Franklin

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Entries - Entry Category: Franklin

Altus (Franklin County)

Altus (Franklin County) was incorporated on August 31, 1888. Railroad authorities had named their railhead Altus, from the Latin for “high,” because it was the highest point on the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad. The town is known today as the center of wine making in Arkansas. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood A Frenchman named Jean Baptiste Dardenne had a claim made on his behalf in June 1814 for 640 arpents (approximately 544.45 acres) in the area. In 1819, the U.S. government ordered the white settlers out of the area, giving the Cherokee exclusive title to the territory lying between the White and Arkansas rivers. However, a treaty in 1828 removed the Arkansas Cherokee to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). …

Branch (Franklin County)

  The city of Branch developed in southern Franklin County around the beginning of the twentieth century as coal mining was being conducted in the area. Located on the rail line, the city began to decline when the railroad ceased operation, but it has since become an educational hub for the region. What is now Franklin County was hunting and fishing land for the Osage when the United States first acquired the land in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. For a decade, the area was granted by treaty to the Cherokee, but after the Osage and the Cherokee had both been moved farther west, the land opened for settlement. Land claims were slow to develop in the area, but brothers Samuel and …

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 …

Denning (Franklin County)

Denning is a town in southern Franklin County. Its northern border is the southern city limit of Altus (Franklin County). Denning was at one time the largest city in Franklin County, with six coal mines providing jobs for more than 1,000 miners. Osage used to come from the north to hunt and to fish in the Ozark Mountains. From 1819 to 1828, the area was part of a Cherokee reservation. Various treaties moved both nations farther west, opening the land to white settlement. In 1839, Samuel Davis acquired a land patent for part of the land where Denning would be established. Coal was discovered south of Altus around 1890, and the Western Coal and Mining Company, based in St. Louis, …

Franklin (Izard County)

The town of Franklin is one of the oldest settlements in Izard County. Located on State Highway 56, it is just south of the newest settlement in the county, the retirement community of Horseshoe Bend (Izard County). The Strawberry River meanders through the hills of northern Arkansas, making the land more attractive to visitors than to farmers. At the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the Osage visited from their homes in the north, coming to the Strawberry River valley to hunt and to fish. By 1825, a series of treaties had moved the Osage west to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), and white settlers began to claim pieces of land for themselves. Early settlers along the river included the …

Ozark (Franklin County)

Founded in 1836, Ozark is one of the state’s oldest cities. Ozark, from the French words “Aux Arc,” meaning “at the bend,” is located at the most northern bend in the Arkansas River, which flows through the city’s southern boundary. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood In the early nineteenth century, following the Louisiana Purchase, the Arkansas River was well traveled. The Cherokee lived along the river, and American military personnel used that route to travel to and from Fort Smith (Sebastian County). Local folklore claims that French explorers came up the Arkansas River in 1819. They reportedly shot an arrow and vowed to found a town where the arrow landed. The arrow allegedly landed just northeast of the present Franklin …

Wiederkehr Village (Franklin County)

  With a population of thirty-eight citizens, Wiederkehr Village is the smallest city in Arkansas. Incorporated in 1975 to prevent the area from being annexed by nearby Altus (Franklin County), Wiederkehr Village is best known as the home of Wiederkehr Wine Cellars. The Arkansas River Valley of western Arkansas remained sparsely populated until after the Civil War. For a time, the land was given by the U.S. government to the Cherokee, who had been removed from eastern states. Later, the Cherokee were moved farther west, and the land was opened for settlement by families of European origin. The population did not begin to grow, though, until the railroad industry and the coal mines attracted working men. Particularly in Franklin County, many of …