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Coordinates: 34°16′27″N 91°23′02″W / 34.27417°N 91.38389°W / 34.27417; -91.38389

Arkansas County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 19,019.[3] Located in the Arkansas Delta, the county has two county seats, De Witt and Stuttgart.[4]

Arkansas County, Arkansas
Arkansas County, Arkansas montage.png
Map of Arkansas highlighting Arkansas County
Location in the U.S. state of Arkansas
Map of the United States highlighting Arkansas
Arkansas's location in the U.S.
Founded December 13, 1813[1]
Named for Arkansas tribe
Seat Stuttgart (north district);
De Witt (south district)
Largest city Stuttgart
Area
 • Total 1,033.79[2] sq mi (2,678 km2)
 • Land 988.49[2] sq mi (2,560 km2)
 • Water 45.30[2] sq mi (117 km2), 4.4%[2]
Population (est.)
 • (2016) 18,214
 • Density 19/sq mi (7/km2)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC−6/−5

The first of the state's 75 present-day counties to be created, Arkansas County was formed on December 13, 1813, when this area was part of the Missouri Territory. It is named after the Arkansas (or Quapaw) Indian tribe, which occupied this area. The riverfront areas in the Arkansas Delta were developed for cotton plantations, based on the use of enslaved African Americans. Cotton was the major commodity crop before and after the Civil War. Other crops such as soybeans are also cultivated now, in industrial-scale production.

Arkansas County is one of seven current-day counties in the United States to share the same name as the state in which they are locate (the other six counties are Hawaii County, Idaho County, Iowa County, New York County, Oklahoma County, and Utah County).[5]

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
Depiction of the Battle of Arkansas Post, the only battle of the American Revolution fought in Arkansas

Louisiana Purchase and Territorial ArkansasEdit

The county was created by the Missouri Territorial Legislature on December 31, 1813. The original boundaries were New Madrid County to the north, Louisiana to the south, the Mississippi River to the east, and the Indian Boundary Line south of Fort Clark to the west.[6]

Statehood and Antebellum ArkansasEdit

The county seat was moved from Arkansas Post to DeWitt, a newly established town created at the request of the Arkansas County Quorum Court on February 19, 1853.[7] County government officially held court in October 1855 for the first time in DeWitt.

This area was developed for cotton plantations, based on enslaved African-American workers.

Citizens of the county supported the Secession Convention to discuss secession from the Union in 1861 by a 80% to 20% margin. The anti-immediate secession delegates negotiated a compromise to put the question on the statewide ballot in August, but to remain in the Union. Following Abraham Lincoln's request for troops following the Battle of Fort Sumter, citizens of several counties, including Arkansas County, formed a militia and stormed Little Rock to serve the Confederate government.[8]

Civil War and ReconstructionEdit

Arkansas County initially send two companies of militiamen to Little Rock to serve in what would become the 1st Arkansas Infantry Regiment. Company H, known as "The Crockett Rifles" and Company K, known as "The DeWitt Guards". A third company would join the 6th Arkansas Infantry Regiment as the "Dixie Grays".[9]

There were tensions in the aftermath of the Civil War, as whites and freedmen struggled to negotiate working within a free labor system.

The New SouthEdit

In the post-Reconstruction era, whites directed considerable violence against African Americans, in an effort to restore and maintain white supremacy after Democrats regained power. At the turn of the century, the state legislature passed measures that effectively disenfranchised most blacks for decades. The Equal Justice Initiative reported in 2015 that the county had 18 lynchings of African Americans from 1877-1950,[10] most in the decades near the turn of the 20th century. This was the highest of any county other than Phillips, where the Elaine Race Riot is believed to have resulted in more than 200 deaths of African Americans.[10] To escape the violence, thousands of African Americans left the state in the Great Migration to northern cities.

GeographyEdit

Top: Aerial view of Arkansas Post National Memorial, showing the intersection of flat agricultural fields of the Grand Prairie (bottom of photo), and the confluence of the Arkansas and White Rivers, with typical forested riparian boundary, trees, and oxbow lakes.
Bottom: Rice field near Stuttgart

Arkansas County is located in the Arkansas Delta (in Arkansas, usually referred to as "the Delta") a subregion of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, which is a flat area consisting of rich, fertile sediment deposits from the Mississippi River between Louisiana and Illinois.[11]

Within the Delta, Arkansas County is almost entirely within the Grand Prairie subregion, historically a flat grassland plain underlain by an impermeable clay layer (the Stuttgart soil series). Prior to the 19th century, flatter areas with slowly to very slowly permeable soils (often containing fragipans) supported Arkansas’s largest prairie, covered in prairie grasses and forbs, with oaks covering the low hills and ridges, and pockets of floodplains with bottomland hardwood forests. This region was a sharp contrast to the bottomland forests that once dominated other parts of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. Cropland has now largely replaced the native vegetation. Distinctively, rice is the main crop; soybeans, cotton, corn, and wheat are also grown. The rice fields provide habitat and forage for large numbers and many species of waterfowl; duck and goose hunting occurs at this important spot along the Mississippi Flyway.[12]

Two different ecoregions border the Grand Prairie along the major rivers forming the county's east and southern boundaries: the Arkansas River Holocene Meander Belt and the Western Lowlands Holocene Meanders. These areas of flat floodplain contain the meander belts of the present and past watercourses, point bars, natural levees, swales, and abandoned river channels. Some of the most extensive remaining tracts of native bottomland hardwood forest in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain remain along these rivers. Along the banks of the White River in Arkansas County, these forests are preserved in the White River National Wildlife Refuge.[13]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,033.79 square miles (2,677.5 km2), of which 988.49 square miles (2,560.2 km2) is land and 45.30 square miles (117.3 km2) (4.4%) is water.[2]

The county is located approximately 55 miles (89 km) east of Little Rock, 112 miles (180 km) southwest of Memphis, Tennessee, and 367 miles (591 km) northeast of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (DFW) in Texas.[Note 1] Arkansas County is surrounded by Prairie County to the north, Monroe County to the northeast, Phillips County to the east, Desha County to the south, Lincoln County to the southwest, Jefferson County to the west, and Lonoke County to the northwest.

HydrologyEdit

 
Bald cypress trees along the shores of Lower White Lake

Water is an extremely important part of Arkansas County's geography, history, economy, and culture. The many rivers, streams, and ditches crossing the county have featured prominently since prehistoric times, and many of the hundreds of archaeological sites, including the Menard-Hodges Site, are along waterways. The navigability of the Arkansas River has been important for every civilization in Arkansas County since prehistory. Tribes of Quapaw, Casqui, and Mississippian cultures were settled in the area along the rivers. Three major rivers form much of the county's boundaries: Arkansas River, Bayou Meto, and the White River. Within the county, La Grue Bayou is an important watercourse.

Rivers brought early prosperity to the county during white settlement for navigation. The county saw battles for control of the rivers during the American Revolution in 1783 at the Battle of Arkansas Post, and the Civil War in 1862 and 1863 in the Battle of Saint Charles and Battle of Arkansas Post, respectively.

Protected areasEdit

DemographicsEdit

The peak of population in the rural county was 1940. Mechanization and industrial-scale agriculture reduced the number of farm workers, and people have moved away because of the lack of opportunities.

Census Pop.
1830 1,426
1840 1,346 −5.6%
1850 3,245 141.1%
1860 8,844 172.5%
1870 8,268 −6.5%
1880 8,038 −2.8%
1890 11,432 42.2%
1900 12,973 13.5%
1910 16,103 24.1%
1920 21,483 33.4%
1930 22,300 3.8%
1940 24,437 9.6%
1950 23,665 −3.2%
1960 23,355 −1.3%
1970 23,347 0.0%
1980 24,175 3.5%
1990 21,653 −10.4%
2000 20,749 −4.2%
2010 19,019 −8.3%
Est. 2016 18,214 [15] −4.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[16]
1790–1960[17] 1900–1990[18]
1990–2000[19] 2010–2016[3]

2010 CensusEdit

As of the 2010 census,[20] there were 19,019 people, 8,005 households, and 5,306 families residing in the county. The population density was 18 people per square mile (7/km²). There were 9,436 housing units at an average density of 9 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 71.8% White, 24.5% Black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 0% Pacific Islander, 1.7% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. 2.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,005 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 28.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.7 years. For every 100 females there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.9 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,230, and the median income for a family was $48,698. Males had a median income of $37,489 versus $25,607 for females.[21] The per capita income for the county was $22,142. About 13.1% of families and 18.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.5% of those under age 18 and 16.7% of those age 65 or over.[22]

2000 CensusEdit

 
Age pyramid Arkansas County[23]

As of the 2000 census,[24] there were 20,749 people, 8,457 households, and 5,970 families residing in the county. The population density was 21 people per square mile (8/km²). There were 9,672 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 75.19% White, 23.36% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.21% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. 0.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,457 households out of which 31.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 13.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.40% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.80% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 26.30% from 25 to 44, 24.40% from 45 to 64, and 16.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 90.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,316, and the median income for a family was $36,472. Males had a median income of $28,914 versus $21,127 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,401. About 14.10% of families and 17.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.80% of those under age 18 and 15.50% of those age 65 or over.

In 2000, the largest denominational group was the Evangelical Protestants (with 10,229 adherents) and Mainline Protestants (with 3,593 adherents).[25] The largest religious bodies were The Southern Baptist Convention (with 5,103 members) and The United Methodist Church (with 2,750 members).[25]

Human resourcesEdit

EducationEdit

Educational attainment in Arkansas County is typical for a rural Arkansas county, with a 2016 study finding 82.5% of Arkansas County residents over age 25 held a high school degree or higher, below Arkansas and national averages of 85.2% and 87.0%, respectively. Arkansas County's proportion of population holding a bachelor's degree or higher is 14.4%, significantly below the state average of 21.5% and national average of 30.3%.[26]

Primary and secondary educationEdit

 
Public school district boundaries in Arkansas County as of July 2016

Two public school districts are based in Arkansas County: Stuttgart Public Schools is the larger of the two school districts in the county, with the DeWitt School District serving most of the rural area of the county. Successful completion of the curriculum of these schools leads to graduation from Stuttgart High School or DeWitt High School, respectively. Both high schools offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses and are accredited by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE).

Higher educationEdit

Within Arkansas County, two branch campuses of Phillips Community College (based in Helena-West Helena) are operated in De Witt and Stuttgart. Public four-year colleges in the area include the University of Arkansas at Monticello in Monticello, Southeast Arkansas College (SEARK) and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) in Pine Bluff, and several institutions in Little Rock.

Library systemEdit

 
William F. Foster Library in Stuttgart

The Arkansas County Library system is based in Stuttgart and contains three branches: Cleon Collier Memorial Library at 211 Main Street in Gillett, DeWitt Public Library at 205 West Maxwell, and the William F. Foster Stuttgart Public Library at 2002 South Buerkle.[27] All three libraries offers books, e-books, media, reference, youth, business and genealogy services.

Culture and contemporary lifeEdit

MediaEdit

The county newspaper is the Stuttgart Daily Leader, a daily newspaper established in Stuttgart in 1885. Former newspapers include The Free Press and The Stuttgart Republican.[28]

GovernmentEdit

Arkansas County vote
by party in presidential elections [29]
Year GOP Dem Others
2016 61.59% 3,826 31.21% 1,939 7.20% 447
2012 60.01% 3,897 37.80% 2,455 2.19% 142
2008 59.97% 4,185 37.53% 2,619 2.49% 174
2004 54.55% 3,789 44.77% 3,110 0.68% 47
2000 52.62% 3,353 45.15% 2,877 2.23% 142
1996 28.52% 1,910 63.00% 4,220 8.48% 568
1992 32.51% 2,594 59.01% 4,709 8.49% 677
1988 55.61% 4,007 42.68% 3,075 1.71% 123
1984 59.99% 4,804 39.37% 3,153 0.64% 51
1980 42.69% 3,409 53.89% 4,303 3.42% 273
1976 30.54% 2,480 69.46% 5,640
1972 73.46% 5,225 25.99% 1,849 0.55% 39
1968 23.76% 1,806 26.57% 2,019 49.67% 3,775
1964 53.92% 3,769 45.78% 3,200 0.30% 21
1960 38.42% 2,043 52.44% 2,789 9.14% 486
1956 50.15% 2,826 48.55% 2,736 1.30% 73
1952 50.34% 2,697 49.42% 2,648 0.24% 13
1948 21.96% 737 53.07% 1,781 24.97% 838
1944 37.48% 1,031 62.20% 1,711 0.33% 9
1940 23.69% 742 74.87% 2,345 1.44% 45
1936 14.47% 341 85.19% 2,008 0.34% 8
1932 14.55% 494 84.45% 2,867 1.00% 34
1928 41.10% 1,046 58.59% 1,491 0.31% 8
1924 36.15% 488 57.19% 772 6.67% 90
1920 50.23% 1,199 48.43% 1,156 1.34% 32
1916 35.39% 613 64.61% 1,119 0.00% 0
1912 16.95% 249 59.16% 869 23.89% 351
1908 40.19% 672 56.04% 937 3.77% 63
1904 36.24% 470 58.06% 753 5.71% 74
1900 37.31% 598 61.76% 990 0.94% 15
1896 31.57% 550 67.45% 1,175 0.98% 17

The county government is a constitutional body granted specific powers by the Constitution of Arkansas and the Arkansas Code. The quorum court is the legislative branch of the county government and controls all spending and revenue collection. Representatives are called justices of the peace and are elected from county districts every even-numbered year. The number of districts in a county vary from nine to fifteen, and district boundaries are drawn by the county election commission. The Arkansas County Quorum Court has eight members. Presiding over quorum court meetings is the county judge, who serves as the chief operating officer of the county. The county judge is elected at-large and does not vote in quorum court business, although capable of vetoing quorum court decisions.[30][31]

TaxationEdit

Property tax is assessed by the Arkansas County Assessor annually based upon the fair market value of the property and determining which tax rate, commonly called a millage in Arkansas, will apply. The rate depends upon the property's location with respect to city limits, school district, and special tax increment financing (TIF) districts. This tax is collected by the Arkansas County Collector between the first business day of March of each year through October 15th without penalty. The Arkansas County Treasurer disburses tax revenues to various government agencies, such as cities, county road departments, fire departments, libraries, and police departments in accordance with the budget set by the quorum court.

Sales and use taxes in Arkansas are voter approved and collected by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. Arkansas's statewide sales and use tax has been 6.5% since July 1, 2013.[32] Arkansas County has an additional sales and use tax of 1.0%, which has been in effect since January 1, 1998. Within Arkansas County, Almyra and Humphrey have an additional tax of 1.0%, St. Charles has an additional 2.0%, Gillett and Stuttgart an additional 3.0%, and DeWitt an additional 3.5% on top of county rates.[33] The Arkansas State Treasurer disburses tax revenue to counties/cities in accordance with tax rules.

CommunitiesEdit

CitiesEdit

TownsEdit

Unincorporated communitiesEdit

Historical communitiesEdit

TownshipsEdit

 
Townships in Arkansas County, Arkansas as of 2010

Townships in Arkansas are the divisions of a county. Each township includes unincorporated areas; some may have incorporated cities or towns within part of their boundaries. Arkansas townships have limited purposes in modern times. However, the United States Census does list Arkansas population based on townships (sometimes referred to as "county subdivisions" or "minor civil divisions"). Townships are also of value for historical purposes in terms of genealogical research. Each town or city is within one or more townships in an Arkansas county based on census maps and publications. The townships of Arkansas County are listed below; listed in parentheses are the cities, towns, and/or census-designated places that are fully or partially inside the township. [34][35]

InfrastructureEdit

AviationEdit

Almyra Municipal Airport is a public-use airport located in Arkansas County. It is three nautical miles (6 km) west of the central business district of Almyra, which owns the airport.[36]

Major highwaysEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Mileages from Arkansas County to Little Rock, Memphis, and DFW are based on highway miles using northern district county seat Stuttgart for Arkansas County.[14]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Pictorial" (1890), p. 823.
  2. ^ a b c d e Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation (2014-10-16). Arkansas County Polygons (SHP file) (Map). Arkansas GIS Office. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ Joseph Nathan Kane; Charles Curry Aiken (2005). The American Counties: Origins of County Names, Dates of Creation, and Population Data, 1950-2000. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-5036-1. 
  6. ^ "Pictorial" (1890), p. 823.
  7. ^ "Pictorial" (1890), p. 830.
  8. ^ "History" (1978), p. 142.
  9. ^ "History" (1978), pp. 142-143.
  10. ^ a b Lynching in America/ Supplement: Lynchings by County, 3rd Edition, 2015, p. 2
  11. ^ Clements, Derek Allen (January 23, 2016). "Randolph County". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved December 18, 2016. 
  12. ^   This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey document: Woods, A.J., Foti, T.L., Chapman, S.S., Omernik, J.M.; et al. "Ecoregions of Arkansas" (PDF). (color poster with map, descriptive text, summary tables, and photographs). 
  13. ^ Planning and Research Division (January 11, 2011) [September 30, 2009]. General Highway Map, Arkansas County, Arkansas (PDF) (Map). 1:62,500. Little Rock: Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. OCLC 908640315. Retrieved May 6, 2018. 
  14. ^ "Google Maps (Search for Stuttgart, AR)". Google. Retrieved May 6, 2018. 
  15. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  16. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  18. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  20. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 20, 2018. 
  21. ^ "Earnings in the Past 12 Months". United States Census Bureau. 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2018. 
  22. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics". United States Census Bureau. 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2018. 
  23. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  24. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  25. ^ a b "County Membership Reports". thearda.com. Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  26. ^ "American Community Survey". United States Census Bureau. July 1, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Arkansas County Libraries". Little Rock: Arkansas State Library. Retrieved February 5, 2018. 
  28. ^ "History" (1978), p. 12.
  29. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  30. ^ Teske, Steven (March 24, 2014). "Quorum Courts". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved January 23, 2016. 
  31. ^ Goss, Kay C. (August 28, 2015). "Office of County Judge". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved January 23, 2016. 
  32. ^ "State Tax Rates". Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. Archived from the original on December 23, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016. 
  33. ^ "List of Cities and Counties with Local Sales and Use Tax" (PDF). Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. April–June 2018. Retrieved May 6, 2018. 
  34. ^ 2011 Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS): Arkansas County, AR (PDF) (Map). United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  35. ^ "Arkansas: 2010 Census Block Maps - County Subdivision". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  36. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for M73 (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective 11 February 2010.
  • Halli Burton, W. H. (1978) [1903]. A topographical description and history of Arkansas County, Arkansas from 1541 to 1875 (Reproduced from Original ed.). Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press. ISBN 9780893080761. OCLC 733666219. 
  • Hempstead, Fay (1890). A Pictorial History of Arkansas: from earliest times to the year 1890. N. D. Thompson Publishing Company. p. 830. ISBN 9780893080747. OCLC 03582896. 
  • Staff of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension (2015). "Rural Profile of Arkansas" (PDF). Little Rock: University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Services. Retrieved December 5, 2016. 
  • Staff of the Arkansas Judiciary (February 28, 2018). "Arkansas Judicial Directory" (PDF). Little Rock: Arkansas Judiciary. Retrieved May 6, 2018. 

External linksEdit