|— City —|
|Randolph County and the state of Arkansas|
|• Total||7.6 sq mi (19.5 km2)|
|• Land||7.4 sq mi (19 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)|
|Elevation||302 ft (92 m)|
|• Density||857.6/sq mi (334.3/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0078067|
Pocahontas is a city in Randolph County, Arkansas, United States, along the Black River. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, its population of the city is 6,765. The city is the county seat of Randolph County.
Pocahontas has a number of historic buildings, including:
- Old Randolph County Courthouse (1871), still defining the center of town
- St. Mary's AME Church and Pocahontas Colored School (1918), now home to the Eddie Mae Herron Center
The family of Dr. Ransom S. Bettis is given the distinction of being the first settlers on the land that is now called Pocahontas. Dr. Bettis' daughter, Cinderella, married Thomas S. Drew and lived on 800 acres where the town of Biggers now exists. Bettis and Drew led the founding of Pocahontas as the county seat of Randolph County.
Randolph County is famous for many "firsts": Arkansas' oldest town, Davidsonville, was established in 1815. The first Arkansas post office was built in Davidsonville in 1817, and the first state courthouse was established in 1818. The earliest land claim was in 1809 near what is now Ravenden Springs. The first actual term of court convened in Arkansas was in 1815 in a part of Lawrence County that was given over to Randolph County. And the country's first overland route, the Natchitoches Trail, went through parts of Randolph County.
In 1835 the Territorial Legislature granted the formation of Randolph County from part of the area then called Lawrence County. The county was named after John Randolph who was one of the first settlers in the area.
Randolph County encompasses the rolling hills of the Ozarks to the west and rich, flat farmland of the Delta to the east. Five rivers flow through the county providing access to fishing and canoeing. Soybeans, rice and other grains are the principle crops in the Delta region, while cattle ranching dominates the hill country. The poultry industry is also a vital part of the area economy.
The industrial base is diversified with products such as shoes, large truck trailers, technical components for communications, picture frames, golf bags and luggage, tool boxes, wood products and many more.
Pocahontas is the county seat with a population of 6,616. The other 10,407 residents of Randolph County live in the rural areas and five incorporated communities - Maynard, Biggers, Reyno, Ravenden Springs, and O'kean.
Local legend holds that Pocahontas was named the county seat through an act of trickery. Supposedly, at the county meeting to determine which city would receive the honor, the delegation from Pocahontas brought in large quantities of alcohol and distributed them to the other delegations. When the time came to vote, the only delegation that was not passed out or otherwise influenced, was that from Pocahontas.
Pocahontas is located at .(36.263560, -90.973349)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.6 square miles (20 km2), of which, 7.3 square miles (19 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (2.78%) is water.
List Of Highways
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,518 people, 2,693 households, and 1,742 families residing in the city. The population density was 886.6 people per square mile (342.4/km²). There were 2,924 housing units at an average density of 397.7 per square mile (153.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.27% Caucasian, 1.10% Black or African American, 0.44% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.20% from other races, and 0.91% from two or more races. 0.89% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,693 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.0% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 21.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 84.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $24,450, and the median income for a family was $29,525. Males had a median income of $26,382 versus $18,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,529. About 15.6% of families and 18.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.9% of those under age 18 and 16.5% of those age 65 or over.
- Edwin Bethune, a former member of the United States House of Representatives, Bethune graduated from Pocahontas High School but left the community in 1972. He was elected to Congress from the 2nd Congressional District in Arkansas (Randolph County falls under the 1st District)
- Wear Schoonover, Pocahontas native, was the first University of Arkansas athlete in any sport named to an all American team. Schoonover starred as a wide receiver for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks in 1927-1929. He was named All American in 1929. Schoonover was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1967. All Southwest Conference in basketball, he also excelled at college baseball and track and field and achieved the highest GPA (pre-law) of any Arkansas athlete through the 1980s. His name is reflected by the title of the local high school basketball court (Schoonover Fieldhouse) as well as the high school football field (Schoonover Stadium).
- Dr. Larry P. Arnn, a Pocahontas native, is currently president of Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Mich. He was co-founder of Claremont Institute, Claremont, Calif. and served as its president from its founding in 1985 until his appointment as Hillsdale president in 2000. While studying at Oxford University, Arnn served as Director of Research for Sir Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill.
- Billy Lee Riley, Pocahontas native, son of Sun Records and Rock and Roll pioneer.
- Edward J. Steimel, Louisiana political activist and researcher and Pocahontas native
Pocahontas is home to the Pocahontas Public Schools, which are made up of Alma Spikes Elementary School, M. D. Williams Intermediate School, Pocahontas Junior High School and Pocahontas High School. Pocahontas' school mascot is the Redskins. Pocahontas is home to St Paul Elementary School. A private Catholic school serving pre-k through 6th grade. St Paul's mascot is the Sabres.
Pocahontas is the home of Black River Technical College.
Pocahontas is also home to KPOC/KRLW/KIYS Radio stations. The stations' "better known names" are as follows: KPOC-FM is better known as Lite 104.1 FM; KPOC is News Sports Talk 1420 AM; KIYS is Country 106.3 FM; and KRLW is Oldies 1320 AM. While the KRLW & KIYS radio stations are broadcast centrally to the Walnut Ridge/Hoxie area (a neighboring community roughly 15 miles away), the actual broadcasting location as well as main offices are centered with KPOC inside of Pocahontas. The stations are operated by Combined Media Group, Inc.
Downtown Pocahontas consists of a 17 block area that has been designated a National Historic Commercial District. Pocahontas is also a Preserve America Community. Pocahontas is home to the Imperial Dinner theatre, Studio for the Arts, and Randolph Music Theatre.
- "Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Arkansas" (CSV). 2005 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 21, 2006. Retrieved November 16, 2006.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Hillsdale College Biography, Dr. Larry Arnn, http://www.hillsdale.edu/academics/display_profile.asp?cid=858989576
- Ozark Weather & Radar
- Randolph County Heritage Museum
- Downtown Art Association of Pocahontas
- Eddie Mae Herron Center - Museum of African American History and Heritage and Community Center
- Randolph County Tourism Association
- Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture entry: Pocahontas (Randolph County)