Monroe County, Arkansas

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Monroe County, Arkansas
Monroe County Courthouse, Clarendon, Arkansas.jpg
Monroe County Courthouse in Clarendon, Arkansas
Map of Arkansas highlighting Monroe County
Location in the state of Arkansas
Map of the United States highlighting Arkansas
Arkansas's location in the U.S.
Founded November 2, 1829
Named for James Monroe
Seat Clarendon
Largest city Brinkley
Area
 • Total 621.41 sq mi (1,609 km2)
 • Land 606.65 sq mi (1,571 km2)
 • Water 14.76 sq mi (38 km2), 2.38%
Population
 • (2010) 8,149
 • Density 13/sq mi (5.18/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Monroe County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of 2010, the population is 8,149. The county seat is Clarendon, while its largest city is Brinkley. Monroe County is Arkansas's 20th county, formed on November 2, 1829, from portions of Arkansas and Phillips counties, and named for James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States.

Sheffield Nelson, the Arkansas Republican National Committeeman and his party's gubernatorial nominee in 1990 and 1994, was born in 1940 in Monroe County.

A portion of Monroe County is represented in the Arkansas State Senate by the Republican Ronald R. Caldwell, a real estate businessman from Wynne in Cross County.

Geography[edit]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 621.41 square miles (1,609.4 km2), of which 606.65 square miles (1,571.2 km2) (or 97.62%) is land and 14.76 square miles (38.2 km2) (or 2.38%) is water.[1]

Major Highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 461
1840 936 103.0%
1850 2,049 118.9%
1860 5,657 176.1%
1870 8,336 47.4%
1880 9,574 14.9%
1890 15,336 60.2%
1900 16,816 9.7%
1910 19,907 18.4%
1920 21,601 8.5%
1930 20,651 −4.4%
1940 21,133 2.3%
1950 19,540 −7.5%
1960 17,327 −11.3%
1970 15,657 −9.6%
1980 14,052 −10.3%
1990 11,333 −19.3%
2000 10,254 −9.5%
2010 8,149 −20.5%
Est. 2012 7,828 −3.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[2]
2012 Estimate[3]
Age pyramid Monroe County[4]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 10,254 people, 4,105 households, and 2,733 families residing in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile (7/km²). There were 5,067 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 59.37% White, 38.79% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. 1.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,105 households out of which 29.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.10% were married couples living together, 16.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.40% were non-families. 30.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.90% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 23.70% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 17.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 88.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $22,632, and the median income for a family was $28,915. Males had a median income of $25,299 versus $17,117 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,096. About 21.00% of families and 27.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.40% of those under age 18 and 22.40% of those age 65 or over.

History[edit]

Settlement in Monroe County began when Dedrick Pike settled where the Cache River enters the White River in 1816.[6] The settlement was named Mouth of the Cache, and a post office by that name was opened years later. The community renamed itself Clarendon in 1824 in honor of the Earl of Clarendon. Monroe County was established under the Arkansas territorial legislature in 1829, and the county seat was established at Laurenceville where a jail and courthouse were erected. A ferry across the White River came in 1836, and the county seat was moved to Clarendon in 1857, with the new brick courthouse nearly finished at the outbreak of the American Civil War. The county sent five units into Confederate service, and the Union captured Clarendon in 1863 and destroyed the city. Martial law was established for four years after the war as guerilla warfare continued and the county struggled to rebuild. The Union had completely dismandled the brick courthouse and shipped the bricks to De Valls Bluff.[7] The Monroe County Sun was established in 1876.[8]

It was at a site near the intersection of Monroe, Phillips, and Lee counties that surveys began shortly after the United States had completed the Louisiana Purchase. From wetlands in what would become southern Monroe County, approximately 900,000 square miles (2,300,000 km2) of land would be explored after President James Madison commissioned a survey of the purchase area. The point was commemorated in 1961 by the Arkansas General Assembly as part of Louisiana Purchase State Park.

Cities and towns[edit]

Townships[edit]

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 Monroe County are listed below with the town(s) and/or city that are fully or partially inside them listed in parentheses. [9][10]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Bateman, Alta M. The History of Clarendon and Monroe County. Monroe County Sun. 

Coordinates: 34°42′48″N 91°13′20″W / 34.71333°N 91.22222°W / 34.71333; -91.22222