HistoryOriginally known as Prospect Bluff, the town was founded in 1840 by Erastus Gregory. In 1871 a Baptist school, Judsonia University, was established in the area. A few months later the name Prospect Bluff was changed to Judsonia, after Baptist missionary Adoniram Judson, to help promote the school, which drew many northerners to the area.
Though the school died in 1883, the town streets still bear the names of several well-known 19th-century Baptists: Judson and Hasseltine (after Adoniram Judson and his wife, Ann Hasseltine Judson), Wayland (after Francis Wayland, president of Brown University in Rhode Island), Wade (after missionary Jonathan Wade) and Boardman (after missionary George Boardman, whose widow, Sarah Hall Boardman became Judson's second wife).
On the evening of March 21, 1952, tornadoes swept Arkansas leaving 111 dead. Fifty of those fatalities were in Judsonia and the near vicinity. It was reported that the only building in the town not damaged was the Methodist church, which stands today in the city's downtown area along Van Buren Street.
"That's Judsonia" by William Ewing Orr (1957, White County Printing Company) is the most complete history of the community.
Beth Ditto, member of the band The Gossip grew up in the town before moving to Portland, Oregon.
Judsonia is home to a yearly festival called Prospect Bluff Days in honor of the towns origins.
Public educationElementary and secondary education is primarily provided by two school districts:
- White County Central School District, including White County Central High School; both are based in Judsonia.
- Riverview School District, including Riverview High School is located in Searcy. The Riverview School District includes Judsonia Elementary School.
Public libraryJudsonia residents are served by Baldwin-Kittler Memorial Library, a branch library of the White County Regional Library System.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- White County Regional Library
- Riverview High School
- Riverview School District
- White County Central School District
- White County Central High School
- The Gossip
- Little Red River
- White County
Famous JudsoniansSinger Beth Ditto from the band The Gossip is from Judsonia.