The program was first occupied in October of 1962. At this time the program consisted of nine buildings to house approximately 900 patients, a medical clinic, and a combination dining room and recreation hall. On March 13, 1963, the facility was dedicated by Governor Ross Barnett as the “Annex,” a part of the Mississippi State Hospital.
On July 18, 1974 the State Board of Mental Health was presented a study by Dr. R. P. White, Executive Secretary to the Board, which recommended that the Board establish Central Mississippi Retardation Center (formerly Whitfield Retardation Annex) as a separate institution with its own director. The Board unanimously adopted a resolution. The Central Mississippi Retardation Center was established by Section 6 of House Bill 411, Chapter 567, Laws of 1974, and by action of the State Board of Mental Health. During the same Board meeting, Mr. C. B. Noblin was named Director of the Central Mississippi Retardation Center.
In 1976 the Board of Mental Health changed the name of the facility to Hudspeth Retardation Center (commonly known as Hudspeth Center) as a memorial to Seth Hudspeth.
Mr. Seth Hudspeth was the Executive Director of The Board of Trustees of Mental Institutions, one of the state’s predecessors to the Board of Mental Health. When the Department of Mental Health and the Board of Mental Health was established in 1974, Mr. Hudspeth was one of the original members of the Board and served on it until his death in 1976. Mr. Seth Hudspeth was a pioneer in developing programs and services for Mississippians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.