Van Buren

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Entries - Entry Category: Van Buren

Clinton (Van Buren County)

Clinton has been the county seat of Van Buren County since 1844. Sheltered in the Little Red River valley, the city has been bypassed by many of the major events of Arkansas’s history, including Civil War battles, the building of the railroads, and the desegregation turmoil of the mid-twentieth century. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood When the land that would become Arkansas became part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the Little Red River valley was included in land recognized as Osage hunting territory. The Osage had permanent settlements farther north but frequently visited north-central Arkansas. An 1825 treaty removed the Osage tribe to Kansas, opening the land for settlement by Americans of European descent. Van …

Damascus (Van Buren and Faulkner Counties)

  Damascus is a town located on U.S. Highway 65 on the county line between Faulkner and Van Buren counties. It is most known for its proximity to the Titan II missile base that operated from 1963 until 1980, when a missile explosion killed one person and injured twenty-one. Damascus is located on a plateau between Pine Mountain Creek and Batesville Creek. Heavily timbered until the later part of the nineteenth century, the area was lightly populated for many centuries. Prehistoric stone tools are still found by farmers plowing the soil near the town. Land records show that Elijah Cagle, Hosea King, Thomas King, and Jacob Hartwick all purchased land in northern Faulkner County in the years immediately prior to the Civil War. Local …

Fairfield Bay (Van Buren and Cleburne Counties)

  Fairfield Bay, located in north-central Arkansas on the north shore of Greers Ferry Lake, was created with the goal of becoming a recreational and retirement resort. Though small in terms of residential population, the number of people who visit each year through the town’s timeshare program is well over 20,000. As of the 2010 census, the combined population of its Van Buren County and Cleburne County portions is 2,338. Before the formation of Greers Ferry Lake in the mid-1960s, the hills of what is now Fairfield Bay were covered with large hardwood trees. Logging of these immense oak trees for lumber, railroad ties, and white oak barrel staves supported the thriving communities of Shirley (Van Buren County), Edgemont (Cleburne …

Shirley (Van Buren County)

  The town of Shirley rests on the Middle Fork of the Little Red River in northeastern Van Buren County. Established by the railroad, the town has become an agricultural center for the region with a focus also on recreation and tourism. The rocky and wooded hills of the Ozarks have been sparsely populated for most of recorded history. When the land that would become Arkansas was acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase, Osage hunters and fishers were the primary visitors to the land that would become Shirley. Changing treaties first recognized the Osage as owners of the land, later gave it to the Cherokee, and ultimately removed both the Osage and the Cherokee west to what is …