Clinton, founded in 1823 was originally known as Mount Salus, which means "Mountain of health". Mount Salus was also the name of the home of Walter Leake, third governor of Mississippi, which was located in Clinton and built in 1812. In 1828, the name was changed from Mount Salus to Clinton in honor of DeWitt Clinton, the former governor of New York.
Mississippi College, a Christian university located in Clinton, is the oldest college in the state of Mississippi, founded January 24, 1826. Mississippi College is the second oldest Baptist university in the world, and was also the first coeducational college in the United States to grant a degree to a woman. The historically black institution of higher education for women, Mount Hermon Female Seminary was established in 1875 by Sarah Ann Dickey. It closed in 1924.
In September 1875, the Clinton Riot occurred in downtown Clinton during a political rally of about 3000 people. The riot was racially and politically motivated, related to the contemporary Reconstruction movement under the Republican-led U.S. government. Approximately 50 people were killed, mostly African-American, and all Republican. The lack of response from the U.S. government in retaliation signaled the beginning of the end of reconstruction.
The median income for a household in the city was $47,092, and the median income for a family was $53,482. Males had a median income of $38,194 versus $27,458 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,586. About 5.7% of families and 8.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.8% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.
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