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Hope and Hempstead History

Hempstead County is one of 75 counties in Arkansas, and was established on December 15, 1818. The original county covered virtually all of Southwest Arkansas, and was named for Edward Hempstead, first delegate to congress from the Missouri Territory. Nearby counties were later formed for Hempstead, including Lafayette, Nevada, Miller, Sevier, Union, Pike, Ouachita, Columbia, Little River and Howard. The estimated population in 2004 was 23,469. 

The City of Hope was first settled in 1852, and named in honor of the daughter of James Loughborough, the Cairo & Fulton (railroad) Land Commissioner, who designed the original plat of the city. Hope was incorporated in 1875. The current population is about 10,500.

At an elevation of 350’, Hope is about 30 miles northeast of Texarkana USA and 120 miles southwest of the capital city of Little Rock, via Interstate Highway 30.

Well known citizens include Paul Klipsch, the creator of one of the world’s most famous loudspeakers. Also, former US President Bill Clinton was born in Hope in 1946.  His birthplace has been renovated and is open to the public.

Four major districts in Hope are on the National Register of Historic Places and represent excellent showcases of the history of Hope:

1. North Washington Street Historic District
Eastern half of western blocks along N. Washington between B and E Sts., Hope, features Folk Victorian, Craftsman, Colonial Revival and Prairie-style structures built between 1900-45

2. North Elm Street Historic District
Bounded by Union-Pacific tracks, Hervey St., Ave. G and Hazel St., Hope, 1890-1945 structures designed in Queen Anne Revival/Folk Victorian, Colonial Revival, Prairie, English Revival, Craftsman, and traditional building styles

3. Hope Historic Commercial District
Bounded by Union-Pacific tracks, Louisiana St., 3rd St. and Walnut St., Hope, contains commercial structures built 1880-1945

4. Southwestern Proving Ground Airport Historic District
Hope Municipal Airport, Hope, 1941 munitions testing complex

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