Yell County, Arkansas
Yell County Courthouse, Dardanelle
Location within the U.S. state of Arkansas
Arkansas's location within the U.S.
|Founded||December 5, 1840|
|Named for||Archibald Yell|
|Seat||Danville (western district);|
Dardanelle (eastern district)
|• Total||949 sq mi (2,460 km2)|
|• Land||930 sq mi (2,400 km2)|
|• Water||19 sq mi (50 km2) 2.0%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||23/sq mi (9.0/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Yell County is a county in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,185. The county has two county seats, Dardanelle and Danville. Yell County is Arkansas's 42nd county, formed on December 5, 1840 from portions of Scott and Pope counties. It was named after Archibald Yell, who was the state's first member of the United States House of Representatives and the second governor of Arkansas; he later was killed in combat at the Battle of Buena Vista during the Mexican–American War. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Demographics
- 3 Government
- 4 Education
- 5 Communities
- 6 Notable people
- 7 Trivia
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
- Pope County (north)
- Conway County (northeast)
- Perry County (east)
- Garland County (southeast)
- Montgomery County (south)
- Scott County (west)
- Logan County (northwest)
National protected areas
- Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge (part)
- Ouachita National Forest (part)
- Ozark National Forest (part)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2000 census, there were 21,139 people, 7,922 households, and 5,814 families residing in the county. The population density was 23 people per square mile (9/km²). There were 9,157 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 86.63% White, 1.47% Black or African American, 0.58% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 8.99% from other races, and 1.62% from two or more races. 12.73% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 12.00% reported speaking Spanish at home.
There were 7,922 households out of which 33.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.50% were married couples living together, 10.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.60% were non-families. 23.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.80% 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 3.04.
In the county, the population was spread out with 25.80% under the age of 18, 8.90% from 18 to 24, 28.30% from 25 to 44, 22.00% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $28,916, and the median income for a family was $33,409. Males had a median income of $23,172 versus $18,148 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,383. About 11.70% of families and 15.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.20% of those under age 18 and 12.80% of those age 65 or over.
The chief officer of the law in Yell County, as in all Arkansas counties, is the sheriff. The current sheriff of Yell County is Bill Gilkey, who has served since 1998. In 2017, he became the longest currently-serving sheriff in Arkansas, after 19 years in the office. He is also the longest-serving sheriff in the county's history. He has announced that he will retire after his term ends in 2022. Gilkey has sat on state boards such as the Arkansas Crime Lab Board and is still currently on the Arkansas Act 309 Board.
Gilkey is credited with the creation of the Yell County Law Enforcement Center in 2016, which replaces two of the county's older jails that did not meet state standards, and houses the sheriff's office. The new building also houses CID offices, revenue office, and an updated E911 dispatch center.
|Name||Year Elected||Year Left||Total Years||Notable Accomplishments|
|Theodore P Sadler||1840||1846||6||
|J. C. Herin||1854||1856||2|
|William Henry Ferguson||1864||1871||7|
|J. A. Wilson||1872||1874||2|
|Reuben E. Cole||1874||1880||6|
|Levi L. Briggs||1880||1882||2|
|Joseph L. Davis||1882||1886||4|
|H. B. McCarrell||1886||1890||4|
|Joseph Haston Howard||1890||1892||2|
|Sam Gordon Albright||1892||1896||4|
|B. H. Burnett||1896||1900||6|
|James M. Cole||1900||1904||4|
|William Franklin Briggs||1904||1906||2|
|William L. Tatum||1906||1910||4|
|Theodore Riley Gault||1910||1914||4|
|Will T. Caviness||1914||1919||5|
|J. N. George||1919||1923||4|
|Joe D. Gault||1923||1926||3|
|Earl E Lad||1947||1956||9|
|Herman D. McCormick||1957||1968||11|
|Loyd W. Maughn||1993||1998||5||
Over The past few election cycles Yell county has trended heavily towards the GOP. The last democrat (as of 2016) to carry this county was Bill Clinton in 1996.
Early childhood, elementary and secondary education within Yell County is provided by four public school districts:
- Danville School District
- Dardanelle School District
- Two Rivers School District—formed in 2004 by the consolidation of the former Fourche Valley School District, Ola School District, Perry–Casa School District, and Plainview–Rover School District.
- Western Yell County School District—formed in 1985 by the consolidation of the former Belleville School District and Havana School District.
Dissolved School Districts
- Fourche Valley School District
- Ola School District
- Plainview-Rover School District
- Havana School District
- Belleville School District
- Carden Bottoms School District
The Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System, is headquartered in Dardanelle and serves multiple counties and consists of one central library and six branch libraries, including the Yell County Library, a branch library in Danville.
- Mount George
- New Neely
- Pleasant Hill
- Sulphur Springs
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 Yell County are listed below; listed in parentheses are the cities, towns, and/or census-designated places that are fully or partially inside the township. 
- Danville (Corinth, Danville)
- Dardanelle (Dardanelle)
- Dutch Creek
- Ferguson (Belleville)
- Galla Rock
- Gravelly Hill
- Ions Creek
- Lamar (Plainview)
- Riley (Havana)
- Sulphur Springs
- Ward (Ola)
- Ray R. Allen (1920–2010), public official in Alexandria, Louisiana, was born in Yell County.
- John Daly, professional golfer
- Arthur Hunnicutt, Academy Award-nominated Western Actor
- Kelly Ring, WTVT news anchor
- Johnny Sain, Major League Baseball player
- William L. Spicer, Republican state chairman, 1962–1964, was born in Yell County but owned a chain of drive-in theaters in Fort Smith.
- Cousins Jim Walkup (left-handed pitcher), and Jim Walkup (right-handed pitcher), MLB pitchers
- James Lee Witt, former FEMA Director
- Henry C. Bruton, Rear Admiral in the United States Navy,born in Belleville, Arkansas in 1905
- Jacob Lofland, American Actor
- In the novel True Grit, the heroine Mattie Ross is from near Dardanelle in Yell County.
- First Sergeant William Ellis of the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor and bravery above and beyond the call of duty at Dardanelle. At 10 a.m. on January 14, 1865, approximately 1,500 Confederates attacked the Union forces entrenched on the outskirts of the town and a fierce four-hour battle was waged. In the end Confederate Colonel William H. Brooks was unable to overcome the Union defenders of the town and was forced to retreat. It was during this battle that Ellis held his position even after receiving three wounds and would not withdraw for medical attention until he received a fourth wound and was ordered to retire by his commanding officer.
- Yell County was the birthplace of Gretchen McNairy, a moe character from the animated TV series Lukas. The county is referenced several times, and is often portrayed as a land of milk and honey, despite its depressing poverty, since it is the only place where Gretchen's parents actually loved her.
- List of lakes in Yell County, Arkansas
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Yell County, Arkansas
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
- Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
- Based on 2000 census data
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
- "Gilkey is longest-tenured sheriff in Arkansas". River Valley Leader. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
- "Photos: Yell County Law Enforcement Center nears completion", River Valley Leader, January 5, 2016.
- Yell County Court House Records
- "Wayback Machine". January 8, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
- "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved November 18, 2016.
- 2011 Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS): Yell County, AR (PDF) (Map). U. S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
- "Arkansas: 2010 Census Block Maps – County Subdivision". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
- Yell County official website
- Yell County, Arkansas entry on the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture