Drew

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Entries - Entry Category: Drew

Jerome (Drew County)

The town of Jerome is located in southeastern Drew County, although its residents are more tied to Dermott (Chicot County) than to any city in Drew County. The location of a Japanese American relocation camp during World War II, the town of Jerome has been a transportation crossroads for most of its history. Jerome is located near Bayou Bartholomew, which was the main route used by travelers during the territorial time of Arkansas. In 1835, Moses Upshard Payne of New Orleans, Louisiana, purchased several tracts of land near the bayou as an investment; some cotton was grown on the clearer patches of land, but much of the land was swampland filled with hardwood trees. The land was frequently rented or …

Monticello (Drew County)

Monticello is the largest town in southeast Arkansas south of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Its history is one of continued growth and prosperity. Located at the intersection of two major roads and served early by railroads, it became an enduring commercial hub. A diversified infrastructure consisting of commerce, agriculture, and the timber industry created a strong foundation and sustained the town’s growth. The town also became an important educational and medical center. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The first center of business and county court were at nearby Rough and Ready Hill, which was settled by 1836. Soon after Drew County formed in 1846, leading citizens decided that a new town should be built for the county seat. In 1849, …

Tillar (Drew and Desha Counties)

  Located on Highway 65 near Bayou Bartholomew, the second-class city of Tillar stands mostly in Drew County, although its southeast corner is in Desha County. Built on the railroad in the 1870s, the small city is a minor agricultural center for neighboring portions of Drew and Desha counties. Evidence of prehistoric residents of the Tillar area was found in an Indian mound excavated by Edward Palmer in 1882. His discoveries included nineteen whole ceramic pots and pieces of other pots, as well as mussel shell pieces, a tortoise shell, and fragments of a deer antler. The original owners of these items are thought to be ancestors of the Tunica, although identification is not certain. At the time of European …

Wilmar (Drew County)

  The city of Wilmar, in western Drew County, was once home to a school known as Beauvoir College. A center of the southern Arkansas timber industry, Wilmar flourished in the early part of the twentieth century but is now mostly a suburb of Monticello (Drew County), the county seat. The history of Wilmar is generally said to begin with James Thomas Dionysius Anderson, who bought 700 acres of land in Drew County for a dollar an acre in 1859. Earlier landowners in the area were Andrew Govan, who purchased his land in 1848, and Collins Hemingway, a landowner since 1856. Anderson cleared five acres of land and planted corn, which was tended by five slaves: Simon and Lizza Taylor, …

Winchester (Drew County)

Winchester is a town in northeastern Drew County, near U.S. Highway 65. Winchester is most notable as the home of Robert L. Hill, the African-American founder of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America. Drew County is crossed by the Bayou Bartholomew, which was long a principal transportation route of southeastern Arkansas. John Martin Taylor, a wealthy physician and farmer, purchased land near the bayou in 1848 and built a plantation house. In 1860, Winston J. Davie purchased farmland to the east of Taylor’s plantation, near the present location of Winchester. In the late 1870s, the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad built a line that crossed Drew County near Davie’s farm. The railroad depot and post office …