Entry Category: Cities and Towns - Starting with V

Vaden (Clark County)

Vaden is a community located in the southeastern corner of Clark County. Located near the Ouachita River, the community was established by several families in the late nineteenth century. Woodson Vaden, a former resident of North Carolina, purchased eighty acres in the area in 1849 and an additional 160 acres in 1861. The community that grew in the area adopted his name and eventually consisted of several homes, churches, a school, and a store. Families in the area farmed, raised cattle, and worked in the timber industry. The Vaden Post Office opened in 1888. When it closed in 1905, mail service was given to the nearby settlement of Hebron (Clark County). The post office was reestablished in 1908, but it …

Valley Springs (Boone County)

Valley Springs is located on U.S. Highway 65 in southeastern Boone County. Long a center of education, Valley Springs is a rural, agricultural town. Many of its residents work in Harrison (Boone County). For centuries, people have traveled from the north to hunt and fish in Arkansas’s Ozark Mountains. The Osage were traveling to the area at the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Later, the Cherokee and other Native Americans were granted land in the area, but a subsequent treaty moved them farther west. A military road ran through the area, connecting Valley Springs (then known as Double Springs) to the cities of Harrison and Yellville (Marion County). A post office was established in 1843 near the two …

Van Buren (Crawford County)

Van Buren began as a port and trade center on the Arkansas River and served as a major starting point for prospectors of the 1849 gold rush. A border town linked to Indian Territory, it was the site of Arkansas’s first federal district court and a Civil War battle town. River traffic, railroad commerce, and mercantile trade dominated Van Buren’s early economy; manufacturing and tourism developed a strong presence in the last half century. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The area that became Van Buren began as a land claim on the Arkansas River owned in the 1820s by Revolutionary War veteran James Phillips and his two sons, Thomas Phillips and Daniel David Phillips. The site, named Phillips Landing, became …

Vandervoort (Polk County)

Vandervoort was a key stop for the Kansas City, Pittsburg, and Gulf Railroad (later the Kansas City Southern). Francis Marion Cecil, with his wife Rhoda Lebow Cecil and thirteen children, owned and farmed the land in southern Polk County where Vandervoort now stands. When the town site was first laid out, it was known as Janssen, taking its name from the maiden name of Jan DeGeoijen’s wife. Jan DeGeoijen was a Dutch coffee merchant who was involved in financing the construction of the railroad. There was another town in Arkansas called Jansen, however, and mail between the two towns was constantly being mixed up. In 1907, the town’s name was changed to Vandervoort in honor of the mother of Jan …

Victoria (Mississippi County)

  Victoria is a town in Mississippi County, located on Arkansas Highway 158 about three miles west of Interstate 55. Although it was founded in the late nineteenth century by Robert E. Lee Wilson as part of his plantation empire, which also included Marie, Wilson, and Armorel. Victoria did not incorporate until 1966 and has since steadily declined in size. Wilson earned a fortune in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, acquiring and developing land that other people considered worthless. In 1870, he inherited 400 acres of Mississippi County land from his father. In the following years, he purchased more land, eventually owning roughly 50,000 acres. Wilson harvested the valuable hardwood trees from this swampland and constructed his own rail line …

Villemont (Chicot County)

Villemont, one of the earliest settlements in the Arkansas Territory, was the first county seat of Chicot County, which was created on October 25, 1823. Located on the Mississippi River, it was a thriving river port town until the river itself swept away the town in 1847. The land upon which the settlement was founded was part of an original Spanish land grant issued to Don Carlos de Villemont, commandant of Arkansas Post, by the governor of Louisiana in 1795. The grant measured two leagues wide by one league deep. It is believed that de Villemont owned approximately 14,000 arpens, with each arpen equating to eighty-five percent of a modern acre. Though Villemont never occupied his land grant, it did …

Vilonia (Faulkner County)

Vilonia of Faulkner County was originally known as Vilsonia, the “land of two valleys,” by the pioneers who settled the valleys near the forks of Cypress Creek in the early 1860s. The name was given to the community by members of Masonic Lodge No. 324, which was established early in the town’s history. Members of this lodge originally hailed from North Carolina, Mississippi, and Tennessee and came to the area now known as Vilonia in search of fertile land. When they applied for a post office, the approval came back misspelled Vilonia, but they let it stand. Vilonia is located thirteen miles east of Conway (Faulkner County) on U.S. Highway 64. After the Civil War, families of English, Irish, German, …

Viola (Fulton County)

Viola is in western Fulton County, located on U.S. Highway 62, a few miles south of the Missouri state line. Established shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War, the town has survived largely due to its schools. For centuries, people from the north have visited Arkansas for its hunting and fishing opportunities. The Osage were engaged in those activities at the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. A series of treaties between 1808 and 1825 moved the Osage to the west, opening the lands of northern Arkansas for Euro-American settlement. Even so, settlers were slow to come to the land that would become Viola; the first reported white settler was William Cook, who established his homestead in 1846. …