Named for Jesse Watkins Wynne, a Forrest City businessman and board member of the Bank of Eastern Arkansas, the City of Wynne began as a maintenance station spur track on the north-south Knobel branch of the Helena and Iron Mountain Railroad in 1882 and was known as Wynne Station. The city was also often referred to as “Box Town” during its early stages.
In 1886, when the east-west Bald Knob branch of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad intersected the Knobel line, the town was known as Wynne Junction, but “Junction” was eventually dropped. The Bald Knob line was completed in early 1888, and Wynne was incorporated for the first time that same year. Six years earlier, Wynne's first post-office was established with Joseph A. Martin as postmaster.
Early industries in Wynne produced wood products including crossties, spoke, stave, hope and cooperage, lumber and furniture. There were cotton gins, lumber companies, a brick factory and a bottle factory. By 1904, the town had grown to 3,216 residents and became the Cross County seat of justices. Wynne, at the time, had two banks – Cross County Bank and the Bank of Wynne, as well as five churches, lawyers, pharmacists, a blacksmith, a doctor, a newspaper, a telephone exchange, an opera house and several saloons in addition to many other retail businesses.
Today Wynne has a population of more than 8,600 and is the proud home of one of the region’s premiere school districts. Along with its educational assets, Wynne also has many generous people who proudly give to a wide variety of efforts. People who come to Wynne certainly don’t stay a stranger for long!
Wynne is also full of economic development opportunities with a close proximity to downtown Memphis, TN (only 45 minutes away), access to several state and federal highways, water ports, railways and more! The city also has a solid retail base, allowing consumers to “shop at home” for all their basic necessities.