County: Dallas

Arkansas Military Institute

The Arkansas Military Institute was one of the earliest schools of its kind in the state. Established in Tulip (Dallas County) during the town’s heyday as the “Athens of Arkansas,” the school instructed male students in the subjects of the day as well as in military history, tactics, and procedures—skills some would eventually employ as Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, an event that would also signal the demise of the institution, as well as the community that supported it. By the mid-1850s, the school had shifted its focus away from military pursuits. In August 1849, George Douglass Alexander established the Alexander Institute in Tulip for the education of both girls and boys. Less than a year later, Alexander persuaded …

Bank of Carthage

The Bank of Carthage is a historic building located in Carthage (Dallas County). Designed by Charles Thompson and constructed in 1907, the same year Carthage was incorporated, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 22, 1982. Carthage was founded as a stop on the Chicago, Rock Island and Southern Railroad. Early residents included members of nearby Lea Ridge (Dallas County), an African-American community founded by former slaves. Many nearby residents moved to Carthage after it was first platted in 1906, attracted by the community’s proximity to the railroad. Railroad-related businesses, timber production, and other agricultural endeavors drove the economy of Carthage in the early twentieth century. With the growing economy, the Bank of Carthage …

Brazeale Homestead

The Brazeale Homestead is a collection of eleven buildings located near the Pine Grove community in southwestern Dallas County. With the earliest dating to the 1850s and the most recent to the beginning of the twentieth century, the complex includes a variety of living quarters and agricultural buildings. Benjamin Franklin Brazeale moved to the area in the mid-1840s. He began farming and constructed several buildings and other structures to support the farm, although the exact dates of construction for many of the buildings are not known. He officially acquired 160 acres of land from the federal government on June 1, 1859. Brazeale acquired forty more nearby in 1880. By 1860, Brazeale lived on the property with his family, including wife …

Bryant, “Bear”

aka: Paul William Bryant
Paul William “Bear” Bryant is one of America’s all-time most successful college football coaches. At the time of his death, he had won more games than any other coach, including the legendary Amos Alonzo Staggs and Pop Warner. Arkansas-born Bryant remains an icon not only for athletic accomplishments but for personal strength, determination, and the will to win. Paul William Bryant was born on September 11, 1913, near Kingsland (Cleveland County) in south-central Arkansas, to William Monroe Bryant, a farmer, and Dora Ida Kilgore Bryant, a homemaker. Bryant was the eighth surviving child (three died at birth) of a total of nine. He had four brothers and four sisters and was the youngest boy, with one sister born four years …

Butler-Matthews Homestead

The Butler-Matthews Homestead is a complex of agricultural structures located near Tulip (Dallas County). Sixteen structures are located in the complex, dating from the 1850s to 1930s. The complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 28, 1983. Alexander Butler arrived in Dallas County from North Carolina in the early 1850s and constructed a home on the property. He first obtained forty acres of federal land north of Tulip in 1855, followed by 160 acres in 1857; the second parcel is the location of the homestead. Constructing a house around 1853, Butler built a thriving agricultural enterprise in the area before the Civil War. By 1850, he owned fifteen enslaved workers and also operated a mercantile …

Captain Goodgame House

The Captain Goodgame House is a historic home located in the Holly Springs (Dallas County) area; it is near Arkansas Highway 128 just north of the intersection with Arkansas Highway 9. Constructed in 1918, the home is a late example of architectural details typically seen on nineteenth-century homes. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 28, 1983. John Goodgame was a native of Bibb County, Alabama. Born in 1828, he moved to Holly Springs in 1851. He married Permila Watkins the following year, and the couple eventually had eight children. Goodgame farmed in Holly Springs until he enlisted in the Confederate army, where he served as an officer in the Thirty-Third Arkansas Infantry Regiment. Goodgame’s …

Carthage (Dallas County)

Carthage is located in northern Dallas County, on Highways 48 and 229. Formed by the railroad and timber industries, it continues to support a working sawmill in the twenty-first century. According to a plaque erected in Carthage in 1976, the area was “a crossroad for settlers in pioneer times due to the abundance of wild game and water springs.” Large plantations grew cotton and other crops, and communities such as Tulip (Dallas County) and Princeton (Dallas County) built schools, churches, and businesses. As part of the Camden Expedition, the Engagement at Jenkins’ Ferry was fought a few miles north of the present location of Carthage in April 1864. The end of the Civil War meant the end of slavery in Arkansas, which changed the plantation …

Charlotte Street Historic District

Located in Fordyce (Dallas County), the Charlotte Street Historic District includes the core of a historic subdivision located on the north side of the city. Constructed from 1906 to 1930 on part of the estate of A. B. Banks, the district includes a number of Craftsman-style homes and associated structures. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 14, 1987. Aloysius Burton (A. B.) Banks was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on April 2, 1868. He moved to Fordyce in 1885, shortly after the town incorporated. He worked in the insurance business and opened his own fire insurance company in 1891. He expanded the company to cover accidents and grew the business, becoming wealthy in …

Compton, Freeman Walker

Freeman W. Compton was an eighteenth-century lawyer from North Carolina who moved to Arkansas and, with his wife’s dowry, acquired a large plantation in Dallas County. He then spent the four years of the Civil War and more as a justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. The war had a turbulent effect on both his private life and his jurisprudence. While he was on the Supreme Court but living on his plantation ninety miles away from his office in the state’s temporary capital in Hempstead County, Compton escaped capture by the Federal cavalry by hiding for several days in the attic of the only hotel in the nearby town of Princeton (Dallas County). He was disfranchised and booted from the …

Dallas County

Dallas County is a rural county, dominated in its early days by farming, mostly cotton, and then railroads and timber; these industries have accounted for the majority of economic sustenance for residents and landowners throughout its history. Many communities that exist in the county today owe at least some part of their development to the construction of either a nearby railroad, mill, or both. Pre-European Exploration Just prior to European exploration and settlement, Native American tribes, primarily Caddo and Quapaw, lived, traveled, and hunted in the area now known as Dallas County. Several sites identified as burial or other sacred sites have been identified in southwest Arkansas, and some were explored by archaeologists earlier in the twentieth century, including some …

Dallas County Courthouse

The Dallas County Courthouse in Fordyce was erected in 1911. The building is the most elaborate structure in Dallas County to be built in the Classical Revival style of architecture. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 27, 1984. On January 1, 1845, Dallas County was established, with Princeton being selected as the first seat of county government. The first courts in Princeton were held in the home of Presley Watts. The first Dallas County Courthouse was built in 1846 on the east side of the square in Princeton. In 1852, a second courthouse was built in Princeton at a cost of $6,000.The courthouse remained at Princeton until 1908, when it was officially moved to …

Dallas County Museum

In September 1993, the State of Arkansas chartered the Dallas County Museum in Fordyce (Dallas County). In the spring of 1995, Frank Hickingbotham, owner of Citizens Bank, donated the old bank building to the museum; the museum materials had previously been housed in a back room at the local Chamber of Commerce. Formerly the McKee Building, the 1907 structure was restored to include a new, native red oak staircase and a new elevator; original bank vaults and safes remain in the building. The Dallas County Museum provides 13,000 square feet of exhibition and office space at 221 North Main Street in the Fordyce Commercial Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. An annex opened in the …

Dallas County Training School High School Building

The High School Building at the Dallas County Training School is located in Fordyce (Dallas County). Constructed in 1931 with assistance from the Rosenwald Foundation, it served African American students in Dallas, Bradley, Calhoun, and Cleveland counties. Added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 21, 2004, the building was unoccupied by 2001. A school for African American students began operating in Fordyce in a wooden building in 1918. Designed to serve four counties, the building was overwhelmed, and local citizens explored options to expand the facility. After securing $2,600 from the Rosenwald Foundation, local African Americans donated $300, and public funds of $9,690 covered the balance, giving the cost of construction of the 1931 section of the …