Carroll County Courthouse in Carrollton
Location of Carrollton, Mississippi
|o Total||0.78 sq mi (2.02 km2)|
|o Land||0.78 sq mi (2.02 km2)|
|o Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||289 ft (88 m)|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||228.21/sq mi (88.09/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0668097|
Carrollton is a town in and the second county seat of Carroll County, Mississippi, United States, which is within the Mississippi Delta. The population was 190 at the 2010 census, down from 408 in 2000. Centrally located in the county, the town is part of the Greenwood, Mississippi micropolitan area. The first county seat, Vaiden, Mississippi, was founded in the eastern part of the county during its early settlement.
As of July 23, 2016, Carrollton still flies the Confederate Battle Flag, along with the United States flag, at the memorial to the Confederate dead at the county courthouse.
The town was developed as the county seat and trading center for rural Carroll County, which was devoted to cotton agriculture and plantations in the antebellum era. After the Civil War, there was considerable violence against the newly emancipated freedmen, as whites worked to establish dominance.
In the period following Reconstruction, from 1877 to 1950, Carrollton County had 29 documented lynchings of African Americans, the second-highest number in the state after a total of 48 in nearby LeFlore County. Twenty-five of these killings were committed in little more than a one-month period in the county seat of Carrollton from February through March 1886. In general, lynchings were a means of white terrorist control of the African-American population.
In October 1885, Will McKinney, an African-American man, was convicted by an all-white jury of manslaughter in the death of white man Charlie Broadway. In early 1886, he was serving a one-year sentence in the county jail. On February 18, 1886, a crowd of armed, masked men forced the sheriff to give them the keys, and took McKinney from his cell. They shot and hanged him in the courthouse square.
A couple of altercations occurred in that period between James Liddell, a white man from Greenwood, and some associates, and the mixed-race Indian/African-American brothers Ed and Charley Brown from Carrollton. Shots were exchanged in the second encounter, and Liddell was wounded. The Brown brothers were arraigned for assault in March. But they filed their own complaint against Liddell and friends, charging them with assault with intent to kill. This trial of the Brown brothers was scheduled for March 17, 1886, and attracted black friends and witnesses. That day a large group of about 60 masked and armed men, some allegedly from LeFlore County and allegedly led by Houston Whitworth, a white man, rode into town, breaking into four groups to cover the four entrances of the courthouse. They entered the courtroom, fatally shooting both of the Brown brothers and another 18 black men; three more black men died of shooting wounds in the next few days. Some shooting survivors were critically wounded and still jumped out the second-floor windows; Jake Cain, Sr. was shot in the back, jumped out and was crippled for life. His brother Simon was among those killed.
The grand jury found that Ed Brown had fired first, causing the "riot", and blamed the Browns for the events, describing them as "turbulent and desperate half breeds". But African Americans have different accounts. T.E. Norwood described the events at the courthouse to a WPA historian in the 1930s as a well-planned massacre of blacks. The WPA history of Carrollton also said that some time later, the father of the Brown brothers was fatally shot by T.H. Oury, the coroner, after the father had called Oury out from his church services. Brown senior's was the 24th death associated with what has been called, more accurately, the "Carrollton Courthouse Massacre."
In 1901, Betsie McCray, her son Belfield McCray, and daughter Ida McCray were accused of murder. A deputy turned them over to a mob, who hung them and then their bodies riddled with bullets. Governor Longino came by special train to discourage the mob, but arrived after the lynching.
The Carroll County government flies the historic Confederate Battle Flag, along with the United States flag, at the memorial to the Confederate dead at the county courthouse in Carrollton.
Carrollton is located in central Carroll County on the south side of Big Sand Creek, a tributary of the Yalobusha River. According to the United States Census Bureau, Carrollton has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), all land.
The town borders North Carrollton, which is located directly to the north across the creek. Mississippi Highways 17 and 35 pass through the center of Carrollton, leading north into North Carrollton. Many residents of Carrollton and North Carrollton consider the towns a single entity, simply referred to as Carrollton.
Highway 35 continues north 21 miles (34 km) to Holcomb; in the other direction, it leads southeast 18 miles (29 km) to Vaiden, the other county seat. Highway 17 leads south 30 miles (48 km) to Lexington. U.S. Route 82, a four-lane divided highway, passes through the southern part of Carrollton, leading east 11 miles (18 km) to Winona and west 18 miles (29 km) to Greenwood.
As of the census of 2000, there were 408 people, 85 households, and 62 families residing in the town. The population density was 522.0 people per square mile (202.0/km²). There were 99 housing units at an average density of 126.7 per square mile (49.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 50.00% White and 50.00% African American. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.49% of the population.
There were 85 households out of which 24.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.6% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.9% were non-families. 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.65.
In the town, the population was spread out with 8.3% under the age of 18, 27.9% from 18 to 24, 34.3% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 312.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 340.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $48,750, and the median income for a family was $53,333. Males had a median income of $21,667 versus $23,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $13,536. About 6.9% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.3% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.
The town of Carrollton is served by the Carroll County School District and the private school Carroll Academy.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Carrollton has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.