Altheimer, Arkansas

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Second-class city[1]
Altheimer is located in Arkansas
Location in Arkansas.
Coordinates: 34°19′19″N 91°50′46″W / 34.32194°N 91.84611°W / 34.32194; -91.84611Coordinates: 34°19′19″N 91°50′46″W / 34.32194°N 91.84611°W / 34.32194; -91.84611
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Jefferson
 • Second-class city[1] 2.2 sq mi (5.6 km2)
 • Land 2.2 sq mi (5.6 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 207 ft (63 m)
Population (2010)
 • Second-class city[1] 984
 • Density 541.8/sq mi (212.9/km2)
 • Metro 100,258
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 72004
Area code(s) 870
FIPS code 05-01150
GNIS feature ID 0045849

Altheimer is a second-class city in Jefferson County, Arkansas. The community is located near the Arkansas River northeast of Pine Bluff, placing it in a transition zone between the Arkansas Timberlands and Arkansas River lowlands subregion of the Arkansas Delta. Founded as a railroad town along the Cotton Belt, the city flourished from the cotton industry until mechanization on the farm began to replace farmhands in the fields in the mid-20th century.[1] Altheimer is located in the Pine Bluff metropolitan area, and has seen a decrease in population to 984 at the 2010 census.



The city of Altheimer was founded in 1884 by Louis Altheimer, a planter and business owner of German-Jewish descent. Altheimer, who was born in Darmstadt-Eberstadt in 1850, read stories by German adventurer Frederick Gerstacker telling of the rich natural resources in Arkansas,[2] and left for the United States as a teenager, eventually settling in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.[3] Louis Altheimer brought his brother Joseph with him to the land that would eventually bear their name. Joseph's son, Benjamin J. Altheimer, became a successful attorney, establishing the prominent Chicago law firm of Altheimer, Mayer, Woods, and Smith (later known as Altheimer & Gray), and serving twice as president of Chicago's Iroquois Club, the city's oldest Democratic Party political club.[4] Ben Altheimer owned 15,000 acres (61 km2) of land in Arkansas. His foundation, the Ben J. Altheimer Foundation, provided scholarships and funding for projects in the city of Altheimer and throughout the state and continues today as the Ben J. Altheimer Charitable Foundation, Inc.[5]


Altheimer is located at 34°19′19″N 91°50′46″W / 34.32194°N 91.84611°W / 34.32194; -91.84611 (34.321827, −91.846240).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.6 km²), all land. Altheimer is part of Timberlands Region of Arkansas, a region rich in natural resources that was discovered by pioneers from the Eastern United States in the early 19th century. Deer hunting, bass fishing, timber and oil are plentiful in this area.[7][8]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 450
1930 475 5.6%
1940 494 4.0%
1950 680 37.7%
1960 979 44.0%
1970 1,037 5.9%
1980 1,231 18.7%
1990 972 −21.0%
2000 1,192 22.6%
2010 984 −17.4%
Encyclopedia of Arkansas
History and Culture

As of the census of 2010, there were 984 people, 361 households, and 248 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 10% White, 88.1% Black or African American, 1% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 0.3% from two or more races. 1.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 361 households out of which 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.1% were married couples living together, 24.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.29.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 15 to 19, 7.0% from 40 to 44, 5.3% from 60 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.9 years.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,500, and the median income for a family was $34,153. About 30.9% of families and 35.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 60.4% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.[9]

Arts and culture[edit]


Altheimer's history is on display for residents and tourists in the form of many restored pioneer-era log cabins, Victorian era plantation homes and museums. One of the most prominent locations is The Elms, a former plantation house on the Collier Estate built in 1886, renovated by Ben Altheimer in the 1930s. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Elms is open to the public for retreats, family reunions and tours.[5] Also located on the property are the Elms Duck Lodges, which provide hunting and fishing in the private lake and pond.[7] Roselawn, also known as the Collier-Barnett House, was built in 1875 and added to National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[10]

Lake Dick is an oxbow lake located four miles (6 km) south of Altheimer.[11] This area formerly held farmsteads of eighty Caucasian families who were moved into the area in 1936 as part of the Farm Security Administration.[12] The lake was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.[11]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Teske, Steven (January 5, 2012). "Altheimer (Jefferson County)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ Mitchell, Steve, Jill Bayles and Ken Story. "Historical and Architectural Heritage of White County." Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  3. ^ "Louis Altheimer." Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  4. ^ Andreas, Thomas Alfred. History of Chicago, Vol. 3., pp. 398–407 ISBN 1236331788, 1886. Google Books. Retrieved June 8, 2013.
  5. ^ a b LeMaster, Carolyn Gray. "Benjamin Joseph Altheimer, Jr." Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  6. ^ "Geohack: Altheimer, Arkansas." Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Altheimer." Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  8. ^ "Timberlands." Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  9. ^ "American FactFinder: Altheimer, Arkansas." American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  10. ^ "Arkansas-Jefferson County." National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Norman, Bill. "Lake Dick." Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ Foster, Lynn. "William H. Bowen School of Law." Retrieved June 8, 2013.
  14. ^ Smith Jr., William M. "James Smith McDonnell." Retrieved June 8, 2013.

External links[edit]