Cindy Smith moved to Arkansas with her family when she was 16. Her father was in the paper industry and worked for many years to establish a mill on the Mississippi River. After graduating from McGehee High School, Cindy attended college at the University of Colorado, then transferred to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Cindy Smith
Commissioner with the Arkansas State Parks,
Recreation & Travel Commission

Originally from: Cloquet, Minnesota
Home now: McGehee

After graduation, she ended up marrying “the boy across the street,” and the two have been in Arkansas ever since.

Since Cindy’s husband is a soybean farmer and an avid hunter, he’s always been tied to the land. Because of that, Cindy made a commitment to make the community in McGehee her own, opening a gift shop that she ran for 27 years. Though she’s now retired, Cindy keeps busy by volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club and the WWII Japanese American Internment Museum, writing a column for the local newspaper and traveling the state as a tourism volunteer.

When asked what she loves about McGehee, Cindy says she loves “the Mississippi River, cypress trees in the bayous, geese flying overhead in the winter, our gorgeous sunsets and this friendly little town where we raised our children.”


Best eats: Hoots BBQ in McGehee and Taylor’s in Dumas

Favorite local event: Owlfest brings everyone home in the fall for Homecoming. For a town of 4,300, we have 3,000 visitors.

Hometown hidden gem: WWII Japanese American Internment Museum

McGehee in three words: It’s just home.

Meet the neighbors