Nebraska (Scott County)
Nebraska is a historical community that was located in eastern Scott County along the Fourche La Fave River valley. The town was established in 1854 as an agricultural community prior to the Civil War. Nebraska was originally located between the current communities of Harvey (Scott County) and Nola (Scott County).
Archaeological evidence from the Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods shows native people living along the Fourche La Fave River valley near Nebraska. Prior to European exploration, the Caddo tribe lived along the valley. Thousands of archeological sites and burial mounds are located throughout the area.
During the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, French hunters and tradesmen explored the waters of the Fourche La Fave River and other tributaries of the Arkansas River. It is likely that they traversed the waters of the Fourche La Fave near Nebraska.
The first white settlers to live in Nebraska came to the area around the time of Scott County’s formation in 1833. The Jones and Parks families were some of the first to settle near Nebraska (present-day Nola). Will Parks was a merchant from Georgia who became a major area land owner. It is unclear when the community of Nebraska received it name, though the Nebraska Post Office was opened in 1854. This was the first governmental building in the community. By 1870, the Nebraska Post Office was one of six in Scott County.
One of the first families to settle in the Nebraska area after the Civil War was the Kelley family. Jerry Kelley and his family moved to Scott County along with their former slaves. The Kelleys built and ran a cotton gin on Kelley Creek, which was subsequently named after them. Jerry Kelley and his sons also operated a general store and issued their own scrip for money. The Kelleys were known throughout the state for the quality of their horses.
The Hall family moved from Georgia to Nebraska via an ox cart in 1870. The family lived in Nebraska from 1871 to 1876. The eldest Hall son worked for J. M. Caviness making molasses. The family also farmed land owned by Francis Marion Monroe in what is now Harvey. Monroe Cemetery was established just east of Nebraska in circa 1873. The Nebraska School District was established in January 1886. The Nebraska School once stood on the land of Roy Lee Austin. The school was soon consolidated with La Fave School District sometime between 1888 and 1890. It is unknown when the school was built; however, land records indicate that the Austin family settled land in Nebraska as early as 1890.
In 1907, the post office at Nebraska was discontinued and changed to Nola. After the establishment of Harvey and Nola in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the town of Nebraska ceased to exist. The establishment of Harvey and Nola as separate communities erased much of the structural evidence of the town; however, the Parks and Monroe cemeteries continue to be used by residents in the area.
For additional information:
Cate, Michael. History of Scott County, Arkansas. Dallas, TX: Curtis Media Corporation, 1991.
Echoes: The Scott County Historical and Genealogical Society Quarterly. Waldron, AR: Scott County Historical and Genealogical Society (1986–).
Goodner, Charles. Scott County in Retrospect. Mansfield, AR: Frank Boyd, 1976.
Goodner, Norman. A History of Scott County, Arkansas. Siloam Springs, AR: Bar D Press, 1941.
McCutcheon, Henry Grady. History of Scott County, Arkansas. Little Rock: H. G. Pugh and Company, 1922.
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