Mendenhall,_Mississippi Latitude and Longitude:

31°57′40″N 89°52′3″W / 31.96111°N 89.86750°W / 31.96111; -89.86750
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Mendenhall, Mississippi
Downtown Mendenhall in April 2014; the Simpson County Courthouse is seen in the background.
Downtown Mendenhall in April 2014; the Simpson County Courthouse is seen in the background.
Location of Mendenhall, Mississippi
Location of Mendenhall, Mississippi
Mendenhall, Mississippi is located in the United States
Mendenhall, Mississippi
Mendenhall, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 31°57′40″N 89°52′3″W / 31.96111°N 89.86750°W / 31.96111; -89.86750
CountryUnited States
State Mississippi
County Simpson
 • Type Mayor-Council
 •  MayorTodd Booth
 •  Board of AldermenDonnie Thomas
Robert Mangum
Jana Miller
Sandra Weeks
Tim Gray
 • Total5.36 sq mi (13.89 km2)
 • Land5.35 sq mi (13.85 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
335 ft (102 m)
 ( 2020)
 • Total2,199
 • Density411.18/sq mi (158.74/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 ( Central (CST))
 • Summer ( DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 601
FIPS code28-46600
GNIS feature ID0673476

Mendenhall is a city in Simpson County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 2,504 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Simpson County. [2] Mendenhall is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area. Mendenhall has one of the highest trained volunteer fire depts in the area. Mendenhall has 1 full-time fire marshall. Of the 30 members 17 are NFPA 1001 Base certified, 2 are NFPA 1001-2 certified, 1 paramedic and 8 emt's, 4 are first responder certified. Mendenhall has 3 class A pumpers with 1 being a dual purpose engine that has equipment for rescue and medical calls, 1 3,000 gallon tanker, 1 custom brush truck. Mendenhall carries a class 6 fire rating.


Mendenhall was originally called Edna, to honor the wife of developer Phillip Didlake. After learning that a town with that name already existed in Mississippi, the city had its name changed to Mendenhall to honor Thomas Mendenhall, a citizen and lawyer from Westville, Mississippi (which has become a ghost town). [3]

Mendenhall is the county seat of Simpson County. The county courthouse was built in 1907 [4] by architect Andrew J. Byron. [4]

The Mendenhall Public School mascot is the Tigers. [5] Also located in Mendenhall is Simpson County Academy. [6] The school mascot is the Cougars. [7] Mendenhall's zip code is 39114. [8]

Weathersby was an unincorporated census-designated community 2.7 miles (4.3 km) southeast of Mendenhall, and 7.4 miles (11.9 km) northeast of Magee. According to Charles Baldwin, Simpson County Tax Collector, Mendenhall annexed Weathersby in the 1980s.

B & B Meat Market and Deli is located in Mendenhall and has been awarded "Best Burger in Mississippi" by the Mississippi Beef Council in 2017 and 2019. [9]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.3 square miles (14 km2), of which 5.3 square miles (14 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.37%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.Note
U.S. Decennial Census [10]
Mendenhall racial composition as of 2020 [11]
Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 1,348 61.3%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 743 33.79%
Native American 2 0.09%
Asian 3 0.14%
Other/Mixed 74 3.37%
Hispanic or Latino 29 1.32%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 2,199 people, 1,024 households, and 641 families residing in the city.

Entertainment attractions

Simpson County Courthouse. Photo by Calvin Beale.

Mendenhall had a movie theatre called the Star Theatre, [12] built by Edgar French, Ben Slay and Lonnie Burnham. Located on Main Street, the building boasted a one-screen auditorium with a balcony. It also featured a pool hall and three offices upstairs, one of which housed the city's Chamber of Commerce. The theatre opened for business on November 9, 1938 with the western Born to the West. The price of admission was 11 cents and a box of popcorn was a dime. A man from Prentiss was initially hired to run the theatre, but he was soon "sent packing" and Edgar French told his son, George Lewis French, "You're taking over that picture show".

Lewis French, who had worked in his father's ice plant growing up and was trained as a bookkeeper at Clarks Commercial College in Jackson, had no experience in running a movie theatre. He went to New Orleans to learn how to book movies and run the projection equipment. Aside from time spent serving in Europe as a radio man during World War II, French continued to operate the Star Theatre until he decided to close it in 1971. [13]

During the late 1960s, the Star Theatre had problems with vandalism and growing racial tensions among its young patrons who objected to maintaining segregation. Under Jim Crow customs, black customers were required to sit in the segregated balcony and this only changed after new U.S. legislation was enacted and ended such practices.

In October 1979, a newly remodeled and fully integrated Star Theatre reopened under the ownership of Danny Collins, a young local entrepreneur. Its first movie was the Chuck Norris film A Force of One. The theatre enjoyed revived popularity until competition from video arcades and cable TV forced Collins to close some three years later.

The theatre was repainted when used as a location for the film My Dog Skip. Heavy rains caused the roof to collapse in April 2008. The theatre burned down in 2016.

Notable people

  • Pauline Braddy, drummer
  • Mollie Magee Van Devender, Miss Mississippi, 1975
  • Kimberly McGuffee Mansour, Miss Mississippi, 1986
  • Patrick Davis Smith, American author. His work was nominated seven times for the Pulitzer Prize and five times for the Nobel Prize for Literature
  • Larry Hardy, professional football player
  • Stephen Hobbs, professional football player
  • John M. Perkins, civil rights activist
  • Paul Ramsey, Christian ethicist
  • Martinas Rankin, professional football player


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. ^ "History and Heritage". Discover Simpson County. 1921-04-26. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  4. ^ a b "Southern Lagniappe: A Place Called Mendenhall". 2011-03-16. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  5. ^ "Mendenhall High School Home". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  6. ^ "Simpson County Academy | Dynamic Private Educational Institution | Mendenhall, MS 39144". Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  7. ^ "Simpson Academy Home". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  8. ^ "All Zip Codes in Mendenhall MS". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  9. ^ "This Mendenhall meat market has hamburgers with a secret sauce. Have you tried one?". The Clarion Ledger. Retrieved 2020-06-08.
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2021-12-17.
  12. ^ "Star Theatre in Mendenhall, MS - Cinema Treasures". Retrieved 2020-06-08.
  13. ^ An Oral History with George Lewis French, conducted on May 3, 2003. Interviewer: Joe White. Mississippi Oral History Program of The University of Southern Mississippi Simpson County Project.