Mansfield is located in west central Arkansas 25 miles south of Fort Smith on U.S. Highway 71 and 10 miles east of the Oklahoma State line. The terrain is rolling, with elevations of 700 to 2670 feet above sea level.
Just south of the city are the Ouachita Mountains which are in the National Forest. The average annual rainfall is 42 inches, making numerous streams and a beautiful landscape. Recreational opportunities abound in the National Forest, beautiful scenery, walking trails, hunting, and several lakes for fishing are available.
Mansfield is a small rural community with a population of about 1200 people.
The origin of the community goes back to Chocoville, a small trading post established in the 1840’s, reportedly by the French and Native Americans. After the coming of the railroad, Mansfield was incorporated in 1888. The economy was based on agriculturral products and coal mining.
Crops grown at various times included, cotton, corn, wheat, strawberries,vegetables, and others. Coal mining declined in the late 1950’s and very little is mined today.
In 1901, natural gas was discovered and resulted in the first commercial production of gas in Arkansas.
Beef cattle, poultry and timber make up the major products at the present time. Most people producing agricultural products also have jobs in industry.
Today, many people make the 30 minute drive to Fort Smith to work and still enjoy the rural setting in Mansfield for their home. Basic shoping and services are available with very little traffic and congestion. The school system of K through 12th grade has over 1,000 students and 100 teachers and workers. Seven churches serve the community with many others in the surrounding area. The main industry is a sawmill porducing lumber.
Approximately 130 people work in the mill with about twice that many providing raw material and transportation. It is divided by the Scott and Sebastian County lines, with about one half of the city being in each county.