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Entries - Entry Category: Searcy - Starting with G

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 the 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. …