Arbala is on Farm roads 1567 and 2081 eleven miles south of Sulphur Springs in south central Hopkins County. The area was first settled in 1857 by F. L. and Daniel Clifton and called Clifton's Prairie. C. C. Harper built a mill and gin there in 1881 and became postmaster when a post office named Arbala was established in 1899. A local school was opened before 1905, when it had 113 students. By 1914 the community had four general stores and a population of fifty. The post office was closed in 1923. In 1925 the town reported 100 inhabitants. In the mid-1930s Arbala had a church, a cemetery, one business, and a number of scattered dwellings. After World War II the population began to decline, and in 1952 the community reported only twenty inhabitants. In 1990 Arbala had a population of forty-one, a church, a community center, and a cemetery. The population remained the same in 2000.
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