Bradley County, Arkansas

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Bradley County
Bradley County Courthouse
Bradley County Courthouse
Map of Arkansas highlighting Bradley County
Location within the U.S. state of Arkansas
Map of the United States highlighting Arkansas
Arkansas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 33°29′39″N 92°08′42″W / 33.494166666667°N 92.145°W / 33.494166666667; -92.145
Country United States
State Arkansas
FoundedDecember 18, 1840
Named forHugh Bradley
Largest cityWarren
 • Total653 sq mi (1,690 km2)
 • Land649 sq mi (1,680 km2)
 • Water3.7 sq mi (10 km2)  0.6%%
 • Total11,508
 • Estimate 
 • Density18/sq mi (6.8/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district4th

Bradley County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,508.[1] The county seat is Warren.[2] It is Arkansas's 43rd county, formed on December 18, 1840, and named for Captain Hugh Bradley, who fought in the War of 1812. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county, and is the home of the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival.


Indigenous peoples of various cultures had lived along the rivers of Arkansas for thousands of years and created complex societies. Mississippian culture peoples built massive earthwork mounds along the Ouachita River beginning about 1000 CE.

Caddo Tribe[edit]

The Felsenthal refuge at the south end of Bradley County contains over 200 native American archaeological sites, primarily from the Caddo tribe that lived in the area as long as 5,000 years ago. These sites include the remains of seasonal fishing camps, ceremonial plazas, temple mounds and large villages containing as many as 200 structures.

French and Spanish control[edit]

After Hernando de Soto's exploration of the Mississippi Valley during the 1540s, there is little evidence of any European activity in the Ouachita River valley until the latter 17th century.

Mississippi Company[edit]

Louis XIV's long reign and wars had nearly bankrupted the French monarchy. Rather than reduce spending, the Regency of Louis XV of France endorsed the monetary theories of John Law a Scottish financier. In 1716, Law was given a charter for the Banque Royale under which the national debt was assigned to the bank in return for extraordinary privileges. The key to the Banque Royale agreement was that the national debt would be paid from revenues derived from opening the Mississippi Valley. The Bank was tied to other ventures of Law—the Company of the West and the Companies of the Indies. All were known as the Mississippi Company. The Mississippi Company had a monopoly on trade and mineral wealth. The Company boomed on paper. Law was given the title Duc d'Arkansas. Bernard de la Harpe and his party left New Orleans in 1719 to explore the Red River. In 1721, he explored the Arkansas River. At the Yazoo settlements in Mississippi he was joined by Jean Benjamin who became the scientist for the expedition.

In 1718, there were only 700 people in Louisiana. The Mississippi Company arranged ships to move hundred (800) people landed in Louisiana on one day in 1718, doubling the population.

John Law encouraged Germans, particularly Germans of the Alsatian region who had recently fallen under French rule, and the Swiss to emigrate.

Alsace was transformed into a mosaic of Catholic and Protestant territories. Alsace was sold to France within the greater context of the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648). Beset by enemies and to gain a free hand in Hungary, the Habsburgs sold their Sundgau territory (mostly in Upper Alsace) to France in 1646, which had occupied it, for the sum of 1.2 million Thalers.

Prisoners were set free in Paris in September 1719 and later, under the condition that they marry prostitutes and go with them to Louisiana. The newly married couples were chained together and taken to the port of embarkation. After complaints from the Mississippi Company and the concessioners about this class of French immigrants, in May, 1720, the French government prohibited such deportations. But, there was third shipment in 1721.

The Jesuit Charlevoix went from Canada to Louisiana. His letter said "these 9,000 Germans, who were raised in the Palatinate (Alsace part of France) were in Arkansas. The Germans left Arkansas en masse. They went to New Orleans and demanded passage to Europe. The Mississippi Company gave the Germans rich lands on the right bank of the Mississippi River about 25 miles above New Orleans. The area is now known as 'the German Coast'."[3]


Sweden lost Swedish Livonia, Swedish Estonia and Ingria to Russia almost 100 years later, by the Capitulation of Estonia and Livonia in 1710 and the Treaty of Nystad in 1721. Charles Fred. D'Arensbourg emigrated to Louisiana in 1721 with thirty officers. They would rather move to Louisiana, instead of living as Russians.


European interest in the region then came in three distinct waves. The French hunters, trappers, and traders appeared first and operated along the Ouachita River valley until the Natchez revolt of 1729, which frightened away any developers for a while. Next, in the 1740s and 1750s, French settlers meandered north from the Pointe Coupee Post in south French Louisiana and named many of bayous. These settlers returned south to Pointe Coupee before the Spaniards took possession of Louisiana in the late 1760s. The third wave of European settlers were actually descendants of the second wave, mostly true Louisiana Creoles born near the Point Coupee and Opelousas Posts. Additionally, a few Canadians came down the river from the Arkansas Post, and a few native French traders also operated along the river in the 1770s.

Prior to 1782, with the exception of occasional failed colonization schemes, the Europeans ignored the vast Ouachita Valley, which extended from the area around Hot Springs, Arkansas southward towards the Mississippi River in Louisiana. This changed with the 1779–1782 war between England and Spain. After their defeat at the Battle of Baton Rouge in 1779, the English yielded control of Natchez to the Spaniards, and this led to several years of fighting as the English settlers resisted Spanish rule over them. After the ultimate English defeat, many settlers fled to the Ouachita Valley region, creating the threat of English/American rebel activity in the Ouachita Valley region. This prompted the Spanish governor, Don Bernardo, the Comte de Galvez, to establish a strong buffer zone between the independent American states and the Spanish province of Louisiana. In 1781 Galvez created the “Poste d'Ouachita” and named Jean-Baptist Filhiol (also known as Don Juan Filhiol) as the commandant. Filhiol served in this capacity between 1782 and 1804, and through his service helped to keep a firm Spanish grip on activities in the region.

Filhiol, his new wife, and a few others arrived in the Ouachita country in April 1782. He traveled up the river, past present-day Union Parish, to the old trading post called “Ecore a Fabri” (now Camden). For various reasons, after a few years Filhiol decided not to build his headquarters there and took his group back down river to the "Prairie des Canots".

Many Louisiana Creole people arrived in Louisiana following the Slave Uprising led by Toussaint Breda (later called L'Overture) in 1791 in Ste. Dominique, later called Haiti.

In 1801, Spanish Governor Don Juan Manuel de Salcedo took over for Governor Calvo, and the right to deposit goods from the United States was fully restored. Napoleon Bonaparte returned Louisiana to French control from Spain in 1800, under the Treaty of San Ildefonso (Louisiana had been a Spanish colony since 1762.) However, the treaty was kept secret, and Louisiana remained under Spanish control until a transfer of power to France on November 30, 1803, just three weeks before the cession to the United States.

James Monroe and Robert R. Livingston traveled to Paris to negotiate the purchase in 1802. Their interest was only in the port and its environs; they did not anticipate the much larger transfer of territory that would follow.

The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of 828,800 square miles (2,147,000 km2) of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803.

Name origins[edit]

  • L'Aigles Creek, Aigle "Eagle Creek", Eagle Lake.
  • Bogalusa. A place on the Saline River near the Ouachita River (a different place with the same name is Bogalusa, Louisiana).
  • Charivari Creek, south of Hilo (a French folk custom in which the community gave a noisy, discordant mock serenade, also pounding on pots and pans, at the home of newlyweds. )
  • Felsenthal a Germanic word meaning "hills and valley" or "rocky valley."
  • Moreau Bayou de Moreau (or Moro Creek, Moro Bay) Moreau is a French surname.
  • Pereogeethe Lake. Pereo (Latin: Disappearance, death, loss.) Geethe (Estonian: female name)

Early American period[edit]

During the period 1837–1861, settlers arrived from Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia. Prior to 1860, to reach the available farmland of northwestern Louisiana and southwestern Arkansas, settlers from the Gulf Coast states most often crossed the Mississippi River at Natchez, then came up the Ouachita River.


Captain Hugh Bradley moved to what was then Clark County in 1825.

In early years, there was settlement known as the Saline Settlement and as the Pennington Settlement. Later is was named Cabeens. Postal service in the area was first established in 1832 at Cabeens, which may have been named after J.T. Cabeen, an early surveyor.[4]

Dr. John Thomas Cabeen served as postmaster from 1832 until 1843. John Harvie Marks donated thirty acres, and John Splawn donated ten acres of land for the town site. The first circuit court met on April 26, 1841, at Hugh Bradley's house. The name of Cabeens was changed to Warren in 1843. In 1850, the town of Warren was incorporated.

In 1840, a new county was created out of Union County, and named for Hugh Bradley.[4]

Some settlers from Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee arrived in the 1840s and 1850s.[5]

Around 1849, Wiley and Louisa Powell moved to Bradley County, taking the title to the land that is now Hermitage. The following year. Louisa's parents, James and Susan Thompson, joined the Powells that year, as did Robert Pulley (who was pastor of Holly Springs Baptist Church) and the Jarrett family. Jefferson Singer, who had lived in Bradley County since 1840, acquired the Powell Farm at a later date. A post office for Hermitage was established in 1854. The name of the town was to honor President Andrew Jackson, whose home in Nashville, Tennessee was called The Hermitage.[6]

The Bradley Lumber Company began logging the virgin hardwoods before 1901. In 1901, the Warren, Johnsville, and Saline River (WJ & SR) railroads began operations. It was owned by the Bradley Lumber Company. The railroad operated 15 miles of rails. It connected Warren with Hermitage and there was a connection with the Rock Island. There was a connection with the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway.

The Warren, Johnsville, and Saline River (WJ & SR) railroads brought the logs to the Warren plant. Finished products were shipped to Rock Island and the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway. In 1920, it was renamed the Warren & Saline River Railroad (W&SRR).[7][8] The Warren & Ouachita Valley Railway was jointly owned by the Arkansas Lumber Company and the Southern Lumber Company. It began operations around 1901 connecting Banks with Warren.[9][10]

Parts of former railroads of the lumber companies were changed to company roads for trucking logging to mills in Warren. Those company roads were straight, level, and with long radius curves because the railroads were built straight, level, and with long radius curves. Many company roads because county roads. Temporary spur rail lines were built to remove some of the virgin timber. The rails and crossties were repeatedly reused. There was earthwork cut (earthworks) for the spur rail lines remain.[11]

The Bradley Lumber Company at Wheeler and Martin street employed 1,100 workers in year 1941. That company was only of the largest purchasers of hardwood in the south. A leading product was unassembled furniture which was crated and shipped to eastern assembly plants. There was a flooring plant and a hickory products department. The company had a village of 4 and 5 rooms houses for its employees.

A Southern Lumber Company mill was at the west end of Pine Street. That plant employed about 400 people to make oak and pine flooring. The company also owned a village for its employees.[12]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 653 square miles (1,690 km2), of which 649 square miles (1,680 km2) is land and 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2) (0.6%) is water.[13]

The Mississippi Embayment extends to the Saline River valley along the east and southeast edge of Bradley County. The Ouachita River runs along the southwest edge of the county. The Saline River (Ouachita River) flows along most of the east edge of the county. The L'Aigle Creek (Saline River of the Ouachita River) drains most of the area in the county.

Topographic map[edit]

A Topographic map of Bradley County is at

The lowest point in Arkansas is 55 feet above sea level, at the Ouachita River on the border with Louisiana.[14][15]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)10,763[16]−6.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[17]
1790–1960[18] 1900–1990[19]
1990–2000[20] 2010–2016[1]
Age pyramid Bradley County[21]

As of the 2010 census, there were 11,508 people living in the county. 60.3% were White, 27.6% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 10.1% of some other race and 1.3% of two or more races. 13.2% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the 2000 census, there were 12,600 people, 13,103 households and 9,346 families living in the county. The population density was 19 per square mile (7/km2). There were 7,002 housing units at an average density of 9 per square mile (4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 53.36% White, 39.63% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 4.91% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. 4.25% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,421 households, of which 29.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.20% were married couples living together, 14.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.90% were non-families. 27.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.96.

23.60% of the population were under the age of 18, 9.70% from 18 to 24, 26.50% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, and 17.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 97.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.80 males.

The median household income was $38,936, and the median family income was $47,094. Males had a median income of $32,779 versus $27,167 for females. The per capita income for the county was $42,346. About 20.60% of families and 26.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.10% of those under age 18 and 20.80% of those age 65 or over.


Federal elections[edit]

Like almost all of Arkansas and the rural South, the 21st century has seen Bradley County make a hard turn to the Republican Party after supporting Democrats throughout its history; the move is likely due to racial and cultural agitation with the party in Appalachian and rural Southern areas. John Kerry was the last Democrat to win the county in a presidential election, in 2004. Further elections has only seen sharper turns to the right, first at the presidential level and increasingly for other contested seats, to the point where this county, and Arkansas as a whole, is very Republican today.

Presidential election results
Bradley County, Arkansas vote
by party in presidential elections [22]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2020 63.9% 2,335 33.2% 1,214 2.9% 105
2016 59.24% 2,164 36.05% 1,317 4.71% 172
2012 58.43% 2,134 39.68% 1,449 1.89% 69
2008 55.98% 2,262 41.57% 1,680 2.45% 99
2004 47.33% 2,011 51.92% 2,206 0.75% 32
2000 45.06% 1,793 53.33% 2,122 1.60% 64
1996 28.88% 1,146 64.67% 2,566 6.45% 256
1992 30.64% 1,482 61.07% 2,954 8.29% 401
1988 48.93% 2,089 50.76% 2,167 0.30% 13
1984 53.62% 2,690 46.10% 2,313 0.28% 14
1980 33.74% 1,650 64.19% 3,139 2.07% 101
1976 24.12% 1,134 75.88% 3,567 0% 0
1972 69.74% 3,218 29.65% 1,368 0.61% 28
1968 16.69% 802 30.32% 1,457 52.99% 2,546
1964 45.15% 1,852 54.34% 2,229 0.51% 21
1960 20.74% 873 70.31% 2,960 8.95% 377
1956 30.75% 1,361 68.01% 3,010 1.24% 55
1952 26.36% 869 73.31% 2,417 0.33% 11
1948 9.74% 213 65.20% 1,426 25.06% 548
1944 8.63% 162 91.10% 1,710 0.27% 5
1940 5.95% 123 93.85% 1,939 0.19% 4
1936 3.97% 65 95.97% 1,571 0.06% 1
1932 5.90% 125 93.76% 1,985 0.33% 7
1928 23.11% 447 76.89% 1,487 0.00% 0
1924 29.13% 453 64.44% 1,002 6.43% 100
1920 30.73% 540 65.22% 1,146 4.04% 71
1916 21.32% 314 78.68% 1,159 0.00% 0
1912 11.84% 137 66.72% 772 21.44% 248
1908 25.10% 316 71.96% 906 2.94% 37
1904 24.29% 188 73.51% 569 2.20% 17
1900 15.19% 153 83.61% 842 1.19% 12
1896 15.87% 185 83.70% 976 0.43% 5




Unincorporated communities[edit]


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 Bradley County are listed below; listed in parentheses are the cities, towns, and/or census-designated places that are fully or partially inside the township. [23][24]

  • Clay (Banks)
  • Eagle
  • Marion
  • Moro
  • Ouachita
  • Palestine
  • Pennington (Warren)
  • River
  • Sumpter
  • Washington (Hermitage)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Cat Island: The History of a Mississippi Gulf Coast Barrier Island, By John Cuevas
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Tinsman (Calhoun County)
  6. ^ Hermitage (Bradley County)
  7. ^
  8. ^ The Early Mills, Railroads, and Logging Camps of the Crossett Lumber Company | O. H. "DOOGIE" DARLING AND DON C. BRAGG
  9. ^ Arkansas Logging Railroads
  10. ^ The Rock Island, map 1938
  11. ^ The Early Mills, Railroads, and Logging Camps of the Crossett Lumber Company | O. H. "DOOGIE" DARLING AND DON C. BRAGG
  12. ^ [1] Page 347
  13. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Ouachita River flood in Monroe, LA was 1.5 feet higher in Feb. 1932 than in the flood of 1927
  16. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  17. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 26, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  18. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  19. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  20. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  21. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  22. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  23. ^ 2011 Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS): Bradley County, AR (PDF) (Map). U. S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  24. ^ "Arkansas: 2010 Census Block Maps - County Subdivision". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 27, 2014.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°29′39″N 92°08′42″W / 33.49417°N 92.14500°W / 33.49417; -92.14500