Clay County, Arkansas

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Clay County, Arkansas
Sheeks House.jpg
Map of Arkansas highlighting Clay County
Location in the U.S. state of Arkansas
Map of the United States highlighting Arkansas
Arkansas's location in the U.S.
Founded March 24, 1873
Seat Corning (western district);
Piggott (eastern district)
Largest city Piggott
Area
 • Total 641 sq mi (1,660 km2)
 • Land 639 sq mi (1,655 km2)
 • Water 2.0 sq mi (5 km2), 0.3%
Population (est.)
 • ( 2016) 14,920
 • Density 25/sq mi (10/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/ -5
Website claycounty.arkansas.gov

Clay County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,083. [1] The county has two county seats, Corning and Piggott. [2] It is a dry county, in which the sale of alcoholic beverages is restricted or prohibited.

History

When Clay County was created as Arkansas's 67th county on March 24, 1873 (along with Baxter County), it was named Clayton County, after John M. Clayton, then a member of the Arkansas Senate and a brother of then- U.S. Senator Powell Clayton, [3] though some sources suggest it may have been named for Powell Clayton instead. [4]

Two years later on December 6, 1875, [5] the county's name was shortened to "Clay" by the Arkansas General Assembly. Some claim it was renamed for the statesman Henry Clay, [3] [4] while others say John M. Clayton remained its official namesake. [6] The name change apparently was inspired by lingering distrust of Powell Clayton, as he had declared martial law and suspended elections in the county in 1868 when he was Governor of Arkansas and it was still part of Greene County. [3]

The first county seat was Corning, [7] established in 1873, with the arrival of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway, as the first incorporated town in the county. The county seat was moved to Boydsville in 1877, because people living east of the Black and Cache Rivers had difficulty getting to Corning during the flood season. However, this caused problems for those living west of the rivers, and in 1881 Corning was re-established as the seat of the Western District, with Boydsville remaining the seat for the Eastern District. With the arrival of the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railroad in 1882, other towns such as Greenway, Rector and Piggott experienced growth. In 1887, the Eastern District seat was moved to Piggott, and the dual county seat system remains in place today. [8] Important county functions (such as the Quorum Court) alternate between Piggott and Corning as their venues.

On April 6, 1972, Sheriff Douglas Batey and deputies Glen Ray Archer and Troy Key were shot and killed while trying to serve a warrant on Bert Grissom. Grissom opened fire as soon as the men stepped out of their car. He later surrendered without resistance to another deputy, and was tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison. William Thomas Pond became sheriff, but he died in an automobile accident on June 8, 1973. Four of the five police officers who have lost their lives serving the Clay County Sheriff's Office died in these two incidents.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 641 square miles (1,660 km2), of which 639 square miles (1,660 km2) is land and 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2) (0.3%) is water. [9]

Major Highways

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 7,213
1890 12,200 69.1%
1900 15,886 30.2%
1910 23,690 49.1%
1920 27,276 15.1%
1930 27,278 0.0%
1940 28,386 4.1%
1950 26,674 −6.0%
1960 21,258 −20.3%
1970 18,771 −11.7%
1980 20,616 9.8%
1990 18,107 −12.2%
2000 17,609 −2.8%
2010 16,083 −8.7%
Est. 2016 14,920 [10] −7.2%
U.S. Decennial Census [11]
1790–1960 [12] 1900–1990 [13]
1990–2000 [14] 2010–2016 [1]
Age pyramid Clay County [15]

As of the 2000 census, [16] there were 17,609 people, 7,417 households, and 5,073 families residing in the county. The population density was 28 people per square mile (11/km²). There were 8,498 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.08% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 0.69% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.15% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. 0.80% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,417 households out of which 28.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.60% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.60% were non-families. 28.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.10% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 25.30% from 25 to 44, 24.60% from 45 to 64, and 19.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $25,345, and the median income for a family was $32,558. Males had a median income of $24,375 versus $17,146 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,512. About 13.40% of families and 17.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.20% of those under age 18 and 22.70% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Clay County, Arkansas
voteby party in presidential elections [17]
Year GOP DNC Others
2016 72.71% 3,781 23.06% 1,199 4.23% 220
2012 63.11% 3,225 34.01% 1,738 2.88% 147
2008 55.02% 3,032 40.72% 2,244 4.26% 235
2004 45.26% 2,759 53.54% 3,264 1.20% 73
2000 38.20% 2,254 59.78% 3,527 2.02% 119
1996 25.79% 1,512 65.63% 3,848 8.58% 503
1992 23.26% 1,647 68.47% 4,848 8.26% 585
1988 44.33% 2,766 55.16% 3,442 0.51% 32
1984 53.02% 3,767 46.15% 3,279 0.83% 59
1980 42.17% 3,091 54.37% 3,985 3.46% 254
1976 25.05% 1,893 74.95% 5,664
1972 69.39% 4,381 30.61% 1,933 0.00% 0
1968 37.91% 2,410 26.16% 1,663 35.94% 2,285
1964 37.57% 1,999 61.64% 3,280 0.79% 42
1960 55.67% 2,543 41.77% 1,908 2.56% 117
1956 41.60% 1,711 57.57% 2,368 0.83% 34
1952 47.75% 2,105 51.66% 2,277 0.59% 26
1948 28.41% 878 66.94% 2,069 4.66% 144
1944 42.31% 1,422 57.54% 1,934 0.15% 5
1940 37.03% 1,029 60.31% 1,676 2.66% 74
1936 30.83% 795 68.94% 1,778 0.23% 6
1932 17.22% 397 82.00% 1,891 0.78% 18
1928 46.31% 1,254 52.99% 1,435 0.70% 19
1924 39.85% 1,084 52.54% 1,429 7.61% 207
1920 43.99% 1,536 50.83% 1,775 5.18% 181
1916 33.29% 973 66.71% 1,950 0.00% 0
1912 24.91% 622 52.02% 1,299 23.07% 576
1908 38.08% 1,009 57.62% 1,527 4.30% 114
1904 42.03% 752 54.11% 968 3.86% 69
1900 34.15% 627 65.09% 1,195 0.76% 14
1896 23.35% 475 75.57% 1,537 1.08% 22

County Officials

  • County Judge: Gary Howell
  • County Clerk: Pat Poole
  • Sheriff & Collector: Terry Miller
  • Circuit Clerk: Janet Kilbreath
  • County Treasurer: Carolyn Morrisett
  • District Judge: David Copelin
  • Quorum Court Justices: David Cagle, Greg Ahrendt, Doyne Holifield, Joey Henderson, David Hatcher, Dennis Haynes, Mark Watson, & Burton Eddington, Jeff Douglas.

Economy

Agriculture is the cornerstone of Clay County's economy. Farmers throughout the county grow a wide variety of crops. Rice is the dominant crop, but significant amounts of cotton, soybeans, corn, hay, and milo are also grown. Industry is limited to a handful of factories located in the cities of Piggott, Corning, and Rector.

Education

Public education of elementary and secondary school students is provided by:

Communities

Cities

Towns

Unincorporated community

Townships

Townships in Clay 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 Clay County are listed below; listed in parentheses are the cities, towns, and/or census-designated places that are fully or partially inside the township. [18] [19]


CLAY COUNTY ARKANSAS INFORMATION

Clay ... County ... Arkansas ...

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