city and seat (1874) of St. Francis county, east-central Arkansas, U.S., on the west slope of Crowley's Ridge between the L'Anguille and St. Francis rivers, 45 miles (72 km) west of Memphis, Tennessee. Originally a railroad camp, it was founded (1866) by the Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest, who contracted with the Memphis and Little Rock (now Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific) Railroad to build a line through Crowley's Ridge. It developed as a commercial centre for an agricultural area (cotton, corn, peaches, rice, soybeans, and wheat), but its economy diversified to include the manufacture of electronics, heating and air conditioning components, and rubber products. Forrest City is the home of East Arkansas Community College (1975) and a technical institute. Village Creek, Arkansas' largest state park, is to the north. Inc. 1870. Pop. (1990) 13,364; (2000) 14,774.
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