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Pontotoc, Mississippi facts for kids

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Pontotoc, Mississippi
Pontotoc County courthouse
Pontotoc County courthouse
Location of Pontotoc, Mississippi
Location of Pontotoc, Mississippi
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Coordinates: 34°14′55″N 89°0′24″W / 34.24861°N 89.00667°W / 34.24861; -89.00667Coordinates: 34°14′55″N 89°0′24″W / 34.24861°N 89.00667°W / 34.24861; -89.00667
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Pontotoc
 • Total 11.33 sq mi (29.36 km2)
 • Land 11.18 sq mi (28.96 km2)
 • Water 0.15 sq mi (0.40 km2)
495 ft (151 m)
 • Total 5,625
 • Estimate 
 • Density 551.79/sq mi (213.05/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 662
FIPS code 28-59160
GNIS feature ID 0691601

Pontotoc is a city in, and the county seat of, Pontotoc County, Mississippi, located to the west of the much larger city of Tupelo. The population was 5,625 at the 2010 census. Pontotoc is a Chickasaw word that means, “Land of the Hanging Grapes.”


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.6 sq mi (25 km2), of which 9.4 sq mi (24 km2) is land and 0.2 sq mi (0.52 km2) (1.66%) is covered by water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 384
1880 447 16.4%
1890 535 19.7%
1900 1,010 88.8%
1910 1,277 26.4%
1920 1,274 −0.2%
1930 2,018 58.4%
1940 1,832 −9.2%
1950 1,596 −12.9%
1960 2,108 32.1%
1970 3,453 63.8%
1980 4,723 36.8%
1990 4,570 −3.2%
2000 5,253 14.9%
2010 5,625 7.1%
2019 (est.) 6,169 9.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
Pontotoc Post Office Town Square Museum
The Town Square Museum/Post Office located in downtown Pontotoc. The Post Office was built by the government in 1937, during the Depression.
USA Mississippi Tupelo area NPS map
Pontotoc (lower left) is west of Tupelo (via Highway 278) and south of New Albany.

As of the census of 2010, 5,625 people, 2,325 households, and 2,129 families resided in the city. The population density was 555.9 people per square mile (214.6/km2). The 2,250 housing units averaged 238.1/sq mi (91.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 70.08% White, 20.42% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 7.39% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanics of any race were 2.76% of the population.

Of the 2,325 households, 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were not families. About 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41, and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city, the population was distributed as 25.7% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,491, and for a family was $39,306. Males had a median income of $31,403 versus $23,491 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,324. About 12.0% of families and 17.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.5% of those under age 18 and 23.0% of those age 65 or over.


The city of Pontotoc is served by the Pontotoc City School District and the county is served by the Pontotoc County School District. North Pontotoc High School and South Pontotoc High School are two of the top academic schools in the state of Mississippi. North received the Blue Ribbon Award and South received Level 5, the highest rating for a school in Mississippi. The city's band was the Grand Champion in the state in 2017.

Notable people

  • Terry "Harmonica" Bean, bluesman; lifelong resident of Pontotoc
  • Delaney Bramlett, singer, songwriter and musician; born in Pontotoc
  • Thad Cochran, former U.S. Senator from Mississippi
  • Borden Deal, novelist and short-story writer; from Pontotoc
  • Ruby Elzy, pioneer black opera singer; played the soprano role of Serena in George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess; Broadway star; prominent radio, concert and film personality; buried in Pontotoc's City Cemetery
  • Lee Gates (1937 – 2020), blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter; born in Pontotoc
  • Cyrus Harris (1817 – 1888, Chickasaw), politician, born on a farm outside the town, lived here until 1827, and returned 1830-37; he was among the Chickasaw removed to Indian Territory; he served five terms as Governor of the Chickasaw Nation.
  • Kent Hull, former NFL Buffalo Bills center; from Pontotoc
  • Cordell Jackson, guitarist; born in Pontotoc; she is thought to be the first woman to produce, engineer, arrange, and promote music on her own rock and roll music label
  • Romie J. Palmer, Illinois jurist and legislator; born in Pontotoc
  • Steve Pegues, former major league professional baseball player; from Pontotoc
  • Jim Weatherly, singer, songwriter and musician, writer of song "Midnight Train to Georgia"; star Ole Miss quarterback; from Pontotoc
  • Elizabeth H. West (born 1873), librarian and archivist; born in Pontotoc
  • Roger Wicker, U.S. Senator from Mississippi
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