Arkadelphia, Arkansas

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An Arkadelphia watertower seen from Interstate 30
An Arkadelphia watertower seen from Interstate 30
Arkadelphia is located in Arkansas
Location in Arkansas.
Coordinates: 34°7′19″N 93°3′58″W / 34.12194°N 93.06611°W / 34.12194; -93.06611Coordinates: 34°7′19″N 93°3′58″W / 34.12194°N 93.06611°W / 34.12194; -93.06611
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Clark
 • Total 7.3 sq mi (19.1 km2)
 • Land 7.3 sq mi (19 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 246 ft (75 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 10,714
 • Density 1,494.8/sq mi (571.3/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 71923, 71998, 71999
Area code(s) 870
FIPS code 05-01870
GNIS feature ID 0076188

Arkadelphia is a city in Clark County, Arkansas, United States. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 10,548.[1] The city is the county seat of Clark County.[2] The city is situated at the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. Two universities, Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University, are located there. Arkadelphia was incorporated in 1857.


The site was settled in about 1809 by John Hemphill, operator of a nearby salt works, Arkansas's first industry. It was known as Blakelytown until 1839, when the settlement adopted the name Arkadelphia. Origin of the name "Arkadelphia" is uncertain.

One possibility is that the name Arkadelphia was formed by combining Ark- from the state's name Arkansas and adelphia from the Greek meaning brother/place.[3]

Another possibility is that the city was named after Arkadelphia, Alabama, a small community just north of Birmingham. Many early settlers of the area arrived from that state, and it was a common practice at the time to name newly founded communities after ones that the settlers had left behind.


Arkadelphia is located at 34°7′19″N 93°3′58″W / 34.12194°N 93.06611°W / 34.12194; -93.06611 (34.121920, -93.066178).[4] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.4 square miles (19.2 km2), of which 7.3 square miles (18.9 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2) is water. The total area is 0.41% water.


As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 10,912 people, 3,865 households, and 2,187 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,486.2 people per square mile (574.0/km²). There were 4,216 housing units at an average density of 574.2 per square mile (221.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.98% White, 26.51% Black or African American, 0.53% Native American, 1.29% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.35% from other races, and 1.28% from two or more races. 2.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,865 households out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.4% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city the population was spread out with 18.1% under the age of 18, 32.9% from 18 to 24, 20.4% from 25 to 44, 14.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 85.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,651, and the median income for a family was $42,479. Males had a median income of $30,152 versus $19,459 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,268. 23.2% of the population and 19.8% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 25.8% of those under the age of 18 and 15.9% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


Arkadelphia's economy is held together by two main industries, education and manufacturing. Ouachita Baptist University, Henderson State University and Arkadelphia School District employ many people in the education sector. The manufacturing sector consists of Alumacraft Boat Co., Danfoss Scroll Technologies LLC, Georgia Pacific and Siplast. The economy includes small-scale businesses, including fast-food restaurants.

The city is served by a daily newspaper, The Daily Siftings Herald.

Arts and culture[edit]

Opened in 2011, Arkadelphia Arts Center hosts exhibits, productions and educational workshops for many organizations in town, including the Caddo River Art Guild, the Poet and Writer's Guild, the Little Theatre, the two universities, and Arkadelphia Public Schools.[6] Henderson State University holds plays and musical performances in Arkansas Hall located on campus. Ouachita Baptist University displays student art and sculpture in the Hammons Gallery. OBU performing arts take place in the OBU Jones Performing Arts Center on Ouachita Street.


The Clark County Historical Museum contains artifacts from prehistoric times through today in an attempt to document the history of the county. Based in the former Amtrak station, a historic tour through Arkadelphia, including the historic James E. M. Barkman House. The Captain Henderson House is historic bed and breakfast owned and operated by Henderson State University originally inhabited by the university's namesake.[7]

Downtown Arkadelphia includes shopping within the Arkadelphia Commercial Historic District, the Arkadelphia Confederate Monument, Clark County Courthouse, and the Clark County Library, all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[7]

Family attractions around Arkadelphia include the Arkadelphia Aquatic Park, which features water slides, diving, and swimming areas located in Feaster Park, and Diamond Lakes Regional Visitors Center off on Highway 7 near I-30. The Reynolds Science Center Planetarium, open to the public during the academic year, is located on the Henderson State University campus.


In 2010, a Little League baseball team from Arkadelphia won the 11-12 year old Arkansas state championship.

Parks and recreation[edit]

Hiking through the Ouachita National Forest is a popular pastime around Arkadelphia.[citation needed] DeGray Lake Resort State Park has camping, water sports, golf and hiking. Fishing is also popular.[citation needed] The Iron Mountain Mountain Bike Trail System, approximately 26 miles (42 km) is a winding path that includes a rock garden near the parking area. Canoe and tube rentals along the Caddo River are also available.


The City of Arkadelphia operates under the city manager form of government. There is a seven-member city council known as the board of directors that appoint the city manager. Five members of the board are elected via ward. Two members are elected at large, one of which is the Mayor position.


Arkadelphia School District operates five public schools: Central Primary School, Louisa E. Perritt Primary School, Peake Elementary School, Goza Middle School and Arkadelphia High School. For the 2011 to 2012 school year, there were approximately 2,125 students enrolled.

Donnie Whitten is superintendent of schools.[8]



Arkadelphia has access to Interstate 30, a primary east-west Interstate highway running to Little Rock to the east and Texarkana and Dallas to the west. The primary north-south highway is US Route 67 (US 67), which connects Arkadelphia to Malvern and Hope, Arkansas. US 67 is partially concurrent with Highway 7. Highway 8 and Highway 51 serve as main east-west highways across Arkadelphia.[9]

Arkadelphia is also served by Amtrak, which stops in the city.

Dexter B. Florence Memorial Field in southeastern Arkadelphia can serve small business jets as well as double- and single-engine aircraft. It serves almost exclusively general aviation operations.

Notable people[edit]


The climate is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Arkadelphia has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[12]


  1. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Arkansas" (CSV). 2005 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 21, 2006. Archived from the original on 15 October 2006. Retrieved November 15, 2006. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Arkadelphia (Arkansas, United States) - Encyclopedia Britannica". Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Grand Opening, Arkadelphia Arts Center". October 11, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  8. ^ "Arkadelphia Public Schools". Arkadelphia School District. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  9. ^ Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (April 2006). General Highway Map, Arkadelphia, Clark County, Arkansas (Map). Cartography by Planning and Research Division. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
  10. ^ Harley Bozeman obituary, Winn Parish Enterprise-News-American, Winnfield, Louisiana, May 20, 1971
  11. ^ "Biography of the Honorable Johnny Key, Arkansas State Senator". Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  12. ^ Climate Summary for Arkadelphia, Arkansas

External links[edit]