Perry

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Entries - Entry Category: Perry

Adona (Perry County)

  Adona is a city located on Highway 10 in northern Perry County. It began as a railroad town, prospered due to the timber industry, and is sustained by tourism in the twenty-first century. Adona is sometimes humorously described as “the first city in Arkansas” because of its place in the alphabetical order of communities and because of its zip code (72001). Franklin Russell was the first owner of the land that became Adona, establishing a claim to the land in 1849. However, Russell never lived on this land, eventually selling it to John Howell, who became the first permanent resident. As a small community developed, residents named it Cypress Valley, since it was watered by Cypress Creek. A Methodist congregation began to …

Casa (Perry County)

  Casa may be one of the oldest settlements in Perry County, although it remained a small community until the arrival of the railroad and the discovery of coal in the area around 1900. The town’s name (the Spanish word for “house”) reflects the largely residential nature of Casa in the twenty-first century. Local historians record that the earliest white settlers of Casa arrived during the 1830s. The first two families were named Grace and McGhee; they were joined by other families moving west from Georgia and South Carolina. A general store opened around 1850, and a post office was established in 1854. A log-cabin schoolhouse was also built before the Civil War. A cemetery was established around 1860. During the …

Fourche (Perry County)

  The town of Fourche (the name is pronounced to rhyme with “bush”) is located in northeastern Perry County on the banks of the Fourche La Fave River, for which it is named. Once a thriving lumber town, Fourche is now overshadowed by Bigelow (Perry County), its neighbor to the west. The Fourche La Fave River was explored by a French settler, Peter La Fave, who gave his name to the river, “fourche” being the French word for “fork.” The first white settlers, who arrived after the Civil War, were German, including Gottlob Faisst, who owned a tomato cannery he named Central Arkansas Food Products Company. Faisst and his family also owned a wine saloon, skating rink, and pool hall, all …

Houston (Perry County)

  The town of Houston, in northern Perry County, is one of several communities in Arkansas that relocated to be near a railroad line. Although it is often assumed to have been named for Sam Houston, who lived in Arkansas Territory before relocating to Texas, stronger evidence suggests that the town of Houston was named for John L. Houston, who operated a ferry nearby on the Fourche La Fave River around 1847. One of Huston’s ferry stops was called Brown’s Landing, named for Robert Brown, who led a group of settlers from Kentucky into the area around 1835. The area was sparsely settled, with a few houses, a blacksmith shop, two or three small stores, and a schoolhouse that was …

Little Italy (Pulaski and Perry Counties)

Little Italy’s prominence in Arkansas history is attributed to its role in European immigration to Arkansas and, more importantly, its wine industry. The area boasted four wineries within a mile of one another and produced thousands of gallons of alcohol yearly. The wine-making Italians of Little Italy provided central Arkansans with a clean, reliable source of alcohol during Prohibition. Due to the community’s central location, it gained much attention as a place where alcohol could be purchased. The area also gained notoriety for the rough atmosphere the clientele who frequented its wineries afforded. Little Italy was founded in 1915 by a group of Italian immigrants who had originally settled in Chicago and Upper Peninsula Michigan at the turn of the …

Nimrod (Perry County)

Nimrod is a small community located near the Fourche La Fave River in western Perry County. Never a large community, today it is best known for its proximity to recreational Lake Nimrod, the state’s oldest U.S. Army Corps of Engineers–constructed lake, and the Ouachita National Forest. Fertile soil and the confluence of the Fourche La Fave River with the Arkansas River attracted settlers as early as 1808. However, until the decade preceding the Civil War, most of that settlement centered on the eastern reaches of the river where the town of Perryville (Perry County) was founded. By 1850, James Wilson built the first house at what later became Nimrod. Among other early settlers were the Young, Cherry, James, Cobb, Hill, …

Perry (Perry County)

  Perry is a town in Perry County that began as a railroad stop and survived as a lumber town. State Highways 9 and 10 run south as a single highway from Perry to Perryville (Perry County), but they divide in Perry, with Highway 9 running north to Morrilton (Conway County) and Highway 10 running west to Adona (Perry County). Few settlers came to the northwestern side of Perry Mountain before the Choctaw, Oklahoma, and Gulf Railroad was built in 1898. The depot built at this location was known first as North Perryville, but by the time the post office was established in 1899, the name had been shortened to Perry. Railroad workers preferred the well water of Perry to that found …

Perryville (Perry County)

Perryville sits in the Fourche River valley at the base of the Ouachita National Forest. The town is encircled by four major Arkansas cities—Little Rock (Pulaski County), Conway (Faulkner County), Russellville (Pope County), and Hot Springs (Garland County), each less than an hour’s drive away. Its pristine environment and mountainous scenery make a significant statement about the area. The town is sequestered between mountains to its north and south and was first located north of the forks on the Fourche La Fave River. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The shallows were a natural draw for settlers in the early 1830s, and subsequently, the Fourche La Fave Township was formed. In December 1840, the Arkansas General Assembly created the forty-fourth county …

St. Boniface Colony

aka: New Dixie (Perry County)
The St. Boniface Colony was the informal name for a successful German Catholic immigrant settlement established in 1880 in eastern Perry County. Over time, the colony became known as the community of New Dixie. Beginning in 1880, immigrants from Germany, Switzerland, and other German-speaking countries began arriving in the area near the small village of Dixie, located near the Arkansas River in eastern Perry County. Dixie had been settled in the mid-to-late 1870s and was named after the daughter of Hezekiah Lewis Trundle, a man who owned a large plantation on the banks of the Arkansas River. The Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad (LR&FS) held large swaths of land in Perry County, and although the railway often utilized its …