Industrial Mississippi: Rex Brown Generating Station, Jackson

I pass the Rex Brown power station on Northside Drive in Jackson pretty regularly. It’s located on Lake Hico, which I just found out from this wikipedia article is the headwater for Eubanks Creek that winds through Fondren on its way to the Pearl River. Hico was built as a joint cooling reservoir and public lake in the 1950s, but it was closed to the public to avoid integration, and today it is gated off and used solely as a cooling reservoir for the power station. The June 1951 edition of Manufacturer’s Record not only had this nice aerial view of the station but also spent several paragraphs about its history and capabilities.

Mississippi’s modern electric power supply is a far cry from the limited and almost primitive power situation which prevailed in 1923, just before the advent of the state’s two business-managed investor-pwned companies: Mississippi Power & Light Company and Mississippi Power Company. Less than three decades ago, Mississippi lagged far behind the rest of the nation in electric power development and supply. Service was available only in larger cities and towns from isolated plants of very limited capacity. For this reason there was no industrial development worthy of mention and, as a result, the state’s economy was dependent almost entirely on agriculture. Since 1923, the two business-managed utilities have steadily developed and expanded the state’s electric power supply, making service available to ever increasing numbers.

Mississippi Power & Light Company is today serving virtually the entire western half of the state, a territory which covers 44 counties and 421 towns, cities and communities. The company is serving a total of 150,000 electric customers through and interconnected system which has over 10,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines. In addition the utility serves 60,000 natural gas customers in 50 communities.

Mississippi Power & Light Company’s 150,000 kilowatt Rex Brown Steam Electric Generating Station at Jackson is one of the newest and most modern plants of its kind in the entire nation. It has three generating unites which are now in operation with an annual capability of 1,315,000,000 kilowatt hours. The Rex Brown Station is the largest generating plant in the entire state.

Mississippi Power & Light Company has also recently completed the new 66,000-kilowatt steam electric generating station at Natchez which is similar in design to the Rex Brown Station.


Manufacturer's Record 1951


Categories: Industrial, Jackson


10 replies

  1. The lake was closed to the public so that it would not be integrated?? Bizarre, but maybe not in the mid 20th century.


  2. On a somewhat related note the Sam Mockbee and Overton Moore design for Lake Hico Park was the recipient of a 1985 National AIA Component Awards.

    Hico Park. Jackson, Miss.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have always been fascinated with power plants, and find them beautiful, and especially enjoying photographing them at night. Good choice for a Thursday, and maybe it will give me enough energy to push full-steam ahead for the final 2-day slog of this week. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The official name is the Rex “I.” Brown Steam Generating Plant, don’t forget the eye. There was some controversy when the plant was built, namely, the taxpayers of Hinds County ponying up for the building of Lake Hico, short for Hi(nds) Co(unty), which my father called a radiator for MP&L. It was never more than a mud hole when it was opened to the public. It’s demise was was sealed when the Ross R. Barnett Reservoir began to fill up in the early 60’s.


  5. I have many fond memories of water skiing at Hico while a high school student in the early ‘60’s. Also, recall sailing with a buddy at the (then new) Jackson Yacht Club there also.


  6. They should reopen the lake. It is 2019 and Jackson needs the revenue. What a beautiful place it would be for families to enjoy.


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