Batesville, Arkansas' second oldest city, is the county seat of
Independence County. With a population of slightly more than 10,000, Batesville is located just a couple hours
north, by four-lane highway, from Little Rock, and about the same amount of time west of Memphis, TN.
Batesville was was named after James Woodson Bates, who was the first
territorial delegate from Arkansas to the Congress of the United States, and settled here in town. Previously, the
town was named Napoleon and Polk Bayou.
In the early pioneer days, Batesville was a vital port on theWhite River and played a very important role in the settling of
theOzark Mountains region.
The first known settlement of the Batesville area was in 1810 near the mouth
ofPolk Bayou; by 1819 the town had
a ferry running across the White River and about a dozen houses had been built. Batesville became the county
seat in 1821. In1836, shortly after Arkansas was granted its
statehood,Governor Conway incorporated Batesville Academy, the state's first academy.
Batesville is the home ofLyon
College, a private liberal arts college affiliated with thePresbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and noted
for the annual Arkansas Scottish Festival each spring. In addition, the city is home to theUniversity of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB). Batesville was listed in
Norman Crampton's 1992 bookThe 100 Best Small Towns in
America, ranking at #74.
Batesville and Independence County has much to offer. Check out the
links in the right column and see for yourself!