Located in the Arkansas River Valley between the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains, Booneville is one of the oldest cities in western Arkansas. The city was founded in 1828 when Walter Cauthron, an early explorer of the Arkansas Territory, built a log cabin and store along the Petit Jean River. Intending to name the community "Bonneville" for friend Benjamin Bonneville, the name was later changed. Another theory is that the name was to honor Daniel Boone, a friend of the Logan family for which Logan county is named.
Booneville supports a community center, a senior citizens center, a community hospital, a municipal airport and new school facilities. Hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and other outdoor activities are readily available in the nearby national forests and state parks.
The city's economy was first based on the railroad and Arkansas State Tuberculosis Sanatorium but has evolved into a diverse economy of small businesses and light industry as the early drivers have disappeared.