Counties, Cities, and Towns

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Entry Category: Counties, Cities, and Towns - Starting with E

Earle (Crittenden County)

Earle is an incorporated city in western Crittenden County located on U.S. Highway 64 near the border with neighboring Cross County. The history of Earle is really that of two towns—Earle and Norvell—which grew alongside each other for decades and were separated only by a boundary line running down present-day Ruth Street in Earle. Both towns arose as a result of the timber industry boom following the Civil War and shared most of the same civic and business leaders. In 1888, a railroad line through the southern part of Earle was established, which benefited Earle more than its smaller neighbor, as the route of the railroad bypassed Norvell entirely. Talks of merging the two towns lingered for more than sixty …

Earnheart (Independence County)

Earnheart is a community on the north bank of the White River about three miles southeast of Bethesda (Independence County) and about four miles southwest of Limedale (Independence County). Across the White River from Earnheart is Earnheart Island near Lock and Dam No. 2. Created by the River and Harbors Act of March 1899, Lock and Dam No. 2 is presently own by Independence County; the old lock is being converted into a hydro-electric generating station. The Missouri Pacific Railroad runs through Earnheart. The Mitchell family from Alabama was among the first to settle in the Earnheart area of Washington Township. Shortly after the Civil War, Charles Pierce Mitchell homesteaded 140 acres along Rock Branch (a.k.a. Rocky Branch), a stream …

East Camden (Ouachita County)

  East Camden is the only city in Arkansas that was constructed by the U.S. Navy. It is located on Highways 274 and 278, several miles from Camden (Ouachita County). A remnant of the Shumaker Naval Ammunition Depot, East Camden is now recognized largely as the home of the Highland Industrial Park. The Ouachita River valley of southern Arkansas has been inhabited for centuries. During the historic era, the Caddo lived in several villages near the river. The expedition of Hernando de Soto traveled along the river in 1542, and French explorers and settlers later frequented the region. The settlement first known as Ecore Fabre later became the city of Camden, the county seat of Ouachita County and a major mercantile center of …

Edgemont (Cleburne County)

Edgemont is an unincorporated community in northern Cleburne County. It is located on the northern side of the Edgemont Bridge, which spans a segment of Greers Ferry Lake. Old Edgemont is located beneath the lake. Prior to 1808, most of the inhabitants of the area that would become Cleburne County were Osage. They controlled most of northern Arkansas and used the area that includes modern Cleburne County as hunting grounds. In 1808, the United States purchased the land from the Osage, and the first Euro-American settlers entered the area. In 1817, the United States established a treaty with the Cherokee, who were given the land between the White and Arkansas rivers west of a line stretching from near Morrilton (Conway …

Edmondson (Crittenden County)

Edmondson is a town on State Highway 131 about three miles south of Interstate 40. As of the 2010 census, two-thirds of the population of Edmondson is African American. Much of Crittenden County was forested swampland when the county was established in 1825. Fifty years later, the Edmondson area was described as a “terrible canebrake full of bear, panther, wolves, possum, and squirrel.” Land was being cleared before the Civil War for cotton plantations, and a settlement was named for Andrew Edmondson, who arrived from Virginia in the 1840s and died in 1852. His family remained, and a post office bearing their name was established in 1859. A Methodist church for white citizens was built in Edmondson before the war. …

Egypt (Craighead County)

Egypt is a small town located approximately sixteen miles west of Jonesboro (Craighead County) on State Highway 91 near the Cache River. Today, little remains of the once prosperous farming and timber town. Early settlers to the area included W. R. and Lucinda Cureton, as well as C. T. Downs, who settled there by 1850. Others were attracted to the area after the establishment of Logan’s Ferry across the Cache River. No real town began to develop until about 1898. About that time, New York businessmen Will Smith and Van Lane traveled to the area with interests in the abundant timber. The area was being described as “a promised land” by the promoters. In 1902, the local township was given …

El Dorado (Union County)

El Dorado is the county seat of Union County in south central Arkansas and a center for oil production and refining. Called once by boosters the “Queen City of South Arkansas” and, more recently, “Arkansas’s Original Boomtown,” the city was the heart of the 1920s oil boom in South Arkansas. Early Statehood through the Gilded Age The city was founded in 1843 when Matthew Rainey set up a retail store in the area. Some reports state that Rainey had become stranded and sold his belongings to tide him over. So impressed with the sales to local settlers, he decided to stay permanently and named the site El Dorado, most often translated as “the Gilded Road” in Spanish. In 1843, El …

El Paso (White County)

El Paso is a small community located on the southern slope of Cadron Ridge in the southwestern corner of White County near the intersection of U.S. Highway 64 and State Highway 5. It is one of the county’s early settlements and entertained hopes of being chosen as the county seat in 1835. Settlers began arriving at the valley created by two parallel ridges, Cadron Ridge and Bull Mountain, in the 1830s. Attracted by area springs and fertile lands, they first established themselves on the southern slope of Bull Mountain at a place called Peach Orchard Gap. The name was chosen due to the peach trees growing there. Over time, settlers passed through the gap to the southern slope of Cadron …

Elaine (Phillips County)

  The name of Elaine (Phillips County) will always be linked with a race massacre that broke out in the fall of 1919, leaving scores of African Americans dead. Aside from this one memorable incident, the city is representative of life in the Delta region that includes eastern Arkansas. When Arkansas became a state in 1836, the area of present-day Elaine was still swampland. It was designated as such by the Swamp and Overflow Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1850. Silas Craig and John Martin purchased Phillips County land from the State of Arkansas under the provisions of that act, and the land passed through several owners—including the State of Arkansas a second time, due to unpaid taxes—but …

Elgin (Jackson County)

Elgin is located on Jackson County Road 64 about six miles west-southwest of Tuckerman (Jackson County) and about three miles east-southeast of Cord (Independence County). Elgin lies in the Black River bottoms, excellent terrain for large productive farms, although devastating floods sometimes occur. The bridge on Highway 37 occasionally closes because of high water. The bottoms once grew mainly cotton, but today soybeans and other crops dominate. Historically, Elgin was an important riverboat town, with its ferry being on the main road between Batesville (Independence County) and Jacksonport (Jackson County), about eight and a half miles south of the confluence of the Black and White rivers. Elgin was the name of a 3,000-acre plantation in the Black River bottoms owned …

Elizabeth (Jackson County)

Elizabeth (sometimes called Elizabethtown) thrived as a port on the White River and became the seat of Jackson County in 1839. However, the river later shifted course and eroded away what remained of the community. Native Americans were the first to take advantage of the Black and White rivers for transportation and trade, followed by French hunters, trappers, and fur traders, many of them from Canada, who plied the area’s rivers during the eighteenth century and continued after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 until about 1815. Keelboats were an early mode of transportation for the early settlers, who could use them on the upper White River to maneuver the sharp bends, rapids, and low water levels along the river during …

Elkins (Washington County)

Washington County’s community of Elkins (comprising the former Harris and Hood communities) borders Arkansas Highway 16, the entrance to the “Pig Trail,” a scenic drive in the Ozarks. Two tributaries of the White River flow through the town, providing excellent canoeing, fishing, and swimming. Nearby are the Ozark National Forest and the Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail. Elkins has numerous antebellum homes and the one-lane bridge on Mount Olive Road that was a centerpiece of the 1982 television miniseries The Blue and the Gray. There is evidence of prehistoric settlement in the area, most notably in a mound complex commonly dubbed the Elkins Mounds. This Mississippian Period complex likely consisted of five mounds originally, though one has since been destroyed. …

Elm Park (Scott County)

Elm Park is an unincorporated community located in north-central Scott County along the Petit Jean River between where Highways 378 and 23 form a junction with Highway 71. The date of Elm Park’s establishment is unclear. Agriculture has traditionally been an important way of life in the community. Prior to European exploration, Elm Park and the surrounding area was an unexplored wilderness. Species of wildlife that longer inhabit the area, such as elk and buffalo, were present throughout the region. Archaeological findings have provided evidence of early inhabitants dating to the Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods. Additional archaeological evidence has indicated that the Caddo tribe had a strong presence along the Petit Jean River and other prominent waterways. Throughout the …

Elm Springs (Washington and Benton Counties)

  The city of Elm Springs straddles the county line of Washington and Benton counties. At one time, it was one of the principal cities of Washington County, but more recently it has been overshadowed by the growth of its neighbor, Springdale (Washington County). Recent efforts to revitalize the community have featured businesses specializing in home decorations and furniture restoration. A grove of large elm trees and natural springs strong enough to power a mill inspired the name Elm Springs. Thomas McClain (or McLain) is said to have homesteaded in the area as early as 1831, but his name does not appear on land records. The earliest documented land owners include John Ingram, John Hamilton, William Barrington, and Jacob Pearson. …

Elmo (Independence County)

Elmo is a historic community located in a wooded area, with plowed fields on each side, between Highway 14 (Newport Road) and the White River, which is about a half mile away. Elmo is about four miles east of Oil Trough (Independence County) and about six miles west of Newport (Jackson County). Nearby are Dunnington (Independence County), Aydelott (Independence County), and Macks (Jackson County). The White River bottoms in what became known as Pleasant Island and later Oil Trough first became a popular area for bear hunting by the French before the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The rich alluvial soil beckoned farmers, who began growing cotton and corn in the early days of American settlement, even though the area was …

Emerson (Columbia County)

Emerson is a town on U.S. Highway 79 in southern Columbia County. It is located six miles north of the Arkansas-Louisiana border. Caddo lived in southern Arkansas when the land was acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The Caddo eventually were removed from Arkansas Territory by treaty, and white settlers began claiming land. The plats of land on which Emerson would be built were purchased by Josiah Daily and Anthony Younger in 1859 and by Moses Moore in 1860. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Bodcaw Lumber Company built the Louisiana and Arkansas Railroad to move timber to its sawmills. At that time, Reuben Logan Emerson owned land adjacent to land owned by …

Emmet (Nevada and Hempstead Counties)

The city of Emmet was established in Nevada County in 1883 as a stop on the Cairo and Fulton Railroad. Located halfway between Prescott (Nevada County) and Hope (Hempstead County), the city has expanded its boundaries to include a small portion of Hempstead County. The second-class city was at one time home to a carriage factory and historic village. Nevada County was not created until 1871. Before the arrival of European explorers and settlers, the land was home to the Caddo, until it was acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Dominated by pine forests, the land was only gradually cleared for cotton and other crops. Larger plantations were built to the south, but northern Nevada …

England (Lonoke County)

England is a small farming community located in the southeastern part of Lonoke County. While England has a rich history as a center of agriculture, in the late twentieth century, it became a bedroom community for Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), though many local farmers still reside in the area. England lies in the alluvial flood plains of the Arkansas River. It was originally covered by hardwoods such as oak and red gum, but most of this natural vegetation has been removed for commercial farm crops. The soil surrounding England has been classified as some of the most productive in the country, supporting cotton, rice, soybeans, and corn. Post Reconstruction through the Gilded Age In the …

Enola (Faulkner County)

    Enola is a small community twenty miles northeast of Conway (Faulkner County) at the intersection of Highway 36/107 and Highway 310. The town was established near a place called Fredrick’s Lick, a natural salt lick near Cadron Creek. The origin of its name is unknown, but local legend maintains that a lost traveler carved the word “alone” backward on a sign, producing “Enola.” By 1837, Jonathon Hardin, one of the founders of Enola, had established his farm on a hill a half mile west of Fredrick’s Lick. He owned 3,000 acres of land, fifteen slaves, a coal mine, and a blacksmith’s shop. Hardin’s large house served as an inn at the intersection of the Lewisburg–Searcy, Des Arc–Springfield, and …

Etowah (Mississippi County)

Etowah is a town in Mississippi County. It is located on State Highway 136 about fifteen miles west of Osceola (Mississippi County). The first inhabitants of Mississippi County were Native Americans who established villages and built mounds at various sites around the county. When European explorers first traveled through the area, they found a swamp with many cypress trees. The land under the swamp was very fertile, but no efforts were made to remove the trees and drain the swamp until late in the nineteenth century. One Civil War event took place in the Etowah area, according to a monument that was dedicated in 2010. An expedition of 100 soldiers from the Second Missouri Artillery set out from Osceola on …

Eudora (Chicot County)

The city of Eudora, in the southeastern corner of Arkansas, was built on land rising twenty-five feet above the surrounding Delta flatlands. It came about as a result of antebellum plantations and an early twentieth-century railroad. Eudora survived the Flood of 1927 because of its elevation. The city calls itself the “Catfish Capital of Arkansas.” Louisiana Purchase through Reconstruction The rich land on which Eudora was established was still only sparsely settled when Arkansas became a state in 1836. A Presbyterian church was built on the ridge in the 1840s, and a Masonic lodge opened at that location in 1848. E. C. James owned 700 acres of Chicot County land, including the ridge; he named his homestead Eudora Plantation for …

Eureka Springs (Carroll County)

Eureka Springs (Carroll County) is a northwestern Arkansas tourist town situated in the Ozark Mountains. One of two county seats in Carroll County and home to the legendary healing springs, the city draws a diverse tourist crowd every year and is known for its spas and bathhouses. During the twentieth century, the town attracted an eclectic population, and today it is a mecca for artists, writers, the religious community, and the gay and lesbian community. Prehistory through Early Statehood Paleoindians lived in the Eureka Springs area thousands of years ago. During the Woodland and Archaic periods, residents of the area created projectile points (often described as “arrowheads”) from the chert cobbles they found in gravel bars. By the time of …

Evening Shade (Scott County)

Evening Shade is an unincorporated community in north-central Scott County located along Highway 28 West. The community was established at the base of Poteau Mountain, which played an important role in naming the community. Agriculture has traditionally been important to the area. Prior to European exploration, Evening Shade was a wilderness with native vegetation and numerous species of wildlife, some of which no longer inhabit the area. Early inhabitants were present during the Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods. There are numerous archaeological sites located along the Poteau River near Evening Shade, and evidence from these sites indicates that the Caddo Indians once lived in the area. Throughout the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, French trappers and explorers traveled west …

Evening Shade (Sharp County)

Evening Shade, located on U.S. Highway 167 in northern Arkansas, served as the seat of Sharp County for approximately ninety-five years. The once thriving community saw a slow decline in importance after the seat of government was removed in 1963. Today, it is best known as the setting for the 1990s sitcom Evening Shade. Louisiana Purchase through Early StatehoodUntil about 1850, the small settlement was known as Shanty. It is believed that the present name was derived from the afternoon shade provided by a small stand of tall pine trees overlooking the post office. At least for a short period of time, it was known as Hook Rum. Several versions of a local story say that, in about 1851, a …

Everton (Boone County)

Everton is a town in southeastern Boone County on State Highway 206. The town began as a stop on the Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad (M&NA) and quickly became an agricultural center for the region. Osage from the north came into the region to hunt and to fish, but what would become Boone County remained sparsely populated until after Arkansas became a state. Some settlers made their homes along Clear Creek in the area that would become Everton. Among those who purchased land deeds were William Ryals in 1849 and James Bradshaw, Seborn Jones, and John Reeves in 1854. No significant events took place in the immediate vicinity during the Civil War, although five deceased Confederate soldiers were interred in …