaw Indian territory. The city was founded in 1818 by Samuel Jayne from New York, who named it after the Town of Brookhaven on Long Island.

The railroad came though Brookhaven in 1858. It connected Brookhaven with New Orleans to the south and Memphis to the north.

During the Civil War, Brookhaven was briefly occupied at noon on 29 April 1863 by a raiding party of Union cavalry under the command of Colonel Benjamin Grierson. The Union force burned public buildings and destroyed the railroad. This was rebuilt after the war.

In 1936 Brookhaven was chosen to be the site of the Stahl-Urban garment plant.

In 1955, Lamar Smith, a U.S. civil rights figure, black farmer, World War I veteran and an organizer of black voter registration, was shot to death mid-day on the lawn of the county courthouse in Brookhaven.


According to the United States Bureau of the Census, (in the U.S. Department of Commerce), Brookhaven has a total area of 7.3 square miles (19 km2), of which 7.3 square miles (19 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.27%) is water.

The size of the City of Brookhaven was expanded in late 2007 to almost triple its previous area, through a vote of annexation, to bring in suburban developments surrounding the older town and equalize taxing and services provided to the new metropolitan area.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 996
1870 1,614 62.0%
1880 1,615 0.1%
1890 2,142 32.6%
1900 2,678 25.0%
1910 5,293 97.6%
1920 4,706 −11.1%
1930 5,288 12.4%
1940 6,232 17.9%
1950 7,801 25.2%
1960 9,885 26.7%
1970 10,700 8.2%
1980 10,800 0.9%
1990 10,243 −5.2%
2000 9,861 −3.7%
2010 12,513 26.9%
2019 (est.) 11,947 −4.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Brookhaven racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 4,439 38.02%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 6,710 57.48%
Native American 15 0.13%
Asian 117 1.0%
Pacific Islander 2 0.02%
Other/Mixed 266 2.28%
Hispanic or Latino 125 1.07%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 11,674 people, 4,346 households, and 2,827 families residing in the city.

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 12,513 people, 4,768 households, and 3,146 families residing in the city of Brookhaven. The population density was 1,714.1 people per square mile (658.6/km2). There were 5,519 housing units at an average density of 756.0 per square mile (290.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was fairly evenly split with 43.8% White, 54.1% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.

There were 4,768 households, out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.7% were married couples living together, 24.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.4% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 20 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.6 years.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,036, and the median income for a family was $40,018. About 25.2% of families and 31.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 46.6% of those under age 18 and 16.0% of those age 65 or over.


Temple B'nai Shalom, a temple/synagogue of Judaism is a rare example of Moorish Revival architecture and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior.


The city is served by the Brookhaven School District of public schools. Up until 1970, separate systems were maintained for black students and white schools. When Brown v. Board required integration of schools in 1954, white citizens refused. In 1970, when the state finally capitulated and desegregated public schools, a private school, Brookhaven Academy, was created to allow white parents to keep their children from attending schools with black children. In 1988, Brookhaven High School hired a football coach, Hollis Rutter, from Brookhaven Academy. This so upset the black population, who felt that this was a racially-insensitive move, that a school boycott ensued, ultimately resulting in the rescission of Rutter's hiring. This school again came into the spotlight in 2018 when it became known that Cindy Hyde-Smith, a candidate for U.S. Senate known for making racially-incendiary statements, sent her daughter to this school. The statewide magnet high school, the Mississippi School of the Arts is also located in the city. Four Lincoln County public schools are also located in Brookhaven's rural areas: Bogue Chitto Attendance Center, Enterprise Attendance Center, Loyd Star Attendance Center and West Lincoln Attendance Center. The former institution of higher learning Whitworth Female College, founded in 1858, was located in Brookhaven. The all-girls college closed its doors in 1984.



Brookhaven contains Interstate 55 and U.S. Route 51, which run parallel to each other going north-south, and U.S. Route 84, which runs east-west.

Rail transportation

Amtrak's famous City of New Orleans (subject of the song ballad written by Steve Goodman and recorded by folk singer Arlo Guthrie in 1972) serves Brookhaven, going north and south on the old Illinois Central and Gulf, Mobile and Ohio railroad lines.

Notable people

  • Lance Dwight Alworth, American football player
  • Elsie Barge, pianist, music educator, and clubwoman
  • Jim C. Barnett, physician and surgeon; member of the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1992 to 2008.
  • Jim Brewer, Maxwell Street blues musician
  • Corey Dickerson, baseball player
  • Bernard Ebbers, former CEO of WorldCom
  • Charles Henri Ford, poet, novelist, filmmaker, photographer, and collage artist
  • Ruth Ford, actress
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith, U.S. Senator from Mississippi
  • Earsell Mackbee, football player
  • Garry Owen, film actor
  • Robert W. Pittman, founder MTV and former CEO and COO of AOL
  • Lulah Ragsdale, poet, novelist, actor
  • Richard Scruggs, lawyer
  • J. Kim Sessums, artist
  • Lamar Smith, Civil rights activist.
  • Guy Turnbow, football player
  • Addie L. Wyatt, leader in the United States Labor movement, civil rights activist, and Time magazine as Person of the Year in 1975.
Women's History Month on Kiddle
Women Scientists of Antiquity
Mary the Jewess
kids search engine
Brookhaven, Mississippi Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.