The City of Gosnell is located in northeast Arkansas approximately one (1) mile from the Missouri state line. Gosnell is a major thoroughfare from northeast Arkansas to the Bootheel of Missouri. Gosnell is a rural farming community home to many small businesses. As of 2010 the population of Gosnell was 3,548.
The United States Eaker Air Force Base is located adjacent to the City of Gosnell. The Eaker Air Force Base was closed in 1992 after 40 years of service ending with the Cold War. Eaker Air Force Base currently houses many residents, small businesses and local events.
The most famous attraction near the City of Gosnell is the Lights of the Delta which opens mid-November and runs through mid-December. The Lights of the Delta is the largest lighting display in the Mid-South with 6 million lights and over 48 major motion displays on a 40 acre drive thru site. The Lights of the Delta can be located on the former Eaker Air Force Base.
In its early days, the Gosnell region was surrounded by water. It is bordered on the west by Big Lake, which in the days before the automobile and railroads was used as a boat transportation route linking the settlement to the larger cities of Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee. Landowners along Big Lake took advantage of a thriving commercial hunting and fishing business. Pelts and packed fish could be shipped to market along the lake or by the two bayous to the Mississippi River.
To the east of the settlement is the Pemiscot Bayou. The road from Blytheville passed the Indian mound and store before traveling across the Pemiscot Bayou. Families with land along the Pemiscot traveled in boats into the Lumerate Bayou, which ran through Blytheville’s business district. The road to Gosnell came to be called the Pole Road. When stretches of the road became bad, the community would turn out to cut logs to place across the mud of the road, making it passable again.
Because the land was sparsely settled, it was of little concern to either side during the Civil War. All of Mississippi County had fewer than 4,000 residents at this time. Men from the area joined Confederate units from other parts of Arkansas. Aside from a few Union raids from Missouri, the county did not suffer much from the war.
Much of the land between Blytheville and Big Lake was purchased in the late 1800s by Lemael Gosnell, a dentist and pioneer farmer. In time, the community came to be named for him.
Gosnell was incorporated as a first-class city on March 12, 1968. Gosnell’s first mayor after incorporation was Andy Bevill. Since then, Gosnell has had only three mayors: Carl Ledbetter, Dick Reams and currently Don Marshall.