Craighead

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Entries - Entry Category: Craighead

Bay (Craighead County)

Bay (Craighead County) is located in northeast Arkansas between Trumann (Poinsett County) and Jonesboro (Craighead County) and has long been known as a farming community. Once populated with long-time generational residents, it is now occupied largely by younger adults who migrated from larger cities. The first settlers arrived in the early 1800s, and although Native Americans had already left the area, their remnants have been discovered. Michigamea Indians inhabited the area just a few miles east of present-day Bay in the seventeenth century. Indian mounds can be found on Bay’s north side. Originally, three such mounds existed, but only two remain. These mounds were investigated in 1883 for the Bureau of American Ethnology. The mounds have never been fully investigated, …

Black Oak (Craighead County)

The northeast Arkansas town of Black Oak, one of three Arkansas communities so named, is located in Craighead County on State Highway 18 about seventeen miles east of Jonesboro (Craighead County). Once a thriving timber town, it now exists as a small farming community surrounded by fertile farm land. Black Oak is part of the area known as Buffalo Island. The town gained international attention in the 1970s when a local boy formed and fronted the successful Southern rock group Black Oak Arkansas. In the late 1800s, the land surrounding present-day Black Oak was low lying and often under water, hampering settlement. Those who did come to the area settled on a rise in the timber-covered flat lands called Black Oak Ridge. …

Bono (Craighead County)

Bono, originally named Bonnerville, was established in the Big Creek Township, a community formed in Greene County before Craighead County was created in 1859. After the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Memphis Railroad (Frisco) erected a train stop near Big Creek, it became one of the county’s most important business centers during the late nineteenth century. Big Creek Township, one of the oldest communities in Craighead County, was begun in 1837 by John Anderson and his son, who settled in the northwest part of the county. At that time, Big Creek Township included several small settlements, among them Trinity, Union Grove, Fifty-Six, and Paul’s Switch. Oak Ridge was the site of a Delaware village. Native Americans, including a community of …

Brookland (Craighead County)

  The city of Brookland has been closely linked over the years to Greensboro, the earliest settlement in what is now Craighead County. Construction of railroads led to the establishment of Brookland at its current location, and the city was incorporated in 1911. When Arkansas became a state, much of its northeastern corner consisted of sloughs and swamps in the St. Francis and Cache river bottoms. The exception was Crowley’s Ridge, a narrow highland that begins in southeastern Missouri and runs south to Helena-West Helena (Phillips County). Joseph Willey moved from North Carolina to land on Crowley’s Ridge in 1835, erecting a grist mill on Lost Creek, about eleven miles north of the current city of Jonesboro (Craighead County). Other settlers joined Willey, …

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 …

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 …

Egypt (Craighead County)

Egypt is a small town located approximately sixteen miles west of Jonesboro (Craighead County) on State Highway 91 near the Cache River. Today, little remains of the once prosperous farming and timber town. Early settlers to the area included W. R. and Lucinda Cureton, as well as C. T. Downs, who settled there by 1850. Others were attracted to the area after the establishment of Logan’s Ferry across the Cache River. No real town began to develop until about 1898. About that time, New York businessmen Will Smith and Van Lane traveled to the area with interests in the abundant timber. The area was being described as “a promised land” by the promoters. In 1902, the local township was given …

Greensboro (Craighead County)

Greensboro, established in the 1830s, was one of northeastern Arkansas’s earliest settlements. Some sources record it as the oldest town in Craighead County. A thriving center of commerce, the town was located along one of the area’s major thoroughfares, the Greensboro Road, which connected local business establishments with the riverport town of Wittsburg (Cross County). Long before white settlers journeyed into the area, Native Americans made their homes on this land. What would become the Greensboro Road was initially a Native American trail. As late as the mid-1830s, a group of Delaware made its home just to the north.When one of the first white settlers, Joseph Willey, came to the area in 1835, the land was a part of Greene …

Jonesboro (Craighead County)

Jonesboro is the largest community in northeast Arkansas and the fifth largest in the state. It is the Craighead County seat (though Act 61 of 1883 created the “Eastern District of Craighead County,” providing for the establishment of another county courthouse at Lake City due to early difficulties in travel). Jonesboro is a regional center in education, retail, healthcare, and industry; its largest employers are Arkansas State University (ASU) and St. Bernards Medical Center. Jonesboro is also an agricultural center in processing rice, cotton, and soybeans, and it is a regional hub for the food-processing industry, being home to Riceland Foods and plants for Frito-Lay, ConAgra Foods, Kraft Foods/Post Division, and Nestle. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The Jonesboro area is …

Lake City (Craighead County)

Lake City is located in eastern Craighead County near the St. Francis River, in the northeast corner of the state. Along with Jonesboro (Craighead County) in the western side of the county, Lake City acts as one of two county seats, serving the Eastern District of Craighead County. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Nineteenth-century records indicate that a settlement was established at the approximate location of Lake City in the late 1830s. Situated on the St. Francis River at the site of a former Native American camp, it was originally called “Old Town.” A trader and trapper named Jesse Morgan was probably the first white man to settle at the current location of the town. The 1848 field notes of …

Monette (Craighead County)

  Monette in Craighead County is one of the principal cities in the region of northeastern Arkansas called Buffalo Island. Founded when the railroad was built across the region around the beginning of the twentieth century, Monette quickly became an agricultural center and later added light industry, surviving the economic changes that have sent so many similar cities in Arkansas and other southern states into decline. Buffalo Island was shaken by the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811–1812, causing much of the land to sink and become swampland. The hardwood forests and marshy areas made travel and settlement difficult, but a few families made their homes in the region during the nineteenth century. Arnold Stott (or possibly Stotts) acquired high land in the …