Pearl, Miss-Happy Birthday Pearl! June 29, 2023 officially marks 50 years since Pearl became an official City.
Pearl Municipal Broadcasting has posted interviews with the first Mayor (Harris Harvey), first City Clerk (Shirley Rogers), and former Mayors Jimmy Foster, Mitch Childre and Brad Rogers. They can be viewed on the city’s Youtube page- https://www.youtube.com/@cityofpearlms6274
City Historian Chris Reid has written a historical sketch of our history and this excerpt talks of the sheer will of the people to make this day happen:
“The road to incorporation was not to be an easy one and was plagued with legal battles. On March 12, 1970 the Petition for Incorporation was filed with the Rankin County Chancery Court and later ruled upon favorably. However, the City of Jackson wanting to annex Pearl for itself, appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court on November 23, 1970, and the Chancery Court’s decision was reversed due to a technicality regarding individual petition forms.
On May 1, 1971, a new petition was filed with the Chancery Court, but Chancellor L.B. Porter denied it on the grounds that the petitioners had not adequately explained their reasons for wanting to incorporate. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court and the petition was upheld, thereby forcing the Chancery Court to hear the case.
On September 18, 1972, the case was argued in Chancery Court and denied by Chancellor Porter again. In his ruling, he wrote:
“the shape of the proposed city is not square, that no proof is given to show that the required number of signatures on the petitions have been collected and that little or no consideration is given to estimating the costs of operating or maintaining a city.”
The case was appealed to the Supreme Court a third and final time and on June 5, 1973, the Supreme Court reversed Chancellor Porter’s ruling and ordered the incorporation of the City of Pearl.
Charter Day was held on June 29, 1973 in the Pearl Junior High School auditorium. Lt. Governor William Winter was the principal speaker, and he presented the City Charter and individual commissions to the Mayor and Board of Alderman. Oaths of office were administered by Supreme Court Justice Stokes V. Robertson Jr. and immediately after the ceremonies, the first Board meeting was held with several hundred in attendance.”
Reid’s full report can be found on the city website, https://www.cityofpearl.com/about/.
Pearl has grown into the “Jewel of the Crossroads”
The City of Pearl is nestled along four transportation arteries in Mississippi: Interstate 55 and Interstate 20, U.S. Highways 80 and 49., and also provides easy access to national and international destinations with the Jackson-Evers International Airport in our backyard.
Pearl has been designated a member of the Mississippi Main Street Association and is a superior place to live, work and play.
Living here makes you part of a 27,000-member family. There is a wide range of housing available for every income level. The Pearl Public School District is prestigiously “A” rated by the Mississippi Department of Education. We are consistently rated among the safest cities in the state. Our city staff provides first-class service at every level from Police and Fire, to Public Works, Parks and Recreation to Senior Services and Community Development. Pearl is also blessed to have its own TV and radio broadcast stations in Pearl Municipal Broadcasting (PMB) TV and 104.3 FM “The Pirate”.
When it comes to working here, Pearl has a strong, business-friendly community with diverse employment opportunities. From retail to dining, hotels and manufacturing, as well as higher education and state offices, Pearl has it all. The Pearl Chamber of Commerce is recognized as a centerpiece for business promotion and economic development.
When it comes to play, there are state-of-the-art parks and recreation re-development ongoing, tremendous shopping opportunities all over the city including Bass Pro Shops, Sam’s, Cavender’s, Doris Berry’s Farmer’s Market and the Outlets of Mississippi. The Mississippi Braves, the AA franchise of the mighty Atlanta Braves, have called Trustmark Park and Pearl their home since 2005. Other unique entertainment options include Cinemark XD Movie Theatre, the D-Bat baseball/softball training facility, Launch Trampoline Park, Fun Time Skateland, and more.
Since being incorporated in 1973, Pearl has always worked hard for its residents, businesses and visitors. That commitment remains strong as Pearl continues to shine as the “Jewel of the Crossroads”.