Newport is a city in Jackson County, Arkansas, 84 miles 135 square kilometer northeast of Little Rock, on the White River. In 1900, 2,866 people lived in Newport, Arkansas; in 1910, 3,557. The population was 7,811 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Jackson County. Newport is home to a campus of the Arkansas State University system, with particular focus on training in transportation careers. Newport is known as the town in which Sam Walton owned a Ben Franklin store prior to starting Wal-Mart.