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Arkadelphia, Arkansas
City of Arkadelphia
Downtown Arkadelphia
Downtown Arkadelphia
Etymology: Greek for "Brother of Arkansas"
Location of Arkadelphia in Clark County, Arkansas.
Location of Arkadelphia in Clark County, Arkansas.
Arkadelphia, Arkansas is located in Arkansas
Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Location in Arkansas
Arkadelphia, Arkansas is located in the United States
Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Location in the United States
Arkadelphia, Arkansas is located in North America
Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Location in North America
Country  United States
State  Arkansas
County Clark
Township Caddo
 • Type City manager
 • Total 7.74 sq mi (20.03 km2)
 • Land 7.73 sq mi (20.02 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)
246 ft (75 m)
 • Total 10,380
 • Density 1,343.17/sq mi (518.60/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
71923, 71998–71999
Area code 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 here. 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%
2020 10,380 −3.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Arkadelphia racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 5,994 57.75%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 3,255 31.36%
Native American 36 0.35%
Asian 137 1.32%
Pacific Islander 13 0.13%
Other/Mixed 475 4.58%
Hispanic or Latino 470 4.53%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 10,380 people, 3,751 households, and 1,966 families residing in the city.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 10,714 people living 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.

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.


Major factors in Arkadelphia's economy are education and manufacturing. Ouachita Baptist University, Henderson State University, and Arkadelphia School District employ many people in the education sector. The manufacturing sector includes Georgia Pacific and Siplast. The economy includes small-scale businesses, including fast-food restaurants.


Colleges and universities

  • Henderson State University is a public liberal arts, undergraduate institution that is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. The university was founded as Arkadelphia Methodist College in 1890, and was renamed Henderson-Brown College before it became a public institution in 1929. Its current name was adopted in 1975. In 2021, Henderson State University joined the Arkansas State University System.
  • Ouachita Baptist University is a private, liberal arts, undergraduate institution that is affiliated with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. The university was founded as Ouachita Baptist College in 1886, and its current designation was established in 1965.

Secondary schools

Arkadelphia Public Library 002
Arkadelphia Public Library

Public schools

Arkadelphia School District operates five public schools:

  • Central Primary School
  • Louisa E. Perritt Primary School
  • Peake Elementary School
  • Goza Middle School
  • Arkadelphia High School

For the 2011–2012 school year, there were approximately 2,125 students enrolled. In September 2015, voters in the Arkadelphia School District passed a millage increase earmarked for new elementary and middle schools. Dr. Donnie Whitten is District Superintendent.

Private schools

  • Clark County Christian Academy. K4 through 12th grade.

Historic schools

  • Arkansas Institute for the Blind was located in Arkadelphia from 1859–1868.



Major medical services in Arkadelphia are provided by:

  • Baptist Health Medical Center-Arkadelphia – a Hospital which provides a wide variety of services, including the 'Arkadelphia Medical Clinic', and a Women's Health Clinic.
  • CHI St. Vincent Heart Clinic Arkansas – provider of specialized Cardiology services.
  • The Surgical Clinic of Central Arkansas – a comprehensive General Surgery provider.
  • Baptist Health Orthopaedic Clinic – General, sports, and joint replacement.


Major highways

  • I-30 (AR).svg Interstate 30
  • US 67.svg U.S. Highway 67
  • Arkansas 7.svg Arkansas Highway 7
  • Arkansas 8.svg Arkansas Highway 8
  • Arkansas 51.svg Arkansas Highway 51
  • Arkansas 874.svg Arkansas Highway 874

Arkadelphia is intersected by Interstate 30, a primary east-west Interstate highway running northeast 68 miles (109 km) to Little Rock, 77 miles (124 km) southwest to Texarkana, and 254 miles (409 km) southwest to Dallas. US Route 67 runs parallel to I-30 and connects Arkadelphia to Malvern 25 miles (40 km) to the northeast and Gurdon 15 miles (24 km) to the southwest. Highway 8 and Arkansas Highway 51 serve as primary east-west arterials for Arkadelphia. Arkansas Highway 7 provides a primary north-south route and has been designated as an Arkansas Scenic Byway. Arkansas Highway 874 is a system of state highways that serve Henderson State University.


Passenger rail service is provided by Amtrak's Texas Eagle, which stops at Arkadelphia station. Trains run daily between Chicago and San Antonio. Connecting service between San Antonio and Los Angeles is available three times a week via the Sunset Limited.

Freight service in Arkadelphia is provided by Arkansas Midland Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad.


Arkadelphia M89
Dexter B. Florence Memorial Field, Arkadelphia

Dexter B. Florence Memorial Field (KADF) in southeastern Arkadelphia can serve small business jets as well as single and double-engine aircraft. Henderson State University offers a four-year bachelor of science degree in aviation and is responsible for the airport's fixed-base operation.

Public transportation

Within the city, bus service is provided by South Central Arkansas Transit. (SCAT)


Water and sewer utilities are provided by Arkadelphia's municipal water & wastewater system. The city's electric system is maintained by South Central Arkansas Electric Cooperative, Inc., and natural gas is provided by CenterPoint Energy.

Notable people

  • Harley Bozeman, Arkadelphia native, later a tree farmer, politician, historian, and confidant of Huey and Earl Long in Winnfield, Louisiana
  • Trent Bryant, cornerback for NFL's Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs, and CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders
  • Cliff Harris, safety for the Dallas Cowboys, two-time Super Bowl champion; attended college in Arkadelphia
  • Johnny R. Key, Republican member of Arkansas State Senate from Baxter County since 2009; native of Arkadelphia, businessman in Mountain Home, Arkansas
  • Percy Malone, Arkansas politician and pharmacist
  • W. Francis McBeth, first Composer Laureate of Arkansas
  • Beth Moore, evangelist and Bible teacher; founder of Living Proof Ministries
  • Terry Nelson, tight end for Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV; born in Arkadelphia
  • Tommy Patterson, NBA player for Washington Bullets; attended college in Arkadelphia.
  • Jim Ranchino (1936–1978), political scientist, consultant and pollster
  • Bob C. Riley (1924–1994), former governor of Arkansas
  • Nick Tennyson, Secretary of North Carolina Department of Transportation, two-term mayor of Durham, North Carolina from 1997–2001
  • Jerry Thomasson (1931–2007), former Democratic member of the Arkansas House of Representatives and two-time Republican candidate for Arkansas attorney general
  • Kevin Williams (b. 1980), defensive tackle for NFL's Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints; born in Arkadelphia
  • Winston P. Wilson (1911-1996), United States Air Force Major General and Chief of the National Guard Bureau
  • Chad Griffin, former president of the Human Rights Campaign and youngest member of the White House Clinton staff at 19; grew up in Arkadelphia and graduated from Arkadelphia High School in 1991
  • V. L. Cox, nationally known artist, grew up in Arkadelphia and graduated from Henderson State University.

See also

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