Smithville, Arkansas

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Smithville, Arkansas
Location in Lawrence County, Arkansas
Location in Lawrence County, Arkansas
Coordinates: 36°4′48″N 91°18′14″W / 36.08000°N 91.30389°W / 36.08000; -91.30389Coordinates: 36°4′48″N 91°18′14″W / 36.08000°N 91.30389°W / 36.08000; -91.30389
CountryUnited States
 • Total0.67 sq mi (1.73 km2)
 • Land0.67 sq mi (1.73 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
351 ft (107 m)
 • Total78
 • Estimate 
 • Density103.60/sq mi (39.99/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)870
FIPS code05-64910
GNIS feature ID0058647

Smithville is a town in Lawrence County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 78 at the 2010 census.[3]


Euro-American settlers first came to the area of Smithville in 1808.

Smithville became the county seat of modern-day Lawrence County in 1837. The county seat was later moved to Powhatan in 1869, after the Civil War. This was done in part to take advantage of riverboat commerce along the Black River.

Smithville was the nearest town to the final shoot-out between law enforcement and the infamous tax fugitive Gordon Kahl on June 2, 1983, in which Lawrence County Sheriff Harold Gene Matthews was also killed.[4] Smithville lies a few miles south of the actual shootout location.


Smithville is located in western Lawrence County at 36°4′48″N 91°18′14″W / 36.08000°N 91.30389°W / 36.08000; -91.30389 (36.080031, -91.303781).[5] Arkansas Highway 117 runs east 13 miles (21 km) to Black Rock and south 9 miles (14 km) to Strawberry. Highway 115 runs northeast 12 miles (19 km) to Imboden (and thus connects to US 412) and southwest toward Cave City in Sharp County, 21 miles (34 km) away.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town of Smithville has a total area of 4.5 square kilometres (1.73 sq mi), all land.[6]

Smithville is nestled in the Ozark Foothills on the Salem Plateau, which is a part of the larger Ozark Plateau. The eastern third of Smithville is a low-lying area, prone to flooding from Machine Creek. The center of Smithville is atop a small hill. As one travels west or north of Smithville, rolling hills can be found in either direction. West of Smithville lies Peebles Bluff.

Regionally, Smithville lies approximately in the center of the Cooper Creek Watershed Improvement District. This district consists of a series of reservoirs designed to mitigate flooding. Local names have been applied to these reservoirs:

Site 1: West Cooper Creek Lake Site 2: East Cooper Creek Lake Site 3: Dogwood Lake Site 4: Machine Lake Site 5: Goff Lake Site 6: Ed's Lake


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201969[2]−11.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 73 people, 33 households, and 22 families residing in the town. The population density was 47.0/km2 (121.5/mi2). There were 41 housing units at an average density of 26.4/km2 (68.2/mi2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.26% White, 1.37% Black or African American and 1.37% Native American.

There were 33 households, out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.5% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 21.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.64.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 21.9% under the age of 18, 2.7% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 16.4% from 45 to 64, and 30.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $36,250, and the median income for a family was $45,250. Males had a median income of $30,625 versus $19,375 for females. The per capita income for the town was $11,687. There were 11.1% of families and 26.5% of the population living below the poverty line, including 32.0% of under eighteens and 53.3% of those over 64.

Law and government[edit]

The current mayor of Smithville is Mitch Whitmire.[9]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001), Smithville town, Arkansas". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  4. ^ The Milwaukee Sentinel - Jun 6, 1983
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Aug 22, 2018.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. ^ "Smithville City Officials". Retrieved January 31, 2014.