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Franklin County, Arkansas facts for kids

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Franklin County
Tugboat drifts down the Arkansas River paralleling a set of railroad tracks while both cross under a long bridge with concrete and steel arches in front of the Ozark Mountains in the background
A dark red brick rectangular two and a half-story courthouse hidden behind large trees with a tall flagpole in the front yard
A Moderne-style brick and stone rectangular courthouse structure with a clock tower and flagpole on the right side. The large rectangular windows of the second level reflect a bright blue sky with large white clouds
A small, square fieldstone shelter with a roof at the end of a hiking trail. Looking over the edge of the fieldstone retaining wall is the dark green treetops of the Ozark National Forest as the sun sets behind a cloudy sky
Historic log cabin structure built atop a historic hand-dug wine cellar with a concrete patio now serving as the winery's restaurant
Looking across the Arkansas River from an overlook on Reed Mountain, the flat farmlands of the Arkansas River Valley stands in stark contrast to the mountain itself. Trees, roads, and homes are scattered along the river bottoms, and elevation slowly rises in the distance. Far in the background are the outlines of mountains in the orange-red sunset-colored sky
Clockwise from top: The Ozark Bridge over the Arkansas River, Franklin County Courthouse in Ozark, the Wiederkehr Wine Cellar near Altus, Sunset from Reed Mountain overlooking the Arkansas River Valley, Overlook at White Rock Mountain in the Ozark National Forest, Franklin County Courthouse in Charleston
Flag of Franklin County
Map of Arkansas highlighting Franklin County
Location within the U.S. state of Arkansas
Map of the United States highlighting Arkansas
Arkansas's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Arkansas
Founded December 19, 1837
Named for Benjamin Franklin
Seat Ozark (northern district);
Charleston (southern district)
Largest city Ozark
 • Total 620 sq mi (1,600 km2)
 • Land 609 sq mi (1,580 km2)
 • Water 11 sq mi (30 km2)  1.7%%
 • Total 18,125
 • Estimate 
 • Density 29.23/sq mi (11.29/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 4th

Franklin County is a county in Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,125. The county has two county seats, Charleston and Ozark. The county was formed on December 19, 1837, and named for Benjamin Franklin, American statesman. To the north of the Arkansas River, which bisects Franklin County, the county is wet and alcohol is sold in liquor stores, bars and local vineyards. To the south of the Arkansas River, the county is dry.


Franklin County was carved out of Crawford County in December 1837. At that time, Franklin was significantly larger than it is at present, encompassing part of present-day Logan County which was formed in 1871.

Initially, the county had a single courthouse at Ozark. Later, after complaints about how difficult it was to cross the river at times, a second courthouse was established at Charleston, sometime in the 1890s.

The reality television show, The Simple Life, starring Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton was filmed in Altus in 2003.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 620 square miles (1,600 km2), of which 609 square miles (1,580 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (1.7%) is water.

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 2,665
1850 3,972 49.0%
1860 7,298 83.7%
1870 9,627 31.9%
1880 14,951 55.3%
1890 19,934 33.3%
1900 17,395 −12.7%
1910 20,638 18.6%
1920 19,364 −6.2%
1930 15,762 −18.6%
1940 15,683 −0.5%
1950 12,358 −21.2%
1960 10,213 −17.4%
1970 11,301 10.7%
1980 14,705 30.1%
1990 14,897 1.3%
2000 17,771 19.3%
2010 18,125 2.0%
2019 (est.) 17,715 −2.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2016
USA Franklin County, Arkansas age pyramid
Age pyramid Franklin County

2020 census

Franklin County racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 15,201 88.91%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 78 0.46%
Native American 199 1.16%
Asian 162 0.95%
Pacific Islander 10 0.06%
Other/Mixed 956 5.59%
Hispanic or Latino 491 2.87%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 17,097 people, 6,723 households, and 4,537 families residing in the county.




Unincorporated communities

Ghost town


Townships in Arkansas are the divisions of a county. Each township includes unincorporated areas; some may have incorporated cities or towns within part of their boundaries. Arkansas townships have limited purposes in modern times. However, the United States Census does list Arkansas population based on townships (sometimes referred to as "county subdivisions" or "minor civil divisions"). Townships are also of value for historical purposes in terms of genealogical research. Each town or city is within one or more townships in an Arkansas county based on census maps and publications. The townships of Franklin County are listed below; listed in parentheses are the cities, towns, and/or census-designated places that are fully or partially inside the township.

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