Barringer (Clark County)

Barringer is a community located in southern Clark County about one mile northwest of Whelen Springs (Clark County) and about four miles south of Gurdon (Clark County). The community is located along Arkansas Highway 53 north of the intersection with Arkansas Highway 51.

The earliest mention of the settlement appears in 1885 when John A. Barringer opened a sawmill in the area. The opening of the Gurdon and Camden Branch Railroad from Camden (Ouachita County) to Gurdon made the shipment of timber in the area lucrative. In 1888, the company cut and shipped 2,000,000 board feet of timber. By the 1920s, the mill annually produced between eight and ten million board feet. During this period, the mill employed between forty-five and fifty people. The mill also operated a brick factory for a time.

As the community is located near Whelen Springs, residents are recorded in the federal census as living in that town, making an estimation of the population impossible. Barringer never had a post office, store, or school. A school built in 1915 in Whelen Springs was constructed from brick manufactured at the Barringer Mill.

The mill operated for decades, but by the early 1970s, J. A. Barringer and Sons Lumber had sold the facility. Little remains of the community in the twenty-first century, and no residents remain on the land. A business known as the Barringer Timberlands Company continues to own the land on which the settlement was located. A lumber mill located across Highway 53 from the site of the community ceased operation.

For additional information:
Hughes, Eric. “Picking up the Pieces: The Gurdon Timber Industry, 1917–1941.” Clark County Historical Journal (1993): 1–12.

Nelson, Grace Benton. “Early Lumber Industry in Clark County.” Clark County Historical Journal 1, no. 2 (1974): 4–15.

Richter, Wendy, ed. Clark County, Arkansas: Past and Present. Arkadelphia, AR: Clark County Historical Association, 1992.

David Sesser
Henderson State University


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