Blytheville, Arkansas

Last updated
Blytheville, Arkansas
Blytheville City Park Blytheville AR 008.jpg
Mississippi County Arkansas Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Blytheville Highlighted 0507330.svg
Location of Blytheville in Mississippi County, Arkansas.
Coordinates: 35°55′51″N89°54′50″W / 35.93083°N 89.91389°W / 35.93083; -89.91389 Coordinates: 35°55′51″N89°54′50″W / 35.93083°N 89.91389°W / 35.93083; -89.91389
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Mississippi
Government
  MayorJames Sanders
Area
[1]
  Total20.80 sq mi (53.87 km2)
  Land20.74 sq mi (53.71 km2)
  Water0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)
Elevation
256 ft (78 m)
Population
  Total15,620
  Estimate 
(2017) [2]
14,051
  Density677.55/sq mi (261.60/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
72315, 72316, 72319
Area code(s) 870
FIPS code 05-07330
GNIS feature ID0057402
Website www.cityofblytheville.com
That Bookstore in Blytheville is reputedly one of John Grisham's favorites ThatBookstoreInBlythevilleAR.jpg
That Bookstore in Blytheville is reputedly one of John Grisham's favorites
The Greyhound Bus Station is one of eight sites in Blytheville listed on the National Register of Historic Places Blytheville Greyhound Bus Station.jpg
The Greyhound Bus Station is one of eight sites in Blytheville listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Blytheville is the largest city in Mississippi County, Arkansas, United States. Blytheville is approximately 60 miles (100 km) north of West Memphis. The population was 18,272 at the 2000 census.

Mississippi County, Arkansas County in the United States

Mississippi County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 46,480. There are two county seats, Blytheville and Osceola. The county was formed on November 1, 1833, and named for the Mississippi River which borders the county to the east. Mississippi County is part of the First Congressional District in Arkansas. The Mississippi County Judge is Terri Brassfield.

Arkansas State of the United States of America

Arkansas is a state in the southern region of the United States, home to over 3 million people as of 2018. Its name is of Siouan derivation from the language of the Osage denoting their related kin, the Quapaw Indians. The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.

West Memphis, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

West Memphis is the largest city in Crittenden County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 26,245 at the 2010 census, ranking it as the state's 18th largest city, behind Bella Vista. It is part of the Memphis metropolitan area, and is located directly across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee.

Contents

History

Blytheville was founded by Methodist clergyman Henry T. Blythe in 1879. It received a post office in 1879, was incorporated in 1889, and became the county seat for the northern half of Mississippi County (Chickasawba District) in 1901. Blytheville received telephone service and electricity in 1903, and natural gas service in 1950. [3]

Forestry was an early industry, spurred by the massive harvesting of lumber needed to rebuild Chicago following the Great Fire of 1871. The lumber industry brought sawmills and a rowdy crowd, and the area was known for its disreputable saloon culture during the 1880s and 1890s. [3]

Great Chicago Fire city fire

The Great Chicago Fire was a conflagration that burned in the American city of Chicago from October 8–10, 1871. The fire killed approximately 300 people, destroyed roughly 3.3 square miles (9 km2) of the city, and left more than 100,000 residents homeless. The fire began in a neighborhood southwest of the city center. A long period of hot, dry, windy conditions, and the wooden construction prevalent in the city lead to a conflagration. The fire leapt the south branch of the Chicago River and destroyed much of central Chicago, and then leapt the main branch of the river consuming the near north side.

The cleared forests enabled cotton farming to take hold, encouraged by ongoing levee building and waterway management; the population grew significantly after 1900. On Blytheville's western edge lies one of the largest cotton gins in North America, and soybeans and rice have also become important crops. [3]

The area around Blytheville continues to be farmed, though family farms have given way to large factory operations. [3]

In the 1980s, Blytheville began to develop an industrial base, much of which centered on the steel industry.

Until 1991, Blytheville was home to Blytheville Air Force Base (later renamed Eaker Air Force Base), a major airfield that was part of the Strategic Air Command.

Blytheville Air Force Base

Blytheville Air Force Base was a United States Air Force base from 1942 until it closed in 1992. It was renamed in 1988 to be Eaker Air Force Base. It was located 3 miles (4.8 km) northwest of Blytheville, Arkansas. The facility is now operated as the Arkansas International Airport.

Strategic Air Command 1946-1992 United States Air Force major command; predecessor of Air Force Global Strike Command

Strategic Air Command (SAC) was both a United States Department of Defense (DoD) Specified Command and a United States Air Force (USAF) Major Command (MAJCOM), responsible for Cold War command and control of two of the three components of the U.S. military's strategic nuclear strike forces, the so-called "nuclear triad," with SAC having control of land-based strategic bomber aircraft and intercontinental ballistic missiles or ICBMs.

James Sanders is Blytheville's mayor, and the first African-American to serve in that position.

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1900 302
1910 3,8491,174.5%
1920 6,44767.5%
1930 10,09856.6%
1940 10,6525.5%
1950 16,23452.4%
1960 20,79728.1%
1970 24,75219.0%
1980 23,844−3.7%
1990 22,906−3.9%
2000 18,272−20.2%
2010 15,620−14.5%
Est. 201714,051 [2] −10.0%
U.S. Decennial Census [4]
2014 Estimate [5]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 15,620 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 55.9% Black, 38.8% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% from some other race and 1.2% from two or more races. 3.0% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the census [6] of 2000, there were 18,272 people, 7,001 households, and 4,746 families residing in the city. The population density was 887.5 people per square mile (342.6/km²). There were 8,533 housing units at an average density of 414.5 per square mile (160.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 45.15% White, 52.15% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.48% from other races, and 1.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.31% of the population.

There were 7,001 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.3% were married couples living together, 20.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.2% were non-families. 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.16.

In the city, the population was spread out with 29.9% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,683, and the median income for a family was $32,816. Males had a median income of $30,889 versus $20,710 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,426. About 23.3% of families and 28.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.2% of those under age 18 and 17.4% of those age 65 or over.

Blytheville's population continues to decline. The 2010 Census reported Blytheville's population at 15,620, and the 2014 Census estimate is 14,884. The 2015 City-data.com crime index for Blytheville, Arkansas is 946.2. The U.S. average is only 284.1. [7]

Geography

Blytheville is situated along the New Madrid Seismic Zone.

Blytheville is located at 35°55′51″N89°54′50″W / 35.93083°N 89.91389°W / 35.93083; -89.91389 (35.930735, -89.913940). [8] It is the easternmost settlement in the state of Arkansas. [9]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.6 square miles (53 km2), of which 20.6 square miles (53 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.29%) is water.

List Of Highways:

Climate

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Blytheville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. [10]

Notable employers

Nucor, a large steel manufacturer, operates two facilities east of the town near the Mississippi River.

Aviation Repair Technologies (ART) is headquartered at Arkansas International Airport in Blytheville and employs approximately 120 employees. It performs heavy aircraft maintenance, aircraft engine disassembly, aircraft disassembly, and aircraft storage. Its aircraft repair services are focused on turboprop, regional jet, and narrowbody aircraft such as the ATR 42, ATR 72, Dash 8, Q400, ERJ, CRJ, MD80 and 737. Its engine tear down operation specializes in CFM56, CF6-80, and CF6-50 engine types. [11] In February 2015, ART laid off between 50 and 75 employees. [12]

Tenaris, a global manufacturer and supplier of seamless and welded steel pipe products, operates 4 ERW (electric resistance welded) pipe manufacturing, threading and coating facilities. In January 2015, Tenaris laid off about 300 employees. [13] In January 2016, Tenaris laid off 100 more employees. [14]

Education

Blytheville Public Schools serves the city. The schools include:

The community is also served by Armorel Public Schools, Gosnell Public Schools and KIPP: Blytheville Charter School.[ citation needed ]

A Catholic school, Immaculate Conception School, operated in Blytheville until its 2007 closure. [15]

Blytheville is home to Arkansas Northeastern College (formerly Mississippi County Community College until its merger with Cotton Boll Technical Institute). It offers a two-year program, and is the nation's first community college with a solar photovoltaic prototype facility.

Notable people

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References

  1. "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Aug 22, 2018.
  2. 1 2 "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" . Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Keffer, Rigel (2012). "Blytheville (Mississippi County)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture.
  4. "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  5. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Archived from the original on 2015-05-22. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  6. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. "Crime in Blytheville, Arkansas (AR): murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, arson, law enforcement employees, police officers, crime map". www.city-data.com. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  8. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  9. "EXTREME SETTLEMENTS: A COMPREHENSIVE LIST". Weekend Roady. 2013-05-02. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
  10. "Climate Summary for Blytheville, Arkansas". Weatherbase.com. Retrieved 2014-06-16.
  11. "Aviation Repair Technologies (ART) - Aircraft Engine Disassembly - CFM56, CF6-80, CF6-50". Aviation Repair Technologies. Archived from the original on 2009-09-23.
  12. http://www.couriernews.net/story/2168592.html |Blytheville Courier News. Retrieved 2015-02-21
  13. http://wreg.com/2015/01/09/blytheville-mill-cuts-300-jobs \ |WREG Memphis. Retrieved 2015-02-08/
  14. http://www.blythevillecourier.com/story/2268060.html \ Blytheville Courier News. Retrieved 2016-01-16
  15. Hargett, Malea (2013-03-28). "Despite 'year of grace,' St. Joseph School will close". Arkansas Catholic . Retrieved 2017-07-31.
  16. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2015-11-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  17. "the_staff". Raleigh Review. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  18. hammond, raymond. "NYQ Poets - Rob Greene". poets.nyq.org. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  19. "Rob Greene". pw.org. Retrieved 14 April 2018.

Further reading