Prescott, Arkansas

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Prescott, Arkansas
Location in Nevada County and the state of Arkansas
Location in Nevada County and the state of Arkansas
Coordinates: 33°48′9″N 93°22′55″W / 33.80250°N 93.38194°W / 33.80250; -93.38194Coordinates: 33°48′9″N 93°22′55″W / 33.80250°N 93.38194°W / 33.80250; -93.38194
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Nevada
 • 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)
Population (2010)
 • Total 3,296
 • Density 567.1/sq mi (218.1/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 71857
Area code(s) 870
FIPS code 05-57260
GNIS feature ID 0053784

Prescott is a city and the county seat of Nevada County, Arkansas.[1] The community had a population of 3,868 at the 2000 census. Prescott is part of the Hope Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Located 100 miles southwest of Little Rock, Prescott was constructed on the Prairie D'Ane,[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] The railroad was constructed paralleling the Southwest Trail[5] 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,[6] 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 33°48′9″N 93°22′55″W / 33.80250°N 93.38194°W / 33.80250; -93.38194 (33.802614, -93.381884)[7] 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.

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 this area 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.[8]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,253
1890 1,287 2.7%
1900 2,005 55.8%
1910 2,705 34.9%
1920 2,691 −0.5%
1930 3,033 12.7%
1940 3,177 4.7%
1950 3,960 24.6%
1960 3,533 −10.8%
1970 3,921 11.0%
1980 4,103 4.6%
1990 3,673 −10.5%
2000 3,686 0.4%
2010 3,296 −10.6%
Est. 2014 3,194 [9] −3.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

As of the census[11] 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[edit]

Annual events[edit]

Beginning on the second Friday in October, the Fall Festival and Trade Days showcases games and activities for all ages.[12] Events include:

  • 5K Run/Walk
  • Arts & Crafts Booths
  • BBQ Cook-Off
  • Balloon Lift Off
  • Beauty Pageant
  • Bunco Tournament
  • Co-ed Softball Tournament
  • Dessert Contest
  • Dunking Booth
  • Face Painting
  • Food Vendors
  • Great Pumpkin Treasure Hunt
  • Pet Costume Contest
  • Pie Eating Contest
  • Sidewalk Sales
  • Tyson/Calvin Brown Basketball Tournament


Nevada County Depot & Museum - The depot building was designed by Missouri Pacific Railroad Architect, E. M. Tucker,[13] 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.


Public Schools[edit]

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 faculty 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.

Public libraries[edit]

The Nevada County Library is administered by the Southwest Arkansas Regional Library System.








Notable residents[edit]

Points of interest[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ "Prairie D'Ane Battlefield - Prescott". Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  3. ^ "Welcome to Nevada County Depot and Museum". Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  4. ^ "Cairo and Fulton Railroad - Encyclopedia of Arkansas". Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  5. ^ "Southwest Trail - Encyclopedia of Arkansas". Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  6. ^ "Welcome to Nevada County Depot and Museum". Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ "Prescott, Arkansas Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. 
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ "Fall Festival and Trade Days - Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism". 
  13. ^ Who's who in Railroading in North America (no. 8). Simmons-Boardman. 1922. p. 629. Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  14. ^ "Anita Pointer (1948–) - Encyclopedia of Arkansas". 
  15. ^ "Charles Prim Negro League Statistics & History -". 
  16. ^ "Chuck Tompkins Statistics and History -". 
  17. ^ "Danny Walters". 
  18. ^ Reichler, Joseph L., ed. (1979) [1969]. The Baseball Encyclopedia (4th ed.). New York: Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 0-02-578970-8. 
  19. ^ "Results for 'au:Allsopp, Fred W.' []". 
  20. ^ "Jerry Latin". 
  21. ^ "Congressional Record E1299 — Recognizing Miss Arkansas 2001 Jessie Ward". 
  22. ^ "Jim Moore Statistics and History -". 
  23. ^ "John William Conger (1857—1924) - Encyclopedia of Arkansas". 
  24. ^ "John Shackleford Negro League Statistics & History -". 
  25. ^ "Kirby Allan (1928 - 2011) - Find A Grave Memorial". 
  26. ^ "Results for 'au:Dickinson, Samuel Dorris.' []". 
  27. ^ "Trevor Humphry Minor League Statistics & History -". 
  28. ^ Theater Owners Booking Association
  29. ^ "Florence Mills Friends and Associates". 
  30. ^ "Walt Goldsby Statistics and History |". Retrieved 2014-11-15.