Entry Category: Cities and Towns - Starting with R

Raggio (Lee County)

The town of Raggio existed briefly on the east bank of Alligator Bayou, about a mile from the St. Francis River, in Lee County. A logging community that was served by the railroad, the town was destroyed by fire around 1916 and was never rebuilt. Until after the Civil War, the site that would become Raggio was largely unclaimed wetland with abundant trees. Hunting and fishing occupied the few visitors to the area, and steamboats traveled the river. Following the war, a logging settlement was established at Raggio; the community was named for a local merchant who had come to Arkansas from Italy. Logs were bound together as rafts to be transported by water to sawmills. Shortly after Lee County was created, …

Ratcliff (Logan County)

  Halfway between Paris (Logan County) and Charleston (Franklin County) on Highway 22, Ratcliff in Logan County has 202 residents as of the 2010 census. The area that is now northwestern Logan County was sparsely populated prior to the Civil War. Alexander Kannady and Jerry Nunnellee filed papers in Clarksville (Johnson County) in 1861 claiming ownership of the land; Nunnellee is said to have operated a plantation in that area for many years prior to this claim. Early in the 1870s, the area became an attraction due to five natural springs of mineral water that were thought to have healing benefits. Stone pavilions sheltered three of the five springs for the comfort of visitors, and a community called National Springs came into …

Ravenden (Lawrence County)

Ravenden, a small Lawrence County town near the Spring River, owes its origin to the completion of the railroad in the 1880s. With the development of the town along the tracks, it soon became an important trade center in the area. The business sector is no longer located on the original site. In 1947, the business sector slowly began to move to the newly completed U.S. Highway 63, where it remains today. Long before white settlers began to develop the land along the Spring River, the Osage used the area as hunting grounds. The first important white settler to the area was William J. Ball, the son of a former British soldier who had fought in the Napoleonic Wars and …

Ravenden Springs (Randolph County)

The town of Ravenden Springs is located in the easternmost extension of the Ozark Mountains in western Randolph County, an area that is among the oldest settled areas of Arkansas. In 1809, John Janes, a Revolutionary War veteran, settled on the large creek that now bears his name just south of present-day Ravenden Springs and established a trading post there. One of the earliest mail routes in Arkansas ran from Dry Springs on the Missouri border to Lanes’s Store (successor to Janes’ Trading Post) to Batesville (Independence County). Two villages grew up around Lanes’s Store—Walnut Hill and Kingsville—both of which disappeared in time. In 1820, Caleb Lindsey started what has been documented as the first school in Arkansas. “School Cave” …

Rector (Clay County)

Rector, a railroad town on the St. Louis and Texas railroad line (Cotton Belt), was platted by the Southwestern Improvement Association in 1882 and incorporated in 1887. Rector and the surrounding land has served as an area of timber harvest and agriculture, religion, education, business, and politics. Named for former governor Henry Massie Rector, the town has served many politicians who visit for its annual Labor Day parade and picnic. Pre-European Exploration through European Exploration and Settlement Eastern Arkansas has been inhabited for thousands of years. The area long has provided abundant hunting and fishing, as well as fertile soil for native populations. Indian artifacts have been found on farmland around Rector. Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto entered present-day Arkansas …

Red Springs (Clark County)

Red Springs is a community in southeastern Clark County. It is located about five miles east of Gurdon (Clark County). An early name of the community was Bethel Springs.   The earliest landowners in the area were William Gwin and Samuel Davis, who obtained 1,040 acres on April 8, 1846. The two were business partners who owned thousands of acres in Clark and Hempstead counties. Jacob Wingfield Jr. obtained 320 acres in the area in 1859. He owned land in several other locations across Clark County but lived in the Red Springs community with his wife Mary, their seven children, and two slaves in 1860. Other families moved to the community over the next several decades. All were small-scale farmers. …

Redfield (Jefferson County)

  Redfield is a growing city located in Jefferson County near Interstate 530, which connects Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and Little Rock (Pulaski County). The city has always relied on land transportation, beginning in the nineteenth century with the railroad and continuing in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with highways. The Little Rock, Mississippi River, and Texas Railroad built a line from Chicot Point (Chicot County) to Pine Bluff in 1873. Financial problems that year delayed completion of the line to Little Rock for several years, but James Kirkwood Brodie anticipated the completion of the line and invested in land along its route. For $71.28, Brodie bought 163 acres from the State of Arkansas, land that had been seized from the …

Reed (Desha County)

Reed of Desha County is a small community on U.S. Highway 65, six miles north of McGehee (Desha County). It was established as a predominately African-American community in the mid-twentieth century. Much of the impetus for the creation of Reed lay in the emergence of Mitchellville (Desha County), which arose following World War II when the government provided land north of Dumas to returning soldiers. Mitchellville became something of a model black community, its leaders working with white leaders from Dumas to get proper sewer, water, and street improvements. African Americans around McGehee and Tillar (Drew and Desha counties) were thus motivated by a desire to govern themselves and follow Mitchellville’s example. In 1961, they incorporated the town of Reed in an …

Reyno (Randolph County)

  The city of Reyno is located in Randolph County on U.S. Highway 67, some sections of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. About halfway between Pocahontas (Randolph County) and Corning (Clay County), Reyno is situated near the Current River. The city moved about two miles early in the twentieth century to take advantage of the newly built rail line through the area. Reyno was once called Cherokee Bay, but it came to be known as Reyno, a shortening of the name of one of the first settlers at that location, Dennis W. Reynolds, who built a home and a hotel at that site in 1857. Several other families joined Reynolds in the area, including Stephen McCrary, who …

Richwoods (Clark County)

Richwoods is a community in Clark County located three miles south of Gum Springs (Clark County) and four miles north of Curtis (Clark County). The earliest settler in the area was Benjamin Dickinson, who purchased land in 1836. Dickinson moved to Clark County the previous year and was a native of North Carolina. Over the next decade, Dickinson acquired hundreds of additional acres of land to become one of the largest planters in the county. He owned two steamboats that transported his cotton down the Ouachita River, and according to the 1840 census, he owned forty-eight slaves. Upon his death in 1845, his estate was valued at approximately $40,000. The same day that Dickinson obtained his first parcels of property …

Rison (Cleveland County)

The Texas and St. Louis Railroad gave rise to Rison. The county seat of Dorsey (later Cleveland) County was originally at Toledo. When the railroad was routed through the county in 1882, Rison did not exist as a place name. Samuel Wesley Fordyce of Huntsville, Alabama, a former Union army officer, was authorized to determine the route of the railroad from Texarkana (Miller County) to Birds Point, Missouri. According to unsubstantiated legend, when the leading citizens of Toledo snubbed his plans to route the railroad through that community, he planned a route three miles north through land that later became the town of Rison. Fordyce named the growing community in honor of William Richard Rison, his former partner in a …

Ritz (Scott County)

Ritz is an unincorporated community located in southwestern Scott County. The town was named for the Ritz family who settled in the area. Ritz was officially established in 1914 between Heath Creek and Clear Fork Creek. The agriculture and timber industries have traditionally contributed to the economy and way of life in Ritz. Prior to European exploration, the area surrounding Ritz was a wilderness. Several species of wildlife that no longer inhabit the area, such as elk and buffalo, were present throughout the region. Numerous archaeological sites and burial mounds are located along the banks of prominent waterways such as the Fourche La Fave River. Archaeological findings have provided evidence of early inhabitants dating to the Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian …

Rockport (Hot Spring County)

Rockport is one of the oldest named places in Arkansas, and one of several communities that claims it was “almost” selected for the state capitol. Although the present city is overshadowed by Malvern (Hot Spring County), Rockport served as the county seat of Hot Spring County from 1846 to 1879 and was a landmark community of Arkansas for many years both before and after that time. European Exploration and Settlement through Early Statehood Large novaculite boulders in the bed of the Ouachita River made the location of Rockport ideal as both a river crossing and a resting place for weary river travelers. These boulders gave the community its name. A plaque in Rockport states that Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto …

Rocky Point (Independence County)

aka: Rock Point (Independence County)
Rocky Point, originally called Rock Point, is located on Highway 167 (Batesville Boulevard), about seven miles south of Batesville (Independence County), the county seat. Once a thriving community, twenty-first-century Rocky Point consists of a rock quarry called Rocky Point Materials. Rocky Point represents the dividing line between the Southside School District and the Midland School District of Pleasant Plains (Independence County). Rock Point is the rock formation at the southern point of where the Caney Creek bottoms end. In the early days of settlement, the bottomland provided suitable soil for small-scale farming, and the hill area was good for hunting small game, deer, and bears. Ample pasture land allowed for the running of cattle. Initially a part of the Round …

Roe (Monroe County)

Roe is a town on U.S. Highway 79 in western Monroe County. Roe is the only incorporated community in Monroe County that is west of the White River. Roe is on the northern edge of the Grand Prairie, a part of Arkansas that was slow to be claimed and settled. Around 1880, the St. Louis Southwestern Railway (also called the Cotton Belt) was constructed through Arkansas. Roe, then located in Prairie County, was one of the depots established by the railroad. It was likely named for a railroad executive or employee. Roe received a post office in 1880; at the time, Roe was in Prairie County, but the county line was adjusted in 1883. Being the first railroad depot south …

Rogers (Benton County)

Rogers was founded as a stop on the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway (Frisco) and developed as a shipping point for apples and a trade center for the surrounding rural area. After World War II, agriculture remained important, but business leaders also embarked on a successful effort to recruit light industry. Rogers has several major industrial plants and retail centers and is one of the fastest-growing cities in Arkansas. Louisiana Purchase through Reconstruction Settlers began to arrive in the vicinity of what is today Rogers around 1830. Most came from the Upper South states, especially Tennessee. The foundation of the local economy in the mid-1800s was subsistence farming, with tobacco as the main cash crop. The many streams in the region …

Rohwer (Desha County)

Rohwer of Desha County is a historic community ten miles northeast of McGehee (Desha County). It is perhaps best known as the site of the Rohwer Relocation Center, one of two internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II located in the area. In September 1904, the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad (later acquired by the Missouri Pacific) completed a rail line over the Arkansas River from Helena (Phillips County). The railroad allowed local timber to be harvested, processed, and shipped out. Several stores opened in Rohwer to support the sawmills and the numerous families farming nearby. Prior to the railroad construction, the community was mostly non-existent. The post office, which was first called the Harding Post …

Roland (Pulaski County)

Roland is an unincorporated community north of Pinnacle Mountain State Park in western Pulaski County, not far from the Arkansas River. It is crossed by State Highway 300, part of which is a component of the Arkansas River Trail, a pedestrian and bicycle trail that goes through Little Rock (Pulaski County) and North Little Rock (Pulaski County). Once a stop on the Rock Island rail line, Roland is home to nearly 750 residents; its post office also serves nearby Natural Steps (Pulaski County), as well as many rural residents and businesses in the area. The Roland post office was established in 1884, several years before the arrival of the railroad. Although the origin of the name is unknown, the post …

Rome (Clark County)

The small community of Rome was once located six miles south of Okolona (Clark County) in western Clark County along the Old Military Road and the Little Missouri River. Today, the only remaining evidence of the once vibrant community is two cemeteries. The community was located in Section 19, Township 9 South, Range 21 West, along present-day state Highway 51. Rome was founded in the 1850s by a man known as Mr. Dickey, who originated from Corinth, Mississippi. Several families followed Dickey to Rome, drawn by the fertile soil in the area. Among those early settlers were Dickey, Joshua Stewart, and Newt Noland. The first store was established by Noland and was supplied by goods shipped by wagon from Camden …

Rondo (Lee County)

  The town of Rondo in Lee County—not to be confused with a settlement of the same name across the state in Miller County—was laid out at the intersection of the tracks of the Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad and those of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. The town, founded early in the twentieth century, dwindled as a result of the mid-century improvement of roads, which caused many businesses to relocate to larger cities such as Marianna (Lee County). Rondo was established on land that had been part of Phillips County until Lee County was established in 1873. At that time, most of the land was devoted to cotton farming, although some parts were still heavily forested. Construction of the railroads facilitated …

Rosboro (Pike County)

Rosboro is an unincorporated community located in the northeastern corner of Pike County. It is five miles west of Amity (Clark County) and six miles east of Glenwood (Pike County). During its heyday, Rosboro was a major operational center for the Caddo River Lumber Company in the Ouachita Mountains, placed in an area that was a vast virgin forest of short-leaf pine trees. Thomas Whitaker “Whit” Rosborough, a sawmill owner who lived near Kansas City, Missouri, became interested in this Arkansas forest and decided to move there, bringing some of his employees with him. After arriving and investigating the area, he decided that an area near Amity would be an ideal place to build his sawmill. However, the local citizens …

Rose Bud (White County)

  Rose Bud is a town in western White County, located at the intersection of State Highways 5 and 36. Settled before the Civil War, it has long been a center for agriculture and education, but the town did not incorporate until 1969. Several families from western Kentucky moved to Arkansas around 1851. They chose to settle in the lowlands of western White County because of the natural springs that watered the area. Cotton was their chief cash crop, although they dedicated much of their land to subsistence farming. A post office was established for the area in 1858. The name of the post office, Rose Bud, was reportedly supplied by Louise Hill, younger sister of the first postmaster, William “Jimmy” …

Rosie (Independence County)

The community of Rosie is located in Independence County on Highway 14 (Newport Road), almost halfway between Batesville (Independence County) and Newport (Jackson County). Because of the typography and family ties, the Rosie community is more closely associated with Newport than with Batesville. The “bottoms” of Oil Trough (Independence County) are only six miles away. Rosie lies in the transitional area from flat lands to Ozark hills. The White River is only a mile and half to the east, so Rosie has traditionally been part of the White River valley culture with its riverboats and adventurers. The Rosie community was initially called White Run, with the first post office located at the confluence of Salado Creek and the White River …

Rosston (Nevada County)

Rosston is a town in Nevada County at the intersection of U.S. Highways 278 and 371. It was the first county seat of Nevada County. Before the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, southwestern Arkansas was home to several communities of Caddo. Even after the United States acquired the land, organized the Arkansas Territory, and then granted statehood to Arkansas, settlement in the area was slow to develop. The first white landowners to settle the location that would become the town of Rosston were Josiah Jones in 1857, Thomas Abbot in 1859, and James Plunkett in 1860. The first settlers organized a church after their arrival, naming it Carolina Methodist Church because many of them had come to Arkansas from North or …

Ruddell Hill (Independence County)

aka: Ruddell (Independence County)
Ruddell Mill, one of the first water-powered mills in the White River valley, was built in Independence County by John Francis Ruddell and his uncle, Abraham (Abram) Ruddell, shortly after their arrival in Arkansas in 1814. Brothers Abraham and George Ruddell from Kentucky founded a settlement at a place called Dry Run Creek, near Polk Bayou (a.k.a. Poke Bayou), around 1817. The city of Batesville (Independence County) annexed the community of Ruddell Hill in 1947. The still-visible ruins of the old mill, with their notable stonework, are a main historical site for Independence County. According to local history, Abraham and George Ruddell were taken captive by the Shawnee and brought to the Dry Run Creek region during a Revolutionary War …

Ruddells (Izard County)

The once-thriving unincorporated settlement of Ruddells in Izard County, located near the White River in the southwest corner of the county, was a major producer of quick lime for approximately twenty-five years during the early part of the twentieth century. Today, little remains of the settlement other than the abandoned mines and a cemetery. The mining of lime is said to have begun in the area as early as 1906. At that time, what would become Ruddells was known as East Sylamore. A post office opened there on December 18, 1905. On February 7, 1911, it was renamed Ruddells, with William W. Brooks as postmaster. The name had been changed to honor Abraham Ruddells, father-in-law of early mine owner Edgar …

Rudy (Crawford County)

Rudy is a town in Crawford County, about five miles northwest of Van Buren (Crawford County). State Highways 282 and 348 both pass through the town. Both before and after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, Osage hunted and fished in northwestern Arkansas, including the region where Rudy is now located. In 1817, the present location of Rudy was included in land ceded to the Cherokee, who moved into Arkansas Territory from eastern states. A treaty signed in 1828 moved the Cherokee farther west, opening the land for white settlement. The first white settlers in what would become Rudy were families with the last names of Green and Bell, arriving in 1830 and 1835, respectively. A school building built from logs …

Rush (Marion County)

Marion County lays claim to the only ghost town between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. The remains of the prosperous zinc-mining town of Rush attained this status almost fifty years ago. A true ghost town exhibits the physical existence of structures, including buildings, and a zero population. During the early 1880s, prospectors came to the Rush area in search of lost silver mines from Indian legends and found shiny metallic flakes believed to be silver concentrated in the rocks. Within a short time, news of the discovery spread like wildfire throughout the Mid-South, making eyes from far away turn to the hills of Arkansas, focusing on the mineral wealth near the Buffalo and White Rivers. A rock smelter …

Rushing (Stone County)

Rushing is located in Turkey Creek Township on Highway 9 just south of where Highway 263 merges with it for a short distance traveling east. Rushing is in the rugged hills of the Ozark Mountains, with rocky soil unsuited for large crops. Because of the difficulty in making a living from farming there and because of its isolation, Rushing did not attract settlers until after the Civil War. Only a few hunters and trappers ventured through the wooded mountains, which were full of small game such as squirrels and rabbits as well as deer and bears. Turkey Creek had plentiful fish and beavers. Settlers began subsistence farming along Turkey and Brushy creeks following the Civil War. The passage of the …

Russell (White County)

  Russell sits along U.S. Highway 67 and Arkansas Highway 367 in White County. In the late 1880s, Russell Kaufman, an employee of the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad Company, was in the area locating sites for the railroad company to store supplies at five-mile increments, and he platted the town that would eventually bear his name. In 1875, a post office in the area opened named Russell, but the name was changed to Plants 1878 and back to Russell in 1884. In 1922, a house bought from the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog was built in Russell for the Klotz family on what is now Highway 367. The building still stands in the twenty-first century. Also around this …

Russellville (Pope County)

Russellville is located on Lake Dardanelle, approximately halfway between Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Fort Smith (Sebastian County), and is the seat of Pope County. The largest town in the county, it is home to Arkansas’s only nuclear power plant, Arkansas Nuclear One. A major business center of the area, it is home to ten divisions of Fortune 500 companies and Arkansas Tech University. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood In the early 1800s, Osage from Missouri hunted frequently in the valley where Russellville is located. Between 1818 and 1828, the area was within a Cherokee reservation, but after 1828 the Cherokee were removed to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), and the land became available for white settlement. P. C. Holledger was …

Rutherford (Independence County)

Rutherford is a historic community that was located in the White River Township. It grew out of the Rutherford Landing on the White River across from the Goodie Creek Valley, along the Jackson Military Road. The landing was originally part of the August Friend-Furnash Spanish grants from 1763 to 1800. The landing was at Russell’s Ferry (a.k.a. Wyatt’s Ferry), today Russell Ferry Road. Wyatt Ferry was licensed in 1817 to John Wyatt, who operated it for about a year, and licensed in November 1818 to John L. Lafferty. The Jackson Military Road, established in 1831 to parallel the old Southwest Trail, entered Independence County in the Hazel Grove community, continued through Walnut Grove, crossing Dota Creek at Pleasant Hill, traversed …