Chunky, Mississippi

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


Chunky is located at (32.327201, -88.929717), 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 of it land.

Chunky is located on Interstate 20, 10 miles west of Meridian, Mississippi. The exit number is 121. The town is one mile south of the interstate. US Hwy 80 goes through the town.


Chunky was formerly a Choctaw Indian village called Chanki Chitto meaning Big Chunky. The name comes from an old Indian game of Chunka which was played at nearby Chunky Shoals. Chunky was the southernmost town of the Choctaws which was visited by Tecumseh in 1811. The Jackson Military Road passed through Chunky in 1816 and the A&V Railroad made a connection on the east side of Chunky in 1861. (Brieger, J. F. 1980. Hometown Mississippi. p.358). Chunky was later visited by another Tecumseh in 1864...this time it was William Tecumseh Sherman, who passed north of the present town on his campaign to destroy Meridian (Remembering. Vol 5, No 2 April 2006, p 17. Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society).


As of the census of 2000, there were 344 people, 120 households, and 95 families residing in the town. The population density was 412.9 people per square mile (160.0/km²). There were 136 housing units at an average density of 163.2/sq mi (63.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 87.79% White, 1.74% African American, 9.30% from other 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.


There is a United States Post Office in Chunky. The ZIP Code is 39323. Chunky also has a Town Hall and a Volunteer Fire Department.


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.


The only business remaining in Chunky is a beauty shop. The Chunky post office serves Chunky and the surrounding area. A nearby restaurant, Boyette's Fish Camp is located on the site of Chunky Shoals, approximately 1/2 mile east of the town of Chunky.

One mile north of Chunky is the Lazy Acres Christmas Tree Plantation and Pumpkin Patch. The farm provides seasonal activities. Attractions include live reindeer, animal park, corn maze, hayrides, etc.


The Chunky Baptist Church and the United Methodist Church are in the town of Chunky. Chunky is the home to many who worship in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. There is no longer an Adventist Church near Chunky. Most of the Adventists attend church in nearby Meridian.

Other Community Activities

There is a Masonic Hall in Chunky. For the youth, there is a baseball field. There is also a swimming pool association.

Chunky River

The Chunky River is the premier attraction to most people who visit Chunky. The river forms from the confluence of two creeks a few miles west of the town. The Chunky River is a hidden treasure. There is very little development along its shores, making it an attractive wilderness recreation adventure to those who choose to canoe or kayak in it. The river is very shallow. Occasionally, there are sections where the paddle will not reach the such section is known as the "Deep Eddy". But by and large, 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 just east of town on the Highway 80 bridge, and amazingly enough, there is another public landing 1/2 mile farther east on another Highway 80 bridge. This section of river is known as the "Seven Mile Bend", although it is scarcely over three miles in length. The ability to put in and take out in very close proximity make this area the most highly used section of the river.


If you like trains, Chunky is the town for you. 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 9000 foot 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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