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Home / Browse / Race & Ethnicity / African American / Reed (Desha County)

Reed (Desha County)

Latitude and Longitude:

33º42'07"N 091º26'35"W

Elevation:

148 feet

Area:

0.101 square miles (2010 Census)

Population:

141 (2010 Census)

Incorporation Date:

August 3, 1961

Historical Population as per the U.S. Census:

1810

1820

1830

1840

1850

1860

1870

1880

1890

1900

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1910

1920

1930

1940

1950

1960

1970

1980

1990

2000

-

-

-

-

-

-

403

395

355

275

2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

141

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reed (Desha County) is a small community on U.S. Highway 65, six miles north of McGehee (Desha County). It was established as a predominately African-American community in the mid-twentieth century.

Much of the impetus for the creation of Reed lay in the emergence of Mitchellville (Desha County), which arose following World War II when the government provided land north of Dumas to returning soldiers. Mitchellville became something of a model black community, its leaders working with white leaders from Dumas to get proper sewer, water, and street improvements. African Americans around McGehee and Tillar (Drew and Desha counties) were thus motivated by a desire to govern themselves and follow Mitchellville’s example. In 1961, they incorporated the town of Reed in an area where a long-standing, prominent black community had already existed. The town was named for Roosevelt Reed, who operated a large general store. At the time of incorporation, several businesses operated there, including a post office, which closed in 1990. Mail service is currently provided through Tillar.

There was never a school at Reed. Students are bussed to McGehee. There are no businesses currently operating at Reed; however, Reed continues to function as a municipality. Earlier business have been closed for many years. A few churches still conduct services in Reed. Farming remains the major industry in the area. Many residents work in nearby towns.

For additional information:
Desha County Historical Society. http://www.deshacountyhistorical.org/ (accessed August 30, 2011).

Helen Pennington
Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Last Updated 1/23/2017

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