Location in Nevada County and the state of Arkansas
|• Total||6.5 sq mi (16.9 km2)|
|• Land||6.5 sq mi (16.9 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||325 ft (99 m)|
|• Density||567.1/sq mi (218.1/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0053784|
Located 100 miles southwest of Little Rock, Prescott was constructed on the Prairie D'Ane, which consisted of approximately 25–30 square miles of rolling prairie, surrounded by forest. The area had been a well known crossroads prior to the construction of the Cairo & Fulton Railroad. To the west lies the city of Washington, to the east lies the city of Camden, while to the south lies the Red River, with Shreveport, Texarkana, and Dallas beyond.
As of 2014, Prescott and Nevada County had sixteen (16) properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Elkin's Ferry Battleground and the Prairie D'Ane Battlefield are further recognized as National Historic Landmarks.
The city of Prescott was platted in 1873, during construction of the Cairo & Fulton Railroad. The railroad was constructed paralleling the Southwest Trail through northern Nevada County. Prescott was incorporated on October 6, 1874.
The original town site consisted of 48 blocks, 24 on each side of the railroad. The streets were platted in a grid pattern from the railroad line. Streets running east-west use the railroad as a dividing line between their eastern and western halves, and streets running north-south use Main Street as a dividing line between their northern and southern halves.
Prescott grew quickly because the railroad provided a reliable way to transport local products to larger markets. The first post office opened in November 1873, and the first newspaper, 'The Banner', was established in 1875. The Nevada County seat was moved to Prescott in 1877, which contributed to the town’s commercial importance. By the late 1890s, Prescott had its own telephone system and water and light plant.
The timber industry had a large impact on the region’s early economy when in 1890, James H. Bemis & Benjamin Whitaker built the Ozan Lumber Company plant in Prescott. That same year, Dr. R. L. Powers began constructing the Prescott & Northwestern Railroad. It transported lumber, peaches, cotton and other products. It also provided passenger service, connecting adjacent communities to the Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot in Prescott.
There has been some speculation on how Prescott was named, whether it was named after William Hickling Prescott, of Salem, Massachusetts, who was a friend of Thomas Allen and Henry Marquand, (Cairo & Fulton Railroad officials) or from County Surveyor, W. H. Prescott.
Prescott is located at  on south-southwest Arkansas Prairie D'Ane, which is within Arkansas Timberlands region of the Ark-La-Tex. Prescott is situated in the Gulf Coastal Plain, near the Little Missouri River, which provides Prescott with drinking water and recreational opportunities.(33.802614, -93.381884)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.5 square miles (17 km2), of which, 6.5 square miles (17 km2) of it is land and 0.15% is water.
The climate in Prescott is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Prescott has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
|Climate data for Prescott, AR|
|Record high °F (°C)||83
|Average high °F (°C)||51
|Average low °F (°C)||30
|Record low °F (°C)||−4
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||4.24
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||2.30
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,686 people, 1,421 households, and 912 families residing in the city. The population density was 564.9 people per square mile (218.3/km2). There were 1,643 housing units at an average density of 251.8 per square mile (97.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 53.31% White, 44.49% Black or African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 1.17% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. 1.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,421 households out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 19.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 85.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $21,612, and the median income for a family was $28,665. Males had a median income of $27,384 versus $17,289 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,515. About 27.5% of families and 32.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.7% of those under age 18 and 39.6% of those age 65 or over.
Arts and culture
Beginning on the second Friday in October, the Fall Festival and Trade Days showcases games, activities and events that include a 5K Run/Walk, Arts & Crafts Booths, a BQ Cook-Off, Balloon Lift Off, Beauty Pageant, Bunco Tournament, Co-ed Softball Tournament, Dessert Contest, Dunking Booth, Face Painting, Food Vendors, a Great Pumpkin Treasure Hunt, Pet Costume Contest, Pie Eating Contest, Sidewalk Sales, and the Tyson/Calvin Brown Basketball Tournament.
Nevada County Depot & Museum - The depot building was designed by Missouri Pacific Railroad Architect, E. M. Tucker, who also designed railway stations in Little Rock and Texarkana. It was constructed in 1912 and houses permanent exhibits on the Civil War Battles, Railroads, and general history of Prescott and Nevada County. The museum also houses an area archive that is open to researchers.
Prescott's public school system was founded in 1877. Public education for elementary and secondary school students is provided by the Prescott School District, which leads to graduation from Prescott High School. As of the 2015-2016 school year, the district serves more than 1,000 students and employs more than 175 facuty and staff.
Prescott School District includes the following three school facilities:
- Prescott High School, serving students in grades 7 through 12.
- McRae Middle School, serving students in grades 5 and 6.
- Prescott Elementary School, serving students in prekindergarten through grade 4.
- Interstate 30
- U.S. Highway 67
- U.S. Highway 371
- Arkansas Highway 332
- Arkansas Highway 24
- Arkansas Highway 19
- Anita Pointer - entertainer, The Pointer Sisters.
- Charles Randolph Prim - (born 1896, Prescott) - NLB pitcher, Kansas City Monarchs.
- Christopher C. Hamby - Arkansas Senate and Lt. Governor.
- Chuck Tompkins - (born 1889, Prescott) - MLB pitcher, Cincinnati Reds.
- Dan LaFayette McDuffie - (born 1883, Prescott) - federal Prohibition agent.
- Daniel Eugene "Danny" Walters - (born 1960, Prescott) - NFL cornerback, San Diego Chargers.
- Edward A. Warren - US Representative, Circuit Court Judge.
- Floyd Robinson - (born 1936, Prescott) - MLB outfielder, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Oakland Athletics, and Boston Red Sox.
- Frederick W. Allsopp - author. Allsopp Park, in Little Rock, was named in his honor.
- Grady Gammage - (born 1892, Prescott) - Arizonan educator, president of NAU and ASU. Gammage Auditorium in Tempe, AZ was named in his honor.
- Jerry Louis Latin - (born 1953, Prescott) - NFL running back, St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Rams.
- Jessie Ward-Bennett - (born 1980, Prescott) - Miss Arkansas 2001.
- Jim Moore (baseball) - (born 1903, Prescott) - MLB pitcher, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.
- John C. Munn - (born 1906, Prescott) - Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.
- John Shackleford - NLB outfielder, Cleveland Browns, Harrisburg Giants, Chicago American Giants, and Birmingham Black Barons.
- John William Conger - first President of Ouachita Baptist College. (OBU)
- Kirby Allan (Pittman) - (born 1928, Prescott) - composer, producer and activist.
- Martin White Greeson - promoted Little Missouri River flood controls. Lake Greeson, near Murfreesboro was named in his honor.
- Mike Ross (politician) - Arkansas Senate, US Representative and Democratic nominee for Governor in 2014. (Arkansas's 4th congressional district)
- Nancy P. Johnson-Hall - (born 1904, Prescott) - appointed Secretary of State, became the first woman elected to a constitutional office in Arkansas. (State Treasurer)
- Ned Ray Purtle - (born 1936, Prescott) - Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame - 2001.
- Nelly Thornburn Deachman - (born 1895, Prescott) - artist and educator whose work is on display at Arkansas State Capitol, and Arkansas State Teachers College; (UCA)
- Oren Harris - US Representative and United States District Court judge.
- Paul Silas - (born 1943, Prescott) - NBA player and head coach.
- Ralph Downing Scott, Sr. - Arkansas State Police Director and FBI Special Agent.
- Samuel Dorris Dickenson - (born 1912, Prescott) - archaeologist, author, educator, historian, journalist and linguist.
- Spot Daniel. - (born 1920, Prescott) - Outsider Artist; oil paint.
- Thomas Chipman McRae - Arkansas Representative, Governor, US Representative, US Congress.
- Ulysses "Slow Kid" Thompson - (born 1888, Prescott) - Vaudeville entertainer and promoter.
- Walt Goldsby - MLB outfielder, St. Louis Browns, Washington Nationals, Richmond Virginians, Baltimore Orioles.
- Wynn, Wilton - (born 1920, Prescott) - author and educator, bureau chief for Associated Press, foreign correspondent for Time (magazine), head of journalism at Lehigh University, and at American University in Cairo.
Points of interest
- Carolina Methodist Church - (Private) A one-story wood frame rectangular ecclesiastical building that is an excellent example of early vernacular Greek Revival style architecture.
- De Ann Cemetery - Final resting place for early settlers of Prescott and Nevada County.
- Elkin's Ferry Battleground - National Historic Landmark of the Civil War.
- Moscow Methodist Church and Cemetery - (Private) Original area of local settlement and commerce prior to construction of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad.
- Historic Washington State Park - Located 25 miles southwest of Prescott, the park offers visitors guided tours which interpret the history of this pioneer settlement, originally located on the Southwest Trail. The park hosts Civil War reenactments, the annual Jonquil Festival, and a Christmas Festival.
- Prairie D'Ane Battlefield - National Historic Landmark of the Civil War.
- Prescott Commercial Historic District - Downtown Area of unique Architecture and Commerce.
- Prescott Raceway – Offers 1/4-mile drag racing.
- Sterling Square Park – Includes brick sidewalks with memorial pavers, benches, and a fountain. A mural illustrates historic scenes from the area.
- White Oak Lake State Park and Poison Springs Battleground State Park - Located 22 miles east of Prescott, the parks include campsites, pavilions, picnic sites, trails, playgrounds, and a visitor center with exhibits and interactive programs. The parks are an interpretation gateway to the Camden Expedition, and the Red River Campaign.
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