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Greenwood
Greenwood, Arkansas
Location of Greenwood in Sebastian County, Arkansas, usa.
Location of Greenwood in Sebastian County, Arkansas, usa.
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Sebastian
Named for Judge Alfred B. Greenwood
Area
 • Total 10.97 sq mi (28.43 km2)
 • Land 10.82 sq mi (28.03 km2)
 • Water 0.15 sq mi (0.39 km2)
Elevation
525 ft (160 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 9,516
 • Density 879.16/sq mi (339.45/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
72936
Area code(s) 479
FIPS code 05-28780
GNIS feature ID 0057848
Website City of Greenwood

Greenwood is a city in and one of the two county seats of Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States. It is the fifth largest municipality in the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area with a population of 8,952 according to the 2010 US Census. According to estimates based on the most recent census, the population of Greenwood in 2018 was 9,397.

History

Greenwood was founded in 1851 when its location was selected for the first county seat of Sebastian County. The town was named for Judge Alfred Burton Greenwood. Judge Greenwood had been elected the previous year to serve as Circuit Judge over ten Northwest Arkansas counties. The first court house was a log structure, replaced in 1865 by a frame court house which was built in the center of the public square. This courthouse later burned and in 1916 the courthouse was relocated south of the square. Since that time the square has become a city park and the site of many festivals, city picnics and celebrations.

The growth of Greenwood was comparatively slow, but by the breaking out of the Civil War it had attained some importance as a business center and by 1889 its business directory listed General Merchandise, Drugs, Groceries, Cotton Gin, Grist and Saw Mill, 3 Hotels, 3 Blacksmith and wood shops, 3 physicians, 1 dentist and 7 attorneys.

Greenwood has withstood many economic changes and setbacks but perhaps its strongest test came when a devastating Tornado swept through the community in April 1968. There were 13 lives lost and countless businesses and homes destroyed.

One of the town's most famous sites is a park located in the center of town. Known as "Town Square", the area stands as a reminder of the past and a center for town activities.

The clock and bell tower that stands in the middle of town square was designed and built in 1976 in recognition of the United States' bicentennial. The bell tower houses the clock and bell that was once in the courthouse that was destroyed by the tornado. The clock and bell were used in the bell tower to recognize and remember the 13 who died during the tornado.

The square was the site for the Sebastian County Court House until 1916 when a new one was built across the street on the south side. The Greenwood Chamber of Commerce annual Freedomfest on July 4 takes place in the park as well as many other community gatherings.

Places to visit

The Historic City Square in downtown Greenwood, now known as Greenwood Veterans' Memorial Square, holds a memorial that honors the sacrifices of the uniformed service men and women. As a part of the Veterans' Memorial Square, there's a circle of stepping stones called the "Patriot's Walk." Each stepping stone bears the name of a veteran on whose behalf families have contributed. The "Patriot's Walk" surrounds the city clock tower. The clock tower, erected in 1976, stands in the center of the memorial.

Greenwood Veterans Memorial Square has become the recognized symbol of Greenwood. This small park area was once the site of the Sebastian County House, and the center of all business activity. When a new court house was built, the community turned the area into a green space. The Memorial has become the sight for community-wide activities such as the annual Freedom Fest celebration and Christmas parade.

Greenwood's walking trail system weaves through the city and up to beautiful scenic views along the Promenade at Bell Park. There you can see the transition landscape from the Ozark Mountains to the River valley to the Ouachita Mountains. It also offers a bird's-eye view of the town and valley surrounding Greenwood.

Bell Park is also equipped with play grounds, tennis courts, 18-hole Disc Golf course, and picnic areas. The Senator Ed Wilkinson Community Pavilion at Bell Park is available to anyone wishing to use it for weddings, reunions, banquets, meetings, etc.

Greenwood's natural surroundings offer options for camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, or hunting. Two national forests and five major state parks can be found within one hour's driving distance of Greenwood.

Vache Grass Country Club and Recreation area features an 18-hole golf course, club house and swimming pool. Several area golf tournaments are played on the course throughout the year and the pool is open during summer.

Geography

Greenwood is located at 35°12′56″N 94°15′12″W / 35.21556°N 94.25333°W / 35.21556; -94.25333 (35.215534, -94.253351).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.3 square miles (24 km2), of which, 9.2 square miles (24 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (1.39%) is water.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 204
1890 587 187.7%
1900 491 −16.4%
1910 1,124 128.9%
1920 1,374 22.2%
1930 591 −57.0%
1940 1,219 106.3%
1950 1,634 34.0%
1960 1,558 −4.7%
1970 2,032 30.4%
1980 3,317 63.2%
1990 3,984 20.1%
2000 7,112 78.5%
2010 8,952 25.9%
2020 9,516 6.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Greenwood racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 7,967 83.72%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 32 0.34%
Native American 215 2.26%
Asian 119 1.25%
Pacific Islander 5 0.05%
Other/Mixed 705 7.41%
Hispanic or Latino 473 4.97%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 9,516 people, 3,492 households, and 2,407 families residing in the city.

Historic Greenwood

Coal Miners Memorial- Dedicated October 21, 2000, the Miner's Memorial consists of a six-foot bronze statue of a coal miner, an authentic coal car and two granite walls displaying the names of thousands of Sebastian County miners. The Memorial is located Southeast of the Greenwood Townsquare on property donated by First National Bank and the Dr. James Burgess family. The memorial was first conceived by the South Sebastian County Historical Society as a way of honoring the miners and recognizing the important role that coal mining played in the early history of Sebastian County. The Sebastian County Jail, located South of the Square in Greenwood, was built in 1892. It is one of the oldest buildings in downtown and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Buildings and Places.

Old Jail Museum- The stone for the building was quarried southwest of Greenwood, near old Highway 71, on Backbone Mountain. Holes were drilled in the stone on the mountain and left over the winter. As water filled the holes and froze, the pressure of the ice split the stone into manageable size. The stone was then transported to the building site by horse and wagon by Isaac Kunkel, stonemason, his son, Henry Oliver Kunkel, and his son-in-law, George Williamson. The men shaped the stone into building blocks and erected a four cell two story jail. The exterior and interior stone walls are two feet thick. Each cell in the jail had one entry. Four heavy iron doors were installed, one to each cell, from the outside. Inside of these doors another iron grid door was installed with a small pass-through opening it. Originally there was no access from cell to cell inside the building. The four outside doors are operational and can be used today. The original key to the outside doors continues to work in the lock although it is no longer used. The key is on display in the jail. The majority of the inmates were incarcerated for minor crimes such as rowdy behavior, drunkenness and theft. However several murderers were also housed in the jail. On occasion, when the mental hospital was full, the jail also housed mental patients. Visitors to the jail building who look carefully at the floors and walls will find messages scratched into the stone and cement by the inmates. At least two escapes from the jail are known to have happened. On escape was through the roof. Another time the prisoner made his escape and ran to his Jailer's home. He told the Jailer, "I just can't stand the snakes any more." The building stood empty and idle for many years except when the city night watchman put some local resident in the jail overnight. In 1966, the jail building began to be used as a museum and repository for Sebastian County history.

Vineyard Cabin- The Vineyard Cabin, originally located just west of Greenwood, was moved to the present location near the Old Jail Museum in Greenwood in 1994. Restoration of the cabin was completed in 1996. The cabin was a gift to the Sebastian County Historical Society from Suzanne Francis and Sandra Blackstock, granddaughters of former owners William and Mattie Vineyard. The circa 1848 cabin was built by a bachelor school teacher, William Blaylock. Mr. Blaylock first built a one-room cabin with a stone fireplace where he lived and taught school until his marriage in 1850. At that time, he added another similar room with a stone fireplace and connected the two rooms with a breezeway or dogtrot running the depth of the cabin.

Notable people

  • Bob Burns - an American radio and film comedian during the 1930s and 1940s.
  • William Meade Fishback - 17th Governor of Arkansas and U.S. Senator-Elect for Arkansas
  • Bruce Holland - Arkansas state senator from District 9 in Sebastian County since 2011; cattleman in Greenwood
  • Drew Morgan - Arkansas Razorbacks and NFL football player
  • Mike Neighbors - University of Arkansas women's basketball coach
  • Kevin Jones - Professional disc golfer, Prodigy Discs
  • Doc Sadler - University of Southern Mississippi men's basketball coach
  • Bill Walters - lawyer and politician
  • Shirley A. Walters - educator and politician
  • Tyler Wilson - Arkansas Razorbacks and NFL quarterback
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