Searcy

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Entries - Entry Category: Searcy

Big Flat (Baxter and Searcy Counties)

Big Flat is a town on State Highway 14, mostly in southern Baxter County but straddling the Searcy County line. It is just outside the Ozark National Forest. One of the earliest settlements of northern Arkansas, Big Flat long flourished because it was isolated from other settlements by the hills and forests of the region. The town did not incorporate, though, until 1939. Big Flat was named for a plateau in the Leatherwood Mountains of the Ozark Mountain range. For thousands of years, the area was visited by hunters, fishers, and gatherers of food; the Osage came down from what now is Missouri to collect food to bring back to their homes in the north. White settlers began to arrive …

Campbell (Searcy County)

The historic community of Campbell in Campbell Township is located near County Road 68 (Gum Tree Lane) a short distance from where it intersects with Highway 66 about two miles north of Oxley (Searcy County) and about six miles east-northeast of Leslie (Searcy County). Campbell is located approximately eleven miles east-southeast of Marshall (Searcy County), the county seat. Campbell lies in a fertile valley of the foothills of the Boston Mountains. The caves and bluffs were utilized by Native Americans dating back to the Late Archaic Period. A Native American site, Cooper’s Bluff, northwest of Campbell near what is today Snowball (Searcy County), was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 4, 1982. The Cooper’s Bluff Site …

Gilbert (Searcy County)

Gilbert, situated on the Buffalo River in Searcy County, was established at the turn of the nineteenth century, coinciding with the railroad’s moving south from Missouri. The town was named for Charles W. Gilbert, president of the Missouri and North Arkansas (M&NA) Railroad. As the town grew, it boasted four stores, two hotels, several sawmills, and three doctors. A new church was presided over by Reverend John A. Battenfield from Illinois. Town historian Ray Jordan said Battenfield’s commanding voice captivated people as if he had preached for only moments, although he often preached three or more hours. His followers, a millennialist group called the Incoming Kingdom Missionary Unit, printed a weekly newspaper, the Kingdom Harbinger, beginning in October 1920. Gilbert …

Leslie (Searcy County)

Leslie is situated in southeastern Searcy County amid the rugged Boston Mountains region of the Ozark Plateau. It was once a booming railroad and lumber city and one of the centers of industry in the Ozark region of Arkansas. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The city was originally named Wiley’s Cove. According to some sources, this was in honor of Chief Wiley, said to be a Cherokee resident of Searcy County; however, it likely derived its name from one of the numerous whites named Wiley, Wilie, or Wily who were squatting in northern and central Arkansas in the early nineteenth century. The first post office in the county was established in 1842. In the 1850s, settlers Henry Begley and his …

Marshall (Searcy County)

Marshall is the county seat and market town for poor and rural Searcy County, which contains 23,372 acres of the Buffalo National River and its surrounding lands, and 31,286 acres of the Ozark National Forest. Its only sustained industry has been timber processing. Beyond that, it is dependant upon cattle and the tourism brought in by the Buffalo National River. Mostly destroyed during the Civil War, Marshall grew slowly during the nineteenth century. The Missouri & North Arkansas Railroad sped Marshall’s growth from 1905 to 1910, but the post–World War I slump hit Searcy County’s and Marshall’s industries hard. Between spurts of economic activity and a series of celebrations, such as the Strawberry Festival from the late 1940s to mid-1980s …

Pindall (Searcy County)

Named for the acting governor of Arkansas at the time, X. O. Pindall, the town of Pindall arose along the St. Louis and North Arkansas Railroad (later the Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad) early in the twentieth century. Pindall is in the northwestern corner of Searcy County about halfway between Marshall (Searcy County) and Harrison (Boone County) on U.S. Highway 65. When European exploration and settlement began in what would become the state of Arkansas, the northern hills of the future state were claimed as hunting and fishing land by the Osage, who lived to the north. Even after treaties removed the Osage from the land, white settlers were slow to come to the rugged hills of the Ozark Mountains. …

Snowball (Searcy County)

The unincorporated community of Snowball in Searcy County is typical of the many Arkansas towns established in the Ozark Mountains in the late nineteenth century. Located about thirteen miles west of the county seat of Marshall on state Highway 74, this once thriving commercial community today consists of a Masonic Hall, a few residences, and no commercial businesses. The area along the banks of Calf Creek, near modern-day Snowball, was settled by Native Americans dating back to the Late Archaic Period. A Native American site, Cooper’s Bluff, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. One of the earliest white settlers is believed to have been John Campbell, who settled with his family along the creek in about 1837. …

St. Joe (Searcy County)

St. Joe is a town in northwestern Searcy County, located on U.S. Highway 65. Like many similar communities in Arkansas, St. Joe has an Old Town that was settled before the arrival of the railroad and a New Town that was built nearer the railroad. During World War I, St. Joe was a shipping center for the region’s lead and zinc mines. Osage were traveling from the north to hunt and fish in the rugged Boston Mountains of northern Arkansas when the region became part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Eventually, treaties with the U.S. government moved the Osage farther west, and the land was opened for white settlement. The first settlers in the St. Joe vicinity were Bill …