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Entry Category: Ouachita

Bearden (Ouachita County)

Bearden, originally founded as a railroad town, has been an important center for the timber industry in Arkansas. It is home to the annual Gazebo Festival. Post Reconstruction through the Gilded Age Bearden was founded as one of many whistle-stop communities along the Cotton Belt Railway Line during the steam engine years. The city limits for the town of Bearden were set in 1882 by the Southwest Improvement Association, an agency of the Railway Land Office. This office was part of what would become the Cotton Belt Railway Line. Bearden was named after one of the lawyers for the agency, Judge John T. Bearden. Among the first settlers were the Byars, Clemmons, Hollingsworth, and Shaddock families. The small town soon …

Buena Vista (Ouachita County)

Buena Vista (Ouachita County) is an unincorporated community located about nine miles southwest of Camden (Ouachita County) and eight miles northeast of Stephens (Ouachita County). The name of the community is likely a reference to the Battle of Buena Vista fought near Monterrey, Mexico, in February 1847, during the Mexican War. Former Arkansas governor and U.S. representative Archibald Yell was killed in the battle while leading the Arkansas Regiment of Mounted Volunteers. It is also possibly in reference to a nearby hill that is the highest point in Ouachita County, leading to the adoption of the Spanish translation of the phrase “good view.” The area surrounding Buena Vista belonged to Union County when Arkansas joined the union in 1836. With …

Camden (Ouachita County)

Camden is the county seat of Ouachita County and is located in south-central Arkansas on the Gulf Coastal Plain, about fifty miles north of Louisiana. Since it began life as Ecore a Fabre, a French trading post, its history has been closely tied to the Ouachita River. At the head of practical navigation, Camden was the “Queen City” of the Ouachita during the steamboat era. In 1864, it became the unintended focus of a major Civil War effort called the Red River Campaign, resulting in several significant battles. With the development of railroads, Camden was able to exploit its rich timberlands and remain an important transportation hub. Camden has also been important in both industry and education. Politically, Camden has …