Mount Moriah (Hot Spring County)

Mount Moriah is an unincorporated community located in far western Hot Spring County. The community is closely associated with the nearby communities of Bonnerdale (Hot Spring County) and Cross Roads (Hot Spring County). Located at the intersection of Mount Moriah Road and U.S. Highway 70, the community is centered on Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church. Located less than two miles northeast of Bonnerdale, the community is about four miles southwest of Pearcy (Garland County) and only a few hundred feet from the Garland County–Hot Spring County line.

The area around Mount Moriah was part of Clark County when the Arkansas Territory formed in 1819. With the establishment of Hot Spring County on November 1, 1829, the area became part of the new county. One of the earliest settlers in the area was Hiram Careley. He began acquiring land in western Hot Spring County and what is now Garland County, obtaining forty acres in 1850; by the end of the decade, Careley had at least 406 acres of land in the area, including about forty-three just west of Mount Moriah. A native of North Carolina, Careley appeared in the 1850 Census as a farmer living with his wife, Eveline, and five children. The family also owned a number of slaves, including two men, one woman, and one male infant.

Little additional settlement occurred in the area until after the Civil War. Widow Sarah Holcomb obtained a land patent for 160 acres in 1890, including forty acres southeast of Mount Moriah. In 1903, John Landers obtained a forty-acre tract just east of the present-day intersection of Mount Moriah Road and U.S. Highway 70. The area where the intersection is located belonged to John Hawkins, who obtained the 160-acre tract in 1906.

Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church has served as the center of the community since its founding in 1909.

With the proximity of the community to Bonnerdale, the history of Mount Moriah is closely tied to the nearby community. The school at Bonnerdale served the students residing near Mount Moriah. It consolidated in the mid-1940s with the district in Glenwood (Pike County). Students residing in the area began attending the Centerpoint District, with the schools located in Pike County.

The area is served by the Bonnerdale Post Office and Bonnerdale Volunteer Fire Department, located nearby in Cross Roads. The area remains rural, with many residents commuting to nearby Hot Springs for employment.

For additional information:
“Mt. Moriah Baptist Church Vertical File.” Garland County Historical Society, Hot Springs, Arkansas.

David Sesser
Henderson State University


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