Like many towns in the United States, Russellville, Arkansas, has a rich and interesting history. Before it was named Russellville, the locals knew the town under a number of nicknames, ranging from "Chactas Prairie" and "Cactus Flats" to just "The Prairie."
It was a hunting ground for the Osage tribe in the early 19th century and a Cherokee reservation between 1818 and 1828. After that, the Cherokee were moved to Oklahoma and the area became available for white settlement.
The first settler was P.C. Holledger in 1834, but his house was bought a year after by Dr. Thomas Russell, while the first business was established by Mr. Shinn. Later, residents decided to name the town either Shinnville or Russellville, and the latter won.
Russellville became an incorporated city in 1870. It grew slowly until the railroad was built and it experienced such a commercial and population boom so just six years later it was already home to 800 people.
Russellville has a history of industry. Just years after the town was formed, it had a wagon and plow factory, a canning and evaporation plant, a large foundry and machine shop, and numerous mills, including the Melrose Cotton Mill, a cotton gin and wood-carding mill, and a gristmill.
Today, much has changed but the tradition of business has not. Russellville supports a nuclear power plant, automobile parts manufacturing, frozen foods, a poultry processing plant, and much more. It is home to 48 manufacturers employing over 8,000 citizens. If you're the kind of person who likes to make things, there's no better place to be than Russellville, Arkansas.