Named for Mr. Roswell Beebe, a surveyor and railroad executive, who was implemental in bringing the railroad that currently runs north to St. Louis through the town. The railroad and historic train depot was a lifeline to early development as it stopped in Beebe to take on wood and water to power its steam engines. The first post officer was established on April 30, 1872.
After thirty-two citizens had signed and submitted a petition to the state, Beebe was incorporated on May 4, 1875. 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 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. White County is in the top ten fastest growing counties within the state, and has a booming new industry in the area of natural gas exploration.
January 21, 1999 brought national attention, and then President Bill Clinton to Beebe when tens of millions of dollars in damage was caused by a devastating tornado. Much of the damage was done to the Beebe Public schools, which has since been renovated into a state of the art campus that is the envy of other state school districts.
Arkansas State University at Beebe was founded in 1927 as the Junior Agri School of Central Arkansas, and became a branch of Arkansas State College in 1955. ASU Beebe has programs that operate at the Little Rock Air Force Base, and is the oldest two-year institution in Arkansas.
On New Year’s 2011, Beebe drew national attention again when between four to five thousand blackbirds were found dead in a local subdivision. The State Game and Fish Commission concluded that trauma caused from mid-air collisions after being frightened by fireworks was the likely cause of death.
Famous Past and Current Residents of Beebe:
Mel Hanks, a reporter for KARK-TV station in Little Rock
Luke Williams, and up and coming country musician lived most of his youth in Beebe.
John Adams, graduated from Beebe High School in 1938. He was an All-American basketball player and two time ALL-Southwest Conference player. He led the 1941 AR Razorbacks to the NCAA final four, and has been credited by some as being one of the inventors of the jump shot.
Rick Dunn, maker of Echo Duck calls, and 1997 World Duck Calling Champion.
Barry Lunney, Jr, a quarterback for the University of AR from 1992 to 1995.