A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 28, 2007
Twice as Nice & Where Life Is So Large It Takes Two States (Texarkana slogans)

"Twice as nice” and “Where life is so large it takes two states” are slogans of Texarkana. The city is really two cities—Texarkana, Texas (Bowie County) and Texarkana, Arkansas (Miller County). The name “Texarkana” is supposedly composed from Texas, Arkansas, and even Louisiana.


Texarkana (Miller Country) - Encyclopedia of Arkansas
Texarkana is in the southwest corner of Arkansas at the junction of Interstate 30 and U.S. 59, 67, 71, and 82. Its two separate municipalities—Texarkana, Arkansas, and Texarkana, Texas—sometimes function as one city. The name is a composite of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana (though Louisiana is thirty miles away). Texarkana is the Miller County seat, and is home to the only Federal Building and post office situated in two states. The town motto is “Twice as Nice.”

Handbook of Texas Online
TEXARKANA, TEXAS. Texarkana is at the junction of Interstate 30 and U.S. highways 59, 67, 71, and 82 in extreme northeastern Texas on the Texas-Arkansas border. It was named for its location on the state line between Bowie County, Texas, and Miller County, Arkansas, only a short distance above the Louisiana boundary. The three parts of its name honor the three states. There is some debate about the actual origins of the name, which was in use some time before the town’s founding. According to one tradition, the name was derived from a steamboat known as the Texarkana, which plied the water of the Red River as early as 1860. Others claim that a man named Swindle, who ran a general store in Red Land, Bossier Parish, Louisiana, manufactured a drink called “Texarkana Bitters.” Yet another story claims that when the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad was building its line through the area, Col. Gus Knobel, who made the survey, coined the name and erected a large sign at the site. The strategic position of Texarkana is the keynote to its history and development. The Great Southwest Trail, for hundreds of years the main line of travel from Indian villages of the Mississippi River country to those of the South and West, passed by a Caddo Indian village on the site that later became Texarkana. Seventy Indian mounds, reminders of Caddo occupation and culture, are within a radius of thirty miles of Texarkana. Texarkana has remained a gateway to the Southwest. 

Texarkana Chamber of Commerce
TEXARKANA...”WHERE LIFE IS SO LARGE IT TAKES TWO STATES.”
Why? Texarkana is really two cities where State Line Avenue joins Texarkana, AR with Texarkana, TX; twin cities located in two sates and named for three.

Another of our famous mottos: Texarkana is “Twice As Nice”, appropriately conveys the political structure here. There are two of most everything: two city mayors, two city governments, two police departments, and two fire departments. Texarkana is a thriving metro-center serving nineteen counties in four states. A diversified economy is supported by manufacturing, agriculture, medical, transportation, and retail. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the moderate climate and a variety of recreational and entertainment activities.

Who named Texarkana is up for debate. The popular version credits Colonel Gus Knobel who surveyed this section for the Iron Mountain Railroad right-of-way from Little Rock. The story goes that Colonel Knobel wrote Tex-Ark-Ana on a board and nailed it to a tree and remarked that this was the name of the town which was going to be built here.

Here’s the rest of the story in case you’re wondering. Colonel Knobel reckoned he was at or near the spot where the borders of three states met. So he named the city after these states - Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.

We welcome you to discover our very unique city! A visit to Texarkana reveals a host of historic treasures; ten annual festivals; entertainment from performing arts, stock car races, hockey, and art exhibits; shopping; great outdoors and sports; wonderful restaurants; and a heaping of “Southern Hospitality!” For Texarkana must see attractions, check out “10 Texarkana Must Do’s” and “Things to see and do” at this website!

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, January 28, 2007 • Permalink