Lakeview (Baxter County)

Latitude and Longitude: 36º22’07″N 092º32’44″W
Elevation: 791 feet
Area: 1.134 square miles (2010 Census)
Population: 741 (2010 Census)
Incorporation Date: November 16, 1973

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
512 485 763
2010
741

Lakeview of Baxter County is one of several cities that came into being as a result of Bull Shoals dam, which was constructed on the White River in northern Arkansas beginning in 1947 and impounds Bull Shoals Lake. Situated on Highway 178 on the southern shore of the lake, Lakeview is adjacent to the Bull Shoals-White River State Park, which, directly and indirectly, provides many of the jobs held by citizens of Lakeview.

The earliest settlers in the region were William J. Trimble and his family. Trimble acquired land patents from the land office in Batesville (Independence County) in 1856 and in 1860. Later relatives (whether sons or nephews is unclear) James I. Trimble, John N. Trimble, and William H. Trimble also acquired land in the area in the later part of the nineteenth century. Because of the family presence, the small settlement was called Trimble Flats. Neighbors included the Aylor, Wayland, and McNeil families. A post office for the settlement opened in 1884. It was named Amos, but opinions are divided about the origin of its name, with some sources suggesting the first postmaster and others the first schoolteacher. The school was also called Amos locally but was designated by the county as School District #25.

The Amos post office closed in 1938, as plans were already being made to flood the region with the waters of the White River. Monty and Hazel Montgomery purchased land along the lakeshore, opening a motel they called LakeShore Courts in 1947. Harvey Slocumb, the general superintendant of the construction project for the lake and dam, was their first customer. Construction workers and their families rented units at the motel, and more buildings soon arose, including grocery stores, gift shops, and homes. The Lakeview post office opened in 1949. Montgomery received a real estate license and sold lots to prospective homebuyers until 1953, when the family moved to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri to conduct similar land investment. They then moved to Branson, Missouri, and later to Mountain Home (Baxter County), still investing in the development and resale of land.

In 1955, the State of Arkansas began leasing undeveloped land along the lakeshore from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create Arkansas’s seventh state park, Bull Shoals-White River State Park. At first, the property was used largely for camping, although it included one lodge that had been a headquarters for the dam-building project. In the 1970s, the state improved the property, removing the dilapidated lodge structure and creating paved roads and improved campsites. In the following years, additional improvements included picnic tables, playgrounds, a gift shop, a pavilion, a boat ramp, and a visitor center. The park also provides interpretive programs including cruises along the river and lake, seasonal festivals, and a wintertime opportunity to observe bald eagles.

To provide city services to its businesses and restaurants, Lakeview was incorporated as a second-class city in 1973. It continues to prosper from its proximity to the lake and to the state park. The city has several restaurants, a Ranger Boats facility, and three churches—Baptist, Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), and nondenominational. Several resorts are located within the city limits, as well as businesses that cater to amateur and professional fishers. Lakeview is also home to Stephens International Recruiting, a company that recruits healthcare professionals for related businesses. The population of Lakeview in 2010 was 741 and was nearly all white.

For additional information:
History and Families, Baxter County, Arkansas. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Company, 2003.

City of Lakeview. https://cityoflakeview.com/ (accessed November 8, 2021).

Steven Teske
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies

Last Updated: 11/08/2021