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Gosnell, Arkansas
Moving Forward, Moving Strong
Location of Gosnell in Mississippi County, Arkansas.
Location of Gosnell in Mississippi County, Arkansas.
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Mississippi
 • Total 1.61 sq mi (4.18 km2)
 • Land 1.61 sq mi (4.18 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
249 ft (76 m)
 • Total 2,910
 • Density 1,801.86/sq mi (695.84/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
72315, 72319
Area code(s) 870
FIPS code 05-27700
GNIS feature ID 0077044

Gosnell is a city in Mississippi County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 3,548 at the 2010 census.


Gosnell is located at 35°57′48″N 89°58′2″W / 35.96333°N 89.96722°W / 35.96333; -89.96722 (35.963308, -89.967224).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2), all land.


The Gosnell region was surrounded by water in its early days. It is bordered on the west by Big Lake, which in the days before the automobile and railroads was used as a boat transportation route linking the settlement to the larger cities of Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee. Landowners along Big Lake took advantage of a thriving commercial hunting and fishing business. Pelts and packed fish could be shipped to market along the lake or by the two bayous to the Mississippi River.

To the east of the settlement is the Pemiscot Bayou. The road from Blytheville passed the Indian mound and store before traveling across the Pemiscot Bayou. Families with land along the Pemiscot traveled in boats into the Lumerate Bayou, which ran through Blytheville’s business district. The road to Gosnell came to be called the Pole Road. When stretches of the road became bad, the community would turn out to cut logs to place across the mud of the road, making it passable again.

Because the land was sparsely settled, it was of little concern to either side during the Civil War. All of Mississippi County had fewer than 4,000 residents at this time. Men from the area joined Confederate units from other parts of Arkansas. Aside from a few Union raids from Missouri, the county did not suffer much from the war.

Much of the land between Blytheville and Big Lake was purchased in the late 1800s by Lemael Gosnell, a dentist and pioneer farmer. In time, the community came to be named for him.

Gosnell was incorporated as a first-class city on March 12, 1968. Gosnell’s first mayor after incorporation was Andy Bevill. Since then, Gosnell has had only three mayors: Carl Ledbetter, Dick Reams and currently Don Marshall.

Historical sites

Leaving Blytheville on Chickasawba Avenue one reaches the Gosnell Road upon, after traveling one and three-tenths miles one comes to the place of the famous Chickasawba Indian Mound twenty five feet high and base circumference approximately one hundred-thirty feet. This mound must have been either a Signal or a Temple Mound as no pottery or skeleton bones have been found here.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 1,386
1980 3,215 132.0%
1990 3,783 17.7%
2000 3,968 4.9%
2010 3,548 −10.6%
2020 2,910 −18.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
2014 Estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,548 people, 1,387 households, and 951 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 72.9% White, 22.0% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 1.6% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.5% of the population.

There were 1,238 households, out of which 48.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.9% were married couples living together, 23.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 23.2% were non-families. 19.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.26.

The median income for a household in the city was $43,722, and the median income for a family was $46,389. The per capita income for the city was $15,917.

Annual cultural events

Gosnell's Annual Cotton Festival in October.


Gosnell has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa).

Totals and averages

Annual average high temperature 70.2 °F

Annual average low temperature 51.0 °F

Average temperature 60.6 °F

Average annual precipitation 50.3 in.

Climate data for Gosnell, Arkansas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 45
Average low °F (°C) 29
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.67

Other information

Tornado activity

Gosnell-area historical tornado activity is slightly above Arkansas state average. It is 220% greater than the overall U.S. average. On 5/15/1968, a category F4 (max. wind speeds 207-260 mph) tornado 5.6 miles away from the Gosnell city center killed 35 people and injured 364 people and caused between $5000 and $50,000 in damages.

On 4/16/1998, a category F4 tornado 10.1 miles away from the city center killed 2 people and injured 12 people and caused $350,000 in damages.

Earthquake activity

Gosnell-area historical earthquake activity is significantly above Arkansas state average. It is 91% greater than the overall U.S. average.

On 3/25/1976 at 00:41:20, a magnitude 5.0 (4.9 MB, 5.0 LG, Class: Moderate, Intensity: VI - VII) earthquake occurred 30.3 miles away from the city center On 5/4/1991 at 01:18:54, a magnitude 5.0 (4.4 MB, 4.6 LG, 5.0 LG, Depth: 3.1 mi) earthquake occurred 42.3 miles away from Gosnell center On 4/27/1989 at 16:47:49, a magnitude 4.7 (4.6 MB, 4.7 LG, 4.3 LG, Class: Light, Intensity: IV - V) earthquake occurred 11.5 miles away from the city center On 9/26/1990 at 13:18:51, a magnitude 5.0 (4.7 MB, 4.8 LG, 5.0 LG, Depth: 7.7 mi) earthquake occurred 86.6 miles away from the city center On 3/25/1976 at 01:00:11, a magnitude 4.5 (4.1 MB, 4.5 LG) earthquake occurred 37.7 miles away from Gosnell center On 11/29/1996 at 05:41:33, a magnitude 4.3 (4.3 LG, 4.1 LG, Depth: 12.6 mi) earthquake occurred 3.8 miles away from the city center Magnitude types: regional Lg-wave magnitude (LG), body-wave magnitude (MB)

Natural disasters

The number of natural disasters in Mississippi County (11) is near the US average (12). Major Disasters (Presidential) Declared: 7 Emergencies Declared: 4

Causes of natural disasters: Storms: 6, Floods: 5, Tornadoes: 4, Winter Storms: 4, Hurricane: 1 (Note: Some incidents may be assigned to more than one category).


Gosnell used to depend on the nearby Blytheville/Eaker Air Force Base but since its closing in the early 1990s, the city has lost many of its inhabitants. The city is home to the Gosnell School District, which as of 2011 has an enrollment of 1438 K-12.


Public education is available to elementary and secondary school students at Gosnell School District, which leads to graduation from Gosnell High School. The district and high school mascot and athletic emblem is the Pirate with the spirit colors of blue and gold.

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