Latitude and Longitude: 33º16’01″N 093º14’21″W
Elevation: 330 feet
Area: 9.3 square miles (2000 Census)
Population: 10,858 (2000 Census)
Incorporation Date: January 6, 1855
Magnolia is the home of Southern Arkansas University, a public university that offers 4-year and some advanced (Master’s level) degrees. With a student body of over 3000, its most notable programs are agriculture, business, and education. The University’s cultural foucs is Harton Theatre, which provides a venue for both departmental plays, concerts, and local cultural events.
The town’s primary economic focus is heavy industrial, including Albemarle Corporation’s Bromine Products Division (which has two facilities near town), Amfuel (which produces fuel cells for the military), and Alcoa’s extruded aluminum products facility. Also prevalent in the area are several oil and brine drilling companies, many of which are locally owned, and timber companies, such as Deltic and Weyerhaeuser.
Downtown Magnolia is an historic mural Mecca. Created to foster awareness of and community participation in the visual arts, these murals cover a wide range of subjects and can be found indoors as well as outdoors. In all there are five large outdoor wall murals, 3 smaller outdoor murals, and 4 indoors murals.
Indoor murals include “Wheat Harvest” by Joe Jones in the 1930s (in the Magnolia Public Library), and the four-panel “History of SAU Represented through the Arts” by Melchor Peredo Garcia (Southern Arkansas University Harton Theater).