The city is also home to Old Washington Historic State Park.
During the War with Mexico, beginning in 1846, Washington became a rally point for volunteer troops on their way to serve with the US Army. Later, the town became a major service center for area planters, merchants and professionals. Following the capture of Little Rock by the Union Army in 1863, the Confederate government moved the state government offices to Hot Springs for short time, then ultimately based the state government out of Washington, making it the Capital of Arkansas from 1863-1865. Albert G. Simms (1882 - 1964), a United States Representative from New Mexico, was born here. Following the construction of the Cairo and Fulton railroad eight miles to the south of Washington, which connected much of the state with Little Rock, the town began a slow decline. No longer on a main travel route, Hope, Arkansas took on Washington's formerly important role.
There were 78 households out of which 14.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.2% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.7% were non-families. 44.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.90 and the average family size was 2.58.
In the city the population was spread out with 14.9% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 25.0% from 25 to 44, 28.4% from 45 to 64, and 25.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females there were 72.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $19,375, and the median income for a family was $21,042. Males had a median income of $41,875 versus $20,313 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,066. There were 10.8% of families and 18.6% of the population living below the poverty line, including 25.0% of under eighteens and 21.7% of those over 64.