Crawford

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Entries - Entry Category: Crawford

Alma (Crawford County)

Alma has been Crawford County’s second-largest town since the town’s establishment around 1872. It is known nationally as the “Spinach Capital of the World” for its spinach-processing facility and has attracted national attention through the actions of outlaws Bonnie and Clyde and fundamentalist pastor Tony Alamo. Before Alma became a settlement, Armstead “Ira” Smoot bought the land from the government on August 3, 1836. It was used mainly as farmland until Colonel Mathias F. Locke bought it in 1872. Locke built his house and a cotton gin on ten acres next to W. W. Smith’s drugstore and Smoot’s cabin. J. D. James kept a livery stable and a stage stand. In 1870, Alex W. Griffin had the first store and …

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 …

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 …

Dyer (Crawford County)

  Dyer is a second-class city in Crawford County. It lies on Highway 64 west of Mulberry (Crawford County) and east of Alma (Crawford County); Interstate 40 crosses over the northern end of Dyer. Dyer is most known for being the headquarters for Tony and Susan Alamo, whose religious foundation owned several buildings and businesses in the city beginning in 1975. Highway 64 follows the path of the East-West Military Road, which was authorized by Congress in 1825 and largely completed by 1828, linking Little Rock (Pulaski County) with Fort Gibson in what is now Oklahoma. In the 1840s, Joel Dyer acquired a farm adjacent to the road and began offering water and a rest stop to the west-bound wagon …

Kibler (Crawford County)

East of Van Buren (Crawford County) and south of Alma (Crawford County), the city of Kibler is about halfway between Interstate 40 and the Arkansas River. Although Kibler was not incorporated until 1963, its roots go back to a nineteenth-century settlement originally known as Prairie Grove. Early in the twentieth century, the community (like several others in Crawford County) benefited from the discovery of natural gas deposits in the region. The Arkansas River was a natural transportation route for Native Americans and for early European explorers, but the hilly region of Kibler did not draw the attention of settlers until late in the nineteenth century. John Kibler is said to have arrived from Germany in the 1840s, but the earliest …

Mountainburg (Crawford County)

  Mountainburg is located on U.S. Highway 71 near Lake Fort Smith State Park, on the Boston Plateau of the Ozark Mountains. Known to tourists for its scenic mountain views, Mountainburg has been a landmark for travelers throughout its history. Between 1817 and 1828, the land around Mountainburg was included in territory assigned by the U.S. government to the Cherokee. After the Cherokee were removed to Indian Territory (now called Oklahoma), white settlers began to claim the land. One of the first landowners in what would become Mountainburg was George Dyer. Another was Samuel Caswell Vaught, a German-American veteran of the wars with various Native American tribes in the southern states and territories. Vaught was the father of seven sons, four of …

Mulberry (Crawford County)

Located in the Interstate 40 corridor, Mulberry is positioned near cultural and business activities in northwest Arkansas. It is a center of recreation surrounded by rich farmland in the Arkansas River Valley. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Although the area where modern-day Mulberry is located had been given by treaty to Spain at the close of the French and Indian War in 1762, Jean Baptiste Dardenne, a French settler, surveyed the land and laid claim to much of it, though he probably settled farther down the river. White settlers began arriving in the Mulberry area near the time of the Louisiana Purchase. Early settlers called the stream passing through “Mulberry” because of the large mulberry trees lining its banks. Dardenne …

Rudy (Crawford County)

Rudy is a town in Crawford County, about five miles northwest of Van Buren (Crawford County). State Highways 282 and 348 both pass through the town. Both before and after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, Osage hunted and fished in northwestern Arkansas, including the region where Rudy is now located. In 1817, the present location of Rudy was included in land ceded to the Cherokee, who moved into Arkansas Territory from eastern states. A treaty signed in 1828 moved the Cherokee farther west, opening the land for white settlement. The first white settlers in what would become Rudy were families with the last names of Green and Bell, arriving in 1830 and 1835, respectively. A school building built from logs …

Van Buren (Crawford County)

Van Buren began as a port and trade center on the Arkansas River and served as a major starting point for prospectors of the 1849 gold rush. A border town linked to Indian Territory, it was the site of Arkansas’s first federal district court and a Civil War battle town. River traffic, railroad commerce, and mercantile trade dominated Van Buren’s early economy; manufacturing and tourism developed a strong presence in the last half century. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The area that became Van Buren began as a land claim on the Arkansas River owned in the 1820s by Revolutionary War veteran James Phillips and his two sons, Thomas Phillips and Daniel David Phillips. The site, named Phillips Landing, became …