Wyandotte (Hot Spring County)
Located about one mile northeast of Gifford (Hot Spring County) and five miles northeast of Malvern (Hot Spring County), Wyandotte is an unincorporated community in Hot Spring County. The community is centered on the rail line that continues to run through the area in the twenty-first century and is paralleled by the phonetically spelled Wine Dot Road.
Early landowners included Benjamin Clardy, who between 1838 and 1854 obtained 520 acres through federal land patents, either alone or with a partner. Born around 1797 in South Carolina, Clardy appears in the 1850 federal census with his wife, Agnes, and their five sons. In the 1860 census, Clardy is listed as owning twenty-one enslaved people—seven female and fourteen male. Clardy died in 1875 and is buried in the Francois Cemetery in nearby Gifford. At least two of his slaves are also buried in the cemetery in marked graves, although their names and other details are not included on their markers.
With the establishment of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad in 1873, the area around Wyandotte attracted settlers and experienced economic growth. Sources suggest that a sawmill and other industries operated in the community in the late nineteenth century. German native Frederica Hill—who moved to the United States after the death of her first husband and remarried, becoming Frederica Higdon—established a boarding house in Wyandotte to take advantage of the sawmills in the area but moved to Malvern, where she operated a hotel until her death in 1917.
A post office opened in the community in 1884 and operated until the next year. It reopened in 1886 and continued to serve the area until 1891. It closed permanently at that time and service transferred to the office in Gifford. With the closure of that post office in 1929, the Malvern office took over service and continues in the twenty-first century.
The Wyandotte Missionary Baptist Church operated in the community, but few details exist on the congregation. A petition of the members in 1889 to the county government led to the banning of the sale of liquor within a three-mile radius of the church.
The short period of existence of the community, as well as the closeness of Wyandotte to Gifford, means that there are few references to the settlement in the historical record. An expansive list of merchants and businesses in Hot Spring County published in 1893 included only a brief mention of the community, listing it as a closed post office.
It is unknown if any stores or schools operated in the community. The community is part of the Glen Rose School District.
ARAUCO North America, a forestry products manufacturer, opened a major facility in the community. Wyandotte serves as a bedroom community for Malvern and other nearby cities in the twenty-first century.
For additional information:
Burton, Loma. “I Remember Mother Higdon.” The Heritage 8 (1981): 51–53.
“Early Hot Spring County Court Records.” The Heritage 29 (2002): 25–34.
“Trails Grow Dim.” The Heritage 9 (1982): 73–81.
Southeastern Louisiana University
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