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.

Craighead County, Arkansas

Craighead County Education, Geography, and HistoryCraighead County, Arkansas Courthouse

Craighead County is a county located in the state of Arkansas. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 96,443. The county has two county seats - Jonesboro and Lake City. Craighead County is Arkansas's 58th county, formed on February 19, 1859. Craighead county is named for state Senator Thomas Craighead.

Craighead County is included in the Jonesboro, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Craighead County Name

Craighead is named for Senator Thomas Craighead, who ironically opposed the creation of the new county.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Craighead County History

Craighead county was created in February 19, 1859, from parts of Greene, Mississippi and Poinsett counties and was named from Thomas H. Craighead, who represented Mississippi and Crittenden counties in the state legislature. Craighead County has two county seats, Jonesboro and Lake City. The landscape of Craighead County is flat, fertile farmland with rising and falling hills with Crowley's Ridge in the center. The courthouse in Jonesboro stands on the site of a skirmish between two companies of Confederates and a detachment of a federal regiment during the Battle of Jonesboro in August 1863. The statue of a doughboy on the courthouse lawn is the first monument erected in the South to soldiers and sailors of World War I. Another marker recognizes a county resident, Hattie Caraway, who was the first woman elected to the United States Senate, the first woman to preside over the Senate, and the first woman chairman of a Senate committee. The Lake City courthouse offices have been moved to a more modern and convenient location; however, the original courthouse building still stands. It is an all-wood; two storied with three small one-story brick wings that were added in 1934 when the companion county courthouse in Jonesboro was remodeled. A bandstand from which many political speeches have been made stands in the courtyard. Arkansas State University, which continues to grow and is the county's largest employer, is located in Jonesboro. The Convocation Center located on the campus is used for sports, concerts, live theatre, conferences and other attractions. In historic downtown, Jonesboro's civic auditorium, a renovated movie theatre built in 1926, provides a facility for concerts, Broadway shows, nationally known speakers, and community theatre productions. Citizens in Craighead County revel in its status as the "Capital City of Northeast Arkansas" with a Main Street Jonesboro celebration in May of each year, which brings hundreds of people into the county.  The county is one of several dry counties within the state of Arkansas, in which the sale of alcoholic beverages is largely prohibited.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 713 square miles (1,850 km2), of which 707 square miles (1,830 km2) is land and 5.5 square miles (14 km2) (0.8%) is water. Crowley's Ridge is the county's most prominent geological feature.

The landscape of Craighead County is flat, fertile farmland with rolling hills with Crowley's Ridge in the center.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Greene County
  • Northeast: Dunklin County, Mo.
  • East: Mississippi County
  • South: Poinsett County
  • Southwest: Jackson County
  • Northwest: Lawrence County


Public schools

Craighead County consists of eight public school districts with numerous secondary and elementary schools including:

  • Jonesboro School District, including Jonesboro High School (Jonesboro) - 11 schools
  • Nettleton School District, including Nettleton High School (Jonesboro) - 8 schools
  • Buffalo Island Central School District, including Buffalo Island Central High School (Monette) - 4 schools
  • Riverside School District, including Riverside High School (Lake City) - 4 schools
  • Brookland School District, including Brookland High School (Brookland) - 3 schools
  • Westside Consolidated School District, including Westside High School (Jonesboro, Arkansas)|Westside High School]] (Jonesboro) - 3 schools
  • Bay School District, including Bay High School (Bay) - 2 schools
  • Valley View School District, including Valley View High School (Jonesboro) - 2 schools

Private schools

  • Ridgefield Christian School (Jonesboro) PK-12
  • Blessed Sacrament School (Jonesboro) KG-6
  • Concordia Christian Academy (Jonesboro) PK-6
  • First Presbyterian Preschool & Kindergarten (Jonesboro) PK-KG
  • Montessori School of Jonesboro (Jonesboro) PK-KG

Postsecondary education

  • Arkansas State University

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