Entries - Entry Type: Place - 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 …

Nashville Commercial Historic District

The Nashville Commercial Historic District is located in Nashville (Howard County) and includes a total of fifty-five buildings, with twenty-nine contributing to the district. Almost all of the buildings in the district are commercial buildings, with the sole exception of the U.S. Post Office, which is separately listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The district was added to the National Register on September 23, 2010. The boundaries of the district are roughly Shepherd Street on the north, the Missouri Pacific Railroad to the east, Hempstead Street to the south, and Second Street to the west. Three blocks of Main Street are included in the district. Nashville was incorporated in 1883, the same year that the Arkansas and Louisiana …

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 …

National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR)

The National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) in Jefferson (Jefferson County) is thirty-five miles southeast of Little Rock (Pulaski County) and twenty miles north of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). The site, consisting of 496 acres with numerous buildings and research laboratories, is under the control of the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which was part of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) at the time the center formed. HEW became the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) in 1980. The facility addresses the toxicity of various chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs, assesses the risks of microbial food contamination, and identifies microbiological pathogens that could be used for acts of terrorism. Including various contractors, research assistants, and scientists, …

National Park College

National Park College (NPC), formerly National Park Community College (NPCC), is located in Mid-America Park just west of Hot Springs (Garland County). It offers associate degrees, technical certificates, continuing education, community services, workforce training, and adult basic education. NPC is the fourth-largest community college in Arkansas. National Park College resulted from Act 678 of the 2003 Arkansas General Assembly, which merged Garland County Community College (GCCC) and Quapaw Technical Institute (QTI). The act went into effect on July 1, 2003. GCCC had been established as a two-year college in 1973 to provide post-secondary higher education opportunities to the citizens of Garland County and the surrounding areas. QTI was first established as Quapaw Vocational Technical School, a branch campus of the Ouachita …

Natural State Golf Trail

The Natural State Golf Trail is a public-private partnership created to showcase the scenic golf courses of the state. The trail consists of twelve courses in eleven different locations across the Arkansas. First discussed in the early 2000s, the Natural State Golf Trail came about due to the efforts of Lang Zimmerman, a co-founder and managing partner of Big Creek Golf and Country Club in Mountain Home (Baxter County), and because of the interest of Mike Beebe, then serving as an Arkansas state senator. Beebe suggested the possibility of a statewide golf trail to the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, and with the help of Jim Shamburger— a commissioner on the Arkansas State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission and …

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 …

Nelson, Knox

Knox Nelson was a member of the Arkansas General Assembly for thirty-four years in the second half of the twentieth century, achieving power in legislative halls that was rarely rivaled. Nelson was elected to the state House of Representatives from Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) in 1956 and served two terms, but he attained a position of immense power in the thirty-year career in the state Senate that followed. Governors and groups interested in legislation often had to win Nelson’s favor to get bills passed or defeated in the Senate. Knox Nelson was born on April 3, 1926, in the Goatshed community near Moscow (Jefferson County), a farming community a few miles south of Pine Bluff. His father, Knox Augustus Nelson, …

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). The New Edinburg Commercial Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 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 …

New Edinburg Commercial Historic District

The New Edinburg Commercial Historic District includes a number of former stores and other businesses located on both sides of Arkansas Highway 8 in New Edinburg (Cleveland County). The district contains a total of eleven buildings constructed between 1898 and 1948, ten of which are contributing. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 22, 2001. The area around New Edinburg began to be settled in the early to mid-1830s. Early public buildings in the area included a church constructed in 1838 and a Masonic lodge in 1854. Development of the area paused during the Civil War, and the Action at Marks’ Mills occurred just to the northwest of the community. After the end of …

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 …

Newport Air Field

During World War II, one of the army’s seven training airfields built in Arkansas was located at Newport (Jackson County). Over 4,000 men trained during the three years the Newport Army Air Field was in operation. At one point, over 4,800 people were living on the base, more than doubling Newport’s 1940 population of 4,301. Newport was chosen as a site through the encouragement of Congressman Wilbur D. Mills. The flat land already lent itself to airport usage as most trees had been cleared and the ground had been drained for farming. The project was announced in the middle of May 1942, and construction began almost immediately. Thirty-four farm families were displaced from the main site, along with those living …

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, …

Nimrod Dam and Lake

Nimrod Dam in western Perry County is the oldest project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the state of Arkansas, created to control flooding along the Fourche La Fave River. Nimrod Lake, the reservoir created by the dam, stretches across the border of Perry and Yell counties and is a popular attraction for fishermen and duck hunters. The dam and lake take their names from the nearby community of Nimrod (Perry County), itself named after the biblical figure. The construction of Nimrod Dam was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938. Damming the Fourche La Fave was considered an economical means of protecting communities and valuable crop land in Yell and Perry counties, as well as lessening …

Nodena Site

The Nodena Site in Mississippi County is an archaeological site representing Native American life in Arkansas during the centuries before European contact. The twelve-to-fifteen-acre pallisaded village was inhabited from approximately AD 1400 to 1650. The name Nodena comes from a later plantation that encompassed the area, while the names Upper Nodena and Middle Nodena represent separate archaeological sites, as well as separate sectors of the later Nodena plantation. The Upper Nodena Site, the larger of the two, is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been listed as a National Historic Landmark. A vast collection of Nodena materials are held at the University of Alabama Museum and its regional repository, the Arkansas Archeological Survey, as well as at …

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 …

Norfork Dam and Lake

Built on the North Fork River, just upstream from its confluence with the White River in Baxter County in north-central Arkansas, Norfork Dam and Lake are named after the nearby town of Norfork (Baxter County). The dam was authorized by Congress in the Flood Control Act of 1938, and construction began in the spring of 1941, making it one of the oldest U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ multi-purpose concrete structures. The reservoir extends north from the dam site to near Tecumseh, Missouri, and covers portions of Baxter and Fulton counties in Arkansas and Ozark County in Missouri. The drainage area controlled by the reservoir is about 1,806 square miles. The project also contains a powerhouse that houses the generators and …

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 Arkansas College (Northark)

North Arkansas College (Northark), a public two-year college created in 1974 and located in Harrison (Boone County), serves the citizens of Boone, Carroll, Marion, Searcy, Newton, and Madison counties. Originally known North Arkansas Community College, Northark was created to offer the first two years of most baccalaureate degree programs at an affordable price in response to community needs. It added technical certificates and degree majors with its merger in 1993 with Twin Lakes Vocational-Technical School, also located in Harrison, and is now a comprehensive community college. Northark has three campuses in Harrison. Under the leadership of founding president Dr. Bill Baker, Northark grew steadily. Dr. Jeffery R. Olson was selected on March 2, 2001, as the second president of Northark. …

North Fork River

North Fork River drains an area of about 1,830 square miles in Missouri and Arkansas and is about 110 miles long. Its headwaters begin in Wright County, Missouri, near the town of Mountain Grove. From there, it flows generally south through Douglas and Ozark counties, Missouri. About the last half of its length is in Baxter County, Arkansas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers impounded the North Fork with the construction of Norfork Dam near the town of Norfork (Baxter County). Norfork Dam was the first of several Corps of Engineers flood control and hydropower dams on the White River and its tributaries. Variant names for the river have included Big or Great North Fork of White River, North Fork …

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 flood-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 …

Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA)

Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, or XNA after its International Air Transportation Association (IATA) code, is located in Highfill (Benton County) and is roughly equidistant from Bentonville (Benton County), Fayetteville (Washington County), Rogers (Benton County), Siloam Springs (Benton County), and Springdale (Washington County). It is a mixed-use airport with both commercial and private airplanes. It has the second-largest amount of scheduled commercial service in the state of Arkansas and, in 2007, served more than 1.2 million passengers. Local business leaders including Sam Walton, founder of Walmart Inc., and several local and state elected officials joined together to push for a new airport. Due to the rapid growth in population and business (especially the continued expansion of Walmart Inc.), Drake Field, located …

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 …