Baxter County, Arkansas

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Baxter County
Clockwise from top: Buffalo River at Buffalo City, the 1825 Jacob Wolf House at Norfork, Cotter Bridge over the White River at sunset, Baxter County courthouse in Mountain Home
Clockwise from top: Buffalo River at Buffalo City, the 1825 Jacob Wolf House at Norfork, Cotter Bridge over the White River at sunset, Baxter County courthouse in Mountain Home
Official seal of Baxter County
Map of Arkansas highlighting Baxter County
Location within the U.S. state of Arkansas
Map of the United States highlighting Arkansas
Arkansas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 36°18′25″N 92°21′17″W / 36.306944444444°N 92.354722222222°W / 36.306944444444; -92.354722222222
Country United States
State Arkansas
FoundedMarch 24, 1873
Named forElisha Baxter
SeatMountain Home
Largest cityMountain Home
Area
 • Total586.74 sq mi (1,519.6 km2)
 • Land554.36 sq mi (1,435.8 km2)
 • Water32.38 sq mi (83.9 km2)  5.5%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total41,513
 • Estimate 
(2019)
41,932
 • Density71/sq mi (27/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district1st
WebsiteBaxter County government's website

Baxter County is a county in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the county's population was 41,513.[2] The county seat is Mountain Home.[3] It is Arkansas's 66th county, formed on March 24, 1873, and named for Elisha Baxter, the tenth governor of Arkansas.

The Mountain Home, AR, Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Baxter County. It is in the northern part of the state, bordering Missouri. It is commonly referred to as the Twin Lakes Area because it is bordered by two of Arkansas' largest lakes, Bull Shoals Lake and Norfork Lake. On its southern border is the White River, Norfork Tailwater and the Buffalo National River.

Mountain Home, a small town whose origins date back to the early nineteenth century, is located in north-central Arkansas on a plateau in the Ozark Mountains. The natural environment of nearby Norfork and Bull Shoals lakes and the surrounding countryside has attracted tourists from around the country for many years.[citation needed] Educational institutions have also played a role in the life of the community.[4]

The Baxter Bulletin weekly newspaper was named in 1973 by the Newspaper Enterprise Association as the "Best Overall Weekly Newspaper in the United States" in the over 10,000-circulation category. At the time it was published by Harold E. Martin and was the largest weekly paper in Arkansas.

Geography[edit]

Baxter County is located within the Salem Plateau, a subregion of the Ozark Mountains. Land near Bull Shoals Lake, Norfork Lake, and along the White River are within the White River Hills subregion, known for steep, rocky soils, spring-fed mountain streams, and oak-hickory-pine forest. Eastern Baxter County and a small area around Mountain Home are within the Central Plateau subregion, known for comparatively flatter terrain more suited for hayfields, pastures, and housing, as well as karst.[5]

The county has a total area of 586.74 square miles (1,519.6 km2), of which 554.36 square miles (1,435.8 km2) is land and 32.38 square miles (83.9 km2) (5.5%) is water.[1]

The county is located approximately 110 miles (180 km) southeast of Springfield, Missouri, 152 miles (245 km) north of Little Rock, and 246 miles (396 km) southeast of St. Louis, Missouri.[Note 1] Baxter County is surrounded by sparsely populated Ozark counties on all sides: Fulton County to the east, Izard County to the southeast, Stone County to the south, Searcy County to the southwest, Marion County to the west, and Ozark County, Missouri to the north.

Hydrology[edit]

Baxter County is within the White River watershed. The river has several important milestones in Baxter County: beginning along the western boundary of Baxter County, the White River is impounded to form the Bull Shoals Lake reservoir by Bull Shoals Dam, which spans the Baxter-Marion county line. South of the dam, the White River forms the western boundary of Baxter-Marion county line until Buffalo City, when the Buffalo National River empties into the White, with the White continuing across Baxter County from west to east. South of Salesville, the North Fork of White River empties into the White via the Norfork Tailwater downstream of Norfork Dam.[7] Within the county, Barren Fork, Big Creek, Bruce Creek, Hightower Creek, Leatherwood Creek, and Moccasin Creek are important watercourses.[8]

Protected areas[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

State protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18806,004
18908,52742.0%
19009,2989.0%
191010,38911.7%
192010,216−1.7%
19309,519−6.8%
194010,2818.0%
195011,68313.6%
19609,943−14.9%
197015,31954.1%
198027,40978.9%
199031,18613.8%
200038,38623.1%
201041,5138.1%
2019 (est.)41,932[9]1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790–1960[11] 1900–1990[12]
1990–2000[13] 2010–2016[2]
Age pyramid Baxter County[14]

2020 census[edit]

Baxter County racial composition[15]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 38,049 91.4%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 88 0.21%
Native American 218 0.52%
Asian 234 0.56%
Pacific Islander 9 0.02%
Other/Mixed 1,971 4.73%
Hispanic or Latino 1,058 2.54%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 41,627 people, 18,435 households, and 11,964 families residing in the county.

2000 census[edit]

As of the 2000 census,[16] there were 38,386 people, 17,052 households, and 11,799 families residing in the county. The population density was 69 people per square mile (27/km2). There were 19,891 housing units at an average density of 36 per square mile (14/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.81% White, 0.11% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. 1.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 17,052 households, out of which 22.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.00% were married couples living together, 7.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.80% were non-families. 27.50% 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 2.21 and the average family size was 2.65.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 19.00% under the age of 18, 5.80% from 18 to 24, 21.10% from 25 to 44, 27.40% from 45 to 64, and 26.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females there were 92.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,106, and the median income for a family was $34,578. Males had a median income of $25,976 versus $18,923 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,859. About 7.90% of families and 11.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.70% of those under age 18 and 8.90% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2010 Baxter County had a population of 41,513. The racial makeup was 95.96% Non-Hispanic whites, 0.16% blacks, 0.56% Native Americans, 0.41% Asians, 0.04% Pacific Islanders, 1.25% Non-Hispanics reporting more than one race and 1.66% Hispanic or Latino.


Human resources[edit]

Education[edit]

The 2019 American Community Survey found 88.7% of Baxter County residents over age 25 held a high school degree or higher and 17.9% holding a bachelor's degree or higher. Baxter County exceeded statewide and nationwide averages for high school attainment (86.6% and 88.0%, respectively), but lags far behind on bachelor's degree attainment (23.0% and 32.1%, respectively).[17]

Primary and secondary education[edit]

Three public school districts are based in Baxter County; Mountain Home School District is the largest school district in Baxter County, with Cotter School District serving the Cotter-Gassville area and the Norfork School District serving the southeast side of the county. Successful completion of the curriculum of these schools leads to graduation from Mountain Home High School, Cotter High School, or Norfork High School respectively. All three high schools are accredited by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE). Small areas in Baxter County are served by the Viola School District and Calico Rock School District.

Government and politics[edit]

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 based on population, and district boundaries are drawn by the Baxter County Election Commission. The Baxter County Quorum Court has eleven members.[18] 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.[19][20]

United States presidential election results for Baxter County, Arkansas[21]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 15,836 75.38% 4,635 22.06% 536 2.55%
2016 14,682 74.28% 4,169 21.09% 915 4.63%
2012 13,688 70.78% 5,172 26.74% 479 2.48%
2008 12,852 64.32% 6,539 32.73% 590 2.95%
2004 11,128 60.05% 7,129 38.47% 273 1.47%
2000 9,538 57.09% 6,516 39.00% 654 3.91%
1996 6,877 44.35% 6,703 43.23% 1,925 12.42%
1992 5,640 35.85% 6,991 44.44% 3,101 19.71%
1988 8,614 63.35% 4,808 35.36% 175 1.29%
1984 10,870 69.84% 4,528 29.09% 166 1.07%
1980 9,684 63.93% 4,789 31.62% 674 4.45%
1976 5,885 50.51% 5,766 49.49% 0 0.00%
1972 6,754 70.65% 2,677 28.00% 129 1.35%
1968 3,401 49.53% 1,952 28.43% 1,513 22.04%
1964 1,986 40.61% 2,900 59.29% 5 0.10%
1960 2,108 54.34% 1,694 43.67% 77 1.99%
1956 1,721 53.92% 1,451 45.46% 20 0.63%
1952 1,387 49.66% 1,388 49.70% 18 0.64%
1948 553 31.42% 1,098 62.39% 109 6.19%
1944 572 41.69% 796 58.02% 4 0.29%
1940 489 36.09% 859 63.39% 7 0.52%
1936 375 32.47% 773 66.93% 7 0.61%
1932 194 15.47% 1,039 82.85% 21 1.67%
1928 504 42.71% 665 56.36% 11 0.93%
1924 301 27.29% 640 58.02% 162 14.69%
1920 484 38.38% 707 56.07% 70 5.55%
1916 318 25.81% 914 74.19% 0 0.00%
1912 142 14.26% 536 53.82% 318 31.93%
1908 300 30.74% 607 62.19% 69 7.07%
1904 236 34.40% 426 62.10% 24 3.50%
1900 287 28.28% 723 71.23% 5 0.49%
1896 262 21.06% 980 78.78% 2 0.16%


Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Town[edit]

Census designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Townships[edit]

Townships in Baxter County, Arkansas, as of 2010

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 Baxter County are listed below; listed in parentheses are the cities, towns, and/or census-designated places that are fully or partially inside the township. [22][23]

Township FIPS code ANSI code
(GNIS ID)
Population
center(s)
Pop.
(2010)
Pop.
density
(/mi2)
Pop.
density
(/km2)
Land area
(mi2)
Land area
(km2)
Water area
(mi2)
Water area
(km2)
Geographic coordinates
Bayou 05-90165 00069555 360 13.90 5.37 25.900 67.08 1.045 2.707 36°28′04″N 92°12′34″W / 36.467714°N 92.209491°W / 36.467714; -92.209491
Big Flat 05-90288 00069556 Big Flat 198 4.15 1.6 47.761 123.7 0.021 0.05439 36°01′36″N 92°21′31″W / 36.026753°N 92.358551°W / 36.026753; -92.358551
Buckhorn 05-90525 00069557 Briarcliff, Norfork, Salesville 969 58.71 22.67 16.504 42.75 0.739 1.914 36°14′15″N 92°17′29″W / 36.237454°N 92.291449°W / 36.237454; -92.291449
Buford 05-90540 00069558 1295 32.86 12.69 39.415 102.1 0.553 1.432 36°13′57″N 92°25′06″W / 36.232621°N 92.418200°W / 36.232621; -92.418200
Greenwood 05-91524 00069559 164 4.32 1.67 37.929 98.24 0.300 0.7770 36°06′36″N 92°15′22″W / 36.110093°N 92.256098°W / 36.110093; -92.256098
Grover 05-91548 00069560 Lakeview, Midway 2438 186.23 71.92 13.091 33.91 2.123 5.499 36°22′49″N 92°31′47″W / 36.380141°N 92.529738°W / 36.380141; -92.529738
Independence 05-91818 00069561 Midway, Mountain Home 1891 59.06 32.3 32.018 82.93 0.027 0.06993 36°21′09″N 92°28′29″W / 36.352625°N 92.474704°W / 36.352625; -92.474704
Logan 05-92247 00069562 Midway 1566 38.29 14.78 40.898 105.9 0.092 0.2383 36°26′38″N 92°28′24″W / 36.443895°N 92.473419°W / 36.443895; -92.473419
Lone Rock 05-92265 00069563 415 15.05 5.81 27.566 71.40 0.490 1.269 36°10′03″N 92°19′09″W / 36.167387°N 92.319143°W / 36.167387; -92.319143
Matney 05-92424 00069564 107 4.40 1.70 24.297 62.93 0.186 0.4817 36°08′27″N 92°24′06″W / 36.140874°N 92.401774°W / 36.140874; -92.401774
Mill 05-92460 00069565 2478 58.82 22.71 42.125 109.1 9.032 23.39 36°23′33″N 92°13′44″W / 36.392563°N 92.228985°W / 36.392563; -92.228985
Mountain Home 05-92616 00069566 Mountain Home 19659 376.61 145.40 52.200 135.2 0.090 0.2331 36°20′08″N 92°22′12″W / 36.335503°N 92.370086°W / 36.335503; -92.370086
North Fork 05-92709 00069567 Norfork 1574 37.66 14.54 41.793 108.2 1.259 3.261 36°11′58″N 92°13′21″W / 36.199399°N 92.222462°W / 36.199399; -92.222462
Pigeon 05-92877 00069568 1850 35.87 13.85 51.570 133.6 3.516 9.106 36°26′49″N 92°21′11″W / 36.446831°N 92.352986°W / 36.446831; -92.352986
Union 05-94062 00069099 Briarcliff 1856 44.08 17.02 42.101 109.0 12.305 31.87 36°16′56″N 92°13′18″W / 36.282254°N 92.221680°W / 36.282254; -92.221680
Whiteville 05-94035 00069570 Cotter, Gassville, Mountain Home 4693 164.48 63.50 28.533 73.90 0.591 1.531 36°17′47″N 92°29′32″W / 36.296363°N 92.492255°W / 36.296363; -92.492255
Source: U.S. Census Bureau[24][25]

Infrastructure[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mileages from Baxter County to Springfield, Little Rock, and St. Louis are based on highway miles using Mountain Home for Baxter County.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation (October 16, 2014). Arkansas County Polygons (SHP file) (Map). Arkansas GIS Office. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on July 4, 2012. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  4. ^ Mulloy, Clement. "Mountain Home (Baxter County)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  5. ^ Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey document: Woods, A.J.; Foti, T.L.; Chapman, S.S.; Omernik, J.M.; et al. "Ecoregions of Arkansas" (PDF). (color poster with map, descriptive text, summary tables, and photographs)
  6. ^ "Google Maps (Search for Mountain Home, AR)". Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  7. ^ Office of Water Quality (2016). "Integrated Water Quality Monitoring Assessment Report" (PDF). North Little Rock, Arkansas: Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  8. ^ Arkansas Atlas & Gazetteer (Map) (Fifth ed.). 1:127,000. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. 2018. p. 20, 21, 34. ISBN 9781946494207. OCLC 1066245581.
  9. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  12. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  14. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  15. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  16. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  17. ^ "American Community Survey". United States Census Bureau. 2015–2019. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  18. ^ "Baxter County". Association of Arkansas Counties. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  19. ^ Teske, Steven (March 24, 2014). "Quorum Courts". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  20. ^ Goss, Kay C. (August 28, 2015). "Office of County Judge". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  21. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  22. ^ 2011 Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS): Baxter County, AR (PDF) (Map). U. S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
  23. ^ "Arkansas: 2010 Census Block Maps - County Subdivision". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  24. ^ "County Subdivisions: Arkansas". Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files. United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original (TXT) on May 31, 2014.
  25. ^ "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau.

Further reading[edit]

  • Baxter County Historical Society Book Committee (2003). History and families of Baxter County, Arkansas. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Co. ISBN 9781563119224. OCLC 865999618.
  • Messick, Mary Ann (1973). History of Baxter County (Centennial ed.). Mountain Home, Arkansas: Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce. LCCN 73-82235. OCLC 724611.
  • Shiras, Frances H. (1939). History of Baxter County (First ed.). J.W. Daniel and Shiras Bros. Print Shop. OCLC 2481304.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°18′25″N 92°21′17″W / 36.30694°N 92.35472°W / 36.30694; -92.35472