Location in White County and the state of Arkansas
|• Total||2.91 sq mi (7.53 km2)|
|• Land||2.87 sq mi (7.44 km2)|
|• Water||0.03 sq mi (0.09 km2)|
|Elevation||213 ft (65 m)|
|• Estimate (2016)||2,002|
|• Density||688.68/sq mi (265.88/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0077392|
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2), of which 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (1.31%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,982 people, 733 households, and 529 families residing in the city. The population density was 659.5 people per square mile (254.2/km²). There were 816 housing units at an average density of 271.5/sq mi (104.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.05% White, 2.32% Black or African American, 0.71% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.31% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. 2.32% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 733 households out of which 29.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.8% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.7% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the city, the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 22.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 85.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,660, and the median income for a family was $31,176. Males had a median income of $25,774 versus $16,852 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,891. About 12.0% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.4% of those under age 18 and 20.8% of those age 65 or over.
Originally known as Prospect Bluff, the town was founded in 1840 by Erastus Gregory. In 1871 a Baptist school, Judson University, was established in the area. A few months later the name Prospect Bluff was changed to Judsonia, after Baptist missionary Adoniram Judson, to help promote the school, which drew many northerners to the area.
Though the school died in 1883, the town streets still bear the names of several well-known 19th-century Baptists: Judson and Hasseltine (after Adoniram Judson and his wife, Ann Hasseltine Judson), Wayland (after Francis Wayland, president of Brown University in Rhode Island), Wade (after missionary Jonathan Wade) and Boardman (after missionary George Boardman, whose widow, Sarah Hall Boardman became Judson's second wife).
On the evening of March 21, 1952, tornadoes swept Arkansas leaving 111 dead. Fifty of those fatalities were in Judsonia and the near vicinity. It was reported that the only building in the town not damaged was the Methodist church, which stands today in the city's downtown area along Van Buren Street.
"That's Judsonia" by William Ewing Orr (1957, White County Printing Company) is a history of the community. Judsonia is home to a yearly festival called Prospect Bluff Days in honor of the towns origins.
Elementary and secondary education is primarily provided by two school districts:
- White County Central School District, including White County Central High School; both are based in Judsonia.
- Riverview School District, including Riverview High School is located in Searcy. The Riverview School District includes Judsonia Elementary School.
Judsonia residents are served by Baldwin-Kittler Memorial Library, a branch library of the White County Regional Library System.
- Beth Ditto, musician who grew up in Judsonia
- Jeremy Gillam, farmer from Judsonia and Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
- Lonnie Glosson, an early blues harmonica player
- "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 23, 2017.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Dick E., Browning (19 May 2009). "Judson University". Encyclopedia of Arkansas.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 171.
- "Library News". White County Regional Library System. Retrieved 26 August 2015.