Searcy, Arkansas

Last updated

Searcy, Arkansas
Part of historic downtown Searcy
Pride – Progress – Potential "The city where thousands live as millions wish they could."
White County Arkansas Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Searcy Highlighted 0563020.svg
Location of Searcy in White County, Arkansas.
Coordinates: 35°14′49″N91°44′01″W / 35.24694°N 91.73361°W / 35.24694; -91.73361 Coordinates: 35°14′49″N91°44′01″W / 35.24694°N 91.73361°W / 35.24694; -91.73361
Country United States
State Arkansas
County White
Founded1838[ dubious ]
Incorporated 1851
   Mayor Kyle Osborne
  Total18.41 sq mi (47.69 km2)
  Land18.32 sq mi (47.44 km2)
  Water0.10 sq mi (0.25 km2)
245 ft (80 m)
(2017) [2]
  Density1,305.67/sq mi (504.13/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
72143, 72145, 72149
Area code(s) 501
FIPS code 05-63020
GNIS feature ID0078309

Searcy ( /ˈsɜːrsi/ SUR-see) is the largest city and county seat [3] of White County, Arkansas, United States. According to 2014 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 23,768. [4] It is the principal city of the Searcy, AR Micropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of White County. The city takes its name from Richard Searcy, a judge for the Superior Court of the Arkansas Territory. A college town, Searcy is the home of Harding University and ASU-Searcy.

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.

White County, Arkansas County in the United States

White County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 77,076. The county seat is Searcy. White County is Arkansas's 31st county, formed on October 23, 1835, from portions of Independence, Jackson, and Pulaski counties and named for Hugh Lawson White, a Whig candidate for President of the United States. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county, though a few private establishments can serve alcohol.



Originally named White Sulphur Springs, the town's name was changed in 1837, two years after White County was created. The state changed the county seat name to honor Richard Searcy (1794-1832), a prominent Arkansas Legislator. [5]

WhiteCo AR courthouse WhiteCo AR courthouse.jpg
WhiteCo AR courthouse

The town contained a health spa from its conception until 1820, when the alum, chalybeate, and white sulphur springs for which the spa was known dried up. [5]

Israel Moore, who had traveled west from Philadelphia, was in charge of laying out Searcy's original streets, and "he proceeded to name the major streets of Searcy for those of downtown Old Philadelphia near Independence Hall; Race, Arch, Market, Vine, Spring, and the tree-honoring streets of Cherry, Spruce, Locust and Pine." [6] In 1957, Searcy named Moore Street after the 19th-century founder.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2018 census-estimated population of 1,584,138. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Independence Hall world heritage site in Philadelphia, USA

Independence Hall is the building where both the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. It is now the centerpiece of the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Spring Street also has a namesake in Old City Philadelphia, but along with downtown Searcy's Spring Park, this refers to the early history of the Searcy area, when the community was known as White Sulphur Springs. As early as 1834, local springs with purported therapeutic properties initially drew visitors to the area, similar to the popular attraction to Hot Springs.

Hot Springs, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Hot Springs is a city in the state of Arkansas and the county seat of Garland County. The city is located in the Ouachita Mountains among the U.S. Interior Highlands, and is set among several natural hot springs for which the city is named. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 35,193. In 2017 the estimated population was 36,915.

During the American Civil War, the Battle of Whitney's Lane was fought near Searcy, although the exact site is disputed. Searcy Landing, on the Little Red River, is the final resting place for some Union Army soldiers.

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The most studied and written about episode in U.S. history, the Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

Battle of Whitneys Lane battle of the American Civil War

The Battle of Whitney's Lane was a small, but psychologically important, land battle of the American Civil War fought on May 19, 1862, in north-central Arkansas.

The Little Red River is a 102-mile-long (164 km) river in White, Van Buren, Searcy, Stone and Cleburne counties of north-central Arkansas.

Searcy was incorporated on August 6, 1851, [7]

Smyrna Methodist Church near Searcy Historic Smyrna Methodist Church.jpg
Smyrna Methodist Church near Searcy

The Smyrna Methodist Church located just to the west of Searcy is the oldest known church building still standing in the state. It was built in 1856 according to research done by David Stahle of the University of Arkansas Tree Ring Laboratory. [8]

Searcy is also home to the oldest operational courthouse in the state, the White County Courthouse. Originally the home of the first permanent resident, David Crise, the courthouse was completed in 1837. After being replaced two times, the last rendition was built in 1871.The most recent courthouse has a clocktower with a model of the Liberty Bell dating from 1855. [9]

Searcy was a stop on the defunct Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad, which provided passenger and freight service from 1906 to 1946 from Joplin, Missouri, to Helena in Phillips County in eastern Arkansas. [10]

On August 9, 1965, 53 contract workers were killed in a fire in a LGM-25C Titan II missile silo outside Searcy. It was one of the largest industrial accidents in American history. [11]

Despite having lost many factory jobs in the late 20th century, Searcy experienced a brief economic revitalization in the past decade from the leasing of mineral rights to natural gas companies. Almost all drilling in the Fayetteville Shale area has since ceased. Some residents express concern about the deleterious environmental effect of the extensive drilling projects that have taken place. [12]

In 2019, the city of Searcy was the winner of the "Small Business Revolution on Mainstreet" award of .5 million dollars to revamp six small businesses and a season featuring these renovations on the Hulu show hosted by Amanda Brinkman. [13]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.8 square miles (38 km2), of which 14.7 square miles (38 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.54%) is water.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Searcy has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. [14]


Historical population
1860 621
1870 87440.7%
1880 840−3.9%
1890 1,20343.2%
1900 1,99565.8%
1910 2,33116.8%
1920 2,83621.7%
1930 3,38719.4%
1940 3,6708.4%
1950 6,02464.1%
1960 7,27220.7%
1970 9,04024.3%
1980 13,61250.6%
1990 15,18011.5%
2000 18,92824.7%
2010 22,85820.8%
Est. 201723,916 [2] 4.6%
U.S. Decennial Census [15]

As of the census [16] of 2014, there were 23,768 people, 8,140 households, and 4,495 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,287.4 people per square mile (497.2/km²). There were 9,244 housing units at an average density of 503.6 per square mile (194.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.8% White, 7.5% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.09% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. 4.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,140 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.8% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the city, the population was spread out with 20.5% under the age of 18, 23.4% from 18 to 24, 23.3% from 25 to 44, 17.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,415, and the median income for a family was $41,334. Males had a median income of $32,445 versus $21,142 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,427. About 11.7% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the U.S. poverty threshold, including 18.1% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.


One of the state's largest banks, First Security Bank, was established in Searcy in 1932 as Security Bank. [17] [18]

In July 1978 Wal-Mart opened its first distribution center (outside of Bentonville) in Searcy. The facility is still open as a Sam's Club Distribution Center. [19]

In recent years, ITT, Maytag, and Kohler closed large factories in the city. Many companies associated with natural gas that supported the brief natural gas boom have also left the city and the economy has suffered. According to, housing prices have lost approximately 8% of value since 2012.[ full citation needed ]

Latina Imports and Latina Nursery are also located in Searcy and is one of the largest female, Hispanic-owned companies in Arkansas.[ citation needed ]

Sales tax for purchases in Searcy is higher than state average, at 9.5%. [20]


Public schools

Searcy is served by two public school districts. Searcy Public Schools — including Searcy High School, three elementary schools and middle and junior high campuses — serve all but the far eastern portion of the city. That portion of the city is within the Riverview School District, which operates Riverview High School. [21] The Riverview district is the result of a consolidation, effective July 1, 1991, of the Judsonia, Kensett, and Griffithville school districts. [22] Previously, the Riverview portion of Searcy was part of the Kensett school district; Riverview High School was built in eastern Searcy following the consolidation.[ citation needed ]

Searcy Public Schools campuses include:

Riverview High School and Riverview Junior High School are in Searcy, while the Riverside portion of Searcy is served by an elementary school outside of the city limits.

Private schools

Colleges and universities

Notable people

Related Research Articles

Searcy County, Arkansas County in the United States

Searcy County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,195. The county seat is Marshall. The county was formed December 13, 1838, from a portion of Marion County and named for Richard Searcy, the first clerk and judge in the Arkansas Territory. The city of Searcy, Arkansas, some seventy miles away, shares the name despite having never been part of Searcy County. The county is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.

Big Flat, Arkansas Town in Arkansas, United States

Big Flat is a town in Baxter and Searcy counties in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The population was 105 at the 2010 census.

Siloam Springs, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Siloam Springs is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. The city shares a border on the Arkansas-Oklahoma state line with the city of West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma, which is within the Cherokee Nation territory. The town was founded in 1882 and was characterized by the purported healing powers of the spring water feeding Sager Creek and trading with nearby Native American tribes. John Brown University (JBU) was founded in 1919 as a private, interdenominational, Christian liberal arts college in the city. Today, Siloam Springs is known for its efforts to preserve and revitalize the city's historic downtown and as a promoter of the arts via Sager Creek Arts Center and the JBU art gallery. The community is located on the western edge of the growing Northwest Arkansas metropolitan area and has had a population increase of 47% to 15,039 between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.

Warren, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Warren is a city in and the county seat of Bradley County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,003.

Heber Springs, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Heber Springs is a city in and the county seat of Cleburne County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 7,165 at the 2010 census.

Morrilton, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Morrilton is a city in Conway County, Arkansas, United States, less than 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Little Rock. The city is the county seat of Conway County. The population was 6,767 at the 2010 census.

Van Buren, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Van Buren is the second largest city in the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area and the county seat of Crawford County, Arkansas, United States. The city is located directly northeast of Fort Smith at the Interstate 40 - Interstate 540 junction. The city was incorporated in 1845 and as of the 2010 census had a population of 22,791, ranking it as the state's 22nd largest city, behind Searcy.

Monticello, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Monticello is a city in, and the county seat of, Drew County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 9,467.

Ozark, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Ozark is a city in Franklin County, Arkansas, United States and one of the county's two seats of government. The community is located along the Arkansas River in the Arkansas River Valley on the southern edge of the Ozark Mountains. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 3,684.

Newport, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Newport is a city in and the county seat of Jackson County, Arkansas, United States, located on the White River 84 miles (135 km) northeast of Little Rock. The population was 7,879 at the 2010 census.

Texarkana, Arkansas City in the United States

Texarkana is a city in Arkansas and the county seat of Miller County. The city is located across the state line from its twin city, Texarkana, Texas. The city was founded at a railroad intersection on December 8, 1873, and was incorporated in Arkansas on August 10, 1880. Texarkana is the principal city of the Texarkana metropolitan area, which is ranked 274th in terms of population in the United States with 150,098 in 2016 according to the United States Census Bureau.

North Little Rock, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

North Little Rock is a city in Pulaski County, Arkansas, United States, across the Arkansas River from Little Rock in the central part of the state. The population was 62,304 at the 2010 census. In 2017 the estimated population was 65,911, making it the seventh-most populous city in the state. North Little Rock, along with Little Rock and Conway, anchors the six-county Little Rock–North Little Rock–Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is further included in the Little Rock-North Little Rock Combined Statistical Area with 902,443 residents.

Leslie, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Leslie is a city in Searcy County, Arkansas, United States. Located within the Boston Mountains, the most rugged subset of The Ozarks, the city was founded as a railroad and lumber town. Renamed from the original Wiley's Cove in 1887, the city saw prosperity relating to these industries through the 1920s. Today, this history is available to residents and visitors in the form of several properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places throughout the city. The population was 441 at the 2010 census.

Marshall, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Marshall is a city in Searcy County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 1,355 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Searcy County. Marshall was incorporated in 1884. Prior to the American Civil War, Marshall was known as Burrowsville.

Mountain View, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Mountain View is the largest city in and the county seat of Stone County, Arkansas, United States. Located in the Ozarks, the city has a rich tradition of preserving folk music and culture. Founded in 1873, the city's economy is largely based on tourism related to its title as the "Folk Music Capitol of the World". Mountain View hosts the Arkansas Folk Festival in April, various folk artists at Ozark Folk Center State Park throughout the year, and weekly music gatherings on the courthouse steps that are free and open to the public. The city is also known for outdoors recreation opportunities, including Blanchard Springs Caverns, trout fishing on the White River and the Ozark National Forest.

Beebe, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Beebe is a city in White County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 7,315 at the 2010 census, making it the second most populous in the county. The city is home to a branch campus of Jonesboro-based Arkansas State University.

Judsonia, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Judsonia is a city in White County, Arkansas, United States. Ronnie Schlem is the current mayor. The population was 2,019 at the 2010 census.

Kensett, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Kensett is a city in White County, Arkansas, United States. Located adjacent to the east side of Searcy, the city is the hometown of noted legislator Wilbur D. Mills, who was influential throughout the 1960s and 1970s in the United States House of Representatives.

Riverview School District is a public school district based in Searcy, Arkansas, United States. The Riverview School District provides early childhood, elementary and secondary education for more than 1,300 pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students throughout southeast White County at its campuses in eastern Searcy, Kensett, and Judsonia. It also serves Griffithville.


  1. "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  2. 1 2 "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" . Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. "Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Arkansas". 2005 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 21, 2006. Archived from the original (CSV) on October 15, 2006. Retrieved November 16, 2006.
  5. 1 2 "White County, AR". White County Arkansas. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  6. Dr. Raymond Muncy, Searcy, Arkansas: A frontier town grows up with America
  7. "Searcy (White County)". Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  8. "Church is reminder of White Co. history". Arkansas Online. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  9. "White County AR". White County Arkansas. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  10. "H. Glenn Mosenthin, "Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad"". Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  11. Stumpf, David K. (2000). Titan II: A History of a Cold War Missile Program. University of Arkansas Press. ISBN   1557286019.
  12. Hambrick, Pat (September 2, 2007). "Natural State No More". The Daily Citizen (Searcy) . Archived from the original on September 18, 2008. Retrieved September 2, 2007.
  13. "Searcy Wins Season 4 of Small Business Revolution!". February 26, 2019. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  14. "Searcy, Arkansas Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  15. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  16. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  17. "FIRST SECURITY BANK Review - Credit Union Reviews". Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  18. "First Security Bank - Our Locations". First Security Bank. February 24, 2017. Archived from the original on November 3, 2006.
  19. "Walmart Distribution Center Network USA - MWPVL". Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  20. "Arkansas (AR) Sales Tax Rates by City". Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  21. "SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP (2010 CENSUS): White County, AR." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on October 16, 2017.
  22. "ConsolidationAnnex_from_1983.xls." Arkansas Department of Education. Retrieved on October 13, 2017.
  23. "Learning and Growing in Christ". Liberty Christian School. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  24. "Integrating Faith,Affirming Family, Transforming Learning". CrossPointe Preparatory. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  25. "Serving Developmentally Disabled Students of All Ages". Sunshine School, in partnership with Weebly. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  26. Willems, Jack (December 19, 2007). "Drill Training Program Coming to ASU-Searcy". The Daily Citizen (Searcy) . Archived from the original on July 18, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2007.
  27. "Mark Biviano, R-46". Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  28. "George W. Bond". Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  29. "Les Eaves". Retrieved April 3, 2015.

Further reading