Entry Type: Place - Starting with N

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 presence …

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 was …

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 National Airport (XNA)

Northwest Arkansas National 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. 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 outside of Fayetteville, was deemed no longer adequate for …

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 the …