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Posted on: July 20, 2020

DeSoto County Counts: The Census -Then and Now

1940 census records medlin highlighted 2

The 1940 Census was the first time Lealon and Lillian were listed as a married couple in the Census. They were sharecroppers who lived on a farm in DeSoto County with two sons and Lealon’s father, Will. A total of 26,663 peopled live in DeSoto County in 1940. Over the years their family grew, and so did the county.

80 years later, the couple’s eighth child grows hay and raises cattle in DeSoto County.  He also makes sure roads are built, communities are safe, the economy is good, and land use is managed well for the nearly 185,000 people who currently call DeSoto County home

Lealon and Lillian’s last name was Medlin. Their eighth son is District 1 Supervisor and Board President Jessie Medlin. Supervisor Medlin has been a supervisor for 28 years and understands the importance of being counted in the Census. 

“80 years ago, the great depression was just ending and times were tough. But my parents made sure they were counted,” said Jessie Medlin. “They understood the Census would help in the distribution in federal funds to DeSoto County. And it’s just as important today.”

For every person missed by the Census, DeSoto County faces to lose $50,000 in federal funding over 10 years.  It only takes a few minutes to complete online at or by phone 844-330-2020.

You can look at the 1940 Census by clicking here.

View 1940 Census Entry
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