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Gould, Arkansas

Coordinates: 33°59′14″N 91°33′51″W / 33.98722°N 91.56417°W / 33.98722; -91.56417
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Gould, Arkansas
Gould water tower
Gould water tower
Location in Lincoln County, Arkansas
Location in Lincoln County, Arkansas
Coordinates: 33°59′14″N 91°33′51″W / 33.98722°N 91.56417°W / 33.98722; -91.56417
CountryUnited States
 • Total1.55 sq mi (4.02 km2)
 • Land1.55 sq mi (4.02 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation167 ft (51 m)
 • Total663
 • Density427.47/sq mi (165.06/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code870
FIPS code05-27730
GNIS feature ID2403718[2]

Gould is a city in Lincoln County, Arkansas, United States. Its population was 663 at the 2020 census, down from 837 at the 2010 census.[3] It is included in the Pine Bluff, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. Gould is a farming community.[4] It was named after the American railroad magnate Jay Gould.[5]


Gould is located in northeastern Lincoln County. U.S. Route 65 passes through the city, leading northwest 33 miles (53 km) to Pine Bluff and southeast 27 miles (43 km) to McGehee. Arkansas Highway 114 leads west from Gould 17 miles (27 km) to Star City, while Highway 212 leads east 12 miles (19 km) to Pendleton on the Arkansas River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Gould has a total area of 1.5 square miles (4.0 km2), all land.[6] It sits near the western edge of the Arkansas Delta in the Delta Lowlands sub-region.

Gould is 79 miles (127 km) by highway southeast of Little Rock.[4] The area is in proximity to the Cummins Unit state prison,[7] as well as the Varner Unit state prison.[8]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

2020 census[edit]

Gould racial composition[10]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 68 10.26%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 570 85.97%
Native American 2 0.3%
Other/Mixed 14 2.11%
Hispanic or Latino 9 1.36%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 663 people, 408 households, and 196 families residing in the city.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 1,305 people, 498 households, and 340 families residing in the city. The population density was 844.4 inhabitants per square mile (326.0/km2). There were 602 housing units at an average density of 389.5 per square mile (150.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 78.01% Black or African American, 20.23% White, 0.38% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.77% from other races, and 0.54% from two or more races. 1.07% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 498 households, out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.9% were married couples living together, 32.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 31.9% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 22.2% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 79.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 70.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $19,031, and the median income for a family was $24,028. Males had a median income of $25,833 versus $18,583 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,881. About 28.0% of families and 35.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.9% of those under age 18 and 33.6% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Local government[edit]

Earnest Nash, Jr. ws the mayor of Gould from 2011 to 2020.[12] He is a member of the Gould Citizens Advisory Council, a political group.[4]

Around 2011 Gould had almost $300,000 ($406331.36 when adjusted for inflation) in unpaid taxes. The mayor, the group, and the city council experienced conflict over how to pay the taxes. The council believed that the citizen's group was trying to take too much influence in the city government. In June 2011 the council passed an ordinance saying that it is illegal to form any group without the permission of the city council. The mayor vetoed the law. On July 12, 2011, the council overrode the veto. The council also overrode a veto on a bill stating that the citizen's council may no longer exist and that the mayor may not meet with any organization in any location inside or outside the Gould city limits without the permission of the city council. The mayor stated that he refuses to stop meeting with groups, and that he would go to jail if given the choice between going to jail or not associating with the group. Nash said that the ordinances were not allowed under the U.S. Constitution and that Gould citizens are generally ignoring them. On Monday, July 18, 2011, Sonya Farley, a council member, said that the council plans to rewrite the ordinances in a manner that is constitutional.[4] In August 2011 the city council repealed the ordinances.[13]

Donna Terrell, a reporter at KLRT-TV Fox 16 News of Little Rock, said "You've got to be kidding me" when she heard about the ordinances.[4] Terrell added that in communities "where everyone knows everyone" political conflict became very severe.[4] Mark Hayes, the general counsel of the Arkansas Municipal League, said "I've seen some humdingers, but never any ordinance like this."[4] Robbie Brown of The New York Times said that the ordinances are an indicator that Gould's politics had become "nasty".[4] Brown added that legal scholars said that the law forbidding the formation of groups without the city council's permission was blatantly unconstitutional.[4]

On July 28, 2011, a man assaulted Nash, who accused his assailant of being allied with his political opponents.[14] On Wednesday August 20, 2011, the two men were arrested in connection with the assault.[15] One individual was originally charged with a felony but in April 2012 the charges were downgraded to a misdemeanor, and the other individual had his criminal charges dismissed.[16]

Federal representation[edit]

The United States Postal Service operates the Gould Post Office.[17]


Prior to the advent of court-mandated integration, separate schools were maintained for White and Black students. When courts ordered the schools to integrate, Gould established a "freedom of choice plan". In 1968, the US Supreme court declared that Gould's plan was unacceptable, and ordered Gould to integrate the schools without further delay. When the newly integrated schools opened September 2, most White students did not attend, instead waiting until October 1 to enroll in Southeast Academy, a hastily-organized, unaccredited[18] segregation academy.[19][20][21][22] Some White parents proposed reducing the property tax rate in order to defund the public schools and free up funds to support the segregation academy.[23] In the fall of 1975 less than 70 students showed up for registration at Southeast Academy, and the school closed down.[24]

Many White students transferred to districts that were more predominantly White; between 1982 and 1986 at least 115 children transferred to either Star City or Dumas. The result of the students transferring cost the school district around $100,000 per year in state funding, and left the district's ability to meet state standards in doubt. Of the 148 students who attended the integrated high school on opening day in 1986, only one was White.[25]

In 2004, the Gould School District was incorporated into the Dumas Public School District[26] in accordance with a law passed by the Arkansas Legislature that eliminated school districts with fewer than 350 students.[27][26] In the fall of 2005 the Dumas district planned to move all Gould students in grades 7-12 to the Dumas schools, and considered doing the same to the elementary school students from Gould.[27]


In 2008 the town declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy.[28][29]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Gould, Arkansas
  3. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved October 7, 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Brown, Robbie. "Arkansas Town Draws a Line on Clubs." The New York Times. July 19, 2011. Retrieved on July 27, 2011.
  5. ^ "Order #2593 – Arkansas Municipal League".
  6. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001), Gould city, Arkansas". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  7. ^ "Finding Aids to Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture ARKANSAS COLLECTIONS IN THE ARCHIVE OF FOLK CULTURE." Library of Congress. Retrieved on April 21, 2014. "Recorded at the Cumins state farm in Gould, Arkansas, by John A. Lomax, October 1934."
  8. ^ "State Capitol Week in Review" (Archive) State of Arkansas. June 13, 2008. Retrieved on August 15, 2010. "Executions are carried out in the Cummins Unit, which is adjacent to Varner."
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  12. ^ "After 6 years, Gould mayor quits post". February 22, 2014.
  13. ^ Matthews, Gerard. "Gould City Council repeals unconstitutional ordinances." Arkansas Times. Wednesday August 10, 2011. Retrieved on April 21, 2014.
  14. ^ Matthews, Gerard. "Things get ugly in Gould." Arkansas Times. Thursday July 28, 2011. Retrieved on April 21, 2014.
  15. ^ Matthews, Gerard. "Two arrested for attack on Gould mayor." Arkansas Times. Wednesday August 10, 2011. Retrieved on April 21, 2014.
  16. ^ Millar, Lindsey. "No jail time for men charged with assaulting Gould mayor." Arkansas Times. April 2, 2012. Retrieved on April 21, 2014.
  17. ^ "Post Office™ Location - GOULD Archived 2011-05-19 at the Wayback Machine." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on March 6, 2011. "305 W JACKSON ST GOULD, AR 71643-9998"
  18. ^ "Private schools become accredited in 1971". The Commercial Appeal. May 2, 1971. p. 98.
  19. ^ "Whites stay out of class in Arkansas". Winona Daily News. September 20, 1968.
  20. ^ "Integrated School Shunned". The Corpus Christi Caller-Times. September 20, 1968.
  21. ^ "Private School Movement". Retrieved December 6, 2022.
  22. ^ "Dixie private schools spring up all over - even in basements". Kansas City Times. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  23. ^ "A town loses interest in segregated schools". Hope Star. September 25, 1969.
  24. ^ Lancaster, Bill (April 27, 1976). "A town loses interest in segregated schools". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  25. ^ Hofheimer, John (November 4, 1986). "White flight leaves Gould district with fewer students, mostly black". Pine Bluff Commercial. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  26. ^ a b "Consolidation/Annexations of LEA's (1983-2010) Archived 2010-09-24 at the Wayback Machine." Arkansas Department of Education. Retrieved on March 6, 2011.
  27. ^ a b "Dumas inherits Gould district’s deficit Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine." Arkansas News. May 11, 2005. Retrieved on March 7, 2011.
  28. ^ "Gould, Arkansas Chapter 9 Petition" (PDF). PacerMonitor. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  29. ^ http://www.nwaonline.com/adg/News/223888/[permanent dead link]
  30. ^ NFL-Cleo Miller
  31. ^ The Historymakers-Ozell Sutton

External links[edit]