Arkadelphia, Arkansas

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Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Streetside in Arkadelphia
Streetside in Arkadelphia
Location in Clark County and the state of Arkansas
Location in Clark County and the state of 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
 • Type City manager
 • Total 7.3 sq mi (18.9 km2)
 • Land 7.3 sq mi (18.8 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 246 ft (75 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 10,714
 • Density 1,476/sq mi (569.9/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. As of the 2010 census the population was 10,714.[1] The city is the county seat of Clark County.[2] It 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 it was formed by combining Ark- from the state's name Arkansas and adelphia from the Greek meaning "brother/place".[3]

Another explanation of the name is a combination of "adelphia" for place and "arc."[citation needed] Arkadelphia was once known as the "City of Rainbows," perhaps because the humid climate often resulted in rain.[citation needed]


Arkadelphia is located in northeastern Clark County at 34°7′19″N 93°3′58″W / 34.12194°N 93.06611°W / 34.12194; -93.06611 (34.121920, -93.066178),[4] on the west bank of the Ouachita River. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.3 square miles (18.9 km2), of which 7.3 square miles (18.8 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.49%, is water.[1]


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.[5]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 248
1860 905 264.9%
1870 948 4.8%
1880 1,506 58.9%
1890 2,455 63.0%
1900 2,739 11.6%
1910 2,745 0.2%
1920 3,311 20.6%
1930 3,380 2.1%
1940 5,078 50.2%
1950 6,819 34.3%
1960 8,069 18.3%
1970 9,841 22.0%
1980 10,005 1.7%
1990 10,014 0.1%
2000 10,912 9.0%
2010 10,714 −1.8%
Est. 2014 10,649 −0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
2014 Estimate[7]

As of the census[8] 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. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.59% of the population.

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. About 19.8% of families and 23.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.8% of those under the age of 18 and 15.9% of those 65 and older.

Water tower in Arkadelphia


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]

Jones Performing Arts Center on OBU's campus

Opened in 2011, the 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.[9] 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.


Captain Henderson House

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 a historic bed and breakfast owned and operated by Henderson State University and originally inhabited by the university's namesake.[10]

Downtown Arkadelphia includes 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.[10]

Other family attractions include the Diamond Lakes Regional Visitors Center on Highway 7 near I-30,[11] and the Reynolds Science Center Planetarium, open to the public during the academic year, is located on the Henderson State University campus.[12]

Parks and recreation[edit]

The Arkadelphia Parks and Recreation Department operates numerous facilities and manages their activities for the community.[13] Within Feaster Park, the department operates Arkadelphia Aquatic Park, which features water slides, swimming, and diving areas. The park includes a Recreation Center that has an indoor basketball/volleyball court, a weight lifting area and an elevated walking track. In 2013, they completed construction of the DeSoto Bluff Trail, which overlooks the Ouachita River.[14]

DeGray Lake Resort State Park surrounds 13,800-acre (5,600 ha) DeGray Lake, which is located 8 miles northwest of Arkadelphia, on Arkansas Scenic Byway 7. The State Park has facilities for camping, fishing, water sports, golf, hiking, and biking. The Iron Mountain Bike Trail is a winding path inside the park that runs for approximately 26 miles (42 km).[15]

The Caddo and Ouachita rivers merge just outside the northern city limits. Canoe and tube rentals are available in nearby Caddo Valley, Arkansas.

The Ouachita National Forest and Hot Springs National Park are located on the Scenic Byway, approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of Arkadelphia. Lake Ouachita has over 690 miles (1,110 km) of shoreline and over 40,000 acres (16,000 ha) of water. The lake is completely surrounded by the National Forest. The tourist destination of Hot Springs is located adjacent to the National Park. Bathhouse Row, Oaklawn Park Race Track and Casino, and Magic Springs are a few of the attractions located there.


Arkadelphia City Hall

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. In September 2015, voters in the Arkadelphia School District passed a millage increase[16] earmarked for new elementary and middle schools.[17]

Donnie Whitten is superintendent of schools.[18]



Arkadelphia has access to Interstate 30, a primary east-west Interstate highway running northeast 68 miles (109 km) to Little Rock and 77 miles (124 km) southwest to Texarkana, with Dallas beyond. US Route 67 runs parallel to I-30 and connects Arkadelphia to Malvern 25 miles (40 km) to the northeast and Gurdon 15 miles (24 km) to the southwest. US 67 is partially concurrent with Arkansas Highway 7. Highway 8 and Highway 51 serve as main east-west highways across Arkadelphia.[19]

Passenger rail service through Arkadelphia is provided by Amtrak's Texas Eagle route, which stops in the city.[20]

Dexter B. Florence Memorial Field (KADF) in southeastern Arkadelphia can serve small business jets as well as double- and single-engine aircraft. It serves almost exclusively general aviation operations. Since 1988, the Arkadelphia Municipal Airport Advisory Committee has advised the city government concerning the airport's operation.[21] Henderson State University, which offers a four-year bachelor of science degree in aviation, is responsible for the airport's fixed base operation.[22]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Arkadelphia city, Arkansas". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved June 16, 2014. 
  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. ^ Climate Summary for Arkadelphia, Arkansas
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-09-25. 
  9. ^ "Grand Opening, Arkadelphia Arts Center". October 11, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  11. ^ "Diamond Lakes Regional Visitors Center". Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance - 
  12. ^ "Reynolds Science Center Planetarium". Henderson State University - 
  13. ^ "Parks And Recreation". Municipal Government of Arkadelphia, Arkansas. 
  14. ^ Bryan, Wayne (June 20, 2013). "Arkadelphia’s DeSoto Bluff now more accessible". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Three Rivers Edition). 
  15. ^ "Iron Moutain Mountain Bike Trail". Arkansas Cycling & Fitness - 
  16. ^ Leigh, James (September 15, 2015). "Public approves millage increase for Arkadelphia Public Schools". The Daily Siftings Herald. 
  17. ^ Wright, Drew (June 17, 2015). "Arkadelphia Board of Education discusses millage increase". The Daily Siftings Herald. 
  18. ^ "Arkadelphia Public Schools". Arkadelphia School District. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  19. ^ General Highway Map, Arkadelphia, Clark County, Arkansas (PDF) (Map). Cartography by Planning and Research Division. Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. April 2006. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  20. ^ Amtrak - Texas Eagle, Amtrak, retrieved 2014-09-25 
  21. ^ "Municipal Airport Advisory Committee". Municipal Government of Arkadelphia, Arkansas. City of Arkadelphia. 
  22. ^ "Aviation". Henderson State University. Henderson State University. 
  23. ^ Harley Bozeman obituary, Winn Parish Enterprise-News-American, Winnfield, Louisiana, May 20, 1971
  24. ^ "Biography of the Honorable Johnny Key, Arkansas State Senator" (PDF). Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Dr. Rod Martin to Speak at 2015 Commencement". Hannibal LaGrange University. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 

External links[edit]