Monroe County

Located on the Alabama state line between Lowndes and Lee counties, lies a rural county called Monroe. The county is 764 square miles. It contains two larger towns, Aberdeen, the county seat, and Amory, as well as several smaller communities like Smithville, Hamilton, Hatley and part of Nettleton. The county population was 37, 947 as of 2004, of which 30.8% are black. Aberdeen, the older of the two major towns, has a black population of 60.2%, and a white population of 38.7%. Amory, on the other hand, has a larger white population, at 69.4%, with blacks accounting for just of 29.2%.

Amory was established in 1888 as a railroad town. From the beginning of its creation, Amory was almost completely segregated. Beyond the railroad tracks was the black neighborhood called “The Stix”. It was thought by most of the white population that there would be better advantages for everyone when there was no intermingling between the races. Both the black and white communities had their own schools, churches, stores, hotels and restaurants. Dr. W.A. Evand in a history of Monroe County stated that The Stix was comprised of nice, neat, and well-built houses. Even after the Civil Rights Act was passed the town seemed to remain the same, as though its segregation was voluntary. De facto segregation can still be seen today when one looks at the composition of neighborhoods and business ownership in separate parts of the older part of town. Since the town began expanding toward the east, this trend has not followed among new businesses.

Sources:

Information from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/28/28095.html

Information from http://www.city-data.com/city/Amory-Mississippi.html

Monroe County Communities: A WPA History, compiled by Dr. W. A. Evand, December of 1936.