Jefferson

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Entries - Entry Category: Jefferson

Altheimer (Jefferson County)

Altheimer is a second-class city in Jefferson County, located roughly halfway between Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and Stuttgart (Arkansas County). Founded as a railroad town and named for the Jewish family who encouraged the building of the railroad, it quickly became a center for the shipping of cotton, surpassing older cities in eastern Arkansas. Located in the Arkansas River Valley, the site of Altheimer was originally flood-prone forestland. Doctor Samuel Johnson Jones was the first resident of what would become Altheimer. He acquired and cleared 500 acres of timberland and moved to Arkansas from Mississippi in 1857, bringing his family and 150 slaves with him. His mansion, the Elms (which is now on the National Register of Historic Places), was …

Humphrey (Arkansas and Jefferson Counties)

Humphrey is one of the few cities in Arkansas to exist in two counties. A second-class city located on the county line between Jefferson County and Arkansas County, it appears on the census records for both counties. Before its consolidation with DeWitt (Arkansas County) in 2004, the Humphrey school district also included students from both counties. The land that now is Humphrey was a farm belonging to William D. Anthony in 1882 when the St. Louis Southwestern Railway (the Cotton Belt) surveyed the area for its line running between Stuttgart (Arkansas County) and Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). The rail stop, which quickly became a settlement, was named for the railway surveyor. The first school classes in Humphrey were held in …

Pine Bluff (Jefferson County)

Like Jefferson County, Pine Bluff is a historical offspring of Arkansas Post (Arkansas County)—the first European foothold in Arkansas, founded in 1686 by the French and built near the mouth of the Arkansas River. The city thrived during the last part of the nineteenth century due to its status as a cotton center and river port. The city was hit hard, however, by flooding, drought, and economic depression in the early twentieth century, although World War II proved to be an economic boon to the city, which opened a munitions arsenal during the war. Despite possessing a rich history and being home to a university, the city was in decline by the beginning of the twenty-first century, facing population loss …

Redfield (Jefferson County)

  Redfield is a growing city located in Jefferson County near Interstate 530, which connects Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and Little Rock (Pulaski County). The city has always relied on land transportation, beginning in the nineteenth century with the railroad and continuing in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with highways. The Little Rock, Mississippi River, and Texas Railroad built a line from Chicot Point (Chicot County) to Pine Bluff in 1873. Financial problems that year delayed completion of the line to Little Rock for several years, but James Kirkwood Brodie anticipated the completion of the line and invested in land along its route. For $71.28, Brodie bought 163 acres from the State of Arkansas, land that had been seized from the …

Sherrill (Jefferson County)

Sherrill is a town in Jefferson County on State Highway 15 between Altheimer (Jefferson County) and England (Lonoke County). Like many Arkansas towns, Sherrill was created by the railroad industry late in the nineteenth century, although it did not incorporate as a town until 1935. Augustus S. Smith, a native of South Carolina, purchased many acres of land in Jefferson County in 1859; the land featured the rich soil of the Arkansas River Valley. That year, he transported about 200 slaves to his new plantation in Arkansas, where they worked in the cotton fields until their emancipation at the end of the Civil War. Many of these freed slaves remained on the same farmland, working as tenant farmers in the …

Sulphur Springs (Jefferson County)

aka: White Sulphur Springs (Jefferson County)
Originally named White Sulphur Springs, Sulphur Springs is an unincorporated, census-designated place (CDP) in Jefferson County located about two miles southwest of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). It received its name due to its proximity to natural sulfur-rich springs. It was a spa and resort community during the mid-1800s and served as an important Confederate training and staging area during the Civil War. Following the war, the community once again returned to a resort community with dreams of expanding into a separate incorporated town. The expansion, however, was cut short by World War I, and the community was never incorporated. Following a flood that consumed much of southeast Arkansas in 1844, settlers began moving into the area southwest of Pine Bluff. …

Wabbaseka (Jefferson County)

Wabbaseka is a town in northern Jefferson County. It is on the conjoined highways U.S. 63 and U.S. 79 between Humphrey (Arkansas and Jefferson counties) and Altheimer (Jefferson County). When Arkansas became part of the United States, the land where Wabbaseka would later be founded was a forested swamp that attracted few settlers. Antoine Barraque visited Quapaw chief Heckaton at what was referred to as Wadittesha Wattiska, or Black Clay Bayou, in January 1826. Surveyor William Pelham noted “Bayou Wabbaseekee” in 1836, calling it “a stream with a gentle current.” High land next to the bayou was noted during a flood in 1844, leading Jordan Embree to purchase the “island” in 1853. On his map of Jefferson County in 1872, …

White Hall (Jefferson County)

White Hall (once called Grenshaw Springs and Grenshaw “Hall” Springs) is on Arkansas Highway 365 North in Jefferson County. The city developed slowly—first as an early nineteenth-century rest stop for early settlers who were drawn to the pristine water that flowed freely in pools above the ground, then later, during the early twentieth century, as the most direct route for the early Dollarway Road, the first paved (concrete) road in Arkansas, which ran approximately 22.2 miles from the city limits of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) to Little Rock (Pulaski County). During World War II, the United States Army’s Chemical Warfare Division began construction of the Pine Bluff Arsenal on December 4, 1941, near the future city’s northern boundaries. The 6.8 …