Craighead County, Arkansas

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Craighead County, Arkansas
Court house Jonesboro AR 2012-08-26 001.jpg
Craighead County Courthouse, Jonesboro
Flag of Craighead County, Arkansas.svg
Seal of Craighead County, Arkansas.svg
Map of Arkansas highlighting Craighead County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of Arkansas
Map of USA AR.svg
Arkansas's location within the U.S.
FoundedFebruary 19, 1859
Named for Thomas Craighead
Seat Jonesboro (western district);
Lake City (eastern district)
Largest cityJonesboro
  Total713 sq mi (1,847 km2)
  Land707 sq mi (1,831 km2)
  Water5.5 sq mi (14 km2), 0.8%
Population (est.)
  Density136/sq mi (53/km2)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC−6/−5

Craighead County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 96,443. [1] The county has two county seatsJonesboro and Lake City. [2] 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.

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.


Craighead County is included in the Jonesboro, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Jonesboro metropolitan area

The Jonesboro Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is an area consisting of two counties – Craighead and Poinsett – in northeast Arkansas, anchored by the city of Jonesboro. As of the 2010 census, the MSA had a population of 121,026. It is also part of the larger Jonesboro-Paragould Combined Statistical Area.


Craighead County was part of the territory claimed for France on April 9, 1682 by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, who laid claim to all of the land drained by the Mississippi River and its tributaries. LaSalle's claim was named Louisiana in honor of Louis XIV, King of France.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Mississippi River largest river system in North America

The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows generally south for 2,320 miles (3,730 km) to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is entirely within the United States; the total drainage basin is 1,151,000 sq mi (2,980,000 km2), of which only about one percent is in Canada. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth-longest and fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

Louisiana State of the United States of America

Louisiana is a state in the Deep South region of the South Central United States. It is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U.S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are equivalent to counties. The state's capital is Baton Rouge, and its largest city is New Orleans.

The Treaty of Fontainebleau (1762) was signed between France and Spain and ownership of the Louisiana territory west of the Mississippi River was transferred to the Spanish crown as a result of the Seven Years' War and Craighead County became a Spanish possession.

The Treaty of Fontainebleau was a secret agreement of 1762 in which France ceded Louisiana to Spain. The treaty followed the last battle in the French and Indian War in North America, the Battle of Signal Hill in September 1762, which confirmed British control of Canada. In Europe, the associated Seven Years' War continued to rage. Having lost Canada, King Louis XV of France proposed to King Charles III of Spain that France should give Spain "the country known as Louisiana, as well as New Orleans and the island in which the city is situated." Charles accepted on November 13, 1762.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Seven Years War Global conflict between 1756 and 1763

The Seven Years' War was a global conflict fought between 1756 and 1763. It involved every European great power of the time and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, India, and the Philippines. The conflict split Europe into two coalitions, led by the Kingdom of Great Britain on one side and the Kingdom of France, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Spain, and the Swedish Empire on the other. Meanwhile, in India, some regional polities within the increasingly fragmented Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, tried to crush a British attempt to conquer Bengal. The war's extent has led some historians to describe it as "World War Zero", similar in scale to other world wars.

Spain controlled of the territory encompassing the county until October 1, 1800 when Napoleon Bonaparte forced Spain to return the lost territories to France under the Treaty of Ildefonso. Napoleon maintained grandiose plans to establish a vast French Empire in Louisiana but the Royal Navy prevented him from transferring troops or settlers to the acquired territories.

Royal Navy Maritime warfare branch of the United Kingdoms military

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.

Fear was high in the United States that Napoleon would attempt to close the Mississippi River to American trade. President Thomas Jefferson inquired about purchasing an area near the mouth of the river to ensure that it would stay open to American goods. Napoleon, needing money, offered to sell the United States the entire territory of Louisiana for $23,213,568.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Thomas Jefferson 3rd president of the United States

Thomas Jefferson was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. Previously, he had served as the second vice president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. The principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was a proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation; he produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national level.

Napoleon 18th/19th-century French monarch, military and political leader

Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.

The treaty was finalized in 1803 and the land that would become Craighead County became the possession of the United States.

Craighead County remained in the Louisiana Territory until the State of Louisiana was admitted to the Union. At that time the territory that includes modern day Arkansas was attached to the Missouri Territory.

In 1813 the area was included in a new political subdivision known as Arkansas County which was a political subdivision of the Arkansas District of the Territory of Missouri. In 1815 the county was further subdivided and Lawrence County was formed with its seat at Davidsonville. This new county included most of what is now northern Arkansas. The modern Craighead county lay partially within Arkansas County and partially within Lawrence County.

Residents of the Missouri Territory soon began petitioning Congress for admission to the Union. Their request did not include the District of Arkansas and Arkansas residents petitioned for separate territorial status for their district. In 1819 the Arkansas Territory was formed.

In 1838, Poinsett County was formed and included most of present-day Craighead County. This situation persisted until 1850 when residents of the area complained about the distance to the Poinsett County seat.

In 1858 State Senator William A. Jones campaign platform included a promise to seek the formation of a new county for the area. His election was successful and helped push legislation for the formation of the new county.

The new county was to be formed from lands taken from Greene, Mississippi, and Poinsett counties, and it was to be named "Crowley County" in honor of Crowley's Ridge which runs through the center of the county.

Senator Thomas Craighead represented Mississippi County, and opposed the bill because the farmland it took from Mississippi County (commonly known as the Buffalo Island area) was a major source of property taxes for the county.

One day while Senator Craighead was away from the floor, Senator Jones amended the bill to change the county's name to "Craighead County". The Senate, thinking it was a compromise, approved the bill as amended; by the time Senator Craighead returned, the bill had already left the Senate, and he took no further action.

Craighead County was officially formed February 19, 1859; in gratitude, the citizens then named the main county seat Jonesboro, for Senator Jones. (Some sources say the name was actually proposed by Senator Craighead in a resolution.) Lake City, just across the St. Francis River from the Buffalo Island area, was added as a second county seat in 1883.

In the early 20th century, Clay, Greene, and Craighead counties had sundown town policies forbidding African Americans from living in the area. [3]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 713 square miles (1,850 km2), of which 707 square miles (1,830 km2) is land and 5.5 square miles (14 km2) (0.8%) is water. [4] Crowley's Ridge is the county's most prominent geological feature.

Major highways


The region is served by the Jonesboro Municipal Airport. Scheduled commercial flights between Jonesboro and St. Louis Lambert International Airport, are offered daily by Air Choice One.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
1860 3,066
1870 4,57749.3%
1880 7,03753.7%
1890 12,02570.9%
1900 19,50562.2%
1910 27,62741.6%
1920 37,54135.9%
1930 44,74019.2%
1940 47,2005.5%
1950 50,6137.2%
1960 47,303−6.5%
1970 52,06810.1%
1980 63,23921.5%
1990 68,9569.0%
2000 82,14819.1%
2010 96,44317.4%
Est. 2016105,835 [5] 9.7%
U.S. Decennial Census [6]
1790–1960 [7] 1900–1990 [8]
1990–2000 [9] 2010–2016 [1]
Age pyramid Craighead County USA Craighead County, Arkansas age pyramid.svg
Age pyramid Craighead County

As of the 2000 United States Census, [11] there were 82,148 people, 32,301 households, and 22,093 families residing in the county. The population density was 116 people per square mile (45/km²). There were 35,133 housing units at an average density of 49 per square mile (19/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.27% White, 7.78% Black or African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.93% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. 2.12% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 32,301 households out of which 32.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.30% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.60% were non-families. 25.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.10% under the age of 18, 14.00% from 18 to 24, 28.70% from 25 to 44, 21.40% from 45 to 64, and 11.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,425, and the median income for a family was $40,688. Males had a median income of $30,366 versus $21,109 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,091. About 11.60% of families and 15.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.40% of those under age 18 and 13.40% of those age 65 or over.


Craighead County has voted Republican in the majority of presidential elections since 1960; prior to that it was solidly Democratic.

Presidential elections results
Craighead County vote
by party in presidential elections [12]
Year GOP Dem Others
2016 64.35%22,89229.62% 10,5386.03% 2,143
2012 64.20%20,35033.21% 10,5272.60% 823
2008 60.97%18,88136.47% 11,2942.56% 793
2004 53.08%15,81845.85% 13,6651.07% 318
2000 48.33% 12,15849.20%12,3762.48% 623
1996 37.47% 9,21054.04%13,2848.49% 2,088
1992 35.57% 9,10454.43%13,93110.00% 2,561
1988 54.99%11,88742.02% 9,0832.98% 645
1984 62.87%14,04735.96% 8,0351.17% 261
1980 51.31%11,01043.02% 9,2315.66% 1,215
1976 30.98% 6,21369.02%13,840
1972 65.94%11,31234.06% 5,8430.00% 0
1968 32.50% 5,04724.07% 3,73843.42%6,742
1964 38.13% 5,16361.55%8,3340.32% 44
1960 48.97%5,25845.61% 4,8985.42% 582
1956 40.11% 4,03558.41%5,8761.48% 149
1952 41.16% 4,19958.57%5,9750.27% 28
1948 14.85% 75963.37%3,23821.78% 1,113
1944 29.05% 1,47470.60%3,5820.35% 18
1940 21.94% 93577.43%3,3000.63% 27
1936 17.46% 71082.02%3,3350.52% 21
1932 11.96% 60687.09%4,4120.95% 48
1928 47.55% 1,95851.77%2,1320.68% 28
1924 29.06% 81261.24%1,7119.70% 271
1920 32.64% 1,05864.15%2,0793.21% 104
1916 21.72% 54378.28%1,9570.00% 0
1912 13.10% 26961.30%1,25925.61% 526
1908 27.73% 71164.47%1,6537.80% 200
1904 32.48% 55961.07%1,0516.45% 111
1900 26.07% 48970.68%1,3263.25% 61
1896 14.79% 32984.98%1,8900.22% 5

Craighead County Elected Officials 2013 – 2014

Craighead County Elected Officials 2015 – 2016

Craighead County Elected Officials 2017 – 2018


Public schools

Craighead County consists of eight public school districts with numerous secondary and elementary schools including:

Private schools

Postsecondary education




Unincorporated communities


Townships in Craighead County, Arkansas as of 2010 Craighead County Arkansas 2010 Township Map large.jpg
Townships in Craighead 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 Craighead 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. [13] [14]

See also

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David Ray Wallace, known as Dave Wallace, is a businessman from Leachville, Arkansas and current Republican member of the Arkansas State Senate for District 22 in Mississippi, Poinsett, and Craighead counties in the northeastern portion of his state. He previously served as a Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives for District 54 in Mississippi and Poinsett counties.


  1. 1 2 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. Neville, A. W. (March 2, 1945). "Backward Glances". The Paris News. Paris, Texas. p. 4 via 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.
  4. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  5. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" . Retrieved June 9, 2017.
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  7. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  8. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  9. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  10. Based on 2000 census data
  11. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  12. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections" . Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  13. 2011 Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS): Craighead County, AR (PDF) (Map). U. S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2011-08-04.
  14. "Arkansas: 2010 Census Block Maps - County Subdivision". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved May 27, 2014.

Coordinates: 35°50′25″N90°42′27″W / 35.84028°N 90.70750°W / 35.84028; -90.70750