History of Beebe

Named for Mr. Roswell Beebe, a surveyor and railroad executive, the inviting town of Beebe has grown from a simple railroad intersection to a beautiful and welcoming community.

The railroad and historic train depot was a lifeline to the early development of this area as it stopped in Beebe to take on wood and water to power its steam engines. The first post office was established on April 30, 1872. Three years later, after thirty two citizens signed and submitted a petition to the state, Beebe became incorporated on May 4, 1875.

By 1890, the town had grown and now included several businesses. Beebe was home to several stores, hotels, boarding house, meat markets, blacksmith and wagon shops, a combined sawmill and grist mill, cotton gins, livery stables, a photo gallery, and a fruit evaporator. In addition to the several business now located in Beebe, the town also included the White County Bank, separate churches for white parishioners and African Americans, a public school for white children, five physicians, a dentist and two weekly newspapers.

Beebe got electricity around 1904. The electricity was provided by a gasoline-powered generator which could be heard all over town. Electricity was provided to certain areas of town on certain days and was turned off at 9:00 or 10:00 pm each night.

Beebe has grown from a meager population of 904 in 1900 to its current 2010 census population of 7,315. Situated in White County in the northern stretches of central Arkansas, it sits at the crossroads of Hwy 64 and Interstate 167. Beebe is located 16 miles south of its County seat and municipal airport and is only 30 minutes north of the Little Rock Air Force Base. This central location is ideal for easy travel to Little Rock, Fort Smith, St. Louis or Memphis.

Over the past 50 years, two bypasses have been built around Beebe. One of those bypasses, Dewitt Henry Drive, is a main thoroughfare and a thriving business area. The other bypass, Hwy 67/167 gives people the ability to work in Little Rock (Pulaski County) but live in Beebe or one of the outlying rural communities.