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Smackover is a small city in northern Union County, Arkansas, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population was at 1,865. It had a large oil boom in the 1920s, with production continuing for some time.
In 1686, the French settlers called this area "SUMAC COUVERT", which translates to "covered in sumac bushes". This was transliterated, that is, phonetically Anglicized by the English-speaking settlers of the 19th century and later to the name "SMACKOVER."
The name Bayou de Chemin Couvert (Smackover Creek) first appeared in an April 5, 1789, letter written by the commandant of Fort Miro (Monroe, Louisiana) to the French territorial governor.
Oil was discovered in this area in 1922; it attracted national attention, speculators, and an economic boom. Smackover was incorporated in 1923. In the 1920s there was a large-scale oil industry in Smackover. The industry declined here and across southern Arkansas by the 1960s, at a cost of many jobs and major losses to the area economy.
The Smackover Oil Field was discovered on April 14, 1922. The J.T. Murphy well drilled by Oil Operators Trust, reached the Upper Cretaceous Nacatoch sand at a depth of 2024 feet, part of the Norphlet dome.
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