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Entry Category: Businesses - Starting with E

E. Ritter & Company

E. Ritter & Company is one of the most successful and long-lasting family-owned businesses in the state. Headquartered in Marked Tree (Poinsett County), the privately held corporation is the parent company of Ritter Communications and Ritter Agribusiness. Though incorporated in 1906, the business was actually founded in 1889 by Ernest Herman Ritter Jr. The original business entity was a general merchandise store located in what was then a semi-permanent sawmill community. As opportunity arose, Ritter moved into other ventures, such as road and bridge building; timber cutting and milling; fish and game shipping; and the ice business. Interested in technology, Ritter installed a small electrical plant to run his ice business. He then hooked the rest of the company businesses, …

Ed Walker’s Drive-in and Restaurant

Ed Walker’s Drive-in and Restaurant at 1500 Towson Avenue in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) is a thriving icon of the local pop culture/dining scene with its classic drive-in vibe and coin-operated mechanical razorback. Known as the “Home of the French Dip” and famous for its five-pound burgers, Ed Walker’s continues a long history dating back to at least the early 1930s. Ed Walker’s is thought to be the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Fort Smith and the only restaurant in the state with curbside beer service. It is sometimes difficult to separate fact from fiction regarding Ed Walker’s. Some sources claimed that Ed Walker’s opened in 1943, but this year appears to be the date of the liquor license (number …