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Siloam Springs, Arkansas

Updated on May 29, 2012

Siloam Springs

Located in Northwest Arkansas, Siloam Springs is a vibrant and growing community. With a spirit of volunteerism, friendly atmosphere, and abundant natural beauty, Siloam Springs offers a quality of life in a setting that is unique and attractive. City services and local government make Siloam Springs a clean, safe and enjoyable place to live and work.

The city has worked to achieve a walkable format, though still more progress needs to be made for shoppers and tourists.

Not far from Cherokee Casino and only 30 minutes to an hour from several hot spots of Northwest Arkansas, Siloam Springs is poised to be an abundant and thriving closet community.

So as several projects are making Siloam hard to navigate right now, it still has many great features. Our new additional lanes to the bypass should make Siloam easier to flow from one side of the town to the other.

Only an hour from Fort Smith or Tulsa, it's centralized location is well preserved, and with recent strides to make the town more maneuverable, It will continue to grow through all kinds of bad economy.

City Of Beauty and Progress

A revived resort town on the edge of the Natural State

Our location, government, and workforce create a vibrant business environment. Siloam Springs offers a strong base of industrial businesses and a growing community of small businesses to meet retail, entertainment and service needs of residents and workforce.

The main campus of John Brown University is also located in Siloam Springs and maintains the feel of a small town university even though it is quite modern in it's class offerings.

Our earliest history dates to 1835 when Simon Sager settled on a farm one mile west of what is now the City of Siloam Springs. The 28 springs along the creek were named in his honor, "Sager Creek". His original dwelling has been restored and is now located on the campus of John Brown University.

* Excellent school district and again, the excellent beautiful campus of JBU.

* Nice mature area for businesses, with support of a Lowe's and the actual store number 4 of WalMart. All without losing it's small town charm.

* With industry like LaZBoy, Dayspring/Hallmark, GatesRubber, Allen's Canning, Cobb Vantress, Simmons Foods, PipeLife, and Webb Wheel in the city limits and factories like McKee Baking (THE Little Debbie Bakery) and Baldor Electric within just miles.

* Half an hour from the hub of WalMart operations Bentonville, Arkansas. And thirty to forty-five minutes from several premiere entertainment centers; Dickson Street in Fayetteville, the Arkansas Music Pavilion, The Arkansas Naturals Stadium, The Arkansas Razorback Stadiums, and several other points of interest. With Fort Smith and Tulsa just a touch over an hour away, Siloam Springs is actually a quaint "closet" community.

* Plenty of parks and recreation areas, with miles of walking paths all through town. A decent cruising scene, several large biker clubs including BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse). And also a thriving and quaint downtown area.

* A history to be proud of. A present to thrive in. And a future to grow into.

The Arkansas State Flag

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History Of A Small Town

In 1884 Caldeen D. Gunter settled in a small area that became known as Hico. At about this time the Hico Post Office was established, later to be moved to Siloam City. Hico was a prominent trading post with the Cherokee nation and consisted of two stores and a mill.

In 1879 it was discovered that the spring waters contained medicinal qualities and the establishment of a summer resort began. The first anniversary of the town was celebrated on the 24th of June. In March 1880, J.V. Hargrove laid out the original plat of Siloam City. Due to the reputation gained as a summer resort and the prospect of the railroad through town, the town was incorporated during its first year of existence on December 22, 1881, with a population of over 3,000. After this initial "boom" many of the temporary residents and vacationers returned to their homes and the population dwindled to about half. This was the only time in the history of the town that the population dwindled so rapidly.

The first newspaper for the town of Siloam Springs was established in 1880 by Thomas Gallagher and was known as the "Sun". Other early papers were the Globe, Arkansas Herald, and the Locomotive.

In 1892 the town experienced a great flood which took two lives and destroyed much of the downtown area. Rebuilding began immediately and since that time, the town has sustained a steady growth pattern.

The coming of the railroad in 1897 stepped up the economy of western Benton County. Orchards, poultry products, hides, wool, beef and all agricultural products found a ready market with the City of Siloam Springs serving as the shipping point and trade center. This trade center remains today, and is a great advantage to industry.

In 1919 John E. Brown, Sr. founded the Southwestern Collegiate Institute in the City of Siloam Springs. In 1920 the name was changed to John E. Brown College, and in 1934 the name was again changed to John Brown University. Today the school has an enrollment of over 1,500 students and is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and by the Arkansas State Department of Education as a four-year college.

Many changes have come and gone. A second flood hit downtown Siloam Springs in 1972 damaging several buildings and closing several businesses.

The Major Employers

The places to work when you get here

Siloam Springs offers several great places to work:

Allen Canning Company, 1000+ employees, A vegetable canning company founded by the present president's father Delbert Allen, Sr in 1926. Allen Canning has an economic footprint that spans several states, but it's home office is in Siloam Springs as well as one of it's main distribution points. Allen's offers eleven respected brand names: The Allens, Butterfield, East Texas Fair, Popeye, Princella, Royal Prince, Sugary Sam, Sunshine, Trappey's, Veg-All, and Wagon Master.

Cherokee Casino, at 285 employees, is one of the sustaining businesses of West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma. With a 50,000 square foot game center and currently in construction of the new facility that is even bigger, and soon to break ground on the new resort hotel; all leaving you to wonder why you would leave Siloam to go to Las Vegas. The cost of the new casino is upward of $83 million, featuring hundreds more games, more game tables, more restaurants, a club with a huge dance floor, and much more. The new hotel features 140 rooms spread over 8 stories.

City Of Siloam Springs, currently listed at 200 employees, of course keeps the water flowing, the power on, and the government humming. Streets are swept and grass is mowed. Streets are patrolled, kids are taught, and fires are fought.

Cobb-Vantress, 200 employees keep this mainstay of the upper end broiler chicken industry running smoothly. This company provides R&D for a good number of other producers in the whole of the chicken industry, excelling in breeding higher yielding, more consistent animals which in return yield less waste. A hugely successful company founded on realistic principles instituted by it's founder Robert C. Cobb when he started the company in Littleton, Massachusetts in 1916.

DaySpring Cards, 425 associates make this Christian division of Hallmark Cards extra special. It didn't start out that big. In 1971, four men in California created a company based on one card. That one card grew to a sizable card company that moved to Siloam in 1979 with 30 employees. Now those four men are heavily involved in other ministries because of the retirement after the affiliation with Hallmark.

Gates Corporation, Charles Gates bought Colorado Tire and Leather in 1911 for $3,500. When Charles' brother invented the rubber and fabric V belt in 1917 and within a decade Gates Rubber Company established itself as the largest manufacturer of V-belts, a title which it still holds today.

John Brown University, please refer to the later part of this lens for a more in depth description of this fulfilling university.

La-Z-Boy of Arkansas, employs 525 Siloam citizens. In 1927, Monroe, Michigan as Kna-Shoe Manufacturing named for it's founders, then later changed to Floral City Furniture. They built the first factory in a cornfield, in the middle of nowhere. The original ten horsepower motor that ran the entire woodworking of the original building still runs in the original building, by running an elevator. And when they invented the first upholstered recliner in 1929, the chair after many tries at a name became the first La-Z-Boy. But the chair didn't turn into a separate company until 1941. Then came their invention of the rocking ottoman. Then Jim Bakkus' alter ego Mr. Magoo landed La-Z-Boy in the Guinness Book of World Records after recording 15,000 radio and TV commercials.

McKee Foods, Building the first bakery in 1934, OD Mckee and his wife Ruth. The logo of Little Debbie started with a photo of the grand-daughter Debbie at age 3 or 4 and then repainted by an artist to look older. Now she has grown up to become Vice-President and Plant Manager. The Gentry, Arkansas plant was built in 1982 and employs 1500+ people.

Ozark Electronics Repair, started in 1981 as Houpe's Electronics in a storefront in nearby Decatur. Expansion was immenant when WalMart picked up the newly incorporated Ozark Electronics to provide reverse logistics. After the purchase of the facility in Cullman, Alabama, OERI purchased the former La-Z-Boy factory. And has only grown since.

PipeLife Jet Stream, The huge international company started in 1989 by a joint venture of Solvay and Wienerberger. PipeLife then expanded into the North American market by purchasing the local leader, JetStream Plastics. PipeLife has continued to keep the Northwest Arkansas factory in the same place.

Simmons Foods, Started in a renovated hotel in nearby Decatur, Arkansas in 1949, Bill Simmons created a company that now holds a large part of the market share.

Wal-Mart SuperCenter, 450

Webb Wheel Productions, 162

As well as several retail outlets and restaurants.

Or you could start your own business fairly easily.

The Main Campus of John Brown University

The Main Campus of John Brown University
The Main Campus of John Brown University

John Brown University

From humble beginnings

JBU has broken many records in it's tenure. Many outstanding citizens have embraced the many facets of the university since it's humble beginnings in a corn field on the state line. I have had the opportunity many times to work on the premises and it has been a gratifying experience every time.

To find out more about the campus or it's Advance Program for adults seeking higher education, visit Their Website

They have also started two ambitious projects this year: The new arena has broken ground as well as the new performing arts center.

For an interesting read, make sure to go to JBU timeline

NEW UPDATE -- we are within a week of finishing the carpet and tile in the brand new, state of the art Performing Arts Center. Trust me! I have been drooling all over that fully computerized Yamaha mixing board in the FOH booth. (hope it still works heheh)

The Razorback

The State Mascot for Baseball, Football, Basketball, and all of the other U of A sports

Officially licensed 3' x 5' flag with attached D-rings. The imprint is 100% show through to the backside with a long lasting color-fast die. Fly on a flagpole or hang it on a wall. Made in USA.Exact design of this NCAA flag is subject to change.

Click on the image to purchase this flag.

Siloam Springs

Does Siloam sound like your kind of place?

See results

What can I do in Your little town Keystone?

I ask that occationally, then I consult this list:

Two golf courses: The Siloam Golf Course is a beautiful setting with the full 18 holes. Dawn Hill has changed names over the past few years, but has always gone back to the name Dawn Hill. It is a full 18 holes and is actually a country club with restaurant and the only full bar in this part of the county as Benton county is a dry county. Both courses are connected to Main Street by Country Club Road not far from WalMart.

Natural Falls RV Park is a great setting to have a family get together. See the expose below!

The Cherokee Casino almost like going to Vegas

Sky Ranch for a great skydiving weekend

Arkoma Lanesfor some bowling

The Sager Creek Arts Center, regularly has broadway styled musicals and plays.

Siloam Springs 6 our newest theater

Siloam Springs Museum, rotates exhibits from Siloam Springs history, usually put on display by families of the founders.

The Siloam Springs Riding Club also runs the Siloam Springs Rodeo, which near the July 4th celebration typically, draws visitors from the area. They also partner with The Arts Center and the Museum for the annul Siloam Picnic in June.

While not in Siloam, located in nearby Gentry, Arkansas the Wild Wilderness Drive Thru Safari, is a definite must see.

In spring we have the Dogwood Festival, which is an arts and crafts fair. Usually with a large turnout. Also that weekend is the Dogwood Run, our annual marathon.

The Historic Downtown committee also sponsors a Halloween trick or treat walk in the Downtown District, where downtown businesses do the treats for dressed up area children.

More to come!

EXPOSE: Natural Falls State Park

If the setting looks familiar, there may be a reason. Scenes from the popular 1974 film Where the Red Fern Grows were shot here. The story of a young boy growing up in Oklahoma during the hard times of the Great Depression, the movie is an American classic.

Local residents long knew the picturesque waterfall in the park as "Dripping Springs," but the name was changed to Natural Falls when the property became a state park.

Located in a historic region that was established as the Cherokee Nation during the 1830s when that tribe was forced west on the Trail of Tears, the falls have attracted visitors since at least the 1800s. During the Civil War this section of the Ozarks was used as a hideout by guerrilla bands and outlaws continued to lurk in the area during the years after the war until they were cleared out by "Hanging Judge" Isaac C. Parker and the Deputy U.S. Marshals operating out of Fort Smith.

The highlight of Natural Falls State Park, of course, is the 77-foot waterfall that is one of the largest and easiest to access in the entire Oklahoma and Arkansas mountain region. A paved trail leads to overlooks and a viewing platform at the bottom of the falls. The upper viewing platform is accessible to visitors of all abilities, while the lower viewing platform requires a steep walk to the bottom of the ravine created by the falls.

The ravine created by the waterfall is amazingly picturesque and is a haven for rare plant and animal natural life.

Natural Falls State Park is located 6 miles west of West Siloam Springs off U.S. Highway 412. In addition to the falls, the park also offers camping, hiking, picnicking and other activities. There is a $3 per car admission fee. Please click here to visit the park's official website for more information.

Article and Photo Courtesy of Dale Cox Please visit his site for more awesome places to visit in the American South!

Give me a good reason why you wouldn't move here.

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    • sirkeystone lm profile image
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      sirkeystone lm 6 years ago

      @jillian22: Now there's a place I should visit....

    • profile image

      jillian22 6 years ago

      I love New England.

    • hankasawat profile image

      hankasawat 6 years ago

      Nice read. I like hearing about little towns like this. I'm not familiar with the ters "closet" community though.

    • sirkeystone lm profile image
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      sirkeystone lm 7 years ago

      @anonymous: thank you Jacqueline! Actually, I'm a transplant from Arizona... The Verde Valley. I was born in Flagstaff, but spent most of my time in Clarkdale and Cottonwood.

    • sirkeystone lm profile image
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      sirkeystone lm 7 years ago

      @anonymous: I was just reading back through these comments and yours just struck me. I know you posted this quite a while back, but my son-in-law just made Chief of Police in Colcord! My daughter's not crazy about it though...

      I should do one of these one Colcord, because my father in law grew up there and so did a lot of my friends. And of course even though we were right off the Arkansas line, my parents have always had a Colcord address... But maybe I shouldn't mention that my daughter married into the Bishop clan.... ;-)

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Very nice, Keith, but I'm a desert rat! I love living in Arizona. Might be nice for a summer visit, though. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I liked reading this. My husband and I grew up in Colcord, OK...but as I'm sure you know, there is nothing there. haha Our first jobs were in Siloam, first dates, our son and I were even taken to the hospital in Siloam after he was born in the bathroom floor in my parent's house in Colcord. The Air Force has taken us all over this country now, and Colcord/Siloam/Tahlequah will always be "home" to him. I feel a little bit sad at times when I think of the things our kids will miss out on by not being raised in such a place...Hopefully we can come back and visit more often! :)

    • stacy mcdaniel profile image

      stacy mcdaniel 7 years ago

      Hello, I'm from Pottsville, AR. I'm new here at squidoo. I haven't visited that part of the state. It sounds nice and looks beautiful. Great job. 5*****

    • sirkeystone lm profile image
      Author

      sirkeystone lm 8 years ago

      Also, as per my bio at the top of the page if you would have read before judging "James Aric "Sir Keystone" Keith has been living and working in Siloam Springs for over 25 years."

      Not Dale... The only Dale mentioned is the photographer Dale Cox who took the pictures of Natural Falls...

      Get the facts straight first, then complain...

    • sirkeystone lm profile image
      Author

      sirkeystone lm 8 years ago

      hmmm, OK okie by birth... If you would read rather than crap on my page I did say "West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma" not Siloam Springs, Arkansas. I do give credit where credit is due in the employer section. In the places to visit section, I didn't list a state because I didn't see the need to be redundant.

      My daughter lives in Colcord, My son-in-law is a Kansas, "Oklahoma" cop, my future daughter-in-law died in a car accident in Tahlequah last winter ,my parents and brother live 6 tenths of a mile over the line and are denied Siloam ambulance service. Need any other information?

      I'm not talking about the asses that Siloam has, I'm talking about why I stayed here instead of going back to Arizona where I belong...

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      How come you listed the casino as a Siloam Springs, ARKANSAS employer, Dale, instead of OKLAHOMA? HUH? The casino and the park are in/near West Siloam Springs, Delaware County, OKLAHOMA, where alcohol and gambling are allowed, not in self-righteous Siloam Springs, AR where you can't even buy a beer. You need to make that clear. And anyone who works across the state line from where they live has to pay taxes in two states. I know, my ex had to (we lived in OK worked in AR, though). You need to include that kind of information. Also, you might mention that there's been a battle lasting at least 35 years with the Illinois Scenic River supporters over Arkansas cities (including Siloam Springs) polluting the river and its tributary, Flint Creek. Canoe float trips are not the most pleasant (or recommended) during really hot weather. I could list some more reasons (with references), but I'm going to a farm auction to get some wire to finish fencing my place outside Westville, OKLAHOMA.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Thanks for introducing me to your town. Other than a short stay in Little Rock when I was a child, I've never visited Arkansas. But I've got a long-distance hiking trail on my list that will get me there eventually. Nice work on this lens. :)

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 8 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Very nice lens, 5*****. Nice to have this featured on my Arkansas State lens.

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Sounds like a wonderful place to visit! - I have my heart set on moving back to Kabetogama Lake, hopefully within two years or so. - Nice lens Aric! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Go Arkansas:)

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 8 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I don't need to move there, but I can be there in 90 minutes for a visit! Siloam Springs is a great town, neighbor!

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      cowgirlup1123 9 years ago

      wow GREAT lense i loooove how you have written it...