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Arkadelphia, Arkansas
City of Arkadelphia
Downtown Arkadelphia
Downtown Arkadelphia
Etymology: Greek for "Love of Arkansas"
Location in Clark County and the state of Arkansas
Location in Clark County and the state of Arkansas
Coordinates: 34°7′19″N 93°3′58″W / 34.12194°N 93.06611°W / 34.12194; -93.06611Coordinates: 34°7′19″N 93°3′58″W / 34.12194°N 93.06611°W / 34.12194; -93.06611
Country  United States
State  Arkansas
County Clark
Township Caddo
 • Type City manager
 • Total 18.9 km2 (7.3 sq mi)
 • Land 18.8 km2 (7.3 sq mi)
 • Water 0.1 km2 (0.04 sq mi)
75 m (246 ft)
 • Total 10,714
 • Density 569.9/km2 (1,476/sq mi)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
71923, 71998, 71999
Area code(s) 870
FIPS code 05-01870
GNIS feature ID 0076188

Arkadelphia is a city in Clark County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,714. The city is the county seat of Clark County. It is situated at the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. Two universities, Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University, are located there. Arkadelphia was incorporated in 1857.


The site was settled in about 1809 by John Hemphill, operator of a nearby salt works, Arkansas's first industry. It was known as Blakelytown until 1839, when the settlement adopted the name Arkadelphia. Origin of the name "Arkadelphia" is uncertain. One possibility is that it was formed by combining Ark- from the state's name Arkansas and adelphia from the Greek meaning "brother/place".

Another explanation of the name is a combination of "adelphia" for place and "arc."


Arkadelphia is located in northeastern Clark County at 34°7′19″N 93°3′58″W / 34.12194°N 93.06611°W / 34.12194; -93.06611 (34.121920, -93.066178), on the west bank of the Ouachita River. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.3 square miles (18.9 km2), of which 7.3 square miles (18.8 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.49%, is water.


The climate is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Arkadelphia has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 248
1860 905 264.9%
1870 948 4.8%
1880 1,506 58.9%
1890 2,455 63.0%
1900 2,739 11.6%
1910 2,745 0.2%
1920 3,311 20.6%
1930 3,380 2.1%
1940 5,078 50.2%
1950 6,819 34.3%
1960 8,069 18.3%
1970 9,841 22.0%
1980 10,005 1.7%
1990 10,014 0.1%
2000 10,912 9.0%
2010 10,714 −1.8%
2015 (est.) 10,745 0.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
2014 Estimate

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 10,714 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 64.0% White, 30.0% Black, 0.4% Native American, 0.8% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from some other race and 1.4% from two or more races. 3.2% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the census of 2000, there were 10,912 people, 3,865 households, and 2,187 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,486.2 people per square mile (574.0/km²). There were 4,216 housing units at an average density of 574.2 per square mile (221.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.98% White, 26.51% Black or African American, 0.53% Native American, 1.29% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.35% from other races, and 1.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.59% of the population.

There were 3,865 households out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.4% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city, the population was spread out with 18.1% under the age of 18, 32.9% from 18 to 24, 20.4% from 25 to 44, 14.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 85.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,651, and the median income for a family was $42,479. Males had a median income of $30,152 versus $19,459 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,268. About 19.8% of families and 23.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.8% of those under the age of 18 and 15.9% of those 65 and older.

Arkadelphia water tower
Water tower in Arkadelphia

Arts and culture

Ouachita Baptist University 009
Jones Performing Arts Center on OBU's campus

Opened in 2011, the Arkadelphia Arts Center hosts exhibits, productions and educational workshops for many organizations in town, including the Caddo River Art Guild, the Poet and Writer's Guild, the Little Theatre, the two universities, and Arkadelphia School District. Henderson State University holds plays and musical performances in Arkansas Hall located on campus. Ouachita Baptist University displays student art and sculpture in the Hammons Gallery. OBU performing arts take place in the OBU Jones Performing Arts Center on Ouachita Street.


Captain Charles C. Henderson House 003
Captain Henderson House

The Clark County Historical Museum contains artifacts from prehistoric times through today in an attempt to document the history of the county. Based in the former Amtrak station, a historic tour through Arkadelphia, including the historic James E. M. Barkman House. The Captain Henderson House is a historic bed and breakfast owned and operated by Henderson State University and originally inhabited by the university's namesake.

Downtown Arkadelphia includes the Arkadelphia Commercial Historic District, the Arkadelphia Confederate Monument, Clark County Courthouse, and the Clark County Library, all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Other family attractions include the Diamond Lakes Regional Visitors Center on Highway 7 near I-30, and the Reynolds Science Center Planetarium, open to the public during the academic year, is located on the Henderson State University campus.

Parks and recreation

Arkadelphia Parks and Recreation Department operates facilities and manages activities for the community. Within Feaster Park, the department operates Arkadelphia Aquatic Park, which features water slides, swimming, and diving areas. The park includes a recreation center that has an indoor basketball/volleyball court, a weight lifting area and an elevated walking track. In 2013, the department completed construction of DeSoto Bluff Trail, which overlooks the Ouachita River.

DeGray Lake Resort State Park surrounds 13,800-acre (5,600 ha) DeGray Lake, which is located 8 miles northwest of Arkadelphia, on Arkansas Scenic Byway 7. The state park has facilities for camping, fishing, water sports, golf, hiking, and biking. The Iron Mountain Bike Trail is a winding path inside the park that runs for approximately 26 miles (42 km).

The Caddo and Ouachita rivers merge just outside the northern city limits. Canoe and tube rentals are available in nearby Caddo Valley, Arkansas.

The Ouachita National Forest and Hot Springs National Park are located on the scenic byway, approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of Arkadelphia. To the west of Hot Springs is Lake Ouachita, which has more than 690 miles (1,110 km) of shoreline and more than 40,000 acres (16,000 ha) of water. The lake is surrounded by Ouachita National Forest. The tourist destination of Hot Springs is located adjacent to the national park. Bathhouse Row, Oaklawn Park Race Track and Casino and Magic Springs are some attractions located there.

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