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Fordyce City

Fordyce City Hall is located at 101 South Main Street, Fordyce AR 71742; phone: 870-352-2198.

Beginnings [1]

Fordyce was platted in 1882 when the Cotton Belt Railroad line passed through the southeast corner of the county. The town was named for Samuel Fordyce who surveyed the railroad line and later became President of the Railway Company. Fordyce was incorporated in 1884 and by 1890 it had become the largest town in the county with a population of 1,710. The town continued to grow and was, in 1908, the trade center of the county and the center for railway connection in south-central Arkansas. Added prominence was given to Fordyce in 1908 when the county seat was moved from Princeton to the booming railroad town. Shortly thereafter, in 1911, a courthouse reflecting the period and its prosperity was constructed in the commercial area of Fordyce.

The introduction of the railroad into the county allowed for the exploitation of the great timber resources. Many of the area's early resources were destroyed during this period as large tracts of farm land were purchased by lumber companies and planted in pine forests. These forests were penetrated by hundreds of railroad spurs and tram roads to bring the timber to the sawmills of the lumber companies. Located in Fordyce, the largest of the lumber companies was appropriately named the Fordyce Lumber Company. The lumber industry grew in the county and by 1900 it was second only to agriculture as an income producer.

  1. Brown, Sarah, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Dallas County Multiple Resource Area, Dallas County AR, nomination document, 1983, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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