Place:Polk, Arkansas, United States

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source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


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Polk County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas, one of twelve Polk Counties in the United States. As of 2010, the population was 20,662. The county seat is Mena. Polk County is Arkansas's 48th county, formed on November 30, 1844, and named for James Polk, President of the United States. At that time, Polk was president elect. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county. It is the setting for Stephen Hunter's fictional Bob Lee Swagger series, the most notable being Black Light, as well as the place where Joel B Reed's fictional character, Jazz Phillips, of the Jazz Phillips mystery series, grew up.

Contents

Brief History of Polk County

From the 1871 History of Western Arkansas[1]

On November 5, 1844, James K. Polk, of Tennessee, was elected President of the United States, and on the 30th of the same month Gov. Thomas S. Drew approved an act of the Arkansas Legislature cutting off a large part of Sevier County and erecting it into a county named after the President-elect. It is one of the western tier of counties; bounded on the north by Scott county; on the east by Montgomery; on the south by Howard and Sevier, and on the west by the State of Oklahoma. It has an area of 846 square miles and an average elevation of 1,300 feet, drained by the Cossitot and Ouachita rivers, both of which rise in the county.

The act creating the county fixed the temporary county seat at the house of John Pirtle, where there was a post office called Panther. The permanent county seat was located near the southwest corner of Township 2 south, Range 30 west, and was named Dallas, for the Vice President of the United States. Subsequently it was removed to a site a short distance north and the name was changed to Mena.

Polk is divided into seventeen townships, viz: Big Fork, Center, Cedar, Cove, Eagle, Eagle Gap, Faulkner, Freedom, Fulton, Gap Springs, Mill Creek, Mountain, Ouachita, Ozark, Potter, Rich Mountain and White. A large part of the county is in the Arkansas National Forest.

Timeline

Date Event Source
1844 County formed Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1850 First census Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1880 No significant boundary changes after this year Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1881 Marriage records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1885 Court records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1885 Land records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1900 Probate records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources

Population History

source: Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
Census Year Population
1850 1,263
1860 4,262
1870 3,376
1880 5,857
1890 9,283
1900 18,352
1910 17,216
1920 16,412
1930 14,857
1940 15,832
1950 14,182
1960 11,981
1970 13,297
1980 17,007
1990 17,347

Research Tips

References & Sources

  1. Arkansas GenWeb: Polk County


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