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Judsonia, Arkansas
Location of Judsonia in White County, Arkansas.
Location of Judsonia in White County, Arkansas.
Country United States
State Arkansas
County White
Area
 • Total 2.90 sq mi (7.52 km2)
 • Land 2.89 sq mi (7.48 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)
Elevation
213 ft (65 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 1,854
 • Density 642.19/sq mi (247.95/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
72081
Area code(s) 501
FIPS code 05-36040
GNIS feature ID 0077392

Judsonia is a city in White County, Arkansas, United States. Stan Robinson is the current mayor. The population was 2,019 at the 2010 census.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2), of which 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (1.31%) is water.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 267
1890 475 77.9%
1900 600 26.3%
1910 746 24.3%
1920 899 20.5%
1930 1,123 24.9%
1940 1,011 −10.0%
1950 1,122 11.0%
1960 977 −12.9%
1970 1,667 70.6%
1980 2,025 21.5%
1990 1,915 −5.4%
2000 1,982 3.5%
2010 2,019 1.9%
2020 1,854 −8.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Judsonia racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 1,627 87.76%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 27 1.46%
Native American 8 0.43%
Asian 4 0.22%
Other/Mixed 105 5.66%
Hispanic or Latino 83 4.48%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 1,854 people, 775 households, and 468 families residing in the city.

History

Originally known as Prospect Bluff, the town was founded in 1840 by Erastus Gregory. In 1871 a Baptist school, Judson University, was established in the area. A few months later the name Prospect Bluff was changed to Judsonia, after Baptist missionary Adoniram Judson, to help promote the school, which drew many northerners to the area.

Though the school died in 1883, the town streets still bear the names of several well-known 19th-century Baptists: Judson and Hasseltine (after Adoniram Judson and his wife, Ann Hasseltine Judson), Wayland (after Francis Wayland, president of Brown University in Rhode Island), Wade (after missionary Jonathan Wade) and Boardman (after missionary George Boardman, whose widow, Sarah Hall Boardman became Judson's second wife).

On the evening of March 21, 1952, tornadoes swept Arkansas leaving 111 dead. Fifty of those fatalities were in Judsonia and the near vicinity. It was reported that the only building in the town not damaged was the Methodist church, which stands today in the city's downtown area along Van Buren Street.

"That's Judsonia" by William Ewing Orr (1957, White County Printing Company) is a history of the community. Judsonia is home to a yearly festival called Prospect Bluff Days in honor of the towns origins.

Education

Elementary and secondary education is provided by two school districts:

  • Most of the city is within the Riverview School District, including Riverview Junior High School and Riverview High School in Searcy. Judsonia Elementary School is a part of this district. The Riverview district is the result of a consolidation, effective from July 1, 1991, of the Judsonia, Kensett and Griffithville school districts.
  • A small section of the city is within the White County Central School District, where students attend White County Central High School; Both are located in a nearby unincorporated area near the Providence community.

Judsonia residents are served by Baldwin-Kittler Memorial Library, a branch library of the White County Regional Library System.

Notable people

  • Beth Ditto, musician who grew up in Judsonia
  • Jeremy Gillam, farmer from Judsonia and Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
  • Lonnie Glosson, an early blues harmonica player
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