Chunky, Mississippi

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Quick Summary

Location
32°19'32"N
088°55'41"W
Country
 United States of America
Categories
  • Nature
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Description

Chunky is a town in Newton County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 344 at the 2000 census.

History

The town has roots as a Choctaw village named Chanki Chitto, which was named after the Choctaw game Tchungkee, a game played with spears and polished stones. In 1811, the native American leader Tecumseh visited the village as he was building a confederacy of native American tribes. In 1848, the town of Chunkyville was established on the location. In 1861, upon news that a railway was to be built in the vicinity, Chunkyville was moved to its present location and was incorporated that year.In 1863 a train carrying injured confederate veterans on the Southern Railroad crashed in Chunky. In 1864, a force commanded by William T. Sherman attacked two brigades of Confederate troops commanded by Stephen D. Lee and captured the Chunky railway station.On June 16, 1911, a black man, William Bradford was lynched in Chunky. He was hanged by a mob after being accused of attempting to murder two white farmers.

Geography

Chunky is located along the Chunky River. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), all land. Chunky is located 10 miles (16 km) west of Meridian. U.S. 80 passes through the town.

Demographics

As of the census of 2010, there were 326 people, 120 households, and 95 families residing in the town. The population density was 412.9 people per square mile (160.0 per km2). There were 136 housing units at an average density of 163.2 per square mile (63.3 per km2). The racial makeup of the town was 87.79% White, 1.74% African American, 9.30% from Choctaw races, and 1.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.76% of the population. There were 120 households, out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.8% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.8% were non-families. 18.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.28. In the town, the population was spread out, with 27.0% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.1 males. The median income for a household in the town was $34,861, and the median income for a family was $45,313. Males had a median income of $32,813 versus $26,000 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,498. About 16.2% of families and 16.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 12.7% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

The Lazy Acres Pumpkin Patch is a themed farm town in Chunky open to tourists. Activities include pig races, a giant corn maze, interactions with farm animals, a hayride, face painting, sand art, and food concessions.

Chunky River

The Chunky River is a tourist attraction. The river forms from the confluence of two creeks a few miles west of the town. The Chunky River has little development along its shores, and is used for canoeing and kayaking. While the river is shallow, occasionally, there are sections where the paddle will not reach the bottom. One such section is known as the "Deep Eddy". Otherwise, the river is seldom deeper than a few feet, and where there are mild rapids, the river may only be a few inches in depth. There is a public landing east of town on the Highway 80 bridge, and another public landing 0.5 mi (0.80 km) farther east, at another Highway 80 bridge. This section of river is known as the "Seven Mile Bend", although it is approximately 3 mi (4.8 km) in length. The ease of accessibility makes this area the most used section of the river.

Education

The Town of Chunky is served by the Newton County School District, though some of the households within the 39323 postal district are in the West Lauderdale school district, part of the Lauderdale County School District.

Infrastructure

Railroads

The Kansas City Southern Railroad goes through Chunky. Approximately 25 freight trains per day travel through the town. On each side of Chunky, there are 9,000-foot (2,700 m) sidings at Meehan Junction to the east, and Hickory to the west. The railroad crosses the Chunky River in two places just east of town, and between these two trestles is a very popular photography spot for train buffs to take photos of the trains as they cross the river. The railroad crosses the Chunky River west of town on a much smaller trestle, known locally as "break down". It was on this site that the trestle collapsed under a troop-carrying train of Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War; the wreck is called the Chunky Creek Train Wreck of 1863. A Confederate regiment of Choctaw Indians camping nearby saved many lives of soldiers who had been thrown into the raging flood swollen river.
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