Bigelow didn't exist by its current name until 1911. It used to be called “Esau”—a community a few miles southwest of the present Toadsuck Ferry Bridge that grew to touch the edge of the small town of Fourche.
In 1911, Fourche River Mill owner, N.P. Bigelow, built an elaborate white house of the best lumber on a hill above the town. He was elected mayor, and then gained permission from the state's General Assembly to change the name of Esau to Bigelow. It was at one time the biggest town in the country; a vote was taken to move the county seat from Perryville to Bigelow. Bigelow won the vote, but the move was never made.