kids encyclopedia robot

Alma, Arkansas facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Alma, Arkansas
Popeye statue in downtown Alma
Popeye statue in downtown Alma
Crossroads of America
Spinach Capital of the World
Location of Alma in Crawford County, Arkansas.
Location of Alma in Crawford County, Arkansas.
Alma, Arkansas is located in Arkansas
Alma, Arkansas
Alma, Arkansas
Location in Arkansas
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Crawford
Incorporated 1874
 • Total 5.90 sq mi (15.28 km2)
 • Land 5.73 sq mi (14.84 km2)
 • Water 0.17 sq mi (0.44 km2)
433 ft (132 m)
 • Total 5,825
 • Density 1,016.58/sq mi (392.48/km2)
Time zone UTC−06:00 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−05:00 (CDT)
ZIP Code
Area code 479
FIPS code 05-00970
GNIS feature ID 0076164

Alma is a city in Crawford County, Arkansas, United States. It is located within the Arkansas River Valley at the edge of the Ozark Mountains; the city is the sixth largest in the Fort Smith metropolitan area. The population was 5,419 at the 2010 Census. The city is located at the intersection of Interstates 40 and 49.


Alma was incorporated in 1874 and the economy was largely agricultural until the introduction of the canning industry. Today, the city claims the title of "Spinach Capital of the World".

In his book Washington Goes to War, David Brinkley described Alma's participation in the World War II effort:

In the town of Alma, Arkansas (population 776), one-fourth of the girls in the 1944 high school graduating class signed up to leave for Washington, and several of their teachers cast aside their low-paying jobs and went with them, all of them climbing aboard a Pullman car for their first train ride, looking for more money and excitement than they had any reasonable expectation of finding in Alma.


Alma, AR 012
Streetside along Highway 162 in Alma, AR

Alma is located in south-central Crawford County at 35°29′17″N 94°13′15″W / 35.48806°N 94.22083°W / 35.48806; -94.22083 (35.488013, -94.220796).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.6 square miles (14.4 km2), of which 5.4 square miles (14.0 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 3.06%, is water.

Alma has no airport, and the train station, which fell into a state of dilapidation, was torn down in the early 1970s. Much of its commerce derives from interstate highway traffic, as Interstates 40 and 49 (previously 540), as well as U.S. Routes 64 and 71, pass through the city.

The city gets its water supply from Alma Lake, which is perched above the city on the northeast, held back by a tall earthen dam that blocks Little Frog Bayou. Alma Lake is the reservoir that supplies the city's tap water. Alma sits along the border between the Boston Mountains and the Arkansas River Valley, so while most of the city lies on flat land, immediately to the north is scenic hill country. Alma is surrounded by several rural towns, including Rudy to the north, Dyer and Mulberry to the east, and Kibler to the southwest.


Alma, AR 013
Downtown park, gazebo and fountain in Alma
Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 504
1890 486 −3.6%
1900 440 −9.5%
1910 565 28.4%
1920 779 37.9%
1930 731 −6.2%
1940 774 5.9%
1950 1,228 58.7%
1960 1,370 11.6%
1970 1,613 17.7%
1980 2,755 70.8%
1990 2,959 7.4%
2000 4,160 40.6%
2010 5,419 30.3%
2020 5,825 7.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
2014 Estimate

2020 census

Alma racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 4,826 82.85%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 107 1.84%
Native American 106 1.82%
Asian 39 0.67%
Other/Mixed 492 8.45%
Hispanic or Latino 255 4.38%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 5,825 people, 2,279 households, and 1,539 families residing in the city.

Arts and culture

The Band Willin-N-Able (15564171088)
Live music performance at Warren's Rec Room in Alma

Spinach Capital of the World

Around 1987, Alma called itself the "Spinach Capital of the World" because the Allen Canning Company based in Alma canned more than half of all the spinach canned in the U.S., about 60 million pounds (27,000,000 kg) annually. The town has had various statues of the cartoon character Popeye, because of his connection to canned spinach; the most recent one was erected in 2007. Cast in bronze, it sits atop a fountain holding a can of spinach. It is the centerpiece of Popeye Park. Crystal City Texas is also considered the Spinach Capital of the World.

Annual cultural events

The annual Spinach Festival is hosted at the City Park and Community Center on the third weekend in April. First held in 1986, the festival is sponsored by the Alma Chamber of Commerce and the Alma Advertising & Promotion Commission. The festival brings carnival rides, crafts, food and live music. A spinach eating contest takes place at noon, followed by a spinach drop. A package of spinach is dropped from an Alma Fire Department ladder truck onto a board with entrant's names, with the winner receiving a cash prize.


Public education for elementary and secondary school students is provided by the Alma School District. The four schools in the district include Alma Primary School, Alma Intermediate School, Alma Middle School and Alma High School.



Alma, AR 007
Alma Water & Sewer main office

The City of Alma Public Works Department contains the Water & Sewer Division. This group treats and distributes potable water from Lake Alma to the residents and commercial users of the city while also owning and operating a wastewater collection system.

Wastewater is collected and conveyed to the Alma Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). At the WWTP, wastewater passes through a bar screen, Parshall Flume, lagoon 1 (one completely mixed cell followed by two partially mixed cells), Lagoon 2 (facultative), Lagoon 3 (facultative), and optional chlorine/de-chlorination chambers. The plant has a design capacity of 1.75 million US gallons (6,600,000 L) per day, and discharges treated effluent to the Arkansas River in accordance with the city's NPDES permit administrated by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

Notable people

  • Justin Boyd, pharmacist in Alma and Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from Fort Smith
  • Kiley Dean, R&B singer
  • Charlotte Douglas, Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from District 75; a retired educator from Alma
  • Eli Drinkwitz, University of Missouri football coach
  • Charlene Fite, Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from District 80; formerly resided in Alma; educator in Fort Smith
  • Bradley Hathaway, poet and folk musician
  • Parley Pratt, early leader of the Latter Day Saint movement
  • Fay Washington, baseball player

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Alma (Arkansas) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Notable Hispanic writers
Marie Arana
Sandra Cisneros
Sergio Troncoso
Nina Serrano
kids search engine
Alma, Arkansas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.