Bull Shoals, Arkansas

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Bull Shoals, Arkansas
Location in Marion County and the state of Arkansas
Location in Marion County and the state of Arkansas
Coordinates: 36°22′51″N 92°35′8″W / 36.38083°N 92.58556°W / 36.38083; -92.58556Coordinates: 36°22′51″N 92°35′8″W / 36.38083°N 92.58556°W / 36.38083; -92.58556
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Marion
 • Total 5.1 sq mi (13 km2)
 • Land 5 sq mi (12.9 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 801 ft (244 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,950
 • Density 392.2/sq mi (153.8/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 72619
Area code(s) 870
FIPS code 05-09790
GNIS feature ID 0076463

Bull Shoals is a city in Marion County, Arkansas, United States, founded in 1954. The population was 1,950 at the 2010 census. Primarily a retirement and vacation center, Bull Shoals is bordered in three directions by the clear, deep, man-made Bull Shoals Lake.


The town was created by real estate developers C. S. Woods and C. S. Woods Jr. and officially established in 1954. Bull Shoals Dam is the threshold into the town from the southeast.

Bull Shoals Dam and the town of Bull Shoals developed together. The developers bought several tracts of the former Newton Flat settlement when they heard the government planned to build a flood-control and power-generating concrete dam at the site. Construction of the dam took four years, between 1947 and 1951, resulting in one of the largest dams built in the nation at that time.


Bull Shoals is located at 36°22′51″N 92°35′8″W / 36.38083°N 92.58556°W / 36.38083; -92.58556 (36.380815, -92.585609).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.0 square miles (13 km2), of which, 5.0 square miles (13 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (1.00%) is water.

  • Arkansas 178.svg Highway 178 Is the only highway and only major road in and out of Bull Shoals, AR., which the highway enters just off of the Bull Shoal Dam which begins the Bull Shoals Lake from the White River near the Arkansas Missouri border.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 268
1970 430 60.4%
1980 1,312 205.1%
1990 1,534 16.9%
2000 2,000 30.4%
2010 1,950 −2.5%
Est. 2015 1,933 [2] −0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[3]
2014 Estimate[4]

As of the census[5] of 2010, there were 1,950 people, 1,014 households, and 650 families residing in the city. The population density was 403.0 people per square mile (155.7/km²). There were 1,226 housing units at an average density of 247.0 per square mile (95.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.05% White, 0.30% Black or African American, 0.45% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.10% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. 1.05% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,014 households out of which 11.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.4% were married couples living together, 5.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.96 and the average family size was 2.39.

In the city the population was spread out with 11.6% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 16.1% from 25 to 44, 30.0% from 45 to 64, and 38.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 59 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,139, and the median income for a family was $34,219. Males had a median income of $23,125 versus $16,950 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,636. About 9.1% of families and 12.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.2% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.


Bull Shoals has been honored as an Arkansas Volunteer Community of the Year for five years.

Liquidforce and Brostock 2010[6] chose Bull Shoals as the location of their professional wakeboarding tournament in July 2010 and June 2011. The lake has also hosted numerous professional Bass and Walleye fishing tournaments over the years. Additionally, the city co-hosts the annual HillBilly Chili Cookoff[7] selecting Arkansas' Best Chili to compete internationally in the International Chili Society competitions.


Bull Shoals has a mayor/council form of government with 6 council members.[8] The current Mayor of Bull Shoals is Bruce Powell, a retired Chicago police officer. Following Powell's election in 2010, a recall drive was initiated against the mayor and four members of the city council.[9] Over 400 signatures were gathered to have the then-mayor-elect recalled. The effort was stalled due to an Arkansas state law that prevents citizens from recalling elected officials until they have served at least six months in office.[10]

Incoming District 17 Arkansas State Senator Scott Flippo is a businessman in Bull Shoals but resides in his native Mountain Home.

Notable people[edit]

  • Loren P. Thompson, Minnesota state legislator and resort owner lived in Bull Shoals; Thompson also served as mayor of Bull Shoals.[11]


  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  2. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ Brostock 2010
  7. ^ http://www.hillbillychilicookoff.com
  8. ^ "Local.Arkansas.gov Bull Shoals", Local.Arkansas.gov, October 18, 2011
  9. ^ "Bull Shoals mayor, council refuse to respond to request to resign; council approves 2011 budget", KTLO.com, January 1, 2011
  10. ^ "Recall of the Bull Shoals City Council, Arkansas (2011)", Ballotpedia.org, October 18, 2011
  11. ^ Loren Thompson-obituary

External links[edit]