A Brief History of Mineral Springs, Arkansas

Logging train. Photo courtesy of Howard County Museum.

Mineral Springs is the second-largest city in Howard County, Arkansas. The springs for which it was named were once promoted as medicinal—the best and purest such water in Arkansas. After Arkansas became a state, the first settler to make a home near the springs was Cokely Williams, who arrived in 1840. At that time, Howard County had not yet been established, and the springs were located near the line separating Hempstead and Sevier counties. As other settlers arrived, Williams established a post office in Sevier County. This post office, named Saline, was discontinued in 1843, reopened in 1844, and renamed Mineral Springs in 1869. When the Arkansas and Louisiana Railroad completed a line linking Hope to Nashville, many families moved to Nashville, the county seat. By 1892, the population of Mineral Springs had declined to about 100 residents. The city revived, though, when the Brown Henderson Improvement Company built a short-line railroad linking Mineral Springs to the Kansas City Southern Railroad at Ashdown. The principal purpose of the rail line was transportation of timber, as the timber industry was flourishing throughout Howard County at the time. Mineral Springs had five cotton gins in the early 1900s, but when cotton prices plummeted after World War I, the economy of the city began to decline. The last bale of cotton ginned in Howard County was produced in Mineral Springs in 1971. Mineral Springs is now home to many of Howard County’s industrial workers (Teske, 2019).


Teske, Steven. (2019, Jan. 16). Mineral Springs (Howard County). Retrieved from encyclopediaofarkansas.net.

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