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Home / Browse / Perrytown (Hempstead County)
Latitude and Longitude:
1.545 square miles (2010 Census)
272 (2010 Census)
October 14, 1963
Historical Population as per the U.S. Census:
Perrytown is a town on U.S. Highway 67 about three miles northeast of Hope (Hempstead County). Incorporated in 1963, it is named for local businessman Perry Campbell.
Parts of Hempstead County were inhabited by Caddo before the arrival of European explorers and American settlers. Among the first white Americans to claim land in the region that would become Perrytown were Robert Carrington, James Cantley, William Easley, and David Mouser, all of whom received land patents in 1837; Carrington owned the largest portion of land.
By this time, the Southwest Trail had been established through Arkansas, running through such communities as Washington (Hempstead County) and Fulton (Hempstead County). The Cairo and Fulton Railroad, intended to connect southern Illinois with many cities and towns along the Southwest Trail in Missouri and Arkansas, was first surveyed in the 1850s. When tracks were finally laid in Hempstead County in the 1870s, they swung to the south of Carrington’s land but helped to create the city of Hope, now the county seat of Hempstead County. The land continued to produce cotton and other crops into the twentieth century.
In 1926, U.S. Highway 67 was created, following the route of the Southwest Trail and parallel to the railroad, then owned by the Missouri Pacific Railway. The highway crossed the area that would become Perrytown.
In 1955, Perry Campbell established a truck stop next to the highway. During the following eight years, he added a garage, a restaurant, and a motel he called Perry’s Congress Motel. By 1963, Campbell had competition from a second motel, and the area also supported a cabinet shop, a grocery store, a gift shop, a clothing and shoe store, two greenhouses, and two watermelon stands. In 1963, area residents voted to incorporate as a town so that they could receive tax revenue from state sales taxes and gasoline taxes in order to fund road repairs and other community improvements. Against Campbell’s wishes, the town was named Perrytown in his honor.
Campbell served as mayor of Perrytown for a while, and he also developed restaurants and other businesses in nearby Hope. A Baptist church was built in Perrytown in the 1960s, and plans were made for homesites and a shopping center, as well as a volunteer fire department and a Salvation Army post to assist stranded travelers. The population was more than 280 residents in 1980 and has remained between 200 and 300 since then.
No post office or school were ever established in Perrytown. Homes and businesses in the town have Hope addresses. In 2015, Perrytown had two Baptist churches but no other businesses. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission maintains a regional office in Perrytown. Perry Campbell died in 2005.
For additional information:Ross, Mike. “In Lasting Memory of Perry Campbell.” Congressional Record, Vol. 151, part 17 (October 7–26, 2005), 23245.
Temple, Wick. “New State Municipality Spawned by Thriving Truck Stop and a Dream.” Arkansas Gazette, October 9, 1963, p. 3A.
Steven Teske Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Last Updated 1/23/2017
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