Lonoke

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Entry Category: Lonoke

Old Austin (Lonoke County)

Settled in the early 1820s, what is now called Old Austin, located about thirty miles northeast of Little Rock (Pulaski County), was one of central Arkansas’s early settlements. Local folklore holds that Old Austin narrowly missed being the state capital. Once a thriving town, it experienced a decline after being bypassed by the railroad in the late 1800s. Today, it serves as a bedroom community of Cabot (Lonoke County) and nearby towns. The first settlers, among them James Erwin, came to the area in 1822. Before the founding of a town, the settlement at various times was called Oakland Grove, Oakland, Saundersville, and Atlanta. In 1848, Isaac Dunaway and Colbert Moore built the settlement’s first store. Growth was enhanced by …

Scott (Pulaski and Lonoke Counties)

Scott is a small community on the line between Pulaski County and Lonoke County, north of the Arkansas River. Surrounded by farmland and by oxbow lakes, Scott is also near two state parks and several historic properties. Over the centuries, events such as floods, droughts, and—most recently—human construction have altered the path of the Arkansas River. Remnants of former sections of the river remain near Scott as oxbow lakes, particularly Bearskin Lake, Horseshoe Lake, and Willow Beach Lake. More than 1,000 years ago, a complex formation of mounds was created near what is now called Mound Pond. The site was farmed in the nineteenth century but was later preserved as Plum Bayou Mounds Archeological State Park. Not only did the …

Tomberlin (Lonoke County)

aka: Tomberlins
The community of Tomberlin (a.k.a. Tomberlins) is the southernmost settlement in Lonoke County. It is on the edge of the prairie near the Delta’s origin, where the land is fertile and cotton was king in the early years. Tomberlin is twenty-two miles south of Lonoke (Lonoke County) and about the same distance from Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). The community was named for James E. Tomberlin, who arrived there after the Civil War. Nothing is known of Tomberlin’s family history. Records show that in 1869 Tomberlin paid taxes on 701 acres in Prairie County, some of which became Lonoke County. He rented land there and employed sharecroppers. He established a commissary to supply his tenants, and this store became known as …

Ward (Lonoke County)

The town of Ward is a farming community located in northern Lonoke County on the western edge of Arkansas’s Grand Prairie along the old Southwest Trail, today known as U.S. Highway 67. It is bisected by the Missouri-Pacific Railroad tracks. The railroad first reached the town in the 1870s as the Cairo and Fulton Railroad Company, and it was the main reason for the town to prosper as a prime shipping point for the area’s corn, wheat, cotton, strawberries, and other crops. The lush hardwood forests, rich alluvial soil, abundant game, and ample water supplies found here in this part of the state drew settlers to this area. Ward is believed to have been named for W. D. (probably William) …