Counties, Cities, and Towns

Entries - Entry Category: Counties, Cities, and Towns - Starting with M

Mitchellville (Desha County)

  Mitchellville, a city in the Arkansas Delta that borders Dumas (Desha County), is the result of experiments in city planning. A church association acquired the land in the 1940s, divided it into lots, and sold the lots to a specific group of buyers, while also planning the placement of roads and electric service. With the highest percentage of African-American citizens of any city in Arkansas, Mitchellville is also one of the poorest cities in the state. The rich soil of the Arkansas Delta drew investors who created plantations and grew cotton. Until the Civil War, work on the plantations was performed almost entirely by slaves. The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery, but many of the former slaves and their …

Monette (Craighead County)

  Monette in Craighead County is one of the principal cities in the region of northeastern Arkansas called Buffalo Island. Founded when the railroad was built across the region around the beginning of the twentieth century, Monette quickly became an agricultural center and later added light industry, surviving the economic changes that have sent so many similar cities in Arkansas and other southern states into decline. Buffalo Island was shaken by the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811–1812, causing much of the land to sink and become swampland. The hardwood forests and marshy areas made travel and settlement difficult, but a few families made their homes in the region during the nineteenth century. Arnold Stott (or possibly Stotts) acquired high land in the …

Monkey Run (Baxter County)

The small community of Monkey Run is located in a narrow valley on the western border of modern-day Baxter County. During its heyday in the early 1920s, it was home to a number of thriving businesses and as many as seven zinc mining operations. The settlement reportedly came into existence with the establishment of the nearby Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church in 1872. Early families who helped settle the area included the Hodges, Reeds, Staffords, and Messicks. By the early 1900s, a school had been established and a few businesses were in operation. A name change came sometime shortly after its founding as Pilgrim’s Rest. At least three versions of the story regarding the name change exist, though all concern a …

Monroe County

Monroe County, named for President James Monroe, is located approximately halfway between Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Memphis, Tennessee. There were at one time seven incorporated towns in the county—Brinkley, Clarendon, Holly Grove, Indian Bay, Blackton, Fargo, and Roe. The public schools in the county in 2007 are Brinkley and Clarendon. Monroe County is adjacent to Arkansas, Prairie, and Woodruff counties. The White River separates Monroe and Arkansas counties, while the Cache River separates Monroe and Prairie counties. The county’s economic base is farming, and the land is among some of the most fertile in the state. About 1,500 acres in the county’s southeast corner is protected by levee, but much of the remainder is subject to flooding. The area …

Monte Ne (Benton County)

Monte Ne (Benton County) was a resort town founded by William H. “Coin” Harvey in 1900. It had the world’s largest log hotels, designed by architect A. O. Clark, and attracted visitors from across the country for more than two decades. It was the site of Harvey’s nomination to the Liberty Party’s 1932 presidential ticket and the location for his planned monument to the future. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Located five miles southeast of Rogers (Benton County), Monte Ne began as the community of Silver Springs. Betty Blake Rogers, financial advisor and spouse to entertainer Will Rogers, was born here in 1879. Harvey, who had worked all over the country as a lawyer, silver …

Montgomery County

Montgomery County is noted for its quartz crystal deposits, the rugged beauty of the Ouachita Mountains and its sparkling, clear waters. Every year, thousands enjoy hunting, hiking, observing nature, fishing, and participating in water sports on Lake Ouachita, Arkansas’s largest lake with 48,300 surface acres, and the Ouachita, Caddo, and Little Missouri rivers; the latter drops thirty-five feet per mile in its twenty-nine-mile journey through southern Montgomery County. Pre-European Exploration through European Exploration and Settlement Montgomery County has the most registered sites on the Arkansas Archeological Survey site database. Stone spear or dart points indicate that people of the Dalton culture (ca. 8500 BC) and Tom’s Brook culture (ca. 4500 BC) inhabited the area in the Early and Middle Archaic …

Monticello (Drew County)

Monticello is the largest town in southeast Arkansas south of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Its history is one of continued growth and prosperity. Located at the intersection of two major roads and served early by railroads, it became an enduring commercial hub. A diversified infrastructure consisting of commerce, agriculture, and the timber industry created a strong foundation and sustained the town’s growth. The town also became an important educational and medical center. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The first center of business and county court were at nearby Rough and Ready Hill, which was settled by 1836. Soon after Drew County formed in 1846, leading citizens decided that a new town should be built for the county seat. In 1849, …

Montrose (Ashley County)

  Located at an important railroad junction, the city of Montrose in eastern Ashley County is at the intersection of U.S. Highways 165 and 82. Always an agriculturally based city, Montrose is best known today as the home of the Sassy Jones Sauce & Spice Company. Montrose is also the birthplace of Helen Corrothers, who served with the Arkansas Department of Correction before going on to serve on the United States Parole Board. Although western Ashley County is noted for the timber industry, which was centered in Crossett (Ashley County), the eastern part of the county belongs to the Mississippi Delta region, which was home to numerous cotton plantations before and after the Civil War. Dugald McMillan was the first landowner who …

Moorefield (Independence County)

Moorefield is an incorporated town located on Highway 69 midway between Sulphur Rock (Independence County) and Batesville (Independence County). A railroad and farming town, it is named for Jesse Alison Moore, the most prominent landowner in the community at the time the post office was established in the 1880s. Jesse A. Moore was born in Jefferson County, Tennessee, in 1840. He came to Ruddell Hill (Independence County) shortly after the Civil War and married Elizabeth Jane Moore, who may have been a distant cousin. They moved to Gainsboro (Independence County), where she lived. He became a prominent farmer in Big Bottom along the banks of the Black and White rivers. Moore was a member of the Masonic fraternity and held …

Morgan (Pulaski County)

Morgan is an unincorporated settlement in northern Pulaski County. It is located on State Highway 365 (also known as MacArthur Drive) between Maumelle (Pulaski County) and Camp Joseph T. Robinson. Most people who travel through Morgan do not even know that they have been there. The origins of the name of Morgan are unknown, particularly since it never had a post office or a railroad depot. The earliest use of the land around Morgan was as a cemetery, called Palarm Bayou Pioneer Cemetery, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Several citizens of Little Rock (Pulaski County) are buried there, including Daniel E. Wilson, buried in 1837, and John Ferguson, buried in 1886. Wilson, a businessman …

Moro (Lee County)

Located at the intersection of State Highways 238 and 78, Moro is the second-largest incorporated community in Lee County, exceeded in size only by Marianna, the county seat. Despite a population of only approximately 200 residents, it has about thirty businesses in the twenty-first century. The present town of Moro is the second one in Hampton Township to carry that name. The two towns were not in the same location, and the first one vanished nearly a decade before the current town was founded. Today, that earlier village is remembered as “Old Moro.” Old Moro emerged as settlers claimed land around an intersection of military roads constructed in 1835 connecting Helena (Phillips County) to the capital at Little Rock (Pulaski …

Morrilton (Conway County)

  Morrilton, the seat of Conway County, is located on Interstate 40 fifty-four miles northwest of Little Rock (Pulaski County). It is home to the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute and the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood In 1820, Major William Lewis and his son, Stephen D. Lewis, settled about a mile south of present-day Morrilton. In 1825, they established a trading post and called it Lewisburg. The new town thrived due to its location on the Arkansas River, and it soon had a large population and numerous businesses, including two newspapers and an opera house. A Masonic lodge served as the town’s first school. From November to December 1836, during the Trail of Tears forced …

Morrison Bluff (Logan County)

Morrison Bluff is a town in northern Logan County. It is on the south bank of the Arkansas River and was once a significant stopping point for keel boats and steamboats. According to local lore, a settler whose last name was Morrison traveled by keel boat around 1800 to the bluff that now bears his name and settled there. In its earlier years, it was often called Morrison’s Bluff. However, no evidence of a white settlement from that time exists. In 1820, Matthew Lyon, U.S. factor to the Cherokee Nation in Arkansas Territory, settled at the trading post in Spadra (Johnson County), on the north shore of the river. By the end of the decade, about a dozen families had …

Mount Elba (Cleveland County)

Mount Elba, located on the Saline River in present-day Cleveland County, was established in the 1830s and became a thriving southern Arkansas commercial center. The town reached its pinnacle of importance by the 1860s. However, though surviving the Civil War, the town never regained its pre-war status, in part due to the decline of the importance of river commerce in the area. In 1818, much of the land in southern Arkansas was ceded to the Quapaw, delaying white settlement for many years, but the Treaty of 1824 made that land open to white settlement. By the early 1830s, Mount Elba was established on a rise of high ground on the east side of the Saline River south of the present-day …

Mount Ida (Montgomery County)

Mount Ida is near the center of the Ouachita National Forest, the South’s oldest and largest national forest. Nearby Lake Ouachita and many rivers and streams make it a favorite of nature lovers. For rock collectors, a layer of topsoil hides countless tons of clear quartz crystals. Early Statehood The first name given to the county seat of Montgomery County was Montgomery. Robert McConnell, who homesteaded the land, which later became city lots, was appointed commissioner to superintend the erection of a “log building” to accommodate the holding of court. The “County House,” as the courthouse was then called, was built in 1846 on the present courthouse square. The first post office in the area was established on June 28, …

Mount Moriah (Nevada County)

Mount Moriah (Nevada County) is an unincorporated community located in Caney Township along U.S. Highway 371. The community is about three miles southeast of Laneburg (Nevada County) and eleven miles southeast of Prescott (Nevada County). Mount Moriah served as the first seat of Nevada County, although only temporarily. Early settlers in the area included John and Daniel Morrison, who obtained more than 185 acres of land in the area in 1837. John Dillard obtained 120 acres in 1857. William Dillard obtained more than 107 acres two years later. Mount Moriah’s post office opened in 1844. It closed in 1918, and the community is served by the office located in Rosston (Nevada County) in the twenty-first century. Established on March 20, …

Mount Pleasant (Izard County)

The town of Mount Pleasant was established in extreme northwestern Independence County shortly after the close of the Civil War. However, changes in the Izard/Independence county line in 1873 caused the town to be shifted to Izard County. In the twenty-first century, Mount Pleasant is one mile from Independence County and about two miles from Sharp County. One of the pioneer trails into the interior of Izard County followed Poke (or Polk) Bayou from Batesville (Independence County) northward and then traced Barren Fork Creek northwest toward present-day Melbourne (Izard County). During the 1860s, a new trail was cut one mile south of the creek and passed by the log home of Milton L. Shaver. Soon, the Shaver family converted one …

Mount Vernon (Faulkner County)

Mount Vernon is a town in northeastern Faulkner County, located on Highway 36. It is home to the high school of the Mount Vernon–Enola School District. Even before the Civil War, several families had settled in northern Faulkner County. Breean Hawkins, Dick Fears, and Tom House were among the settlers in the area. A grist mill was built in 1851, and Fears opened a store next to his log cabin before 1860. When the war began, Fears closed his store and led a group of volunteers to join the Confederate army. Fears survived the war but died in an accident in 1865 while building a cotton gin. House, a cotton farmer, took over Fears’s store. Around the same time, a …

Mountain Home (Baxter County)

Mountain Home, a small town whose origins date back to the early nineteenth century, is located in north-central Arkansas on a plateau in the Ozark Mountains. The natural beauty of nearby Norfork and Bull Shoals lakes and the surrounding countryside has attracted tourists from around the country for many years. In addition, educational institutions have always played a prominent role in the life of the community. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The town was originally known as Rapp’s Barren or Talbert’s Barren, apparently named in honor of the first permanent white settler, Henry Rapp, who settled in the region around 1810. The word “barren” referred to the open prairie land, which had few trees and was thought to be infertile. …

Mountain Pine (Garland County)

Mountain Pine was the second-largest community in Garland County, behind Hot Springs, from the 1930s through the late 1970s. During that time, it was a typical company mill town of the forested South. Established in the late 1920s by Dierks Lumber and Coal Company (later Dierks Forests, Inc.), Mountain Pine remains as the most visible reminder of the Dierks company’s legacy in Garland County. Dierks Brothers Company was founded in the 1880s by Hans, Herman, Peter, and Henry Dierks, sons of German immigrant Peter Henry Dierks. In 1895, the company became Dierks Lumber and Coal Company, which owned and operated numerous lumber yards in Iowa and Nebraska. By 1900, the Dierks brothers owned twenty-four lumber yards in the Midwest. In …

Mountain View (Stone County)

Situated in the Ozark Mountains of north-central Arkansas, Mountain View is an isolated community that has long been known for its preservation of traditional folk music and culture. The Mountain View area attracts thousands of visitors each year, with features including the Ozark Folk Center, Blanchard Springs Caverns, the White River, and the Ozark National Forest, as well as the unique musical gatherings on the courthouse square. The Gilded Age through the Early Twentieth Century Until the Civil War, the area now known as Stone County was part of Izard County; no city of Mountain View existed and very few settlers resided on its soil. However, when Stone County was formed in 1873, a site at the center of the …

Mountainburg (Crawford County)

  Mountainburg is located on U.S. Highway 71 near Lake Fort Smith State Park, on the Boston Plateau of the Ozark Mountains. Known to tourists for its scenic mountain views, Mountainburg has been a landmark for travelers throughout its history. Between 1817 and 1828, the land around Mountainburg was included in territory assigned by the U.S. government to the Cherokee. After the Cherokee were removed to Indian Territory (now called Oklahoma), white settlers began to claim the land. One of the first landowners in what would become Mountainburg was George Dyer. Another was Samuel Caswell Vaught, a German-American veteran of the wars with various Native American tribes in the southern states and territories. Vaught was the father of seven sons, four of …

Mozart (Stone County)

The community of Mozart is located between Timbo (Stone County) and Fox (Stone County) in Union Township of Stone County on Highway 263 near Lick Fork Creek. The hilly, wooded, rocky-soil terrain of the region attracted no permanent settlers until the passage of the Homestead Act of 1862. A few sturdy subsistence farmers trickled in and grew a few crops, mainly grain, along Meadowcreek and the Little Red River. The community that would eventually become Mozart developed as an extension of Timbo and Fox. The two cemeteries close to Mozart are the Ramsey and Roby cemeteries, with many tombstones bearing names of families living in Timbo and Fox. The Mozart post office opened in 1926. Before it opened, mail was …

Mulberry (Crawford County)

Located in the Interstate 40 corridor, Mulberry is positioned near cultural and business activities in northwest Arkansas. It is a center of recreation surrounded by rich farmland in the Arkansas River Valley. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Although the area where modern-day Mulberry is located had been given by treaty to Spain at the close of the French and Indian War in 1762, Jean Baptiste Dardenne, a French settler, surveyed the land and laid claim to much of it, though he probably settled farther down the river. White settlers began arriving in the Mulberry area near the time of the Louisiana Purchase. Early settlers called the stream passing through “Mulberry” because of the large mulberry trees lining its banks. Dardenne …

Municipal Designations

The State of Arkansas recognizes its incorporated communities in three separate categories: cities of the first class (or first-class cities), cities of the second class (or second-class cities), and towns. These categories are mostly determined by the population of the communities and the size of the city or town government. According to the Arkansas Municipal League, there are 502 incorporated cities and towns in Arkansas as of October 2019. According to Arkansas statutes as of 2019, a first-class city has more than 2,500 residents (although a second-class city with more than 1,500 residents may vote to become a first-class city). A second-class city has from 500 to 2,500 residents (although a town may vote to become a second-class city). A town …

Murfreesboro (Pike County)

Murfreesboro is the county seat of Pike County, which lies in the southwest corner of Arkansas and is an area of tremendous geological diversity, with regard to both soil and minerals. In addition to mining for diamonds and mining for quartz, other gems and minerals such as amethyst, garnet, jasper, calcite, barite, lamproite, and banded agate can also be found in the area. About 100 million years ago (the Mid-Cretaceous Period), the Gulf of Mexico coastline ran across the middle of Pike County. Murfreesboro, being in the southwest corner of the county, was under water. A volcanic explosion spewed ash and molten rock toward the sky and created an eighty-acre crater. The turbulent rotations of the earth caused diamonds to work their way to …