Entry Category: Cities and Towns - Starting with F

Fairfield Bay (Van Buren and Cleburne Counties)

  Fairfield Bay, located in north-central Arkansas on the north shore of Greers Ferry Lake, was created with the goal of becoming a recreational and retirement resort. Though small in terms of residential population, the number of people who visit each year through the town’s timeshare program is well over 20,000. As of the 2010 census, the combined population of its Van Buren County and Cleburne County portions is 2,338. Before the formation of Greers Ferry Lake in the mid-1960s, the hills of what is now Fairfield Bay were covered with large hardwood trees. Logging of these immense oak trees for lumber, railroad ties, and white oak barrel staves supported the thriving communities of Shirley (Van Buren County), Edgemont (Cleburne …

Famous (Pope County)

aka: Mooretown (Pope County)
The Arkansas landscape is dotted with small towns that were at one time area commercial centers. Many, such as the Pope County town of Famous, have long since disappeared. Little remains of this once thriving unincorporated settlement, which was located approximately six miles west of Dover (Pope County) near present-day State Highway 333. By the 1920s, the name had been changed to Mooretown. John Thomas Moore moved his family to the area in the late 1800s, building the first house in what would eventually become Famous. He was also the first merchant, establishing the first general store. In time, the Moore family would dominate the commercial activity in the area. In 1897, a U.S. post office was established in the …

Fargo (Monroe County)

Fargo is a town on U.S. Highway 49 in northern Monroe County, north of Interstate 40. Fargo came into existence due to the railroad industry and later was home to a significant school for African Americans. Various Native American artifacts have been found in Monroe County, indicating that it has been inhabited at least sporadically for centuries. European hunters and trappers had arrived by the beginning of the nineteenth century, and the county itself was established in 1829, several years before Arkansas became a state. The northern part of the county, drained by the Cache River, was largely uninhabited throughout the nineteenth century. The St. Louis Southwestern Railway, known as the Cotton Belt, was constructed across Arkansas from Texarkana (Miller …

Farmington (Washington County)

For more than a century, Farmington, one of the early settlements in northwest Arkansas, was a small village five miles west of Fayetteville (Washington County). The rapid growth of this section of the state has affected the area in and around Farmington profoundly. In 1940, its population was about 200, but as of the 2010 census, 5,974 people resided there. This population expansion mirrors the phenomenal growth of northwest Arkansas in recent years. Territorial Period to Early Statehood In 1828, settlers arrived early in the wide valley that flows west from Fayetteville, and it was truly frontier country. The federal government moved the Cherokee and Osage tribes westward into what is now Oklahoma. They took their wars along with them, …

Fayetteville (Washington County)

  Fayetteville, one of the largest cities in the state, is located in the Ozark Mountains and has been the seat of county government since formation by the state legislature. From the early pioneers to modern-day residents, Fayetteville’s citizens have been dedicated to the enhancement of the cultural, educational, and economic growth of the area and state. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The first settlers in Fayetteville were George McGarrah and his sons James, John, and William. Around 1828, they settled near the spring in an area that was to become the Masonic Addition to Fayetteville, the eastern part of which is at the base of Mount Sequoyah. James Leeper, a Revolutionary War veteran, was the second settler in Fayetteville. …

Felsenthal (Union County)

Felsenthal is near the Saline River’s termination into the Ouachita River in southeastern Union County, just north of the Louisiana state line. It was established by the lumber industry, but since 1975 has prospered due to tourism, including hunters and fishers. David Felsenthal, a Jew born in Bavaria (now part of Germany) in 1833, moved to Arkansas when he was twenty years old. He lived first in Woodlawn (Ouachita County) and then moved to Camden (Ouachita County). He and his wife had nine children, four of whom—Adolph, Isaac, Sidney, and Lee—formed the Felsenthal Land and Timber Company around the beginning of the twentieth century to harvest the trees of southern Union County. They established a company town for their workers …

Fendley (Clark County)

Fendley is a community in Clark County located about three miles east of Alpine (Clark County). Early settlers in Clark County visited the Fendley area due to the presence of a chalybeate spring nearby. Visitors used the waters to bathe, claiming that the iron-enriched water helped treat ailments. The name of the community comes from the Fendley family that settled in the area. Elisha and Martha Fendley arrived in the area in the late 1870s and were accompanied by their son Thomas and daughter-in-law Mary. The younger Fendleys had two children by 1880, and both families farmed. The Fendley Post Office opened in 1901. Thomas Fendley, the son of early settler Thomas, served as the first postmaster. The post office …

Ferndale (Pulaski County)

Ferndale is an unincorporated community in Pulaski County located near the intersection of Kanis and Congo roads west of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Chiefly a farming area, the settlement was once home to a large timber operation and speculative mining. The first white settlers to the area were the Thomas Reese Sevier family, who briefly settled there in 1838. The first long-term settler was Isaac Crowson, who settled his family there in 1840. The Crowson family was important to the development of Ferndale. In 1875, Dr. George Sutton, also the area’s first physician, was the first to build a home on the actual town site. As people were gradually attracted to the rich farm land near the Little Maumelle Creek, …

Fifty-Six (Stone County)

  Fifty-Six is one of two cities in Stone County. It stands on State Highway 14 in the northern part of the county. Fifty-Six (sometimes spelled without the hyphen) is located near Blanchard Springs Caverns, one of the most visited tourist sites in the Ozark National Forest. The forested hills and mountains of northern Arkansas were claimed as hunting and fishing land by the Osage, who lived in southern Missouri, when the United States first acquired the land as part of the Louisiana Purchase. White settlers gradually arrived in the area, but the rugged land remained only sparsely settled for many years. Stone County, which was formed in 1873 from parts of four other counties, had about 5,000 residents at …

Fisher (Poinsett County)

  Fisher is located on U.S. Highway 49 in the southwest corner of Poinsett County. Like many other Arkansas cities, Fisher owes its existence to the railroad industry and the lumber industry. In the nineteenth century, western Poinsett County was a flood-prone hardwood forest. A road connecting Helena (Phillips County) to Batesville (Independence County) ran across the future site of Fisher, but no families chose to live in the area until after the Civil War. Reportedly, the first building erected in what would be Fisher was a double-pen log cabin built by Allen Steelman in about 1875. Steelman’s son-in-law, Shep Pope, lived in the other half of the cabin. Local historians have written that, following the death of Steelman, his widow married …

Fitzhugh (Woodruff County)

Fitzhugh (Woodruff County) is a community six miles northeast of the county seat of Augusta (Woodruff County). Named for Rufus K. Fitzhugh Jr., the community developed and grew around his 800-acre plantation. Over time, two schools, a cotton gin, churches, and a general mercantile store came to be located at Fitzhugh; the area is mostly large farm fields in the twenty-first century, with only a few residences. Early settlers to the Fitzhugh community were attracted by the area’s rich alluvial soil deposits that became so profitable for cotton production in the nineteenth century. Area farms benefited from Fitzhugh’s proximity to the White River just a few miles west. In 1859, Rufus King Fitzhugh Sr. brought his family and a large …

Flippin (Marion County)

Hometown of the internationally recognized Ranger Boats bass boat manufacturer, Flippin (Marion County) is located seven miles from the county seat of Yellville (Marion County) and is surrounded by areas offering a wealth of recreational opportunities. The city of Flippin began as a small community outside the present-day city limits, near the site of what today serves as Flippin’s airport. Here, the first families settled in an area called the Barrens. Established sometime in the early 1800s, the Barrens was a small settlement that included a general store, flour mill, and cotton gin. The name later changed, and local legend purports that the owner of the general store, a man named Johnson, was not pleased with the wares being sold …

Floral (Independence County)

Floral is a community in Independence County located south-southwest of the county seat of Batesville (Independence County). Floral is believed to have received its name from the beautiful flowers that grow in the area, but may have been named for the Floral family who lived in the area at one time. An early pioneer in the region was John (Johnny) Thomas, who was born in 1814 in Alabama. He and his family crossed the Mississippi River and settled in Arkansas by the 1840s; the 1860 census reported him living at Round Pond in Independence County. The same census also listed the area’s first doctor, Sterling Wesley Allen, who had come from Tennessee. During the Civil War, lawless bands roamed the …

Fordyce (Dallas County)

Located at the intersection of Highways 167 and 79 in south central Arkansas, Fordyce was established in 1882 and named for Colonel Samuel Wesley Fordyce, a railroad builder and developer. It has long been a center for the timber industry in southern Arkansas. Pre-European Exploration Prior to European settlement, present-day Fordyce was inhabited by ancestors of the Caddo. Although no historic Caddo communities existed there, artifacts of Native American life are occasionally found in the area. Louisiana Purchase through Reconstruction Fordyce was a relatively late bloomer in Dallas County as compared to centrally located Princeton (Dallas County), which was incorporated in 1849 and served as the first county seat, and Tulip (Dallas County), which was considered the cultural center of …

Foreman (Little River County)

aka: New Rocky Comfort (Little River County)
  The city of Foreman, also known as New Rocky Comfort, was at one time the county seat of Little River County. Located about twenty miles north of Interstate 30 on State Highway 41, the city’s primary industry is a cement factory that was built in 1957 and renovated in 2007. Before the beginning of the Cenozoic Era, the southwestern corner of Arkansas was covered by a shallow sea. Layers of sediment deposited on the seabed formed chalk and lime, which are the principal substances found in the terrain surrounding the city of Foreman. A natural spring supported a stand of willow trees and attracted wildlife and human visitors to the area, which became known as both Willow Springs and …

Forester (Scott County)

Forester was a self-contained sawmill town owned by the Caddo River Lumber Company. It was founded and built by Thomas Whitaker Rosborough in 1930 in southeastern Scott County. At first, a prominent Waldron (Scott County) businessman wanted the mill built in his town, but after hearing that Rosborough intended to employ African Americans, this businessman was happy with the chosen location and later was instrumental in getting the railroad extended from Waldron into Forester. The mill became the largest and most productive in the state, with its huge lumber shed measuring eighty feet wide and 1,000 feet long and storing millions of board feet of kiln-dried, planed lumber. The town was named after Waldron businessman Charles A. Forrester. Contractors logged …

Forrest City (St. Francis County)

Forrest City, located on the western slope of Crowley’s Ridge near the center of St. Francis County, has been a center of commerce and trade since its incorporation in 1870. Serving as the county seat since 1874, the city is named in honor of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest. It is the only such named city in the world spelled with two Rs. Pre-European Exploration through Early Statehood The many Native American artifacts found along the St. Francis River and a number of identified Indian mounds within the county provide evidence that the area was inhabited long before the expedition of Hernando de Soto visited the surrounding area in 1541.White settlers began to be attracted to the high ground on …

Fort Smith (Sebastian County)

 Fort Smith is the second-largest city in Arkansas after Little Rock (Pulaski County) and shares status with Greenwood as the county seat of Sebastian County. Early in the history of Arkansas and the city, Fort Smith was an important point of contact to the American West. It is now home to large manufacturing plants; St. Edward Mercy Medical Center and Sparks Regional Medical Center, which provide healthcare to residents beyond the confines of the city; and the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. Pre-European Exploration No indigenous peoples appear to have had permanent settlements at the time of European contact in what became Fort Smith. In southern Fort Smith, a platform mound commonly called the Cavanaugh Mound exists in isolation …

Forty-Four (Izard County)

Forty-Four (sometimes spelled without the hyphen) in Union Township of Izard County is a historic community on Highway 56 about five miles northeast of Calico Rock (Izard County). The Forty-Four post office opened in 1928 and served the rural area until 1979. The story goes that forty-four names appeared on the petition to the postal department, thus the name. The region served as a hunting ground for the Osage and, later, the Cherokee and Shawnee. The first white settlers appeared around 1828 when a new treaty ended the Cherokee Reservation in Arkansas. The Benge route of the Trail of Tears passed a few miles west of Forty-Four. The Old Benbrook Mill on Piney Creek was near the site of what …

Fouke (Miller County)

Fouke is located eleven miles south of Texarkana (Miller County) on U.S. Highway 71 and Interstate 549 in Miller County. Its city limits are eight miles east of Texas and seventeen miles north of Louisiana. The city is six miles from the fertile soil of the Sulphur River and ten miles from the Red River. Louisiana Purchase through Early StatehoodIn 1818, as part of a policy to lessen Spanish influence in the area, the United States built the Sulphur Fork Factory (trading post) on the Sulphur River where it enters the Red. For four years, Native Americans traded pelts, honey, and beeswax and were given in exchange flour, tobacco, blankets, guns, and other items. By 1836, with the advent of …

Fountain Hill (Ashley County)

Fountain Hill is a town on U.S. Highway 425 in northern Ashley County. The town has been a center for agriculture and the timber industry and remains supportive of both industries in the twenty-first century. The region that would become Ashley County has been inhabited for thousands of years. When the region first became part of the United States, it was considered Quapaw land, although the Quapaw villages were farther to the north. Quapaw ceded their right to the land in 1818, and settlers began to arrive from Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. James Norris farmed the land between the two springs for which the town was named. He established a cotton gin and a grist mill on the …

Fountain Lake (Garland County)

Fountain Lake is a city on State Highway 5 in Garland County. Located about halfway between Benton (Saline County) and Hot Springs (Garland County), Fountain Lake also borders on Hot Springs Village (Garland and Saline counties) to the northwest. Evidence of ancient inhabitants has been found scattered around Garland County, although the relationship of Native Americans to the Hot Springs area has been exaggerated at times to promote tourism. The Caddo inhabited the region when the 1541–1542 Hernando de Soto expedition first traveled through the area, but settlement was sparse. Only a handful of American settlers had claimed land in what would later be northern Garland County by the time of the Civil War. John Holland and Isaac Collins were …

Fourche (Perry County)

  The town of Fourche (the name is pronounced to rhyme with “bush”) is located in northeastern Perry County on the banks of the Fourche La Fave River, for which it is named. Once a thriving lumber town, Fourche is now overshadowed by Bigelow (Perry County), its neighbor to the west. The Fourche La Fave River was explored by a French settler, Peter La Fave, who gave his name to the river, “fourche” being the French word for “fork.” The first white settlers, who arrived after the Civil War, were German, including Gottlob Faisst, who owned a tomato cannery he named Central Arkansas Food Products Company. Faisst and his family also owned a wine saloon, skating rink, and pool hall, all …