Wiggins,_Stone_County,_Mississippi Latitude and Longitude:

30°51′31″N 89°8′16″W / 30.85861°N 89.13778°W / 30.85861; -89.13778
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Wiggins, Mississippi
City of Wiggins
Wiggins City Hall in January 2021
Wiggins City Hall in January 2021
Location of Wiggins, Mississippi
Location of Wiggins, Mississippi
Wiggins, Mississippi is located in the United States
Wiggins, Mississippi
Wiggins, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 30°51′31″N 89°8′16″W / 30.85861°N 89.13778°W / 30.85861; -89.13778
CountryUnited States
State Mississippi
County Stone
 • Total11.26 sq mi (29.17 km2)
 • Land10.75 sq mi (27.84 km2)
 • Water0.51 sq mi (1.33 km2)
262 ft (80 m)
 ( 2020)
 • Total4,272
 • Density397.40/sq mi (153.44/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 ( Central (CST))
 • Summer ( DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 601, 769
FIPS code28-80160
GNIS feature ID0679669
Website http://www.cityofwiggins.com/

Wiggins is a city in and the county seat of Stone County, Mississippi, United States. [2] It is part of the GulfportBiloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 4,272 at the 2020 census.


Wiggins is named after Wiggins Hatten, the father of Madison Hatten, one of the area's original homesteaders. [3] It was incorporated in 1904, and the 1910 census reported 980 residents. In the early 1900s, Wiggins prospered along with the booming timber industry. Wiggins was once headquarters of the Finkbine Lumber Company.

Wiggins business district and railroad depot before the 1910 fire

On January 21, 1910, between the hours of 11 am and 1 pm, more than half of the Wiggins business district was destroyed by fire. [4] The fire started from unknown origin in the Hammock Building, a lodging house, and spread rapidly because of strong winds from the northwest. With no city fire department or waterworks, the residents of Wiggins resorted to bucket brigades and dynamite to stop the fire, which was confined to the east side of the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad. The fire consumed 41 business establishments, including the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad depot. Only two or three residential dwellings were destroyed, because most homes were built away from the business district.

American Pickle and Canning Company in Wiggins, circa 1910

Wiggins has long been known for its pickle production, and at one time boasted of being home to the world's largest pickle processing facility. [5] However, the pickle processing facility is now closed, and although the timber industry has declined since the boom years, it still sustains many businesses in Wiggins.

On June 22, 1935, a mob of 200 white people lynched a black man, R. D. McGee. A white girl had been attacked, and McGee was suspected as the culprit. He was roused from his bed, and taken before the girl. She identified him, a day later, based on the clothing her attacker had been wearing. [6] The same day it was reported that Dewitt Armstrong, another African-American was flogged for making insulting remarks to white women. [7] [8] On November 21, 1938, another black man, Wilder McGowan, was lynched by a mob of 200 white men for allegedly assaulting a 74-year-old woman. An investigator found there was no merit to the charge against McGowan, but rather that he was lynched because he "Did not know his place," [9] and in addition had rebuffed a group of white men who had invaded a negro dance hall "looking for some good-looking nigger women". His death certificate indicated strangulation by "rope party". [10] Although seventeen men were identified as participating in the lynching, the justice department decided no action was merited. [11] In 2016, a group of white students at Stone High School put a noose around a black student's neck. The student's parent alleged that local law enforcement discouraged their family from filing a report. [12]

In June 2021, Wiggins voters elected their first African-American mayor, Darrell Berry, who had served as mayor pro temp since November 2020 and then interim mayor since January 2021, following the death of the city's incumbent mayor. [13] [14] Berry had been an elected Wiggins alderman during three mayoral terms (12 years) prior to his election as mayor. [14] As of June 2021, the city had three African-Americans simultaneously serving on the city council. [14]

Pine Hill

Pine Hill Festival in 2012
Street view of Pine Hill in 2019

After the 1910 fire and until the 1960s, the center of commerce for Wiggins developed on both sides of Pine Avenue, that sloped downhill and eastward, perpendicular to U.S. Route 49 and Railroad Street (First Street), over a distance of one city block. Small shops were built mainly of brick and were mostly contiguous to each other. Over the years, the shops were occupied by numerous businesses that included drug stores, law offices, a grocery store, a shoe store, a dry cleaners, 5 & dime stores, auto supply store, barber shops, cafes, a movie theater, dry goods outlet, feed & seed outlet, an army surplus store, beauty salons, clothing stores, gift shops, County Library, and U.S. Post Office. In more recent years, the shops have served as real estate offices, CPA & tax preparer outlets, an antique store, newspaper office, ice cream shop, art & frame shop, food outlets, and stationery shop.

In the late 1960s, U.S. Route 49 bypassed the downtown area, and many businesses moved from Pine Hill to other locations within Wiggins. The old Wiggins High School and Elementary School buildings occupied a city block, situated at the base of Pine Hill. When the school buildings were demolished in the 1970s, the school land was dedicated to City use as Blaylock Park. In the 1980s, city and county business leaders saw a need for developing a sense of community and tourism by initiating an annual Pine Hill Day, which later became Pine Hill Festival. [15] During Pine Hill Day, area residents offered items for sale as arts & crafts, in farmers' markets, and as local cuisine. To attract more visitors, other venues such as live music entertainment, competitive foot races, antique vehicle displays, commercial food vendors, and games for kids were added through the years, and the festival became a Spring event. In 2014, an estimated 15,000 people attended the 2-day festival. [16]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.3 square miles (29 km2), of which, 10.8 square miles (28 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) of it (4.53%) is water. The entrance to Flint Creek Water Park is located in the city, off Highway 29.


Historical population
Census Pop.Note
U.S. Decennial Census [17]
2012 Estimate [18]
Wiggins racial composition as of 2020 [19]
Race Number Percent
White 2,661 62.29%
Black or African American 1,348 31.55%
Native American 15 0.35%
Asian 26 0.61%
Pacific Islander 1 0.02%
Other/Mixed 145 3.39%
Hispanic or Latino 76 1.78%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 4,272 people, 1,348 households, and 889 families residing in the city.



  • Stone County Enterprise, [21] "Your hometown newspaper since 1916"
  • Wiggins is part of Mississippi Gulf Coast Radio and Television Stations Market Area


Notable people

See also


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  2. ^ "Stone County, MS". County Explorer. Retrieved 2022-11-16.
  3. ^ "Stone County Economic Development Partnership". Archived from the original on 2009-07-17. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
  4. ^ "Wiggins, MS fire, Jan 1910 | GenDisasters ... Genealogy in Tragedy, Disasters, Fires, Floods". Gendisasters.com. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  5. ^ Kat Bergeron. 2012. Green Gold: The story of the Wiggins pickle. Sun Herald (Biloxi, MS), Vol. 128, No. 230, Page 8F, May 20, 2012.
  6. ^ "Mob Hangs Man for Attempted Attack on Girl". Stone County Enterprise. Wiggins, Mississippi. Jun 27, 1935. Retrieved 23 December 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Negro Flogged". Stone County Enterprise. Wiggins, Mississippi. Jun 27, 1935. Retrieved 23 December 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Negro is Lynched, Another Whipped". New York Times. 23 June 1935.
  9. ^ "Mob Uses Attack Rumor as Excuse to Slay Man who Wouldn't 'Knuckle'". Chicago Defender. 17 December 1938.
  10. ^ "Standard Certificate of Death" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-09-23. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Wilder McGowan". Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  12. ^ Hawkins, Derek (25 October 2016). "White high schoolers in Miss. put noose around black student's neck and 'yanked,' NAACP says". Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  13. ^ Berryhill, Lyndy (January 7, 2021). "Wiggins appoints Darryl Berry as Interim Mayor". Stone County Enterprise. Retrieved 2021-08-29.
  14. ^ a b c Berryhill, Lyndy (June 16, 2021). "Berry elected Mayor". Stone County Enterprise. Retrieved 2021-08-29.
  15. ^ "Stone County Economic Development Partnership". Archived from the original on 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
  16. ^ Patrick Ochs. 2014. Record crowds fill Wiggins for festival. Sun Herald (Biloxi, MS), Vol. 130, No. 171, Page 2A, March 23, 2014.
  17. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  18. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Census.gov. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  19. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved 2021-12-08.
  20. ^ "Gateway Christian Academy Profile (2020) | Wiggins, MS". Private School Review. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  21. ^ "Home". Stone County Enterprise. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  22. ^ "M24 - Dean Griffin Memorial Airport". AirNav. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  23. ^ "The Clinton Courier, William Joel Blass". Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  24. ^ "Big Black and Bam Bam | The Locker Room". Lockerroommag.com. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  25. ^ "Dean, Dizzy - Dictionary definition of Dean, Dizzy | Encyclopedia.com: FREE online dictionary". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  26. ^ "Justin Evans of Wiggins drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft by Tampa Bay". wlox.com. April 29, 2017. Retrieved 2022-08-03.
  27. ^ "Anthony Herrera". Stonecountyenterprise.com. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2014-11-17.{{ cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)
  29. ^ "Attorney Boyce Holleman Remembered By Sons with $100,000 Gift to Law School". News.olemiss.edu. 2017-04-13. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  30. ^ Berryhill, Lyndy (December 16, 2020). Fla. health official accused of being 'whistleblower' is a Stone High graduate. Stone County Enterprise
  31. ^ Bustos, Sergio; Kennedy, John. "State investigators dismiss Rebekah Jones's claims of Florida fudging COVID-19 data". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  32. ^ "Fred Lewis Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  33. ^ "Stevon Moore Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  34. ^ "Taylor Spreitler biography". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-04-20.
  35. ^ "Exploring the life and the legacy of Emilie Blackmore Stapp (1876-1962) | National Endowment for the Humanities". Neh.gov. 2014-03-15. Retrieved 2017-05-02.

External links