Counties, Cities, and Towns

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

St. James (Stone County)

St. James is a community on Highway 14 (East Main Street) between Batesville (Independence County) and Mountain View (Stone County). The White River is about two and a half miles west and can be reached by the Younger Access. Nearby Penters Bluff (Izard County) overlooks the river. St. James was first known as Shave Navel (a.k.a. Shaved Navel), though the origin of the name is unknown; it was later called Buck Horn (a.k.a. Buckhorn). How it received the name St. James is unclear, although a few residents have associated the name with the outlaw Jesse James. Buck Horn resident Walter Canard maintained that Jesse James had spent the night at his house when the outlaw was on his way to …

St. Joe (Searcy County)

St. Joe is a town in northwestern Searcy County, located on U.S. Highway 65. Like many similar communities in Arkansas, St. Joe has an Old Town that was settled before the arrival of the railroad and a New Town that was built nearer the railroad. During World War I, St. Joe was a shipping center for the region’s lead and zinc mines. Osage were traveling from the north to hunt and fish in the rugged Boston Mountains of northern Arkansas when the region became part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Eventually, treaties with the U.S. government moved the Osage farther west, and the land was opened for white settlement. The first settlers in the St. Joe vicinity were Bill …

St. Paul (Madison County)

St. Paul is a town in southern Madison County on the banks of the White River. Crossed by State Highways 16 and 23, St. Paul is just to the north of the Ozark National Forest and is near several high peaks of the Ozark Mountains. Osage hunted and fished in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas long before the first white settlers arrived. By 1834, fifteen settlers had already made their homes in the White River valley around St. Paul. A post office was established there in 1840. A Methodist church was also established around that time. The earliest land patent issued for the area was received by William Ake in 1848. He was joined by Fielden Salyer in 1860. …

Stamps (Lafayette County)

  Stamps was developed late in the nineteenth century as a lumber town situated on the railroad. The childhood home of Maya Angelou, Stamps was one of the more prosperous cities of southwestern Arkansas in the late twentieth century, although it has seen some decline in the twenty-first century. Prior to white settlement, southwestern Arkansas was home to the Caddo. Even after Lafayette County was established in 1827, only a few families claimed land in the area that would become Stamps. Last names of early settlers include Calhoun, Tatom, Norwood, Stamps, Vaughon, Lande, and Baker. The Stamps family built a small sawmill in the late 1860s, which was later acquired by the Bodcaw Lumber Company. The area did not begin to …

Star City (Lincoln County)

Star City is the county seat of Lincoln County and is the county’s largest city. It is a center for local agriculture as well as the site of many manufacturing enterprises. The Star City Commercial Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Also listed are the Lincoln County Courthouse and the Confederate Memorial located in Star City. At the time the county was organized in 1871, the county court commissioned John G. Simmons, William S. Stidham, and Francis Sawyer to select a location for the courthouse and to name the new town. The court accepted their recommendation on December 2, 1871, as the location was near the center of the county. For unknown reasons, they named …

Starnes Spring (Independence County)

Isolated in the middle of a wooded area in Relief Township in Independence County, Starnes Spring lies between Floral (Independence County), which is four and a half miles to the south, and Concord (Cleburne County), about four miles to the west. At one time, there was a road that cut across to Jamestown Mountain from the spring, but it later closed. The water from the spring flows into nearby Caney Creek. Picturesque Bailey’s Falls (a.k.a. Bailey’s Pour Off) and an unusual geological rock formation called the Devil’s Tea Table (both currently restricted areas on private land) are within a few miles of Starnes Spring, as is Camp Tahkodah, a ten-acre Church of Christ camp on the banks of Salado Creek …

Stella (Izard County)

Stella is located on Highway 69 about four and a half miles northwest of the center of Mount Pleasant (Izard County). The county seat, Melbourne (Izard County), is seven miles to the northwest. Within a radius of five miles are the hamlets of Sage, Bone Town, Gid, and Zion. The White River is about ten miles to the southwest. When Highway 69 was constructed in 1926, it bypassed the original Stella settlement. In the twenty-first century, Stella lies within the city limits of Mount Pleasant. One of the pioneer trails into the interior of Izard County followed Polk Bayou (a.k.a. Poke Bayou) from Batesville (Independence County) northward and then traced Barren Fork Creek northwest toward present-day Melbourne. During the 1860s, …

Stephens (Ouachita County)

  Stephens is an important city in the oil-producing region of southern Arkansas, home to four oil fields that are still producing in the twenty-first century. It is also noteworthy for a number of “firsts” in state and local history, such as having the first and only bank in the nation organized with a GI loan from the federal government. Post Reconstruction through the Gilded Age Stephens is laid out on one of the oldest tracts of settled land in Ouachita County. The original land grant was issued on February 19, 1846, through the Internal Grant Act of 1841 for 320 acres to Benjamin Bell. After Bell’s death, his heirs sold the land to M. J. Gentry, who, in 1882, …

Stone County

Stone County, named for its numerous rocky ridges and rocky soil, is widely known for its preservation of Ozark folk music and traditions. Rivers, streams, and forests provide rich natural habitats for wildlife in the diverse landscape from river bottom to hilltop. The White River forms the county’s northeast border. Many spring-fed creeks, including the South Sylamore, are tributaries. A familiar tributary of the North Sylamore is Blanchard Springs. Known for cool, clear water that is a haven for trout and bass, the White River provides recreational opportunities in fishing and canoeing and is the source for the county’s public water system. Hell Creek Cave, near the White, is home to the endangered Cambarus zophonastes, a blind crayfish. This is …

Strawberry (Lawrence County)

Although it was not incorporated until 1965, the town of Strawberry in southwestern Lawrence County represents one of the oldest white settlements in Arkansas. Unaffected by the Civil War and missed by the railroads, Strawberry was slow to develop, but it remains in the twenty-first century as the home of Hillcrest High School. Prior to the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, Osage from the north hunted and fished in northern Arkansas. White settlement quickly entered the territory, and the Strawberry River valley was one of the earliest areas to be populated. Although families did not gather into organized communities as was the case in Batesville (Independence County) and Davidsonville (Randolph County), William Taylor, Samuel Rayney, and Jacob Fortenberry came from Missouri …

Strong (Union County)

Strong, located seven miles north of the Louisiana border, was founded in the early twentieth century as a settlement along the railroad tracks. Originally named Victoria, the settlement grew quickly. Later rechristened as Strong, it became an important shipping station for local farm products, especially cotton. Union County experienced significant growth with railroad construction through the area in the late 1800s. One such railroad, the El Dorado and Bastrop Railway, was built in the early 1900s. Once the railroad was completed, management posted notices calling leaders of the surrounding small southern Union County communities to a meeting to discuss area development. During the poorly attended meeting, held in Collinston, Louisiana, James Solomon Coleman offered a right-of-way to his land at …

Stuttgart (Arkansas County)

Stuttgart, one of the seats of Arkansas County, is a predominantly agricultural community situated on the Grand Prairie. Begun as a colony of German immigrants in the late nineteenth century, it became over the years one of the centers of rice farming in Arkansas and is also known for the quality of the duck hunting available in the area. Post Reconstruction through the Gilded Age The Reverend George Adam Buerkle is considered the founder of Stuttgart. Buerkle was born in Plattenhardt, Germany, and immigrated to America with his family in 1852. He was working as a Lutheran minister in Woodville, Ohio, when he first came to Arkansas and bought over 7,000 acres of prairie land in 1878. He brought his first colony …

Subiaco (Logan County)

  The Logan County town of Subiaco, midway between Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and Russellville (Pope County), straddles Highway 22, a major connecting roadway for the western Arkansas counties immediately south of the Arkansas River. The town takes its name from the nearby Subiaco Abbey, itself named for the Italian town where a Benedictine order originated in 1878. The town, granted a post office in 1910, formed when the railroad reached the area in June 1909. Although the railroad ceased operation in 1949, the town of Subiaco remains and continues to provide services to area residents, as well as to travelers and visitors to Subiaco Abbey and Academy. Construction of the Military Road from Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Fort …

Success (Clay County)

Located at the intersection of State Highways 211 and 328 in the northwestern corner of Clay County, about three miles south of the Arkansas-Missouri state line, Success has its origins as a timber town near the railroad. Settlers came slowly to northeast Arkansas, both before and after Clay County was established in 1873 from parts of Randolph and Greene counties. The first settlers in the area that would become Success were associated first with the Heckt community that became Corning (Clay County) and then with the Bridgeport settlement that became Datto (Clay County). All this changed with the construction of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway (later acquired by the Missouri Pacific Railroad) through Clay County. With modern …

Sulphur Rock (Independence County)

Sulphur Rock, so named because there are two large sulphur springs in the area, is located approximately six miles east of Batesville (Independence County). In 1903, a writer referred to these springs as “living springs of pure, cold, sparkling water which contains [sic] valuable medical properties.” Although Sulphur Rock’s population has never exceeded 500, it was influential in the county for the decades around the end of the nineteenth century. Sulphur Rock was settled fairly early as compared to other communities because the area was located on the Old Military Road, which was widely used for travel to the Southwest during the early nineteenth century, continuing on through Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Washington (Hempstead County). The earliest post office …

Sulphur Springs (Benton County)

Sulphur Springs in Benton County is only one of many communities in Arkansas that bear that name. Located near the Missouri and Oklahoma borders, it was an important spa and resort center in the late 1800s and early twentieth century as well as the location for a campus of what is now John Brown University (JBU) and facilities for Wycliffe Bible Translators. Post Reconstruction through the Gilded Age The original city site contained numerous natural mineral springs, including a rare lithium spring. The reported healing properties of these springs led to the creation of a small community; a post office was established on April 26, 1878, and the city was formally laid out in 1885. The first school opened later …

Sulphur Springs (Jefferson County)

aka: White Sulphur Springs (Jefferson County)
Originally named White Sulphur Springs, Sulphur Springs is an unincorporated, census-designated place (CDP) in Jefferson County located about two miles southwest of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). It received its name due to its proximity to natural sulfur-rich springs. It was a spa and resort community during the mid-1800s and served as an important Confederate training and staging area during the Civil War. Following the war, the community once again returned to a resort community with dreams of expanding into a separate incorporated town. The expansion, however, was cut short by World War I, and the community was never incorporated. Following a flood that consumed much of southeast Arkansas in 1844, settlers began moving into the area southwest of Pine Bluff. …

Sulphur Springs (Yell County)

In the twenty-first century, Sulphur Springs is nothing more than a few houses and a cemetery. However, in the early to mid-1800s, it was a popular medicinal resort known for its healing waters. The details of its discovery were not recorded, but by the early 1800s, the springs were known as far away as New Orleans, Louisiana, and Boston, Massachusetts, for their purported ability to treat kidney and stomach ailments. The first known advertisement for the springs was published in the May 1, 1841, issue of the Arkansas Gazette, in which proprietor V. T. Rogers stated, “The resort has opened for the season for entertainment for those in search of health and pleasure.” A similar advertisement ran in 1851; the …

Summit (Marion County)

  The city of Summit was built as a result of the construction of the White River Railway. Summit is a suburb of Yellville, the county seat of Marion County, and the two cities are separated by Division Street. Summit’s identity is so much overshadowed by Yellville’s that many people call it North Yellville. Northern Arkansas was home to various Native American tribes before European explorers and settlers arrived. The land that would become Summit was part of a large area given by treaty to the Cherokee, and the Cherokee at that time were joined by the Shawnee, who built the first houses in what would become the city of Yellville. Eventually, another treaty required the Cherokee and Shawnee to move …

Sunset (Crittenden County)

Sunset is a largely African-American town north of Marion (Crittenden County) and adjacent to Interstate 55. A school building in Sunset is on the National Register of Historic Places. Quapaw lived in the area before European explorers first visited. Two Spanish land grants were bestowed before 1800 for the land where Sunset would be built. The land became part of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Cotton was grown on the land both before and after the Civil War. Many former slaves continued to live as tenant farmers in Crittenden County after the Civil War. Friendship Lodge No. 39, a Masonic association for African Americans, was organized in 1873. A school for African-American children was built in …

Sweet Home (Pulaski County)

The small, rural community of Sweet Home (Pulaski County) is a majority black community in Pulaski County. Of more than two dozen communities in Arkansas named Sweet Home to have obtained a post office (done on May 29, 1877), this is the only community to have maintained it to the present. Its Hanger Cotton Gin is Arkansas’s oldest cotton gin on the National Register of Historic Places, dating back to at least the 1870s. From 1890 to 1955, Sweet Home housed Arkansas’s Confederate Soldiers’ Home until it moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County); only two entrance pillars and low parts of the front stone wall remain. Sweet Home had the state’s only Florence Crittenton Home for black unwed mothers, begun …

Swifton (Jackson County)

  Swifton is one of several Jackson County cities that were founded along the tracks of the Iron Mountain Railroad. Home to three notable names in baseball, including Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman George Kell, Swifton is also a landmark on Arkansas’s Rock ’n’ Roll Highway 67. Henry Hileman received a patent to the land on which Swifton would be built on November 27, 1820. Hileman obtained that patent with a scrip recognizing his service to the United States in the War of 1812. Other settlers joined Hileman in the area, and a Methodist church was established in 1860. Until construction of the railroad, however, settlement remained sparse in northern Jackson County. The Cairo and Fulton Railroad built a line through …