Entry Type: Place - Starting with A

Allport (Lonoke County)

Allport is a town on Highway 165 in southern Lonoke County located two miles west of Humnoke (Lonoke County). Allport is largely populated by African Americans, although Lonoke County’s population is more than eighty percent white. Southern Lonoke County has rich alluvial soil that attracted cotton farmers who created large plantations operated with slave labor. When the Civil War ended the practice of slavery in Arkansas and other Southern states, many freed slaves became tenant farmers. Others were able to purchase land; African Americans often were sold the lower land, more prone to flooding, while white farmers retained possession of the higher agricultural land. An African-American community developed along Crooked Creek in southern Lonoke County; by 1878, the community had …

Alma (Crawford County)

Alma has been Crawford County’s second-largest town since the town’s establishment around 1872. It became known nationally as the “Spinach Capital of the World” for its spinach-processing facility and has attracted national attention through the actions of outlaws Bonnie and Clyde and fundamentalist pastor Tony Alamo. Before Alma became a settlement, Armstead “Ira” Smoot bought the land from the government on August 3, 1836. It was used mainly as farmland until Colonel Mathias F. Locke bought it in 1872. Locke built his house and a cotton gin on ten acres next to W. W. Smith’s drugstore and Smoot’s cabin. J. D. James kept a livery stable and a stage stand. In 1870, Alex W. Griffin had the first store and …

Almond (Cleburne County)

Almond lies in the northeastern corner of Cleburne County. The community historically had close family and commercial ties to Concord and Banner in Cleburne County to the southwest and Locust Grove (Independence County) to the northeast. Almond was in Independence County until February 20, 1883, when the last county in Arkansas, Cleburne County, was created. Brock Mountain, towering over 1,200 feet, separates Almond from Independence County and its county seat, Batesville. The community of Almond in the twenty-first century is virtually a ghost town with one abandoned store building. It is not known for sure how Almond received its name, because almonds do not grow naturally in Arkansas. It is suspected that an Almond family lived in the area when …

Almyra (Arkansas County)

Located half-way between Stuttgart (Arkansas County) and DeWitt (Arkansas County) on state Highway 130, the town of Almyra has a history similar to its larger neighbors. Sparked by railroad construction and fueled by the farms of Arkansas County, Almyra has diminished in size but has maintained its identity as an eastern Arkansas community. When Arkansas was first settled, the Grand Prairie seemed untamable to cotton farmers who preferred the rich soils of the Delta region or new land claimed by clearing away the forests. Following the Civil War, though, newcomers to the state made their home on the Grand Prairie, and rice farming succeeded where other kinds of agriculture had seemed unpromising. The Stuttgart and Arkansas River Railroad (later part …

Alpena (Boone and Carroll Counties)

Alpena is a town located predominately in western Boone County, although the town has, since the 2000 census, recorded some of its population also living across the county line in Carroll County. Created by the railroad early in the twentieth century, Alpena is on U.S. Highway 62 and is home to about twenty small businesses. The area was originally part of Carroll County when white settlers began claiming land in the Ozark Mountains. The fertile land along Long Creek attracted John Boyd, who received a land grant in 1849. He was joined by William J. Estes in 1860 and Bailey Stone in 1861. As Carrollton (Carroll County), then the county seat, was only a few miles away, the residents could …

Alpine (Clark County)

Alpine, one of the oldest settlements in Clark County, is an unincorporated community located in the northwestern part of the county. The community is located twenty-two miles northwest of the county seat, Arkadelphia, and is best known as the childhood home of noted actor and director Billy Bob Thornton. William Glover and his family, the first settlers of the area, arrived in 1848 in what would become Alpine, followed by several other families. It is most commonly thought that the settlement received its name due to its location on the highest point of the county. However, several folktales also relay the origin of the name. The original settlement was located a mile east of the present community and comprised little …

Altheimer (Jefferson County)

Altheimer is a second-class city in Jefferson County, located roughly halfway between Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and Stuttgart (Arkansas County). Founded as a railroad town and named for the Jewish family who encouraged the building of the railroad, it quickly became a center for the shipping of cotton, surpassing older cities in eastern Arkansas. Located in the Arkansas River Valley, the site of Altheimer was originally flood-prone forestland. Doctor Samuel Johnson Jones was the first resident of what would become Altheimer. He acquired and cleared 500 acres of timberland and moved to Arkansas from Mississippi in 1857, bringing his family and 150 slaves with him. His mansion, the Elms (which is now on the National Register of Historic Places), was …

Altus (Franklin County)

Altus (Franklin County) was incorporated on August 31, 1888. Railroad authorities had named their railhead Altus, from the Latin for “high,” because it was the highest point on the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad. The town is known today as the center of wine making in Arkansas. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood A Frenchman named Jean Baptiste Dardenne had a claim made on his behalf in June 1814 for 640 arpents (approximately 544.45 acres) in the area. In 1819, the U.S. government ordered the white settlers out of the area, giving the Cherokee exclusive title to the territory lying between the White and Arkansas rivers. However, a treaty in 1828 removed the Arkansas Cherokee to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). …

Amagon (Jackson County)

Amagon is a town in southern Jackson County on Highway 14. It is best known as the birthplace of Mike Beebe, Arkansas’s forty-fifth governor. About 600 archaeological sites in Jackson County indicate that the land has been populated for around 10,000 years. However, the area around Amagon was only sparsely populated until the twentieth century. In 1900, Will Pennington owned the land where Amagon stands. He granted some land to the Bonnerville and Southwestern Railroad (also called at one time the Bonnerville and Southern), which was built in 1905 to link Bonnerville—now Bono (Craighead County)—to Estico (Jackson County). The line was later extended through Amagon to Algoa (Jackson County). The railroad, which soon became part of the St. Louis–San Francisco …

American Viticultural Areas

aka: Viticultural Areas
American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) were established in 1979 and are “official” grape-growing areas in the United States. They are designated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) as recognized and defined in federal regulations. About 200 AVAs exist, with new areas approved yearly. AVAs are geographic areas defined on maps that have similar climate, geology, soils, physical features, or elevation. They are established through petition to the TTB by growers and wineries. There are no limits to an area’s size, grape cultivars grown, viticultural practices, or winemaking procedures, and one AVA may exist within another. When an AVA designation appears on a wine label, at least eighty-five percent of the juice from which the wine was produced …