Counties, Cities, and Towns

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

Napoleon (Desha County)

The town Napoleon of Desha County was located at the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Arkansas River. Although its founders had hoped that its location would make it a major city comparable to St. Louis, Missouri, or New Orleans, Louisiana, the town was badly damaged during the Civil War and then totally destroyed within ten years of the war by the flooding of the rivers. Jacques Marquette visited the area where these two rivers meet in 1673. The area may also contain the burial location of Pierre Laclede Liguest, the founder of St. Louis, who died and was buried on a trip north from New Orleans in 1778. The town was not established, though, until the time of …

Nashville (Howard County)

Nashville is the county seat of Howard County in southwest Arkansas. A regional center for agriculture and transportation, it has also become the location of several manufacturing enterprises and was the location of the first Dillard’s department store. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood No evidence of pre-European settlement in the Nashville area exists, although stone tools found in the area indicate that the Caddo did travel through the site and hunt there. The first European explorers in the area were hunters who would have seen forested hills watered by two small creeks. Isaac Cooper Perkins, a farmer and Baptist missionary, was the first to settle in the place that would become Nashville. Although his earliest land grant is dated 1836—the year …

Nathan (Pike County)

Nathan (Pike County) is a small community founded in the mid-1800s. Although it began as a farming community, by the early 1900s, its economy was driven by the numerous logging operations established in the area. In the twenty-first century, the residential community stretches along Gum Tree Road approximately a half mile off of State Highway 369 in western Pike County near the Howard County border. Several families settled in the area by the 1830s, the most significant to the town’s development being that of Pleasant White. While White is reported to have settled in 1829, no land grant document is found before 1855. More evidence confirming his settlement is the burial of his eldest infant child, Anthony, in the area cemetery …

Natural Steps (Pulaski County)

Natural Steps is an unincorporated community located on Highway 300 between Lake Maumelle and the Arkansas River in Pulaski County. It takes its name from a unique sandstone formation in the shape of parallel stair steps. A 1932 archaeological investigation into the Natural Steps area conducted by staff at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) uncovered fifty-seven burials, as well as pottery from both the Quapaw and Caddo tribes. An exact sequence of Native American habitation of the area, however, remains unknown. A Spanish land grant conveyed land at Natural Steps to Eli Stidwell. Another early white settler was John Standlee, who was in the area from 1778 to 1780. In the 1810s, merchant John Taylor purchased …

Nebraska (Scott County)

Nebraska is a historical community that was located in eastern Scott County along the Fourche La Fave River valley. The town was established in 1854 as an agricultural community prior to the Civil War. Nebraska was originally located between the current communities of Harvey (Scott County) and Nola (Scott County). Archaeological evidence from the Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods shows native people living along the Fourche La Fave River valley near Nebraska. Prior to European exploration, the Caddo tribe lived along the valley. Thousands of archeological sites and burial mounds are located throughout the area. During the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, French hunters and tradesmen explored the waters of the Fourche La Fave River and other tributaries of …

Needmore (Scott County)

The community of Needmore is located along Highway 71 in south-central Scott County. Never officially incorporated as a town, the community stretches from the top of a large hill, known as Needmore Hill, to the hill’s base. Buffalo Creek and the Fourche La Fave River are within a few miles of Needmore. The area where Needmore is now located was once a wilderness inhabited by natives of the Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods. Prior to European exploration, the Caddo tribe lived along the Fourche River Valley. Burial mounds and other archaeological sites can be found along the Fourche La Fave River near Needmore. During the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, French trappers and traders traveled west from Arkansas Post, …

Nella (Scott County)

The unincorporated community of Nella is located in southwestern Scott County. It was established in 1903 along Clear Fork Creek, which is a distributary of the Fourche La Fave River. The agriculture and timber industries have traditionally been important economic resources for the community. Prior to European exploration, the area surrounding Nella was a wilderness. 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 periods, and the Caddo tribe later inhabited the area. During the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, French hunters and tradesmen traveled west from Arkansas Post exploring portions of …

Neuhardt (Crittenden County)

Neuhardt is an unincorporated community in south-central Crittenden County, located on Arkansas Highway 147 between Anthonyville and Edmondson. The town grew up around 1900 as a result of the timber industry and was named for lumber tycoon George Neuhardt, who purchased thousands of timbered acres in the area. Information regarding George Neuhardt is scarce, but it is known that he suffered tremendous commercial losses due to flooding and eventually committed suicide when forced into bankruptcy. Following the Civil War, a statewide timber industry expanded in earnest due to the construction of railroads and availability of powered machinery. Cutting of timber in the Arkansas Delta (including Crittenden County) and the “sunken lands” of northeast Arkansas played a pivotal role in encouraging …

Nevada County

Located in the West Gulf Coastal Plain, Nevada County has a variety of sandy loam and silty clay loam soils, as well as extensive pine and hardwood forests. The Little Missouri River, the major stream in the area, separates Nevada County from Clark and Pike counties to the north. The Reconstruction legislature formed Nevada County in 1871 from Hempstead, Ouachita, and Columbia counties. Prescott, the county seat with a population of 3,296 (as of the 2010 census), is the largest city. Other important towns are Emmet, Willisville, Rosston, Bodcaw, Falcon, Cale, and Bluff City. The reason for the selection of the county’s name has been lost. “Sierra nevada,” as in the Sierra Nevada in California, means “snowy range” in Spanish. …

New Edinburg (Cleveland County)

  Located on Highway 8 between Warren (Bradley County) and Fordyce (Dallas County) is the town of New Edinburg. Before 1873, it was located in Bradley County. In 1873, Bradley County was divided, and New Edinburg landed in Dorsey County (later renamed Cleveland County). Native American tribes likely traveled through the area and may have settled along the banks of the Saline River. Many artifacts have been found to support this. Several white families settled in the area in the 1830s. These first families—Marks, Smith, Davis, Crain, Washburn, McDaniel, and Hudson—were wealthy, possessed many slaves, and were well educated. By the 1840s, a group of businessmen met at L’Aigle Creek, known as Eagle Creek, and purchased land for a town. This first …

New London (Union County)

New London was the main center of commerce in eastern Union County during the Civil War and the forty years afterward. After the railroad bypassed it in 1902, the town diminished, and all that remains is a collection of houses around a steepled church with an old cemetery. New London began with the arrival of a wagon train from Gilgal, Alabama, in 1839. The wagons carried sixteen families with livestock and some African-American slave families, led by a Baptist minister, Elder C. Norsworthy. Two years later, a second wagon train brought eight families. That group came through Alabama but was from Union County, North Carolina, and followed the route that carried most of the pioneers to Texas from Alabama through …

Newark (Independence County)

Throughout much of its history, Newark has been one of Independence County’s larger towns. Called by the local newspaper the “Queen City of South Independence” in the early 1900s, the town held great promise to be a significant part of the history of the county. Like most small towns in early twentieth-century Arkansas, its early years were full of hope and prosperity, but it later suffered the loss of its business community and a significant part of its populace. Post-Reconstruction through the Gilded AgeNewark was founded as an alternate site to an older town plagued with a major drawback. The pre–Civil War community of Akron (also known as Big Bottom) was subject to the destructive overflows of the White River. …

Newhope (Pike County)

Newhope is a community in Pike County located eight miles west of Daisy (Pike County) and Lake Greeson. The earliest settlers in the area included Andrew Cannon, who obtained 400 acres from the Federal Land Office in Camden in the area in 1860 and 1861. Several other settlers also purchased land in the area at the same time, including John Gafford and Henry Haynes in 1860. The first business to open in the area, a store owned by George Copley, opened in 1876. Copley moved to nearby Star of the West and operated the post office. A second store opened in 1878, and a post office opened under the direction of postmaster Levi Forester. Other businesses opened in the community, …

Newport (Jackson County)

Newport is a rural community with deep agricultural ties. Its location on the White River at the transition from the Ozark foothills to the Delta flatland is ideal as a northeast Arkansas crossroads for road, river, and rail traffic. Newport’s economy, based upon natural resources, had strong growth through the first half of the twentieth century and the postwar era. Pre-European Exploration through Early European Exploration Newport is located on a wide bend in the White River where it leaves the Ozark hill country and enters the Mississippi Delta flatlands.  It was an ideal crossing point for animals (including deer, bear, and occasionally bison) and for the tribal hunters that followed them.  Native people, likely ancestors of the Quapaw, resided …

Newton County

Located in the Boston Mountains, Newton County can be described as mountainous, rural, and isolated. The land, once respected and protected by Native Americans, has come full circle with a large portion being protected by the U.S. Department of the Interior as a wilderness area. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The area, rich with game and timber, was watered by the Big and Little Buffalo rivers. Until 1808, the Osage claimed the region, and between 1818 and 1828 the land was part of a reservation granted to the Western Cherokee. The county was part of Carroll County when it was created in 1833, and white settlers quickly moved in. A block of marble taken from a hillside near present-day Marble …

Nimmons (Clay County)

Nimmons is a small town in eastern Clay County. It is near the St. Francis River, which forms the border between northeastern Arkansas and the bootheel of Missouri. Nimmons was created as a rail crossing and lumber town early in the twentieth century. Prior to Euro-American settlement, the land that would become northeastern Arkansas and southeastern Missouri was dominated by swamps and hardwood forests. The area was sparsely inhabited, although the Osage and other Native American nations frequently visited the area to hunt and to fish. French explorers traveled on the St. Francis River, but the location that would become Nimmons remained uninhabited throughout the nineteenth century. With the advent of railroads, businessmen began seeking opportunities to harvest the forests …

Nimrod (Perry County)

Nimrod is a small community located near the Fourche La Fave River in western Perry County. Never a large community, today it is best known for its proximity to recreational Lake Nimrod, the state’s oldest U.S. Army Corps of Engineers–constructed lake, and the Ouachita National Forest. Fertile soil and the confluence of the Fourche La Fave River with the Arkansas River attracted settlers as early as 1808. However, until the decade preceding the Civil War, most of that settlement centered on the eastern reaches of the river where the town of Perryville (Perry County) was founded. By 1850, James Wilson built the first house at what later became Nimrod. Among other early settlers were the Young, Cherry, James, Cobb, Hill, …

Nola (Scott County)

Nola formed as a small farming town in eastern Scott County. The unincorporated community was established within the Fourche La Fave River valley near the Yell County border. It is located near Harvey (Scott County), just two miles west along Highway 28. The area where Nola and Harvey are now located was once known as Nebraska. Prior to European exploration, the area where Nola is located was lush with native vegetation and wildlife. Archaeological evidence from the Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods indicate that native people long lived along the river valley where Nola is located. Native American people of the Caddo tribe began settling along the valley around AD 1000. Several thousand burial mounds and other archaeological sites are …

Norfork (Baxter County)

  Although it has been known by several names and did not incorporate as a city until the twentieth century, Norfork of Baxter County is one of the oldest extant settlements in Arkansas. Located where the North Fork River empties into the White River, the city of Norfork gave its name to the dam and lake created in the 1940s, and it still benefits from that tourist attraction in the twenty-first century. Jacob Wolf was one of the earliest homeowners in what would become Norfork. He is sometimes identified as an Indian agent, although no record exists of his appointment or activity in this vocation. Some local historians have claimed that Wolf arrived in Arkansas as early as 1811, but his …

Norman (Montgomery County)

Norman, known as Womble until 1925, is located on the Caddo River in southern Montgomery County. It was created as a result of the building of the Gurdon and Fort Smith Railroad and grew because of the lumber mills that sprang up along its right of way. It was once the home of the Presbyterian Church’s Caddo Valley Academy. In 1905, plans were announced to extend the Gurdon and Fort Smith line from Glenwood (Pike County), then its terminus, to Black Springs (Montgomery County). This announcement brought a large number of land speculators, including Walter E. Womble Sr., into the area. However, in 1907, a dispute over rights of way halted the project near the Caddo River, several miles short …

Norphlet (Union County)

  The city of Norphlet, like nearby Smackover (Union County) and El Dorado (Union County), rose to prominence due to the oil industry. The city is home to one of the most notorious disasters in Arkansas’s history of oil drilling. More recently, however, it has become a bedroom community to El Dorado, the county seat. The forested hills of Union County were thinly populated until after the Civil War and Reconstruction. The railroad industry, combined with the timber industry, brought new life to the area. The St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway built a line running from Gurdon (Clark County) through El Dorado that was completed in January 1891. Norphlet was one of several depots created along the railway. The timber industry …

Norristown (Pope County)

Norristown briefly served as the county seat of Pope County and was an important stop along the Arkansas River between Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Fort Smith (Sebastian County). It was located across the river from Dardanelle (Yell County) but no longer exists. Norristown was first settled in the late 1820s by Samuel Norris and quickly became a main shipping point, with area cotton loaded up on boats for shipment downriver and eventually to New Orleans, Louisiana. Norristown was designated the county seat in the early 1830s, though no courthouse was ever built there, and served as such until the 1840 creation of Yell County from part of Pope County necessitated the movement of the seat to Dover (Pope County), …

North Little Rock (Pulaski County)

aka: Argenta (Pulaski County)
North Little Rock is the state’s sixth-largest city (as of 2010), though once the second largest, with historical ties to the transportation industry and the military. Before railroad companies spurred the growth of a town of mills, stockyards, and small businesses in the last three decades of the nineteenth century, the floodnorth-prone north side of the Arkansas River across from Little Rock (Pulaski County) had few residents. But starting in the 1820s, its ferry and riverboat terminals prospered at a junction of roads on routes between St. Louis, Missouri, or Memphis, Tennessee, and Texas or Oklahoma. The military continues to have an economically viable relationship with central Arkansas, with Fort Logan H. Roots atop Big Rock Mountain since 1897; Camp …

Norvell (Crittenden County)

  Norvell was an incorporated town in western Crittenden County located just southeast of the Tyronza River, about one mile east of the Cross County line. In 1862, Dr. James Throgmorton arrived in what would become Norvell. In later years, he described the landscape as “a dense forest inhabited by bears, wolves and panthers,” adding that “it remained so until 1888.” The raw wilderness with abundant virgin timber invited settlement and commercial growth during the timber boom that swept Arkansas following the Civil War. This growth gave rise to Norvell and its larger neighbor Earle (Crittenden County), which were settled simultaneously and shared many of the same business and civic leaders. Population in the area was sparse until the 1880s, when …