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The Mississippi Delta city of Indianola is the county seat of Sunflower County, Mississippi. In 1882, the community was known as Indian Bayou as the site along the river bank was previously a Choctaw Indian village. Between 1882 and 1886, its name was changed to Eureka and Belengate before settling on Indianola in 1886. Minnie Cox became the first black female postmaster when she was appointed postmaster of Indianola in 1891. As the job was a respected position, and well paid, white resentment built and, in 1902, a petition was circulated requesting her resignation. As tensions grew, she submitted her resignation in 1903, but President Theodore Roosevelt refused to accept her resignation, instead closing the post office in Indianola and continuing her salary. As the US Senate debated the event for four hours, Cox left Indianola for her safety and did not return. The post office in Indianola was reopened with a white postmaster. Riley B. King, more commonly known as B.B. King, was born nearby, and considered Indianola to be his hometown. Indianola is situated at the junction of US Route 82 and US Route 49-W. Nearby communities include Baird, Boyer, Frazier, Heathman, Holly Ridge, Inverness, Markham, Moorhead, Purnell, and Sunflower. Greenville, Mississippi is about twenty-four miles west, and Winona is about fifty-six miles to the east of Indianola.

 

 

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