Russellville, Arkansas, is the largest city in Pope County, Arkansas. The population for Russellville is 27,586 – according to the 2009 Census Bureau estimates. It is home to Arkansas Tech University, Arkansas Nuclear One, and Lake Dardanelle State Park. Over 400,000 people visit Russellville each year. According to Arkansas.com, Pope County is one of the top five most visited counties in Arkansas.
The Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce, Wikipedia, and the US Census report that Russellville is known for its lake, beautiful outdoors, local arts, and location within a short drive to Petit Jean Mountain and Mt. Magazine. The most popular local events include The Business Expo, Christmas Parade, Winter Wonderland, Art Walks, and some of the largest fishing tournaments in the nation. Many people commute to Russellville on a daily basis from its surrounding areas, for both work and recreation. Russellville is also home to the Pope County Fairground, which hosts a number of events ranging from horse racing to fairs and conventions. A hotel, featuring a convention center, is scheduled for construction within the next several years.
Before the town was named Russellville, it was known to local people as Chactas Prairie, The Prairie, or Cactus Flats. In the early 19th century, Osage from Missouri hunted frequently in the valley where Russellville is located. Between 1818 and 1828, the area was within a Cherokee reservation, but after 1828 the Cherokee were removed to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), and the land became available for white settlement.
The first settler in the area was P.C. Holledger in 1834. One year later, Dr. Thomas Russell bought Holledger’s house. The first business to be established in the town was owned by Mr. Shinn, who later built a masonry structure to replace his wooden store in 1875. When the town’s residents decided to name it, it came down to two choices: Shinnville or Russellville, and Russellville won. On June 7, 1870, Russellville became an incorporated city.
The median income for a household in the city is $38,234, and the median income for a family is $49,440. Males had a median income of $30,133 versus $19,906 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,637.