Bauxippi (Crittenden County)
Bauxippi was a short-lived shipping point on the Mississippi River in Crittenden County established by the American Bauxite Company in 1917. The name comes from a combination of the words “bauxite” and “Mississippi.”
Very little is known about the community. The first mention of it in the Arkansas Gazette was in the March 7, 1917, issue, which noted that the American Bauxite Company was planning to “resume shipments by a combination rail and water route, sending ore via the Rock Island from here [Bauxite in Saline County] to a new shipping point on the Mississippi, called Bauxippi, and thence by river to East St. Louis.”
During World War I, demand had increased for bauxite ore, which is used in the manufacture of aluminum, and this no doubt fueled the creation of Bauxippi. A post office was established on July 11, 1917, on a quarter boat, with Frank C. Faust serving as postmaster, to be replaced by Felix Bogy the following year. In January 1918, ice floes that formed on the Mississippi caused damage up and down the river, including at Bauxippi, where steel barges owned by the Aluminum Ore Company were loosed from their moorings. In mid-1919, Thomas T. Cresswell was named the new postmaster at Bauxippi.
Later in 1920, the Carlisle Independent reported that the officials of the Rock Island Railroad were investigating the facilities at Bauxippi for use in unloading freight from river barges onto railroad cars. Apparently, the site was no longer being used primarily for the shipping of bauxite. In the postwar years, demand for bauxite was considerably lower.
According to local historian Margaret Woolfolk, the post office at Bauxippi was closed on March 31, 1920, but reopened on May 19, 1920, with George E. Wyatt as postmaster. Fred Vaughn Wilbur replaced him later that year, but Wyatt resumed the post in 1921, serving until June 30, 1926, when the post office was closed yet again. Other sources, however, state that the Bauxippi post office closed in 1921.
The site where Bauxippi once existed was subsumed by the city of West Memphis (Crittenden County). The name of the community survives in the Bauxippi-Wyanoke Revetment along the river.
For additional information:
“Arkansas Postal News.” Arkansas Gazette, June 17, 1919, p. 2.
“Arkansas Postal News.” Arkansas Gazette, July 31, 1917, p. 2.
“Great Damage Done to River Craft.” Osceola Times, January 25, 1918, p. 1.
“Inspect Bauxippi.” Carlisle Independent, July 15, 1920, p. 8.
“Ship Bauxite by Boat.” Arkansas Gazette, March 7, 1917, p. 4.
Woolfolk, Margaret Elizabeth. A History of Crittenden County, Arkansas. Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1993.
Staff of the CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas
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