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Cotter, a small town in the the Ozarks, close to the border to Missouri, was once the place where the Cherokee indians' trail of tears crossed the White RIver back in 1838-1839. But the town wasn't called Cotter back then. As a settlement it was called Lake's Ferry or Lake's landing since a ferry crossed the river downstream and a steamboat landing was located just upstream. AS the town grew bigger it was called Big Spring thanks to the rich resources of the river. In the begging of the 20th century a railroad was built thru Big Spring and a railroad yard, tunnel and bridge were constructed. Big Spring got a post office in 1903 and a school in 1904. The first train came to the town in early 1906. the railroad manager's name was William Cotter and it is in his honor the town is named. When car became more common and traffic became heavier a highway bridge was built at Cotter in 1930. The Marsh Rainbow Arch Bridge was one of the worlds largest bridges.
After the second world war two dams, Norfork and Bull Shoals were built upstream and downstream from Cotter. These were uses for power plants.
After 1960 passenger traffic thru Cotter stopped and the town started to decline slowly until 1992 when the Cotter Care Crew started building up the little town once more and today Cotter has a population of about 900

City Officials

Position Name
Mayor Mac Caradine
Recorder/treasurer Andrea Kray
Police Chief Travis Hopson
Director Of Public Works Justin Morrow
Council Member Wayne Alexander
Council Member John Bell
Council Member Nathan Buck
Council Member Charles Sugg
Council Member Kerry Ann White
Human Resources Director Melissa Gray

City Facts

County: Baxter

Population: 970

Senate District: 17

House District: 99

Congressional District: 1

Classification: Second Class City

Contact Information

P.O. Box 9
COTTER, AR 72626

Phone: (870) 435-6326

Fax: (870) 435-2438

Fourth Thursday


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Arkansas Municipal League
Our Mission

The Arkansas Municipal League was founded in 1934 and exists for a threefold purpose:

  • to act as the official representative of Arkansas cities and towns before the state and federal governments;
  • to provide a clearinghouse for information and answers; and,
  • to offer a forum for discussion and sharing of mutual concerns.