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Kensett, Arkansas
Location of Kensett in White County, Arkansas.
Location of Kensett in White County, Arkansas.
Country United States
State Arkansas
County White
 • Total 1.88 sq mi (4.87 km2)
 • Land 1.87 sq mi (4.83 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
223 ft (68 m)
 • Total 1,400
 • Density 750.27/sq mi (289.75/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 501 Exchange: 742
FIPS code 05-36430
GNIS feature ID 0081873

Kensett is a city in White County, Arkansas, United States. Located adjacent to the east side of Searcy, the city is the hometown of noted legislator Wilbur D. Mills, who was influential throughout the 1960s and 1970s in the United States House of Representatives.

Allen Edge is the current mayor. The population was 1,648 at the 2010 census. Many companies have moved to Kensett to support the natural gas industry. Kensett is a center for landscaping and nursery activity. Double Springs sod farm is located in or near Kensett. There are several restaurants, and Kensett has the lowest sales tax rate in White County.

Kensett was a stop on the defunct Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad, which provided passenger and freight service from Joplin, Missouri, to Helena in Phillips County in eastern Arkansas, from 1906 until its disestablishment in 1946. At Kensett, the M&NA connected with the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway, later the Missouri Pacific Railroad, now the Union Pacific.


Kensett is located at 35°13′58″N 91°40′13″W / 35.23278°N 91.67028°W / 35.23278; -91.67028 (35.232687, -91.670194).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2), of which 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) is land and 0.56% is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 86
1920 480
1930 889 85.2%
1940 827 −7.0%
1950 829 0.2%
1960 905 9.2%
1970 1,444 59.6%
1980 1,751 21.3%
1990 1,741 −0.6%
2000 1,791 2.9%
2010 1,648 −8.0%
2020 1,400 −15.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Kensett racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 828 59.14%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 219 15.64%
Native American 6 0.43%
Asian 4 0.29%
Other/Mixed 95 6.79%
Hispanic or Latino 248 17.71%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 1,400 people, 717 households, and 407 families residing in the city.


Residents are zoned to the Riverview School District, which operates Kensett Elementary School, Riverview Junior High School in Searcy, and Riverview High School in Searcy.

The Riverview district is the result of a consolidation, effective July 1, 1991, of the Judsonia, Kensett, and Griffithville school districts.


Kensett is served by three state highways: Arkansas Highway 36 (Wilbur D. Mills Avenue/Northeast 4th Street), which runs across the width of White County into neighboring Faulkner County to the west, and southeast to the White River via West Point and Georgetown; Arkansas Highway 87 (Usery Road), running parallel to the current Union Pacific rail line and connecting southwest to Higginson; and Arkansas Highway 385 (Southeast 1st Street/Depot Street), leading south to Griffithville at Arkansas Highway 11. Additional major pathways include Searcy Street, which proceeds northeast to cross into neighboring Searcy as East Park Avenue, and Old Railroad Road, a secondary connection southeast to West Point.

Notable natives and residents

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