Blytheville, Arkansas

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Blytheville, Arkansas
City
Location in Mississippi County and the state of Arkansas
Coordinates: 35°55′51″N 89°54′50″W / 35.93083°N 89.91389°W / 35.93083; -89.91389Coordinates: 35°55′51″N 89°54′50″W / 35.93083°N 89.91389°W / 35.93083; -89.91389
CountryUnited States
StateArkansas
CountyMississippi
Government
 • MayorJames Sanders
Area
 • Total20.7 sq mi (53.5 km2)
 • Land20.6 sq mi (53.3 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation256 ft (78 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total18,272
 • Density887.2/sq mi (342.6/km2)
Time zoneCentral (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes72315, 72316, 72319
Area code(s)870
FIPS code05-07330
GNIS feature ID0057402
 
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Blytheville, Arkansas
City
Location in Mississippi County and the state of Arkansas
Coordinates: 35°55′51″N 89°54′50″W / 35.93083°N 89.91389°W / 35.93083; -89.91389Coordinates: 35°55′51″N 89°54′50″W / 35.93083°N 89.91389°W / 35.93083; -89.91389
CountryUnited States
StateArkansas
CountyMississippi
Government
 • MayorJames Sanders
Area
 • Total20.7 sq mi (53.5 km2)
 • Land20.6 sq mi (53.3 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation256 ft (78 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total18,272
 • Density887.2/sq mi (342.6/km2)
Time zoneCentral (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes72315, 72316, 72319
Area code(s)870
FIPS code05-07330
GNIS feature ID0057402
That Bookstore in Blytheville is reputedly one of John Grisham's favorites
The Greyhound Bus Station is one of eight sites in Blytheville listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Blytheville is the largest city in Mississippi County, Arkansas, United States, and one of the two county seats.[1] Blytheville is approximately 60 miles north of West Memphis. The population was 18,272 at the 2000 census.

History[edit]

Blytheville was founded by Methodist clergyman Henry T. Blythe in 1879. It received a post office in 1879, was incorporated in 1889, and became the county seat for the northern half of Mississippi County (Chickasawba District) in 1901. Blytheville received telephone service and electricity in 1903, and natural gas service in 1950.[2]

Forestry was an early industry, spurred by the massive harvesting of lumber needed to rebuild Chicago following the Great Fire of 1871. The lumber industry brought sawmills and a rowdy crowd, and the area was known for its disreputable saloon culture during the 1880s and 1890s.[2]

The cleared forests enabled cotton farming to take hold, encouraged by ongoing levee building and waterway management; the population grew significantly after 1900. On Blytheville’s western edge lies one of the largest cotton gins in North America, and soybeans and rice have also become important crops.[2]

The area around Blytheville continues to be farmed, though family farms have given way to large factory operations.[2]

In the 1980s, Blytheville began to develop an industrial base, much of which centered around the steel industry.

Until 1991, Blytheville was home to Blytheville Air Force Base (later renamed Eaker Air Force Base), a major airfield that was part of the Strategic Air Command.

James Sanders is Blytheville's mayor, and the first African-American to serve in that position.

Notable employers[edit]

Nucor, a large steel manufacturer, operates two facilities east of the town near the Mississippi River.

Aviation Repair Technologies (ART) is headquartered at Arkansas International Airport in Blytheville and employs approximately 120 employees. It performs heavy aircraft maintenance, aircraft engine disassembly, aircraft disassembly, and aircraft storage. Its aircraft repair services are focused on turboprop, regional jet, and narrowbody aircraft such as the ATR 42, ATR 72, Dash 8, Q400, ERJ, CRJ, MD80 and 737. Its engine tear down operation specializes in CFM56, CF6-80, and CF6-50 engine types.[3]

Tenaris, a global manufacturer and supplier of seamless and welded steel pipe products, operates 4 ERW (electric resistance welded) pipe manufacturing, threading and coating facilities.

Notable people[edit]

Education[edit]

Blytheville Public Schools serves the city. The schools include:

The community is also served by Armorel Public Schools, Gosnell Public Schools and KIPP: Blytheville Charter School.

Blytheville is home to Arkansas Northeastern College (formerly Mississippi County Community College until its merger with Cotton Boll Technical Institute). It offers a two-year program, and is the nation's first community college with a solar photovoltaic prototype facility.

Geography[edit]

Blytheville is situated along the New Madrid Seismic Zone.

Blytheville is located at 35°55′51″N 89°54′50″W / 35.93083°N 89.91389°W / 35.93083; -89.91389 (35.930735, -89.913940).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.6 square miles (53 km2), of which 20.6 square miles (53 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.29%) is water.

List Of Highways:

Demographics[edit]

Historical populations
CensusPop.
1900302
19103,8491,174.5%
19206,44767.5%
193010,09856.6%
194010,6525.5%
195016,23452.4%
196020,79728.1%
197024,75219.0%
198023,844−3.7%
199022,906−3.9%
200018,272−20.2%

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 18,272 people, 7,001 households, and 4,746 families residing in the city. The population density was 887.5 people per square mile (342.6/km²). There were 8,533 housing units at an average density of 414.5 per square mile (160.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 45.15% White, 52.15% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.48% from other races, and 1.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.31% of the population.

There were 7,001 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.3% were married couples living together, 20.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.2% were non-families. 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.16.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.9% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 86.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,683, and the median income for a family was $32,816. Males had a median income of $30,889 versus $20,710 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,426. About 23.3% of families and 28.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.2% of those under age 18 and 17.4% of those age 65 or over.

Climate[edit]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Blytheville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ a b c d Keffer, Rigel (2012). "Blytheville (Mississippi County)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. 
  3. ^ "Aviation Repair Technologies (ART) - Aircraft Engine Disassembly - CFM56, CF6-80, CF6-50". Aviation Repair Technologies. 
  4. ^ Ginnie Graham (2010). "Court serves with honor". Tulsa World. Retrieved 2013-04-03. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ Climate Summary for Blytheville, Arkansas

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]