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Texarkana metropolitan area

Coordinates: 33°26′14″N 94°4′3″W / 33.43722°N 94.06750°W / 33.43722; -94.06750
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Texarkana, United States
Texarkana, TX–AR MSA
Texarkana Post Office, located in two states.
Texarkana Post Office, located in two states.
TK, Flexarkana
Twice as Nice
Interactive Map of Texarkana, TX–AR MSA
Coordinates: 33°26′14″N 94°4′3″W / 33.43722°N 94.06750°W / 33.43722; -94.06750
Country United States
State Texas
CountyMiller County, AR
Bowie County, TX
 • AR MayorAllen L. Brown
 • TX MayorRob Bruggeman.[1]
91 m (299 ft)
 • Total148,838
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
(AR) 71854
(TX) 75500-75599
Area code(s)(AR) 870
(TX) 430 & 903
FIPS code48-72368[2]
GNIS feature ID1369752[3]
WebsiteTexarkana MSA
Vietnam Memorial in Texarkana honors those killed from Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The Texarkana metropolitan statistical area (MSA), as defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget, is a two-county region anchored by the twin cities of Texarkana, Texas (population 37,333) and Texarkana, Arkansas (population 30,259), and encompassing surrounding communities in Bowie County, Texas, and Miller County, Arkansas. As of the 2016 census, the MSA had a population of 150,098.[4] Texarkana is a subset of the broader Ark-La-Tex region.


State Line Avenue.[5]
Map of the city in 1888



Texarkana was founded in 1873 on the junction of two railroads. The name is a portmanteau of Texas, Arkansas, and nearby Louisiana. One tradition tells of a Red River steamboat named The Texarkana, c. 1860. Another story mentions a storekeeper named Swindle in Red Land, Louisiana who concocted a drink called "Texarkana Bitters". A third account states that Col. Gus Knobel, a railroad surveyor, coined the name.[6] Local lore suggests that, before Texas's annexation by the US, lawlessness ruled in the area that at times was claimed by various nations.

In 1876, Texarkana, Texas, was granted a charter under an act of the Texas legislature, and a Texarkana, Texas, post office operated from 1886 to 1892. Later, Congressman Morris Sheppard (D-TX) secured a postal order officially changing the name to "Texarkana, Arkansas-Texas".[6]

Texarkana metropolitan area


The Texarkana metropolitan area was first defined in 1960.[7] Then known as the Texarkana, TX–Texarkana, AR Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area, it consisted of Bowie County, Texas, and Miller County, Arkansas. In 1963, the area was renamed the Texarkana, TX–AR Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area,[8] only to return to its original name in 1971.[9]

Little River County, Arkansas, was added to the SMSA in 1973.[10] In 1983, the official name was shortened to the Texarkana, TX–Texarkana, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is still in use.[11] That same year, Little River County was removed from the MSA. The two-county MSA had a population of 137,486 in 2000.



As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 137,486 people, 72,695 households, and 55,524 families residing within the MSA. The racial makeup of the MSA was 66.0% White, 25.0% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.4% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.9% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.6% of the population.

The median income for a household in the MSA was $31,976, and the median income for a family was $38,887. Males had a median income of $32,482 versus $21,408 for females. The per capita income for the MSA was $16,901.



Texarkana began as a railroad and lumber center, and developed in the 20th century as a regional agricultural processing, retail, wholesale, and service center.[12] Red River Army Depot and Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant were the largest regional employers from the 1940s through the 1970s. Paper mills near Ashdown and Atlanta, as well as other industrial facilities, brought new jobs to the area in the 1970s. Today the Texarkana area is a diversified economy whose pattern of employment categorized by industry is very similar to the entire state of Arkansas.[13]

Top employers in Texarkana[14]
Employer Local employees
Red River Army Depot & Tenants 7,200
Christus St. Michael Health System 1,883
Cooper Tire & Rubber 1,700
Domtar 1,300
Texarkana (TX) Independent School District 1,100
Walmart 967
International Paper 960
Texarkana (AR) School District 835
Wadley Regional Medical Center 778
Southern Refrigerated Transport 750



Texarkana consists of two separate municipal designations:

State Line Avenue follows the Texas-Arkansas state line throughout much of Texarkana. The two "sides" of Texarkana are separate only from a political standpoint. Thousands of locals actually live in one state and work in the other.

Owing to its divided political nature, Texarkana has two mayors and two sets of city officials; however, the two sides share a federal building, courthouse, jail, post office, labor office, chamber of commerce, water utility, and several other offices.[6]



Texarkana is located at the intersection of Interstate 30 and Interstate 49. It is situated approximately halfway between Dallas, Texas, and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Air service


Texarkana Regional Airport[15] is located inside the northeastern city limits on the Arkansas side and is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport.

The airport covers an area of 964 acres (390 ha) at an elevation of 390 feet (119 m) above mean sea level and it has two runways with asphalt surfaces:

  • Runway 4/22 is 6,601 by 144 feet (2,012 x 44 m)
  • Runway 13/31 is 5,200 by 100 feet (1,585 x 30 m)



Major routes in Texarkana include:

As of October 2015, new interchanges had been completed at the junctions of I-30/US 59, and I-30/I-49. Interstate 49 had been extended south to Shreveport with its northern extension planned into Kansas City along the U.S. Route 71 corridor. Multiple projects were under construction to relieve the strain on local roadways, including continuous access roads and the expansion of area highways and bridges.



Rail service in Texarkana is provided by:

Culture and education

Museum of Regional History in downtown Texarkana
Four States Auto Museum in downtown Texarkana

Notable historical buildings in Texarkana include the United States Post Office and Courthouse, the Ace of Clubs House, the Perot Theater, Museum of Regional History, the Four States Auto Museum, TRAHC Regional Arts Center, and the Arkansas Municipal Auditorium.

The Texarkana Post Office is the second-most photographed post office in the United States, as it straddles the state line that separates Arkansas and Texas.[16] The Ace of Clubs House is a house shaped like a club on a playing card and supposedly inspired by a winning poker hand.[17] The Perot Theater (Originally the Saenger Theater - Texarkana) is a 1924 theater renamed after Texarkana native business magnate and politician Ross Perot.[18] Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council has transformed the 1909 US Courthouse into their offices as well as gallery space.[19] Famous musicians such as Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley performed at the Arkansas Municipal Auditorium.[20]

As of 2020, Texarkana officials have been promoting the arts and the improvement of the downtown area by encouraging the painting of murals across Downtown Texarkana. At least 13 murals have been painted since the initiative began.[21]

The Texarkana Symphony Orchestra was established in 2005, providing the community with several professional concerts of classical music every year. In 2007, the Texarkana Youth Symphony Orchestra was established, presenting spring and winter concerts. Both perform in the Perot Theater.

Texarkana College, a community college whose origins date to 1927, enrolls more than four thousand annually. In 1971, East Texas State University began offering classes at the campus, this institution later became Texas A&M University–Texarkana.

Texas A&M University-Texarkana has constructed a large campus at Bringle Lake. Historically an institution for upperclassmen and graduate students, in 2010, TAMU-T began accepting freshmen and sophomores. In 2011 the first residence hall, Bringle Lake Village, opened on campus.

A branch of the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (UAHT), based in Hope, Arkansas, opened in Texarkana in 2012, and in 2015 UALR Texarkana, a branch of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, began offering bachelor's-degree programs on the Texarkana campus of UAHT. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) offers a residency program in Texarkana serving Wadley Regional Medical Center, Christus Saint Michael Hospital, as well as the UAMS clinics in Texarkana.[22]

Local Lore


Phantom Killer


In 1946, Texarkana was in fear of an unidentified serial killer who attacked eight people, five of whom were murdered. The term "serial killer" was not around yet, but the town knew they were dealing with an unknown killer who was attacking couples on "lovers' lanes". The local paper dubbed him "The Phantom Killer". The attacks became known as the "Texarkana Moonlight Murders" by the news media. Since the killer was never identified or apprehended, the description of the killer came from the only two survivors. They described their attacker as six foot tall with a white mask over his head with holes cut out for his eyes and mouth. He had a pistol and a flashlight. They disagreed on his race. One survivor thought he was a light-skinned African American while the other thought he was a dark-tanned Caucasian man.

The attacks inspired the 1976 film The Town That Dreaded Sundown and its 2014 sequel. The original film was written and directed by Charles B. Pierce, a former Texarkanan who played the comedic role as officer A.C. Benson, a clumsy patrolman. The movie also starred Ben Johnson, Andrew Prine and Dawn Wells. Most of the facts of the original case were fictionalized which created much of the myth and lore for several years. Many of the rumors are still believed and spread by locals. One of the more prominent rumors is that blood-stained clothing hidden by The Phantom was found in a school attic many years after the crime spree. This was, however, only a rumor.[23]

Over the years the case files from both police departments went missing.[24] All official files, photographs, evidence and notes are now lost. Some locals believe that the Phantom Killer died long ago, while some think he may still be alive. Some claim that he was a member of the local upper class aristocracy, which collaborated to keep his identity quiet to avoid scandal. The case was never solved and is therefore still open.

Fouke Monster


The swampy terrain of Boggy Creek, near Fouke, Arkansas, a small Miller County town southeast of Texarkana, is the reputed home of an anthropoid cryptid similar in appearance and behavior to the Pacific Northwest's Bigfoot or Sasquatch, and to the Skunk Ape of Florida legend. A film dramatizing these stories, entitled The Legend of Boggy Creek, was released in 1972. Two sequels, Return to Boggy Creek (1977) and The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, Part II (1985) (a.k.a. Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues; the "official" sequel made by the original film's director, Charles B. Pierce) followed with very little commercial success (although The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, Part II was featured in the 10th season of Mystery Science Theater 3000). Locals commonly refer to this creature as the "Fouke Monster" and a number of persons have reported seeing the creature in various locations in and around Fouke. Most of the reported sightings have occurred during the hours of darkness, which has contributed to the lack of adequate descriptions of the creature itself. The Fouke Monster's credibility is generally doubted.[25][26][27]

Notable people from the Texarkana MSA






Film and theater










TV shows

  • The Horrifying Texarkana Phantom Killer, episode 5 of season 5 of BuzzFeed Unsolved: True Crime, is an episode discussing the Texarkana Moonlight Murders.
  • Kitchen Staff, a Saturday Night Live skit.
  • The Texas Bucket List, episode 12 of season 17, features local restaurant Naaman's BBQ.[28]
  • Virginia Hyatt, episode 18 of season 28 of Snapped, discusses the Patti Wheelington murder that happened in Texarkana, Arkansas.







Texarkana in Greenwich Village, New York City, New York. The restaurant is defunct and in its former location is a restaurant called Alta.[30]

Local newspaper


Local TV stations


Texarkana is part of a television market that also includes Shreveport, Louisiana as its central city.

KTAL-TV Channel 6 is an NBC affiliate licensed to Texarkana, Texas and serving the Shreveport - Texarkana market; its primary studios are located in Downtown Shreveport, with a secondary facility located at 3716 Summerhill Road in Texarkana.


  1. ^ "Rob Bruggeman, Mayor". City of Texarkana, Texas - ci.Texarkana.TX.US.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "2016 United States Census Results" (Interactive Map). 2016 Census data by state, including population change. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2017.[dead link]
  5. ^ Google Maps, Texarkana.
  6. ^ a b c The Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association, University of North Texas.
  7. ^ "Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs) and Components" (TXT). Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by Office of Management and Budget, November 1960. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2000-10-25. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
  8. ^ "Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs) and Components, 1963" (TXT). Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by Office of Management and Budget, October 18, 1963. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2000-10-25. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
  9. ^ "Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs) and Components, 1971" (TXT). Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by Office of Management and Budget, February 23, 1971. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2000-10-16. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
  10. ^ "Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs) and Components, 1973" (TXT). Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by Office of Management and Budget, April 27, 1973. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2000-05-01. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
  11. ^ "About Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas". United States Census Bureau, Population Division. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  12. ^ "Texarcana, TX". The Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association.
  13. ^ "Year End Employment by Industry – Texarcana, TX". Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. 3 February 2012. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012.
  14. ^ "Economic Development, Major Employers". Texarkana Chamber of Commerce. 2010. Archived from the original on October 31, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  15. ^ "Airport History – Texarkana Regional Airport Authority". txkairport.com.
  16. ^ "State Line Post Office". Our Texarkana. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  17. ^ "Ace of Clubs House". Arkansas.com. Archived from the original on 2017-01-13. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  18. ^ "About Perot Theater". Perot Theater. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  19. ^ "Texarkana celebrating 100-year-old Arts Center building".
  20. ^ "AR Municipal Auditorium". Main Street Texarkana.
  21. ^ Thompson, Lisa. "A Movement of Murals". Four States Living. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  22. ^ "Southwest Regional Campus | UAMS Regional Campuses".
  23. ^ Texarkana Gazette, Friday, July 20, 1956, front page
  24. ^ Texarkana Gazette, Thursday, December 11, 2008, page 8A
  25. ^ "The Fouke Hoax?". Texarkana Gazette. 1971-06-17. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
  26. ^ Charton, Scott (1986-07-21). "15 Summers After Tracks Found, Fouke Monster Called Hoax". Associated Press. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  27. ^ Dunning, Brian. "Skeptoid #404: The Boggy Creek Monster". Skeptoid. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  28. ^ "The Texas Bucket List". DirectTV. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  29. ^ Henricks, Nancy. "The Town That Dreaded Sundown". Encyclopedia of Arkansas.
  30. ^ La Roche, Julia (2 August 2011). "The Restaurants In American Psycho: Where Are They Now?". Business Insider. Retrieved 24 September 2022.