Fouke, Arkansas

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"Fouke" redirects here. For the medieval outlaw, see Fulk FitzWarin.
Fouke, Arkansas
City
Fouke, AR sign IMG 6343.jpg
Location in Miller County and the state of Arkansas
Location in Miller County and the state of Arkansas
Coordinates: 33°15′39″N 93°53′12″W / 33.26083°N 93.88667°W / 33.26083; -93.88667Coordinates: 33°15′39″N 93°53′12″W / 33.26083°N 93.88667°W / 33.26083; -93.88667
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Miller
Area
 • Total 1 sq mi (2.7 km2)
 • Land 1 sq mi (2.7 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 312 ft (95 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 859
 • Density 859/sq mi (318.1/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 71837
Area code(s) 870
FIPS code 05-24640
GNIS feature ID 0057767

Fouke /ˈfk/ is a city in Miller County, Arkansas, United States.[1] It is part of the Texarkana, Texas - Texarkana, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 859 at the 2010 census. Fouke is located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 71 and Interstate 49 in Miller County, Arkansas.[2] It is ten miles west of the Red River, eleven miles southeast of Texarkana, and seventeen miles north of Louisiana.[3] It received brief widespread attention in the early 1970s due to sightings/claims of a bigfoot-like creature known as the "Fouke Monster," as well as the subsequent fictitious docudrama movie The Legend of Boggy Creek, which played nationwide.[4]

History[edit]

The area around Fouke had long been inhabited by the Native American Caddo, prior to European colonization of the Americas. Caddo tribes and European explorers traded pelts, honey, beeswax, flour, tobacco, blankets, guns, and other items. After the Louisiana Purchase, the United States established the Sulphur Fork Factory (trading post) where the Sulphur River enters the Red River.[5] In the years following Arkansas statehood, settlers began flowing steadily into the area and the Caddo population was greatly diminished.

In 1889, Seventh Day Baptist minister, 'James Franklin Shaw' and his followers were seeking an area to establish a new colony and in 1890, they chose a site along the Texarkana, Shreveport and Natchez Railroad, where a small timber line ended at 'Fouke’s Sawmill'. The streets were named for prominent, nationally known Baptists and upon advertising the area with the offer of reasonably priced land, affordable lumber, and free railroad passage, pioneers traveled to the area from as far away as Idaho, Illinois, and West Virginia.

'George W. Fouke', a Presbyterian entrepreneur, lumberman, and railroad executive, helped them establish their colony and in 1902, he donated land for a school. The city of Fouke was named in his honor.[6]

By the early 1900s, the farming and timber industries had brought people of many Faith's to the community. A new Texas and Pacific Railroad depot was constructed in 1906, and the community was incorporated in 1911. Population growth increased during the 1920's oil boom and in 1928, construction of U.S. Route 71 in Arkansas further increased Fouke's employment opportunities.

During the Prohibition era of 1920-1936, Fouke suffered violent deaths of many men in relation to the illegal trafficking of liquor. Interstate commerce was not well coordinated during that time, which made Fouke's location attractive to those who would commit crimes and then cross the adjoining border(s).[7]

The 'Fouke State Bank' was chartered in 1914, but it went broke during the Great Depression, and job losses in the community caused many to accept work as part of Depression-era programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration. It was not until World War II that large numbers of the citizens found employment at the newly established Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant and Red River Army Depot, which were located just west of Texarkana.[8]

Since its incorporation, the City of Fouke has seen many improvements to its infrastructure. Dirt and gravel streets were paved in 1958. A new City Hall, jail, and fire station were constructed in 1962. A new 'Deep-Well' water system was completed in 1966, and the city's sewer system was completed in 1988.

In 1972, Fouke received national attention when Charles B. Pierce produced a movie called The Legend of Boggy Creek. The movie chronicled the alleged existence of a large, hairy, ape-like creature called the "Fouke Monster". A number of local citizens were cast and the movie used area wetlands, rivers, and creeks for its location.

In 2001 Fouke celebrated the grand opening of the Fouke Community Center, and the grand opening of the Miller County Historical and Family Museum was celebrated in 2003.

In 2010, Fouke citizens dedicated the Veterans Memorial Park. The memorial covers two-thirds of a city block. It is a perpetually flagged and lighted monument that contains a growing list of veterans’ names and military histories.

In 2011, local groups such as the Citizens for a Better Community raised funds to provide improvements that include 'Welcome' signs on highway 71, at the north and south ends of the city, along with various beautification and community service projects. They purchased one of Fouke’s historic homes with a plan to renovate and restore it to create an events center and community library. By that time, Fouke School District had become the city's largest employer with more than 1,000 students more than 165 employees.[9]

In 2013, Fouke began the Boggy Creek Festival to promote the local area, bring together the community, and to share information and humor about the "Fouke Monster".[10]

Geography[edit]

Fouke is located at 33°15′39″N 93°53′12″W / 33.26083°N 93.88667°W / 33.26083; -93.88667 (33.260908, -93.886629).[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2), all land.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 246
1920 319 29.7%
1930 363 13.8%
1940 368 1.4%
1950 336 −8.7%
1960 394 17.3%
1970 506 28.4%
1980 614 21.3%
1990 634 3.3%
2000 814 28.4%
2010 859 5.5%
Est. 2015 873 [12] 1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
2014 Estimate[14]

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 859 people, 291 households, and 220 families residing in the city. The population density was 777.8 inhabitants per square mile (299.3/km²). There were 336 housing units at an average density of 321.1 per square mile (123.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.45% White, 0.25% Black or African American, 2.46% Native American, 0.61% from other races, and 1.23% from two or more races. 1.72% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 291 households out of which 47.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.7% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 21.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.26.

In the city, the population was spread out with 33.8% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 16.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,192, and the median income for a family was $35,089. Males had a median income of $26,938 versus $20,375 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,075. About 18.0% of families and 17.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.4% of those under age 18 and 26.7% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

Public education for early childhood, elementary and secondary school students is primarily provided by the Fouke School District, which leads to graduation from Fouke High School.

Media[edit]

Fouke is served by media from Texarkana, and Shreveport.

Infrastructure[edit]

Highway[edit]

Notable places[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Notable people from the Fouke area include George W. Fouke; founder of Gate City Lumber Co., President of Texarkana, Shreveport & Natchez Railroad, and Fouke, Arkansas namesake.[16][17][18][19] Hardy Alton "Spider" Rowland (1907–1958); a flamboyant newspaperman.[20] Henry H. King; a soldier in the Texas Revolution at the Battle of San Jacinto, who afterwards became a member of the Confederate Secret Service.[21] Harlan Robertson; a rancher and livestock breeder of top bucking bulls for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Professional Bull Riders association.[22][23][24] Pearl Kinman; a silent screen movie star.[citation needed] Bobby Bowen;[citation needed] a Christian country singer and songwriter.

See also[edit]

  • Stephen King's book, The Stand, mentions Fouke as a city in the same general location, having a nuclear power plant; though no such facility actually exists in Fouke.
  • An article on Wikipedia provides details about the "Fouke Monster".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Local.Arkansas.gov - Fouke, retrieved February 7, 2016 
  2. ^ "Fouke, Arkansas". Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism - Arkansas.com. 
  3. ^ "Fouke (Miller County)". Frank McFerrin, Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture - EncyclopediaOfArkansas.net. 
  4. ^ "Community Caught By Surprise: Legendary Monster Becomes Money-Maker". The Victoria Advocate. August 23, 1973. p. 7C. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Sulphur Fork Factory, 1817-1822". Russell M. Magnaghi, The Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 2 (Summer, 1978), pp. 168-183. 
  6. ^ "Historical Markers of Bowie County". Sharon Pierce, June 2004 - HiddenAncestors.com (see:Rialto Building). 
  7. ^ "Fouke (Miller County)". Frank McFerrin, Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture - EncyclopediaOfArkansas.net (Early Twentieth Century through the Faubus Era). 
  8. ^ “Many Workers Come in from Fouke.” Texarkana Gazette, August 12, 1962, p. 2G.
  9. ^ "Fouke School District Faculty & Staff". Fouke School District - Fouke.SchoolFusion.US. 
  10. ^ "Boggy Creek Festival". BoggyCreekFestival.com. 
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  16. ^ "Rialto Building - Texarkana, TX". Groundspeak, Inc. - WayMarking.com. 
  17. ^ "New York Securities: A Descriptive and Statistical Manual of the Corporations of New York City and Brooklyn, and the Railroads of the United States, Part 1". J. P. Crittenden & Charles B. Helffrich, New York Securities, 1893 (p.149). 
  18. ^ "American Lumberman". American Lumberman, November 23, 1918 (p.42 & 42C). 
  19. ^ "Fouke (Miller County)". Frank McFerrin, Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture - EncyclopediaOfArkansas.net (Civil War through the Gilded Age: Second paragraph). 
  20. ^ "Hardy Alton "Spider" Rowland (1907–1958)". Ernest Dumas, Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture - EncyclopediaOfArkansas.net. 
  21. ^ "The Sons of the Republic of Texas". Turner Publishing Company, 2001. p.106. 
  22. ^ "World's Fiercest Bulls Roam Ranch In Gilmer". Maya Golden, Frankly Media and KLTV - KLTV.com. 
  23. ^ "USSTC/PRCA Bucking Stock of the Year announced". ESPN.com, October 13, 2009 (7th & 9th paragraphs). 
  24. ^ "Fouke (Miller County)". Frank McFerrin, Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture - EncyclopediaOfArkansas.net (last paragraph). 

External links[edit]

Images[edit]