Hearn (Clark County)

Hearn is an unincorporated community located about four miles northwest of Arkadelphia (Clark County) along Arkansas Highway 8 in Clark County. The community is closely tied with Arkadelphia.

Early settlers include Gabriel Denton, who obtained a federal land patent for just over 439 acres in 1837. John Buck obtained forty acres in 1839. Buck lived on the land with his family, totaling fifteen people according to the 1840 federal census. He appeared in the 1850 census along with his wife, son, and daughter, owning $600 of real estate. Buck appeared in the 1860 census with his wife and daughter and is listed as owning $800 of real estate, with $2,400 of personal property. He also owned an enslaved sixteen-year-old girl and an infant girl.

Alven Stevens acquired 120 acres in 1857 and appeared in the 1860 census with his wife, Martha; three daughters; and a twenty-one-year-old farmer named G. J. Crawford. Stevens owned $2,000 worth of real estate and $400 of personal property in 1860. Edward Clingan also acquired 120 acres in the Hearn area in 1859. The following year, Clingan appeared in the census with his wife and four children in the household. The family owned $2,500 of real estate and $785 of personal property.

The Hearn Presbyterian Church opened in the community in 1883, founded by members of the Palestine Presbyterian Church located southeast of Hearn. The church was a Cumberland Presbyterian congregation until 1906, when it joined the Presbyterian Church in the United States. Several buildings served the congregation until a permanent structure was built in 1914. With the donation of a new plot of land in 1928, the building was moved. John E. Gaither began serving as pastor of both the Hearn and Palestine churches in 1938 and led the two churches, along with Dowell’s Chapel, to join with the Presbyterian Church U.S. Gaither also led efforts to build a manse (housing for a pastor) in Arkadelphia. The manse became part of the Gaither Parish, which included the churches at Hearn, Palestine, Dowell’s Chapel, and Alpine (Clark County). The congregations of the churches declined over the years, and various pastors led the parish with assistance from the First Presbyterian Church in Arkadelphia. In 1961, the Hearn Church dissolved and the remaining members transferred to the Alpine Presbyterian Church.

A post office served Hearn from 1884 to 1908; the Arkadelphia Post Office later began serving the area. Hearn received telephone service in 1902 when the Arkadelphia Telephone Company ran lines to the community. A school also operated in the area, although details are few. The community is served by the Arkadelphia Public School District in the twenty-first century.

Hearn remains rural, with timber and cattle operations in the area. Hearn is heavily residential, as many residents work in nearby Arkadelphia.

For additional information:
Richter, Wendy, et al. Clark County, Arkansas: Past and Present. Arkadelphia, AR: Clark County Historical Association, 1992.

David Sesser
Southeastern Louisiana University


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