Midway (Hot Spring County)

Latitude and Longitude: 34°15’15″N 092°57’49″W
Elevation: 262 feet
Area: 5.76 square miles (2020 Census)
Population: 377 (2020 Census)
Incorporation Date: April 20, 2000

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

2010

2020

389

377

Midway is a town in southern Hot Spring County. Situated on U.S. Highway 67, it lies between Interstate 30 and the Ouachita River. Although several other communities in Arkansas are also called Midway, the town in Hot Spring County is the only incorporated community in Arkansas with that name.

Caddo Indians inhabited the Hot Spring County area until 1700. In a treaty in 1818, the Quapaw ceded control of the area to the U.S. government. Over the following years, a network of routes known as the Southwest Trail extended across the state from Jackson (Randolph County) through Little Rock (Pulaski County) and south to Fulton (Hempstead County) on the Red River. One of those highways passed through the Midway area, and it is likely that the town was named because it was roughly halfway between Little Rock and Fulton. A post office opened in Midway in 1850. The Midway Cemetery was established during the Civil War. A stagecoach stop was also a prominent landmark of the community in the nineteenth century.

After the Civil War, development of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad bypassed Midway in favor of Donaldson (Hot Spring County) to the south. The railroad and the timber industry led Donaldson to prosper. A post office opened in Donaldson in 1873, and the Midway post office closed in 1878. By the time the Goodspeed histories of the area were written in the late 1880s, the community of Midway was not large enough to merit even a passing mention in the history of Hot Spring County. Midway is also absent from gazetteers and business directories published in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The community remained inhabited, however, with largely agricultural concerns. During the Flood of 1927, the Ouachita River rose, threatening the livestock in the area. Construction of Interstate 30 in the 1960s caused traffic to flow more rapidly through the area. School consolidation in the twentieth century led to the creation of the Ouachita School District, with an elementary school and high school within the town limits of Midway, although the school is more often described as being in Donaldson.

In 2000, the citizens of Midway voted to incorporate as a town. The population of Midway was 389 in 2010, with 300 residents listed as white.

For additional information:
Sherwood, James E. “Midway.” The Heritage 32 (2005): 32–34.

Steven Teske
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies

Last Updated: 07/20/2022

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