The settlement which was to become Arcadia had it's origins in the 1820's, but it was not until 1855 that Arcadia became an incorporated village. 

Shadrick P. Sutton was the first post master, and it was he who gave Arcadia its name, which means "beautiful hills." Arcadia officially became a town in 1903 when the census declared that there were one thousand residents.

The original site is still known as "Old Town" and is located on the Jonesboro Highway between Highway 9 and College Street. Arcadia was originally a stagecoach stop on the Wire Road, but the town moved to its present location when the V.S. & P. Railroad came through in 1884.

Arcadia became well-known in 1934 when Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were ambushed by the Bienville Parish Sheriff's posse and brought to Arcadia to Conger's Funeral Home. Thousands of people lined the streets to see the notorious outlaws who were still in the stolen car when it was towed into town.

Arcadia celebrated its 150th birthday on May 21, 2005 with its Sesquicentennial Celebration.