Hebron (Clark County)
Hebron is a rural community in Clark County located about nine miles east of Gurdon (Clark County). Extremely isolated and only accessible by county roads, the community looks much as it did when it was founded in the nineteenth century. An alternative spelling of the name of the community is Hebren.
Early landowners in the area include James Nunn, who obtained a Federal Land Patent for forty acres in 1855 and an additional forty in 1859. Appearing in the 1860 federal census, Nunn was listed as a blacksmith with no family members, $600 of real estate, and seventy-five dollars of personal property. Eli Cole and Levi Whitton together acquired 160 acres in 1858, and no other patents were issued in the area before the Civil War.
Later settlers included Joseph Cole, who acquired 120 acres in 1888. In the 1880 census, Cole, his wife, two daughters, and six sons appear in the Hebron area. Like his neighbors, Cole worked as a farmer. William Ricketts received a land patent for 160 acres in 1889. Ricketts appeared in the 1880 census. It is unclear which Ricketts received the patent, as both father and son were named William. In 1880, the family—consisting of William, his wife, and four sons including William Jr., who was twenty-two at the time—lived in Manchester Township east of the Ouachita River, which is about three miles to the east of the community. Abraham Lemmons also received a land patent for 160 acres in 1891.
The Hebron Post Office opened in 1889 and operated until 1923. Service was later taken over by the office in Curtis (Clark County) and later transferred to the Arkadelphia Post Office. A school named for the community operated in the late nineteenth century. (The school only served white students; the existence of a school for African Americans in the community has not been recorded.) Details on the school are few, but it was no longer in use by 1913, when a church began using the structure.
At least one store and a railroad tie mill operated in the community in the early twentieth century. The store was owned by William Waller, and his wife, Nannie Waller, served as the postmistress, with the post office housed inside the building. On the night of March 20, 1921, the store burned to the ground. With arson suspected, the Clark County sheriff T. M. Francis requested bloodhounds from Little Rock (Clark County) to be used to track the suspects. Once the dogs arrived, they followed the scent to the home of Leake Young, the manager of the tie mill. Young was arrested for the arson, but it is not clear how or if he was ever tried for the crime. The post office continued operations for only two more years before closing.
Hebron remains very isolated in the twenty-first century. Only accessible by gravel county roads, the area is heavily timbered and sparsely populated. The few residents in the area either commute to Gurdon or other nearby towns or work in agricultural positions.
For additional information:
“List of Schools in Clark County.” Clark County Historical Journal (1989): 26–27.
Richter, Wendy, et al. Clark County Arkansas: Past and Present. Arkadelphia, AR: Clark County Historical Association, 1992.
Southeastern Louisiana University
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