Phillips

Subcategories:
  • No categories
Clear

Entries - Entry Category: Phillips

Elaine (Phillips County)

  The name of Elaine (Phillips County) will always be linked with a race massacre that broke out in the fall of 1919, leaving scores of African Americans dead. Aside from this one memorable incident, the city is representative of life in the Delta region that includes eastern Arkansas. When Arkansas became a state in 1836, the area of present-day Elaine was still swampland. It was designated as such by the Swamp and Overflow Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1850. Silas Craig and John Martin purchased Phillips County land from the State of Arkansas under the provisions of that act, and the land passed through several owners—including the State of Arkansas a second time, due to unpaid taxes—but …

Helena-West Helena (Phillips County)

Helena-West Helena is located on the Mississippi River about seven and a half miles below the mouth of the St. Francis River. Helena was incorporated in 1833 and prospered as a river port, while West Helena began as a railroad town, incorporated in 1917. The two cities united their school systems in 1946 and merged into one city (preserving both names) on January 1, 2006. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Two land speculators, Sylvanus Phillips and William Russell, created the present town site of Helena, which was originally part of a Spanish land grant. Phillips, who played the major role in the establishment of the town, arrived in the area about 1797 and moved to the present site of Helena …

Lake View (Phillips County)

  Lake View is one of two cities in Arkansas (and one of three incorporated communities in Arkansas) where African Americans make up more than ninety percent of the population. Established during the Great Depression as part of a rural resettlement program, Lake View is best known for its part in reshaping education funding in Arkansas through court cases in the 1990s. When Phillips County was established in 1820, its southern portion was dominated by swamplands and hardwood forests. Near Old Town Lake, an oxbow lake that had once been part of the Mississippi River, some small plantations were established, although they were less prosperous than the region’s larger cotton plantations. After the Civil War, freed slaves continued to work on the …

Lexa (Phillips County)

Lexa is a town in northern Phillips County, about halfway between Helena-West Helena (Phillips County) and Marianna (Lee County). Created as a result of the railroad, Lexa grew rapidly in the twentieth century before dwindling again around the onset of the Great Depression. The town of Lexa is surrounded by rich farmland, regularly supplied with new soil from the overflow of the Mississippi River. Plantations were established at the site of Lexa before the Civil War, one by Charles Royal Coolidge and another by John T. Jones, who was also a circuit court judge. After the war, the Society of Friends (or Quakers) established a school for African Americans in Helena, moving it two years later to a location about …

Marvell (Phillips County)

  The city of Marvell began as a railroad town in the 1870s. Best known as the hometown of musician Levon Helm, Marvell is one of the largest communities in Phillips County. Rich soil deposited by Mississippi River floods over the years made Phillips County attractive to cotton farmers, who created large plantations throughout the area in the early nineteenth century. In 1835, John Sanford acquired ownership of the land where Marvell would be built. Slaves worked the plantations until the Civil War, and many of the former slaves remained as tenant farmers after the war. Several railroads had been planned before the war, but their construction did not take place until Reconstruction. The Arkansas Central Railroad, planned to link Helena (Phillips County) and Little Rock …