Hazlehurst is a city in and the county seat of Copiah County, Mississippi, United States, located about 30 miles south of the state capital Jackson along Interstate 55. The population was 4,400 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Hazlehurst originated as the town of Gallatin when two lawyers and brothers-in-law named Walters and Saunders arrived from Gallatin, Tennessee in 1819, and built their homes on the banks of the Bayou Pierre in the western part of Copiah county. Other settlers came with them and in 1829 the state legislature incorporated the town. The incorporation charter was repealed on January 18, 1862. Hazlehurst began with the building of the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad on November 3, 1865. The town was named for George Hazlehurst, an engineer for the new railroad.
As Hazlehurst grew, Gallatin declined into just a settlement at a crossroads. In April, 1872, the legislature ordered the county board of supervisors to hold an election to decide if the county seat should be moved from Gallatin to Hazlehurst. A majority voted for the change and Gallatin's old brick courthouse was torn down and reassembled in Hazlehurst. Several years later, a new courthouse replaced this building after it was ravaged by fire.
Moses Marx was the first town merchant, and A. Mangold, who arrived as a newsboy on the first train, later opened a store that became one of the largest in the county. The Merchants and Planters Bank opened in 1882, with Major R. W. Millsaps as president and I. N. Ellis as first cashier.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,400 people, 1,594 households, and 1,131 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,004.9 people per square mile (387.9/km²). There were 1,752 housing units at an average density of 400.2/sq mi (154.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 29.30% White, 68.59% African American, 0.02% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.59% from other races, and 1.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.05% of the population.
There were 1,594 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.5% were married couples living together, 28.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 82.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,008, and the median income for a family was $26,081. Males had a median income of $27,066 versus $19,475 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,839. About 24.0% of families and 26.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.8% of those under age 18 and 26.7% of those age 65 or over.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013