Izard

Subcategories:
  • No categories
Clear

Entries - Entry Category: Izard

Boswell (Izard County)

The unincorporated community of Boswell is located in the White River valley on the western boundary of Izard County. Some of the earliest pioneers to settle there were the Jeffery, Wood, and Langston families. The Langston family arrived at Boswell during Christmas week of 1814. The Jeffery family settled in the Boswell area in 1816, and William Wood settled at Boswell in 1820. The settlers were dependent upon the river as a primary source of transportation, using keelboats and flatboats powered by men using long poles. The early pioneers erected a building that was used as a school as well as a social center. They named this small pioneer community Wideman after the creek that flowed through it. The community …

Calico Rock (Izard County)

Calico Rock, located on the White River in Izard County, developed as a steamboat landing originally known as Calico Landing. Keelboats had worked the upper White River as early as 1820, followed by paddle wheelers carrying merchandise and passengers from as far away as New Orleans, Louisiana. It became a boomtown in 1902, when construction began on the railroad as tracks were laid along the north bank, beneath the bluffs. The settlement was the headquarters for railroad construction crews. In 1902, the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railway opened rail service there. Calico Rock was the largest town in Izard County through the 1960s. European Exploration and Settlement through Early Statehood While the region’s early history is obscure, it was …

Forty-Four (Izard County)

Forty-Four (sometimes spelled without the hyphen) in Union Township of Izard County is a historic community on Highway 56 about five miles northeast of Calico Rock (Izard County). The Forty-Four post office opened in 1928 and served the rural area until 1979. The story goes that forty-four names appeared on the petition to the postal department, thus the name. The region served as a hunting ground for the Osage and, later, the Cherokee and Shawnee. The first white settlers appeared around 1828 when a new treaty ended the Cherokee Reservation in Arkansas. The Benge route of the Trail of Tears passed a few miles west of Forty-Four. The Old Benbrook Mill on Piney Creek was near the site of what …

Gid (Izard County)

Gid is an unincorporated historic community in Gid Township of Izard County. Gid is located on Arkansas Highway 58 about six miles west-northwest of Mount Pleasant (Izard County), six miles northeast of Guion (Izard County) on the White River, and about six miles southeast of Melbourne (Izard County), the county seat. The wilderness around Gid served as hunting grounds for the early Native Americans of the area, among them the Osage, Cherokee, and Shawnee. Small game, deer, and bears were plentiful, as were edible wild plants, timber, and caves for shelter. White hunters and trappers began using the area mainly after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. An early pathfinder of the area was John Lafferty, who began exploring the region …

Guion (Izard County)

Guion, located on the east bank of the White River in Izard County, was home to some of the area’s first settlers and was once a center of area trade. Established as a river landing, the small town is home to the state’s largest underground industrial sand mines. Around 1810, Don Wilson and his three sons settled near Rocky Bayou, a small stream that ran into the White River near the present town. The banks of the White River were deemed suitable for a landing, and the area soon began to develop, with one of the area’s first post offices located nearby. The landing was originally called Wild Haws Landing, named for a type of bush that grew in abundance. …

LaCrosse (Izard County)

The community of LaCrosse in the twenty-first century is practically a ghost town, with only a few occupied houses remaining. This is a striking contrast to earlier decades, when it was a bustling small town, with the LaCrosse Collegiate Institute having a statewide reputation. Located in rolling prairie land, that area of Izard County was first settled in 1845 by three brothers: William Frederick Watkins, James Davis Watkins, and Dr. Owen Thomas Watkins, a graduate of the Medical College at Louisville, Kentucky. The brothers were natives of Tennessee. Land patent records reveal their far-reaching land acquisitions, which extended into Fulton, Sharp, and Independence counties. Their farming ventures included cotton, cattle, blooded horses, hogs, and cotton ginning. Dr. Owen Watkins’s practice extended …

Lunenburg (Izard County)

The unincorporated community of Lunenburg, located on Rocky Bayou approximately four miles south of the Izard County seat of Melbourne, is one of the county’s earliest settlements. The earliest land claim record is that of Adam Walker in 1820. While many early settlers were attracted to the area by plentiful water and fertile land, much early growth can be attributed to a local Baptist organization. About 1833, the Rocky Bayou Baptist Association was established in the area, with a log church built shortly afterward. A second church was constructed in 1858. Many of the area churches trace their origins to the association. Other denominations also were soon established. By the mid-1840s, a sizeable settlement and business district, known as Rocky …

Melbourne (Izard County)

Melbourne is Izard County’s second-largest city and has served as the county seat since 1875. Located near the county’s center, it serves as a governmental and commercial center. The home of Ozarka College, it is also a regional educational center. Louisiana Purchase through the Gilded Age The first settlers to the area near the present town arrived before 1820. A post office, named Mill Creek, was established about one mile east of the present town on January 14, 1854. William Sublett was the postmaster. With the creation of Stone County and Baxter County in 1873, county boundary lines were redrawn, and there was a push to locate the county seat more centrally. A special election in 1875 relocated the county …

Mount Pleasant (Izard County)

The town of Mount Pleasant was established in extreme northwestern Independence County shortly after the close of the Civil War. However, changes in the Izard/Independence county line in 1873 caused the town to be shifted to Izard County. In the twenty-first century, Mount Pleasant is one mile from Independence County and about two miles from Sharp County. One of the pioneer trails into the interior of Izard County followed Poke (or Polk) Bayou from Batesville (Independence County) northward and then traced Barren Fork Creek northwest toward present-day Melbourne (Izard County). During the 1860s, a new trail was cut one mile south of the creek and passed by the log home of Milton L. Shaver. Soon, the Shaver family converted one …

Oxford (Izard County)

  The city of Oxford was not incorporated until 1945, although it has been an active settlement since the middle of the nineteenth century. Located on Highway 9 in Izard County, Oxford is about halfway between Melbourne (Izard County) and Salem (Fulton County). One of the first settlers to arrive in what would become Oxford was Wiley Croom. He joined William McCollough and James McCuistion, both of whom were evidently already living in the area, although they did not register their land grants at the federal land office until the 1850s. Croom built and operated the first cotton mill and the first grist mill in the region. He later added the first cotton gin, which was also the last cotton gin …

Penters Bluff (Izard County)

aka: Penter’s Bluff (Izard County)
The historic community of Penters Bluff is located on the White River about six and a half miles southeast of Guion (Izard County) and approximately five miles west of Cushman (Independence County). Penters Bluff and the neighboring railroad towns of Switch and Crocker have disappeared without much of a trace. Named for John Penter and family, whose name was often pronounced Painter, the bluff (or really a collection of bluffs) is sometimes called by that name and also by Panthers, Panters, and even Pinters Bluff; the apostrophe is usually left out between the “r” and the “s” in Penter’s Bluff but not always. The main reason Penters Bluff is still on the map is its breath-taking beauty, which attracts tourists …

Pineville (Izard County)

Pineville, a small town located in northwest Izard County, was once a center of commerce and trade for area residents. Though most area residents farmed the land or raised cattle, timber harvesting also played a role in the growth of the settlement. Early settlers such as James, William, and Allen Whitfield were attracted to the White River valley for its rich farm land. By the 1830s, the military road that intersected with the road leading to Jacksonport (Jackson County) connected the area to the White and Black rivers, important trade routes. Robert Calvin Matthews, who settled in the area by 1860, was a major influence in the development of the settlement. He built the area’s first house and, in 1861, …

Ruddells (Izard County)

The once-thriving unincorporated settlement of Ruddells in Izard County, located near the White River in the southwest corner of the county, was a major producer of quick lime for approximately twenty-five years during the early part of the twentieth century. Today, little remains of the settlement other than the abandoned mines and a cemetery. The mining of lime is said to have begun in the area as early as 1906. At that time, what would become Ruddells was known as East Sylamore. A post office opened there on December 18, 1905. On February 7, 1911, it was renamed Ruddells, with William W. Brooks as postmaster. The name had been changed to honor Abraham Ruddells, father-in-law of early mine owner Edgar …