Ebenezer (Hot Spring County)

A small unincorporated community in Hot Spring County, Ebenezer is located about three miles southwest of Malvern (Hot Spring County) and less than two miles northeast of Central (Hot Spring County). The community is centered on U.S. Highway 67.

Few people lived in the area before the Civil War. Small numbers of settlers began to arrive in the mid-1870s after the construction of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad about one mile to the west. The establishment of Malvern to the northeast in 1873 attracted people to the area, as large tracts of land were still available for settlement and the railroad offered a nearby option to ship goods to market.

Early settlers included Huston Robinson, who obtained a land patent for eighty acres near the community in 1877. Three years later, according to the census, the Tennessee native lived on the land with his wife, Elizabeth, two sons, and a daughter. Zachariah Staggs obtained forty acres near Ebenezer in 1882. Appearing in the 1850 census as a painter, Staggs was a native of South Carolina and lived with his wife, Huldah, and several children. The family moved to the area from Mississippi.

Other settlers in the area included Sarah Williams, who obtained a land patent for eighty acres in 1883, and Mary Manning, who obtained eighty acres the previous year. Manning and her husband, John, appeared in the 1880 census along with their four sons and daughter. John died between the censuses, and Mary acquired the land patent two years later, next appearing in the 1900 census living on the property. Listed as a farmer, Mary lived with two daughters and a son.

Small-scale farms dotted the countryside around Ebenezer, operated by these settlers. Agriculture remains an important economic driver in the community in the twenty-first century, with cattle and timber holdings nearby. The community did not include a post office; service was provided by nearby offices.

A school began operations in Ebenezer in the late nineteenth century. Located along the present-day highway, the Ebenezer Academy served as a church on Sunday and offered coursework for local children during the week. During the final year of operation in 1915, two teachers operated the facility. The Ebenezer Academy consolidated with at least five other schools in 1916 to create a new school at Central about one and a half miles south of Ebenezer. Students from Ebenezer attended the school at Central until the high school consolidated with the Malvern School District in 1949. The elementary school continued operations for several more years.

Highway 67 connects the community to Malvern, offering residents an easy route to the county seat. The Ebenezer Cemetery, located along the east side of Highway 67 and across from the site of the former Ebenezer Academy, includes marked graves dating to 1879 and includes several graves from the twenty-first century. Early settlers Mary Manning and Zachariah Staggs are buried in the cemetery. The Manning Cemetery, located to the east of Highway 67 and northeast of the community, includes graves from the late twentieth century.

The community is heavily residential, with subdivisions located on each side of the highway. Calvary Baptist Church, founded in 1993, is located on Highway 67 in the community. The settlement serves as a bedroom community for Malvern and other nearby towns.

For additional information:
Carver, Pat. “Motorcycle Pete.” The Heritage (2018): 79–82.

“Central School: District No. 10.” The Heritage (1979): 75–79.

David Sesser
Henderson State University


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