Antioch (Hot Spring County)
Antioch is an unincorporated community in Hot Spring County located about six miles northwest of Donaldson (Hot Spring County) and ten miles southwest of Malvern (Hot Spring County). The area surrounding the rural community has long been used for agriculture.
One of the earliest settlers in the area was Isaac Beason and his family. Originally from Alabama, Isaac came to the area with his wife, Dicy Fowler Beason, and their oldest children around 1844. The couple would go on to have fifteen children in total. In 1856, Beason obtained 160 acres of land in the area from the Land Patent Office and added another 160 in 1859. Two sons, Jesse and Jonathan, joined the Third Arkansas Infantry (Confederate) during the Civil War. Jonathan was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg, while Jesse was wounded at the Battle of Antietam. Another son, David, served with the Nineteenth Arkansas and was captured at the Battle of Corinth, Mississippi. He returned home to the Antioch community.
Other early settlers in the area include David Curry, who obtained 160 acres of land in 1859 just north of the Beason property. He married Elizabeth Beason, the fourth child of Isaac and Dicy, in 1854. The families farmed a number of crops. Members of the Beason family continue to own land in the area in the twenty-first century.
A post office opened in the community in 1855. It closed in 1866, with postal service transferred to Donaldson. While it is unclear why the area is named Antioch, the community is located in Antioch Township near Antioch Creek and Antioch Road runs through the community.
The major industry in the community in the nineteenth century was farming. Little changed into the early twentieth century, with a history of the county written in 1940 mentioning that timber harvesting and cattle were the major occupations in the township.
A school operated in the community in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Known as the Little Hope School, it offered students instruction up to the eighth grade. Students could then attend school in Friendship (Hot Spring County) or other nearby communities. The community is served in the twenty-first century by the Bismarck School District located in Bismarck (Hot Spring County).
Antioch serves as a bedroom community for Malvern and other nearby towns. A volunteer fire department and community center are located in Antioch, as are an Assembly of God church and a Missionary Baptist church. Three cemeteries are located in the area, including the Beason Family Cemetery and the Upper and Lower Antioch cemeteries. The area remains rural, and most of the land continues to be used for agricultural purposes, including timber production and cattle.
For additional information:
“Early Beason Family of Antioch Community Hot Spring County, Arkansas.” The Heritage 10 (1983): 17–19.
Hodges, W. A. “William Station of Antioch Recalls Traveling to Hot Springs in Ox Wagon.” Heritage 2 (1971): 22.
Henderson State University
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