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MARKER DATABASE
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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Arkansas Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database

 

on December 3, 2020

 
1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Arkansas ranks 39th among states and provinces with markers in this database. Arkansas is a state in the United States of America located in the American South. It is also in the West South Central region. Arkansas is some 53 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 3 million people. The state is divided into 75 counties and 71 of them have entries in this database. In Arkansas we have discovered historical markers in 142 cities and towns lying in 148 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 815 historical markers in Arkansas, by our count. We have cataloged 808 historical markers and 94 war memorials—each individually presented on 867 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another seven historical markers in Arkansas that we don’t yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

The first Arkansas marker in the database, Chalk Bluff in the Civil War, was added January 22, 2008. It was photographed in St. Francis in Clay County and was erected in 1973. The last one added was submitted on December 1, 2020, and titled The Heights • A History. It is in Little Rock in Pulaski County and had been erected in 2009. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Arkansas was erected in 1886. It was this one: Pea Ridge, and one of our correspondents found it near Garfield in Benton County on September 12, 2010.

Arkansas Historical Topics
340 • Civil War
124 • Settlements and Settlers
114 • Waterways and Vessels
98 • Industry and Commerce
72 • Government and Politics
65 • Patriots and Patriotism
58 • Native Americans
49 • Architecture
40 • Roads and Vehicles
39 • Notable Buildings
    ... and others ...

Arkansans don’t want to forget their Civil War history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Arkansas about the Civil War—340 of them—than about any other historical topic. It is followed by Settlements and Settlers with 124 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Civil War topic was also Chalk Bluff in the Civil War, added January 22, 2008. It had been erected in 1973 in St. Francis in Clay County. The last one submitted was submitted on November 17, 2020, and titled Yellville In The Civil War / Troops Raised In Marion County. It had been erected in 2012 in Yellville in Marion County. The earliest marker erected with the Civil War topic that we have listed was erected in 1886. It is Pea Ridge, was found near Garfield in Benton County on September 12, 2010.

What is the most interesting historical marker in Arkansas? What we know is that Miss Laura's is the most viewed entry in the database from Arkansas since it was added in 2012. It is located in Fort Smith in Sebastian County. This year so far, the most viewed Arkansan entry is also located in Fort Smith. It is Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Arkansas county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Benton County, with 110 of them. It is followed by Phillips County with 94 markers. The Bella Vista area of Benton County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 37. In Phillips County the area with the most markers, 93, is Helena.

Historical Markers in These
Arkansas Counties
110 • Benton County
94 • Phillips County
88 • Pulaski County
70 • Sebastian County
46 • Washington County
44 • Garland County
40 • Carroll County
33 • Mississippi County
23 • Arkansas County
16 • Boone County
    ... and others ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Arkansas with the most markers we again find Helena at the top of the list with 93 markers in or near it. It is followed by Fort Smith in Sebastian County with 69 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 72342 at the top of the list with 93 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 72342 is assigned to Helena AR.) It is followed by ZIP Code 72901 with 67 markers. (72901 is assigned to Fort Smith AR.)

Historical Markers Near These
Arkansas Cities and Towns
93 • Helena
69 • Fort Smith
65 • Little Rock
43 • Hot Springs
39 • Eureka Springs
37 • Bella Vista
33 • Garfield
30 • Osceola
22 • Fayetteville
21 • Prairie Grove
    ... and others ...

Getting back to Benton County, the first marker added to the database from there, War Eagle Mills, was added May 31, 2009. It was erected in 1962 in War Eagle. The last one submitted was uploaded on October 7, 2017, and is titled Frisco Depot, in Bentonville. The earliest marker erected in Benton County that we have listed was erected in 1886. It was Pea Ridge, found near Garfield on September 12, 2010.

Latest entry from Arkansas. Click to go there
By Cosmos Mariner, May 17, 2015
Latest Entry from Arkansas
“The Heights • A History”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Helena. The first: Sacred Heart Academy, was added January 23, 2012. It had been erected in 1963. The last: Pippengerville added on May 1, 2019. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1891: Patrick Ronayne Cleburne, added on August 7, 2015.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism is currently in charge of the familiar black with white or gold lettering official historical markers found all over the state. You will also find official markers erected by the Arkansas History Commission, a predecessor. We have 174 of their markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from Arkansas. Click to go there
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
An Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Arkansas have been marked with history. Check out Conway County, Bradley County and Baxter County. We've only found one historical marker in each. Visiting one or more of these parts of Arkansas might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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Dec. 3, 2020