Entry Category: Cities and Towns - Starting with C

Cabot (Lonoke County)

In 2009, BusinessWeek designated the northern Lonoke County city of Cabot as an “Arkansas boomtown” and listed it as the state’s third-fastest-growing city per capita. Incorporated on November 9, 1891, the city—best known for its school system—is home to 23,776 people (as of the 2010 census), making it the largest community in the county. Post Reconstruction through the Gilded Age The development of the area began in the early 1800s about three miles east of the present city at a small town called Austin (Lonoke County). A stretch of the Butterfield Overland Mail Company stage route passed through the area, and, during the Civil War, a large Confederate camp named Camp Nelson was established nearby. Troops moved in and out …

Caddo Gap (Montgomery County)

Caddo Gap is an unincorporated community located along the Caddo River in Montgomery County approximately fifteen miles south of the county seat, Mount Ida. In the twenty-first century, Caddo Gap is a very small community of fewer than 100 people, although it has a long history of Native American habitation, Spanish exploration, and white settlement. According to Arkansas Archeological Survey findings, Native Americans inhabited areas near Caddo Gap dating back to the Dalton culture. In the thirteen, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, Caddo Indians lived and farmed in Caddo Gap. For many years, historians believed that Hernando de Soto’s expedition in 1541 encountered and fought the Tula tribe near present-day Caddo Gap. The Arkansas History Commission erected a monument in 1936 …

Caddo Valley (Clark County)

Located near the junction of the Caddo and Ouachita rivers, the city of Caddo Valley is a relatively new but economically important town in Clark County. With an economy based on service industries and a prime location on three highways and near DeGray Lake Resort State Park, Caddo Valley quickly became an important stop between Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Texarkana (Miller County). Settlement in the area began in the early 1800s with the arrival of the first white farmers. The area had previously been occupied by members of the Caddo tribe. Jacob Barkman, an 1811 arrival to the area, constructed a house on the south bank of the Caddo River. The Caddo Valley area proved to be a prime …

Cadron Settlement

aka: Cadron (Faulkner County)
The first permanent white settlement in central Arkansas was near the confluence of Cadron Creek and the Arkansas River, about five miles west of Conway in Faulkner County. In the early 1800s, the term “Cadron Settlement” was used loosely in reference to thirty to forty white families that were scattered along the Arkansas River in the vicinity of Cadron Creek. In 1818, an early settler and trader, John McElmurry, who had arrived before 1818, and three other investors laid out a town, Cadron, on about sixty-four acres at the mouth of the Cadron Creek. Although the original plat map of the town has not been found, historical evidence suggests that as many as fourteen blocks, each with six half-acre lots, surrounded …

Calamine (Sharp County)

Calamine, home to some of the earliest settlers in what is now Sharp County, was the site of the state’s first commercial zinc mining operation. The boomtown experienced periods of rapid growth in the 1850s and 1870s but today consists only of a few homes. The town is most likely named after the pink mineral calamine; however, a local tradition claims that the name originated from a female mine owner named Callie, thus “Callie mine.” Long before white settlers moved to the area, the Osage used the region for hunting. The first white settlers entered by the early 1830s, many by way of the recently completed military road connecting the area to the Black River. A small settlement began to …

Caldwell (St. Francis County)

  Caldwell is a city on Crowley’s Ridge, a few miles north of Forrest City (St. Francis County). Located on the Union Pacific Railroad and on State Highway 1, Caldwell has long been an agricultural center for the region but is now predominately a bedroom community for Forrest City. Many early settlers of Arkansas gravitated to Crowley’s Ridge, especially with the improvement of the Military Road in 1830s. St. Francis County had already been established in 1827, populated with settlers who had moved west from Tennessee and Kentucky. The settlement of Caldwell did not appear on maps until after the Civil War, when railroad construction increased in Arkansas. The St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway was incorporated in June 1874 with plans …

Cale (Nevada County)

Cale is a town on Highway 200 near the center of Nevada County. Created as a lumber community around the beginning of the twentieth century, Cale did not incorporate until 1971. Several landowners received land patents for the location where Cale would be built just before the Civil War. They include Jessee C. Capshaw in 1857; Charles Muirehead in 1859; and John Atkins, George Daniell, and Andrew Walker, all in 1860. Although many of the men of the area fought in the Civil War, leaving their farms to be tended by wives and children, the actual conflict did not come closer than the Camden Expedition of 1864, which was turned back some miles east of the area. Cale was built …

Calico Rock (Izard County)

  Calico Rock, located on the White River in Izard County, developed as a steamboat landing originally known as Calico Landing. Keelboats had worked the upper White River as early as 1820, followed by paddle wheelers carrying merchandise and passengers from as far away as New Orleans, Louisiana. It became a boomtown in 1902, when construction began on the railroad as tracks were laid along the north bank, beneath the bluffs. The settlement was the headquarters for railroad construction crews. In 1902, the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railway opened rail service there. Calico Rock was the largest town in Izard County through the 1960s. European Exploration and Settlement through Early Statehood While the region’s early history is obscure, it …

Calion (Union County)

Calion is a second-class city in the northern part of Union County, on Highway 167 and on the south bank of the Ouachita River. The city is known principally as a timber industry center, although increasing emphasis is being placed on tourism opportunities associated with Lake Calion. The African-American neighborhood of Jelly Roll in Calion was the subject of an anthropological study published in 1986. Native American artifacts of the prehistoric era—including Koroa and prehistoric Caddo—have been discovered across the river from Calion in southern Calhoun County. Some historians have attempted to demonstrate that Hernando de Soto’s expedition wintered in that region, since it is known that the expedition did travel along the Ouachita River. In the nineteenth century, the …

Camden (Ouachita County)

Camden is the county seat of Ouachita County and is located in south-central Arkansas on the Gulf Coastal Plain, about fifty miles north of Louisiana. Since it began life as Ecore a Fabre, a French trading post, its history has been closely tied to the Ouachita River. At the head of practical navigation, Camden was the “Queen City” of the Ouachita during the steamboat era. In 1864, it became the unintended focus of a major Civil War effort called the Red River Campaign, resulting in several significant battles. With the development of railroads, Camden was able to exploit its rich timberlands and remain an important transportation hub. Camden has also been important in both industry and education. Politically, Camden has …

Cammack Village (Pulaski County)

The enclave of Cammack Village is a legally incorporated community surrounded entirely by the city of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Created as a site for federally subsidized housing in 1943, it has developed into an exclusive neighborhood renowned for a low crime rate and high property values. The land on which Cammack Village is located was owned by Wiley Dan Cammack, who had allowed it to be used for a Works Progress Administration roads project in the 1930s. In the 1940s, Cammack attempted to have the area annexed by Little Rock, the western edge of which abutted his land, but the city demurred. Cammack therefore turned the land over to a federally subsidized housing project designed to alleviate housing shortages …

Camp (Fulton County)

The unincorporated community of Camp, settled in the early 1800s, was home to some of Fulton County’s earliest settlers. Located near present-day State Highway 9, the somewhat isolated community became a typical rural gathering place for trade and commerce. Settlers were attracted to the area by available land and a plentiful water source provided by Camp Creek and several springs, which were said to never go dry. North Carolina brothers Joe and Nathan Benton, who arrived there in the early 1800s, were the first white settlers. Though more settlers moved to the area, a town did not begin to develop until the 1870s. In 1877, the man who was responsible for the development of the area’s commercial interests arrived. Within …

Campbell (Searcy County)

The historic community of Campbell in Campbell Township is located near County Road 68 (Gum Tree Lane) a short distance from where it intersects with Highway 66 about two miles north of Oxley (Searcy County) and about six miles east-northeast of Leslie (Searcy County). Campbell is located approximately eleven miles east-southeast of Marshall (Searcy County), the county seat. Campbell lies in a fertile valley of the foothills of the Boston Mountains. The caves and bluffs were utilized by Native Americans dating back to the Late Archaic Period. A Native American site, Cooper’s Bluff, northwest of Campbell near what is today Snowball (Searcy County), was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 4, 1982. The Cooper’s Bluff Site …

Campbell Station (Jackson County)

Campbell Station—originally known only as Campbell—is a city in Jackson County located along the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and U.S. Highway 367. It is adjacent to the city of Diaz (Jackson County) and is between Newport (Jackson County) and Tuckerman (Jackson County). Campbell Station claims a portion of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Highway 67.  The earliest settlements in Jackson County, such as Jacksonport (Jackson County) and Newport, were stops along the transportation corridor of the White River between the Mississippi River and Batesville (Independence County). The rest of the county was dominated by hardwood forests and farmland. Jacksonport was significant as a crossroads, as well as a common White River stop, as the Southwest Trail connecting southeastern Missouri to northwestern Texas …

Cane Hill (Washington County)

Cane Hill, settled by Europeans in 1827, was the earliest settlement in Washington County. It was known as an educational center because the first college in Arkansas to admit women was in Cane Hill. In addition, it had the state’s first public school, library, and Sunday school. Several of the oldest houses in northwest Arkansas still stand in Cane Hill. It was also the site of an all-day skirmish in the days before the Battle of Prairie Grove (December 7, 1862). Most of the early settlers came from the Crystal Hill–Little Rock area (Pulaski County), attracted by the rich soil, plentiful freshwater springs, and the canebrakes in the temperate mountain climate. In addition, many Cherokee had recently been removed from …

Caney (Independence County)

Caney Creek begins as a spring in the hills of the Ed Taylor Holler at McHue (Independence County), moves east through Southside (Independence County), and empties into Salado Creek near the Old Rock Bridge between Salado (Independence County) and Rosie (Independence County). Caney, a pioneer community, emerged along its banks in the early 1800s on what is today Kyler Road, where it intersects with Highway 167 South (Batesville Boulevard). Pioneer farmers found the alluvial land along the banks of Caney Creek to be ideal for the growing of grain crops, including corn (which could be used in the profitable moonshine business). One of the first to make his home in Caney was John Kyler from Tennessee, who appeared on the …

Caney Valley (Pike County)

Caney Valley of Pike County is a community located about five miles west of Amity (Clark County) and six miles northeast of Kirby (Pike County). The area was formerly known as Pine Land. The first landowner in the area was Micajah McCawley, who obtained eighty acres in 1860. Caney Valley remained sparsely settled until after the Civil War, and other several land patents were issued in 1882. The families in the area grew numerous crops, including corn, cotton, wheat, oats, sweet potatoes, and melons. Some of the timber in the area began to be harvested in the late 1800s and shipped to nearby mills in Amity. A post office operated in the community from 1883 to 1890, when service was …

Caraway (Craighead County)

Caraway is a small farming community located in Craighead County in the northeast section of the state. The community is representative of other towns in this area—forged from the timber industry, sustained for many years by farming, fiercely holding onto its past through reunions and festivals, and trying to survive and retain its identity. Caraway is one of several communities within a region referred to collectively as Buffalo Island. The small city of Caraway was one of the last to incorporate in northeast Arkansas. Initially known as White Switch, it began as a lumber camp about 1912. The abundance of timber attracted the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company to buy vast tracts of land. The huge northern company drew large …

Carlisle (Lonoke County)

  Carlisle, a bedroom community outside the metropolitan area of Little Rock (Pulaski County), lays claim to being the birthplace of rice growing on the Grand Prairie. Historians agree that W. H. Fuller introduced rice to the Grand Prairie. Civil War through the Gilded AgeRice remains the cornerstone of Carlisle’s economy. The tall natural grasses of the state’s Grand Prairie and good soil and water drew farmers from other states to settle this area, including the founders of Carlisle, Samuel McCormick and his wife, L. J. McCormick. According to legend, there are two stories referring to the naming of Carlisle. The first holds that Samuel McCormick had lived in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and named the town after his former home. The …

Carrollton (Carroll County)

Carrollton (Carroll County), the original seat of Carroll County, was one of the area’s largest settlements in the mid-1800s. The town experienced steady growth before the Civil War but never fully recovered from the war’s devastation, nor from the railroad bypassing it in the 1880s. The first settlers, James Jones and Henderson Lafferty, arrived in the fertile Long Creek Valley in 1833, the same year the county was created. Jones had obtained title to approximately eighty acres. Shortly afterward, Lafferty, a Methodist minister, purchased land from Jones and established the first store in the county. When a site for the county seat was being sought, Lafferty was able to convince the appointed commissioners to purchase the land near his business. A …

Carthage (Dallas County)

  Carthage is located in northern Dallas County, on Highways 48 and 229. Formed by the railroad and timber industries, it continues to support a working sawmill in the twenty-first century. According to a plaque erected in Carthage in 1976, the area was “a crossroad for settlers in pioneer times due to the abundance of wild game and water springs.” Large plantations grew cotton and other crops, and communities such as Tulip (Dallas County) and Princeton (Dallas County) built schools, churches, and businesses. As part of the Camden Expedition, the Engagement at Jenkins’ Ferry was fought a few miles north of the present location of Carthage in April 1864. The end of the Civil War meant the end of slavery in Arkansas, which changed the …

Casa (Perry County)

  Casa may be one of the oldest settlements in Perry County, although it remained a small community until the arrival of the railroad and the discovery of coal in the area around 1900. The town’s name (the Spanish word for “house”) reflects the largely residential nature of Casa in the twenty-first century. Local historians record that the earliest white settlers of Casa arrived during the 1830s. The first two families were named Grace and McGhee; they were joined by other families moving west from Georgia and South Carolina. A general store opened around 1850, and a post office was established in 1854. A log-cabin schoolhouse was also built before the Civil War. A cemetery was established around 1860. During the …

Cash (Craighead County)

Cash is a small, incorporated community in western Craighead County located at the junction of Highway 226 and Highway 18 west of Jonesboro (Craighead County). Once an important center for the lumber industry, it is now primarily a farming community. The first permanent settlers in the area were W. R. and Lynn Cureton, brothers who came from Alabama with their families and slaves. However, the area remained sparsely settled until the late 1800s, when railroads and the lumber industry penetrated into eastern Craighead County. The first school was established on August 12, 1881. In 1894, a tram road, the Bonnerville and Southern Railroad, was built connecting the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway (Frisco) line at Bono (Craighead County) to the Cache River …

Catholic Point (Conway County)

Catholic Point, which began in 1878 in rural northern Conway County, is a small Italian community associated with the large European immigration of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The community is best known for the Catholic Point Picnic, which has been held since 1929 on the third Saturday in June at the parish hall of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Catholic Point maintains its cultural identity, and the afternoon picnic attracts more than 2,500 each year. From the mid-1870s until 1890, Bishop Edward M. Fitzgerald, the second prelate of the Diocese of Little Rock, promoted and successfully attracted Roman Catholic families from Europe, many of whom were facing difficult economic conditions, to the state. While not necessarily identified as a part …

Caulksville (Logan County)

Caulksville is a town in northwestern Logan County, located at the intersection of State Highways 22 and 23. While it incorporated at a much later date than the bordering town of Ratcliff (Logan County), Caulksville is the older settlement of the two. Caulksville was named for Robert Caulk, who received a land patent at the location of the town in 1860. He and his family are said to have arrived in the area in the 1830s. Available records do not show that Caulk served in any army during the Civil War. After the war, more settlers arrived in the area, and Caulk opened a post office in 1870. A Missionary Baptist church was built a few miles north of Caulksville …

Cauthron (Scott County)

The town of Cauthron is an unincorporated community located in western Scott County along Highway 28. The town was established along the Poteau River, which runs west into eastern Oklahoma. Cauthron was incorporated circa 1876; however, the area was initially known as Piney. Piney was never officially an incorporated town, and it is unclear when the area began being called Cauthron, although it was likely in the 1870s when the first governmental buildings were being built. Before European contact, the wilderness area’s first inhabitants included natives from the Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods. The Caddo later made their homes along the Poteau River and other waterways in the area. It is probable that during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth …

Cave City (Sharp and Independence Counties)

Cave City is a small community that straddles the northern Independence and southern Sharp County border in north-central Arkansas, having ended up there when a three-mile strip of Independence County was transferred to Sharp County in 1879. For administrative purposes, the town belongs to Sharp County, but it hosts voting stations for townships in both Independence and Sharp counties. The town takes its name from the large multi-room Crystal River Cave, which is located directly beneath the city. The cave has played a pivotal role in the history of the entire community. For thousands of years, it has served as a temporary shelter, source of water, and a fascinating place to visit. Settlers in the nineteenth century also used the …

Cave Springs (Benton County)

The city of Cave Springs, nestled in the hills of northwest Arkansas, Benton County, is known more for recreational opportunities than for its role in industry or agriculture. Incorporated in 1910, the second-class city stands on Highways 112 and 264 and is often the first community seen by visitors to Arkansas who arrive at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. Cave Springs is named for two caves and for the water source that flows from the northernmost of those caves. The north cave, which has been closed to the public since the 1980s, is said to consist of several rooms and to contain two beautiful waterfalls. It is home to many bats and to the largest known population of the rare …