Wilkinson County, Mississippi facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Wilkinson County courthouse in Woodville
Location within the U.S. state of Mississippi
Mississippi's location within the U.S.
|Named for||James Wilkinson|
|• Total||688 sq mi (1,780 km2)|
|• Land||678 sq mi (1,760 km2)|
|• Water||9.7 sq mi (25 km2) 1.4%|
| • Estimate
|• Density||14.358/sq mi (5.543/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Wilkinson County is a county located in the southwest corner of U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,878. Its county seat is Woodville. Bordered by the Mississippi River on the west, the county is named for James Wilkinson, a Revolutionary War military leader and first governor of the Louisiana Territory after its acquisition by the United States in 1803.
In the nineteenth century, this county was developed by European-American settlers as cotton plantations along the Mississippi River, which forms the western border of the county. Much of the bottomlands and interior were undeveloped frontier until after the American Civil War. The intensive cultivation depended on the labor of numerous enslaved African Americans; in the early nineteenth century, more than a million were transported here from the Upper South in a major forced migration. The population of this county quickly became majority black as workers were brought in.
The West Feliciana Railroad was later built to help get the cotton commodity crop to market. Some planters got wealthy during the antebellum years and built fine mansions in the county seat of Woodville, Mississippi. After the Civil War, freedmen and planters negotiated new working arrangements, and sharecropping became widespread.
A long agricultural depression affected the economy. The peak of population in the county was reached in 1900, after which many blacks left in the Great Migration to the North and Midwest, to escape the racial segregation and disfranchisement suffered here since passage of the state's new constitution in 1890 and later Jim Crow laws.
In the early 20th century the boll weevil infestation destroyed much of the cotton crops, and mechanization caused a further loss of agricultural jobs. Timber has been harvested and processed as a new commodity crop. The population of the rural county has continued to decline. Towns have started to develop heritage tourism to attract more visitors.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 688 square miles (1,780 km2), of which 678 square miles (1,760 km2) is land and 9.7 square miles (25 km2) (1.4%) is water.
- Adams County (north)
- Franklin County (northeast)
- Amite County (east)
- East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana (southeast)
- West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana (south)
- Concordia Parish, Louisiana (west)
National protected area
- Homochitto National Forest (part)
|U.S. Decennial Census
|Black or African American||5,764||67.12%|
|Hispanic or Latino||70||0.82%|
As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 8,587 people, 3,170 households, and 1,843 families residing in the county.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 9,878 people living in the county. 70.8% were Black or African American, 28.7% White, 0.1% Native American, 0.1% of some other race and 0.3% of two or more races. 0.4% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
Wilkinson County School District serves the county.
Wilkinson County Christian Academy, which was established in 1969 as a segregation academy.
- Regina Barrow (born 1966), Louisiana state senator from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, since 2016; former state representative from 2005 to 2016; native of Wilkinson County
- Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America; grew up at Rosemont plantation just east of Woodville
- Anne Moody (1940-2015), civil rights activist and author
- Edward Grady Partin (1924–1990), Teamsters Union business agent in Baton Rouge, native of Woodville
- William Grant Still, African-American classical composer and Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame inductee was born in Woodville in 1895
Images for kids
In Spanish: Condado de Wilkinson (Misisipi) para niños
Wilkinson County, Mississippi Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.