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Community Profiles

Alma, Arkansas
“Spinach Capital of the World”
www.cityofalma.org
Population – 4,160
Schools – Alma Primary, Alma Middle, Alma Intermediate, Alma High School, Alma Stepping Stone School

Alma resulted from westward immigration as families moved from lands east of the Mississippi River to the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase to tame the wilderness. Due to the prevalence of gum trees, the community was known as Gum Town until the early 1870s when a group of local business men decided to incorporate the town.

After incorporation and the building of a post office, the town’s name was changed to Alma. Two legends surround the name change, including the Van Buren postmaster claiming the right to name the town after his daughter if he certified the post office, and a town meeting to name the post office that extended to the city.

Alma is home to the Allen Canning Company and cans 65 percent of all the spinach canned in the United States – some 60 million pounds. In 1987, local residents George Bowles and Wolf Grulkey proclaimed their town to be the “Spinach Capital of the World.”

Today, Alma boasts an eight-foot tall Popeye statue and hosts a spinach festival every April that includes arts and crafts, games, entertainment, a spinach recipe contest, a car show, food booths, and more.

Booneville, Arkansas
“Stop Searching … Start Living”
www.booneville.com
Population – 4,117
Schools – Booneville Elementary, Booneville Junior High School, Booneville High School

Colonel Walter Cauthron is generally credited as being the founder of Booneville. After he was so impressed by the beauty and fertility of the Petit Jean River Valley on a trip to Fort Smith, he returned in 1821 and became the first permanent settler. There is no authenticated record of how Booneville got its name, but a romantic blending of fact and legends leads one to believe that it was named for Lieutenant DeBonneville. Another belief is that the city is named in honor of Daniel Boone.

Booneville is located along the scenic Petit Jean River. It is situated along the northern edge of the Ouachita National Forest at the foot of Mount Magazine, the highest mountain between the Appalachian and Rocky mountains.

Although nestled among beautiful scenes, Booneville might be most known for the Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanatorium that operated in the city from 1910 to 1973. For decades the 1,000-acre complex treated tuberculosis cases to control the climbing death rate among Arkansans with the disease. Today, the medical facility is a National Historic Site, and visitors can drive the grounds.

Greenwood, Arkansas
“A good place to live!”
www.greenwoodarkansas.com
Population – 7,112
Schools – Westwood Primary, North Main Intermediate, East Hills Middle School, Raymond E. Wells Junior High School, Greenwood Senior High School

Greenwood was founded in 1851 when it was chosen as the first county seat of Sebastian County. The town was named after Judge Alfred Burton Greenwood who was elected in 1850 to serve as circuit judge over 10 northwestern Arkansas counties.

Proud of their rich heritage and small-town atmosphere, Greenwood is a thriving community and an ideal place to raise a family. The most recognized symbol of Greenwood, the Town Square, was the original site of the Sebastian County

Courthouse. Today it’s a community park with a clock tower and bandstand and hosts one of the community’s longest standing traditions, the Freedom Fest on the Square.

The event, held every Fourth of July, begins early in the morning with a pancake breakfast and is followed with a 5K run, an old-fashioned picnic, and lots of games and socializing.

Mountainburg, Arkansas
“Arkansas’s Most Scenic”
Population – 682
Schools – Mountainburg Elementary School, Mountainburg Middle School, Mountainburg High School

Mountainburg is full of old-world charm, unsurpassed scenic beauty and modern sophistication. Scenic Byway 71 runs eight miles north of Mountainburg and holds spectacular views of “The Grand Canyon of the Ozarks.” The natural site has been voted as one of the state’s most photographic spots and boasts the Artist Point Cultural Center – a cultural center and historical museum with hiking trails and a gift shop.

The Mountainburg area also offers shopping, antiques, lodging, restaurants and many outdoor activities including the former Butterfield Stage Route with plenty of scenic views.

Ozark, Arkansas
“The Original Ozark”
www.ozarkarkansas.com
Population – 3,525
Schools – Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Ozark Junior High School, Ozark High School and Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus

Founded in 1835, Ozark is one of Arkansas’s oldest cities and became the Franklin County seat of government in 1837. During the Civil War, the entire city was burned except for three homes – two of which are still standing today. The community rebuilt and by 1880 was a leading trade center in the state.

Today, Ozark is nestled in one of the most attractive areas of the Natural State and provides visitors and residents alike with a charming small-town life surrounded by unspoiled mountains, rivers, forests and lakes.

Paris, Arkansas
“Gateway to Mount Magazine”
www.parisaronline.com
Population – 3,707
Schools – Paris Elementary School, Paris Middle School, Paris High School, St. Joseph’s Catholic School

Pioneers settled in the Paris community in 1820 and named their new home after the city in France. By 1879, the 800-population town was incorporated and became the Logan County seat of government. Mining was the community’s main industry, but in 1945 sooty miners deserted their tunnels and left small trains standing at the cave’s mouth.

Today, Paris still flourishes as a popular outdoor tourist attraction with beautiful scenes from the Ozark National Forest and Mount Magazine State Park. The city boasts year-round outdoor activities including canoeing, hiking, camping, hang gliding and rock climbing. In the summer months, the City Square features a farmers market and Saturday night jamborees.

Poteau, Oklahoma
“Above the Ordinary”
www.poteau-ok.com
Population – 7,939
Schools – Poteau Elementary School, Pansy Kidd Middle School, Poteau High School, Royal Oak Christian Academy, Carl Albert State College

In 1719, the French explorer Bernard DeHarpe, led an expedition to the Poteau area, but no one inhabited the area except American Indians until 1875. The town was incorporated in October 1898 – the same year the first free school was built in the Indian Territory.

Today, Poteau – French for “post” – is located on the banks of the Poteau River nestled in the broad, fertile Poteau River Valley. It’s a progressive, friendly city with an eye on the future and with a historical heritage few other communities can match. Its scenic lands are almost completely surrounded by mountains. Looking eastward across the Poteau River, one can see in the distance the famous towering Sugar Loaf Mountain Peak. On the southern horizon can be seen the Winding Stair Mountain Range, the foothills of the Kiamichis where Talimena Scenic Byway is located. Immediately to the west is Cavanal Hill.

Sallisaw, Oklahoma
“A City of Character”
www.sallisawok.org
Population – 8,800
Schools – Sallisaw Public Schools, Indian Capital Technology Center, Carl Albert State College

Sallisaw has a rich and colorful history under the governments of Spain, France, the Cherokee Nation Indian Territory and now the United States. The city was established in 1886 after the Kansas and Arkansas Valley Railroad completed its tracks into the three-pioneer community. The city earned its name from the French word “salaiseau,” meaning salt provisions, because salt deposits along the area’s many streams furnished settlers with the means to preserve buffalo meat.

Today, Sallisaw is situated at the southern edge of the famed Cookson Hills and is located on two trunk line railroads. The community is surrounded by beautiful lakes, rolling green hills and lush foliage, making it a haven for outdoor sportsmen and nature lovers alike.

Van Buren, Arkansas
“Progress is Our Project”
www.vanburencity.org
Population – 18,986
Schools – City Heights Elementary, Izard Elementary, King Elementary, Parkview Elementary, Rena Elementary, Tate Elementary, Central Middle School, Northridge Middle School, Butterfield Junior High School, Coleman Junior High School, Van Buren High School

Thomas Phillips purchased the surrounding land in 1818 and named the community Phillips Landing. The city was incorporated in 1845 and was renamed Van Buren in honor of Martin Van Buren, the secretary of state for President Andrew Jackson.

Nestled in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, Van Buren is a manufacturing town with strong beliefs in family, community and volunteerism. With incredible panoramic scenes and ideal outdoor recreations, Van Buren is an exciting place where “Good Things are Happening.”

The city’s Main Street Historic District offers visitors a chance to step back in time, and strolling through Van Buren’s beautifully restored Victorian Main Street offers visitors a more gracious and elegant era.

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