Counties, Cities, and Towns

Entry Category: Counties, 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, …

Randolph County

Randolph County’s five rivers, proximity to land transportation routes, and rich agricultural promise drew settlers to the area before the Louisiana Purchase. As dependence on water-based transportation fell, land and railroad routes allowed agriculture and industry to maintain the county’s economic prominence in northeastern Arkansas. The county is home to the Rice-Upshaw House, the oldest standing structure in the state, and Davidsonville Historic State Park, devoted to one of Arkansas’s earliest settlements. The county has six incorporated communities: Biggers, Maynard, O’Kean, Pocahontas, Ravenden Springs, and Reyno. Pre-European Exploration Hundred of archaeological sites exist in Randolph County, some dating back to 11,000 BC or perhaps earlier. As time progressed from the Dalton Period through the Archaic,the number of sites and the duration …

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 existence. …

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 former …

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 built …

Rich Mountain (Polk County)

Rich Mountain is a small residential area that is part of a larger, 200-square-mile tract of land that lies in the Ouachita Mountains and spans the Arkansas-Oklahoma border. The name Rich Mountain applies to both the mountain and the community at its northern base. While few people reside in the community in the twenty-first century, the influence of the name can still be seen in area businesses. In the early nineteenth century, the land that encompasses Rich Mountain changed hands several times. The United States first purchased the land from the French as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. In 1820, the United States gave the Choctaw tribe the part of the Arkansas Territory that included Rich Mountain. The …

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 …