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Bald Knob

The town of Bald Knob in White County may be the Native American village of Palisima which was mentioned in documents from the Hernando de Soto expedition of 1541. In the nineteenth century, a “bald” was a field of tall grasses and shrubs, a definition that was carried to Arkansas by settlers from Appalachia. This particular bald was named for a large outcropping of stone that was especially visible from the White River. Bald Knob stood above the water of local marshes and remained dry even during the flood of 1927. A good, if not particularly accurate, story was told by gubernatorial candidate Earl Hodges in 1916 when he said the town was named for his bald opponent, Governor Charles H. Brough, who won re-election despite the jibe.


Daniel Boice, University of Arkansas at Monticello

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