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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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White County, Arkansas

White County Education, Geography, and HistoryWhite County, Arkansas Courthouse

White County is a county located in the state of Arkansas. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 77,076. The county seat is Searcy. White County was formed on October 23, 1835, from portions of Independence, Jackson, and Pulaski counties. The county is named for Hugh Lawson White, a Whig candidate for President of the United States.

White County comprises the Searcy, AR Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Little Rock-North Little Rock, AR Combined Statistical Area.on.

Etymology - Origin of White County Name

White county is named for US presidential candidate Hugh L. White. Hugh Lawson White (August 19, 1881-September 20, 1965) was an American politician from Mississippi and a member of the Democratic Party. He served two non-consecutive terms as Governor of Mississippi (1936-1940, 1952-1956).


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

White County History

White county was created in 1835, by the territorial legislature from parts of Jackson, Pulaski, and Independence counties and was named for Hugh Lawson White, a US Senator from Tennessee. The county seat is Searcy. The economic base of the county is diversified with row crops of Milo, wheat, soybeans, rice; blueberries, and table grapes; livestock, poultry, and coastal Bermuda grass hay; and a wide range of manufacturing and service industries including a Wal-Mart Distribution Center. Harding University at Searcy and Arkansas State University at Beebe, along with Foothills Vo-Tech School at Searcy draw hundreds of students from all parts of the country. White County has many varied recreational opportunities. The Hurricane Lake Wildlife Management Area, and the White and Little Red rivers offer hunting and fishing and water recreation. The White County Courthouse, built in 1871 is said to be the oldest functional courthouse in Arkansas and has an elaborate clock tower that resembles the Liberty Bell and dates back to 1855. A statue located on the southeast corner of the court square honors the Confederate Soldiers. A new statue built of six tons of granite, was recently constructed on the courthouse lawn honoring those soldiers of White County who died in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, with each soldier's name inscribed on the monument. A Vietnam War memorial already sits on the courthouse grounds. A fire in the courthouse some years ago necessitated extensive repair, and the courtroom was restored to its original 19th century look with hardwood flooring and oak benches. The entire courthouse is outlined in lights and comes alive in December each year when the Christmas "Festival of Lights" is observed. Hundreds of tourists visit the area at this time of year. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county, though a few private establishments (such as the Searcy Country Club, and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts in Searcy and Beebe) can sell alcohol.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,042 square miles (2,700 km2), of which 1,035 square miles (2,680 km2) is land and 7.1 square miles (18 km2) (0.7%) is water. It is the second-largest county by area in Arkansas.

The landscape of the county is rolling hills north and west the foothills of the Ozarks and Ouachita, and rich, flat, delta farmland in the southeast.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Independence County; Jackson County
  • East: Woodruff County
  • Southeast: Prairie County
  • South: Lonoke County
  • West: Faulkner County
  • Northwest: Cleburne County


Public education

  • Searcy School District, with six schools serving more than 4,000 students; includes Searcy High School, Searcy
  • Beebe School District, with seven schools serving more than 3,200 students; includes Beebe High School, Beebe, and Beebe Middle School, McRae
  • Riverview School District, with four schools serving more than 1,300 students; includes Riverview High School, Searcy, with elementary campuses in Judsonia and Kensett
  • Bald Knob School District, with three schools serving more than 1,300 students; includes Bald Knob High School, Bald Knob
  • Rose Bud School District, with two schools serving more than 800 students; including Rose Bud High School, Rose Bud
  • White County Central School District, with two schools serving more than 700 students; includes White County Central High School, Judsonia
  • Pangburn School District, with two schools serving more than 700 students; includes Pangburn High School, Pangburn
  • Bradford School District, with two schools serving more than 500 students; includes Bradford High School, Bradford

Private education

  • CrossPointe Preparatory, Searcy, Churches of Christ
  • Harding Academy, Searcy, Churches of Christ
  • Liberty Christian School, Searcy, Christian
  • Lighthouse Christian Academy, Beebe, Pentecostal
  • Sunshine School, Searcy
  • Trinity Christian School, Bradford, Baptist

Colleges and universities

  • Arkansas State University-Beebe Public, established in 1927 as The Junior Agricultural School of Central Arkansas.
  • Arkansas State University-Searcy A technical branch of Arkansas State University
  • Harding University Private, Churches of Christ enrollment over 6000.
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