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Batesville is a city in Panola Countymarker, Mississippimarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 7,113 at the 2000 census.


The Land upon which present day Batesville is situated originally belonged to a Chickasaw Indian called Ish-Sho-Nu-Nah. It was part of the Chickasaw cession to the Federal Government, which in turn vested title to over2,000 acres of land to Ish-Sho-Nu-Nah by the treaty of Pontotoc Creek in 1832.In early days, the town of Batesville was a secondary frontier community, lacking the river location of Panola and Belmont, the two leading towns of that day in North Mississippi. Old Panola, as it is now called, was located about one mile northwest of the present site of Batesville, and was a bitter rival of Belmont for the location of the county seat in 1864.

An accusation was made by the citizens of Belmont that Panola used bribery in obtaining designation as the county seat of Panola County. In those days, Panola was the dominating scene of the south side of the Little Tallahatchie River, and Belmont reigned supreme on the north. This rivalry is still carried on in a friendly way between Batesville and Sardis.

The beginning of the end for Old Panola and Belmont, and the first glimmer of a bright future for Batesville came when the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad laid tracks from Memphis to Grenada, Mississippi, directly through Batesville. Steamboat traffic, which had made Old Panola and Belmont shipping and transportation centers was being replaced by railroad travel, which meant, of course, that Batesville was replacing the two towns as a business center.

Batesville was named for, Mr. Jim Bates, a conductor on the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad, and a prominent Methodist minister in the county. (Old newspaper articles mention "Brother Jim Bates" preaching 'eloquently' at a hanging.) The town of Batesville received its charter in 1866.

The Illinois Central Railroad brought out the old MT line and extended the tracks to New Orleans. Shortly after this move, the town of Ole Panola began to make a mass movement to Batesville. Leading families of Old Panola moved houses, business establishments and churches to the new center of business and social live. The process of moving was extended by a few old families who chose to remain in Old Panola, but as the buildings deteriorated and some burned, they rebuild in Batesville. In a few short years, the once booming river port had vanished except for the ruins of the buildings. One of the foundations is said to have been a brick two-story jail, the only one in this part of the country at that time, and the pride of the people of Panola County.

Batesville has always been the center of excellent agricultural lands, thriving on the proceeds of farming and livestock raising since it was settled.

Since, the beginning, Batesville has been a 'natural' for industrial sites. The first such interest was developed during the early years of the Civil War when a gun foundry was established in Batesville which employed 1 people. A canning plant, established in Batesville shortly after the purchase of the M&T Railroad by the Illinois Central was one of the greater influences on rapid and steady settlement of Batesville. Darnell's mills, garment manufacturer was located in Batesville in the early 1900s and remained prosperous until the 1930s. Foundations of this mill are still standing southeast of the present town.

Panola County is rich in tradition and history of the Civil War. During the early part of 1861, "The Weekly Panola Star" reported that people were only lukewarm on the subject of war, but were unanimously in favor of the Confederacy and secession.

Today, with pride in its rich past, and expectation in a brilliant future, Batesville looks confidently to the years to come with the same spirit that made that history so rich and colorful. The same ambition and determination makes Batesville on of the leading towns in North Mississippi, a prosperous trading center which never ceases to strive for growth and accomplishment.


Batesville is located at (34.317809, -89.942626) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.1 square miles (28.9 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 7,113 people, 2,577 households, and 1,821 families residing in the city. The population density was 638.2 people per square mile (246.3/km²). There were 2,791 housing units at an average density of 250.4/sq mi (96.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.43% White, 41.88% African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.82% from other races, and 0.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.60% of the population.

There were 2,577 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 21.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 26.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 85.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,875, and the median income for a family was $38,849. Males had a median income of $30,998 versus $22,029 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,814. About 21.9% of families and 28.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.1% of those under age 18 and 27.0% of those age 65 or over.

Notable natives


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