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Mississippi Counties
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Mississippi Counties

There are eighty counties in Mississippi. Two original counties were Adams County and Jefferson County (formerly Pickering) established in 1799

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Sunflower County, Mississippi

Sunflower County Education, Geography, and HistorySunflower County, Mississippi Courthouse

Sunflower County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 29,450. Its largest city and county seat is Indianola.

Sunflower County comprises the Indianola, MS Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Cleveland-Indianola, MS Combined Statistical Area. It is located in the Mississippi Delta region.

Etymology - Origin of Sunflower County Name

Sunflower is named for the Sunflower River, which is named in turn for the sunflowers that grow along its banks.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Sunflower County History

Sunflower County was formed February 15, 1844, from the County of Bolivar, and its original limits were defined as follows:

"Beginning at the corner of townships 24 and 25, of ranges 4 and 5 west, thence east between townships 24 and 25, to the line between ranges 2 and 3 west; thence south between ranges 2 and 3 west to the line between townships 21 and 22; thence east between townships 21 and 22 to the Tallahatchie River; thence down the Tallahatchie River, and down the Yazoo River to the point where the old Choctaw boundary line intersects it; thence with the said boundary line north, forty-six degrees west, to the point where the line between ranges 4 and 5 west, intersects that line; thence north with the line between ranges 4 and 5 west, to the place of beginning."

In 1871, a large portion of the eastern area of the county was taken to assist in the formation of Leflore County, and its western and southern limits were extended at the expense of Bolivar and Washington counties. In 1918, Sunflower County contributed from its southern territory to the newest county of Humphreys.

On March 15, 1871, when a large portion of Sunflower County was cut off to form the new county of Leflore, the county seat was moved from McNutt to a new town to be called Johnsonville, at the junction of Mound Bayou with the Sunflower River. Eleven years later in 1882, by vote of the people, the county seat was again moved- this time to a point about four miles west of the Sunflower River on Indian Bayou, first called Eureka, but since that time known as Indianola, the current county seat. With the advent of the Georgia Pacific, now the Southern railway, a few years later, the town of Baird grew up one mile north of Johnsonville and the latter town soon ceased to exist.

The present county site, Indianola, is a flourishing and rapidly growing town. It is on the line of the Southern railway and around it are some of the largest and richest plantations in the State. In 1890, Indianola had a population of only 630 people, which had increased to 1,098 in 1910 and to 2,112 in 1920. There are a number of other thriving towns in the county, among which are mentioned Ruleville, north of the central part of the county with a population of over 1,000; Drew, Inverness, Rome, and Sunflower village.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 707 square miles (1,832 km2), of which, 694 square miles (1,797 km2) of it is land and 13 square miles (35 km2) of it (1.90%) is water. Sunflower County is the longest county in Mississippi. The traveling distance from the southern boundary at Caile, to its northern boundary at Rome is approximately 56 miles.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Coahoma County (north)
  • Tallahatchie County (northeast)
  • Leflore County (east)
  • Humphreys County (south)
  • Washington County (southwest)
  • Bolivar County (northwest)


Colleges and universities

Mississippi Delta Community College has a main campus in Moorhead and other locations.

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Sunflower County Consolidated School District

Former districts: Drew School District, Indianola School District

Between 2009 and 2012, the State of Mississippi had taken over all three Sunflower County school districts and put them under the conservatorship of the Mississippi Department of Education, due to academic and financial reasons. In February 2012 the Mississippi Senate voted 43-4 to pass Senate Bill 2330, to consolidate the three school districts into one school district. The bill went to the Mississippi House of Representatives. The Greenwood Commonwealth said that the county was an "easy target" for school merging due to the difficulties in all three school districts, and that the scenario doesn't leave them with much leverage to argue in favor of the status quo. And because none of them does well, none of them can object to assuming someone else' headaches. All three are beset with them." Later that month, the State Board of Education approved the consolidation of the Drew School District and the Sunflower County School District, and if Senate Bill 2330 is approved, Indianola School District will be added. In May 2012 Governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant signed the bill into law, requiring all three districts to consolidate.SB2330 stipulates that if a county has three school districts all under conservatorship by the Mississippi Department of Education will have them consolidated into one school district serving the entire county. As of July 1, 2012, the Drew School District was consolidated with the Sunflower County School District

Private schools

Indianola Academy (Indianola)
North Sunflower Academy (Unincorporated area)
The Central Delta Academy in Inverness closed on May 21, 2010.

All three of the private schools originated as segregation academies.

Pillow Academy in unincorporated Leflore County, near Greenwood, enrolls some students from Sunflower County. It originally was a segregation academy.

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