Rector, a town on the Cotton Belt railroad line, is located on the eastern edge of Crowley’s Ridge about 40 miles northeast of Jonesboro. It was incorporated in 1887 and named for Arkansas Governor Henry Massie Rector.

Typical of the Arkansas Delta, the area once was covered by virgin timber and an abundance of wildlife, including white-tail deer, bear and turkey. After the arrival of the first train in 1882, timber was harvested to feed the northern lumber mill industry, thus initiating a period of growth and prosperity. By 1918, with a population approaching 2,000, Rector was considered one of the area’s best-governed cities.

Today Rector’s heritage is celebrated through the Rector Community Museum, developed and expanded through the work of dedicated volunteers. Another major source is Veterans Memorial Park with a life-size replica of a World War II American soldier representing all branches of the U.S. armed forces.

Several former residents have been memorialized through the media. Sgt. Denver “Bull” Randleman, World War II paratrooper and D-Day veteran, was depicted in the 2001 HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.” Actor Maurice Copeland appeared on Broadway and in feature films such as “Trading Places“ and “Arthur,” as well as being a popular radio and television voiceover artist.