Cross Roads (Hot Spring County)

Cross Roads is an unincorporated community located in far western Hot Spring County. It is also known as Crossroads. The community is located about one mile southwest of Bonnerdale (Hot Spring County) and nine miles northeast of Glenwood (Pike County). Cross Roads is located about three-quarters of a mile east of the Montgomery County line. The community of Bismarck (Hot Spring County) was also known as Cross Roads in the nineteenth century.

The first settlers arrived in the area in the early nineteenth century, but the first federal land patents in the area were not issued until 1897. In that year, Jesse and Samuel Ballard each obtained about 160 acres in the Cross Roads area. Samuel Ballard was a North Carolina native and lived on this land with his wife, Susan, and eleven of their children according to the 1900 census. Jesse was Samuel’s son, and his property was located to the south and west of his father’s land. In the 1910 census, Jesse appeared as a farmer living with his wife, Clara, and their nine children. William Ballard, Samuel’s son and Jesse’s brother, obtained about 120 acres of land north of Samuel’s property in 1910, giving the family at least 440 acres in the Cross Roads area. Other early settlers included Francis Carpenter, who obtained about 165 acres in Hot Spring and Montgomery counties in 1902.

The Cross Roads community was part of Clark County from 1819 (the year Arkansas became a territory) until the creation of Hot Spring County in 1829. In 1843, the area became part of Montgomery County before rejoining Hot Spring County in 1873. The name of the community is derived from the intersection of what is now U.S. Highway 70 and Sugar Loaf Valley Road.

The area around the community remains much as it did when the first settlers arrived. The major industries near Cross Roads continue to be related to agriculture, with timber, cattle, and poultry operations in the area.

By the twenty-first century, the community included the Bonnerdale Volunteer Fire Department, four churches, and a mini storage facility. It serves as a bedroom community for Glenwood and Hot Springs (Garland County).

For additional information:
Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Central Arkansas. Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1889.

Hot Spring County Historical Society. The Heritage. 1970–2018.

David Sesser
Henderson State University


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