Census shows Fayetteville’s population is 598, a 40 percent rise from the previous decade. Washington County’s total population was 9,970.
Robert Graham founds Arkansas College, although it wouldn’t be chartered by the state for another two years.
William Campbell writes that Fayetteville had six dry goods stores doing business in Fayetteville by this year.
William E. Smith begins publication of the Western Pioneer, which lasts only a short time.
December 14 — Arkansas College becomes the first college to be chartered by the state of Arkansas to award degrees. The college operated near the intersection of College and Dickson streets until the outbreak of the Civil War.
William Quesenbury begins publication of the South-West Independent along with William E. Smith as printer.
James Stevenson establishes the city’s first drug store.
June — A contract is let to build a new county courthouse, the third, in the center of the Fayetteville square. It burned during the Civil War.
The first published music written by a Fayettevillian appears this year. The composer was Professor Ferdinand F. Zellner, a noted violinist who taught music at the Fayetteville Female Seminary. The song, believed to be the first Arkansas sheet music published by an Arkansan, is titled “The Fayetteville Polka.” The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture has a modern recording of the music.
The first Washington County Fair is organized and held on the square with exhibits in the courthouse, and livestock shows and races are held in the street.
The Methodist Episcopal Church is established on Rock Street near West Avenue.
August 12 — The Mountain Lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows is organized at Fayetteville.
The Butterfield Overland Mail Co. begins daily mail runs from St. Louis to San Francisco, with a stop in Fayetteville. Charles Butterfield, son of the owner of the Overland Mail, builds a house in Fayetteville and moves his family here. The line quit operations through Fayetteville near the advent of the Civil War, the last stage going north within days of the Battle of Wilson Creek near Springfield, Missouri.
The Fayetteville Female Institute is chartered, operating at the northwest corner of College Avenue and Dickson Street.
The Missionary Baptist Church is organized in the home of the Rev. John Mayes.
James R. Pettigrew and Elias C. Boudinot start The Arkansian, a newspaper that includes a wealth of local information as well as news from the Indian territories. It continued until 1862 and the beginning of the Civil War.
A city charter is granted to Fayetteville by the legislature, which realigns the city government as a mayor-council form. J.W. Walker was the first chosen mayor.