The New International Encyclopædia/Little Rock
LITTLE ROCK. The largest city of Arkansas, State capital, and the county-seat of Pulaski County, 130 miles southwest of Memphis, Tenn.; on the Arkansas River, and on the Rock Island, the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf, the Saint Louis Southwestern, the Saint Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern, and other railroads (Map: Arkansas, C 3). It is built on a rocky bluff, 50 feet above the river, which is here spanned by three railroad bridges and a county bridge. The streets are regular and finely shaded. Little Rock is the seat of Philander Smith College (Methodist Episcopal), the Arkansas Baptist College (colored), Maddox Seminary, Arkansas Military Academy, and of the medical and law departments of the Arkansas Industrial University. It has, besides the State Capitol, a United States court-house and a United States arsenal, the State penitentiary, State School for the Blind, the State Lunatic Asylum, and the State Deaf-Mute Institute, Children's Home, Old Ladies' Home, City Hospital, and Saint Vincent's Infirmary. There are the Marquand, Supreme Court, the State and collegiate libraries. The system of public parks includes about 100 acres, the most attractive parks being Glenwood, City and West End. Little Rock has large wholesale interests, and an important trade, by river and rail, in cotton, lumber, agricultural produce, and in its own manufactured products. The more important industrial enterprises include cotton gins and presses, with an extensive output of cottonseed oil and cake; foundries and machine-shops, railroad-shops, planing-mills. granite-quarries, cotton, twine, furniture, and stave factories, flouring-mills, brick and tile works, etc.
The government is vested in a mayor, elected every two years; a unicameral council, and administrative officials as follows: chiefs of police and fire department, city electrician, and police matron, appointed by the executive; city physician, street commissioner, superintendent of public works, and collector, elected by the council; and city clerk, attorney, and police judge, chosen by popular election. The municipal budget balances at over $250,000, the principal items of expense being about $80,000 for schools, $35,000 for the fire department, $30,000 for the police department, including amounts for police courts, jails, reformatories, etc., and $10,000 for the operation of the electric-light plant. Population, in 1860, 3727; in 1880, 13,138; in 1890, 25,874; in 1900, 38,307. Little Rock was settled in 1814. Six years later, with a population of less than 20, it became the seat of the Territorial Government, though it was not incorporated until 1831, when its population numbered about 500. During the Civil War it was captured September 10, 1863, by a Union force under General Steele. Consult Powell, Historic Towns of the Southern States (New York, 1900).