Oxford was first incorporated as a town in 1837, and was given its name after the town of Oxford, England in the hopes of securing Mississippi's first university. The University of Mississippi was chartered in 1841, located in Oxford, and opened its doors to students in 1848. It has since become a landmark of Oxford and the heart of the South. Oxford's growth in the next century made it an attractive place to settle. Among those who made their home here was the family of William Faulkner in 1902.
More recently, the population of Oxford has grown from 10,026 in 1990 to 11,756 in 2000, an increase of 17.6%. It is estimated that the current (2007) population is 19,000 after Oxford annexed 4.3 square miles this year to bring the total size to 16.5 square miles. Lafayette County has grown in the same period of time from 31,826 to 38,744. Oxford has been ranked many times as an ideal retirement destination because of its reasonable cost of living, high-quality medical care, low crime rate, variety of restaurants and other amenities important to retirees.
Besides good food, enticing shops and a diverse lifestyle, Oxford has activities and events - year-round - to attract anyone. There are different Ole Miss sporting events to enjoy any time of the year. April hosts two well-known events -- The Oxford Conference for the Book and the Double Decker Festival. June, also a busy month, sees the LOU Summer Sunset Series, the Oxford Film Festival and the Yoknapatawpha Summer Writers' Workshop. The Mid-town Farmers' Market runs May through September and features Mississippi grown produce. The Annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference is in July, and August is consumed with the onslaught of football season. Visitors and residents alike can take advantage of events at any time, such as the Artist Series, Thacker Mountain Radio, Brown Bag Luncheons and Lecture Series. No matter the time, no matter the occasion, there is something for everyone in Oxford.