Haretown (Clark County)
The earliest settlers in the area included Thomas McLaughlin, who obtained 120 acres of land in the area on July 1, 1859. On the same date, Jeptha Cornelius obtained 160 acres nearby. Both families worked the land as farmers, and neither owned slaves.
After the Civil War, more families began moving to the area. William and Susan Hare moved to the area in the 1860s. Originally from South Carolina, the couple lived in Mississippi before moving to Arkansas. Working as a farm laborer, William also served as the founding minister of Center Grove Methodist Church, located southeast of Okolona. He died in 1880, leaving Susan with their seven children. She died in 1888. The eldest son, also named William, continued to farm in the area and became a landowner.
Served by the post office in Okolona, the settlement never grew very large. Between 1894 and 1920, about forty-five people lived in the Haretown area. Almost all of the residents were related to the Hare family. The only commercial facility in the area was the W. B. East General Store, which also offered banking facilities. Owned by the William B. East family, the store closed sometime in the 1910s.
Over the twentieth century, the population of the area continued to decline. Without a school or an operational store, residents utilized the services in nearby Okolona. Most of the former residents of the area are buried in the Weir Cemetery in Okolona.
The area continues to be used for a variety of agricultural enterprises in the twenty-first century, including timber and cattle. While small landowners continue to live in the area, much of the land is owned by large timber corporations.
For additional information:
Richter, Wendy, et al. Clark County Arkansas: Past and Present. Arkadelphia, AR: Clark County Historical Association, 1992.
Syler, Allen. Happenings in Okolona and Antoine Township, 1869–1943: From the Southern Standard and Gurdon Times. Arkadelphia, AR: Clark County Historical Association, 1999.
Henderson State University
Last Updated: 02/08/2020