Desha County is a county located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,008, making it the fifty-sixth most populous of Arkansas's seventy-five counties. The county seat is Arkansas City. Located within the Arkansas Delta, Desha County's rivers and fertile soils led to prosperity under the cotton-driven economy of plantation agriculture. Following mechanization on the farm, Desha County saw a demographic and economic transformation. Today, the county seeks to reverse its population and economic losses through better education for its workforce and tourism based on the cultural, historical and outdoor recreation amenities it offers to residents and tourists.
Desha is named for Benjamin Desha, a soldier in the War of 1812.
County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts
Created in December 12, 1838, and was named after Capt. Ben Desha, who was moving away from the Mississippi and its floods, the county seat has been in four different locations. The landscape of the county is rich, flat, Delta farmland and the Mississippi River forms the eastern boundary. The current county seat is Arkansas City. Desha County is rich, flat delta farmland with the Mississippi River forming the eastern boundary. It lies at the convergence of three of North America's major rivers: the White, the Arkansas and the Mississippi, which provides the county with waterway connections from New Orleans to Tulsa. Railways, waterways, and the rich agricultural resources have made Desha County a major grain shipping and storage center. Desha County, along with Chicot County, has a 3.9 million Port and industrial park at Yellow Bend on the Mississippi. Arkansas City is a survivor of the steamboat era and the Arkansas City courthouse is one of the oldest still in operation in the state. The White River Wildlife Refuge offers a sanctuary for migratory waterfowl. The longest levee in the United States is located in Desha County on the Mississippi River.
According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 820 square miles (2,100 km2), of which 768 square miles (1,990 km2) is land and 51 square miles (130 km2) (6.3%) is water. Desha County is within the Arkansas Delta and is considered a member of the Southeast Arkansas region.
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