Washington

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Entry Category: Washington

Cane Hill (Washington County)

Cane Hill, settled by Europeans in 1827, was the earliest settlement in Washington County. It was known as an educational center because the first college in Arkansas to admit women was in Cane Hill. In addition, it had the state’s first public school, library, and Sunday school. Several of the oldest houses in northwest Arkansas still stand in Cane Hill. It was also the site of an all-day skirmish in the days before the Battle of Prairie Grove (December 7, 1862). Most of the early settlers came from the Crystal Hill–Little Rock area (Pulaski County), attracted by the rich soil, plentiful freshwater springs, and the canebrakes in the temperate mountain climate. In addition, many Cherokee had recently been removed from …

Elkins (Washington County)

  Washington County’s community of Elkins (comprising the former Harris and Hood communities) borders Arkansas Highway 16, the entrance to the “Pig Trail,” a scenic drive in the Ozarks. Two tributaries of the White River flow through the town, providing excellent canoeing, fishing, and swimming. Nearby are the Ozark National Forest and the Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail. Elkins has numerous antebellum homes and the one-lane bridge on Mount Olive Road that was a centerpiece of the 1982 television miniseries The Blue and the Gray. There is evidence of prehistoric settlement in the area, most notably in a mound complex commonly dubbed the Elkins Mounds. This Mississippian Period complex likely consisted of five mounds originally, though one has since been …

Elm Springs (Washington and Benton Counties)

The city of Elm Springs straddles the county line of Washington and Benton counties. At one time, it was one of the principal cities of Washington County, but more recently it has been overshadowed by the growth of its neighbor, Springdale (Washington County). Recent efforts to revitalize the community have featured businesses specializing in home decorations and furniture restoration. A grove of large elm trees and natural springs strong enough to power a mill inspired the name Elm Springs. Thomas McClain (or McLain) is said to have homesteaded in the area as early as 1831, but his name does not appear on land records. The earliest documented land owners include John Ingram, John Hamilton, William Barrington, and Jacob Pearson. The …

Farmington (Washington County)

For more than a century, Farmington, one of the early settlements in northwest Arkansas, was a small village five miles west of Fayetteville (Washington County). The rapid growth of this section of the state has affected the area in and around Farmington profoundly. In 1940, its population was about 200, but as of the 2010 census, 5,974 people resided there. This population expansion mirrors the phenomenal growth of northwest Arkansas in recent years. Territorial Period to Early Statehood In 1828, settlers arrived early in the wide valley that flows west from Fayetteville, and it was truly frontier country. The federal government moved the Cherokee and Osage tribes westward into what is now Oklahoma. They took their wars along with them, …

Fayetteville (Washington County)

Fayetteville, one of the largest cities in the state, is located in the Ozark Mountains and has been the seat of county government since formation by the state legislature. From the early pioneers to modern-day residents, Fayetteville’s citizens have been dedicated to the enhancement of the cultural, educational, and economic growth of the area and state. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The first settlers in Fayetteville were George McGarrah and his sons James, John, and William. Around 1828, they settled near the spring in an area that was to become the Masonic Addition to Fayetteville, the eastern part of which is at the base of Mount Sequoyah. James Leeper, a Revolutionary War veteran, was the second settler in Fayetteville. His …

Goshen (Washington County)

The city of Goshen is a residential community in Washington County, ten miles east of Fayetteville (Washington County) on Highway 45. Although the community was named and settled early in the nineteenth century, Goshen did not incorporate as a city until 1982. Eastern Washington County was known for farmland, timber, and game when white settlers first came in the nineteenth century. James Caldwell and John Neill both owned land near the site of Goshen before the Civil War. Some sources claim that Goshen was settled in the late 1820s, but Caldwell’s land grant was not approved until 1843 and Neill’s in 1854. According to some sources, a road named Oxford Bend may have extended from Fayetteville to the settlement as …

Greenland (Washington County)

Greenland is a second-class city in Washington County adjacent to Drake Field, a small airport that serves the Fayetteville (Washington County) area. Situated on U.S. Highway 71 and crossed by Interstate 49, Greenland is largely a residential community tied closely to the Fayetteville economy. The land on which Greenland stands was once hunting ground for the Osage, who traveled from Missouri to hunt. The same land was claimed at one time by Lovely County and was offered by the U.S. government to the Cherokee, who were later moved to Indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma). The first recognized white landowners in the Greenland region were Sutherland Mayfield (1839), Alexander Scott (1839), and Jacob Yoes (1839). During the Civil War, the …

Johnson (Washington County)

Johnson is a bedroom community situated between Fayetteville (Washington County) and Springdale (Washington County). Though Johnson was incorporated in 1961, its history spans a much longer time. The known history of Johnson begins in 1830–1834 when John Trusdale purchased a mill site west of present-day Johnson from a “widow Sutton.” In 1835, he built a gristmill utilizing the water flow from a number of springs north of the property. The mill was burned during the Civil War in 1864. Following the Civil War, Jacob Queener (J. Q.) Johnson and William Mays purchased the site and rebuilt the mill in 1865. In about 1884, Mayes sold his share of the mill to B. F. Johnson, brother of J. Q. Johnson. The …