kids encyclopedia robot

Fouke, Arkansas facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Fouke, Arkansas
Fouke, AR sign IMG 6343.jpg
Location of Fouke in Miller County, Arkansas
Location of Fouke in Miller County, Arkansas
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Miller
Area
 • Total 1.36 sq mi (3.51 km2)
 • Land 1.36 sq mi (3.51 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
312 ft (95 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 808
 • Density 595.87/sq mi (230.10/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
71837
Area code(s) 870
FIPS code 05-24640
GNIS feature ID 0057767

Fouke is a city in Miller County, Arkansas, United States. It is part of the Texarkana, Texas - Texarkana, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 859 at the 2010 census. Fouke is located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 71 and Interstate 49 in Miller County, Arkansas. It is 10 miles west of the Red River, 11 miles southeast of Texarkana, and 17 miles north of Louisiana. It received brief widespread attention in the early 1970s due to sightings/claims of a bigfoot-like creature known as the "Fouke Monster," as well as the subsequent fictitious docudrama movie The Legend of Boggy Creek, which played nationwide.

History

The area around Fouke had long been inhabited by the Native American Caddo, prior to European colonization of the Americas. Caddo tribes and European explorers traded pelts, honey, beeswax, flour, tobacco, blankets, guns, and other items. After the Louisiana Purchase, the United States established the Sulphur Fork Factory (trading post) where the Sulphur River enters the Red River. In the years following Arkansas statehood, settlers began flowing steadily into the area and the Caddo population was greatly diminished.

In 1889, Seventh Day Baptist minister, 'James Franklin Shaw' and his followers were seeking an area to establish a new colony and in 1890, they chose a site along the Texarkana, Shreveport and Natchez Railroad, where a small timber line ended at 'Fouke’s Sawmill'. The streets were named for prominent, nationally known Baptists and upon advertising the area with the offer of reasonably priced land, affordable lumber, and free railroad passage, pioneers traveled to the area from as far away as Idaho, Illinois, and West Virginia.

'George W. Fouke', a Presbyterian entrepreneur, lumberman, and railroad executive, helped them establish their colony and in 1902, he donated land for a school. The city of Fouke was named in his honor.

By the early 1900s, the farming and timber industries had brought people of many Faith's to the community. A new Texas and Pacific Railroad depot was constructed in 1906, and the community was incorporated in 1911. Population growth increased during the 1920's oil boom and in 1928, construction of U.S. Route 71 in Arkansas further increased Fouke's employment opportunities.

During the Prohibition era of 1920-1936, Fouke suffered violent deaths of many men in relation to the illegal trafficking of liquor. Interstate commerce was not well coordinated during that time, which made Fouke's location attractive to those who would commit crimes and then cross the adjoining border(s).

The 'Fouke State Bank' was chartered in 1914, but it went broke during the Great Depression, and job losses in the community caused many to accept work as part of Depression-era programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration. It was not until World War II that large numbers of the citizens found employment at the newly established Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant and Red River Army Depot, which were located just west of Texarkana.

Since its incorporation, the City of Fouke has seen many improvements to its infrastructure. Dirt and gravel streets were paved in 1958. A new City Hall, jail, and fire station were constructed in 1962. A new 'Deep-Well' water system was completed in 1966, and the city's sewer system was completed in 1988.

In 1972, Fouke received national attention when Charles B. Pierce produced a movie called The Legend of Boggy Creek. The movie chronicled the alleged existence of a large, hairy, ape-like creature called the "Fouke Monster". A number of local citizens were cast and the movie used area wetlands, rivers, and creeks for its location.

In 2001 Fouke celebrated the grand opening of the Fouke Community Center, and the grand opening of the Miller County Historical and Family Museum was celebrated in 2003.

In 2010, Fouke citizens dedicated the Veterans Memorial Park. The memorial covers two-thirds of a city block. It is a perpetually flagged and lighted monument that contains a growing list of veterans’ names and military histories.

In 2011, local groups such as the Citizens for a Better Community raised funds to provide improvements that include 'Welcome' signs on highway 71, at the north and south ends of the city, along with various beautification and community service projects. They purchased one of Fouke’s historic homes with a plan to renovate and restore it to create an events center and community library. By that time, Fouke School District had become the city's largest employer with more than 1,000 students more than 165 employees.

In 2013, Fouke began the Boggy Creek Festival to promote the local area, bring together the community, and to share information and humor about the "Fouke Monster".

Geography

Fouke is located at 33°15′39″N 93°53′12″W / 33.26083°N 93.88667°W / 33.26083; -93.88667 (33.260908, -93.886629).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2), all land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 246
1920 319 29.7%
1930 363 13.8%
1940 368 1.4%
1950 336 −8.7%
1960 394 17.3%
1970 506 28.4%
1980 619 22.3%
1990 635 2.6%
2000 813 28.0%
2010 815 0.2%
2020 808 −0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Fouke racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 734 90.84%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1 0.12%
Native American 4 0.5%
Other/Mixed 51 6.31%
Hispanic or Latino 18 2.23%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 808 people, 281 households, and 204 families residing in the city.

Notable people

Notable people from the Fouke area include George W. Fouke; founder of Gate City Lumber Co., President of Texarkana, Shreveport & Natchez Railroad, and Fouke, Arkansas namesake. Hardy Alton "Spider" Rowland (1907–1958); a flamboyant newspaperman. Henry H. King; a soldier in the Texas Revolution at the Battle of San Jacinto, who afterwards became a member of the Confederate Secret Service. Harlan Robertson; a rancher and livestock breeder of top bucking bulls for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Professional Bull Riders association. Pearl Kinman; a silent screen movie star. Bobby Bowen; a Christian country singer and songwriter.

Education

Public education for early childhood, elementary and secondary school students is primarily provided by the Fouke School District, which leads to graduation from Fouke High School.

Infrastructure

Highways

  • I-49.svg Interstate 49
  • US 71.svg U.S. Route 71

Images for kids

kids search engine
Fouke, Arkansas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.