Jefferson County, Arkansas

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Jefferson County, Arkansas
County
County of Jefferson
JeffersonCo AR courthouse.jpg
Jefferson County Courthouse
Map of Arkansas highlighting Jefferson County.svg
Location in the U.S. state of Arkansas
Map of USA AR.svg
Arkansas's location in the U.S.
FoundedNovember 2, 1829;189 years ago (1829-11-02)
Named for Thomas Jefferson
Government
  County Judge

Henry Wilkins IV (D)
Seat Pine Bluff
Largest cityPine Bluff
Area
  Total914 sq mi (2,367 km2)
  Land871 sq mi (2,256 km2)
  Water43 sq mi (111 km2), 4.7%
Population (est.)
  (2016)70,016
  Density89/sq mi (34/km2)
ZIP Code(s) 71601–71603, 71644, 71659, 72004, 72046, 72073, 72079, 72132, 72150, 72152, 72160, 72168, 72175
Area code(s) 501, 870
Congressional districts 1st, 4th
Time zone Central: UTC−6/−5
Website jeffersoncounty.arkansas.gov

Jefferson County, Arkansas is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas in the area known as the Arkansas Delta, that extends west of the Mississippi River. As of the 2010 census, the population was 77,435. [1] Its county seat and largest city is Pine Bluff. [2] Jefferson County is Arkansas's 21st county, formed on November 2, 1829, from portions of Arkansas and Pulaski counties, and named for Thomas Jefferson, [3] third President of the United States. Jefferson County is included in the Pine Bluff, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county is bisected by the Arkansas River, which was critical to its development and long the chief transportation byway.

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

The area that would later become Jefferson County was occupied by the Quapaw when French explorers established the Arkansas Post in the 17th century; the foreigners claimed this area as Louisiana, part of New France. [4]

Quapaw ethnic group

The Quapaw people are a tribe of Native Americans that coalesced in the Midwest and Ohio Valley. The Dhegiha Siouan-speaking tribe historically migrated from the Ohio Valley area to the west side of the Mississippi River and resettled in what is now the state of Arkansas; their name for themselves refers to this migration and traveling downriver.

Arkansas Post human settlement in Arkansas County, Arkansas, United States of America

The Arkansas Post was the first European settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley and present-day Arkansas when Henri de Tonti established it in 1686 as a French trading post on the banks of the lower Arkansas River. The French and Spanish traded with the Quapaw for years, and the post was of strategic value to the French, Spanish, and Americans. It was designated as the first capital of the Arkansas Territory in 1819, but lost that status to Little Rock in 1821. During the years of fur trading, Arkansas Post was protected by a series of forts. The forts and associated settlements were located at three known sites and possibly a fourth, as the waterfront area was prone to erosion and flooding.

Louisiana (New France) Administrative district of New France

Louisiana or French Louisiana was an administrative district of New France. Under French control 1682 to 1762 and 1801 (nominally) to 1803, the area was named in honor of King Louis XIV, by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. It originally covered an expansive territory that included most of the drainage basin of the Mississippi River and stretched from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Appalachian Mountains to the Rocky Mountains.

In March 1819, Robert Crittenden was appointed secretary of Arkansas Territory. That same year, Joseph Bonne, traveling upstream on the Arkansas River from Arkansas Post, built a cabin on a "high bluff covered with pine trees" on the river's south bank. [4] Several years later, James Scull, also from Arkansas Post, established a tavern and small inn on the river's north bank, across from what would become the site of Pine Bluff. [4]

1819 in the United States USA-related events during the year of 1819

Events from the year 1819 in the United States.

Robert Crittenden American politician

Robert Crittenden was an attorney and politician. In his capacity as territorial secretary, he served as acting Governor of Arkansas Territory. He was a co-founder of the Rose Law Firm.

Arkansas Territory territory of the USA between 1819-1836

The Territory of Arkansas, initially organized as the Territory of Arkansaw, was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 2, 1819, until June 15, 1836, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Arkansas.

Five years later, Crittenden convinced the remaining Quapaw to sign the November 15, 1824 treaty relinquishing what remained of their tribal lands. [4] Steamboat travel led to expanding settlement, "bringing to the area such men as French-born Napoleonic soldier Antoine Barraque (Pine Bluff's principal east-west street was named for him) and brothers James T. and John Pullen (main thoroughfares were named for them)." [4]

1824 in the United States USA-related events during the year of 1824

Events from the year 1824 in the United States.

Steamboats of the Mississippi type of boats used in the 19th century for the Mississippi river

Steamboats played a major role in the 19th-century development of the Mississippi River and its tributaries by allowing the practical large-scale transport of passengers and freight both up- and down-river. Using steam power, riverboats were developed during that time which could navigate in shallow waters as well as upriver against strong currents. After the development of railroads, passenger traffic gradually switched to this faster form of transportation, but steamboats continued to serve Mississippi River commerce into the early 20th century.

On November 2, 1829, Territorial Governor John Pope Crittenden's successorapproved the establishment of Jefferson County. Bonne's cabin was used as the county seat; by August 1832, "Pine Bluff Town" became the county seat." [4] The land in the county was developed as large cotton plantations, with fronts on the river for transportation. The plantations were dependent on the labor of enslaved African Americans, who comprised a majority of the population in the county well before the American Civil War.

1829 in the United States USA-related events during the year of 1829

Events from the year 1829 in the United States.

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.

After the war, planters in Jefferson County gradually resumed cotton cultivation and processing. The economy was driven by cotton and the Delta area was highly productive. In 1886, Jefferson County produced 55,120 bales of cotton, the most in Arkansas, and the second-most throughout the South. [5] Transportation companies serving the county at the time included the Cotton Belt Route, the St. Louis – San Francisco Railway, Missouri Pacific, the Arkansas River Packet Company, the Wiley Jones Street Car Lines, and the Citizens Street Railway Company. [6] The street car lines operated primarily in Pine Bluff.

1886 in the United States USA-related events during the year of 1886

Events from the year 1886 in the United States.

Baler

A baler, most often called a hay baler is a piece of farm machinery used to compress a cut and raked crop into compact bales that are easy to handle, transport, and store. Often, bales are configured to dry and preserve some intrinsic value of the plants bundled. Several different types of balers are commonly used, each producing a different type of bale – rectangular or cylindrical, of various sizes, bound with twine, strapping, netting, or wire.

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.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 914 square miles (2,370 km2), of which 871 square miles (2,260 km2) is land and 43 square miles (110 km2) (4.7%) is water. [7] About 75% of the county including the largest city, Pine Bluff, is located in the Arkansas Delta with the remaining portion in the Arkansas Timberlands.[ citation needed ] Consequently, it is largely low-lying flatland to the east used primarily for agriculture and expanses of trees used for timber to the west.

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1830 772
1840 2,566232.4%
1850 5,834127.4%
1860 14,971156.6%
1870 15,7335.1%
1880 22,38642.3%
1890 40,88182.6%
1900 40,9720.2%
1910 52,73428.7%
1920 60,33014.4%
1930 64,1546.3%
1940 65,1011.5%
1950 76,07516.9%
1960 81,3737.0%
1970 85,3294.9%
1980 90,7186.3%
1990 85,487−5.8%
2000 84,278−1.4%
2010 77,435−8.1%
Est. 201670,016 [8] −9.6%
U.S. Decennial Census [9]
1790–1960 [10] 1900–1990 [11]
1990–2000 [12] 2010–2016 [1]
Age pyramid for Jefferson County (as of 2000). USA Jefferson County, Arkansas age pyramid.svg
Age pyramid for Jefferson County (as of 2000).

As of the 2010 census, there were 77,435 people residing in the county. 55.1% were Black or African American, 42.0% White, 0.8% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 0.7% of some other race and 1.2% of two or more races. 1.6% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). [14]

As of the 2000 census, [15] there were 84,278 people, 30,555 households, and 21,510 families residing in the county. The population density was 95 people per square mile (37/km²). There were 34,350 housing units at an average density of 39 per square mile (15/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 49.58% Black or African American, 48.46% White, 0.24% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 0.96% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. By comparison, the county had 15,714 residents in 1870, 20% of whom were White. [16]

In the county, there were 30,555 households out of which 33.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.40% were married couples living together, 18.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.60% were non-families. 26.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.13. The population was spread out with 26.30% under the age of 18, 10.80% from 18 to 24, 27.80% from 25 to 44, 22.10% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.40 males.

Jefferson County experienced a decline in population between 2000 and 2010 of 8.1%. [17] The county has continued to decline in population since 2010, showing a 3.5% decrease in population to 74,723 between the 2010 census and the 2012 (-3.5%) census estimates. [18]

The median income for a household in the county was $31,327, and the median income for a family was $38,252. Males had a median income of $31,848 versus $21,867 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,417. About 16.00% of families and 20.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.60% of those under age 18 and 17.80% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure

The state has built a number of correctional facilities in and near Pine Bluff, and moved the headquarters of the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) to here in 1979. [19] [20] [21] The administrative Annex East is on Harding Avenue in Pine Bluff, south of city hall. [22] The Diagnostic Unit, [23] the Pine Bluff Unit, and the Randall L. Williams Correctional Facility are in the "Pine Bluff Complex" in Pine Bluff. [24] [25] The headquarters of the Arkansas Correctional School system are within the Pine Bluff Complex. [25] [26]

The Arkansas Department of Community Correction Southeast Arkansas Community Corrections Center is in Pine Bluff. [27] The Maximum Security Unit is 25 miles (40 km) north of central Pine Bluff and off Arkansas Highway 15 in unincorporated Jefferson County. [28] The Tucker Unit is also located north of Pine Bluff. [29] Historically the Arkansas Boys' Industrial School and the Arkansas Negro Boys' Industrial School were in the county. [30]

Politics

Jefferson County is strongly Democratic in races for president, governor, and the United States Senate. In the Reconstruction Era, the county's majority black residents favored presidential candidates from the Republican Party in every election from 1868 to 1888.[ citation needed ] In the early 1890s, white Southern Democrats passed laws to disenfranchise black voters from engaging in the political process, a process which ended by the 1960s, and blacks began to favor voting for Democrats and southern whites favored the Republicans. Since 1892, Democrats have carried the county in all but two presidential elections, when American Independent Party candidate George Wallace won it in 1968 and Republican Richard Nixon won it in 1972, the latter whom carried every county in Arkansas. No Republican since George H. W. Bush in 1988 has won over 40% of the county's vote.

Presidential elections results
Jefferson County, Arkansas
voteby party in presidential elections [31]
Year GOP Dem Others
2016 35.72% 9,25060.91%15,7723.36% 872
2012 34.77% 9,52063.80%17,4701.44% 393
2008 35.89% 10,65562.19%18,4651.92% 569
2004 33.51% 10,21864.52%19,6751.97% 600
2000 32.22% 8,76565.13%17,7162.65% 720
1996 22.87% 6,33071.18%19,7015.95% 1,646
1992 23.74% 7,52568.85%21,8197.41% 2,348
1988 42.08% 12,52056.01%16,6641.91% 568
1984 44.10% 14,51454.95%18,0820.95% 313
1980 35.60% 10,69757.55%17,2926.85% 2,057
1976 27.67% 8,03472.33%21,001
1972 61.95%16,88837.95% 10,3460.10% 26
1968 20.22% 4,86037.96% 9,12541.82%10,053
1964 43.40% 9,96856.04%12,8720.56% 129
1960 31.76% 4,83955.41%8,44212.83% 1,954
1956 45.73% 5,74351.17%6,4263.10% 389
1952 41.57% 5,92558.24%8,3000.19% 27
1948 14.32% 1,17661.92%5,08623.77% 1,952
1944 27.80% 1,57872.15%4,0950.05% 3
1940 13.25% 58786.45%3,8290.29% 13
1936 6.15% 22493.66%3,4140.19% 7
1932 14.01% 41985.22%2,5480.77% 23
1928 41.12% 1,83058.67%2,6110.20% 9
1924 22.29% 70761.48%1,95016.24% 515
1920 27.70% 1,04870.58%2,6701.72% 65
1916 29.81% 92370.19%2,1730.00% 0
1912 18.46% 57952.88%1,65928.65% 899
1908 44.35% 1,38650.72%1,5854.93% 154
1904 44.99% 1,32451.65%1,5203.36% 99
1900 51.93%1,47747.93% 1,3630.14% 4
1896 38.18% 1,05060.11%1,6531.71% 47

Education

School districts serving sections of the county include: [32]

On July 1, 1983 the Plum Bayou School District consolidated into the Wabbaseka Tucker School District. On July 1, 1984, the Linwood School District consolidated into the Pine Bluff school district. The Altheimer-Sherrill School District and Wabbaseka Tucker school districts operated in Jefferson County until September 1, 1993, when they consolidated into the Altheimer Unified School District. On July 1, 2004, the Humphrey School District consolidated into the DeWitt district. Altheimer Unified consolidated into the Dollarway School District on July 10, 2006. [33]

Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Historical towns

  • Anrep [34]
  • Bruce
  • Byrd's Spring [35]
  • Clements
  • College Park
  • Diantha [36]
  • Dolton
  • Fairfield
  • Kratnek
  • Lamb
  • Lamberts
  • Linn
  • Noble's Lake
  • Plum Bayou [4]
  • Ray Station [37]
  • Red Bluff
  • Samples
  • Secrest
  • Sleeth [38]
  • Walden
  • Waldstein

Townships

Townships in Jefferson County, Arkansas as of 2010 Jefferson County Arkansas 2010 Township Map large.jpg
Townships in Jefferson 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 Jefferson 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. [39] [40]

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

Lincoln County, Arkansas County in the United States

Lincoln County is located between the Arkansas Timberlands and Arkansas Delta in the U.S. state of Arkansas. It is also within the Pine Bluff metro area, and on the outer edge of the Central Arkansas region. The county is named for Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. Created as Arkansas's 65th county on March 28, 1871, Lincoln County has three incorporated cities, including Star City, the county seat and most populous city. The county contains 46 unincorporated communities and ghost towns, Cane Creek State Park at the confluence of Cane Creek and Bayou Bartholomew, and nine listings on the National Register of Historic Places to preserve the history and culture of the county.

Cleveland County, Arkansas County in the United States

Cleveland County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. Its population was 8,689 at the 2010 U.S. census. The county seat is Rison.

Altheimer, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Altheimer is a city in Plum Bayou Township, Jefferson County, Arkansas. It is situated on the Union Pacific Railway, 11 miles (18 km) northeast of Pine Bluff. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 984, down from 1,192 at the 2000 census. As of 2016 the estimated population was 869.

Pine Bluff, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Pine Bluff is the tenth-largest city in the state of Arkansas and the county seat of Jefferson County. It is the principal city of the Pine Bluff Metropolitan Statistical Area and part of the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Pine Bluff Combined Statistical Area. The population of the city was 49,083 in the 2010 Census with 2017 estimates showing a decline to 42,984.

Redfield, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Redfield is a small city in the Pine Bluff metropolitan area of northwestern Jefferson county in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The city is situated on the Union Pacific Railway and is approximately 24 miles (39 km) south of Little Rock, the state capital. As of the 2010 census, Redfield has a population of 1,297.

Sherrill, Arkansas Town in Arkansas, United States

Sherrill is a town in Plum Bayou Township, Jefferson County, Arkansas, United States. Its population was 84 at the 2010 U.S. census. It is included in the Pine Bluff, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Wabbaseka, Arkansas Town in Arkansas, United States

Wabbaseka is a town in Dunnington Township, Jefferson County, Arkansas, United States. Its population was 255 at the 2010 U.S. census. It is included in the Pine Bluff, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area.

White Hall, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

White Hall is a city in Washington Township, Jefferson County, Arkansas, with a population of 5,526 in the 2010 census. It is included in the Pine Bluff Metropolitan Statistical Area and the greater Little Rock-North Little Rock-Pine Bluff Combined Statistical Area. The city is home to the Pine Bluff Arsenal.

Grady, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Grady is a city in Lincoln County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 523 at the 2000 census. It is included in the Pine Bluff, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Pine Bluff metropolitan area

The Pine Bluff Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is a three-county region in southeast Arkansas, anchored by the city of Pine Bluff. As of the 2010 census, the MSA had a population of 100,258. It is also a component of the larger Little Rock-North Little Rock, AR Combined Statistical Area which had 902,443 people in the census estimates of 2014.

White Hall School District (WHSD) is a public school district in northwest Jefferson County, Arkansas, United States. The district employs approximately 400 faculty members and staff to provide educational programs for students ranging from kindergarten through twelve grade. It currently serves more than 3,000 students. All schools in the White Hall School District are accredited by AdvancED.

Dollarway School District is a school district headquartered in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, United States. With over 1,600 students and employing more than 300 educators and staff, the district currently has three active school campuses.

Arkansas Highway 365 state highway in Arkansas, U.S.

Arkansas Highway 365 is a north–south state highway in Central Arkansas. The route of 69.31 miles (111.54 km) runs from US 65B/US 79B in Pine Bluff north through Little Rock to US 65B/AR 60 in Conway. The route is a redesignation of former U.S. Route 65, which has since been rerouted onto various Interstate highways through the area. Portions of Highway 365 in Jefferson County are former alignments of the Dollarway Road, which was the longest paved concrete road upon completion in 1913.

Tucker, Arkansas Unincorporated community in Arkansas, United States

Tucker is an Unincorporated community in Jefferson County, Arkansas. It has an elevation of 226 ft and is located 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Little Rock.

Wright, Arkansas Unincorporated community in Arkansas, United States

Wright is an unincorporated community in Jefferson County, Arkansas, United States. Wright is located on Arkansas Highway 256, 7.5 miles (12.1 km) west-northwest of Sherrill. Wright has a post office with ZIP code 72182.

Dollarway High School comprehensive public high school in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Dollarway High School is a comprehensive public high school in Pine Bluff, Arkansas that serves grades 9 through 12. It is one of three public high schools in Pine Bluff and the only high school managed by the Dollarway School District. Within the state, the school is often referred to as Pine Bluff Dollarway.

Altheimer Unified School District No. 22, previously the Altheimer-Sherrill School District, was a school district headquartered in Altheimer, Arkansas. It served Altheimer, Sherrill, Wabbaseka, and other portions of Jefferson County, including the unincorporated areas of Tucker, Plum Bayou, Pastoria, and Wright.

Altheimer-Sherrill High School was a junior and senior high school in Altheimer, Arkansas, operated by the Altheimer-Sherrill School District, and later the Altheimer Unified School District. At the time of its closing it served Altheimer, Sherrill, Wabbaseka, and other portions of Jefferson County, including the unincorporated areas of Tucker, Plum Bayou, Pastoria, and Wright.

Wabbaseka-Tucker School District, previously the Wabbaseka School District, was a school district in Jefferson County, Arkansas, serving Wabbaseka, Tucker, and Plum Bayou.

References

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  13. Based on 2000 census data[ needs update ]
  14. 2010 census report for Jefferson County, Arkansas
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Further reading

Government
General information

Coordinates: 34°17′15″N91°56′32″W / 34.28750°N 91.94222°W / 34.28750; -91.94222