Hempstead

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Entries - Entry Category: Hempstead

Blevins (Hempstead County)

  Blevins is a second-class city located in the northeastern corner of Hempstead County on U.S. Highway 371. Overshadowed in significance by Washington (Hempstead County) and Hope (Hempstead County), Blevins has been overlooked in most historical studies. Unlike many similar small communities, it has survived into the twenty-first century. The first courthouse of Hempstead County was established two miles south of the current location of Blevins. The county government met in 1819 in the log house of John English, built on the bank of Marlbrook Creek. It continued to meet there until 1824, when a courthouse was completed in Washington. Around 1837, Hugh A. Blevins acquired several plats of land in northeastern Hempstead County; Hugh and Sarah Blevins had eleven …

Columbus (Hempstead County)

Columbus is an unincorporated community in Hempstead County, on State Highway 73. Along with Washington (Hempstead County) and Fulton (Hempstead County), Columbus is one of the oldest communities in the area and was once a major commercial center. Native Americans lived in the area for centuries before the first white settlers arrived. Caddo were the principal residents of the area when it was purchased from France by the U.S. government in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Five years later, Abner and Reuben Mouren traveled north from Mooringsport, Louisiana, and built a grist mill and a blacksmith shop out of logs near a natural spring. They were soon joined by several other families. The settlement was known as Pin Hook until …

Emmet (Nevada and Hempstead Counties)

The city of Emmet was established in Nevada County in 1883 as a stop on the Cairo and Fulton Railroad. Located halfway between Prescott (Nevada County) and Hope (Hempstead County), the city has expanded its boundaries to include a small portion of Hempstead County. The second-class city was at one time home to a carriage factory and historic village. Nevada County was not created until 1871. Before the arrival of European explorers and settlers, the land was home to the Caddo, until it was acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Dominated by pine forests, the land was only gradually cleared for cotton and other crops. Larger plantations were built to the south, but northern Nevada …

Fulton (Hempstead County)

Fulton is a town on the northern bank of the Red River in southern Hempstead County. It is one of the earliest non–Native American settlements in Arkansas, and some claim that it is the oldest continually settled community in the state. Located at a convenient crossing of the Red River, Fulton has long been a transportation hub of southern Arkansas. Due to floods and river erosion, none of the early historic structures of Fulton have survived into the twenty-first century. Caddo Indians inhabited the Red River valley of Arkansas long before any European explorers reached the area. A party of French explorers passed through the area in 1687 and noted several Caddo villages, one of which may have been located …

Hope (Hempstead County)

Hope is on Prairie De Roan in southwest Arkansas. It is divided by Union Pacific Railway tracks traveling from northeast to southwest and is the birthplace of William Jefferson Clinton, the fortieth and forty-second governor of Arkansas and the forty-second president of the United States. Hope received national attention when Clinton closed his nomination acceptance speech at the 1992 Democratic National Convention with the words, “I still believe in a place called Hope.” Reconstruction through the Early Twentieth Century The town developed as the Cairo and Fulton Railway (predecessor to the Union Pacific) tracks were being laid from Argenta (now North Little Rock (Pulaski County)) to Fulton (Hempstead County). The first passenger train pulled into “Hope Station” on February 1, …

McCaskill (Hempstead County)

McCaskill is a town in northern Hempstead County on U.S. Highway 371. It developed early in the twentieth century after construction of the Prescott and Northwestern Railroad. Although some of Arkansas’s oldest cities and towns emerged in Hempstead County along the Southwest Trail (an early military road), the northern part of the county remained remote until the start of the twentieth century. Some settlers acquired land and established farms and plantations, including Hezekiah Askew, who came from North Carolina to Pike County around 1848 before going the land office in Washington (Hempstead County) in 1860 and acquiring land around what one day would be McCaskill. His sons James and John purchased adjoining lots around the same time. The Skirmish at …

McNab (Hempstead County)

McNab is a town on State Highway 355 in western Hempstead County. Created as a railroad depot, McNab is known in the twenty-first century for its Twin Rivers Festival, held every April. Caddo Indians inhabited the Red River valley when French and Spanish explorers first arrived in the region. Shortly after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, a boat landing and settlement named Fulton (Hempstead County) arose on the Red River. Settlers came to the town by boat or by land using the Southwest Trail, a military road that ended at Fulton. Some settlers cleared land a few miles north of Fulton, where the town of McNab would later appear. William McElroy and Thomas Reed both acquired land patents in the …

Oakhaven (Hempstead County)

Oakhaven is a town on State Highway 32, a few miles north of Hope (Hempstead County). Originally built as housing for officers serving at the Southwestern Proving Ground during World War II, Oakhaven has never had a post office or a school. Hempstead County was home to some of the most important communities of southwestern Arkansas in the early years of statehood. Fulton (Hempstead County) was an important port on the Red River and once served as the gateway to Mexico—later to Texas—while Washington (Hempstead County) was the county seat and an important city on the Southwest Trail; Washington even served as the Confederate state capital after Little Rock (Pulaski County) was captured by Federal forces in 1863. After the …

Ozan (Hempstead County)

aka: Mound Prairie (Hempstead County)
Ozan is a railroad town on U.S. Highway 278 in northern Hempstead County. Although never a large settlement, it has played a significant role in Arkansas history, particularly that of the Methodist Church in Arkansas. When European explorers first entered the land that would become Hempstead County, they encountered the Caddo, who lived in villages along the Red River. Europeans and Americans were particularly attracted to the rich soil of southwestern Arkansas. After the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the Caddo—whose numbers were greatly reduced due to diseases introduced by Europeans—gradually were pushed out of the area, ending up in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) by the time Arkansas achieved statehood in 1836. The name Ozan appears to be a form of …

Patmos (Hempstead County)

Patmos is a town in southern Hempstead County on State Highway 355. The town was created by construction of the Louisiana and Arkansas Railway early in the twentieth century, but its most significant years have been in the twenty-first century. Caddo lived and traveled along the Red River not far from Patmos, but no settlement was established in the area at that time. After the Arkansas Territory was established, a network of routes called the Southwest Trail was built across the territory, terminating at Fulton (Hempstead County) on the Red River. Washington (Hempstead County) and other communities were established and grew during these years, but the site of Patmos remained unsettled. Just before the start of the Civil War, in …

Perrytown (Hempstead County)

Perrytown is a town on U.S. Highway 67 about three miles northeast of Hope (Hempstead County). Incorporated in 1963, it is named for local businessman Perry Campbell. Parts of Hempstead County were inhabited by Caddo before the arrival of European explorers and American settlers. Among the first white Americans to claim land in the region that would become Perrytown were Robert Carrington, James Cantley, William Easley, and David Mouser, all of whom received land patents in 1837; Carrington owned the largest portion of land. By this time, the Southwest Trail had been established through Arkansas, running through such communities as Washington (Hempstead County) and Fulton (Hempstead County). The Cairo and Fulton Railroad, intended to connect southern Illinois with many cities …

Washington (Hempstead County)

Once the county seat for Hempstead County, and the last Confederate capital of the state of Arkansas, Washington is now dominated by the Historic Washington State Park. Still a second-class city with a population of 180 in 2010, Washington was overtaken by Hope (Hempstead County) as a regional center in the late nineteenth century due to changes wrought by the railroad industry, but the annual Jonquil Festival still draws large crowds from surrounding states. The Southwest Trail was built during Arkansas’s territorial period, linking St. Louis, Missouri, to Texas and crossing Arkansas from northeast corner to southwest corner. William Stevenson, a Methodist preacher, established the Ebenezer Campground for revival meetings on a sandy hill that would soon become the site of …