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Ozark on the River Franklin County, Arkansas


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Welcome to an Arkansas River City nestled within one of the most attractive areas of The Natural State. We invite you to leave the rush of the interstate highway and relax in a world of charming, small-town living surrounded by unspoiled mountains, rivers, forests and lakes. The city of Ozark and the Ozark Mountain countryside have much for you to enjoy.

Ozark has been a landmark to travelers since it was first visited by French explorers who called this area “Aux Arc”, meaning “Big Bend”, a likely reference to the 19-mile bend of the Arkansas River located here. Ozark’s history and legends are filled with Civil War happenings, bushwackers’ misadventures and tales of lost Spanish treasure.

The Ozark Lake on the Arkansas River provides serious adventure and fun. On Ozark Lake fishing is good all year round. “Aux Arc” Park located in Ozark is spacious, tree shaded and neat as a pin. It stretches along the river from the Lock and Dam and delivers a whopping portion of outdoor fun. The park is beautiful. It has a playground, campsites, boat launching ramps, facilities and gorgeous views. A majority of the park’s 60 RV hookups backup to the water. The Lock and Dam has sight-seeing tours; and if you arrive at the right time, you might get to see the Delta Queen being lifted through the Lock.

The Ozark area has over 36 churches representing several denominations and more than 55 clubs and organizations. Among them are the Lion’s Club, American Legion, Eagles, Masonic Lodge, Rotary, Kiwanis Club, Boy and Girl Scouts, Ducks Unlimited and the second largest Cattlemen’s Association in the United States, the Franklin County Cattlemen’s Association.


Ozark, Arkansas, founded in 1835, became the first county seat of Franklin County in 1837. Ozark is one of the oldest towns in the state. The early French explorers named the territory “Aux Arc” (pronounced Ozark) because of the “big bend” or “big bow” the nineteen mile bend of the Arkansas River makes here. During the Civil War the Franklin County Courthouse and jail were burned by Confederate soldiers to prevent their use by advancing Union forces.

Altus received its name, which means “high”, due to its elevation as the highest point on the railroad line that ran the length of the Arkansas River. Noted for its sandy loam soil and climate conditions, the grape growing region around Altus was nationally recognized in 1984 as the Altus Viticulture Area.

Charleston was founded in 1843 on an important east-west road (later the Butterfield Overland Mail route) and named Charles Town by Massachusetts Free Will Baptist preacher Charles Kellum. The town’s name changed in 1874 when the preacher’s business failed and the town was incorporated.

The cities of Ozark, Altus, Charleston and Wiederkehr Village operate under a Mayor-Council form of Government.

The economy of Ozark and its surrounding area is based largely on agriculture and poultry production. There are several manufacturing plants and a large viticulture industry.
Franklin County - 17,771
Ozark - 3,525
Altus - 817
Charleston - 2,965

The Ozark School System consists of grades K through 12. Charleston and County Line schools are also in Franklin County. Franklin County Learning Center and Enterpriser are dedicated to the needs of special children and adults.

Arkansas Tech University has a campus in Ozark.

Cass Job Corps, near Ozark, provides educational and environmental training to disadvantaged young men and women.

Colleges within commuting distance are The University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas Tech University at Russellville and The University of Arkansas at Ft. Smith.

Mercy Hospital Turner Memorial, a 25 bed, fully staffed and equipped hospital, is owned and operated by the Sisters of Mercy of St. Edward Mercy Medical Center, Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Also serving the Ozark community are medical clinics, ambulance service and EMS. A nursing care facility also serves the area.

There are 4 major banking institutions and one brokerage.

Weekly Newspapers: The Spectator in Ozark and The Charleston Express in Charleston.
Radio/TV: KDYN Radio Station / Suddenlink Communications Station.
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