Clay County, Arkansas

Last updated
Clay County, Arkansas
Sheeks House.jpg
Map of Arkansas highlighting Clay County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of Arkansas
Map of USA AR.svg
Arkansas's location within the U.S.
FoundedMarch 24, 1873
Seat Corning (western district);
Piggott (eastern district)
Largest cityPiggott
Area
  Total641 sq mi (1,660 km2)
  Land639 sq mi (1,655 km2)
  Water2.0 sq mi (5 km2), 0.3%
Population (est.)
  (2016)14,920
  Density25/sq mi (10/km2)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC−6/−5
Website claycounty.arkansas.gov

Clay County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,083. [1] The county has two county seats, Corning and Piggott. [2] It is a dry county, in which the sale of alcoholic beverages is restricted or prohibited.

County (United States) Subdivision used by most states in the United States of America

In the United States, an administrative or political subdivision of a state is a county, which is a region having specific boundaries and usually some level of governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 U.S. states, while Louisiana and Alaska have functionally equivalent subdivisions called parishes and boroughs respectively.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

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.

Contents

History

When Clay County was created as Arkansas's 67th county on March 24, 1873 (along with Baxter County), it was named Clayton County, after John M. Clayton, then a member of the Arkansas Senate and a brother of then-U.S. Senator Powell Clayton, [3] though some sources suggest it may have been named for Powell Clayton instead. [4]

Baxter County, Arkansas County in the United States

Baxter County is a county in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the county's population was 41,513. The county seat is Mountain Home. It is Arkansas's 66th county, formed on March 24, 1873, and named for Elisha Baxter, the tenth governor of Arkansas.

John M. Clayton (Arkansas) Union United States Army officer

John Middleton Clayton was an American politician who served as a Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives for Jefferson County from 1871 to 1873 and the Arkansas State Senate for Jefferson County. In 1888, he ran for Congressman but lost to Clifton R. Breckinridge. Clayton challenged the results and was assassinated in 1889 during the challenge to the election. He was declared the winner of the election posthumously. The identity of his assassin remains unknown.

Arkansas Senate upper house of the Arkansas General Assembly

The Arkansas Senate is the upper branch of the Arkansas General Assembly. The Senate consists of 35 members, each representing a district with about 83,000 people. Service in the state legislature is part-time, and many state senators have full-time jobs during the rest of the year. During the current term, the Senate contains twenty-six Republicans, and nine Democrats.

Two years later on December 6, 1875, [5] the county's name was shortened to "Clay" by the Arkansas General Assembly. Some claim it was renamed for the statesman Henry Clay, [3] [4] while others say John M. Clayton remained its official namesake. [6] The name change apparently was inspired by lingering distrust of Powell Clayton, as he had declared martial law and suspended elections in the county in 1868 when he was Governor of Arkansas and it was still part of Greene County. [3]

Arkansas General Assembly legislature of Arkansas

The Arkansas General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Arkansas. The legislature is a bicameral body composed of the upper house Arkansas Senate with 35 members, and the lower Arkansas House of Representatives with 100 members. All 135 representatives and state senators represent an equal amount of constituent districts. The General Assembly convenes on the second Monday of every other year. A session lasts for 60 days unless the legislature votes to extend it. The Governor of Arkansas can issue a "call" for a special session during the interims between regular sessions. The General Assembly meets at the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.

Henry Clay American politician

Henry Clay Sr. was an American attorney and statesman who represented Kentucky in both the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives, served as 7th speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and served as the 9th U.S. secretary of state. He received electoral votes for president in the 1824, 1832, and 1844 presidential elections and helped found both the National Republican Party and the Whig Party. For his role in defusing sectional crises, he earned the appellation of the "Great Compromiser."

Martial law temporary state of government wherein curfews, the suspension of civil law, civil rights, and habeas corpus are suspended, and the application of military law is extended to civilians

Martial law is the imposition of direct military control of normal civilian functions of government, especially in response to a temporary emergency such as invasion or major disaster, or in an occupied territory.

The first county seat was Corning, [7] established in 1873, with the arrival of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway, as the first incorporated town in the county. The county seat was moved to Boydsville in 1877, because people living east of the Black and Cache Rivers had difficulty getting to Corning during the flood season. However, this caused problems for those living west of the rivers, and in 1881 Corning was re-established as the seat of the Western District, with Boydsville remaining the seat for the Eastern District. With the arrival of the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railroad in 1882, other towns such as Greenway, Rector and Piggott experienced growth. In 1887, the Eastern District seat was moved to Piggott, and the dual county seat system remains in place today. [8] Important county functions (such as the Quorum Court) alternate between Piggott and Corning as their venues.

A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Taiwan and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and historically in Jamaica.

Missouri Pacific Railroad defunct American Class I railroad

The Missouri Pacific Railroad, commonly abbreviated as MoPac and nicknamed The Mop, was one of the first railroads in the United States west of the Mississippi River. MoPac was a Class I railroad growing from dozens of predecessors and mergers, including the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway (SLIMS), Texas and Pacific Railway (TP), Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad (C&EI), St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway (SLBM), Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway (KO&G), Midland Valley Railroad (MV), San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad (SAU&G), Gulf Coast Lines (GC), International-Great Northern Railroad (IGN), New Orleans, Texas and Mexico Railway (NOTM), Missouri-Illinois Railroad (MI), as well as the small Central Branch Railway, and joint ventures such as the Alton and Southern Railroad (AS).

St. Louis Southwestern Railway defunct American railway (1891–1992)

The St. Louis Southwestern Railway, known by its nickname of "The Cotton Belt Route" or simply Cotton Belt, is a former US Class I railroad which operated between St. Louis, Missouri, and various points in the states of Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Texas from 1891 to 1980. In 1980 the Cotton Belt began operating the Rock Island's Golden State Route which added the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico to the operation. Operation of the Cotton Belt was assumed by parent Southern Pacific in 1992.

In the early 20th century, Clay, Greene, and Craighead counties had sundown town policies forbidding African Americans from living in the area. [9]

Greene County, Arkansas County in the United States

Greene County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 42,090. The county seat is Paragould, which sits atop Crowley's Ridge.

Craighead County, Arkansas County in the United States

Craighead County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 96,443. The county has two county seats — Jonesboro and Lake City. Craighead County is Arkansas's 58th county, formed on February 19, 1859, and named for state Senator Thomas Craighead. It is one of several dry counties within the state of Arkansas, in which the sale of alcoholic beverages is largely prohibited.

Sundown town all-white municipalities that practice a form of segregation

Sundown towns, also known as sunset towns or gray towns, are all-white municipalities or neighborhoods in the United States that practice a form of segregation -- historically by enforcing restrictions excluding people not white Anglo-Saxon Protestants via some combination of discriminatory local laws, intimidation, and violence. The term came from signs posted that "colored people" had to leave town by sundown."At least until the early 1960s, …northern states could be nearly as inhospitable to black travelers as states like Alabama or Georgia."

On April 6, 1972, Sheriff Douglas Batey and deputies Glen Ray Archer and Troy Key were shot and killed while trying to serve a warrant on Bert Grissom. Grissom opened fire as soon as the men stepped out of their car. He later surrendered without resistance to another deputy, and was tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison. William Thomas Pond became sheriff, but he died in an automobile accident on June 8, 1973. Four of the five police officers who have lost their lives serving the Clay County Sheriff's Office died in these two incidents.

Sheriffs in the United States

In the United States, a sheriff is an official in a county or independent city responsible for keeping the peace and enforcing the law. Unlike most officials in law enforcement in the United States, sheriffs are usually elected, although many states have state laws requiring that a person possess certain law enforcement qualifications before being able to run for the office. Elected sheriffs are accountable directly to the constitution of their state, the United States Constitution, statutes, and the citizens of their county.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 641 square miles (1,660 km2), of which 639 square miles (1,660 km2) is land and 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2) (0.3%) is water. [10]

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1880 7,213
1890 12,20069.1%
1900 15,88630.2%
1910 23,69049.1%
1920 27,27615.1%
1930 27,2780.0%
1940 28,3864.1%
1950 26,674−6.0%
1960 21,258−20.3%
1970 18,771−11.7%
1980 20,6169.8%
1990 18,107−12.2%
2000 17,609−2.8%
2010 16,083−8.7%
Est. 201614,920 [11] −7.2%
U.S. Decennial Census [12]
1790–1960 [13] 1900–1990 [14]
1990–2000 [15] 2010–2016 [1]
Age pyramid Clay County USA Clay County, Arkansas age pyramid.svg
Age pyramid Clay County

As of the 2000 census, [17] there were 17,609 people, 7,417 households, and 5,073 families residing in the county. The population density was 28 people per square mile (11/km²). There were 8,498 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.08% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 0.69% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.15% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. 0.80% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,417 households out of which 28.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.60% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.60% were non-families. 28.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.70% 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 23.10% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 25.30% from 25 to 44, 24.60% from 45 to 64, and 19.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $25,345, and the median income for a family was $32,558. Males had a median income of $24,375 versus $17,146 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,512. About 13.40% of families and 17.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.20% of those under age 18 and 22.70% of those age 65 or over.

Government

County officials

Presidential elections results
Clay County, Arkansas
voteby party in presidential elections [18]
Year GOP Dem Others
2016 72.71%3,78123.06% 1,1994.23% 220
2012 63.11%3,22534.01% 1,7382.88% 147
2008 55.02%3,03240.72% 2,2444.26% 235
2004 45.26% 2,75953.54%3,2641.20% 73
2000 38.20% 2,25459.78%3,5272.02% 119
1996 25.79% 1,51265.63%3,8488.58% 503
1992 23.26% 1,64768.47%4,8488.26% 585
1988 44.33% 2,76655.16%3,4420.51% 32
1984 53.02%3,76746.15% 3,2790.83% 59
1980 42.17% 3,09154.37%3,9853.46% 254
1976 25.05% 1,89374.95%5,664
1972 69.39%4,38130.61% 1,9330.00% 0
1968 37.91%2,41026.16% 1,66335.94% 2,285
1964 37.57% 1,99961.64%3,2800.79% 42
1960 55.67%2,54341.77% 1,9082.56% 117
1956 41.60% 1,71157.57%2,3680.83% 34
1952 47.75% 2,10551.66%2,2770.59% 26
1948 28.41% 87866.94%2,0694.66% 144
1944 42.31% 1,42257.54%1,9340.15% 5
1940 37.03% 1,02960.31%1,6762.66% 74
1936 30.83% 79568.94%1,7780.23% 6
1932 17.22% 39782.00%1,8910.78% 18
1928 46.31% 1,25452.99%1,4350.70% 19
1924 39.85% 1,08452.54%1,4297.61% 207
1920 43.99% 1,53650.83%1,7755.18% 181
1916 33.29% 97366.71%1,9500.00% 0
1912 24.91% 62252.02%1,29923.07% 576
1908 38.08% 1,00957.62%1,5274.30% 114
1904 42.03% 75254.11%9683.86% 69
1900 34.15% 62765.09%1,1950.76% 14
1896 23.35% 47575.57%1,5371.08% 22

Economy

Agriculture is the cornerstone of Clay County's economy. Farmers throughout the county grow a wide variety of crops. Rice is the dominant crop, but significant amounts of cotton, soybeans, corn, hay, and milo are also grown. Industry is limited to a handful of factories located in the cities of Piggott, Corning, and Rector.

Education

Public education of elementary and secondary school students is provided by:

Communities

[19]

Cities

Towns

Unincorporated community

Townships

Townships in Clay County, Arkansas as of 2010 Clay County Arkansas 2010 Township Map large.jpg
Townships in Clay 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 Clay County are listed below; listed in parentheses are the cities, towns, and/or census-designated place s that are fully or partially inside the township. [20] [21]

See also

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Greenway is a city in Clay County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 209 at the 2010 census.

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Rector, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Rector is a city in Clay County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 1,977 at the 2010 census.

References

  1. 1 2 "State & County & pie QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. 1 2 3 Clay County (Encyclopedia of Arkansas)
  4. 1 2 Brief History of Clay County, Arkansas (CouchGenWeb.com) Archived 2010-10-28 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Stout, Scot (2012-03-07). "Early History of the County Seats and Courthouses of Clay County, Arkansas". ARGenWeb: Arkansas Genealogy Resources Online. The ARGenWeb Project. Retrieved 2012-05-08.
  6. Clay County (Local.Arkansas.gov) ("Senator James M. Clayton", probably referring to John M. Clayton)
  7. http://www.argenweb.net/clay/
  8. Rector Waterworks Building. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-28. Retrieved 2013-05-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link), Retrieved on May 23, 2013.
  9. Neville, A. W. (March 2, 1945). "Backward Glances". The Paris News. Paris, Texas. p. 4 via Newspapers.com. On the survey from Bird's Point, Mo., to Jonesboro, Ark., I had a Negro cook. As Negroes were not allowed to live in Clay, Greene and Craighead Counties, Ark., my cook was a curiosity to the children. The women used to bring the children to camp to see him.
  10. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  11. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" . Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  12. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  13. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  14. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  15. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  16. Based on 2000 census data
  17. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  18. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections" . Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  19. https://ualr.edu/aedi/census-state-data-center/arkansas-census-data/
  20. 2011 Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS): Clay County, AR (PDF) (Map). U. S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  21. "Arkansas: 2010 Census Block Maps - County Subdivision". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved May 27, 2014.

Coordinates: 36°22′39″N90°26′07″W / 36.37750°N 90.43528°W / 36.37750; -90.43528