Mena, Arkansas


Mena, Arkansas
Mena, Arkansas
—  City  —
Location in Polk County and the state of Arkansas
Coordinates: 34°34′56″N 94°14′21″W / 34.58222°N 94.23917°W / 34.58222; -94.23917Coordinates: 34°34′56″N 94°14′21″W / 34.58222°N 94.23917°W / 34.58222; -94.23917
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Polk
Government
 - Mayor George Lynn McKee
Area
 - Total 6.7 sq mi (17.6 km2)
 - Land 6.7 sq mi (17.5 km2)
 - Water 0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 1,171 ft (357 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 5,637
 - Density 841.3/sq mi (320.3/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 71953
Area code(s) 479
FIPS code 05-45170
GNIS feature ID 0072626

Mena is a city in Polk County, Arkansas, United States. It is also the county seat of Polk County.[1] It was founded by Arthur Edward Stilwell during the building of the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad (now the Kansas City Southern). It was Stilwell who decided Mena would be the name of this new town along the route to Port Arthur, Texas. He named her so in honor of his beloved friend and financier Jan DeGeoijen's wife, Folmina Margaretha Janssen DeGeoijen, whom Mr. DeGeoijen affectionately called Mena. Mena was settled in 1896.

The population was 5,637 as of 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

Mena is located at 34°34′56″N 94°14′21″W / 34.58222°N 94.23917°W / 34.58222; -94.23917 (34.582208, -94.239039).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.8 square miles (18 km2), of which 6.7 square miles (17 km2) is land; 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.44%) is water.

History

Commonwealth College

Commonwealth College was once located at the base of Rich Mountain and was known for its ties to socialism, as well as for being the one-time college of Orval Faubus, former Governor of Arkansas.

Allegations regarding cocaine trafficking

A number of allegations have been written about and several local, state, and federal investigations have taken place related to the notion of Mena as a drop point in large scale cocaine trafficking beginning in the latter part of the 1980s. The topic has received a large degree of its coverage due to the alleged knowledge, participation and/or coverup involvement of figures as powerful and infamous as future presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, as well future Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Saline County prosecutor Dan Harmon, who was convicted of numerous felonies including drug and racketeering charges in 1997.[3]

These allegations have been disputed by several different investigations, including one by the Banking Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.[4]

2009 Tornado

On April 9, 2009, a large and violent tornado devastated the town, killing three and injuring 30.[5] Many homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed. The Arkansas National Guard was deployed to the affected area.[5] the tornado was rated as a high-end EF3, with winds near 165 mph. Damages from the devastating tornado were estimated at least $25 million.

Demographics

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 5,637 people, 2,431 households, and 1,546 families residing in the city. The population density was 836.4 people per square mile (322.9/km²). There were 2,771 housing units at an average density of 411.2 per square mile (158.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.91% White, 0.20% Black or African American, 0.87% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. About 2.18% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,431 households, out of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 33.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24, and the average family size was 2.85.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 23.1% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 24.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.1 males. For every 100 females, age 18 and over, there were 79.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $22,671, and the median income for a family was $30,164. Males had a median income of $23,665 versus $18,472 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,710. About 12.1% of families and 17.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.8% of those under age 18 and 16.8% of those age 65 or over..

Attractions

The city of Mena is the gateway to some of the most visited tourist attractions in Arkansas. An estimated 1.2 million visitors each year come to Mena for these natural features.

  • The Talimena Scenic Drive
  • Queen Wilhelmina State Park
  • Ouachita National Forest
  • Cossatot Falls
  • Cossatot River
  • Lake Ouachita

Education

The high school is Mena High School.

Transportation

The city is served by Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport.

Notable people

See also

References

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ http://www.serendipity.li/cia/c_o_mena.html
  4. ^ http://www.salon.com/news/1998/04/cov_20news.html
  5. ^ a b "Tornado Devastates Small Arkansas Town, Killing 3". Associated Press via The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123936375476308445.html. Retrieved 2009-04-10. [dead link]
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links


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