Woodville,_Mississippi Latitude and Longitude:

31°6′10″N 91°17′59″W / 31.10278°N 91.29972°W / 31.10278; -91.29972
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Woodville, Mississippi
Wilkinson County Courthouse in Woodville
Wilkinson County Courthouse in Woodville
Location of Woodville, Mississippi
Location of Woodville, Mississippi
Woodville, Mississippi is located in the United States
Woodville, Mississippi
Woodville, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 31°6′10″N 91°17′59″W / 31.10278°N 91.29972°W / 31.10278; -91.29972
CountryUnited States
State Mississippi
County Wilkinson
 • MayorKeisha Stewart-Ford
 • Total1.04 sq mi (2.68 km2)
 • Land1.04 sq mi (2.68 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
404 ft (123 m)
 ( 2020)
 • Total928
 • Density895.75/sq mi (345.83/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 ( Central (CST))
 • Summer ( DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 601
FIPS code28-81120
GNIS feature ID0679870
Website www.woodvillems.org

Woodville is one of the oldest towns in Mississippi and is the county seat of Wilkinson County, Mississippi, United States. [2] Its population as of 2020 was 928. [3]


This historic town, one of the oldest in Mississippi, is set among the rolling hills and pastures of Wilkinson County, just north of the Louisiana-Mississippi border in the southwest corner of the state. It was incorporated in 1811, after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and not long before Mississippi's admission to the United States in 1817. [4]

It was developed along the historic corridor between St. Francisville, Louisiana, 24 miles to the south and Natchez, Mississippi, 34 miles to the north. Since pre-colonial times, communities within this corridor have been linked, first by the Lower Natchez Trace, a footpath and portage developed by Native Americans and serving the east bank of the Mississippi River. In the 20th century, U.S. Highway 61, the " Blues Highway," was later built along this route; it is considered the spine of blues music.

Painter John James Audubon visited Woodville during his sojourn in St. Francisville in the 1820s. Here he found more than 26 of the species which he documented and painted for his Birds of America series.

Numerous residents are descended from 18th-century settlers. Much of its significant architecture was built in the 19th century when cotton was the chief commodity crop and generating great profits for major planters. The community has organized the Woodville Main Street Association; the Wilkinson County – Woodville Public Library; and the Wilkinson County Museum and the African-American Museum, both restored and owned by the Woodville Civic Club.

Among the Main Street Association's initiatives are the Woodville Hospitality Station, providing tourist information and a rest stop to travelers on Highway 61, near the town boundary. The annual Deer and Wildlife Festival is staged each October on and around the Courthouse Square. The Civic Club has published three volumes of The Journal of Wilkinson County. A fourth book is in the works.

A public school system ( Wilkinson County School District) and a private alternative, the Wilkinson County Christian Academy (WCCA), offer co-educational grades K through 12. The town has a medical clinic and churches with active Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian congregations.

Woodville was developed based on two commodities: cotton and timber. The first was most important during the antebellum period. Planters developed numerous Wilkinson County cotton plantations, based on the intensive labor of enslaved Africans, with many relocated to the region from the Upper South.

Merchants served the planters' families and freedmen after the Civil War. To get cotton to market, planters supported construction of the West Feliciana Railroad, the oldest standard-gauge system in the country, which once extended from Woodville to Bayou Sara, on the Mississippi River just south of St. Francisville. The West Feliciana Railroad had a terminus on Depot Street, where the railroad's office was located.

The planter community thrived from the 1830s until the Civil War. It began to recover in the late 19th century, as the labor system settled into most freedmen working as sharecroppers or tenant farmers. Cotton continued to be important until 1920, by which time the boll weevil had decimated the cotton crop. In that second period of prosperity, the town was called "Little Jerusalem." Sephardic Jewish businessmen came for economic opportunities and made significant contributions to the town's built environment and culture. Most of them later moved away. Woodville's synagogue burned in the 1930s, but its Jewish cemetery remains.

Woodville's timber industry continues. Many residents are third and fourth generation. The town has 19th-century buildings in various classic styles and outdoor recreation opportunities including hunting and fishing. Exploratory oil and gas drilling is taking place in the county.

The town is home to the oldest continuously operating newspaper in Mississippi, the Woodville Republican, founded by W. A. Chisholm in 1821. It is published weekly by a great-grandson of John S. Lewis. who settled here in 1810. His family acquired the paper in 1878. The grocery store is Treppendahl's Super Foods, operated by a great-grandson of the first owner. The Treppendahls are now sixth-generation Woodvillians.

Woodville's town plan is centered on a courthouse square planted with ancient oaks. The turn-of-the-20th century Beaux Arts-style courthouse has a spire. More than 100 buildings contribute to Woodville's National Register Historic District: they include structures from the first quarter of the 19th century, with examples of Federal, Eastlake, Arts and Crafts, Greek Revival, Beaux Arts, and Neo-classical architecture. Fronting Courthouse Square are the monumental office and banking house of the West Feliciana Railroad (c. 1834).

The former railroad office now serves as the Wilkinson County Museum. The classic Federal-style former Branch Banking House of the State of Mississippi (c. 1819), the state's oldest existing bank building, has been adapted to serve as the African-American Museum.

Notable domestic architecture includes the Neo-classical Lewis house (c. 1832) at 458 Church St., the monumental Feltus-Catchings House (c. 1820) at the southwest corner of First South and Depot, the Greek Revival Carnot Posey House (c. 1845) at 432 Church St., and the John William Goddard house at 940 Main Street.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.Note
U.S. Decennial Census [5]
Woodville racial composition as of 2020 [3]
Race Num. Perc.
White 217 23.38%
Black or African American 677 72.95%
Native American 2 0.22%
Asian 1 0.11%
Other/Mixed 26 2.8%
Hispanic or Latino 5 0.54%

Per the 2020 United States census, there were 928 people, 386 households, and 277 families residing in the town; its racial composition was 77.95% black, 22.38% non-Hispanic white, 0.22% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 2.8% other or mixed, and 0.54% Hispanic or Latino of any race. [3]


Wilkinson County High School

Wilkinson County School District serves Woodville. There are three education facilities near Woodville: Wilkinson County Elementary School, Wilkinson County High School, and the private school Wilkinson County Christian Academy, which was established in 1969 as a segregation academy. [6]


The Woodville Republican, a weekly newspaper founded in 1823, is the oldest surviving business (and thus the oldest newspaper) in Mississippi.

Notable people


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  4. ^ "Woodville Main Street | A Mississippi Main Street Community". www.msmainstreet.com. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  6. ^ Dangerfileld, Celnisha. "Mapping Race, School Segregation, and Black Identities in Woodville, Mississippi: A Case Study of a Rural Community". Journal of Rural Community Psychology - Mapping Race. Archived from the original on January 23, 2009.
  7. ^ "Rep. Rodnette Bethley "Ronnie" Edwards". The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  8. ^ Gelly, Dave (2007). Being Prez: The Life and Music of Lester Young. Equinox. p. 1. ISBN  978-1-84553-058-7.

External links