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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stuttgart, AR

Stuttgart is a city in and the county seat of the northern district of Arkansas County, Arkansas, United States. It is located on U.S. Route 79 about 45 miles (72 km) miles southeast of Little Rock. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 9,376.

Rural Stuttgart, looking toward town

The town proclaims itself the "Rice and Duck Capital of the World". It is headquarters to Riceland Foods, the world's biggest rice miller.

Riceland Foods

Riceland Foods, located in Stuttgart, Arkansas, U.S.A., is an agricultural marketing cooperative and the world's largest miller and marketer of rice.

The company was founded in 1921. It has 1900 employees who store, transport, process, and market rice, soybeans, and wheat produced by its 9,000 members who are farmers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

According to a Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis article, Riceland is responsible for almost one-third of the U.S. rice crop.


Stuttgart was founded by Rev. Adam Bürkle, a native of Plattenhardt in Germany. He moved to the United States in 1852 and founded a settlement at Gum Pond after living in Ohio. In 1880, he opened a post office and had thus to name the village. In memory of his native home he called it Stuttgart after Stuttgart in Germany. In 1882, the railroad was opened. Stuttgart became a city in 1884, and in 1904, rice farming was first introduced in the Stuttgart area.

In popular culture

Marianne Sägebrecht, star of Rosalie Goes Shopping

The 1989 movie Rosalie Goes Shopping, directed by Percy Adlon and starring Marianne Sägebrecht, was set in Stuttgart. Additionally, the city gained a bit of attention during the sixth cycle of America's Next Top Model in the spring of 2006 when Stuttgart resident Furonda Brasfield was featured among the contestants.Rapper Malcolm Worsham Resides in Stuttgart Arkansas.....Future Dread Head.

Rosalie Goes Shopping is a 1989 German film (in English) directed by Percy Adlon and starring Marianne Sägebrecht, Brad Davis, and Judge Reinhold. The film, which was in competition at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival and was rated "PG" in the MPAA film rating system, met mixed reviews. The Deseret News described it as "dark satire masquerading as bright comedy", acknowledging it as a comment on American consumerism, and praised Sägebrecht's "terrific comic talents", while both film critic Roger Ebert and TV Guide gave it three stars (of a maximum four). The Washington Post, on the other hand, regretted the film's "deficit of dramatic tension" and considered Adlon's message "scatterbrained" and "thin stuff indeed".

In the United States, the film grossed USD 574,080. It was shot in various locations in Arkansas, including Stuttgart, Little Rock, and De Valls Bluff.

Ducks and Rice Are Staples in Stuttgart
By Glen Sparks

Stuttgart, Ark.

Top Five Employers:

Riceland Foods Inc.,

Riceland Foods, located in Stuttgart, Arkansas, U.S.A., is an agricultural marketing cooperative and the world's largest miller and marketer of rice.

The company was founded in 1921. It has 1900 employees who store, transport, process, and market rice, soybeans, and wheat produced by its 9,000 members who are farmers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

Riceland Foods rice and soybean storage and processing facility near Stuttgart (Arkansas County). Riceland, founded in 1921, is a 10,000-member agricultural cooperative.
Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture

According to a Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis article, Riceland is responsible for almost one-third of the U.S. rice crop.

Lennox Industries,

Lennox International Inc. (NYSE: LII) headquartered in Richardson, TX is a provider of indoor climate-control solutions. Lennox manufactures and markets a wide range of heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, refrigeration, indoor air quality and hearth products for residential and commercial applications. It's largest business segment is the North American residential division, which distributes products through a network of more than 6,000 independent dealers.

Producers Rice Mill Inc.

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is one of the oldest private equity investment firms in the world. Founded in 1978, CD&R has invested over $9 billion of capital in 42 U.S. and European businesses—mostly subsidiaries or divisions of large multi-business corporations - representing a broad range of industries with an aggregate transaction value of over $50 billion.

CD&R has ownership stakes in The Hertz Corporation, Rexel (a distributor of electrical parts and equipment), Culligan (a provider of water treatment products), HD Supply (an industrial and construction distribution business) and U.S. Foodservice (a broadline foodservice distributor), amongst other companies. CD&R formerly owned or had ownership in such companies as VWR International, Brakes Group, Kinko's (now FedEx Kinko's), Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company and Lexmark.

Kinder-Harris Inc.

Rice Capital Inc.

Every fall, as the air gets cool, the ducks head to Stuttgart. Flocks fly near the giant grain silos just west of downtown.

Stuttgart, a city of about 9,400, calls itself the “duck and rice capital of the world.” Hard clay underneath the topsoil makes this area ideal for growing rice. The place also seems ideal for migratory birds escaping the cold in Canada. The city lies on the Mississippi flyway, near the meandering Arkansas and White rivers. The Bayou Meto and several lakes make the Stuttgart region that much more inviting to waterfowl. Ducks also like to gobble up any remains from the summer harvest of rice.

Art's And Craft Fair

As the ducks flock to Stuttgart, so do hunters from across the country and world. Among the “big names” who come to hunt are Vice President Dick Cheney and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, say city officials.

“We really don’t need to advertise the duck hunting here,” says Stephen Bell of the Chamber of Commerce. “It’s pretty much on reputation. There are times it seems like the whole town is in camouflage.”

E. K. Blush's photograph of forty Iowa families who settled near Stuttgart (Arkansas County); circa 1890.
Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville

The duck hunting season adds $1 million a day to the Stuttgart economy, says Bell. That’s quite a chunk for a city whose budget last year was just $10.7 million. That’s why city leaders keep their fingers crossed that there will be enough ducks for a full 60-day season every year.

Auto parade in Stuttgart (Arkansas County); circa 1920s.
Courtesy of the Arkansas History Commission

To kick off the season, Stuttgart throws a big party during the week of Thanksgiving. Crowds fill the downtown streets to celebrate the Wings Over the Prairie Festival and the World Championship Duck Calling Contest. The city even holds a Queen Mallard Pageant. The local chamber organizes the festival, which last year cost about $370,000 and netted a $135,000 profit. “It’s better than a bake sale,” Bell jokes.

Stuttgart Post Office

Many hunters pursue their quarry at one of the approximately 70 commercial and private duck clubs that lie within a 45-mile radius of Stuttgart. Farmers and duck-club owners use pneumatic tubes to flood acres of fields and timberland to lure the ducks for the hunters.

Harvesting rice near Stuttgart (Arkansas County).
Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture

When the hunters are not sitting in duck blinds, they gather at Mack’s Prairie Wings, a business on the edge of town that is dedicated to serving waterfowl hunters. What started as a small store downtown in 1944 has grown into retail and warehouse space that’s almost as big as two football fields. Mack’s does so much business that Winchester Ammunition of East Alton, Ill., has named it the No. 1 steel shot dealer in the world for seven straight years.

Fueling the boom was the addition of a mail-order catalog business in 1993.

“We went from being a state-wide company to being a national company when we began publishing the catalog,” says Deena Fischer, a spokeswoman. This year, 1.8 million catalogs will be mailed out.

Stuttgart’s economy doesn’t depend solely on the great outdoors. Lennox Industries, for example, employs 910 in making commercial heating and air-conditioning units. Lennox is big enough that suppliers are opening up shop nearby. In late July, Assembly Component Systems Inc. opened a new plant in Stuttgart and hired 11 workers. The Kansas-based supplier makes fasteners for Lennox air conditioners. Two other suppliers also have opened up shop near Lennox: Scott Manufacturing Inc. and Industrial Crate and Supply Co.

Tim Walker, a Lennox executive, says he hopes Lennox can attract more suppliers to Stuttgart.

“Agricultural communities like this are full of talented, skilled workers who fit in well with heavy manufacturing jobs,” Walker says. “Plus, when suppliers move close to us, we save money on travel costs and it frees up space for us. We don’t need to keep as much inventory.”

Downtown Stuttgart is a mix of mom-and-pop shops. Brenda Dickson, a third-generation florist, owns Fern and Feather. Business goes up and down, she says.
“This is a farming community,” Dickson says. “If the economy does well, our store does well. Stuttgart is probably like just about every other small Southern town. We were hurt by Wal-Mart and other discount stores.”

The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism hopes that Stuttgart’s fowl reputation can sprout some new wings. State officials want the city to promote itself also as a bird-watching hub.

“It’d be kind of odd, though,” Bell says. “People come in to kill ducks, but now we’d be asking them to come and watch them.”

Rice Industry Stands Tall in Stuttgart

In a town where some cars sport “Have a Rice Day” bumper stickers and grain silos dominate the skyline, it’s not surprising to hear Bill Reed say that rice “is why Stuttgart is here.”

Portion of a small village reproduced outside the Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie, featuring a two-thirds replica of a Lutheran church that existed during the days of Stuttgart’s (Arkansas County) early German settlers.
Courtesy of the Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie

Reed is a spokesman for Riceland Foods Inc., which is not only the biggest employer in town but also the biggest rice miller in the world. It employs 1,025 in Stuttgart. Two other millers employ another 500 or so.

A McCormick-Deering tractor pulls the float sponsored by Hartz-Thorell Supply Co. in an early Rice Festival parade in Stuttgart (Arkansas County); circa late 1930s.
Courtesy of Jane B. Hartz

“It’d be hard to come to Stuttgart and find a family that does not include at least one person who works in the rice industry,” says Reed.

Bombardment of Arkansas Post (Arkansas County), January 1863, as illustrated in the February 7, 1863, issue of Harper's Weekly.
Courtesy of the Arkansas History Commission

W.E. Hope was the first farmer to grow rice in Stuttgart, on a 9-foot by 27-foot plot of land in 1901. Hope apparently had noticed the dense layer of clay that rests beneath the prairie topsoil. The hard clay was ideal for holding water. Rice grows best in flooded fields.

Pharmacist Marion Berry, a native of Stuttgart (Arkansas County) who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996, representing the First District.
Courtesy of the office of Congressman Berry

Arkansas harvests 41 percent of the nation’s rice, almost twice as much as No. 2 California (21 percent). Riceland alone is responsible for almost one-third of the U.S. crop.

Local farmers founded the Riceland cooperative in 1921 to get better prices. Today, 9,000 farmers belong. Forty of them sit on the board of directors.

The average Riceland farm is about 750 to 1,000 acres, Reed says. About one-third to one-half is devoted to rice, with the rest going to soybeans, one of the other crops Riceland processes. The number of rice farmers in the area is dwindling, Reed says, but the typical farm is getting bigger as technology improves and the agricultural industry looks for ways to cut costs.

“Labor is part of the issue,” Reed says. “There isn’t much available. Therefore, farm equipment is getting bigger and faster to make up the difference.’’

After farmers thresh their rice with combines, they deliver the crop to Riceland, which dries it, stores it, transports it, processes it, markets it and pays the farmers.

Riceland sells about $1 billion worth of product every year from Stuttgart, with the rice and oil products going out across the nation and to 75 cities abroad. The rice itself is packaged in bags ranging from four ounces to 2,000 pounds.

A few years ago, after the Bush administration lifted certain trade restrictions, Riceland began shipping rice to Cuba. Iraq is emerging again as a major market. Mexico, Haiti, Saudi Arabia and Europe also buy Riceland rice in bulk.

“About 95 percent of the rice that is grown in the world stays in that area,” Reed says. “China and India, for instance, are big rice producers. For us, though, the export market is very important.”

The 73rd annual World's Championship Duck Calling Contest and Wings Over The Prairie Festival will be held Thanksgiving Week.

This year's festival will begin Saturday, November 22 with the Queen Mallard Pageant and end Saturday, November 29 with the World's Championship Duck Calling Contest.

Ducks Mean Big Business

Hunters enjoy Wildlife Farms almost as much as the ducks do. Waterfowl head to Wildlife Farms every fall and hang out near the White River or on one of the many Wildlife lakes. Hunters pay $550 a day to bag a duck or goose. That price includes the guided hunt, a heated blind for duck hunting, plus lodging and meals.

Unidentified young participant at the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest in Stuttgart (Arkansas County); November, 1946.
Courtesy of the Arkansas History Commission

Wildlife Farms is one of about 70 private and commercial duck clubs within an hour’s drive of Stuttgart. The duck clubs help prop up the economy in a part of the country that is struggling to gain new industry, says Jeff Collins, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas. Club owners usually lease land from farmers during the fall and winter, Collins says.

“Duck hunting is a part of the social network in this part of the country,” Collins says. “Duck hunting is booming. It’s natural to think that duck clubs also are booming.”

J. R. Chambers’ store and post office in Sassafras Prairie (Arkansas County); circa 1890s.
Courtesy of the Arkansas History Commission

Waiting lists can be long to join some private duck clubs, Collins says. He is 30th on a waiting list for a club that has just 20 or so members.

Sally and Dan Barnett established Wildlife Farms in 1992 just a few miles east of Stuttgart. The couple built a 12,000-square-foot lodge that overlooks Clear Lake. Sally Barnett runs the business day to day, while her husband continues to work as a stockbroker in Little Rock.

Wildlife Farms stays busy all year. Guests fish for bass, catfish and crappie in the summer. Spring is a popular time for company retreats and business meetings. Wildlife Farms added a 3,000-square-foot conference center in 2000 that can handle up to 120 people for day meetings and 66 people for overnight visits. The lodge also is a popular place for weddings, receptions and family gatherings.

Arkansas County Courthouse in DeWitt.
Photo by John Gill, courtesy of the photographer

Business booms in the fall and winter. Hunters come from as far away as the Philippines and Argentina to Wildlife Farms in quest of deer, turkey, pheasant, partridge, but most of all, duck. By mid-September, rooms at the lodge are full. They stay that way until mid-February.

Welcome to Stuttgart, Arkansas!

Stuttgart is a great place to live and raise a family. Thanks to modern technology, it’s a community where you can experience the hospitality of small-town living with the conveniences of a big city.

Street scene in DeWitt (Arkansas County) featuring old courthouse.
Courtesy of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Central Arkansas Library System

There’s no long commute to work, and after work, if you’re looking for activities to unwind, Stuttgart has that, too. There are plenty of great restaurants, unique shopping downtown, a movie theater and a bowling alley. The Arts Center of the Grand Prairie offers cultural events throughout the year.

Sports are also big in Stuttgart. In the summer months, the Reinsch Sports Complex provides a gathering place for the community, where youngsters play t-ball and baseball, and adults play softball in a very active church league.

The city also just built a new Stuttgart Aquatic Center with a brand new pool to keep you and your family cool in the summer with lots of fun.

Stuttgart also has many churches, so no matter what your faith, your family will be able to find a church to meet your spiritual needs.

We’re also known as the “Rice and Duck Capital of the World,” where we grow more rice than any other county in the nation and offer the best duck hunting in the world. Be sure to visit Thanksgiving weekend for the annual World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest and Wings Over The Prairie Festival.

With two city parks, great schools and an award-winning museum, Stuttgart offers a lot for families to do and see.

You’ll find plenty of opportunities to spend time together as a family, creating memories that will remind you years later of what a great place Stuttgart has in your heart.

A place you’ll always call home.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Stuttgart, where you will find the people friendly and the business community caring.


The Arkansas County Courthouse in Stuttgart, constructed in 1928 and designed by J. B. Barrett with the Stuttgart firm of Barrett and Ogletree serving as contractors, remains one of the finest examples of the Classical Revival style in the city of Stuttgart, and in the entire county. It is thus eligible under Criterion C with local significance for the quality of its architectural design.

Arkansas County was first formed on December 31, 1813, through the passage of an act by the legislature of the state of Missouri, of which this county was a part at the time. However, the first organized civil government within the present boundaries of the state had actually been established as early as 1804 -- after the completion of the Louisiana Purchase by the United States Government -- with the appointment of James B. Maney as the civil Governor to preside at Arkansas Post, a trading center on the north bank of the Arkansas River and the only such organized settlement within the state at that early date. The initial boundaries of Arkansas County included approximately ninety per cent of the modern land area of the entire state, with Arkansas Post as its county seat. Many counties were subsequently carved out of that enormous area, eventually resulting in the establishment of its current boundaries by 1871. (Ironica1ly, though Arkansas Post has long since ceased to serve as the center of county government, its most recent site and its earlier locations, both known and suspected, all remain within the drastically-reduced modem boundaries of the county.)

As the local and regional importance of Arkansas Post dwindled in the early years of the territorial period, which saw the capital moved up the Arkansas River to the more central location at Little Rock, and as the county boundaries came to more closely resemble their modem configuration, the city of DeWitt (named for De Witt Clinton, governor of New York) became the natural candidate for the relocation of the county seat, largely through its central location relative to the shrinking county boundaries. The initial land for the town was purchased by investors in 1853, and the land was platted soon thereafter, with the construction of the first log courthouse buildings taking place in 1855 (located approximately one block from the current site). The county records were moved to it from Arkansas Post and the first probate and county court sessions were held in October of that year. This was replaced with a second, two-story red brick courthouse in 1862, which was in turn replaced with a larger red brick structure in 1893. However, its construction proved faulty, as cracks developed in the foundation, and it deteriorated to the point that it was finally condemned. The current courthouse structure was erected on the same site and completed in 1932.

DeWitt remained the sole county seat until the early twentieth century, which saw a confluence of important events that resulted in the dramatic growth of the city of Stuttgart, the bustling agricultural, commercial and transportation hub in the northern part of the county. Stuttgart's humble beginnings date to 1878, when the Reverend Adam Buerkle and his brother "M." (full name unknown, though he was reportedly also a reverend) and twelve families of German immigrants from Michigan, Ohio and Illinois settled the site of the former Gum Pond plantation, the roughly 7,500-acre antebellum estate established by the Mitchell family that included much of the Grand Prairie surrounding the modern site of Stuttgart. They were joined by sixteen more families in the next year, and by 1880 a post office had been established for the new town of Stuttgart, reputedly named by Rev. Buerkle after his birthplace in Germany. Stuttgart's fortunes were improved by the arrival in 1882 of the city's first railroad, the Texas and St. Louis Railroad. Though this did not run directly through the existing site of Stuttgart, Rev. Buerkle and his followers immediately realized the wisdom of locating adjacent to this important connection to the outside world, and the community relocated to the railroad line. This railroad line, running roughly east-west, was later complimented by the construction of both the Kansas City and New Orleans Railroad (later incorporated into the Rock Island Railroad system) that ran roughly north-south, and the short-line Grand Prairie Railroad that ran to the northwest. The city's first major sources of commercial income were cattle and hay, though the railroads soon brought several small manufacturing enterprises, such as furniture and woodworking shops, farm implement factories and an assortment of mills.

Ironically, the descendants of several of these early settlers departed Stuttgart at the turn of the century, as the agricultural potential of the Grand Prairie was thought to be "played out"; and indeed, the cultivation of the traditional crops of cotton and hay had sapped the soil of the required nutrients. It was within the first decade of the new century, however, that saw the first successful experiments in cultivating rice on the Grand Prairie with the harvesting of a three-acre plot near Hazen to the north. By 1904, local entrepreneurs worked with the railroads -- and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad in particular -- to encourage more German immigration to the Grand Prairie to provide the manpower to transform more acreage into rice farms. The state's first rice mill was constructed in Stuttgart in 1907 -- the Stuttgart Rice Mill -- and by 1909, 27,000 acres of the prairie are planted in rice. By 1919, just ten years later, the total acreage of rice farms surrounding Stuttgart totaled 143,000.

University of Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center, near Stuttgart (Arkansas County).
Courtesy of Christopher W. Deren

The last years of the century's second decade witnessed the first surge of prosperity for the city; one of the city's banks, which in 1915 claimed total deposits of only $118.00 could boast of over $800,000 in total deposits as of 1918. After some drastic fluctuations in the price of rice that occurred in the first year or two of the 1920's, the price rose dramatically thereafter, and Stuttgart experienced a period of growth and prosperity that has largely continued to this day.

Estate In Stuttgart

Unlike most of the other counties within the state that host dual county seats, the establishment of both northern and southern districts within Arkansas County appears to have been motivated by the vastly increased level of civic and legal activity that attended the dramatic growth of the city in the 1920's rather than the approximately twenty-mile distance from the older county seat at DeWitt or any natural and/or seasonal barriers between them (though the Grand Prairie had a shallow water table and was prone to shallow flooding, particularly in the early twentieth century before the establishment of effective regional drainage districts).

Aerial view of Arkansas Post National Memorial.
Courtesy of the National Park Service

The Arkansas County Courthouse in Stuttgart was constructed in 1928 by the firm of Barrett and Ogletree of Stuttgart according to the designs of the firm's designer, J. B. Barrett. Its design, which employs a clear though restrained Classical Revival vocabulary through the use of the projecting pediment and entablature supported upon raised brick pilasters on its two principal elevations, is the finest example of this style within the city of Stuttgart and is thus eligible under Criterion C with local significance.


Designed by Mann and Stern, Architects, the Riceland Hotel is Stuttgart's largest commercial building and was originally an elegant and commanding example of George R. Mann's later neo-classic work. The building, constructed during the declining years of a rice boom which transformed Stuttgart's economy, housed hotels and banks during much of its life. Within the massive frame of the structure's five stories, much of the intrinsic commerce of the rice industry and the railroad were enacted.

In October 1878, the Reverend Adam Buerkle and twelve families of German immigrants founded a settlement at the former Gum Pond Plantation on the Grand Prairie in Arkansas County. The next year the small colony was joined by sixteen additional families and, in 1880, a post office named Stuttgart, after Buerkle's "old home in Germany," was established. In 1882, the Texas and St. Louis Railroad completed its main line near the town, which Buerkle promptly relocated alongside the rails. Two additional railroads, the Kansas City and New Orleans, later part of the Rock Island system, and the Grand Prairie Railroad, a locally controlled shortline, were eventually constructed and contributed to Stuttgart's deferred prosperity. The area's major sources of income were cattle and hay, but the wealth of transportation facilities encouraged the location of a number of manufacturing enterprises, such as furniture and woodworking shops, farm implement factories, and grist, flour, and feed mills.

The unlimited affluence of the Grand Prairie and of Stuttgart appeared assured with development of successful rice culture in the early twentieth century. Although dates and accounts of persons involved vary, by 1904, the first commercially successful rice crop had been harvested and, by 1906, rice was cultivated in the Stuttgart area. In October 1907, the Stuttgart Rice Mill Company completed the first rice mill in Arkansas and an economic boom began. The prosperity permitted the construction of a brick depot and school in Stuttgart, the town was wired for electricity, and sidewalks were built and streets paved. By 1918, two additional rice mills were in operation. To prolong the boom by enlisting new settlers to cultivate still more rice, the Cotton Belt enthusiastically promoted its lands in the Grand Prairie and the Stuttgart Land and Development Company offered free excursion trains to potential farmers.

By 1918, the economy of Stuttgart and the Grand Prairie was inextricably tied to the state's thirteen million dollar rice crop. The Southern Rice Growers Association boasted that Stuttgart was "the price making rice market of Arkansas ... by virtue of her geographical and railroad position in the center of Grand Prairie." At least one bank also attributed its assets to the runaway rice market. According to W. B. Wall, cashier of the Exchange Bank, his institution's deposits in 1915 totaled only $118.00. By 1918, they exceeded $800,000 "the greater part...accumulated by the patrons of this bank from three years' profit in raising rice."

In late 1919, a number of Stuttgart businessmen formed the Stuttgart Hotel Company. The company, which eventually included forty stockholders, represented all four Stuttgart banks and "every business and enterprise of any nature on Grand Prairie." A Little Rock architectural firm, Mann and Stern, designed the building, and the E. A. Steininger Construction Company of Missouri was retained as the builder. George R. Mann also drew the plans for the Arkansas State Capitol, the Arkansas Gazette building, and the Marion Hotel in Little Rock. The Hotel Price, which stood on Third and Main Streets, was demolished to prepare for the new structure, enthusiastically heralded as "one of the most modern hotels in Arkansas."

Construction on the building began almost immediately, as the rice economy of the Grand Prairie collapsed. In 1919, the price per bushel of rice reached a high of $3.50, but, in 1920, it plummeted to twenty-five cents per bushel. The effect on the soaring economy was instantaneous and devastating, "like a bolt out the sky." According to the Stuttgart Grand Prairie News, the "entire locality was dealt a financial blow that put almost every individual in straits that will take several years ... to overcome.” Late in 1920, stockholders ordered work on their hotel suspended and, for nearly two years as owners and creditors battled in the chancery courts, "the skeleton of the building stood as a tombstone to a dead burg."

In July 1922, the Exchange Bank, the hotel's new owner, resumed construction and hired W. F. Ault of Little Rock to complete the building according to Mann and Stern's original plans and specifications. On February 15, 1923, the Riceland Hotel was formally opened. Leased by the Stuttgart Revilo Hotel Company, which operated several hotels across the state, the Riceland occupied the top three floors of the five story building, as well as the lower two floors of that portion of the structure which fronted on Third Street. The Riceland Barber Shop leased a section of the hotel's basement, while Webb and Son leased part of the ground floor adjoining the lobby for their Riceland Pharmacy. On February 17, the Exchange Bank held its formal opening in the remaining two story portion of the building, which fronted on Main Street.

Following its nearly disastrous conception, the Riceland Hotel hosted a number of occupants. In 1926, the Exchange Bank, which had so solidly staked its success on rice, defaulted and was purchased by the First State Bank. Three years later, the Southern Hotel Company acquired the hotel lease, which it retained until 1957. In 1970, the Riceland Hotel closed. The part of the building previously occupied by the Exchange Bank and its owners houses retail and commercial tenants.

Designed by Mann and Stern, Architects, the Riceland Hotel is Stuttgart's largest commercial building and was originally an elegant and commanding example of George R. Mann's later neo-classic work. The building, constructed during the declining years of a rice boom which transformed Stuttgart's economy, housed hotels and banks during much of its life. Within the massive frame of the structure's five stories, much of the intrinsic commerce of the rice industry and the railroad were enacted.

Standard Ice Company Building (Stuttgart - Arkansas County)

Stuttgart Airport

Located in the Grand Prairie Region of Arkansas, the airport is situated on a 2,560 acre site in southeastern Paririe County. (Known for its agricultural industries, the Grand Prairie Region's best known agricultural product is rice.) Located in adjoining Arkansas County, the City of Stuttgart owns and operates the airport.
The airport is located 7.2 miles north of the City of Stuttgart along State Highway 11. Two U.S. Highways, Highways 79 and 165, converge at Stuttgart. Highway 79 connects Stuttgart with Memphis, Tennessee to the northeast and Pine Bluff, Arkansas to the southwest. U.S. Highway 165 connects Stuttgart with the state's capitol city, Little Rock, 50 miles to the northwest.