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Sulphur Springs, Benton County, Arkansas

Coordinates: 36°29′01″N 94°27′33″W / 36.48361°N 94.45917°W / 36.48361; -94.45917
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Sulphur Springs, Arkansas
Location of Sulphur Springs in Benton County, Arkansas.
Location of Sulphur Springs in Benton County, Arkansas.
Coordinates: 36°29′01″N 94°27′33″W / 36.48361°N 94.45917°W / 36.48361; -94.45917
CountryUnited States
 • Total1.01 sq mi (2.63 km2)
 • Land1.01 sq mi (2.62 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
Elevation909 ft (277 m)
 • Total481
 • Density475.77/sq mi (183.78/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code479
FIPS code05-67760
GNIS feature ID2405541[2]

Sulphur Springs is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 481 at the 2020 census.[3] It is part of the Northwest Arkansas region.


Sulphur Springs got its start in 1885 as a mineral spa resort.[4]


Sulphur Springs is located in northwest Benton County. The city center is about one mile south of the Missouri-Arkansas state line. Arkansas Highway 59 runs through the city, leading north to Noel, Missouri, and south to Gravette.[5] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2), all land.[3]

Sulphur Springs is in the Springfield Plateau subregion of the Ozarks. It has porous rocks through which rain easily can pass underground to the aquifers. When water in aquifers flow down a hillside, or are pushed up to the surface, this causes a spring. The springs in Sulphur Springs are exceptionally rich in several minerals, and historically the springs were labeled to indicate the purported mineral found in each:[6][7]

  • Black sulphur: Water with hydrogen sulfide that has come into contact with a metal such as iron, which then corrodes to create ferrous sulfide
  • Chalybeate: High in iron salts, especially ferrous bicarbonate
  • Lithium salts: A rare mineral water
  • Magnesia: High in magnesium, often magnesium carbonate
  • Nitre: High in potassium nitrate, also known as saltpeter
  • Potash sulphur: Containing potassium and sulfur
  • White sulphur: Containing a high concentration of sulfur compounds, especially hydrogen sulfide gas and sulfates. "White" meant colorless.

Ozark Colony[edit]

Ozark Colony was originally a nearby community, but now is a Sulphur Springs neighborhood. In 1921, Walter R. Eaton, a retired oilman, established the colony with $25,000 capital[8] (equivalent to about $436,200 in 2024) as an intellectual and artistic recreation-based cooperative: people would buy a plot of land and agree to work in community-held ventures with the proceeds going toward their vacation expenses in the colony. People worked in the 100-acre (40.4 ha) vineyard that was owned collectively under the name Ozark Colony Grape Club, and processed the grapes into juice and marmalade to sell.[9] They also made hickory furniture and had a poultry club.[10] Eaton, as president of the Ozark League Commission, also collaborated with neighboring tourist towns such as Eureka Springs to promote and market the home products and handicrafts made at the colony.[11]

Artist Jim Sease carving totem pole for Ozark Colony

The colony had more than 40 cottages, a Grecian theater with classical recitals and costumed performers,[12][13] a lodge with a dance floor and disco ball,[14] manmade lakes stocked with trout for fishing, tennis courts, and a swimming pool.[15][16] Seasonally, they had artist exhibits, art classes with visiting directors from the Kansas City Art Institute,[17] music classes, and plays.[10]

Artist, cabinet-maker, and resident Jim Sease made a totem pole[18] (which were fashionable in tourist and resort areas at the time), telling the community's history, from a generalized nod to native Americans, to the four springs for which Sulphur Springs is named, then the railroad and airplanes, and a modern city with resort hotels and John Brown University.[19][note 1]

Painter John Eliot Jenkins kept a studio in the colony. His paintings are now in state capitols and libraries in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia,[20] and his Snow in the Ozarks (1925) oil on canvas painting is part of the Foundation Collection at the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts in Little Rock, Arkansas.[21]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[22]

At the 2020 census,[23] 481 people lived in Sulphur Springs. There were 193 households. The median age was 34.5 years old.

Income and poverty: Median income was $36.691; 17.2% experiencing poverty.

Education: 47% high school or equivalent degree; 11% some college, no degree; 4.6% Associates degree; 10.4% Bachelor's degree; 3.7% Graduate or professional degree.

Employment: 70.2% employees of private companies; 19.5% local, state, and federal workers; 10.2% self-employed.

Average travel time to work: 24.3 minutes; 65.9% drive alone to work; 27.3% carpool to work; 6.3% work from home.

Health: 28.6% without health care coverage; 21.5% have one or more disabilities.

Living arrangements: 46.1% married couple household; 29% male householder with no spouse present; 17.1% female householder with no spouse present.

Race and ethnicity: 390 people white alone; 68 two or more races; 55 some other race than the options given; 16 Hispanic or Latino of any race; 7 Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; 5 American Indian and Alaska native alone; 4 Black alone; 2 Asian alone.


It is in the Gravette School District,[24] which operates Gravette High School.

Places of interest[edit]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Totem poles historically are part of the culture of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The Native Americans who lived closest to the Ozark Colony area were of the Osage Nation. The artistic one erected at Ozark Colony reportedly was topped by a depiction of an idealized leader of the Conestoga people, which were Algonquian-speaking people who historically lived in present-day Pennsylvania and Maryland, and also depicted a wigwam, which again are found in Northeastern United States. This type of romanticized view of Native Americans and cultural appropriation of totem poles and other symbols were a popular way to signal that an area was attuned to nature and offered outdoor recreation and adventure.


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Sulphur Springs, Benton County, Arkansas
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Sulphur Springs city, Arkansas". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  4. ^ History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas. Higginson Book Company. 1889. p. 118.
  5. ^ Arkansas Atlas & Gazetteer, DeLorme, 2004, 2nd edition, p. 22, ISBN 0-89933-345-1
  6. ^ Black, J. Dickson (1975). History of Benton County. Little Rock, Arkansas: International Graphics Industries. Retrieved April 1, 2024.
  7. ^ "Healing Waters: Online Exhibit". Shiloh Museum of Ozark History. Archived from the original on April 1, 2024. Retrieved April 1, 2024.
  8. ^ "Land Developments". Manufacturers Record. 79 (16): 111. April 21, 1921. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  9. ^ "Association of Arkansas Grape Growers". Agricultural Cooperation. VII (23): 451. November 16, 1929. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  10. ^ a b "Co-operative Colony Found on Ozark Hills". The Christian Science Monitor. June 17, 1930. p. 1. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  11. ^ "Ozark League Commission to Meet at Eureka Springs". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. November 16, 1934. p. 12E. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  12. ^ Pearson, T. Gilbert (November–December 1923). "Bird Sunday". The Audubon Societies. 25: 426. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  13. ^ "Legit Items". Variety: 15. August 30, 1923. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  14. ^ "Photograph: Ozark Colony Lodge". Wisconsin Historical Society. Wisconsin Historical Society. Archived from the original on April 22, 2024. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  15. ^ "Miscellaneous Construction". Manufacturers Record: 42. April 7, 1932. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  16. ^ "Miscellaneous Construction". Manufacturers Record: 31. April 14, 1932. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  17. ^ Glass, Renee (August 20, 2017). "Here's what happened this week in history in the Ozarks: Aug. 21–26". Springfield News-Leader. Archived from the original on March 31, 2023. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  18. ^ "Photograph: Totem Pole". Wisconsin Historical Society. Wisconsin Historical Society. Archived from the original on April 22, 2024.
  19. ^ Rinehart, Mikey, Jr. (December 1926). "Marking History on Wood". Hunter-Trader-Trapper. LIII (6): 14. Retrieved April 22, 2024.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ Hudson, Ralph M. "Art in Arkansas". The Arkansas Historical Quarterly. 3 (4 (Winter 1944)): 299–350. doi:10.2307/40037844. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  21. ^ Bennett, Swannee (2021). Arkansas Made: A Survey of the Decorative, Mechanical, and Fine Arts Produced in Arkansas Through 1950: Volume 2 (2 ed.). USA: The University of Arkansas Press. p. 261. ISBN 978-1-68226-144-6. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  22. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  23. ^ "2020 Census Profile, Sulphur Springs, Arkansas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 29, 2024.
  24. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Benton County, AR" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 25, 2022.

External links[edit]