The official incorporation papers were signed on October 29, 1964, but the community of White Hall was settled long before. For centuries, people have seen and felt the beauty and magnetism of the small town just half an hour south of the state capital. Here’s a little history of the place we call home.
1800s – Travellers stopped at Crenshaw Springs, a freshwater spring near modern day Highway 365, to water their horses on the way to and from Little Rock.
Late 1800s – The first settlers arrived and a white church was built atop the hill overlooking Crenshaw Springs. This would come to be called the “white hall” and give our wonderful community its name.
1884 – The White Hall School District was formed by a petition from members of the community. Classes were held in the White Hall church.
1898 – The first designated school building was built.
1913 – Dollarway Road, the first paved road in Arkansas and the longest paved road in the United States, was completed. The 23-mile stretch of pavement from Pine Bluff to just south of Little Rock cut right through the community and attracted car enthusiasts from all over the country. Estimated construction costs were $1.06 per linear foot, hence the name, “Dollarway.”
1934 – The Bellingrath House was built, eventually to be added to the National Register of Historic Properties for its status as the best and most elaborate example of an English Revival-style home in the community.
1941 – The Pine Bluff Arsenal was opened in anticipation of World War II, bringing hundreds of jobs and giving White Hall residents a vital role in the war effort.
1961 – Residents utilized the returns from a self-imposed tax to create the White Hall Water and Fire Protection District No. 1, establishing a community water system and the White Hall Volunteer Fire Department.
1964 – White Hall filed for incorporation with over 15 times the amount of signatures required to file, becoming the second-largest city in Jefferson County. W.F. “Jack” Moody was elected Mayor.
1966 – Land was acquired for the White Hall City Park. With a minimal city budget, it was cleared by city officials and Mayor Moody himself.
1972 – White Hall city officials started to receive pay for their positions. Until this point, they were strictly volunteer occupations.
1975 – City Hall moved from the back room of the White Hall Fire Department to the new building at 101 Parkway, where it sits today.
1980 – White Hall High School was built, drawing national recognition for architectural design.
1981 – The White Hall Merchant’s Association was formed by local business leaders to promote new businesses in the city. The name would later change to the White Hall Chamber of Commerce.
1982 – The White Hall Police Department was formed. Perry Holland was appointed the first police chief.
1984 – White Hall High School was recognized as a top-tier secondary school in the United States, the only school from Arkansas to receive this honor. Founder’s Day was created to celebrate the 20th anniversary of White Hall’s incorporation.
1997 – The Advertisement and Promotion tax, a special tax on restaurants and hotels, was voted into effect, providing funds for further city growth. This tax generated a large portion of the funds used on the new Community Center and Crenshaw Springs Water Park.
2005 – White Hall Police Officer’s Association held the first annual Policemen’s Charity Ball, a sold-out gala event, raising funds for various charitable causes in and around the White Hall community.
2011 – The current mayor, Noel Foster, was elected to office after serving as White Hall Chief of Police for seven years.
2012 – White Hall High School baseball and softball teams each won 5A State Championships. The Lady Bulldogs would take state again in 2013.
2014 – White Hall turns 50! Crenshaw Springs Water Park grand opening was a success! The Founder’s Day celebration is expanded to a three-day festival and moved to October.