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Waldo, Arkansas
Waldo c.1910
Waldo c.1910
Location of Waldo in Columbia County, Arkansas.
Location of Waldo in Columbia County, Arkansas.
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Columbia
 • Total 2.20 sq mi (5.69 km2)
 • Land 2.19 sq mi (5.68 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
361 ft (110 m)
 • Total 1,151
 • Density 524.61/sq mi (202.59/km2)
Time zone UTC−06:00 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−05:00 (CDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 870
FIPS code 05-72350
GNIS feature ID 0058813

Waldo is a town in Columbia County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 1,372 at the 2010 census.


Waldo celebrated its 120th year as a city in 2007. The small community was once a booming rail city on the Cotton Belt train route. The city has a rail museum with various displays showing its rail history.

The city began to wane in population in the 1950s when neighboring Magnolia began drawing industry.

Waldo was once home to the Waldo High School Bulldogs basketball teams. Consistently these teams made playoffs and on numerous occasions won the state championship. The legacy of Waldo School will carry on in the community despite its closing in 2005.

The Waldo Water Tower, completed in 1936 by the Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Co., is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Waldo is located in northwestern Columbia County at 33°21′07″N 93°17′40″W / 33.351944°N 93.294372°W / 33.351944; -93.294372. By U.S. Route 371 it is 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Magnolia, the county seat.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.3 square miles (5.9 km2), all land.

Waldo, located in South Arkansas near the northern Louisiana border, has a subtropical climate like that of the Bayou State and similar terrain. The area is characterized by lowlands and swamps. Most of the area in and about the city is covered with pine or hardwood forests.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 709
1900 929 31.0%
1910 597 −35.7%
1920 704 17.9%
1930 942 33.8%
1940 1,240 31.6%
1950 1,491 20.2%
1960 1,722 15.5%
1970 1,658 −3.7%
1980 1,685 1.6%
1990 1,495 −11.3%
2000 1,594 6.6%
2010 1,372 −13.9%
2020 1,151 −16.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Waldo racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 274 23.81%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 822 71.42%
Native American 1 0.09%
Other/Mixed 39 3.39%
Hispanic or Latino 15 1.3%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 1,151 people, 558 households, and 329 families residing in the city.


The Magnolia School District, including Magnolia High School, serves the community. The Waldo School District consolidated into the Magnolia district on July 1, 2006. The Waldo district operated Waldo Elementary School (K-6) and Waldo High School (7-12).



  • US 371.svg U.S. Highway 371
  • Arkansas 98.svg Arkansas Highway 98

Notable people

  • Mujahid Abdul-Karim, imam of Masjid Al Rasul mosque in Watts, Los Angeles, and leader of the Imam Mahdi Movement
  • Algie D. Brown, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
  • Chris DeFrance, professional football player
  • Travis Jackson, baseball shortstop; inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Sytia Messer, college basketball coach
  • Travis E. Watkins, recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Korean War

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