Michael E. Kelly
orney at Law, P. A.
Licensed To Practice Law in
Arkansas and Tenness
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Yellville AR Information
Kelly Law Office - Located in the Heart of Downtown Yellville
Across from the Yellville Square

Originally named Shawnee Town, Yellville was renamed after Archibald Yell who was the first member of the US House of Representatives from Arkansas and the second Governor of Arkansas. Yellville existed before the state of Arkansas was accepted into the United States in 1836, but under a different name. The actual name of Yellville is explained by Marian Burnes in the 1979 book, The History of Marion County:

In 1836 Marion County was formed...At that time, Yellville was chosen as a name for the town, in honor of Arkansas's second governor, Archibald Yell. The story has been handed down that he wanted the new town named in his honor and offered the founding fathers $50 to do so. They named it Yellville, but the $50 was never paid. Before Archibald Yell, the settlement was called Shawneetown for the Indian villages located here. Yell fought in the Mexican War under General Zachary Taylor and died in the war in 1848. The name Yell can be seen across Arkansas, as in Yell County AR and Archibald Yell Boulevard in Fayetteville  AR. At least two biographies of Yell have been written, the most recent published by the University of AR Press in Fayetteville.

In the late 1840s it was the scene of several intense gunfights during the Tutt-Everett War.  Interestingly current relatives of Governor Yell read about how Yellville got its name and in 2006 paid the naming fee without interest.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,312 people, 535 households, and 356 families residing in the city. The population density was 515.6 people per square mile (199.4/km²). There were 599 housing units at an average density of 235.4/sq mi (91.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.71% white, 0.76% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander and 1.22% from two or more races. 0.53% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 535 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.8% were married living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.84. In the city the population was spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 22.3% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 22.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 83.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.6 males. The median income for a household in the city was $26,250, and the median income for a family was $31,793. Males had a median income of $26,000 versus $18,056 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,618. About 13.2% of families and 17.7% of the population were below the powerty line, including 22.2% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over.

Turkey Trot

The festival aptly named Turkey Trot, began in 1945. Someone, no one knows who, came up with the novel idea to drop turkeys for festival visitors. The first turkey drop was  from the roof of the Marion County Courthouse. Now modern-day visitors to Turkey Trot are treated with live turkeys being dropped from planes over the won as specified times during the festival. It is held every second weekend of October.  2010 marked the 65th anniversary of this festival. The 1970s television show, WKRP In Cinncinati, parodied the turkey drop on one of their best-known episodes. Protests occurred from animal rights groups who said it was cruel and inhuman to drop turkeys from planes.   The press stories cast gloom upon the festival and turkeys were not dropped for several years.  However, turkey dropping is alive and well again at the anuual festival.  The Turkey Trot festival includes 2 days of festivities, including a Miss Turkey Trot Pageant, a Miss Drumsticks Competition, turkey dinner, live musical entertainment provided by local as well as nationally recognized bands,  a 5 K run, a turkey calling contest sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation, and of course, a parade.

The Buffalo National River and Park

Thanks to environmental groups, which organized in the late 1960s, The Buffalo River was saved from being dammed.  As a result, the river in its natural state was designated a national river.  It was the first river in the United States in which the whole length of the river was deemed a national river and thus preserved in its natural state.  Several miles on either side of the river was also designated to be wilderness area, which saved the beautiful Buffalo River Wilderness Area from development, leaving it to its pristine beauty.  The Buffalo National River Park is located just 17 miles south of Yellville, just off of Highway 14. The park includes access points to the river, canoe rental concessions, lodging and restaurants.  There are several lodging establishments located near the river, including Elva's Cedar Cottage http://elvascedarcottage.info, one of the nicest and most centrally located.


Most of northern Marion County is made up of water. The Buffalo National River, Crooked Creek, Bull Shoals Dam, The White River and Norfolk Lake are all within an easy drive from Yellville.  Fishing and all forms of water sports are available.

Fred Berry Conservation Education Center on Crooked Creek

In 1999, Fred Berry, a former counselor and teacher at the Yellville-Summit School District donated the funding to create an educational center at Kelley's Access on Crooked Creek, located near the Yellville city park. With additional donations and a "conservation tax," the plan was put into action. On June 17, 2005, the Fred Berry Conservation Education Center on Crooked Creek opened. It is one of four education centers with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. It is composed of 471 acres and borders Crooked Creek for 2.5 miles.  Hiking Trails, educational programs, and other events are held at the facility.

Buffalo National River 

Fred Berry Conservation Center http://www.agfc.com/education/fred_berry.html/

Elva's Cedar Cottage  http://elvascedarcottage.info   

Resources courtesy of:

Michael E. Kelly 
Attorney at Law, P. A.
207 E. Old Main Street
Yellville  AR  72687
(870) 449-4248 
FAX (870) 449-1190