The founder, Ezra Owen (Grandfather of David O. Dodd)settled there in 1823 and planned to put the State University there. He laid out city streets and all. In 1829 it came in second to Little Rock as the territorial capital. It is the exact geographical center of the state, and on the main land route (SW Trail) through Arkansas. However, river travel was the fastest and easiest so Little Rock won out. Other wise, Saline County would be a huge metropolis.