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History of Conway, Arkansas

Conway, the county seat of Faulkner County, was founded by A.P. Robinson, who visited the region shortly after the Civil War. Robinson served as the chief engineer for the Little Rock - Fort Smith Railroad (now the Union-Pacific). And when the railroad came through, Robinson deeded a small tract of his land back to the railroad for a depot site. He constructed a town site around the depot named Conway Station, in honor of a famous Arkansas family. In 1873, Conway was declared as the county seat of Faulkner County, the same year in which the county was created by the legislature. Conway was incorporated in October 1875 and at that time the town had a population of around 200. At the time of incorporation, Conway was just a square mile bordering Conway Station on the Little Rock and Fort Smith Branch of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad. Conway boomed as a large rural agricultural trade center for a for many years. Hendrix College was founded in Conway in 1890. And in 1907, the University of Central Arkansas was established here as the Arkansas Normal School. Central Baptist College was founded by the Arkansas Missionary Baptist Association and opened its doors in 1952. By 1959, Conway encompassed about 6.9 square miles. The town grew rapidly, annexing a total of 15.4 square miles during the next 30 years. And in 1990, it grew even faster adding an additional 12.2 square miles. Conway now encompasses about 40 square miles. Most of the area added to it has been through petition by the property owners. The population soared in the second half of the 20th century from 8,610 in 1950 to 43,167 in 2000. Today, Conway is home to a number of major industries such as American Transportation, Acxiom, Frigidaire, Virco Manufacturing and Kimberly Clark. The Conway Symphony Orchestra began as a joint venture of the UCA and Hendrix faculties and gave its first concert in 1984. The ^Faulkner County Museum^ is located in the historic old jail on the Faulkner County courthouse grounds on Locust Avenue. Conway's medical needs are served by the Conway Regional Health System.