Brick Capital of the World
Location of Malvern in Hot Spring County, Arkansas.
|Incorporated||July 22, 1876|
|Named for||Malvern Hill, Virginia|
|• Mayor||Brenda Weldon|
|• Council||Malvern City Council|
|• Total||9.92 sq mi (25.70 km2)|
|• Land||9.87 sq mi (25.55 km2)|
|• Water||0.06 sq mi (0.14 km2)|
|Elevation||315 ft (96 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,107.83/sq mi (427.75/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|Area code(s)||501 Exchanges: 332,337,467|
|GNIS feature ID||0077584|
|Major airport||Adams Field (LIT)|
Malvern is a city in and the county seat of Hot Spring County, Arkansas, United States. Founded as a railroad stop at the eastern edge of the Ouachita Mountains, the community's history and economy have been tied to available agricultural and mineral resources. The production of bricks from locally available clay has earned the city the nickname, "The Brick Capital of the World". The city had a population of 10,318 at the time of the 2010 census, and in 2019 the estimated population was 10,931.
Named after Malvern Hill, Virginia, Malvern was founded in 1870 by the Cairo and Fulton Railroad as a city site 21 miles (34 km) southeast of Hot Springs. On October 15, 1878, Malvern officially became the county seat of Hot Spring County. The original inhabitants of the county were Native Americans, trappers, hunters, and farmers.
The Hot Springs Railroad, often referred to as the Diamond Jo line, was established as a narrow-gauge railroad by Chicago businessman Joseph Reynolds in 1874. Reynolds began building the Hot Springs Railroad, which extends northwest from Malvern Junction, a station on the Cairo & Fulton, to Hot Springs, after he had endured unsatisfactory stagecoach rides to the latter city. Because Malvern was the closest railroad station to Hot Springs, it became an important junction point for passengers transferring from rail to stagecoach to complete their journey to the spas in Hot Springs. This was the only railroad into Hot Springs for 15 years. The opening of the Little Rock & Hot Springs Western Railroad in April 1900 provided a more direct access to Hot Springs from Little Rock and the north, and both the Choctaw, Oklahoma & Gulf and the Iron Mountain took advantage of this route, effectively cutting the volume of interchange traffic into Malvern. By 1902 passenger train shuttle service through Malvern had essentially ended.
The Malvern Police Department lost Carson Smith, the deputy, and three officers in the line of duty, all shot to death during the 1930s. They were Clyde Davis, Leslie Lee Potts, and Hiram Potts. Davis and Leslie Lee Potts were both shot during a domestic dispute on April 21, 1933, a shootout in which they killed the suspect. Hiram Potts, who was related to Leslie Lee Potts, was shot and killed during his March 4, 1935, attempt to arrest two men who were boarding a train illegally.
During World War II, hundreds of Malvernites moved to the Los Angeles area to take advantage of work in the shipyards—apparently spurred by a couple of residents who found work there and wrote home boasting of 88-cent/hour jobs, which was a decent wage for the time.
In 1954, the Black population of Sheridan was moved to Malvern as a way to make Sheridan an all-white, or sundown town. The owner of Sheridan's sawmill, Jack Williams, told his Black employees that they could accept his offer to give them their homes and be moved to Malvern, or that he "would evict them and burn down their home."
Interstate 30 passes through the northwest part of Malvern, with access from Exits 97, 98, and 99. I-30 leads northeast 44 miles (71 km) to Little Rock, the state capital, and southwest 100 miles (160 km) to Texarkana. U.S. Route 67 (Page Avenue) runs through the center of Malvern, leading northeast 22 miles (35 km) to Benton and southwest 25 miles (40 km) to Arkadelphia. U.S. Route 270 passes northeast of Malvern on a bypass, leading east 24 miles (39 km) to Sheridan and northwest 20 miles (32 km) to Hot Springs. Arkansas Highway 9 (Main Street) leads south from the center of Malvern 64 miles (103 km) to Camden.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Malvern has a total area of 8.7 square miles (22.6 km2), of which 8.6 square miles (22.4 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.79%, are water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Malvern has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,021 people, 3,769 households, and 2,431 families residing in the city, and its population density was 1,227.1 people per square mile (473.9/km2). There were 4,193 housing units at an average density of 570.4 per square mile (220.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 68.16% White, 28.66% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 1.94% from two or more races. 1.26% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
The city had 3,769 households, out of which 29.0% contained children under the age of 18, 44.1% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.93. Additionally, 25.0% of the city's population were under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 20.0% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years; for every 100 females there were 85.0 males and for every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,007, and the median income for a family was $34,563. Males had a median income of $27,232 versus $18,929 for females and the per capita income for the city was $14,848. About 15.7% of families and 20.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.6% of those under age 18, and 18.4% of those age 65 or over.
The city is home to three Acme Brick plants and several other manufacturing companies, including Weyerhaeuser, Borden Chemical, Adams Face Veneer Company, and Pactiv. It is also the home of Grapette International, the manufacturer of Grapette soda. Malvern is the location of the Ouachita River Unit, a medium security prison.
Arts and culture
Annual cultural events
Every year on the last weekend of June, Malvern City Park hosts Brickfest, an event that fills the city with music, food and activities that include a brick toss, brick car derby, and a best-dressed brick contest. Malvern also hosts the Hot Spring County Fair and Rodeo each fall.
History in Malvern can be found throughout the central city, including ten National Register of Historic Places listings. Located at 210 Locust Street in downtown Malvern, the art deco Hot Spring County Courthouse has been the center of county government since its construction in 1936. Also located downtown is the Bank of Malvern building, historically notable both for its distinct variation of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture and its importance in transitioning Malvern from an agricultural-based economy to one based on industry. The Hot Spring County Museum is located in the Boyle House at 302 East Third Street in Malvern.
Malvern hosts one of two whitewater parks in the state of Arkansas, located on the Ouachita River. (The other park is in Siloam Springs.) Used for training Olympic kayakers and river rescue teams, the river-wide ledge runs year-round, and is dam-released. A zip line and nature hike are available along Ouachita Bend.
Ełementary and secondary education
Public education for early childhood, elementary and secondary school students is provided by:
- Malvern School District, which leads to graduation from Malvern High School
- Magnet Cove School District, which leads to graduation from Magnet Cove High School
- Glen Rose School District, which leads to graduation from Glen Rose High School
The city's newspaper is the Malvern Daily Record, established in 1916. It publishes an afternoon edition Tuesday through Friday with a Saturday morning "Weekend Edition" The city also has two radio stations, KLBL (101.5), a Classic Country format, and KZYP AM-1310, a sports station.
Malvern is connected on road by Interstate 30, U.S. Route 270, and U.S. Route 67. Amtrak's Texas Eagle provides daily passenger train service to Malvern on a route extending from Chicago to Dallas and Los Angeles, and railroad freight service to Malvern is provided by the Union Pacific Railroad and the Arkansas Midland Railroad, the latter operating over the route of the original Hot Springs Railroad. The Malvern Municipal Airport (FAA Identifier: M78) serves the Malvern area.
- Hollywood Actress Julie Adams, 1926-2019 Born as Betty May Adams was buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Malvern.
- Homer Martin Adkins, governor of Arkansas from 1941 to 1945, died in Malvern in 1964
- Fran Bennett, actress, born in Malvern
- Frank Bonner, born in Little Rock and raised in Malvern, an actor and director best known for playing Herb Tarlek on the classic 1970s and 1980s sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati
- Bob Burrow, retired basketball player
- Beth Clayton, award-winning operatic mezzo-soprano
- Isaac Davis, former National Football League (NFL) player and member of Super Bowl XXIX runners-up team San Diego Chargers
- Susan Dunn, Grammy Award-winning operatic soprano
- Blaze Foley , country music singer-songwriter was born in Malvern
- David Delano Glover, Malvern lawyer and U.S. representative from Arkansas' former 6th congressional district, 1929 to 1935
- Claris G. "Crip" Hall, the longest-serving Arkansas Secretary of State, elected to 13 terms, 1937-1961. In 1938, he founded the tradition of lighting of the State Capitol at Christmas.
- Madre Hill, 1995 SEC rushing champion, former NFL player, and member of Super Bowl XXXVII runner-up team Oakland Raiders
- Fred Jones, National Basketball Association (NBA) player, 2004 NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner, and former guard-forward for the New York Knicks
- Tommy McCraw, former MLB player and hitting coach
- Tony Ollison, former defensive tackle for the Arkansas Razorbacks, former strength and conditioning coach for the Dallas Cowboys, and currently a member of the Dallas Desperados of the Arena Football League
- Frank Page, radio broadcaster at KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana, who in 1954 introduced Elvis Presley to his first national radio audience; born in Malvern in 1925
- Gerald Skinner, former National Football League player
- Billy Bob Thornton, motion picture actor, Academy Award-winning writer, and director
- Keith Traylor, NFL player and member of Super Bowl champions Denver Broncos (in 1997 and 1998) and the New England Patriots in 2004
- Jerry Van Dyke, actor and comedian, resided on his ranch near Malvern.
- Frederick Yates, Michigan state legislator and lawyer, born in Malvern
- List of cities and towns in Arkansas
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Hot Spring County, Arkansas
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- Schultz, Marvin (October 17, 2012). "Malvern (Hot Spring County)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 197.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2007-07-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Carl Abbott, The Metropolitan Frontier: Cities in the Modern American West (Tucson, University of Arizona Press, 1993), 17.
- Loewen, James (2005). Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism. New York: The New Press. p. 129. ISBN 978-1-62097-454-4.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Malvern city, Arkansas". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved April 20, 2017.[dead link]
- Climate Summary for Malvern, Arkansas
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Schultz, Marvin (August 4, 2009). "Malvern Brickfest". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
- Barry, Helen and Arkansas Historical Preservation Program (November 7, 1996). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Hot Spring County Courthouse" (PDF). Retrieved May 2, 2014.
- "Hot Spring County Museum/The Boyle House". Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
- "Collection: C.G. "Crip" Hall Materials | ArchivesSpace at the University of Arkansas". uark.as.atlas-sys.com. Retrieved 2020-12-04.
- "Frederick Yates". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
- Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Pulaski, Jefferson, Lonoke, Faulkner, Grant, Saline, Perry, Garland and Hot Spring Counties, Arkansas. Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis: Goodspeed Publishing Co. 1889.
- Moneyhon, Carl H. (1997). West, Elliott (ed.). Arkansas and the New South 1874-1929. Histories of Arkansas. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press. ISBN 1-55728-490-3.
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