What's in a Name: Soso

Soso, MS - Soso, is a very small town in Jones County, near Laurel. Officially incorporated in 1973, it only makes up about two square miles.

"It's just a good place to be," said Mayor Mike Moore.

Moore has led this town for more than ten years.

"I took on the mayor's role just so I could serve folks because they were so good to my family when we were growing up," said Moore.

Like so many here, Moore has spent most of his life calling Soso home and is happy to tell anyone about the town's history. There are couple of stories as to how Soso got it's name. The most notable dates back to the late 18 into early 1900s. A few miles south of the current town, a general store with a post office inside was being ran by a man named Jim Eaton. His unfailing answer to questions about how he was feeling, health wise, was always "so-so," which is the name the post office eventually took on. A few years later, a logging village called Keown was being set up a few miles north. The Soso post office would eventually move there. The village then took on the name of the post office.

"You know how government works, it took a little time but Soso, they just moved this post office here because it was a thriving community then," said Moore.

Even though the town took on a name associated with one man's average feelings of health, the town is anything but, so-so.

"We take care of everybody. We take care of each other," said Moore.

There're about 400 folks living within the town's borders. Sonny Coats is one of them.

"We've been here all of our lives. I'll be 71 in July," said Coats. "I've been right here riding a bicycle all through Soso, since I was 6 years old."

Coats says Soso was much bigger then and even though time has marched on, the people tend to stay in place.

"There's about three big cemeteries around here and everybody is kin to everybody that's in them," said Coats.

The town is anchored by two dollar stores, one on each end. There's only a handful of businesses in between, but still enough to create a draw.

"A lot of folks coming through, going to Jasper County, Smith County, stop in our stores and buy their goods before they head out," said Moore.

Outside of its small town economy, it's a close sense of community both Coats and Moore say makes Soso much more than it's name sake and a place known by many.

"I worked construction and I'd go all over the country and people have heard of Soso, everywhere," said Coats.

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