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Entries - Entry Category: Columbia - Starting with M

Magnolia (Columbia County)

Magnolia is the county seat of Columbia County and home of Southern Arkansas University (SAU). It is also an important industrial center in southern Arkansas as a locus of the oil and bromine industries. Early Statehood through the Civil War In March 1853, after Columbia County was created, the first county court met at a store in a low, swampy place called Frog Level. Three commissioners were appointed to locate the geographical center of the county for purposes of establishing a county seat. However, the geographical center ended up being in the bottoms of Big Creek, even lower than Frog Level, and so the site for the county seat was moved one mile to the east. On June 21, 1853, …

McNeil (Columbia County)

The community of McNeil in Columbia County emerged as a railroad depot in the 1880s. Just to the east of the community is Logoly State Park. One of the earliest families of European descent to settle the area was that of Ananias Godbold in 1845. Milton G. Kelso purchased two lots of Columbia County land on March 1, 1855, adding three additional lots five years later. Around 1855, William B. McNeill—a graduate of the University of North Carolina—arrived in the area and opened a school. McNeill married Mary Jane Kelso on December 21, 1859, and other families settled around the school, so that by the time of the Civil War, the area could be described as “thickly settled.” Because of …