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Poinsett County, Arkansas
Harrisburg AR downtown 016.jpg
Map of Arkansas highlighting Poinsett County
Location in the state of Arkansas
Map of the U.S. highlighting Arkansas
Arkansas's location in the U.S.
Founded February 28, 1838
Named for Joel Roberts Poinsett
Seat Harrisburg
Largest city Trumann
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

763 sq mi (1,976 km²)
758 sq mi (1,963 km²)
5.2 sq mi (13 km²), 0.7%
 - (2015)
 - Density

32/sq mi (12/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Poinsett County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,583.[1] The county seat is Harrisburg.[2]

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

History[edit | edit source]

Cotton gins, such as the Judd Hill Cotton Gin, and rice dryers, such as the Hubbard Rice Dryer, have been historically vital to the economy of Poinsett County. Both properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Poinsett County was formed on February 28, 1838, and named for Joel Roberts Poinsett, U.S. Secretary of War. County business was initially conducted in the county judge's home until first court was held in Bolivar upon completion of a courthouse in 1839. County government was moved in 1859 to Harrisburg, a more central locale. Poinsett County acquired its current boundaries in the years following this move. The northern portion became Craighead County, the south portion became Cross County. Sunken lands were added to eastern Poinsett County during this time, including Lepanto and Marked Tree.

The Civil War devastated the county financially, and it wouldn't recover until the railroads gave farmers a new avenue to market their crops and the emergence of a timber industry. The Texas and St. Louis Railway Company completed track through Weiner and the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railway ran through the center of the county in 1882, with the Kansas City, Ft. Scott, and Gulf Railroad opening service in east Poinsett County the following year. Shipping timber had become feasible and began throughout northeast Arkansas following the completion of railroads. Farmers were also able to bring their cotton and farm animals to new markets. Many small railroad towns boomed during this period. Despite this uplift, the county mostly consisted of poor sharecroppers and tenant farmers.

Poinsett County was the hardest hit county by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, resulting in the flooding of thousands of fields and destruction of homes countywide. The Southern Tenant Farmers Union was founded in Tyronza in the years after the flood. The organization was an interracial union to improve the pay and working conditions of poor sharecroppers. The Southern Tenant Farmers Union Museum in Tyronza is now operated by Arkansas State University.

Geography[edit | edit source]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 764 square miles (1,980 km2), of which 758 square miles (1,960 km2) is land and 5.2 square miles (13 km2) (0.7%) is water.[3] Located in Arkansas's northeast corner, the county is bisected by Crowley's Ridge and the L'Anguille River which both pass north-south through the county.[4] The soils in the eastern part of the county have been deposited by the Mississippi River and are mostly used for cotton farming. Western Poinsett County is generally dedicated to rice fields. Lake Poinsett State Park is centrally located within the county.[5]

Major highways[edit | edit source]

Adjacent counties[edit | edit source]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 1,320
1850 2,308 74.8%
1860 3,621 56.9%
1870 1,720 −52.5%
1880 2,192 27.4%
1890 4,272 94.9%
1900 7,025 64.4%
1910 12,791 82.1%
1920 20,848 63.0%
1930 29,695 42.4%
1940 37,670 26.9%
1950 39,311 4.4%
1960 30,834 −21.6%
1970 26,822 −13.0%
1980 27,032 0.8%
1990 24,664 −8.8%
2000 25,614 3.9%
2010 24,583 −4.0%
Est. 2015 24,040 [6] −6.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790–1960[8] 1900–1990[9]
1990–2000[10] 2010–2015[1]

Age pyramid Poinsett County[11]

As of the 2000 United States Census,[12] there were 25,614 people, 10,026 households, and 7,228 families residing in the county. The population density was 34 people per square mile (13/km²). There were 11,051 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.98% White, 7.13% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.74% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. 1.43% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 10,026 households out of which 32.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.60% were married couples living together, 13.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.90% were non-families. 24.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.10% under the age of 18, 8.90% from 18 to 24, 27.10% from 25 to 44, 23.70% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 94.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,558, and the median income for a family was $32,257. Males had a median income of $26,633 versus $19,199 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,087. About 17.60% of families and 21.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.60% of those under age 18 and 20.50% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit | edit source]

Public education[edit | edit source]

Early childhood, elementary and secondary education is available from four school districts listed from largest to smallest based on student population:

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Poinsett County is served with central and branch libraries from two library systems, the Crowley Ridge Regional Library System and Trumann Library System.

Communities[edit | edit source]

Lake Poinsett within Lake Poinsett State Park, June 2011

Cities[edit | edit source]

Town[edit | edit source]

Unincorporated communities[edit | edit source]

Townships[edit | edit source]

Townships in Poinsett County, Arkansas as of 2010

Townships in Arkansas are the divisions of a county. Each township includes unincorporated areas and some may have incorporated towns or cities within part of their space. Townships have limited purposes in modern times. However, the US Census does list Arkansas population based on townships (often referred to as "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. The townships of Pointsett County are listed below with the town(s) and/or city that are fully or partially inside them listed in parentheses.


See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2015. 
  4. ^ Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (November 20, 2009) (PDF). Poinsett County, Arkansas (Map). Cartography by Planning and Research Division. Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Lake Poinsett State Park" (PDF). Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. 2005.!userfiles/pdfs/L-POINST-05.pdf. Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
  6. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 27, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 27, 2015. 
  9. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 27, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 27, 2015. 
  11. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  13. ^ U. S. Census Bureau. 2011 Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS): Poinsett County, AR (Map). Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  14. ^ "Arkansas: 2010 Census Block Maps - County Subdivision". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 

Coordinates: 35°34′17″N 90°39′36″W / 35.57139, -90.66

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