City Profile


Farmington was settled in the 1820's by William H. Engles of Virginia who operated a grist mill along the banks of the Farmington Creek. The first church was started in 1831 in the home of Reverend Josiah Trent. In 1834 the settlers completed their first church building, the Methodist Episcopal Church, which also served as a school house and as a community center. During this period the town was known as Engles Mill until Mr. Engles renamed the town Farmington in 1868. He saw the area as a farming community well suited to farming and raising families. He also had the town laid out with lots 50 x 150 that sold for $25 each.  Farmington's first Post Office was established that same year and was located in the grist mill.  Main Street was home to a blacksmith shop, wagon factory, general store/drug store and a doctor.

One of the oldest and largest nurseries in the United States was based in Farmington. Stark Brothers Nursery was started in the late 1890's and continued in the area until the 1970's with strawberries and grapes as its main crops.

The Ozark and Cherokee Central Railroad (the O.C. & C.) and later the St. Louis-San Francisco (Frisco) Railroad stopped at the Frisco depot. Short trips could be taken by residents on the "Dinky" train. The railroad was abruptly closed on the morning of July 10, 1942 and the depot was dismantled and thrown onto an empty railroad car. As local businesses depended upon the O. C. & C., they were dramatically affected by its closing.

Farmington was incorporated in the late 1940's with the majority of the city used for agricultural purposes.

The McNeal store was at one time the biggest in the county. Opening in 1913, this store was in business until 1974. Besides groceries, the store had auto parts, harnesses for horses, and mules, feed, medicine, and dry goods. Anything the people of the community needed, they stocked. Many farmers traded in the store, many on credit. Sales began between six and thirteen dollars a day back in 1913 and increased to over a hundred per day by 1919. Sales declined during the depression, one day in 1933, the sales totaled $2.75. A huckster line was started and the younger McNeals loaded a truck with groceries and drove to the neighboring farmhouses.

During the day, the McNeal store was a favorite place to "sit a spell" on the front porch. At night, seated on nail kegs around a pot-bellied stove, stories were told about World War I and an eccentric resident known as the Cance-Wilson ghost. The Cance-Wilson ghost has reportedly been seen and has chased some of the area residents.

During the strawberry season, Farmington and the surrounding area, people traveled throughout the area to help pick. Strawberry growers would give tickets to pickers to tell how many quarts they picked. These tickets became known as "strawberry tickets" and could be redeemed for credit at the McNeal store or cash. If traded for cash, the value was about one to two cents per ticket. One of the most successful seasons yielded 153 train carloads. The McNeal store building still stands and was home to Bailey's Furniture, but is currently empty.

Today's Farmington

The majority of businesses in Farmington today are service and retail based industries. Other amenities include a City Library, Community Senior Center, Valley View Golf Course, Farmington Sports Complex, and the award winning Creekside City Park. Farmington is the third fastest growing city in Washington County behind Fayetteville and Springdale. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 7584.

Farmington is governed by the mayoral/council form of government. Our current mayor is Ernie Penn. His term of office is four years and each council member’s term is four years as well (there are eight council members.)

The City has a eight member planning commission who evaluates every development proposal for the City.

The police department employs seventeen full-time officers.

Our fire department has a full-time chief, 6 full-time firefighters and 26 volunteer members and was the first department in the four state area (Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas) to receive the Class 4 rural and Class 4 city fire rating and is completely certified by the state of Arkansas in both equipment and personnel. The city fire rating was upgraded to a Class 3 city fire rating in 2013.