Cove Creek (Hot Spring County)
Cove Creek is an unincorporated community in Hot Spring County. Located about six miles northwest of Malvern (Hot Spring County), the community is directly south of Magnet Cove (Hot Spring County) and directly east of Jones Mills (Hot Spring County). An alternate name of the community is LeCroy, named after a local landowner.
Early landowners in the area included John M. Ross, who obtained 162 acres in the section in 1858 using Choctaw scrip. Nehemiah Woods obtained 160 acres the same year, also using Choctaw scrip. Settlement of the area occurred slowly until the construction of the Diamond Joe Railroad. Officially known as the Hot Springs Branch Railroad, the more colorful nickname honored founder Joseph Reynolds. A section crew stationed at Cove Creek maintained the tracks for about ten miles, extending on both sides from the community. The railroad connected Malvern with Hot Springs (Garland County). The route of the railroad roughly followed an already existing road.
Early references to the community mention its location on the Rock Island Railroad where it crossed Cove Creek, a stream that enters the Ouachita River just below the community. A description of the community late in the nineteenth century placed the population of Cove Creek at forty-eight, with a total of fifteen homes. The description also listed a depot, lumber mill, company store, and rail spur. Other sources list a water-powered grist mill in the community is this time period.
The initial name of Cove Creek comes from the creek that courses through the community. The LeCroy name was adopted in the late nineteenth century in honor of the LeCroy family. John LeCroy, a native of Alabama, moved to Saline County in 1851. After service in the Confederate army, LeCroy established a sawmill in Cove Creek. Through a combination of farming and the timber industry, LeCroy established himself as a major landowner in the area.
The Cove Creek post office operated for a single year, opening and closing in 1878. The LeCroy post office operated from 1890 to 1899. The Malvern post office later began serving the area.
Constructed in 1924, Remmel Dam is located less than one mile west of the mouth of Cove Creek where the stream joins the Ouachita. The paving of U.S. Highway 270 in the 1930s and the lack of suitable timber led to the depopulation of the area. With better transportation and a lack of industry, many people moved from the area. With the construction of an Alcoa plant in Jones Mills in the 1940s, little remained in Cove Creek.
No businesses are located in Cove Creek, although the industrial park at Jones Mills lies directly to the west of community. By the early twenty-first century, the community was uninhabited. The creek is crossed by a bridge on Highway 270 and by a bridge on the railroad located south of highway.
For additional information:
Conzel, Earl. “History of John Conzel.” The Heritage 6 (1979): 16–20.
“The History of Hot Spring County.” The Heritage 4 (1977): 3–7.
Key, Betty. “History of Magnet Cove and Butterfield.” The Heritage 35 (2008): 81–91.
“Origin of Names.” The Heritage 5 (1978): 46–48.
Southeastern Louisiana University
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