Rankin County History
Rankin County is located East of the Pearl River, almost smack-dab in the middle of the state of Mississippi. Rankin is bordered by Madison County to the north, Scott County to the east, Smith County to the southeast, Simpson County to the south, and Hinds Count to the west. Rankin Countians enjoy all of the amenities of our state’s capitol, Jackson, while also enjoying a mostly rural or suburban setting. Not to say that the residents of Rankin County have to travel to Jackson for shopping, medical care, restaurants and such, because the cities of Brandon, Flowood, Pearl, and Richland have all grown to offer a wide array of amenities to residents. Our county was founded on February 4th, 1828 and- at the time- was primarily rural in nature. The county was named in honor of Congressman Christopher Rankin.
- The Barnett Reservoir is over 33,000 acres large.
- Pearl is home to the Mississippi Braves minor-league baseball team, a AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. They are housed at Trustmark Park, which seats nearly 8,500.
- Rankin is part of the Central Mississippi Regional Library System, and has 9 different facilities within the county.
- Rankin is home to Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport and Hawkins Field.
- Municipalities include Brandon, Florence, Flowood, Pearl, Pelahatchie, Puckett, Richland, Sandhill, and Star.
- There are four local golf courses including Randy Watkins Golf Group, The Refuge, Castlewoods, and The Meadows Golf and Driving Range.
- Rankin County is home to the second largest river in the state of Mississippi, the Pearl River.
- Brandon was recognized in 2017 as one of the safest cities by the National Council for Home Safety and Security and was voted the second best city to live in the state of Mississippi.
- As the third largest school district in Mississippi, the Rankin County School District serves nearly 19,500 students in 28 schools spanning over 757 square miles.
- At the last Census count, the population of Rankin County was just shy of 150,000 people.
Famous Rankin Countians
Phil Bryant, current governor of Mississippi, claims Rankin County as his home. He and his wife, Deborah, are members of St. Mark's Methodist Church near the Reservoir.
Mary Ann Mobley, crowned Miss Mississippi in 1958, was also crowned Miss America that year. Even when acting opposite of Elvis Presley in Hollywood films, she remembered her Brandon roots.
Country music icon and Grammy award-winning singer Faith Hill grew up in Star, Mississippi. She is quoted as saying, "Dreams seem bigger when you come from a small town. They are also more attainable, because you have the support of friends and family."