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Arkansas Counties
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Arkansas Counties

The first of the Arkansas' seventy-five present-day counties created, Arkansas County was formed on 13 December 1813, when this area was part of the Missouri Territory.

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Mississippi County, Arkansas

Mississippi County Education, Geography, and HistoryMississippi County, Arkansas Courthouse

Mississippi County is a county located in the state of Arkansas. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 46,480. There are two county seats, Blytheville and Osceola. The county was formed on November 1, 1833. Mississippi county is named for the Mississippi River which borders the county to the east.

The Blytheville, AR Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Mississippi County.

Jefferson W. Speck, a Mississippi County planter, was the Republican gubernatorial nominee in 1950 and 1952.

Etymology - Origin of Mississippi County Name

Mississippi county is named for the Mississippi River. The name Mississippi is derived from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi ("Great River") or gichi-ziibi ("Big River") at its headwaters.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Mississippi County History

Mississippi  county was formed in November 1, 1833, of territory cut from Crittenden County and was named for the powerful river forming its entire eastern boundary. Osceola was the original county seat, but Blytheville became the seat of justice for the northern section in 1870 that created dual county seats.  The economy is made up of varied farming and light manufacturing. Cotton Boll Vocational and Technical School and Mississippi County Community College offer a variety of educational experiences. Mississippi County Community College was the first solar-powered college in the nation. Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge is the oldest federal refuge in Arkansas and offers good hunting and fishing. Both courthouses are unique. The Blytheville courthouse building features a lot of marble with mahogany woodwork, the Osceola Courthouse building features colorful baked stone tile, marble and wrought iron staircases. The first floor is windowless and designed to be protected from possible flooding from the Mississippi River. History from early times in the county is stored in both locations.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 920 square miles (2,400 km2), of which 901 square miles (2,330 km2) is land and 19 square miles (49 km2) (2.1%) is water.

The landscape of Mississippi County is flat, fertile, Delta farmland.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Dunklin County, Mo.
  • Northeast: Pemiscot County, Mo.; Dyer County, Tenn.
  • East: Lauderdale County, Tenn.
  • Southeast: Tipton County, Tenn.
  • Southwest: Crittenden County; Poinsett County
  • West: Craighead County


Public education

Mississippi County is home to the following public school districts, listed in order of student population:

  • Blytheville School District
  • Osceola School District
  • Gosnell School District
  • Southern Mississippi County School District
  • Manila School District
  • Buffalo Island Central School District
  • Armorel School District

The following school districts are based outside of the county but serve portions:

  • East Poinsett County School District
  • KIPP: Delta Public Schools
  • Nettleton School District
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