Russellville, Arkansas

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Russellville is the county seat and largest city in Pope County, Arkansas, United States, with a population of 27,586, according to 2009 Census Bureau estimates. It is home to Arkansas Tech University and Arkansas Nuclear One, Arkansas' only nuclear power plant. Russellville borders Lake Dardanelle as well as the Arkansas River.

It is the principal city of the Russellville Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Pope and Yell counties.

Contents

Geography

Russellville is located at 35°16′42″N 93°8′13″W / 35.27833°N 93.13694°W / 35.27833; -93.13694 (35.278429, -93.136820)[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.0 square miles (67.2 km²), of which, 4605 square miles (67.2 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.08%) is water. It is located on the Arkansas River.

History

Pope County was established on November 2, 1829, seven years before Arkansas became a state. Before the founding of Russellville, there was a small town located on the Arkansas River directly south of what is now Russellville. This was Norristown and it served as the county seat from 1830-1840. All that remains of this port town is the Norristown Cemetery located near the modern day Dow Chemical Plant on the Arkansas River. In 1840, the county seat was moved to Dover Downs, north of Russellville. The county seat was then finally moved to Russellville in May 1888.

Before the town was named Russellville, it was known to local people as Chactas Prairie, The Prairie, or Cactus Flats. In the early 19th century, Osage from Missouri hunted frequently in the valley where Russellville is located. Between 1818 and 1828, the area was within a Cherokee reservation, but after 1828 the Cherokee were removed to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), and the land became available for white settlement. The first settler in the area was P.C. Holledger in 1834. One year later, Dr. Thomas Russell[2] bought Holledger's house. The first business to be established in the town was owned by Mr. Shinn, who later built a masonry structure to replace his wooden store in 1875. This building still exists today, and is known as the Shinn Building, it was built at the intersection of an east-west road from Little Rock to Fort Smith and a north-south buffalo trail to a ford on the Arkansas River. Early travelers used these established trails to pass through the valley. When the town's residents decided to name it, it came down to two choices: Shinnville or Russellville, and Russellville won. On June 7, 1870 Russellville became an incorporated city.

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