Ouachita

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Stephens (Ouachita County)

Stephens is an important city in the oil-producing region of southern Arkansas, home to four oil fields that are still producing in the twenty-first century. It is also noteworthy for a number of “firsts” in state and local history, such as having the first and only bank in the nation organized with a GI loan from the federal government. Post Reconstruction through the Gilded Age Stephens is laid out on one of the oldest tracts of settled land in Ouachita County. The original land grant was issued on February 19, 1846, through the Internal Grant Act of 1841 for 320 acres to Benjamin Bell. After Bell’s death, his heirs sold the land to M. J. Gentry, who, in 1882, sold …