Garland County is a county located in the state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 96,024. The county seat is Hot
Garland County comprises the Hot Springs, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county includes Hot Springs National Park, the first property to be protected under federal legislation; a law was passed in 1832 supported by President Andrew Jackson to preserve this area, even before Arkansas was admitted as a state.
Garland is named for Augustus Hill Garland, the eighth governor of Arkansas. Augustus Hill Garland (June 11, 1832 – January 26, 1899) was an Arkansas lawyer and politician. He was a senator in both the United States and the Confederate States, served as Governor of Arkansas and as Attorney General of the United States in first administration of Grover Cleveland.
County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts
This area was occupied by the historic Natchitoches people, who frequented the hot springs for their healing powers. Their ancestors among regional indigenous peoples had been coming to this area for thousands of years.
The first European-American settler was Jean Pierre Emanuel Prudhomme, a descendant of French colonists. An owner of a plantation at Red River, Prudhomme was suffering from illness and sought relief from the springs. In 1807 He built the first permanent European house by the springs, living here for two years. Isaac Cates and John Percival, two trappers from Alabama, joined him. Percival foresaw a great potential for the area and built log cabins in order to rent to visitors to the springs.
Created in April 5, 1873, and was named after Augustus. H. Garland, Governor of Arkansas, US Senator, and Glover Cleveland's Attorney General. Hot Springs, the county seat, has drawn visitors to the area for many years. The landscape of Garland County is rugged terrain and heavily forested Ouachita Mountains. In 1832, Hot Springs National Park became the first national reservation set aside for recreational purposes and is the only national park within a city. There are 47 springs along the base of the Hot Springs Mountain. The courthouse is the only one in Arkansas located in a national park. An Act of the United States Congress was required to acquire part of the block where the courthouse stands. Recreation and tourism have always been mainstays of the county's economy, along with livestock production and logging. One of the largest quartz crystal mining operations in North America is located in Garland County. The famous Oak lawn Park offers thoroughbred horse racing from February through April. Three lakes, Lake Ouachita, Lake Catherine and Lake Hamilton all offer a full range of water sports and recreation facilities. New construction of homes and businesses are on the rise in Hot Springs.
According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 735 square miles (1,900 km2), of which 678 square miles (1,760 km2) is land and 57 square miles (150 km2) (7.7%) is water
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