Rolling Fork, Mississippi

Coordinates: 32°54′23″N 90°52′41″W / 32.90639°N 90.87806°W / 32.90639; -90.87806
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Rolling Fork, Mississippi
Welcome sign (2022)
Welcome sign (2022)
Location within Sharkey County and Mississippi
Location within Sharkey County and Mississippi
Coordinates: 32°54′23″N 90°52′41″W / 32.90639°N 90.87806°W / 32.90639; -90.87806[1]
CountryUnited States
 • Total1.41 sq mi (3.66 km2)
 • Land1.41 sq mi (3.66 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation105 ft (32 m)
 • Total1,883
 • Density1,333.57/sq mi (515.07/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
Area code662
FIPS code28-63560 [1]
GNIS ID694602 [1]

Rolling Fork is a city and county seat of Sharkey County, Mississippi, United States.[1] As of the 2020 census, the population of the town was 1,883.[3]


Illinois Central Railroad depot in Rolling Fork

Thomas Y. Chaney located here in 1828, and was the first European-American settler in the area. The Choctaw, longtime indigenous occupants, had been forced out by new settler pressure and government treaties to gain their land.

Deer Creek flows through the settlement. Chaney called the place "Rolling Fork" because of the swiftness of the water at a fork in the creek there.[4] A post office was established in 1848.[4]

When Sharkey County was established in 1876, during the Reconstruction era, Rolling Fork was made the county seat. A newspaper, The Deer Creek Pilot, was established in 1884.[4]

The Louisville, New Orleans and Texas Railway was built through Rolling Fork in 1883. It was later acquired by the Illinois Central Railroad. In 1908, the Bank of Rolling Fork was established.[4]

2023 tornado[edit]

On March 24, 2023, shortly after 8:00 p.m. CDT, Rolling Fork was struck by a large and deadly tornado, rated EF4. The tornado formed from a supercell thunderstorm in northern Issaquena County, whereupon it moved northeast towards and into Rolling Fork. The National Weather Service issued a tornado emergency for the community shortly before the storm entered the town and dealt catastrophic damage to many structures. The town's post office, city hall, and police department lost parts of or the entirety of their roofs. Multiple businesses—some of metal or brick construction—were completely destroyed, in addition to dozens of houses and mobile homes. One of the town's water towers was blown over, two grain trucks were thrown into each other, power lines were knocked down, and trees were uprooted, some even debarked. The tornado killed 17 people in Rolling Fork and nearby Midnight and Silver City, while injuring 165 more.[5][6][7]

A tall white water tower lies toppled and battered on the ground, surrounded by mangled trees and strewn debris.
A water tower in Rolling Fork, destroyed by the March 24, 2023 tornado

Following the tornado, Rolling Fork's existing tornado siren was repaired and a new siren was donated and installed on the opposite side of the town.[8]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), all land.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
Welcome carving (2008)

2020 census[edit]

Rolling Fork Racial Composition[10]
Race Num. Perc.
White 423 22.46%
Black or African American 1,392 73.92%
Asian 4 0.21%
Pacific Islander 3 0.16%
Other/Mixed 38 2.02%
Hispanic or Latino 23 1.22%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 1,883 people, 857 households, and 498 families residing in the city.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 2,486 people, 820 households, and 620 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,774.2 inhabitants per square mile (685.0/km2). There were 875 housing units at an average density of 624.5 per square mile (241.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 69.19% African American, 29.69% White, 0.04% Native American, 0.32% Asian, and 0.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.97% of the population.

There were 820 households, out of which 35.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.9% were married couples living together, 32.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.3% were non-families. Of all households, 22.2% were made up of individuals, and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.90 and the average family size was 3.40.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 30.8% under the age of 18, 11.9% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 83.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,081, and the median income for a family was $24,911. Males had a median income of $25,729 versus $17,065 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,481. About 30.6% of families and 37.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 50.0% of those under age 18 and 24.6% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools[edit]

The city of Rolling Fork is served by the South Delta School District. The district has three schools with a total enrollment of approximately 1,300 students.

Private schools[edit]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Rolling Fork, Mississippi", Geographic Names Information System, United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior
  2. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Profile of Rolling Fork, Mississippi in 2020". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 26, 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d Rowland, Dunbar (1907). Mississippi: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form (PDF). Vol. 2. Southern Historical Publishing Association. p. 575.
  5. ^ Will McDuffie; Peter Charalambous; Kevin Shalvey (March 25, 2023). "19 dead as 'destructive' tornado, storms batter Mississippi, officials say". ABC News. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  6. ^ Charalambous, Peter; Shalvey, Kevin; El-Bawab, Nadine (March 25, 2023). "'Leveled': Responders, residents describe horror of Mississippi tornado destruction". ABC News. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  7. ^ National Weather Service in Jackson, Mississippi (March 27, 2023). NWS Damage Survey for March 24 tornado event (Report). Iowa Environmental Mesonet. Archived from the original on March 28, 2023. Retrieved March 28, 2023.
  8. ^ Nolan, Madeleine (May 10, 2023). "New tornado siren installed, old one repaired in Rolling Fork". WAPT. Archived from the original on May 18, 2023. Retrieved May 22, 2023.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2021-12-08.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.