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Ruleville, Mississippi
Ruby Avenue in Ruleville
Ruby Avenue in Ruleville
Location of Ruleville, Mississippi
Location of Ruleville, Mississippi
Ruleville, Mississippi is located in the United States
Ruleville, Mississippi
Ruleville, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Sunflower
 • Total 2.53 sq mi (6.54 km2)
 • Land 2.52 sq mi (6.52 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)
135 ft (41 m)
 • Total 3,007
 • Density 1,015.49/sq mi (392.04/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 662
FIPS code 28-64200
GNIS feature ID 0676950

Ruleville is a city in Sunflower County, Mississippi, United States, in the Mississippi Delta region. The population was 3,007 at the 2010 census. It is the second-largest community in the rural county.


Ruleville was described as "surrounded by a fine fertile country and timber lands". Development of the settlement followed construction of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad, which established a stop here. The village was laid out in 1898 by J. W. Rule, for whom it was named. In September 1899 the official petition to Governor Anselm J. McLaurin to incorporate contained 98 names of the 'citizens and electors of Sunflower County...[who] reside in the village' noting that 150 people currently lived inside the village.

The rural area was being developed for cotton plantations after the American Civil War. Ruleville was established as an important cotton shipping point on the railroad. By the early 1900s, Ruleville had telephone and telegraph facilities, about 20 businesses, two white churches and one black church, a water works system, an electric light plant, three public gins, and excellent public schools. The population in 1900 was 336. The Bank of Ruleville was established in 1903.

During the Civil Rights Movement that expanded beginning in the 1950s, Fannie Lou Hamer, a farm worker, started a movement for poor people.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), of which 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2) is land and 0.39% is water.

Ruleville is along U.S. Route 49W. Ruleville is about 15 miles (24 km) from the Mississippi State Penitentiary (Parchman).


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 226
1910 451 99.6%
1920 1,022 126.6%
1930 1,181 15.6%
1940 1,378 16.7%
1950 1,521 10.4%
1960 1,902 25.0%
1970 2,351 23.6%
1980 3,332 41.7%
1990 3,245 −2.6%
2000 3,234 −0.3%
2010 3,007 −7.0%
2020 2,642 −12.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden
Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial in Ruleville

2020 census

Ruleville Racial Composition
Race Num. Perc.
White 344 13.02%
Black or African American 2,238 84.71%
Other/Mixed 45 1.7%
Hispanic or Latino 15 0.57%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 2,642 people, 986 households, and 521 families residing in the city.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 3,007 people living in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 85.3% black, 12.8% white, 0.1% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from some other race and 0.5% from two or more races. 0.7% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.


The City of Ruleville is served by the Sunflower County Consolidated School District. Schools serving Ruleville and in Ruleville include Ruleville Central Elementary School, Ruleville Middle School, and Thomas E. Edwards, Sr. High School (formerly Ruleville Central High School).

North Sunflower Academy is in an unincorporated area of Sunflower County, about 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Ruleville. The school originated as a segregation academy, founded to evade orders to integrate the public schools.

Delta State University is located ten miles away in Cleveland.

During the Civil Rights Movement, 1964 was Freedom Summer, organizing for voter registration and education, and adding to the curriculum in the local segregated schools for blacks. The "Ruleville Freedom School" was established to try to provide an alternative to the second-class education that had been provided to black students. It tried to prepare students to be part of change and a democratic society, to prepare for the civil freedom that the movement supported and would press the political system to provide.

The Sunflower County Library operates the Horace Stansel Memorial Library in Ruleville.



Ruleville-Drew Airport is in unincorporated Sunflower County, between Ruleville and Drew. The airport is jointly operated by the cities of Ruleville and Drew.


  • Ruleville Inn Motel


The North Sunflower Medical Center is a rural critical access hospital located in Ruleville, with 95 beds and approximately 500 employees. The medical center includes a surgical center, sleep center and outpatient rehabilitation unit. The center partners with other facilities to provide specialty care, including the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Diabetes Telehealth Network and Mississippi Sports Medicine Center.

Notable people

A sign honoring Fannie Lou Hamer for her work in Ruleville, Mississippi.
  • Lester Brinkley, American football player
  • Robert Crook, Mississippi politician and lawyer
  • Fannie Lou Hamer, civil rights leader
  • Jimmy Rogers, Blues singer and musician
  • Horace Stansel, civil engineer

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Ruleville para niños

Black History Month on Kiddle
Famous African-American Civil Rights Activists:
Myrlie Evers-Williams
Aaron Henry
T. R. M. Howard
Jesse Jackson
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