Howard

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Entries - Entry Category: Howard

Center Point (Howard County)

Center Point was the first county seat of Howard County, serving in that capacity from 1873 until 1905. Although it is near the geographical center of the county, it received its name when the post office was established in 1849 because the crossroads at that location served as the central point of trade in southwestern Arkansas west of Washington (Hempstead County). Center Point in the twenty-first century is a small unincorporated community at the intersection of State Highways 4 and 26. Around 1818, Robert Messer, with his wife and two daughters, traveled by river to Fulton (Hempstead County) and then by land into the forested wilderness of southwestern Arkansas. Messer built a log cabin near a spring at the present …

Corinth (Howard County)

Corinth, named for the local Church of Christ, was originally known as Wilton Settlement. The unincorporated community in Brewer Township in Howard County has always been an agricultural area. Since the first recorded wave of settlement in 1845, the community has lost population, and in 2009 the residents numbered seventy. Caddo Indians inhabited the area in the sixteenth century, but they had been removed to Oklahoma by the mid-1800s. A land exchange with the Choctaw in the 1820s brought more Native American settlement, which made white migrants wary of moving to the area for a time. By the 1840s, Indian Removal cleared the way for white migrants heading west, and numerous families made the area, then in Pike County, their …

Dierks (Howard County)

   The city of Dierks in Howard County rose to prominence due to the thriving timber industry of the early twentieth century. Named for a well-known lumber businessman, the city has maintained its identity with an annual Pine Tree Festival but is also known as a tourist center in the Ouachita Mountains of western Arkansas. The first families to acquire land in the township were Henry Block, John Cesterson, and James Wallen, all of whom arrived in 1848. A few more families gradually bought land in the area, which was then a dense forest of pine, oak, and hickory trees. One wagon trail connected the settlement—which they named Hardscrabble—to the town of Center Point (Howard County), ten miles south. During …

Mineral Springs (Howard County)

Mineral Springs is the second-largest city in Howard County. The springs for which it was named were once touted as medicinal—the best and purest such water in Arkansas. A cotton center for much of the twentieth century, Mineral Springs is now home to many of Howard County’s industrial workers. The Caddo Indians once lived in the area that became Howard County. After Arkansas became a state, the first settler to make a home near the springs was Cokely Williams, who arrived in 1840. At that time, Howard County had not yet been established, and the springs were located near the line separating Hempstead and Sevier counties. As other settlers arrived, Williams established a post office in Sevier County. This post …

Nashville (Howard County)

Nashville is the county seat of Howard County in southwest Arkansas. A regional center for agriculture and transportation, it has also become the location of several manufacturing enterprises and was the location of the first Dillard’s department store. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood No evidence of pre-European settlement in the Nashville area exists, although stone tools found in the area indicate that the Caddo did travel through the site and hunt there. The first European explorers in the area were hunters who would have seen forested hills watered by two small creeks. Isaac Cooper Perkins, a farmer and Baptist missionary, was the first to settle in the place that would become Nashville. Although his earliest land grant is dated 1836—the year …

Okay (Howard County)

Until the late 1980s, the town of Okay (Howard County) was home to a major limestone mining operation located on a peninsula on the east side of Millwood Lake. Most of what remained of the once-thriving company town, founded in the late 1920s, had almost disappeared by the end of the twentieth century. In 1926, Charles Boettcher, founder of Ideal Cement Company, based in Denver, Colorado, dispatched Tom Dodson and Joe Hargis from a branch plant in Oklahoma to scout out a potential Arkansas plant site after learning of the growing movement in Arkansas to improve roads and bridges. A remote site in Howard County was chosen due to its rich deposits of limestone and chalk. A railroad spur necessary …

Tollette (Howard County)

Tollette is a largely African-American town on State Highway 355 in southwestern Howard County. In the 2010 census, the population of Tollette consisted of 232 African Americans, seven whites, and one Native American. Caddo lived in the area long before the first European explorers arrived. The Caddo were eventually moved to Indian Territory, now the state of Oklahoma. In 1837, Robert Baber and Matthew Gray both acquired land in the area around what would become Tollette. Baber had arrived in Hempstead County in about 1824; his son Daniel would serve in the Confederate army during the Civil War, and afterward Daniel Baber helped found the town of Athens (Howard County). Tollette is named for the two oldest sons of Stephen …