Pulaski

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Entry Category: Pulaski

Alexander (Pulaski and Saline Counties)

The city of Alexander is located northeast of Benton (Saline County) on the line dividing Pulaski and Saline counties. It was a railroad construction camp before it incorporated on December 2, 1887. The first settlers, who came in 1878, were Jacob Ash and W. N. Slack. Within two months, seventy people had settled in the area, including German immigrants. The town had two stores, a drugstore, a sawmill, and a physician, and the people raised money for a church and a school. In 1884, Alexander had three churches: a Methodist church, a Baptist church, and a German Lutheran church. It now has four churches: two Baptist churches, Collegeville Church of the Nazarene, and Immanuel Lutheran Church. It also has a …

Baring Cross (Pulaski County)

West of Pike Avenue in North Little Rock (Pulaski County)—across from the Union Pacific Railway shops—Baring Cross was a Pulaski County town consisting primarily of middle-class railroad workers. It took its name from the first steel bridge to span the Arkansas River in 1873. From 1896 to 1905, the municipality of Baring Cross encompassed a smaller area than it does today. North Little Rock annexed the town, which became the city’s Fifth Ward and home to several mayors and aldermen, in 1905. Following national trends, Baring Cross decayed economically in the 1960s and 1970s. Urban Renewal did little to reverse the decline, but reinvestment through the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program as well as private investment spurred revitalization in 2010. The …

Cammack Village (Pulaski County)

The enclave of Cammack Village is a legally incorporated community surrounded entirely by the city of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Created as a site for federally subsidized housing in 1943, it has developed into an exclusive neighborhood renowned for a low crime rate and high property values. The land on which Cammack Village is located was owned by Wiley Dan Cammack, who had allowed it to be used for a Works Progress Administration roads project in the 1930s. In the 1940s, Cammack attempted to have the area annexed by Little Rock, the western edge of which abutted his land, but the city demurred. Cammack therefore turned the land over to a federally subsidized housing project designed to alleviate housing shortages …

Crystal Hill (Pulaski County)

Crystal Hill is a geological formation on the north side of the Arkansas River near Murray Lock and Dam. It is also the name of a neighborhood in the city of North Little Rock (Pulaski County). Nearby Pyeatte-Mason Cemetery contains the graves of some of the early settlers of Crystal Hill. The formation, about seven miles upstream from downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County)—although many early travelers exaggerated the distance to fifteen miles—is a bluff consisting of sandstone and shale. It also contains significant amounts of iron pyrite, which sparkles in the sunlight. River travelers, seeing the sparkle, gave the hill its poetic name. East Arkansas settlers displaced by the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811–1812 began to settle this part of …

Ferndale (Pulaski County)

Ferndale is an unincorporated community in Pulaski County located near the intersection of Kanis and Congo roads west of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Chiefly a farming area, the settlement was once home to a large timber operation and speculative mining. The first white settlers to the area were the Thomas Reese Sevier family, who briefly settled there in 1838. The first long-term settler was Isaac Crowson, who settled his family there in 1840. The Crowson family was important to the development of Ferndale. In 1875, Dr. George Sutton, also the area’s first physician, was the first to build a home on the actual town site. As people were gradually attracted to the rich farm land near the Little Maumelle Creek, …

Galloway (Independence County)

Galloway is a historic community shown on an 1860 map of Independence County. It was located southeast of Sulphur Rock (Independence County) in the alluvial bottoms of the Black and White rivers and north of historic Akron (Independence County) near the Magness Ferry, lying between Newark (Independence County) and Cord (Independence County) on what is today Galloway Road. The road crosses Dota Creek. The community received its name from Robert M. (Bob) Galloway, who was appointed its postmaster on November 9, 1858. Robert Galloway married Harriet Robbins in Shelby County, Tennessee, in 1843 and moved the family to the Big Bottom region in the 1850s shortly after his father’s death. The 1860 census shows Galloway to be a slave owner …

Gibson (Pulaski County)

Gibson is an unincorporated community in northern Pulaski County, between Camp Joseph T. Robinson and the Sherwood (Pulaski County) neighborhood of Gravel Ridge. Within the boundaries of Gibson are the silver deposits from which North Little Rock (Pulaski County) derived its alternate name of Argenta (after the Latin word for silver). After the territorial capital was moved from Arkansas Post (Arkansas County) to Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1821, settlers began to acquire land around the growing city, including land north of the Arkansas River. Most of these settlers were farmers growing cotton or subsistence crops, and many used land grants from the War of 1812 to take possession of their land. Among the earliest to claim land in the future location of Gibson …

Gravel Ridge (Pulaski County)

Gravel Ridge has been part of the city of Sherwood (Pulaski County) in northern Pulaski County since 2008. Before that time, Gravel Ridge was an unincorporated community surrounded by the cities of Sherwood, Jacksonville (Pulaski County), and North Little Rock (Pulaski County), as well as the unincorporated settlement of Gibson (Pulaski County) and the Little Rock Air Force Base. As its name suggests, Gravel Ridge is a section of high ground consisting largely of loose stones. The ridge is bounded by Bayou Meto on the north and Kellogg Creek on the south. Although silver, lead, and copper deposits have been found near Kellogg Creek in Gibson, no similar minerals have been unearthed in Gravel Ridge. Moreover, once development began in the middle …

Hensley (Pulaski County)

Hensley is an unincorporated community in southern Pulaski County. Highway 365 runs through Hensley, connecting with Interstate 530 at the southern edge of the community. The origins of Hensley begin with William and Harriet Campbell, who came to Arkansas Territory from Indiana in 1835. Planning at first to live in Hot Springs (Garland County), they instead acquired land in southern Pulaski County and northern Jefferson County. Their first home was in White Bluff (Jefferson County) on the Arkansas River, but Campbell—with his business partner John Pennington—bought 320 acres of land and built a sawmill on Campbell Bayou in Pulaski County. He then harvested cypress, oak, and pine trees from his property, hauling the timber three miles to the Arkansas River …

Jacksonville (Pulaski County)

Jacksonville is located twelve miles northeast of Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the central part of the state. Little Rock Air Force Base (LRAFB) is located within the city limits of Jacksonville. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The first known settlers to move into the area were two Revolutionary War veterans, Jacob Gray Sr. and his brother Shared. The brothers had come from Williamson County, Tennessee, and settled in an area northeast of where the Daniels Ferry Road crossed Bayou Meto, about twelve miles northeast of Little Rock. Some of the men of the family with some of their slaves arrived the winter of 1820–21 and were followed by the rest of the family members and the remaining slaves by …

Landmark (Pulaski County)

Landmark is an unincorporated community on State Highway 367 in southern Pulaski County. It includes the older communities of Parkers and Iron Springs. Union Township was formed in southwestern Pulaski County in 1859. At that time, the township was home to about 400 residents, including residents of East End, which was added to Saline County in 1873. Enoch Davis was the only landowner in the immediate vicinity of what is now Landmark when the township was created; he acquired his land patent in 1843. In 1860, Sampson Brewer also obtained land in the area. Other land patents claimed after the Civil War include those of Eli Cockman (1873), Joel Bunch (1873), William McAlister (1876), William Bunch (1882), Thomas Brewer (1883), …

Levy (Pulaski County)

Levy, which is now a part of North Little Rock (Pulaski County), was named for a prominent Jewish merchant. The community originated as a campground for farmers and drovers traveling the Fort Smith (Sebastian County) road to markets in Little Rock (Pulaski County). In 1892, Levy founder Ernest Stanley opened a general store near the campground north of Argenta. A settlement of industrious working-class people emerged with the opening of Camp Pike in 1917. War preparations at Camp Joseph T. Robinson in 1940 further fueled Levy’s growth, and the Levy Day political rally put it on the map in the 1950s. A municipality from 1917 to 1946, Levy has retained its identity into the twenty-first century. Today, a growing Latino population, plus …

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 …

Little Rock (Pulaski County)

Little Rock, Arkansas’s capital city, is situated on the south bank of the Arkansas River near the geographic center of the state, making it a natural hub for commerce. In addition, the state’s three major landforms join within the city limits: the foothills that rise northwest to the Ozark Plateau, the Delta lands that extend east to the bank of the Mississippi River, and the rolling plains that stretch southwest into Texas. This confluence makes Little Rock a natural political center. Pre-European Exploration The Arkansas River Valley, including the location of “the little rock,” was claimed by the Quapaw when Europeans first explored the region. The Quapaw, members of a group of Dhegiha-Siouan-speaking tribes which also includes the Osage, resided in …

Mabelvale (Pulaski County)

Mabelvale is a neighborhood in the southern part of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Beginning as a nineteenth-century railroad town, the community gradually grew along with Little Rock. It was annexed in the 1970s after considering incorporation as an independent city in the 1960s. Mabelvale is located in the transportation corridor that today includes the Union Pacific Railroad and Interstate 30. Shortly after the establishment of Little Rock as the territorial capital, farmers and investors began purchasing land in the Mabelvale area. Purchasers included Allen Martin, Thomas Blair, and future governor James Sevier Conway. The military road known as the Southwest Trail improved transportation through the area in the 1830s. Surveyors for the Cairo and Fulton Railroad assessed the trail in …

Marche (Pulaski County)

Marche, a community located in Pulaski County twelve miles north of Little Rock (Pulaski County), was settled by Polish immigrants wishing to escape the struggles of life in the northern United States. The settlement of Marche is one of the most successful efforts to resettle immigrants in Arkansas history. In 1872, Judge Liberty Bartlett attempted to establish a town in the area now known as Marche. The town of Bartlett never took hold, and the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad gained control of the area and renamed it Warren Station. The railroad company attempted to turn Warren Station into a recreation center for the people of Little Rock. By 1877, however, this project had failed, and the railroad land …

Maumelle (Pulaski County)

Maumelle is a city five miles west of Little Rock (Pulaski County) on Interstate 40. A fast-growing, affluent suburb of Little Rock, it has the highest median household income in the state of Arkansas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It is one of the planned communities that arose in central Arkansas during the 1970s. The area that is now Maumelle was visited by European explorers prior to the Louisiana Purchase and American settlement. Maumelle derives its name from the French word mamelle, or “breast,” probably due to the conical shape of nearby Maumelle Mountain (now Pinnacle Mountain). Identifying the early settlers of Maumelle is difficult, as they left few written records. Although a few had obtained land grants from …

McAlmont (Pulaski County)

McAlmont is an unincorporated community in Pulaski County, just to the east of North Little Rock (Pulaski County). Its southern boundary is Interstate 40, and the community is divided by tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad. After Little Rock had become established as the capital of Arkansas, farmers began to cultivate land north of the Arkansas River from the capital city, establishing plantations to grow cotton and subsistence crops. Among the early landowners in the region that would be McAlmont were Charles Robinson, who first acquired a land patent in 1837 and added more land in 1842; David Spence (1838); Ephraim Beasley (1838); Edward Cook (1839); Lucy Beasley (1839); Kindred Delk (1842); and Littleberry M. Robinson (1842). The Southwest Trail ran through …

Morgan (Pulaski County)

Morgan is an unincorporated settlement in northern Pulaski County. It is located on State Highway 365 (also known as MacArthur Drive) between Maumelle (Pulaski County) and Camp Joseph T. Robinson. Most people who travel through Morgan do not even know that they have been there. The origins of the name of Morgan are unknown, particularly since it never had a post office or a railroad depot. The earliest use of the land around Morgan was as a cemetery, called Palarm Bayou Pioneer Cemetery, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Several citizens of Little Rock (Pulaski County) are buried there, including Daniel E. Wilson, buried in 1837, and John Ferguson, buried in 1886. Wilson, a businessman …

Natural Steps (Pulaski County)

Natural Steps is an unincorporated community located on Highway 300 between Lake Maumelle and the Arkansas River in Pulaski County. It takes its name from a unique sandstone formation in the shape of parallel stair steps. A 1932 archaeological investigation into the Natural Steps area conducted by staff at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) uncovered fifty-seven burials, as well as pottery from both the Quapaw and Caddo tribes. An exact sequence of Native American habitation of the area, however, remains unknown. A Spanish land grant conveyed land at Natural Steps to Eli Stidwell. Another early white settler was John Standlee, who was in the area from 1778 to 1780. In the 1810s, merchant John Taylor purchased …

North Little Rock (Pulaski County)

aka: Argenta (Pulaski County)
North Little Rock is the state’s sixth-largest city (as of 2010), though once the second largest, with historical ties to the transportation industry and the military. Before railroad companies spurred the growth of a town of mills, stockyards, and small businesses in the last three decades of the nineteenth century, the flood-prone north side of the Arkansas River across from Little Rock (Pulaski County) had few residents. But starting in the 1820s, its ferry and riverboat terminals prospered at a junction of roads on routes between St. Louis, Missouri, or Memphis, Tennessee, and Texas or Oklahoma. The military continues to have an economically viable relationship with central Arkansas, with Fort Logan H. Roots atop Big Rock Mountain since 1897; Camp …

Pankey (Pulaski County)

Pankey is a small African-American community located in western Pulaski County, approximately thirteen miles from downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County). Now a part of Little Rock, it is one of three communities—and the last remaining intact—that were owned and subdivided by real estate agent and land developer Josephine Irvin (or Irving) Harris Pankey. Josephine Pankey was born Josephine Irvin (or Irving) in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1869; her father was a former slave. She was sent to Arkansas by the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in 1892 as a missionary to teach children of sharecroppers and tenant farmers in Prairie County. She moved to Little Rock in the early 1900s; married Samuel Pankey in 1904; taught school in the Little Rock School District for …