Location of Meadville, Mississippi
|• Total||1.1 sq mi (2.9 km2)|
|• Land||1.1 sq mi (2.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||305 ft (93 m)|
|• Density||469.2/sq mi (181.2/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0693939|
Meadville is a town in and the county seat of Franklin County, Mississippi, in the southwest part of the state. The population was 519 at the 2000 census. It was developed along the Homochitto River, which runs from the northeast to the southwest through the county on its way to its outlet on the Mississippi River.
The town was named after Cowles Mead, a 19th-century political leader. This town developed as a trading center for the agricultural county, which had an early economy based on the cultivation of cotton. Court days also attracted farmers and their customers. The county is still largely rural.
Abductions and murders in 1964
In May 1964, two African-American young men from Meadville, Charles Moore, a student from Alcorn State College who had been active in civil rights, and Henry Hezekiah Dee, a friend who was a millworker, were abducted in the town while hitchhiking. They were tortured and murdered by Ku Klux Klan members, transported across state lines, and tied to heavy machinery and dropped alive into the Mississippi River to die. Their bodies were discovered in July 1964 during the hunt for three civil rights workers who disappeared in June 1964. In November 1964 two men were arrested for the murders, but the district attorney dropped the charges for what he said was insufficient evidence.
They were two of six men killed by Klan chapters in a wave of violence from January to December 1964 in the area of Natchez, southwest Mississippi, and Concordia Parish, Louisiana. Additional Klan murders followed from 1965 to 1967. Two other bodies of African-American males were found in the Mississippi in the summer of 1964, including that of 14-year-old Herbert Oarsby.
In 1998 Thomas Moore, the older brother of Charles, began to re-investigate the murders of his brother and Dee. With the aid of journalists who found the 1964 FBI files thought to have been lost, he discussed the case with the local district attorney. Contacted by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation producer David Ridgen, Moore worked with him on a documentary film about his search for justice, called Mississippi Cold Case (2007). With the FBI files and new evidence, the US Attorney Dunn Lampton re-opened and prosecuted the case. James Ford Seale, a former police officer who had been arrested in 1964, was indicted and prosecuted; he was convicted in 2007 and sentenced to three life terms.
Meadville is located at (31.472998, -90.890856).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2), all land.
The town had its peak of population in 1960. It is in a rural area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 519 people, 187 households, and 126 families residing in the town. The population density was 469.2 people per square mile (180.5/km²). There were 220 housing units at an average density of 198.9 per square mile (76.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 82.85% White, 15.41% African American, 0.77% Asian, and 0.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.58% of the population.
There were 187 households out of which 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.1% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.89.
In the town the population was spread out with 18.5% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 20.2% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 32.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 82.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.1 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $31,750, and the median income for a family was $46,250. Males had a median income of $28,542 versus $26,500 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,788. About 8.5% of families and 17.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.6% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.
The Town of Meadville is served by the Franklin County School District. Franklin County Elementary and a host of day cares and headstarts.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 204.
- Shaila Dewan, "Push to Resolve Fading Killings of Rights Era", New York Times, 3 February 2007, accessed 11 January 2015
- "Cold Case: After 50 years, DOJ says it’s uncertain who killed Frank Morris; closes case", Concordia Sentinel, 5 February 2014, accessed 11 January 2015
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.