October 4, 1959
Arkansas Children’s Colony, a state-supported full-residential facility designed to care for mentally handicapped children, was dedicated in Conway (Faulkner County) on 400 donated acres. Accommodations were designed for as many as 1,000 children. The institution, renamed the Conway Human Development Center in 1981, served such a need that five other such institutions were opened in other parts of the state (although the facility in Alexander closed in 2011). In past years, it has also served to care for children who needed to be quarantined, as with cases of German measles, and has expanded to care for some who have physical limitations. While the facility continues to offer a residence and provide habilitative and medical care for qualifying children, the approximately 500 residents of Conway Human Development Center, as of 2009, are primarily adults.