West Memphis is a thriving logistics center that offers over 26,000 residents a charming, small-town quality of life just minutes away from the cultural amenities of downtown Memphis. Located along the west bank of the Mississippi River where Interstates 40 and 55 intersect, the city has been called the crossroads of the United States.
In 1927, West Memphis was incorporated. The first mayor was Zach T. Bragg, who established one of the first logging mills in the region. The elementary school located at 309 W. Barton Avenue is named Bragg Elementary in honor of him.
Legal greyhound racing began in the county in 1935. In the years that followed, the track closed several times—once for flooding, another due to the nation’s involvement in World War II, and another time due to fire. However, the business currently known as Southland Park Gaming & Racing and located on North Ingram Boulevard has been in the same location since 1956 and is now open every day of the week, including twenty-four hours on weekends.
West Memphis began its role as a trucking hub with the opening of parts of I-55 in the 1950s. With both I-55 and I-40 traveling toward the Mississippi River, West Memphis became known as the crossroads of America in the trucking industry. In 1972, a six-lane highway bridge, known as the Hernando de Soto Bridge and located north of the Harahan, opened as part of I-40.