Siloam Springs, Arkansas

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Siloam Springs, Arkansas
Siloam Springs collage.png
Clockwise, from top: Gazebo in City Park, Main Street Siloam Springs, fountain in Twin Springs Park, entrance to John Brown University, Sager Creek Arts Center, fountains in Sager Creek
Benton County Arkansas Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Siloam Springs Highlighted 0564370.svg
Location of Siloam Springs in Benton County, Arkansas.
Coordinates: 36°11′0″N94°32′22″W / 36.18333°N 94.53944°W / 36.18333; -94.53944 Coordinates: 36°11′0″N94°32′22″W / 36.18333°N 94.53944°W / 36.18333; -94.53944
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Benton
IncorporatedDecember 22, 1881
  Type City Administrator
  MayorJohn Turner
  Total11.55 sq mi (29.91 km2)
  Land11.38 sq mi (29.47 km2)
  Water0.17 sq mi (0.44 km2)
1,132 ft (345 m)
(2017) [2]
  Density1,480.22/sq mi (571.53/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 479
FIPS code 05-64370
GNIS feature ID0078364

Siloam Springs is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. The city shares a border on the Arkansas-Oklahoma state line with the city of West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma, which is within the Cherokee Nation territory. The town was founded in 1882 and was characterized by the purported healing powers of the spring water feeding Sager Creek and trading with nearby Native American tribes. John Brown University (JBU) was founded in 1919 as a private, interdenominational, Christian liberal arts college in the city. Today, Siloam Springs is known for its efforts to preserve and revitalize the city's historic downtown and as a promoter of the arts via Sager Creek Arts Center and the JBU art gallery. The community is located on the western edge of the growing Northwest Arkansas metropolitan area and has had a population increase of 47% to 15,039 between the 2000 and 2010 censuses. [3]

Benton County, Arkansas county in Arkansas, United States of America

Benton County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 221,339, making it the second-most populous county in Arkansas. The county seat is Bentonville. The county was formed on September 30, 1836 and was named after Thomas Hart Benton, a U.S. Senator from Missouri. In 2012, Benton County voters elected to make the county wet, or a non-alcohol prohibition location.

Oklahoma State of the United States of America

Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.

West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma Town in Oklahoma, United States

West Siloam Springs is a town in Delaware County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 846 at the 2010 census, a 3.5 percent decrease from 877 at the 2000 census. A bedroom community for Siloam Springs, Arkansas, it is notable for its Cherokee casino, and is the closest town to Natural Falls State Park.


In 2012, the city was named one of the 20 best small towns in America by Smithsonian magazine [4]


The historic downtown of Siloam Springs was first founded as a resort town surrounding the healing waters of the springs Downtown Siloam Springs, AR 005.jpg
The historic downtown of Siloam Springs was first founded as a resort town surrounding the healing waters of the springs

Osage Indians were the known first inhabitants of the area. Siloam Springs' first white settlers were of German and Scots-Irish origin. Simon Sager is considered the founder of the town, then known as Hico. [3]

Osage Nation Native American Siouan-speaking tribe in the United States

The Osage Nation is a Midwestern Native American tribe of the Great Plains. The tribe developed in the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys around 700 BC along with other groups of its language family. They migrated west of the Mississippi after the 17th century due to wars with Iroquois invading the Ohio Valley from New York and Pennsylvania in a search for new hunting grounds. The nations separated at that time, and the Osage settled near the confluence of the Missouri and the Mississippi rivers.

Germans citizens or native-born people of Germany; or people of descent to the ethnic and ethnolinguistic group associated with the German language

Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe, who share a common German ancestry, culture and history. German is the shared mother tongue of a substantial majority of ethnic Germans.


Sager Creek Downtown Siloam Springs, AR 021.jpg
Sager Creek

The area is located in the Mid-South region of the country where the southern plains meet the Ozark Mountains. The city sits atop a plateau with many dogwood trees growing across the landscape. Siloam Springs is made up of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma. The latter is in the territory of the Cherokee Nation in northeastern Oklahoma.

Plateau An area of a highland, usually of relatively flat terrain

In geology and physical geography, a plateau, also called a high plain or a tableland, is an area of a highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain, that is raised significantly above the surrounding area, often with one or more sides with steep slopes. Plateaus can be formed by a number of processes, including upwelling of volcanic magma, extrusion of lava, and erosion by water and glaciers. Plateaus are classified according to their surrounding environment as intermontane, piedmont, or continental.

Cherokee Nation Domestic dependent nation

The Cherokee Nation, also known as the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is the largest of three Cherokee federally recognized tribes in the United States. It was established in the 20th century and includes people descended from members of the Old Cherokee Nation who relocated from the Southeast due to increasing pressure to Indian Territory and Cherokee who were forced to relocate on the Trail of Tears. The tribe also includes descendants of Cherokee Freedmen and Natchez Nation. Over 299,862 people are enrolled in the Cherokee Nation, with 189,228 living within the state of Oklahoma. According to Larry Echo Hawk, former head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the current Cherokee Nation is not the historical Cherokee tribe but instead a "successor in interest".

A perennial creek, named after the founder, Sager Creek, flows through the downtown area.

Sager Creek river in the United States of America

Sager Creek is a 13.4-mile-long (21.6 km) creek which runs through downtown Siloam Springs, Arkansas, in the United States. It is a tributary of Flint Creek, which flows to the Illinois River, which in turn flows to the Arkansas River and thus is part of the Mississippi River watershed. Sager Creek is named after the man largely thought to be the founder of Siloam Springs, Simon Sager.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.2 square miles (28.9 km2), of which 11.1 square miles (28.7 km2) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.71%, is water. [5]

United States Census Bureau bureau of the United States responsible for the census and related statistics

The United States Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy. The Census Bureau is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the President of the United States.

Metropolitan area

The Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers Metropolitan Area consists of three Arkansas counties: Benton, Madison, and Washington, and McDonald County, Missouri. [6] The area had a population of 347,045 at the 2000 census which had increased to 463,204 by the 2010 Census (an increase of 33.47 per cent). Siloam Springs is at the extreme western edge of this area, connected to the principal cities by Highway 412.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Siloam Springs has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. [7]

July is the hottest month of the year, with an average high of 89.1 °F (31.7 °C) and an average low of 68.6 °F (20.3 °C). Temperatures above 100 °F (37.8 °C) are rare but not uncommon, occurring on average twice a year. January is the coldest month with an average high of 44.3 °F (6.8 °C) and an average low of 24.2 °F (−4.3 °C). Highs below 32 °F (0.0 °C) occur on average thirteen times a year, with 2.2 nights per year dropping below 0 °F (−17.8 °C). The city's highest temperature was 111 °F (43.9 °C), recorded on July 14, 1954. The lowest temperature recorded was −24 °F (−31.1 °C), on February 12, 1899.

Precipitation is weakly seasonal, with a bimodal pattern: wet seasons in the spring and fall, and relatively drier summers and winters, but some rain in all months. The spring wet season is more pronounced than fall, with the highest rainfall in May. This differs slightly from the climate in central Arkansas, where the fall wet season is more comparable to spring.

Climate data for Siloam Springs, Arkansas (1981–2010 normals)
Record high °F (°C)77
Average high °F (°C)45
Average low °F (°C)23
Record low °F (°C)−12
Average precipitation inches (mm)2.27
Average snowfall inches (cm)3.3
Source: The Weather Channel [8]


Historical population
1880 95
1890 821764.2%
1900 1,748112.9%
1910 2,40537.6%
1920 2,5696.8%
1930 2,378−7.4%
1940 2,76416.2%
1950 3,27018.3%
1960 3,95320.9%
1970 6,00952.0%
1980 7,94032.1%
1990 8,1512.7%
2000 10,84333.0%
2010 15,03938.7%
Est. 201716,842 [2] 12.0%
U.S. Decennial Census [9]

As of the census [10] of 2010, there were 15,039 people in 5,138 households with 93.3% of the population in households. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 76% non-Hispanic white, 0.8% black, 4.6% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 0.2% non-Hispanic reporting some other race, 5.0% from two or more races and 20.8% Hispanic or Latino. [11]

At the 2000 census, there were 2,647 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,027.2 per square mile (396.4/km²). There were 4,223 housing units at an average density of 400.1 per square mile (154.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.22% White, 0.49% Black or African American, 4.29% Native American, 0.83% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 5.67% from other races, and 3.42% from two or more races. 14.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,894 households out of which 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.8% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.0% were non-families. 26.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the city, the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 16.8% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,513, and the median income for a family was $41,153. Males had a median income of $27,339 versus $21,451 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,047. About 9.5% of families and 12.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.6% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2009, there were 52 churches that called Siloam Springs home by address. There are reports that Siloam Springs has a record for most number churches per capita, and while the ratio is higher than average, it has never been verified through reliable documentation. (Despite the large number of churches, the town does contain a small atheist/non-religious community.) Major employers in Siloam Springs include Simmons Foods, [12] Gates Corporation, La-Z-Boy, DaySpring (a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards), Sager Creek Vegetable Company (formally Allen's Canning), [13] [14] Cobb-Vantress, and John Brown University.

Arts and culture

Annual cultural events

EventTime of yearAttendance (approx.)
Dogwood FestivalApril (last weekend)30,000
Homegrown FestivalOctober3,000
Siloam Springs RodeoJune10,000
Christmas ParadeDecember (first Saturday)6,500
City Fireworks PresentationJuly 46,000
Northwest Arkansas Marching Band InvitationalOctober2,500
JBU Candlelight Christmas ConcertsDecember3,000
JBU HomecomingOctober1,000
Siloam Springs Music Games (Marching Band Competition)July2,000
Sager Creek Arts CenterAll year10,000 per year


Siloam Springs has a City Administrator form of government. The government body consists of the Mayor, Board of Directors and District Judge. All positions are chosen by election. The other officials and commissioners are appointed with Board approval.


John Brown University John Brown University Sign.jpg
John Brown University

In addition to John Brown University, public education is supported by the Siloam Springs School District consisting of:



Siloam Springs traffic is primarily served by US 412 (US 412) for east-west travel, connecting the city to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to the west via the Cherokee Turnpike and to Bentonville, Fayetteville, and Springdale, Arkansas, to the east. US 59 runs south from West Siloam Springs to Stilwell and Sallisaw, Oklahoma, while Arkansas 59 runs north to Gravette and south to Van Buren and Fort Smith, Arkansas. Within the city, major routes include Cheri Whitlock Drive, Lincoln Street, Main Street, Mount Olive Street, and University Street.

Smith Field, located east of town, serves small business jets as well as double- and single-engine aircraft. It serves exclusively general aviation operations.


Primary clarifier (foreground) and aeration basins (background) at Siloam Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant Siloam Springs WWTP 001.jpg
Primary clarifier (foreground) and aeration basins (background) at Siloam Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant

The city's primary water source is the Illinois River, although some water is purchased from Benton - Washington Regional Public Water Authority, whose source is Beaver Lake. [15] The water is treated with chlorine, and the by-products of this chlorination process are kept compliant with the Arkansas Department of Health standards. Fluoride is added to supplement the naturally occurring amount present prior to treatment.

Wastewater is treated at the Siloam Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant (SSWWTP). Since effluent is discharged into a tributary of the Illinois, the plant's effluent is required to meet the treatment standards of both Arkansas and Oklahoma. The phosphorus load of the Illinois has been subject of controversy in the area, even reaching the United States Supreme Court in 1992. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified the Illinois as Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, listing it as an "impaired and threatened water" due to the high phosphorus loads. [16] As a result of the applicable strict phosphorus effluent regulations, SSWWTP upgraded its system in 2011. The upgrades also increased capacity 25% to 5.5 million gallons per day (MGD) (14,474 liters per hour). [17] Although presently a traditional biological nutrient removal (BNR) plant capable of meeting the interim phosphorus limit, pilot tests have proven a chemical nutrient removal (CNR) and membrane biological reactor combination to be effective well below the possible future permit limit. However, due to the high cost, these phases have been delayed. Currently, a 3-year study is being conducted to determine the background phosphorus level in the Illinois. The future effluent limits will likely be written following the conclusion of the study. An EPA Total maximum daily load (TMDL) study in the watershed is also ongoing. [18]

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

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