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Quitman County, Mississippi facts for kids

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Quitman County
Quitman County Courthouse
Quitman County Courthouse
Map of Mississippi highlighting Quitman 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 1877
Named for John A. Quitman
Seat Marks
Largest town Lambert
 • Total 406 sq mi (1,050 km2)
 • Land 405 sq mi (1,050 km2)
 • Water 1.4 sq mi (4 km2)  0.3%
 • Total 8,223
 • Estimate 
 • Density 20.254/sq mi (7.820/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Quitman County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,223, making it the fifth-least populous county in Mississippi. Its county seat is Marks. The county is named after John A. Quitman, Governor of Mississippi from 1835 to 1836 and from 1850 to 1851.

Quitman County is located in the Mississippi Delta region of Mississippi.


The county was developed for cotton cultivation. Much of the bottomlands behind the riverfront were not developed until the late 19th century, and population continued to increase as the frontier was cleared and cultivated. The county reached its peak population in 1940. Agricultural mechanization reduced the need for farm labor, and workers were recruited to northern and midwestern industrial cities. Thousands of African Americans left in the Great Migration, many going upriver to St. Louis and Chicago.

Poor People's Campaign

Martin Luther King originally wanted the Poor People's Campaign to start in Quitman County because of the intense and visible economic disparity there. On March 18, 1968, King visited the town of Marks, Mississippi. He watched a teacher feeding black schoolchildren their lunch, consisting only of a slice of apple and some crackers, and was moved to tears.

After King's death, the Southern part of the Campaign began in Quitman County. Participants rode a train of mules to Washington, D.C. to protest about economic conditions. According to wagonmaster Willie Bolden, white citizens of Marks harassed the mule train on its way out of town. Bolden stated that they "would drive by blowing their horns, purposely trying to spook the mules and us." More recently, Quitman County residents have made an effort to promote tourism based on the county's role in the Poor People's Campaign.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 406 square miles (1,050 km2), of which 405 square miles (1,050 km2) is land and 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) (0.3%) is water. It is the fourth-smallest county in Mississippi by land area and third-smallest by total area.

Major highways

  • Circle sign 3.svg Mississippi Highway 3
  • Circle sign 6.svg Mississippi Highway 6

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Coldwater River National Wildlife Refuge (part)


Reflecting the decreased need for farm labor after mechanization and the development of industrial farms, the population has declined by more than two thirds since its peak in 1940.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,407
1890 3,286 133.5%
1900 5,435 65.4%
1910 11,593 113.3%
1920 19,861 71.3%
1930 25,304 27.4%
1940 27,191 7.5%
1950 25,885 −4.8%
1960 21,019 −18.8%
1970 15,888 −24.4%
1980 12,636 −20.5%
1990 10,490 −17.0%
2000 10,117 −3.6%
2010 8,223 −18.7%
2018 (est.) 7,051 −14.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2020 census

Quitman County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 1,484 24.03%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 4,546 73.61%
Native American 1 0.02%
Asian 12 0.19%
Pacific Islander 3 0.05%
Other/Mixed 109 1.76%
Hispanic or Latino 21 0.34%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 6,176 people, 3,027 households, and 1,833 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 8,223 people living in the county. 69.6% were Black or African American, 29.0% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.3% of some other race and 0.8% of two or more races. 0.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).




Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities


On July 24, 1969, federal judge William Keady found that Quitman County school officials were maintaining an unconstitutional de jure racially segregated school system, and he placed the school board under the supervision of United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. As of 1993, this order had not been set aside. In March 1991, the school board asked the district court for permission to close Crowder elementary and junior high school, a majority-white school. The court gave permission, and a group of parents sued for an injunction to prevent the closing. The district court denied them an injunction, and this decision was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

By 1975, the majority of African-American students in Quitman County were attending public schools, which had earlier been segregated. But the majority of white students had been moved into newly established private academies. This situation has continued; in 2007 the Mississippi Department of Education found that the students in the district were 97.92% African American, 1.81% White, and 0.27% Hispanic.

Schools in Quitman County remain effectively segregated by race. White students almost exclusively attend private schools while Black children attend the local public schools.

School Total Students White Students Black Students Note
Delta Academy (Private) 175 147 (84.0%) 17 (9.7%)
M. S. Palmer High School (Public) 351 4 (1.1%) 347 (98.9%)
Combined (Public plus private) 526 151 (28.7%) 364 (69.2%)
  • Public School Districts
    • Quitman County School District
  • Private Schools
    • Delta Academy (Marks)

Notable people

Women's History Month on Kiddle
Women Scientists of Antiquity
Mary the Jewess
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