Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson is the state capital of Mississippi and its most populated city. It is also one of two county seats for Hinds County. From 2000 to 2010, the city's population decreased by over 10,000 people with the current population less than 174,000 as of the census of 2010. Jackson is known as the City with Soul and is the third rated city out of 100 where you get the best for your dollar spent per the well-known magazine Forbes. The magazine used overall housing rates, affordability and other financial data.

Jackson is named for former president Andrew Jackson and today forms the anchor of the Greater Jackson Metropolitan Area. Jackson is well known throughout the southern part of the United States for its music and southern hospitality. There are a number of cultural centers, live music venues, public parks, sporting venues and eating establishments that make Jackson a very good visitor destination.

Jackson has a large number of excellent restaurants that offer a wide range of different foods. Southern style cooking is one of the most popular types of foods that can be found in the area. Barbeque restaurants are found all across the city and county. The city has also become a very popular are to hold conventions and business meetings for large businesses. The convention facilities are large and the services offered are very first rate.

Jackson is an attractive city for both local residents as well as tourists. It has something to appeal to everyone's senses. Many businesses in the city also thrive.

Jackson History

What today is the city of Jackson was once a large section of the Choctaw Nation. Because of pressure from the government of the United States, the Native Americans from the Choctaw Nation agreed to leave all their lands east of the Mississippi River. Once a treaty was signed with the Native Americans, a large number of settlers started to arrive in area. The Choctaws today live in many different Indian communities throughout the state.

The Jackson area was originally called Parkerville and was settled by a French Canadian Louis La Fleur. At that time, the area was known as LaFleur's Bluff. A legislative Act in November of 1821 authorized the area known as LaFeur's Bluff to become the new state capital for the government of Mississippi.

In recognition for winning the Battles that took place in New Orleans, Jackson was named for the then General Andrew Jackson. Jackson was later elected the seventh president on the U.S. The planning and layout of Jackson was done by Peter Van Dorn and was in the form of a checkerboard pattern. This design was where city blocks were alternated with open spaces and parks.

The first meeting in Jackson of the Mississippi legislature met in December 23, 1822. In 1840, Jackson became linked for the first time by rail to other cities. Jackson, unlike many cities in the area is not on the Mississippi River and its development was not aided by river commerce. The arrival of the railroad is what eventually sparked growth in the city following the Civil War.

Jackson during the Civil War was a center of manufacturing for the Confederate States. In 1863, Union forces won the Battle of Jackson for the first time causing the Confederate forces to head north. There are very few buildings or structures standing today in Jackson from the Civil War Era. The Governor's mansion is one that remains and was built in 1842 and was General Sherman's headquarters.

Significant growth did not start in Jackson until the early 20th century. Union Station was the focal point downtown as numerous rail lines united there. From there more building grew including hotels, restaurants and political structures. The discovery of natural gas fields in the area help growth in the 1930s.

The city's love of music has continued and the city is considered the home of soul. Many recording artists hail from Jackson and have recorded on the Malaco Record Label. In 1997, Harvey Johnson, Jr., was elected as Jackson's first mayor of African American heritage. He was influential in helping to get the convention center approved and built as well as other development projects.

About Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson was a small town throughout the majority of the 19th century. The city was much smaller than other cities that were located along the Mississippi River. Even though the city was the state capital, there were only 1,800 residents in the census of 1850 and only 8,000 in 1900. Over the next 50 years, the population grew to over 70,000. Ever since that time, the city has remained Mississippi's largest. The largest population was in the 1980 census with just over 200,000 but has seen a decline in each census since.

Jackson is known throughout the country for its music. Music types made famous in Jackson included Gospel and Rhythm and Blues. Malaco Records calls Jackson home and there are a number of famous musicians from Jackson.

In the 1970s, Thalia Mara founded the USA International Ballet Competition. The competition is held annually as part of the International Ballet Competition from Bulgaria. Competitions rotate between the cities of Tokyo, Moscow, Varna and Jackson. In 1982, Jackson was declared by a joint resolution of Congress as the official home for the USA IBC.

Jackson has close to 50 hotels and nearly 5,000 rooms. There are over 300 restaurants located in the city and many of them have banquet and convention facilities as well. There is a huge range of fare offered from authentic deep southern cuisine to a number of different international restaurants.

There is over 85,000 square feet of space for conventions in the city's largest facility. That same facility can hold up to 7,000 seating capacity with a dining capacity of nearly 3,500. There are a myriad of annual events that call Jackson home: The Mississippi State Fair, Dixie National Rodeo, Mistletoe Marketplace and the Farish Street Festival as well as many events that happen only once.

Today Jackson has a number of different venues that are attracting visitors from afar. The Farish Street Entertainment District is loaded with activities, restaurants and shops. Other areas of interest in the downtown area include Ceva Green, Mississippi History Museum, Mississippi Children's Museum, National Civil Rights Museum, Old Capitol Green and the Mississippi Museum of Art and its Art Garden.

As the city starts to recuperate from the financial crisis of 2008, more and more money is being invested in the downtown area to revitalize a once flourishing area of the city.

Jackson is also home to a number of colleges and universities and the city supports their athletic programs, attends their cultural functions and its residents are students at the schools.

About Rankin County, Mississippi

Jackson is one of the two seats that make up Hinds County. The county is named after the late General Thomas Hinds one of the heroes of the Battle of New Orleans.

Median income in the county was $33,900 in 2010 for a household and $40,500 for a family. Per capita income for the entire county was only $17,750. Nearly 20% of the population in the country was below the poverty line. The county has the seventh highest income per capita in all of Mississippi.

There is a board of supervisors that is comprised of five members that governor Hinds County. Each of the five members is elected from different districts within the county. The county administrator is in charge of the county and is appointed.

Headquartered in Hinds County is the Mississippi Department of Human Services located in Jackson. The Department of Corrections for Mississippi is also located in the county as well as its Jackson Probation and Parole Office.

For short period, the county sear for Hinds County was located in Clinton but in February of 1828, the Legislature ordered a new site and the site chosen was Raymond. The old county records are kept in Raymond. Other records and court records are in Jackson, the other county seat for Hinds County. There are a total of 877 square miles of area in Hinds County. There are 869 square miles of land and eight square miles of water.

The county has seen a growth in population over the last ten-year period, between census' (2000-2010) even though the largest city and county seat, Jackson, has seen a decline in population. This decline in Jackson is due to many people choosing to leave the city for the outlying suburbs. This is often the case in areas where new development taken place and city dwellers flee the inner city to live in a more tranquil neighborhood within the urban sprawl.