Homes for Rent in Oxford, MS: What You Need to Know
Oxford, in northern Mississippi, is the seat of Lafayette County. It’s famous for being the home of the University of Mississippi and for producing literary giants, from Nobel Prize winner William Faulkner to best-seller John Grisham.
The Local History
What we know today as Oxford once belonged to the Chickasaw Nation. John Chisholm, John J. Craig, and John D. Martins bought 50 acres to establish a town. In May 1837, Oxford was incorporated and named after Oxford, England. A few years later, the state legislature voted to make Oxford the home of the state’s first university, the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). In September 1962, James H. Meredith, an African American student, was escorted by U.S. marshals to enforce a school-desegregation court order. A racial riot ensued. It took 3,000 troops to stop the violence, which killed two men.
Schools and Higher Education
There are 36 universities and colleges within 100 miles of Oxford. The University of Mississippi is the closest and the largest in the state. Ole Miss opened its doors to 80 students in 1848. Today it has 22,456 students. Oxford’s public-school system consists of 13 schools with 7,202 students. The schools have an average math proficiency score of 63% versus Mississippi’s average of 42%, and a reading proficiency score of 54%, higher than the statewide average of 39%.
The City’s Culture
The city is known as the cultural mecca of the South for helping nurture writers, musicians, and artists. William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, but grew up in Oxford. Faulkner wrote “The Sound and the Fury” and “As I Lay Dying” among other things. He won the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature. Other Mississippi natives have added to Faulkner’s legacy, including John Grisham (“The Firm”), an Oxford resident and graduate of Ole Miss law school, Barry Hannah (“Geronimo Rex”), and Willie Morris (“North Toward Home”).
The Cost of Living in Oxford
By the looks of it, the money you could save in a small city like Oxford (population: 28,122) won’t be small change. The city’s cost of living rate, food, and housing costs are 27.2%, 26.2%, and 34.1% lower than the national average. The city’s median gross rent is $938. Mississippi collects 0% to 5% in income tax depending on one’s earnings and 7% in statewide tax.
Know Your Neighborhoods
Locals rave about the city’s diversity, safe and welcoming environment, and the many cultural events such as the Oxford Film Festival and Double Decker Arts Festival. Half of all residents in Oxford rent. It’s true that much of Oxford life revolves around Ole Miss, so if you want to live outside the city, the closest towns are Abbeville, Taylor, and Water Valley.