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Camden, Arkansas
—  City  —
Downtown Camden
Location in Ouachita County and the state of Arkansas
Coordinates: 33°34′15″N 92°50′6″W / 33.57083°N 92.835°W / 33.57083; -92.835
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Ouachita
Government
 - Mayor Chris Claybaker[1]
Area
 - Total 16.6 sq mi (42.8 km2)
 - Land 16.5 sq mi (42.6 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 203 ft (62 m)
Population (2007)
 - Total 11,657
 - Density 792.4/sq mi (307.3/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 71701, 71711
Area code(s) 870
FIPS code 05-10720
GNIS feature ID 0076505
Camden welcome sign
Post Office in Camden
Camden Municipal Building is located across the highway from the Camden News newspaper.
The Camden News is the original flagship publication of WEHCO Media.
The Camden Public Library is located downtown across from the First United Methodist Church.
Another glimpse of downtown Camden
Timothy United Methodist Church park in south Camden
The large First Baptist Church of Camden is located at 348 West Washington Street across from the Federal Building.
First United Methodist Church in Camden is located downtown across from the Ouachita County Courthouse.
Side view of First Presbyterian Church in Camden
Umsted House Bed and Breakfast is located across California Avenue from the First Baptist Church.
Historic house at 330 Clifton Street in Camden

Camden is a city in and the county seat of Ouachita County in the southern part of the U.S. state of Arkansas.[2] According to 2007 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 11,657.[3] Camden is the principal city of the Camden Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Ouachita and Calhoun counties.

In 1783, a French trader named Fabre settled on a bluff above the Ouachita River and called the settlement “Ecore Fabre” (Faber’s Bluff or the Hill of Faber). This would mark the permanent settlement of what would become Camden. The city of Camden marks its founding as 1824, but it was not incorporated and officially named “Camden” until 1844. Some controversy exists over the origin of the name but most agree it is named for Camden, Alabama, the hometown of General Thomas Woodward, an early city founder. Prior to the name change from Ecore Fabre to Camden, the location was simply known as "The Bluff".

In the American Civil War, Camden was occupied for several months in 1864 by Union soldiers as a part of the Union army's ill fated Red River Campaign. During this epidode the Confederate victory in the Battle of Poison Springs occurred west of the city on April l8, 1864.

For several decades, Camden was the headquarters of the Clyde E. Palmer newspaper chain, which included the Camden News, the Texarkana Gazette, the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record, and the Magnolia Banner News. Later the company shifted to Little Rock, when it acquired the Arkansas Democrat and later merged it with acquired assets from the Arkansas Gazette to establish the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Palmer's son-in-law, Walter E. Hussman, Sr. (1906–1988), and Palmer's grandson, Walter E. Hussman, Jr. (born 1947), were threafter publishers of the Camden News and chief executive officers of the Palmer properties. Hussman, Jr., is the publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, home of the Palmer-Hussman management.

In pre-Civil War days Camden was a bustling river port and mercantile center at the headwaters of the Ouachita River, and the town remained an important cotton shipping depot through the early decades of the twentieth century. Before the steamboat era faded, Camden had become a railroad town—served by the mainline of the St. Louis Southwestern (Cotton Belt) and by branch lines of the Missouri Pacific and the Rock Island. A major economic infusion accompanied the South Arkansas oil boom of the 1920s and a new International Paper Co. mill in 1927. Near the end of World War II thousands of new jobs were created with the 1944 construction of a Naval Ammunition Depot across the Ouachita at Shumaker—and a resurgence of that activity during the Korean War. An economic downturn following the post Korean War closure of that plant was addressed by redeveloping its facilities and grounds into an extensive industrial area which, in time, came to host some major defense establishments and multiple smaller industries. A technical campus of Southern Arkansas University also located there. In the 1990s, post Cold-War downsizing of the defense industry brought severe job losses—and resulting population decline—to the Camden area as did the closure of the International Paper Co. mill a few years later. But in recent years a partial resurgence of defense contracts and a diversified mixture of small business and professional activity have stabilized the town's economy at a level below the peak levels of the boom years. As one of Arkansas'most historic towns, the city attracts considerable heritage tourism.

Contents

Geography

Camden is located at 33°34′15″N 92°50′6″W / 33.57083°N 92.835°W / 33.57083; -92.835 (33.570941, -92.834924).[4] It is on the Ouachita River, at the end of the navigable river.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.5 square miles (42.8 km²), of which, 16.5 square miles (42.6 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.36%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 13,154 people, 5,421 households, and 3,561 families residing in the city. The population density was 799.4 people per square mile (308.7/km²). There were 6,259 housing units at an average density of 380.4/sq mi (146.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 49.41% Black or African American, 48.88% White, 0.37% Asian, 0.24% Native American, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. 0.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 5,421 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 19.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 19.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 82.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,814, and the median income for a family was $35,291. Males had a median income of $31,257 versus $19,046 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,599. About 18.5% of families and 22.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.0% of those under age 18 and 19.4% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people

See also

References

External links

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