About Charleston, Mississippi

Tallahatchie County is located in the ‘Mississippi Delta Region’. The area of the county is 645.2 square miles of land and 6.9 square miles of water. According to the 2019 census, the population of the county was 13,809 (19% urban and 81% rural). Just ten years earlier in 2010, the population was 15,378 and in 1920, about 100 years earlier, the population was 35,953 due to the timber/logging business, with the Lamb-Fish Hardwood Mill in Charleston, being the world’s largest hardwood mill. The population began declining when the mill burned in the 1930s.
The population is 54% African-American and 35% white.

The county was named by the Choctaw Indians after the Tallahatchie River (meaning Rock River) which divides this county by running north to south into the Yazoo River in Leflore County. Because of the river and flooding, the county has two county seats. The east side of the county was settled first and has the largest town, Charleston, which was established in 1837.  The other county seat is Sumner, on the west side, established in 1872.

Tallahatchie County has the 4th lowest per capita income in Mississippi and is 46th in the U.S. The estimated median household income is $31,832.; the per capita income is $16,742. according to the 2019 census, and about 38% live in poverty. The median age is 36.8 years young.  Most people have to travel 27 minutes one way to work. 69.6% are high school graduates or have a higher degree; 10.3% have Bachelor’s degrees or higher.

In 1931, a magnitude 4.6 earthquake occurred in Charleston, the most powerful ever in Mississippi.      The county is now home to Morgan Freeman, and the late Mose Allison, Sonny Boy Williams, Jamie Whitten, and the World’s Largest Hog, “Scissors”.