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Entries - Entry Category: Polk - Starting with L

Little Africa (Polk County)

Little Africa was an all-black community that lay near Board Camp Creek in Polk County east of the county seat of Mena. For a few decades, it was home to many of the county’s African Americans, but the community did not survive the changing economy and growing racial hostility of the county’s white population. The name “Little Africa” was common among informally organized all-black communities in the state and nation. The first African American to stake out a homestead in the area that would become Little Africa appears to have been Nelson Ray in 1875. He was followed by others such as Thomas Moore (who filed for a homestead in 1884), Cicero Cole (1899), William Ray (1901), and Frank Hill …

Lone Valley (Polk County)

Lone Valley, once called Rock Spring, is a remote and sparsely populated area in Polk County approximately four miles east of Hatfield (Polk County). The history of this valley dates back to the early 1840s. The earliest settlers came from Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Virginia. The valley once hosted a sawmill, the combined Lone Valley Church and School, and a cemetery. Much of the valley became what is now the Ouachita National Forest, but a few homes remain in the valley, and residents—and those with ties to the community—still use the Lone Valley Cemetery. On November 30, 1844, the Arkansas General Assembly created Polk County from the upper part of Sevier County, naming it after president-elect James K. …