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Magnolia, Arkansas
Downtown Magnolia
Downtown Magnolia
"Discover the Difference"
Location in Columbia County and the state of Arkansas
Location in Columbia County and the state of Arkansas
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Columbia
 • Type Council-Strong Mayor
 • Mayor Parnell Vann (elected 2010 and 2014)
 • Total 13.27 sq mi (34.36 km2)
 • Land 13.24 sq mi (34.28 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
338 ft (103 m)
 (Est. 2015)
 • Total 11,669
 • Density 875/sq mi (337.7/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 870
FIPS code 05-43460
GNIS feature ID 0077578

Magnolia is a city in Columbia County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 11,577. The city is the county seat of Columbia County.

Magnolia is home to the World's Largest Charcoal Grill and the World Championship Steak Cookoff, part of the Magnolia Blossom Festival.


The city was founded in 1853. At the time of its incorporation in 1858, the city had a population of about 1,950. The city grew slowly as an agricultural and regional cotton market until the discovery of oil just east of the city in March 1938, with the Barnett #1 drilled by the Kerr-Lynn Company. The Magnolia Oil Field was an important discovery, not just for the city but for the nation, as it was the largest producing field (in volume) during the early years of World War II, helping to fuel the American war effort.

In March 2013 more than 5,000 barrels of oil leaked from a Lion Oil Trading & Transportation storage tank in Magnolia, with some flowing into a bayou.


Magnolia is located in southwest Arkansas, north of the center of Columbia County at 33°16′27″N 93°14′1″W / 33.27417°N 93.23361°W / 33.27417; -93.23361 (33.274052, -93.233477). The average altitude is 336 ft (102 m) above sea level according to NOAA. The surrounding region is a mix of dense forest, farm prairies, and low rolling hills.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.3 square miles (34.4 km2), of which 0.027 square miles (0.07 km2), or 0.21%, is water.

Magnolia is located about 50 miles (80 km) east of Texarkana, about 135 miles (217 km) south of Little Rock, and about 75 miles (121 km) northeast of Shreveport, Louisiana.


The average temperature is 64 °F (18 °C), and the average annual rainfall is 50.3 inches (1,280 mm). The winters are mild but can dip into the teens at night and have highs in the 30s and even some 20s but average out around 50. The springs are warm and can be stormy with strong to severe storms and average highs in the mid 70s. Summers are often hot, humid and dry but with occasional isolated afternoon storms, highs in the mid to upper 90s and even 100s. In the fall the temps cool from the 90s and 100s to 80s and 70s. Early fall temps are usually in the 80s but can reach 90s and at times has reached 100. Late fall temps fall to 70s and 60s. It is not uncommon to see snow and ice during the winter. It has been known to snow a few times as late as April and as early as November in Magnolia.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 424
1870 259 −38.9%
1880 536 106.9%
1890 1,486 177.2%
1900 1,614 8.6%
1910 2,045 26.7%
1920 2,158 5.5%
1930 3,008 39.4%
1940 4,326 43.8%
1950 6,918 59.9%
1960 10,651 54.0%
1970 11,303 6.1%
1980 11,909 5.4%
1990 11,151 −6.4%
2000 10,858 −2.6%
2010 11,577 6.6%
Est. 2015 11,669 0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 10,858 people, 4,204 households, and 2,577 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,165.3 people per square mile (449.8/km²). There were 4,821 housing units at an average density of 517.4 per square mile (199.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 58.24% White, 39.38% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.48% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.07% of the population.

There were 4,204 households out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.2% were married couples living together, 17.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.7% were non-families. Of 4,204 households, 101 are unmarried partner households: 91 heterosexual, 4 same-sex male, 6 same-sex female households. 34.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18, 16.8% from 18 to 24, 23.1% from 25 to 44, 18.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 84.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,897,as of 2005, and the median income for a family was $35,269. Males had a median income of $31,577 versus $20,840 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,403. About 15.2% of families and 23.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.9% of those under age 18 and 17.7% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

Annual cultural events

Magnolia is home to the Magnolia Blossom Festival and World Championship Steak Cookoff. The festival has been featured on the Food Network and attracts 40,000-plus to the event.

The Festival of Lights is held from late November through Late December.

Museums and other points of interest

Magnolia is known locally for its downtown shopping on the square and for its natural beauty. The downtown is known for its murals, one of which was signed by Charlton Heston.

Animal shelter rescue

The city operated a shelter designed for approximately 20 dogs. On August 14, 2014, this facility was found to have 59 dogs in unclean conditions, without heat, air conditioning or even walls for the animals. With the city's permission, the local H&P Animal Allliance assisted in removing the dogs from the over-crowded shelter.

A number of dogs were sent to an out-of-state animal rescue group specializing in saving large-breed working dogs, Big Fluffy Dog Rescue. Big Fluffy Dog Rescue is a Nashville, Tennessee-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. The rescue effort cost an uncompensated $50,000.

Photo gallery


On January 12, 2007, Magnolia annexed 2,325 acres (9.41 km2) east of the city, which includes approximately 1,100 people, increasing the population to 11,578. The city was expected to receive between $60,000 to $70,000 in state turnbacks per year as a result.

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