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Bauxite, Arkansas
Location of Bauxite in Saline County, Arkansas.
Location of Bauxite in Saline County, Arkansas.
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Saline
 • Total 3.13 sq mi (8.10 km2)
 • Land 3.04 sq mi (7.89 km2)
 • Water 0.08 sq mi (0.22 km2)
344 ft (105 m)
 • Total 629
 • Density 206.57/sq mi (79.77/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 501
FIPS code 05-04090

Bauxite is a city in Saline County, Arkansas, United States. Located within Central Arkansas, the city is named for bauxite, the source ore for aluminum, which was found in abundant quantities in the area and became a source of aluminium refining. The city's population boomed during expanded aluminium production during World War II and shrank rapidly with output of the ore. Bauxite was incorporated as a town in 1973. The population was 487 at the 2010 census.


The ore for which the town is named was discovered in the area in the early 1890s and mined by the General Bauxite Company until 1905, when the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, a northeastern aluminum refining company, purchased vast tracts of land in Saline County after learning of the high-quality ore that was being shipped from the area. The company bought out the local producers of the ore, including the General Bauxite Company. Pittsburgh Reduction would go on to incorporate as the Aluminum Company of America, or ALCOA.

Production of the ore rose rapidly, growing from 200,000 short tons (180,000 t) in 1914 during World War I, to 560,000 short tons (510,000 t) by war’s end in 1918. With decreased demand and an expanded source base in South America, Arkansas production levels fluctuated with demand, dropping as low as 60,000 short tons (54,000 t) per annum in the mid-1930s.

World War I provided the greatest surge in growth for Bauxite, with multiple camps developing in and around the present-day city, often segregated by race or ethnicity, with such camp names as Italy Camp, Mexico Camp, Africa Camp, etc. Throughout the Great Depression, ALCOA provided a standard of living for its employees that was generally un-matched during that period of economic turbulence.

When World War II broke out, Bauxite was again called into martial action, with production rapidly increasing with the need for refined aluminum to produce airplanes and other materiel. Donald M. Nelson, the Chairman of the War Production Board, requested that ALCOA president, Arthur V. Davis implement a three-shift, 24-hour production schedule. Davis brought in miners from across the country to keep the mines running continuously. This rapid rise in output led to a 1943 annual production of 6,000,000 short tons (5,400,000 t) of ore.

Production began to slow as the war drew to a close, but the city’s population and infrastructure had swelled to include multiple new communities and a larger school district. ALCOA and Reynolds Metal Company continued to refine Bauxite in the area, with Reynolds finally ceasing operations in 1981. ALCOA still maintains a chemical processing plant between Bauxite and Bryant, and McGeorge Contracting Company continues to mine bauxite for its use in the oil and gas industry.


Bauxite is located at 34°33′33″N 92°30′51″W / 34.55917°N 92.51417°W / 34.55917; -92.51417 (34.559107, -92.514038).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2). 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (2.45%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1980 433
1990 412 −4.8%
2000 432 4.9%
2010 487 12.7%
2020 629 29.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
2018 Estimate

2020 census

Bauxite racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 543 86.33%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 33 5.25%
Native American 5 0.79%
Asian 5 0.79%
Pacific Islander 1 0.16%
Other/Mixed 24 3.82%
Hispanic or Latino 18 2.86%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 629 people, 214 households, and 173 families residing in the town.

Arts and culture

In 1926, ALCOA built a community center in traditional Colonial style to serve as a boarding house and gathering place for the mining community in the town. The structure still stands, and houses the Bauxite Museum, an informal collection of photographs, documents, and mining equipment from the mining era. In 2008, the museum erected "Unsung Heroes," a life-size series of bronze statues sculpted by Gary Alsum at the property's corner. The sculptures depict a traditional mining family, with a man preparing to leave for work at the bauxite mines. The community center is available to the general public for rental and event usage.

As with many cities and town in Arkansas, football is important in the Bauxite community as both a social event and source of pride for the town's identity. Bauxite High School has a storied football program which began around 1920. The Bauxite Miners football team won 24 conference championships, appeared in two state title games and won the state championship in 1996. Bauxite has produced many standout players throughout its history. George Cole, (1920-1923) who went on to coach and become athletic director at the University of Arkansas, and Leon "Muscles" Campbell (1943-1945) who played for the NFL's Baltimore Colts, Chicago Bears, and Pittsburgh Steelers, both played at Bauxite.

In recent history, head football coach Jon Watson led the Miners for nearly two decades before retiring in 2010. During his coaching career with Bauxite, which lasted from 1990 until his retirement, he compiled a 177-55-1 record. Watson now ranks seventh overall in victories for high school football coaches in Arkansas. The program currently plays in the 7-4A conference of the Arkansas Activities Association.


Bauxite has three public schools, which belong to the Bauxite School District, an independent school district which was subject to consolidation under Governor Mike Huckabee's school consolidation plan, but managed to maintain its autonomy after a public outcry from the community. The school district consists of:

  • Pine Haven Elementary, located in the old Pine Haven community established during World War II
  • Bauxite Middle School
  • Bauxite High School, built in 2001, replacing a Depression-era Works Progress Administration-built school that was destroyed by fire in January of that year

A small portion of the city is in the Bryant School District, which operates Bryant High School.

Notable people

  • George W. Bond, president of Louisiana Tech University from 1928 to 1936.
  • Leon Campbell, star fullback at the University of Arkansas
  • George Cole, University of Arkansas head football coach
  • Susan Dunn, Grammy Award-winning operatic soprano
  • Robert M. Utley, author and historian

See also

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

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