Greenwood, Arkansas

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Greenwood
City
Greenwood, Arkansas
Motto: "A great place to live, work and shop"[1]
Location in Sebastian County and the state of Arkansas
Location in Sebastian County and the state of Arkansas
Coordinates: 35°12′56″N 94°15′12″W / 35.21556°N 94.25333°W / 35.21556; -94.25333Coordinates: 35°12′56″N 94°15′12″W / 35.21556°N 94.25333°W / 35.21556; -94.25333
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Sebastian
Named for Alfred B. Greenwood
Area
 • Total 9.3 sq mi (24.1 km2)
 • Land 9.2 sq mi (23.8 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation 525 ft (160 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 8,952
 • Estimate (2013)[3] 9,302
 • Density 764.7/sq mi (295.1/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 72936
Area code(s) 479
FIPS code 05-28780
GNIS feature ID 0057848
Website City of Greenwood

Greenwood is a city in and one of the two county seats of Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States, perhaps best known locally for its Arkansas high school football. It is the fifth largest municipality in the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area with a population of 8,952 according to the 2010 US Census.[4]

History[edit]

Greenwood was founded in 1851 when its location was selected for the first county seat of Sebastian County. The town was named for Judge Alfred Burton Greenwood. Judge Greenwood had been elected the previous year to serve as Circuit Judge over ten Northwest Arkansas counties. The first court house was a log structure, replaced in 1865 by a frame court house which was built in the center of the public square. This courthouse later burned and in 1916 the courthouse was relocated south of the square. Since that time the square has become a city park and the site of many festivals, city picnics and celebrations.

The growth of Greenwood was comparatively slow, but by the breaking out of the Civil War it had attained some importance as a business center and by 1889 its business directory listed General Merchandise, Drugs, Groceries, Cotton Gin, Grist and Saw Mill, 3 Hotels, 3 Blacksmith and wood shops, 3 physicians, 1 dentist and 7 attorneys.

Greenwood has withstood many economic changes and setbacks but perhaps its strongest test came when a devastating Tornado swept through the community in April 1968. There were 13 lives lost and countless businesses and homes destroyed. From that experience seemed to come a strength and determination to rebuild one of the finest communities in the state.

One of the town's most famous sites is a park located in the center of town. Known as "Town Square", the area stands as a reminder of the past and a center for town activities.

The clock and bell tower that stands in the middle of town square was designed and built in 1976 in recognition of our Nation's 200th birthday. The bell tower houses the clock and bell that was once in the courthouse that was destroyed by the tornado. The clock and bell were used in the bell tower to recognize and remember the 13 who died during the tornado.

The square was the site for the Sebastian County Court House until 1916 when a new one was built across the street on the south side. The Greenwood Chamber of Commerce annual Freedomfest on July 4 takes place in the park as well as many other community gatherings.

You can find more information about Greenwood's History in "History of Arkansas Illustrated 1889" published by Goodspeed, "Greenwood 100/110 Years a County Seat" written by Means Wilkinson or the "Key Magazine" published annually by The South Sebastian County Historical Society.

,[5] and was incorporated in 1884.[6]

Places to visit[edit]

The Historic City Square in downtown Greenwood, now known as Greenwood Veterans' Memorial Square, holds a memorial that honors the sacrifices of the uniformed service men and women. As a part of the Veterans' Memorial Square, there's a circle of stepping stones called the "Patriot's Walk." Each stepping stone bears the name of a veteran on whose behalf families have contributed. The "Patriot's Walk" surrounds the city clock tower. The clock tower, erected in 1976, stands in the center of the memorial.

Greenwood Veterans Memorial Square has become the recognized symbol of Greenwood. This small park area was once the site of the Sebastian County House, and the center of all business activity. When a new court house was built, the community turned the area into a green space. The Memorial has become the sight for community-wide activities such as the annual Freedom Fest celebration and Christmas parade.

Greenwood's walking trail system weaves through the city and up to beautiful scenic views along the Promenade at Bell Park. There you can see the transition landscape from the Ozark Mountains to the River valley to the Ouachita Mountains. It also offers a bird's-eye view of the town and valley surrounding Greenwood.

Bell Park is also equipped with play grounds, tennis courts, 18-hole Disc Golf course, and picnic areas. The Senator Ed Wilkinson Community Pavilion at Bell Park is available to anyone wishing to use it for weddings, reunions, banquets, meetings, etc.

Greenwood's natural surroundings offer options for camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, or hunting. Two national forests and five major state parks can be found within one hour's driving distance of Greenwood.

Vache Grass County Club and Recreation area features an 18-hole golf course, club house and swimming pool. Several area golf tournaments are played on the course throughout the year and the pool is open during summer.

Geography[edit]

Greenwood is located at 35°12′56″N 94°15′12″W / 35.21556°N 94.25333°W / 35.21556; -94.25333 (35.215534, -94.253351).[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.3 square miles (24 km2), of which, 9.2 square miles (24 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (1.39%) is water.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 204
1890 587 187.7%
1900 491 −16.4%
1910 1,124 128.9%
1920 1,374 22.2%
1930 591 −57.0%
1940 1,219 106.3%
1950 1,634 34.0%
1960 1,558 −4.7%
1970 2,032 30.4%
1980 3,317 63.2%
1990 3,984 20.1%
2000 7,112 78.5%
2010 8,952 25.9%
Est. 2013 9,302 [3] 3.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 7,112 people, 2,508 households, and 2,008 families residing in the city. The population density was 774.1 people per square mile (298.8/km²). There were 2,654 housing units at an average density of 288.9 per square mile (111.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.13% White, 0.24% Black or African American, 1.53% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.18% from other races, and 1.48% from two or more races. 1.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,508 households out of which 49.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.7% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.9% were non-families. 17.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the city the population was spread out with 31.7% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 16.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,230, and the median income for a family was $41,278. Males had a median income of $31,649 versus $21,564 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,254. About 5.1% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.3% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.

Government[edit]

The City of Greenwood is governed by a Mayor-Council form of government. With the recent resignation of Mayor Dale Gabbard, there will be a new called election for mayor. Doug Kinslow is now the current mayor. There currently are six elected alderman who make up the Greenwood City Council, this is the legislative and policy-making body for the City. The city clerk, Sharla Derry and the City Attorney, Mike Hamby also sit with the council during city business.

Historic Greenwood[edit]

Coal Miners Memorial- Dedicated October 21, 2000, the Miner's Memorial consists of a six foot bronze statue of a coal miner, an authentic coal car and two granite walls displaying the names of thousands of Sebastian County miners. The Memorial is located Southeast of the Greenwood Townsquare on property donated by First National Bank and the Dr. James Burgess family. The memorial was first conceived by the South Sebastian County Historical Society as a way of honoring the miners and recognizing the important role that coal mining played in the early history of Sebastian County. The Sebastian County Jail, located South of the Square in Greenwood, was built in 1892. It is one of the oldest buildings in downtown and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Buildings and Places.

Old Jail Museum- The stone for the building was quarried southwest of Greenwood, near old Highway 71, on Backbone Mountain. Holes were drilled in the stone on the mountain and left over the winter. As water filled the holes and froze, the pressure of the ice split the stone into manageable size. The stone was then transported to the building site by horse and wagon by Isaac Kunkel, stonemason, his son, Henry Oliver Kunkel, and his son-in-law, George Williamson. The men shaped the stone into building blocks and erected a four cell two story jail. The exterior and interior stone walls are two feet thick. Each cell in the jail had one entry. Four heavy iron doors were installed, one to each cell, from the outside. Inside of these doors another iron grid door was installed with a small pass-through opening it. Originally there was no access from cell to cell inside the building. The four outside doors are operational and can be used today. The original key to the outside doors continues to work in the lock although it is no longer used. The key is on display in the jail. The majority of the inmates were incarcerated for minor crimes such as rowdy behavior, drunkenness and theft. However several murderers were also housed in the jail. On occasion, when the mental hospital was full, the jail also housed mental patients. Visitors to the jail building who look carefully at the floors and walls will find messages scratched into the stone and cement by the inmates. At least two escapes from the jail are known to have happened. On escape was through the roof. Another time the prisoner made his escape and ran to his Jailer's home. He told the Jailer, "I just can't stand the snakes any more." The building stood empty and idle for many years except when the city night watchman put some local resident in the jail overnight. In 1966, the jail building began to be used as a museum and repository for Sebastian County history.

Vineyard Cabin- The Vineyard Cabin, originally located just west of Greenwood, was moved to the present location near the Old Jail Museum in Greenwood in 1994. Restoration of the cabin was completed in 1996. The cabin was a gift to the Sebastian County Historical Society from Suzanne Francis and Sandra Blackstock, granddaughters of former owners William and Mattie Vineyard. The circa 1848 cabin was built by a bachelor school teacher, William Blaylock. Mr. Blaylock first built a one room cabin with a stone fireplace where he lived and taught school until his marriage in 1850. At that time, he added another similar room with a stone fireplace and connected the two rooms with a breezeway or dogtrot running the depth of the cabin.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Greenwood, Arkansas publisher= Greenwood, Arkansas". Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-12-02. 
  3. ^ a b "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-12-02. 
  4. ^ "2010 US Census Report Greenwood, AR". zip-codes.com. Retrieved Nov 10, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Profile for Greenwood, Arkansas, AR". ePodunk. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Greenwood, Arkansas". City-data.com. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ "Arkansas Governor William Meade Fishback". National Governors Association. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Bruce Holland's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 

External links[edit]