kids encyclopedia robot

Ozark, Arkansas facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Ozark, Arkansas
Clockwise, from top: Highway 23 bridge over the Arkansas River, historic Franklin County Jail, Ozark Courthouse Square Historic District, Ozark Depot, Franklin County Courthouse
Clockwise, from top: Highway 23 bridge over the Arkansas River, historic Franklin County Jail, Ozark Courthouse Square Historic District, Ozark Depot, Franklin County Courthouse
"Where it all begins"
Location in Franklin County and the state of Arkansas
Location in Franklin County and the state of Arkansas
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Franklin
 • Total 7.3 sq mi (19.0 km2)
 • Land 7.3 sq mi (18.9 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)
407 ft (124 m)
 • Total 3,684
 • Density 505/sq mi (195.1/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 479
FIPS code 05-52970
GNIS feature ID 0072973

Ozark is a city in Franklin County, Arkansas, United States and one of the county's two seats of government. The community is located along the Arkansas River in the Arkansas River Valley on the southern edge of the Ozark Mountains. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 3,684.

Incorporated in 1850, Ozark is adjacent to much of Arkansas wine country, and contains a bridge to cross the Arkansas River for travelers heading to points south. The city is also located on Arkansas Highway 23, nicknamed the Pig Trail Scenic Byway, known for its steep drops, sharp curves and scenic mountain views. The city is contained within the Fort Smith metropolitan area.

The name Aux Arc, later simplified to "Ozark", was given to this bend of the river by the French explorers when they were mapping out this land.


Native Americans roamed the area freely before Arkansas was a territory. The Cherokee and Osage lived in this area that would later become attractive to settlers. The Ozark area was frequented by French fur trappers and served as a landmark during European exploration of the area. It was these adventurous souls who gave the area and the rolling mountains that rise there their name, Aux Arcs.

Included in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the vicinity became a stopping and crossing point along the Arkansas River. The modern settlement of Ozark was established here in the 1830s, and an important road grew connecting Ozark to Fayetteville, Arkansas, following the route of today's Pig Trail Scenic Byway to connect Northwest Arkansas with the river.

Ozark played a role on the Trail of Tears. Steamboats would often stop here in times of low water and Native Americans camped in Ozark before moving to Oklahoma on foot. The waterfront is a designated stop on the trail of tears route.

Ozark's population grew to about 100 people during the Civil War and served as a Confederate base after the battles of Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove in 1862. In April 1863, Brigadier General William L. Cabell led 900 men from Ozark on an expedition that ended at the Battle of Fayetteville. Ozark became the scene of fighting later that year and again in 1864, where many skirmishes were fought in the vicinity. A monument on the grounds of the Franklin County Courthouse pays tribute to an officer killed just north of town.

Although Ozark prospered over the years, it remained a small city on the river.

The name "Ozark" comes from Aux Arcs, the name given to the area and the mountains that rise there by early French settlers. Ozark, Arkansas, was the first community to be incorporated with that name.


Ozark is located east of the center of Franklin County at 35°29′34″N 93°50′14″W / 35.49278°N 93.83722°W / 35.49278; -93.83722 (35.492713, -93.837096), on the north side of the Arkansas River. It is 48 miles (77 km) west of Russellville and 38 miles (61 km) east of Fort Smith. The city limits extend north to Interstate 40, which has access from Exits 35 and 37. U.S. Route 64 passes through the center of Ozark, providing a local east-west route parallel to I-40. Arkansas Highway 23 leads north as the Pig Trail Scenic Byway into the Ozarks 28 miles (45 km) to Brashears, while to the south AR 23 crosses the Arkansas River and leads 28 miles (45 km) to Booneville.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Ozark has a total area of 7.3 square miles (19.0 km2), of which 7.3 square miles (18.9 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.52%, is water. Ozark is the point at which the Arkansas River is farthest north in the state.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Ozark has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.

Climate data for Ozark, AR
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 81
Average high °F (°C) 50.0
Average low °F (°C) 28.6
Record low °F (°C) -16
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.90
Snowfall inches (cm) 2.3


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 82
1870 210
1880 824 292.4%
1890 862 4.6%
1900 848 −1.6%
1910 1,146 35.1%
1920 1,262 10.1%
1930 1,564 23.9%
1940 1,402 −10.4%
1950 1,757 25.3%
1960 1,965 11.8%
1970 2,592 31.9%
1980 3,621 39.7%
1990 3,330 −8.0%
2000 3,525 5.9%
2010 3,684 4.5%
Est. 2015 3,590 −2.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 3,525 people, 1,453 households, and 940 families residing in the city. The population density was 491.6 people per square mile (189.8/km²). There were 1,607 housing units at an average density of 224.1 per square mile (86.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.48% White, 0.14% Black or African American, 0.68% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 1.08% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. 2.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,453 households out of which 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.4% 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 2.91.

In the city, the population was spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 21.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 85.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,057, and the median income for a family was $31,537. Males had a median income of $25,409 versus $17,353 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,583. About 17.9% of families and 21.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.9% of those under age 18 and 19.8% of those age 65 or over.


Paddling Near Ozark Arkansas
Canoeing on the Mulberry River

Downtown Ozark features a number of historic sites. Among these is the old Missouri Pacific Depot, which now serves as a museum and houses many artifacts related to the city's history. Murals can be found throughout the city. The quintessential square is filled with window store fronts full of antique and gift shops, crape myrtle shrubs in bloom summer through fall, and a park across from the courthouse.

The old Franklin County Jail features a distinctive stone facade, resembling a medieval castle.

The city serves as the southern access point for the Pig Trail Scenic Byway. This 19-mile (31 km) scenic drive begins 11 miles (18 km) north of Ozark where Highway 23 enters the Ozark National Forest. The Pig Trail leads drivers through beautiful rolling mountain country and past waterfalls, rock formations and the beautiful Mulberry River, popular for kayaking and canoeing. Ozark is a popular place for food and rest while exploring the Pig Trail Scenic Byway.

The view from the Arkansas River Bridge in Ozark is ranked among the most beautiful in America and is especially appealing when lit at night.

Ozark Lake on the Arkansas River provides plenty of fishing opportunities. Tree-shaded Aux Arc Park stretches along the river from the Ozark Lock and Dam and has a playground, campsites, boat launching ramps and other facilities. Within miles of Ozark are the Mulberry River and White Rock Mountain Recreation Area in the Ozark National Forest.

Ozark is in the heart of Arkansas Wine Country along with the cities of Altus, Wiederkehr Village, and Paris.

Depictions in cinema

In the first season of the reality TV series The Simple Life, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie worked at the Sonic Drive-In in Ozark.

On April 17, 2007, Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson mentioned Ozark during his guest appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. While telling Dave a story about travelling the country, Craig said he had stopped in "Ozark, which is a town in Arkansas," and discovered catfish. It was the first time Craig had eaten catfish. He described it as being "a tasty fish". On June 14, 2007, Ferguson displayed a letter from Mayor Vernon McDaniels, making Ferguson an honorary citizen of Ozark. After becoming an honorary citizen, Ferguson set out to become an honorary citizen of as many U.S. cities as possible and later became an official U.S. citizen, all thanks to Ozark starting the trend. On June 25, 2009, Ferguson again mentioned Ozark during his opening monologue. He told his audience that Ozark was the place to stop for good catfish and described it as a "lovely town". Ferguson later financed a bond to build a $415,000 turf field for their high school football team in 2010.

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