Entry Category: Cities and Towns - Starting with S

Saddle (Fulton County)

The small community of Saddle in Fulton County was first known as Sharp’s Mill, having been founded by Ephraim Sharp of Fulton County, the nephew of Ephraim Sharp of Sharp County—for whom he was named. It is located in eastern Fulton County on Arkansas Highway 289. Sharp left Indiana for Arkansas around 1850, eventually settling in Fulton County. He married Mary Elizabeth Wainwright, the daughter of William Wainwright, a prominent businessman in Fulton County. Sharp purchased 120 acres on the South Fork of the Spring River and continued to add to his tract, reaching 400 acres or more. In about 1868, he and his father-in-law established a mercantile business, and Sharp became the sole owner of it in 1873. About …

Saffell (Lawrence County)

Saffell is an unincorporated community in Reeds Creek Township located at the junction of Arkansas Highway 25 and Arkansas Highway 361 about three and a half miles south-southeast of Strawberry (Lawrence County). Saffell lies approximately four miles northwest of the confluence of the Strawberry and Black rivers. Farming is important to the livelihood of the community. In 2015, the population of the Saffell area was estimated at 190. Osage Indians once claimed the Strawberry and Black river bottoms, along with most of northern Arkansas, as their hunting grounds. Burial mounds are located across the Strawberry River from Saffell on the old White Plantation. French hunters, trappers, and fur traders, mostly from Canada, plied the Strawberry and Black rivers in the …

Salado (Independence County)

Salado is one of the oldest communities in Arkansas, with history going back to territorial days. Salado is located in the Ozark foothills about seven miles southeast of Batesville (Independence County) on Highway 14 (also called Newport Road) and about a mile southwest of the White River. The most colorful account of town’s name stems from the oft-told tale of how a young woman named Sally was washing clothes in a creek when a deer suddenly appeared. She attacked the deer with a battling stick and brought home a doe for supper, hence “Sally killed a doe,” or “Sallydoe.” Most likely, however, the name is of Spanish or French origin. The French term “sal d’eau,” roughly translated as “salty water,” …

Salem (Fulton County)

Salem, the seat of Fulton County, is located at the foot of Pilot Knob. The clear water of the South Fork of the Spring River runs through the northeastern boundaries of Salem and provides recreational opportunities, such as fishing and floating, as does the nearby Strawberry River. The hills and rivers provide scenic views for the many tourists who visit the Salem area each year. Louisiana Purchase through Early StatehoodWilliam P. Morris is credited with establishing the town of Salem when he came to the area in 1839. When he saw Pilot Knob, he decided to stake the land grant claim he received for serving in the War of 1812 near it. Fulton County was organized in 1842 by the …

Salem (Saline County)

The unincorporated community of Salem is approximately two and a half miles north of Benton (Saline County) within Salem Township. The community owes its existence to its association with the Salem United Methodist Church and the family of William Milton Scott. While there were early settlers in the vicinity of Salem, the community developed after 1833 with the migration of the Scott family from Alabama. In that year, William M. Scott and his family settled on the Military Road about three miles northeast of Benton. Being active in the Methodist denomination, he erected a brush arbor for a camp meeting as early as 1834. It was known locally as Scott’s Campground. Scott’s son, Patrick M. Scott, professed his faith at …

Salesville (Baxter County)

  Salesville is a city in Baxter County that remained a small unincorporated settlement until construction of the Norfork Dam. The city is located a few miles north of the city of Norfork (Baxter County) on State Highway 5. Salesville was incorporated in 1968. Salesville is named for John Sales, who moved to Arkansas from South Carolina before 1860. His first land grant was received in May 1860. He built a house near the Old Salt Trail, a road used to transport salt and other staples that had been shipped by steamboat to the Jacob Wolf House on the White River and were on their way north to customers in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri. John’s wife, Peggy, made and sold yellow …

Saline Crossing (Saline County)

aka: Saline Crossings
Saline Crossing was a community in Saline County that once vied for the position of county seat. During the late territorial period, in 1831, William Lockhart was granted the right to build a toll bridge there, although people could still ford the stream for free. This site was later used by Native American tribes during their removal through Arkansas until 1840. Every traveler following the Old Military Road or Southwest Trail from Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Rockport (Hot Spring County) crossed the Saline River at that location. In the twenty-first century, the area that once hosted the historical community lies around the Old River Bridge at the end of River Street in Benton (Saline County). No physical remnants of …

Sandtown (Independence County)

Sandtown is an unincorporated community of about twenty families located on Sandtown Road in Jefferson Township about five and a half miles west-southwest of Cave City (Sharp and Independence counties) and about nine and a half miles north of Batesville (Independence County). Local historian Charles Prier believes the settlement’s name comes from the white sand (or silica) found on the sandbar at the confluence of Sullivan Creek and Dry Creek in Sandtown. By 1849, a large range of manganese ore deposits had been discovered in northwestern Independence County with a spillover into Sharp, Izard, and Stone counties. This discovery came to be labeled the Batesville District, with Cushman (Independence County) at its center; the district also contained Sandtown. William Einstein …

Sardis (Saline County)

Sardis is a small unincorporated community located roughly twelve miles east of Benton (Saline County). Sardis is one of two communities that make up Saline County’s Hurricane Township, the other being Fairview. For many years, Sardis had a unique and beloved landmark known as the Shoe Tree. Saline County was cut from Arkansas’s Pulaski County on November 2, 1835, by the Territorial Legislature. Afterward, the county was divided into townships, with the area around Hurricane Creek being named Hurricane Township. White settlers and farmers began to move into what are now Sardis and Fairview before statehood. In 1869, Sardis Methodist Church South was built on a parcel of land that had been donated by a woman called “Grandmother” Roark. Members …

Scott (Pulaski and Lonoke Counties)

Scott is a small community on the line between Pulaski County and Lonoke County, north of the Arkansas River. Surrounded by farmland and by oxbow lakes, Scott is also near two state parks and several historic properties. Over the centuries, events such as floods, droughts, and—most recently—human construction have altered the path of the Arkansas River. Remnants of former sections of the river remain near Scott as oxbow lakes, particularly Bearskin Lake, Horseshoe Lake, and Willow Beach Lake. More than 1,000 years ago, a complex formation of mounds was created near what is now called Mound Pond. The site was farmed in the nineteenth century but was later preserved as Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park. Not only did the river …

Scranton (Logan County)

  Investors seeking to profit from coal mining established the city of Scranton in Logan County early in the twentieth century. Although the nearby coal mines did not prove to be profitable, Scranton survived and flourished, becoming for a time one of the largest cities in Logan County. James Murphey was the first owner of the land on which Scranton would be built. His deed to the land was registered in 1838, and Murphey bought additional land adjacent to his first lot in 1839 and in 1843. It remained farmland until 1907, when Harmon Remmel led a group of investors to purchase land in Logan County for a city that would be a center of mining operations. They named their city …

Searcy (White County)

Searcy has been the White County seat since the county’s organization in 1835. Located on the Little Red River near the county’s geographic center, the city continues to be the county’s commercial, educational, and healthcare center. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The Little Red River and the White Sulphur Springs figure in Searcy’s founding. On the west bank of the Little Red, below the mouth of Gin Creek, a Spanish land grant was surveyed for Frenchman Jean LaFayac (LaBass) and patented to him in 1805. By 1834, the White Sulphur Springs, developed by Samson Gray, were attracting visitors with their healing properties. The home of David Crise, about halfway between the springs and the river, was the site of the …

Sedgwick (Lawrence County)

Sedgwick, a town in eastern Lawrence County, is located on U.S. Highway 63 between Hoxie (Lawrence County) and Jonesboro (Craighead County). At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Osage from farther north hunted and fished in the area that would become northeastern Arkansas, but they had no permanent settlements there. Even after Arkansas became a state, settlement in the Cache River basin remained sparse. Eventually, after the Civil War, investors began to consider harvesting the timber in this part of Arkansas. The Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Railroad built a line in the 1880s that ran through Hoxie and Jonesboro on the way to Memphis, Tennessee. George Washington Sedgwick, one of the railroad’s organizers, built a sawmill near the …

Sensation (Scott County)

Sensation is a historical community in western Scott County located near Lake Hinkle. Sensation was officially established circa 1916, although people had been living in the area prior to that time. The origin of its name is unknown. Agriculture and timber have contributed to the economy and way of life in the area. Prior to European exploration, the area surrounding Sensation 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 water ways such as the Fourche La Fave and Poteau rivers. Archaeological findings have provided evidence of early inhabitants dating to the Archaic, …

Shannon Hills (Saline County)

  Shannon Hills is a city in northern Saline County, adjacent to the southern portions of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Incorporated in 1977, Shannon Hills is largely a bedroom community, with few businesses and no industry. The population of northern Saline County centered around communities such as Benton (Saline County) for much of the county’s history. The area that would become Shannon Hills remained unclaimed and undeveloped until after World War II. Around 1960, plans were announced to create a housing development at that location, and a dedication ceremony was held to mark the ground-breaking. Of the houses standing in Shannon Hills, almost none were built before 1960; roughly ten percent were built in the 1960s, thirty percent in the 1970s, …

Shaw (Saline County)

Located six miles south of present-day Benton (Saline County) on Highway 35, the unincorporated community of Shaw is one of Saline County’s oldest settlements. Shaw’s northern boundary follows Highway 35 to Peacock Hill. Its eastern boundary takes in the original post office, named for French explorer Henri de Tonti. Its western boundary is a heavily wooded area adjoining the town of Haskell (Saline County). To the south, Shaw’s borders include some of northern Grant County. The founder of the community, Hiram M. Shaw, was born on December 24, 1805, in what was then Walker County, Georgia. In 1857, he and his wife, Elizabeth Arnold Shaw, moved their family to Arkansas, becoming some of the first white settlers in what is …

Sheridan (Grant County)

Sheridan, the county seat of rural Grant County, which lies approximately thirty-four miles south of Little Rock (Pulaski County), was named after Union general Philip Sheridan when the town was incorporated twenty-two years after the Civil War. Today, Sheridan is a growing community with expanding industries and one of the state’s largest school districts. Pre-European Exploration through European Exploration and Settlement The first inhabitants of Grant County are believed to have lived as early as circa 12,000 BC. Three Indian mounds on the John Ratliffe farm about twelve miles west of Sheridan were excavated by the late Francis Posey, an early settler, in the 1800s. He removed parts of a skeleton, ashes, projectile points, shells, and a piece of a …

Sherrill (Jefferson County)

Sherrill is a town in Jefferson County on State Highway 15 between Altheimer (Jefferson County) and England (Lonoke County). Like many Arkansas towns, Sherrill was created by the railroad industry late in the nineteenth century, although it did not incorporate as a town until 1935. Augustus S. Smith, a native of South Carolina, purchased many acres of land in Jefferson County in 1859; the land featured the rich soil of the Arkansas River Valley. That year, he transported about 200 slaves to his new plantation in Arkansas, where they worked in the cotton fields until their emancipation at the end of the Civil War. Many of these freed slaves remained on the same farmland, working as tenant farmers in the …

Sherwood (Pulaski County)

Sherwood is a city in Pulaski County central Arkansas just north of North Little Rock (Pulaski County). In 1990, Sherwood was named the fastest-growing town in Arkansas, in terms of both population and area, as it has annexed land many times over the years. Sherwood began in the late 1800s as a small farming community known as Sylvan Hills. Few families lived there until the early 1900s. For many years, they had no running water, electricity, or utilities. Around 1923, the first running water was carried through pipes from three springs on a farm belonging to the Koehler family. Many descendants of their family still live on Koehler Lane in Sherwood. The oldest standing home in the original city limits …

Shirley (Van Buren County)

  The town of Shirley rests on the Middle Fork of the Little Red River in northeastern Van Buren County. Established by the railroad, the town has become an agricultural center for the region with a focus also on recreation and tourism. The rocky and wooded hills of the Ozarks have been sparsely populated for most of recorded history. When the land that would become Arkansas was acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase, Osage hunters and fishers were the primary visitors to the land that would become Shirley. Changing treaties first recognized the Osage as owners of the land, later gave it to the Cherokee, and ultimately removed both the Osage and the Cherokee west to what is …

Sidney (Sharp County)

Sidney is a small farming community located in southwest Sharp County. While the area was settled in the 1840s, the town was not incorporated until May 11, 1935, and was believed to have been named in honor of Confederate general Albert Sidney Johnston. The town has never been home to more than 300 citizens. Prior to 1844, John Martin settled at the confluence of the branches of what is now Sidney Creek near the present town. Within a few years, the families of George Hodges and Addison Harvey Nunn settled in the area, the former on land that would eventually become the town. Nunn, who owned the largest number of slaves in the area, was elected county and probate judge. …

Siloam Springs (Benton County)

Siloam Springs is on the western edge of Benton County in what could be called the “bootheel” of the county. “Siloam” refers to the healing waters of the Pool of Siloam in the New Testament (John 9:6), and health seekers were once important to the local economy. The town is known for the beauty of the parks lining Sager Creek and for the diversity of its industries, which include poultry processing, canning, and a variety of light manufacturing. Siloam Springs is also the home of John Brown University, a private non-denominational Christian school offering fifty-one bachelor’s degree programs and six master’s degree programs. Early Statehood By November 1839, Simon Sager and family were living in what is now Siloam Springs, …

Slovak (Prairie County)

Slovak (originally called Slovactown or Slovaktown), an agricultural community founded in 1894, still endures and is home to the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius, who are also known as the Apostles of the Slavs. Slovak is the result of the promotional efforts aimed at encouraging immigrant settlement in Arkansas in the 1890s. Various Slovak fraternal and nationalistic organizations, such as the National Slovak Society, translated advertisements promoting the favorable agricultural areas of Arkansas into the Slovak language at presses in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois. Following such advertisements, the Slovak Colonization Company was organized in 1894 in Pittsburgh by Peter V. Rovnianek. The company bought 3,000 acres of Arkansas land for settlement in the southern portion of Prairie County. This …

Smackover (Union County)

Smackover’s existence is a result of one of the largest and most dramatic oil discoveries in the nation. Its sixty-eight-square-mile oil field led the nation’s oil output in 1925, with production reaching seventy million barrels. Prior to the discovery of oil, the area’s economy initially relied upon cotton and, by 1890, a timber industry that thrived in the vast virgin forests of southern Arkansas. European Exploration and Settlement An uncharted wilderness greeted French hunters and trappers along the Ouachita River. The typography resembled a vast sunken swamp interspersed with rolling hills and steep knolls. The name Bayou de Chemin Couvert (Smackover Creek) first appeared in an April 5, 1789, letter written by the commandant of Fort Miro (Monroe, Louisiana) to …

Smithville (Lawrence County)

Smithville was the first county seat of present-day Lawrence County. Though it is largely abandoned today, Smithville was once a thriving trading center near the Strawberry River in the foothills of the extreme eastern Ozarks region. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The Nathaniel McCarroll family probably settled first in the area, around 1808. Other settlers joined them throughout the next several decades, most arriving from places such as Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Missouri. By 1832, the area (then known as the Strawberry settlement due to the proximity of the Strawberry River) was populated enough to have the first post office erected within the modern boundaries of Lawrence County. In 1837, the redrawing of county lines forced Lawrence County to move its …

Smyrna (Clark County)

Smyrna is a community located in western Clark County. It is about five miles north of Okolona (Clark County) and two miles east of the Clear Spring (Clark County) community. The land where Smyrna is located was obtained by land speculators Samuel Doresy and Henry Dawson on August 10, 1837, when they received a federal land patent at the office in Washington (Hempstead County). This plot was part of more than 4,000 acres that the pair obtained in Clark County that month. The area remained sparsely settled for decades. Located in the former Terre Noire Township, the community is centered on the Smyrna United Methodist Church and nearby cemetery. The land for the church and cemetery was donated by James …

Snapp (Woodruff County)

Located about twelve miles northeast of the county seat of Augusta (Woodruff County), Snapp was an agricultural, business, and postal center for that area of the county from the late 1800s until well into the twentieth century. The community took its name from Lafayette D. Snapp, who moved there in 1866 from Missouri. Born on April 22, 1842, to a pioneer family of German descent in Taney County, Missouri, Snapp—along with two of his brothers—enlisted in Company E, Third Missouri Cavalry (CS), during the Civil War. Following the war, Snapp moved to Woodruff County, where on March 4, 1869, he married Mary Hester Luckenbill. Snapp established a general mercantile store and grist mill, as well as a cotton gin with …

Snowball (Searcy County)

The unincorporated community of Snowball in Searcy County is typical of the many Arkansas towns established in the Ozark Mountains in the late nineteenth century. Located about thirteen miles west of the county seat of Marshall on state Highway 74, this once thriving commercial community today consists of a Masonic Hall, a few residences, and no commercial businesses. The area along the banks of Calf Creek, near modern-day Snowball, was settled by Native Americans dating back to the Late Archaic Period. A Native American site, Cooper’s Bluff, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. One of the earliest white settlers is believed to have been John Campbell, who settled with his family along the creek in about 1837. …

Social Hill (Hot Spring County)

Social Hill of Hot Spring County is located seven miles southwest of the junction of the Ouachita River and the Old Military Road at Highway 84, and about ten miles from Malvern (Hot Spring County). Adam Blakely was the first to homestead land at Social Hill, in the 1820s. He built the dogtrot-style Blakely House on the peak of the hill in 1837. Farming was the main economic activity in the community. The area’s Methodist church was first organized as Pisgah Methodist Church in 1874, but the name was later changed to Lone Hill Methodist. It then became known as Social Hill Methodist Church. The school building located at Haw Branch, a shallow stream, was occupied by students during the week, …

South Lead Hill (Boone County)

South Lead Hill is a residential town located on State Highway 7 in northern Boone County. It is one of three communities that formed after the construction of Bull Shoals Dam flooded the location of the earlier town of Lead Hill (Boone County). Osage hunted and fished in northern Arkansas before the Louisiana Purchase added the land to the United States in 1803. A series of treaties moved the Osage west to Indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma), but the northern part of Arkansas Territory remained sparsely settled for many years. Eli Dodson and William Cantrell both acquired land patents east of the location that would become South Lead Hill in 1854. In 1884, Robert Hollis purchased the land …

Southside (Independence County)

Southside is a second-class city in Independence County, south of Batesville (Independence County). It incorporated in 2014 to prevent Batesville from annexing the community. Batesville, on the White River, was one of the earliest settlements in Arkansas Territory. According to the Goodspeed history of Independence County, the Trimble family moved from Kentucky to a settlement five miles southwest of Batesville in 1817. They were most likely the first white settlers in what now is Southside. Batesville flourished, while the population south of the river remained sparse. Neighbors of Jackson Trimble in 1860 included Benjamin Taylor, Elijah Harvey, Mary Prichard, and Thomas Crouch.  Around the beginning of the twentieth century, T. J. Walbert started the Walbert Oil Company to drill for …

Spadra (Johnson County)

When discussing Spadra, it is important to note that there are actually two locations to which the name applies: Spadra and New Spadra. Spadra, which was the earlier of the two towns, was the location of an Indian trading factory (a government-authorized trading post) and was the trading point for many settlers who moved into the area. It is the current location of the Spadra Marina, located on the Arkansas River. New Spadra was the location of the boom town that emerged many years later due to coal mining and the arrival of the railroad. The two can be difficult to separate in the historical record. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The U.S. government established the Indian trading factory program in 1796 …

Sparkman (Dallas County)

Sparkman, a small second-class city, is located on State Highway 7 approximately twenty-six miles west/northwest of the Dallas County seat of Fordyce. Once a thriving lumber town, it is today chiefly a farming community perhaps best known for a 1920s and 1930s girls’ basketball team known as the Sparkman Sparklers. Present-day Sparkman is located about a quarter of a mile southwest of the original settlement, which local residents today refer to as Old Sparkman. Lemil Pete Sparkman, who established a lumber mill near the seventeen-mile trunk line Ultima Thule, Arkadelphia and Mississippi Railway, founded the settlement in 1892. On September 19, 1893, a post office was opened with Sparkman as the postmaster. By 1899, the town was home to about …

Springdale (Washington and Benton Counties)

Springdale (Washington and Benton counties) is a major industrial center in northwest Arkansas with a population that almost doubled between 1980 and 2000 and is still on the increase; as of 2010, the population is 69,797. The area is the birthplace of seven major trucking companies and a center for the poultry industry in the state. Nearly 700 people moved to the Springdale metropolitan area each month in 2003. In that same year, Forbes magazine rated it third best in the nation for business and career opportunities. Pre-European Exploration through Early Statehood People have lived in the area now called Springdale for about 12,000 years. Early settlers came and stayed because of abundant natural resources, just as later European settlers …

Springfield (Conway County)

Springfield (Conway County), once the county seat of Conway County, began as the intersection of the Old Cherokee Boundary Line and a principal route of the Western Cherokee in their relocation west of the Mississippi River. The National Road, from St. Genevieve, Missouri, was routed through the area, taking advantage of a large reliable artesian spring. These roads connected the area with developing population centers such as Batesville (Independence County), Clinton (Van Buren County), Lewisburg (Conway County), and Little Rock (Pulaski County). A small trading post was established that served the first settlers in the area, Cherokee who came in the early nineteenth century. They began clearing farmland plots and established cabins; some of the foundations remain. The trading post …

Springtown (Benton County)

Springtown is a small town in western Benton County, between Gentry (Benton County) and Highfill (Benton County), about eighteen miles southwest of Bentonville (Benton County). Named for a natural spring, the source of Flint Creek, the town has maintained a population of around 100 since its incorporation in 1909. The Osage hunted and fished in northern Arkansas until a series of treaties moved them to Indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma). Settlers arrived in northwestern Arkansas almost as soon as Arkansas had become a state. Charles Kincheloe built the first house in what is now Springtown in 1841. Shortly thereafter, Isaac Dial built a house near the spring for which the town is named. Civil War activity around Bentonville …

St. Boniface Colony

aka: New Dixie (Perry County)
The St. Boniface Colony was the informal name for a successful German Catholic immigrant settlement established in 1880 in eastern Perry County. Over time, the colony became known as the community of New Dixie. Beginning in 1880, immigrants from Germany, Switzerland, and other German-speaking countries began arriving in the area near the small village of Dixie, located near the Arkansas River in eastern Perry County. Dixie had been settled in the mid-to-late 1870s and was named after the daughter of Hezekiah Lewis Trundle, a man who owned a large plantation on the banks of the Arkansas River. The Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad (LR&FS) held large swaths of land in Perry County, and although the railway often utilized its …

St. Charles (Arkansas County)

St. Charles, a town in Arkansas County, is located on a bluff over the White River. The most destructive single shot in the Civil War was fired at St. Charles. Louisiana Purchase through Early StatehoodPierre Pertuis, fur trader, arrived after purchasing a 1797 Spanish land grant. By 1839, Charles W. Belknap owned the site, known briefly as Belknap’s Bluff. He built an adobe house, one of only a few found on the Arkansas frontier. The house served as a hospital for both sides in the Civil War and was a longtime landmark. The name St. Charles first appears with Belknap’s appointment as postmaster in 1850. He platted the town and began selling lots. St. Charles flourished during the 1850s with …