Counties, Cities, and Towns

Entries - Entry Category: Counties, Cities, and Towns - Starting with C

Cabot (Lonoke County)

In 2009, BusinessWeek designated the northern Lonoke County city of Cabot as an “Arkansas boomtown” and listed it as the state’s third-fastest-growing city per capita. Incorporated on November 9, 1891, the city—best known for its school system—is home to 23,776 people (as of the 2010 census), making it the largest community in the county. Post Reconstruction through the Gilded Age The development of the area began in the early 1800s about three miles east of the present city at a small town called Austin (Lonoke County). A stretch of the Butterfield Overland Mail Company stage route passed through the area, and, during the Civil War, a large Confederate camp named Camp Nelson was established nearby. Troops moved in and out …

Caddo Gap (Montgomery County)

Caddo Gap is an unincorporated community located along the Caddo River in Montgomery County approximately fifteen miles south of the county seat, Mount Ida. In the twenty-first century, Caddo Gap is a very small community of fewer than 100 people, although it has a long history of Native American habitation, Spanish exploration, and white settlement. According to Arkansas Archeological Survey findings, Native Americans inhabited areas near Caddo Gap dating back to the Dalton culture. In the thirteen, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, Caddo Indians lived and farmed in Caddo Gap. For many years, historians believed that Hernando de Soto’s expedition in 1541 encountered and fought the Tula tribe near present-day Caddo Gap. The Arkansas History Commission erected a monument in 1936 …

Caddo Valley (Clark County)

Located near the junction of the Caddo and Ouachita rivers, the city of Caddo Valley is a relatively new but economically important town in Clark County. With an economy based on service industries and a prime location on three highways and near DeGray Lake Resort State Park, Caddo Valley quickly became an important stop between Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Texarkana (Miller County). Settlement in the area began in the early 1800s with the arrival of the first white farmers. The area had previously been occupied by members of the Caddo tribe. Jacob Barkman, an 1811 arrival to the area, constructed a house on the south bank of the Caddo River. The Caddo Valley area proved to be a prime …

Cadron Settlement

aka: Cadron (Faulkner County)
The first permanent white settlement in central Arkansas was near the confluence of Cadron Creek and the Arkansas River, about five miles west of Conway in Faulkner County. In the early 1800s, the term “Cadron Settlement” was used loosely in reference to thirty to forty white families that were scattered along the Arkansas River in the vicinity of Cadron Creek. In 1818, an early settler and trader, John McElmurry, who had arrived before 1818, and three other investors laid out a town, Cadron, on about sixty-four acres at the mouth of the Cadron Creek. Although the original plat map of the town has not been found, historical evidence suggests that as many as fourteen blocks, each with six half-acre lots, surrounded …

Calamine (Sharp County)

Calamine, home to some of the earliest settlers in what is now Sharp County, was the site of the state’s first commercial zinc mining operation. The boomtown experienced periods of rapid growth in the 1850s and 1870s but today consists only of a few homes. The town is most likely named after the pink mineral calamine; however, a local tradition claims that the name originated from a female mine owner named Callie, thus “Callie mine.” Long before white settlers moved to the area, the Osage used the region for hunting. The first white settlers entered by the early 1830s, many by way of the recently completed military road connecting the area to the Black River. A small settlement began to …

Caldwell (St. Francis County)

  Caldwell is a city on Crowley’s Ridge, a few miles north of Forrest City (St. Francis County). Located on the Union Pacific Railroad and on State Highway 1, Caldwell has long been an agricultural center for the region but is now predominately a bedroom community for Forrest City. Many early settlers of Arkansas gravitated to Crowley’s Ridge, especially with the improvement of the Military Road in 1830s. St. Francis County had already been established in 1827, populated with settlers who had moved west from Tennessee and Kentucky. The settlement of Caldwell did not appear on maps until after the Civil War, when railroad construction increased in Arkansas. The St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway was incorporated in June 1874 with plans …

Cale (Nevada County)

Cale is a town on Highway 200 near the center of Nevada County. Created as a lumber community around the beginning of the twentieth century, Cale did not incorporate until 1971. Several landowners received land patents for the location where Cale would be built just before the Civil War. They include Jessee C. Capshaw in 1857; Charles Muirehead in 1859; and John Atkins, George Daniell, and Andrew Walker, all in 1860. Although many of the men of the area fought in the Civil War, leaving their farms to be tended by wives and children, the actual conflict did not come closer than the Camden Expedition of 1864, which was turned back some miles east of the area. Cale was built …

Calhoun County

Located in south-central Arkansas, with its southernmost border about twenty-five miles from the Louisiana state line, Calhoun County has the smallest population of Arkansas’s seventy-five counties, with a population density of fewer than nine persons per square mile compared to fifty-six for the state. Hampton is the only town with more than 1,000 residents. Thornton, Harrell, and Tinsman are the only other incorporated communities. The economic base is timber, sand, and gravel. Sixty-eight percent of the workforce is employed in manufacturing. Pre-European Exploration There are about 350 archaeological sites known in Calhoun County, testifying to the habitation of Native Americans in the region for thousands of years. Two prehistoric mounds—Boone’s Mounds and the Keller Site—believed to be from the Coles Creek …

Calico Rock (Izard County)

Calico Rock, located on the White River in Izard County, developed as a steamboat landing originally known as Calico Landing. Keelboats had worked the upper White River as early as 1820, followed by paddle wheelers carrying merchandise and passengers from as far away as New Orleans, Louisiana. It became a boomtown in 1902, when construction began on the railroad as tracks were laid along the north bank, beneath the bluffs. The settlement was the headquarters for railroad construction crews. In 1902, the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railway opened rail service there. Calico Rock was the largest town in Izard County through the 1960s. European Exploration and Settlement through Early Statehood While the region’s early history is obscure, it was …

Calion (Union County)

Calion is a second-class city in the northern part of Union County, on Highway 167 and on the south bank of the Ouachita River. The city is known principally as a timber industry center, although increasing emphasis is being placed on tourism opportunities associated with Lake Calion. The African-American neighborhood of Jelly Roll in Calion was the subject of an anthropological study published in 1986. Native American artifacts of the prehistoric era—including Koroa and prehistoric Caddo—have been discovered across the river from Calion in southern Calhoun County. Some historians have attempted to demonstrate that Hernando de Soto’s expedition wintered in that region, since it is known that the expedition did travel along the Ouachita River. In the nineteenth century, the …

Camden (Ouachita County)

Camden is the county seat of Ouachita County and is located in south-central Arkansas on the Gulf Coastal Plain, about fifty miles north of Louisiana. Since it began life as Ecore a Fabre, a French trading post, its history has been closely tied to the Ouachita River. At the head of practical navigation, Camden was the “Queen City” of the Ouachita during the steamboat era. In 1864, it became the unintended focus of a major Civil War effort called the Red River Campaign, resulting in several significant battles. With the development of railroads, Camden was able to exploit its rich timberlands and remain an important transportation hub. Camden has also been important in both industry and education. Politically, Camden has …

Cammack Village (Pulaski County)

The enclave of Cammack Village is a legally incorporated community surrounded entirely by the city of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Created as a site for federally subsidized housing in 1943, it has developed into an exclusive neighborhood renowned for a low crime rate and high property values. The land on which Cammack Village is located was owned by Wiley Dan Cammack, who had allowed it to be used for a Works Progress Administration roads project in the 1930s. In the 1940s, Cammack attempted to have the area annexed by Little Rock, the western edge of which abutted his land, but the city demurred. Cammack therefore turned the land over to a federally subsidized housing project designed to alleviate housing shortages …

Camp (Fulton County)

The unincorporated community of Camp, settled in the early 1800s, was home to some of Fulton County’s earliest settlers. Located near present-day State Highway 9, the somewhat isolated community became a typical rural gathering place for trade and commerce. Settlers were attracted to the area by available land and a plentiful water source provided by Camp Creek and several springs, which were said to never go dry. North Carolina brothers Joe and Nathan Benton, who arrived there in the early 1800s, were the first white settlers. Though more settlers moved to the area, a town did not begin to develop until the 1870s. In 1877, the man who was responsible for the development of the area’s commercial interests arrived. Within …

Campbell (Searcy County)

The historic community of Campbell in Campbell Township is located near County Road 68 (Gum Tree Lane) a short distance from where it intersects with Highway 66 about two miles north of Oxley (Searcy County) and about six miles east-northeast of Leslie (Searcy County). Campbell is located approximately eleven miles east-southeast of Marshall (Searcy County), the county seat. Campbell lies in a fertile valley of the foothills of the Boston Mountains. The caves and bluffs were utilized by Native Americans dating back to the Late Archaic Period. A Native American site, Cooper’s Bluff, northwest of Campbell near what is today Snowball (Searcy County), was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 4, 1982. The Cooper’s Bluff Site …

Campbell Station (Jackson County)

Campbell Station—originally known only as Campbell—is a city in Jackson County located along the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and U.S. Highway 367. It is adjacent to the city of Diaz (Jackson County) and is between Newport (Jackson County) and Tuckerman (Jackson County). Campbell Station claims a portion of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Highway 67.  The earliest settlements in Jackson County, such as Jacksonport (Jackson County) and Newport, were stops along the transportation corridor of the White River between the Mississippi River and Batesville (Independence County). The rest of the county was dominated by hardwood forests and farmland. Jacksonport was significant as a crossroads, as well as a common White River stop, as the Southwest Trail connecting southeastern Missouri to northwestern Texas …

Cane Hill (Washington County)

Cane Hill, settled by Europeans in 1827, was the earliest settlement in Washington County. It was known as an educational center because the first college in Arkansas to admit women was in Cane Hill. In addition, it had the state’s first public school, library, and Sunday school. Several of the oldest houses in northwest Arkansas still stand in Cane Hill. It was also the site of an all-day skirmish in the days before the Battle of Prairie Grove (December 7, 1862). Most of the early settlers came from the Crystal Hill–Little Rock area (Pulaski County), attracted by the rich soil, plentiful freshwater springs, and the canebrakes in the temperate mountain climate. In addition, many Cherokee had recently been removed from …

Caney (Independence County)

Caney Creek begins as a spring in the hills of the Ed Taylor Holler at McHue (Independence County), moves east through Southside (Independence County), and empties into Salado Creek near the Old Rock Bridge between Salado (Independence County) and Rosie (Independence County). Caney, a pioneer community, emerged along its banks in the early 1800s on what is today Kyler Road, where it intersects with Highway 167 South (Batesville Boulevard). Pioneer farmers found the alluvial land along the banks of Caney Creek to be ideal for the growing of grain crops, including corn (which could be used in the profitable moonshine business). One of the first to make his home in Caney was John Kyler from Tennessee, who appeared on the …

Caney Valley (Pike County)

Caney Valley of Pike County is a community located about five miles west of Amity (Clark County) and six miles northeast of Kirby (Pike County). The area was formerly known as Pine Land. The first landowner in the area was Micajah McCawley, who obtained eighty acres in 1860. Caney Valley remained sparsely settled until after the Civil War, and other several land patents were issued in 1882. The families in the area grew numerous crops, including corn, cotton, wheat, oats, sweet potatoes, and melons. Some of the timber in the area began to be harvested in the late 1800s and shipped to nearby mills in Amity. A post office operated in the community from 1883 to 1890, when service was …

Caraway (Craighead County)

Caraway is a small farming community located in Craighead County in the northeast section of the state. The community is representative of other towns in this area—forged from the timber industry, sustained for many years by farming, fiercely holding onto its past through reunions and festivals, and trying to survive and retain its identity. Caraway is one of several communities within a region referred to collectively as Buffalo Island. The small city of Caraway was one of the last to incorporate in northeast Arkansas. Initially known as White Switch, it began as a lumber camp about 1912. The abundance of timber attracted the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company to buy vast tracts of land. The huge northern company drew large …

Carlisle (Lonoke County)

Carlisle, a bedroom community outside the metropolitan area of Little Rock (Pulaski County), lays claim to being the birthplace of rice growing on the Grand Prairie. Historians agree that W. H. Fuller introduced rice to the Grand Prairie. Civil War through the Gilded Age Rice remains the cornerstone of Carlisle’s economy. The tall natural grasses of the state’s Grand Prairie and good soil and water drew farmers from other states to settle this area, including the founders of Carlisle, Samuel McCormick and his wife, L. J. McCormick. According to legend, there are two stories referring to the naming of Carlisle. The first holds that Samuel McCormick had lived in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and named the town after his former home. The …

Carroll County

Changing boundary lines, the massacre of a California-bound wagon train, and the power of healing springs have extended Carroll County’s impact far beyond its borders. While retaining its rural status, Carroll County has successfully merged its history with the changing times to create a county that draws a diverse group of residents as well as tourists. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Louisiana Territory, Missouri Territory, and finally Arkansas Territory were names given to the land that became Carroll County. The Osage hunted the land until they ceded their rights to northwest Arkansas in an1808 treaty. In 1818, the United States government established a reservation for the Western Cherokee. The northwest boundary of the reservation ran diagonally through what is now …

Carrollton (Carroll County)

Carrollton (Carroll County), the original seat of Carroll County, was one of the area’s largest settlements in the mid-1800s. The town experienced steady growth before the Civil War but never fully recovered from the war’s devastation, nor from the railroad bypassing it in the 1880s. The first settlers, James Jones and Henderson Lafferty, arrived in the fertile Long Creek Valley in 1833, the same year the county was created. Jones had obtained title to approximately eighty acres. Shortly afterward, Lafferty, a Methodist minister, purchased land from Jones and established the first store in the county. When a site for the county seat was being sought, Lafferty was able to convince the appointed commissioners to purchase the land near his business. A …

Carthage (Dallas County)

  Carthage is located in northern Dallas County, on Highways 48 and 229. Formed by the railroad and timber industries, it continues to support a working sawmill in the twenty-first century. According to a plaque erected in Carthage in 1976, the area was “a crossroad for settlers in pioneer times due to the abundance of wild game and water springs.” Large plantations grew cotton and other crops, and communities such as Tulip (Dallas County) and Princeton (Dallas County) built schools, churches, and businesses. As part of the Camden Expedition, the Engagement at Jenkins’ Ferry was fought a few miles north of the present location of Carthage in April 1864. The end of the Civil War meant the end of slavery in Arkansas, which changed the …

Casa (Perry County)

  Casa may be one of the oldest settlements in Perry County, although it remained a small community until the arrival of the railroad and the discovery of coal in the area around 1900. The town’s name (the Spanish word for “house”) reflects the largely residential nature of Casa in the twenty-first century. Local historians record that the earliest white settlers of Casa arrived during the 1830s. The first two families were named Grace and McGhee; they were joined by other families moving west from Georgia and South Carolina. A general store opened around 1850, and a post office was established in 1854. A log-cabin schoolhouse was also built before the Civil War. A cemetery was established around 1860. During the …

Cash (Craighead County)

Cash is a small, incorporated community in western Craighead County located at the junction of Highway 226 and Highway 18 west of Jonesboro (Craighead County). Once an important center for the lumber industry, it is now primarily a farming community. The first permanent settlers in the area were W. R. and Lynn Cureton, brothers who came from Alabama with their families and slaves. However, the area remained sparsely settled until the late 1800s, when railroads and the lumber industry penetrated into eastern Craighead County. The first school was established on August 12, 1881. In 1894, a tram road, the Bonnerville and Southern Railroad, was built connecting the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway (Frisco) line at Bono (Craighead County) to the Cache River …

Catholic Point (Conway County)

Catholic Point, which began in 1878 in rural northern Conway County, is a small Italian community associated with the large European immigration of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The community is best known for the Catholic Point Picnic, which has been held since 1929 on the third Saturday in June at the parish hall of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Catholic Point maintains its cultural identity, and the afternoon picnic attracts more than 2,500 each year. From the mid-1870s until 1890, Bishop Edward M. Fitzgerald, the second prelate of the Diocese of Little Rock, promoted and successfully attracted Roman Catholic families from Europe, many of whom were facing difficult economic conditions, to the state. While not necessarily identified as a part …

Caulksville (Logan County)

Caulksville is a town in northwestern Logan County, located at the intersection of State Highways 22 and 23. While it incorporated at a much later date than the bordering town of Ratcliff (Logan County), Caulksville is the older settlement of the two. Caulksville was named for Robert Caulk, who received a land patent at the location of the town in 1860. He and his family are said to have arrived in the area in the 1830s. Available records do not show that Caulk served in any army during the Civil War. After the war, more settlers arrived in the area, and Caulk opened a post office in 1870. A Missionary Baptist church was built a few miles north of Caulksville …

Cauthron (Scott County)

The town of Cauthron is an unincorporated community located in western Scott County along Highway 28. The town was established along the Poteau River, which runs west into eastern Oklahoma. Cauthron was incorporated circa 1876; however, the area was initially known as Piney. Piney was never officially an incorporated town, and it is unclear when the area began being called Cauthron, although it was likely in the 1870s when the first governmental buildings were being built. Before European contact, the wilderness area’s first inhabitants included natives from the Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods. The Caddo later made their homes along the Poteau River and other waterways in the area. It is probable that during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth …

Cave City (Sharp and Independence Counties)

Cave City is a small community that straddles the northern Independence and southern Sharp County border in north-central Arkansas, having ended up there when a three-mile strip of Independence County was transferred to Sharp County in 1879. For administrative purposes, the town belongs to Sharp County, but it hosts voting stations for townships in both Independence and Sharp counties. The town takes its name from the large multi-room Crystal River Cave, which is located directly beneath the city. The cave has played a pivotal role in the history of the entire community. For thousands of years, it has served as a temporary shelter, source of water, and a fascinating place to visit. Settlers in the nineteenth century also used the …

Cave Springs (Benton County)

The city of Cave Springs, nestled in the hills of northwest Arkansas, Benton County, is known more for recreational opportunities than for its role in industry or agriculture. Incorporated in 1910, the second-class city stands on Highways 112 and 264 and is often the first community seen by visitors to Arkansas who arrive at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. Cave Springs is named for two caves and for the water source that flows from the northernmost of those caves. The north cave, which has been closed to the public since the 1980s, is said to consist of several rooms and to contain two beautiful waterfalls. It is home to many bats and to the largest known population of the rare …

Cedar Creek (Scott County)

The unincorporated community of Cedar Creek is located along Highway 28 in eastern Scott County. The town was established in 1852 near the Fourche La Fave River between two of its tributaries. Originally, Cedar Creek was broken up into two different communities that were about three miles apart: Little Cedar and Big Cedar. The communities were named after the two tributaries of the Fourche La Fave River: Little Cedar Creek and Big Cedar Creek; to avoid confusion, the residents simply began calling the area Cedar Creek. Before European exploration, Cedar Creek was a wilderness containing various species of wildlife, some of which no longer inhabit the area. Early inhabitants included peoples of the Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods. Several hundred …

Cedar Glades (Garland County)

The community of Cedar Glades, located on the upper Ouachita River in Garland County, served as a transportation and commercial center amidst the sparsely settled Ouachita Mountains before the Civil War. The town typified rural upland Arkansas with its small farms and reliance on agriculture. Following the construction of Blakely Mountain Dam in the 1950s, the waters of Lake Ouachita covered Cedar Glades and the surrounding area. The lake’s completion necessitated a total, permanent evacuation of the town, and it ceased to exist. Extensive archaeological remains exist in the upper Ouachita River valley; many fields bordering on the river contain evidence of Native American presence in the area. Caddo occupied the Ouachita Mountains in relatively small, widely dispersed settlements in the northern part …

Cedar Grove (Independence County) [Northeast]

There are two communities named Cedar Grove in Independence County, one south of the White River between Floral and Pleasant Plains, and the other north of the White River near Charlotte and Cave City (Sharp and Independence counties); the two communities are often confused. Both are historical communities dating back to before the Civil War. Both are said to take their names from clusters of cedar trees found in the areas where log homes were built by the first settlers. Each one has a Cedar Grove Cemetery. Cedar Grove in the northeastern part of the county is located in Dota Township on Curia Creek seven miles southeast of Cave City and about fourteen miles east-northeast of Batesville (Independence County). It …

Cedar Grove (Independence County) [Southwest]

There are two communities named Cedar Grove in Independence County—one south of the White River near Floral (Independence County) and Pleasant Plains (Independence County), and the other north of the White River near Charlotte (Independence County) and Cave City (Sharp and Independence counties). This has led to much confusion, as each one has a Cedar Grove Cemetery. The two locations are often confused on the Internet as well. Both are historical communities dating back to before the Civil War, and both are said to take their names from clusters of cedar trees found in the areas where log homes were built by early settlers. Cedar Grove in the southwestern part of the county lies on Highway 87 (Floral Road) between …

Cedarville (Crawford County)

Cedarville (Crawford County) is in northwestern Arkansas, five and a half miles east of the Oklahoma border and ten miles north of Van Buren (Crawford County). It is located at the intersection of Highways 59, 162, and 220. Situated in the Webber Valley of Lee’s Creek in the foothills of the Boston Mountain range of the Ozark Mountains, it is the fourth-largest town in Crawford County. Approximately three miles north of Cedarville is a rock formation believed by some to be the foundation of an old fort. It measures about 450 by 150 feet. While some people believe that the formation is natural, others attribute the formation to Native Americans or even to Hernando de Soto and his men. The …

Center Point (Clark County)

Center Point is a small community in Clark County located about four miles northwest of Gurdon (Clark County). The community is centered at the intersection of Center Point Road and Arkansas Highway 53. The first landowner in the area was Lewis Randolph, who received a land patent of just under 600 acres on December 1, 1838. The issuance of the patent took more than a year to process, as Randolph died on September 24, 1837, more than a year before the patent received approval. The population in the area grew slowly before the Civil War. After the end of the war, the population began to grow and small-scale farming began. With the opening of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad in …

Center Point (Howard County)

Center Point was the first county seat of Howard County, serving in that capacity from 1873 until 1905. Although it is near the geographical center of the county, it received its name when the post office was established in 1849 because the crossroads at that location served as the central point of trade in southwestern Arkansas west of Washington (Hempstead County). Center Point in the twenty-first century is a small unincorporated community at the intersection of State Highways 4 and 26. Around 1818, Robert Messer, with his wife and two daughters, traveled by river to Fulton (Hempstead County) and then by land into the forested wilderness of southwestern Arkansas. Messer built a log cabin near a spring at the present …

Center Ridge (Conway County)

The history of Center Ridge, an unincorporated community in northeastern Conway County, spans and connects to some of the key developments in Arkansas history, from the bitter division during the Civil War to the evolution of the rural economy of upland Arkansas—which developed from subsistence agriculture to row crops, animal husbandry, and more recently, natural gas extraction. Archaeological excavations made prior to the construction of Brewer Lake, in central Conway County, indicate that Native Americans occupied the area for thousands of years. The upland portion of Conway County was largely uninhabited by the late 1830s, when white settlers began to arrive. The first community in the area, about four miles west of present-day Center Ridge, was Lick Mountain, and the …

Centerton (Benton County)

The city of Centerton, named for its location at the center of Benton County, was first established as a railroad stop and as a processing center for Benton County’s apple industry. The city declined in size by the middle of the twentieth century due to earlier troubles in the apple and railroad industries, but the rapid growth of Benton County brought about by the poultry industry and by Walmart Inc. has made Centerton a successful city in the twenty-first century. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Northwest Arkansas was claimed as hunting territory by the Osage, who lived in Missouri, at the time of the Louisiana Purchase. Local historians believe that the Osage regularly visited the McKissick Spring, an early landmark …

Central (Hot Spring County)

Central is a community located in Hot Spring County along U.S. Highway 67 about five miles south of Malvern (Hot Spring County). The community centered on the school that existed there in the early twentieth century. Early landowners in the area included John Ross and Sha Tah O Ka, who obtained land through the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, which took land from Choctaw east of the Mississippi River while giving them land in Arkansas and the Indian Territory. Ross received a total of 318 acres in 1851, with most of it around the Central area but with additional land in what is now White County and Cleveland County. In 1857, William Ballard obtained 160 acres in the area. More …

Central City (Sebastian County)

Located at the crossroads of Arkansas Highways 22 and 255 in Sebastian County, Central City is a suburb of nearby Fort Smith (Sebastian County), the second-largest city in Arkansas. The community borders the city of Lavaca (Sebastian County) to its east. Central City is bordered to its south by Fort Chaffee. In an effort to connect Fort Gibson with the early settlement of Fort Smith (on the edge of Indian Territory), the U.S. Congress made provisions to build a military road. This transportation route followed former Native American trails almost paralleling the Arkansas River and went directly through what became Central City. All of the “Five Civilized Tribes” (Seminole, Muscogee Creek, Choctaw, Cherokee, and Chickasaw) traveled through the area in the …

Chalybeate Springs (Stone County)

Chalybeate Springs (a.k.a. Chalybeate) is located in the township of Arbana about three and a half miles southwest of Pleasant Grove (Stone County) and about eleven miles southeast of Mountain View (Stone County), the county seat. The community is south of Misenheimer Road, near the confluence of Chalybeate Spring Creek and Little Raccoon Creek, off Tuttle Ridge Road. The locals pronounce the name of the community “Clee’-bit.” Chalybeate Spring is located at the foot of the Boston Mountains about two miles to the east of the Chalybeate community. It forms the waters of one of the small tributaries of Coon Creek, which flows into the Devil’s Fork of the Little Red River. Water from the spring was believed to have …

Champagnolle (Union County)

Champagnolle, located on a bluff on the west bank of the Ouachita River, was an important early 1800s shipping point and social center of southern Arkansas. At its peak in the 1850s, thousands of bales of cotton were shipped yearly as far away as New Orleans, Louisiana. Bypassed by the railroad in the 1890s, the town began a slow decline. Little of the once prosperous settlement survives. The first white settlers to the area were Lawrence, John, and Silas Scarborough, who were attracted by the potential of the river and the availability of potable water. Lawrence Scarborough built a home there and, in 1829, established Scarborough Landing on the river bank below a bluff. Others came, and soon a settlement …

Chant (Scott County)

Chant is a historical community in southern Scott County located along Highway 71. At various times known as Pleasant Valley and Texas, the town was established in 1906 near the Fourche La Fave River and Mill Creek between Boles and Y City. Agriculture has contributed significantly to the economy and way of life in Chant. Prior to European exploration, the area surrounding Chant was a wilderness. Several species of wildlife that no longer inhabit the area, such as elk and buffalo, were present throughout the region. Numerous archaeological sites and burial mounds are located along the banks of prominent waterways such as the Poteau River. Archaeological findings have provided evidence of early inhabitants dating to the Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian …

Charleston (Franklin County)

Charleston is one of the two county seats of Franklin County, along with Ozark. Located south of the Arkansas River, it is twenty-five miles east of Fort Smith (Sebastian County), near the coal and gas fields of northwest Arkansas, and roughly a mile from one corner of Fort Chaffee. Charleston is most known for being the first community in a southern state to desegregate its school system following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decision. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Land south of the Arkansas River in western Arkansas was ceded to the United States by the Quapaw in 1818, granted to the Choctaw in 1820, and ceded back to the United States …

Charlotte (Independence County)

Charlotte is located just off Highway 25 (a.k.a. White Drive) on Old School Road near the banks of Dota Creek, twelve miles east-northeast of the county seat of Batesville (Independence County) and about five miles west of Cord (Independence County). Rich farmland lies to the south of Charlotte in the Big Bottom alluvial lands along the Black and White rivers. There is also high-quality grazing land for cattle in the Charlotte region. Charlotte is in the township of Dota, which includes three churches—Cedar Grove Church, Center Grove Church, and Pleasant Hill Church. In 1852, seventeen-year-old James Northcroft Churchill crossed the Mississippi River from Tennessee with his family, which settled in Walnut Grove (Independence County). A few years later, he opened …

Cherokee Village (Sharp and Fulton Counties)

A retirement community in northeastern Arkansas, Cherokee Village was founded in 1954. Started as a 2,400-acre summer resort in the vein of the Wahpeton Inn at Hardy (Sharp County), Cherokee Village became the state’s leading retirement community by the early 1960s. In 1948, West Memphis (Crittenden County) developer John A. Cooper Sr. purchased 400 acres along the south bank of the Spring River near the mouth of Otter Creek. Christening the property Otter Creek Ranch, Cooper used the land as a family summer retreat for several years. After purchasing additional land, Cooper formed the Cherokee Village Development Company in 1953, divided the property into lots, and constructed individual homes. When the property was formally opened in June 1955, Governor Orval …

Cherry Valley (Cross County)

The second-class city of Cherry Valley (Cross County) began as a small settlement near the junction of Cooper’s Creek and the Harrisburg Road sometime around the Civil War. The construction of north-south railroad tracks on the lowlands west of Crowley’s Ridge caused the town to move closer to the rails in the 1880s. An agriculturally rich area, Cherry Valley also capitalized on its position at the intersection of Arkansas State Highways 1 and 42. As of 2012, the town of 651 people primarily focuses on agriculture and related businesses. While the Casqui, Quapaw, Osage, and Cherokee, among others, probably traversed or claimed the Cherry Valley area over time, no actual signs of habitation exist. The Cherry Valley Mounds, located near …

Chester (Crawford County)

Surrounded by some of the higher peaks of the Ozark Mountains and by the Ozark National Forest, Chester is a town in northern Crawford County. Chester, once a timber town on the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway, later became a local tourist attraction. Interstate 49 passes near the town. Osage once traveled south to hunt and fish in northern Arkansas. The Ozark Mountains remained sparsely populated even after Arkansas became a state. The first settlers to own land at the future site of Chester were Solomon Rush and James Wright, both of whom purchased land grants from the federal government in 1854. However, a log cabin school had already been built in the area ten years earlier. Rush and Wright were …

Chickalah (Yell County)

Chickalah is an unincorporated community in the northeastern portion of Yell County located on Arkansas Highway 27, approximately nine miles west of Dardanelle (Yell County). The community is reportedly named after a man named Chikileh, a Cherokee leader who resided in the area in the late 1700s and early 1800s, making his home somewhere between Little and Big Chickalah creeks. In addition to the community and the creeks, Chickalah Mountain, a 925-foot peak, also bears this name. The peak is approximately twelve miles to the west of the Chickalah community near Spring Lake in the Ozark National Forest. Chickalah history is closely linked to the Harkey Valley (Yell County) and Sulphur Springs (Yell County) communities, both of which lie to the …