First settled around 1832, Jacksonville is named for Nicholas and Elizabeth Jackson, landowners who deeded the land to the Cairo & Fulton Railroad for railroad right-of-way in 1870. The community evolved from the settlement surrounding the railroad depot, eventually incorporating in 1941.
In 1955, a major military installation, the Little Rock Air Force Base, was built and the town began to blossom and has continued to do so. The base, which is home to the world's largest C-130 training program, is open for group tours, with prior arrangement.
The town is home to the Jacksonville Military History Museum, which spans the town's military history from the Civil War to Vietnam. You can take in more history at Reed's Bridge Battlefield Heritage Park, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The town's annual fall celebration, the Wing Ding Festival, is held in early October.