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Corning, Arkansas
Vine Street
Vine Street
Location of Corning in Clay County, Arkansas.
Location of Corning in Clay County, Arkansas.
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Clay
 • Type Mayor-council government
 • Total 3.70 sq mi (9.58 km2)
 • Land 3.67 sq mi (9.51 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)
292 ft (89 m)
 • Total 3,227
 • Density 879.05/sq mi (339.41/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 870
FIPS code 05-15460
GNIS feature ID 0076678

Corning is a city in Clay County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 3,377 at the 2010 census. It is one of the two county seats of Clay County, along with Piggott.


Corning is located in western Clay County at 36°24′36″N 90°35′22″W / 36.41000°N 90.58944°W / 36.41000; -90.58944 (36.410057, -90.589364), 2 miles (3 km) west of the Black River. U.S. Route 62 passes through the city, leading east 25 miles (40 km) to Piggott and southwest 26 miles (42 km) to Pocahontas. U.S. Route 67 leads north out of town 29 miles (47 km) to Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and joins US 62 heading southwest out of Corning to Pocahontas.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Corning has a total area of 3.14 square miles (8.14 km2), of which 3.12 square miles (8.08 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.07 km2), or 0.81%, is water.


Sheeks House
Historic Sheeks House

The original settlement was about one mile east and was called Hecht City, named for brothers Levi and Solomon Hecht who operated a lumber mill on the Black River. Hecht City moved to the present site of Corning in 1871, when the Cairo and Fulton Railroad surveyed the land for the proposed route. The railroad through the settlement was completed by 1872. On February 5, 1873, the name was changed from Hecht City to Corning, in honor of H. D. Corning, an engineer with the railroad.

The city of Corning went through a massive period of growth in the early part of the 20th century. In the 1960s and 1970s it was the site of many industrial manufacturing developments.

Corning was the site of a large explosion on Wednesday, March 9, 1966. The pre-dawn explosion originated in a munitions railcar and fortunately resulted in only one minor injury in the small town. The explosion was widely reported in the surrounding region.

Two properties in Corning are list on the National Register of Historic Places: Sheeks House, and Oliver House.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 393
1890 584 48.6%
1900 1,041 78.3%
1910 1,439 38.2%
1920 1,564 8.7%
1930 1,550 −0.9%
1940 1,619 4.5%
1950 2,045 26.3%
1960 2,192 7.2%
1970 2,705 23.4%
1980 3,650 34.9%
1990 3,323 −9.0%
2000 3,679 10.7%
2010 3,377 −8.2%
2020 3,227 −4.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
2014 Estimate

2020 census

Corning racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 2,999 92.93%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 4 0.12%
Native American 10 0.31%
Asian 5 0.15%
Other/Mixed 132 4.09%
Hispanic or Latino 77 2.39%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 3,227 people, 1,421 households, and 934 families residing in the city.


Industry in Corning is dominated by agriculture-related industries such as farm equipment sales, farm equipment repair, seed processing and sales, and fertilizer and chemicals. Forestry was a primary industry in the late 1800s, but gave way to farming of rice, soybeans, hard red winter wheat, and other grains.


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

  • Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture entry: Corning (Clay County)


Public education for elementary and secondary students is provided by the Corning School District. Corning High School is a member of the Arkansas Activities Association. Programs include Art, Band, Spanish, Computer Tech, and Family and Consumer Sciences, along with other basic classes provided by public schools in the state. The school district’s mascot is the bobcat.

Corning has always prided itself on its high school sports programs. Currently, the school has boys' football, track, basketball, golf, baseball, and trap shooting. Girls' programs include basketball, softball, track, and golf. The high school football program has enjoyed dominance at times, such as when the team went undefeated in 2007 and made it to the second round of the state playoffs. Also successful, the varsity girls' basketball team played in the state Division 3A playoffs in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Notable people

  • Jack Ladyman, Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from Jonesboro; former Corning resident
  • W. Stephen Smith, Northwestern University Professor of Voice; voice teacher and author

See also

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