Yell County Courthouse, Dardanelle
Location within the U.S. state of Arkansas
Arkansas's location within the U.S.
|Founded||December 5, 1840|
|Named for||Archibald Yell|
|Seat|| Danville (western district);|
Dardanelle (eastern district)
|• County judge||Mark Thone|
|• Total||949 sq mi (2,460 km2)|
|• Land||930 sq mi (2,400 km2)|
|• Water||19 sq mi (50 km2) 2.0%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||23/sq mi (9.0/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Yell County is a county in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,185.The county has two county seats, Dardanelle and Danville. Yell County is Arkansas's 42nd county, formed on December 5, 1840 from portions of Scott and Pope counties. It was named after Archibald Yell, who was the state's first member of the United States House of Representatives and the second governor of Arkansas; he later was killed in combat at the Battle of Buena Vista during the Mexican–American War. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.
Yell County is part of the Russellville, AR Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Native Americans first inhabited present-day Yell County and the Arkansas River Valley for centuries prior to European colonization, using the open, fertile floodplain of the Arkansas River for hunting grounds and farming settlements. During the Thomas Jefferson and Indian Removal era, many Cherokee were voluntarily relocating from Georgia along the Arkansas River, including in Yell County, between 1775 and 1786. A large Cherokee reservation across the Arkansas River from Yell County was established in 1815 to encourage further voluntary relocation from Georgia.
The area presently encompassed as Yell County was first settled by European settlers when James Carden built a house among Cherokee farms in the Dardanelle Bottoms at the confluence of the Arkansas and Petit Jean Rivers in 1819. 3.2 million acres (1.3 million hectares) north of the Arkansas River previously granted in 1817 in exchange for removing north of the river. The Cherokee that remained south of the river became known as the "Black Dutch", and largely assimilated.Lands south of the Arkansas River had been deeded to the Choctaw in 1820s, but white settlement and Cherokee relocation continued apace into the 1820s, spurring conflicts over the prime river-bottom lands. In 1822, the Council Oaks Treaty meeting was held under two large oak trees, reestablishing Cherokee title of
In 1830, the United States Congress enacted the Indian Removal Act, leading to further, now involuntary, Cherokee settlement in the Arkansas River Valley. Cherokee, Muskogee (Creek), and Seminole were forcibly removed along the Trail of Tears through Yell County to present-day Oklahoma.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 949 square miles (2,460 km2), of which 930 square miles (2,400 km2) is land and 19 square miles (49 km2) (2.0%) is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census |
As of the 2000 census, mile (4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 86.63% White, 1.47% Black or African American, 0.58% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 8.99% from other races, and 1.62% from two or more races. 12.73% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 12.00% reported speaking Spanish at home.there were 21,139 people, 7,922 households, and 5,814 families residing in the county. The population density was 23 people per square mile (9/km2). There were 9,157 housing units at an average density of 10 per square
There were 7,922 households, out of which 33.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.50% were married couples living together, 10.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.60% were non-families. 23.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.80% under the age of 18, 8.90% from 18 to 24, 28.30% from 25 to 44, 22.00% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $28,916, and the median income for a family was $33,409. Males had a median income of $23,172 versus $18,148 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,383. About 11.70% of families and 15.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.20% of those under age 18 and 12.80% of those age 65 or over.
The Yell County Sheriff's Office is the primary law enforcement agency in the county. The agency is led by the Yell County Sheriff, an official elected by countywide vote every four years. Police departments in Dardanelle, Danville, and Ola provide law enforcement in their respective jurisdictions, with Bellville, Havana, and Plainview contracting with the Sheriff's Office for law enforcement services.
The current sheriff of Yell County is Bill Gilkey, who has served since 1998. In 2017, he became the longest currently-serving sheriff in Arkansas, after 19 years in the office. He is also the longest-serving sheriff in the county's history.He has announced that he will retire after his term ends in 2022. Gilkey has sat on state boards such as the Arkansas Crime Lab Board and is still currently on the Arkansas Act 309 Board.
Gilkey is credited with the creation of the Yell County Law Enforcement Center in 2016, which replaces two of the county's older jails that did not meet state standards, and houses the sheriff's office. The new building also houses CID offices, revenue office, and an updated E911 dispatch center.
The chief officer of the law in Yell County, as in all Arkansas counties, is the sheriff.
Yell County has several historical homes, structures, and monuments dedicated to preserving the history and culture of the area. The Dardanelle Commercial Historic District preserves the historic commercial hub of Yell County along the Arkansas River. The Mt. Nebo State Park Cabins Historic District preserves ten cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The county also has seven homes, three churches, and two bridges listed on the NRHP.
Upon settlement, Yell County's varied topography created a stratified society, splitting settlers between the more fertile and productive farms of the "lowlands" and the subsistence farming of the steep and less-productive mountain soil of the "uplands".A planter class emerged in the lowlands, and as Dardanelle evolved into a cohesive community, the large landowners moved to town and managed their landholdings from stately homes, similar to the model seen in the Arkansas Delta and the Mississippi Delta. This left the lowlands inhabited largely by poor sharecroppers and tenant farmers, who largely shared economic fortunes with the small farms in the uplands, shifting the "upland/lowland" split to a "town-country" divide based largely on economics.
As mechanization and society evolved and Arkansas became less of a frontier, a wealthy upper class emerged in Dardanelle that came to wield societal, political, and economic power in the county. This society remained relatively closed, with separate social events and often summering on Mount Nebo with other wealthy Arkansans visiting to enjoy the cool mountain breezes.With little of the industrialization that defined the Gilded Age in the Northeast and Midwest, Yell County instead retained an adjusted Old South economic model based on agriculture but adapted to a post-Reconstruction reality.
The county government is a constitutional body granted specific powers by the Constitution of Arkansas and the Arkansas Code. The quorum court is the legislative branch of the county government and controls all spending and revenue collection. Representatives are called justices of the peace and are elected from county districts every even-numbered year. The number of districts in a county vary from nine to fifteen, and district boundaries are drawn by the county election commission. The Yell County Quorum Court has eleven members.Presiding over quorum court meetings is the county judge, who serves as the chief operating officer of the county. The county judge is elected at-large and does not vote in quorum court business, although capable of vetoing quorum court decisions. Though Yell County has two county seats, the constitutional officers are not duplicated, with duties split between the two courthouses.
Over the past few election cycles Yell county has trended heavily towards the GOP. The last Democratic presidential candidate (as of 2020) to carry this county was Bill Clinton in 1996.
Early childhood, elementary and secondary education within Yell County is provided by four public school districts:
The Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System, is headquartered in Dardanelle and serves multiple counties and consists of one central library and six branch libraries, including the Yell County Library, a branch library in Danville.
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 Yell County are listed below; listed in parentheses are the cities, towns, and/or census-designated places that are fully or partially inside the township.
Van Buren County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,295. The county seat is Clinton. The county was formed on November 11, 1833, and named for Martin Van Buren, President of the United States, who was Vice President at the time of the county's formation. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.
Randolph County is located between the Ozark Mountains and Arkansas Delta in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The county is named for John Randolph, a U.S. senator from Virginia influential in obtaining congressional approval of the Louisiana Purchase, which includes today's Randolph County. Created as Arkansas's 32nd county on October 29, 1835, Randolph County has two incorporated cities, including Pocahontas, the county seat and most populous city. The county is also the site of numerous unincorporated communities and ghost towns.
Prairie County is in the Central Arkansas region of the U.S. state of Arkansas. The county is named for the Grand Prairie, a subregion of the Arkansas Delta known for rice cultivation and aquaculture that runs through the county. Created as Arkansas's 54th county in 1846, Prairie County is home to four incorporated towns, including DeValls Bluff, the southern district county seat, and two incorporated cities, including Des Arc, the northern district county seat. The county is also the site of numerous unincorporated communities and ghost towns. Occupying 676 square miles (175,000 ha), Prairie County is the median-sized county in Arkansas. As of the 2010 Census, the county's population is 8,715 people in 4,503 households. Based on population, the county is the ninth-smallest county of the 75 in Arkansas.
Newton County is a county in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,330. The county seat is Jasper. Newton County is Arkansas's 46th county, formed on December 14, 1842, and named for Thomas W. Newton, an Arkansas Congressman. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.
Marion County is located in the Ozark Mountains in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The county is named for Francis Marion, the famous "Swamp Fox" of the Revolutionary War. Created as Arkansas's 35th county in 1836, Marion County is home to one incorporated town and four incorporated cities, including Yellville, the county seat. The county is also the site of numerous unincorporated communities and ghost towns. The county included part of what is now Searcy County, Arkansas, with many opposing to dividing them, which helped fueled the bloody Tutt-Everett War between 1844 and 1850.
Hot Spring County is located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 32,923. The county seat is Malvern. Hot Spring County was formed on November 2, 1829, from a portion of Clark County. It was named for the hot springs at Hot Springs, Arkansas, which were within its boundaries until Garland County was formed in 1874. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county. However, there is no record of this law.
Cross County is a rural Northeast Arkansas county in the Arkansas Delta. Created as Arkansas's 53rd county on November 15, 1862, Cross County contains four incorporated municipalities, including Wynne, the county seat and most populous city. It is named for Confederate Colonel David C. Cross, a political leader in the area.
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.
Russellville is the county seat and largest city in Pope County, Arkansas, United States, with a 2021 estimated population of 30,971. It is home to Arkansas Tech University and Arkansas Nuclear One, Arkansas' only nuclear power plant. Russellville borders Lake Dardanelle and the Arkansas River.
Dardanelle is a city in Yell County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 4,745 at the 2010 census. Along with Danville, it serves as a county seat for Yell County. It is located near Lake Dardanelle.
Havana is a city in Yell County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 375 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Russellville Micropolitan Statistical Area. Arkansas Scenic State Highway 309 leads from Havana to the top of Mount Magazine, home of Arkansas's newest State Park, and the highest peak in Arkansas.
Ola is a city in Yell County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 1,281 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Russellville Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Arkansas Highway 10 is an east–west state highway in West Arkansas. The route runs 135.41 miles (217.92 km) from Oklahoma State Highway 120 near Hackett east to Interstate 30 in Little Rock, the state's capitol. The highway serves both the Fort Smith metropolitan area and the Little Rock – North Little Rock – Conway metropolitan area.
Two Rivers School District No. 10 is a public school district in Yell, Perry, and Conway counties, Arkansas, United States. Two Rivers, headquartered in an unincorporated area in Yell County near Ola, consists of two schools including Two Rivers Elementary and Two Rivers High; it previously operated Ola Elementary School/Ola High School, the Fourche Valley School, and Plainview–Rover Elementary School/Plainview–Rover High School.
The Russellville Micropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is an area consisting of two counties in the U.S. state of Arkansas, anchored by the city of Russellville.
Highway 28 is designation for three east–west state highways in Western Arkansas. Two segments together running from the Oklahoma state line to Ola have been established since the original 1926 Arkansas state highway numbering, with the third segment designated in 1963. All three highways are rural, two-lane roads with relatively low traffic serving a sparsely populated and forested part of Arkansas. The highways are maintained by the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT).
Dardanelle School District is a public school district in Dardanelle, Arkansas, United States. The school district provides comprehensive education to residents of northern Yell County, in the Arkansas River Valley area. It also serves the unincorporated area of Delaware in Logan County.
Two Rivers High School (TRHS) is a public high school for students in grades 7 through 12 located in unincorporated Yell County, Arkansas, United States, on a section of Arkansas Highway 28 midway between Ola and Plainview. Two Rivers High School is administered by the Two Rivers School District.
Western Yell County School District is public school district based in the rural, distant community of Havana, Arkansas, United States. The school district provides early childhood, elementary and secondary education from prekindergarten through grade 12. The district encompasses 154.47 square miles (400.1 km2) of land of western Yell County communities to include: Havana, Belleville, a part of Corinth. It is the smallest of four public school districts in Yell County with two facilities and serving approximately 500 students per year.
The Yell County Courthouse is a courthouse in Dardanelle, Arkansas, United States, one of two county seats of Yell County, built in 1914. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. The courthouse is the second building to serve the Dardanelle district of Yell County.