Woodruff

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Entry Category: Woodruff

Augusta (Woodruff County)

Augusta, located on the east bank of the White River, has been the county seat of two counties, first Jackson and then Woodruff, and is the oldest settlement in Woodruff County. The town’s placement at a natural river landing brought prosperity during the era of steamboats. Boats from Memphis, Tennessee, hauling a wide variety of goods landed weekly at Augusta year round, and boats from New Orleans, Louisiana, made regular stops. Augusta is still a part of the river trade as barges haul farm crops from large grain storage facilities on the banks of the White River. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Local tradition holds that, long before white men set foot in what is now Arkansas, Chickasaw Indians built …

Cotton Plant (Woodruff County)

Cotton Plant, once the cultural center of Woodruff County, is in a rich cotton-producing area. Though the population has dwindled, it is still one of the most historical sections of the county. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood In 1820, the first white men came to the area from Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and the Carolinas. They were settlers who subsisted on hunting and on trade. The small settlement was first called Richmond, though it is not known why, and included a blacksmith’s shop and a grocery store. In 1832, a group of settlers arrived from Kentucky and took up squatters’ claims. William Lynch arrived from Mississippi in 1846 and built a house and a store. Beside the store, he planted cottonseed …

Fitzhugh (Woodruff County)

Fitzhugh (Woodruff County) is a community six miles northeast of the county seat of Augusta (Woodruff County). Named for Rufus K. Fitzhugh Jr., the community developed and grew around his 800-acre plantation. Over time, two schools, a cotton gin, churches, and a general mercantile store came to be located at Fitzhugh; the area is mostly large farm fields in the twenty-first century, with only a few residences. Early settlers to the Fitzhugh community were attracted by the area’s rich alluvial soil deposits that became so profitable for cotton production in the nineteenth century. Area farms benefited from Fitzhugh’s proximity to the White River just a few miles west. In 1859, Rufus King Fitzhugh Sr. brought his family and a large …

Hunter (Woodruff County)

Hunter of Woodruff County was a busy trading and shipping center during the late 1800s and early 1900s and attracted hunters from surrounding areas. The first settler of Hunter was Edward Shannon Hunt, a Civil War Union soldier from Ohio who served in the area. He admired the abundant game and fishing streams in the area and vowed to return and make his home there. Sometime in the 1870s, along with his family, he did just that. His wife, Elizabeth Ann, served as a midwife and doctor to the other settlers in the area. As more people moved west to settle, Elizabeth Ann set up a wayside inn on the Military Road to accommodate travelers. The place became known as …

Maberry (Woodruff County)

The town of Maberry in Woodruff County was founded around 1842 by early settlers George and Elizabeth Maberry and by Richard and Rachel Jones, who settled in the area before surveys were completed and bought land when land sales began. The town, located six miles west of Cotton Plant (Woodruff County), stood along the banks of the Cache River in a grove of century-old walnut and oak trees and was the center of many social events. George Maberry established a boat landing and conducted a trade up and down the river. The town began to grow rapidly soon after it was founded. It had a post office, sawmill, cotton gin, and a still. It also had a furnishing store, planning mill, and …

McCrory (Woodruff County)

McCrory is one of the many towns in northeast Arkansas that sprang up around a railroad, but the area was settled many years before its incorporation in 1890. Early Statehood through Civil War There are several versions of how the early settlement was named. As one story goes, in about 1840, a traveler riding through what is now Woodruff County stopped at a cabin in the woods to ask for directions. A woman named Jennie came to the door, surrounded by children of all sizes. Later, the traveler jokingly said he had stopped at Jennie’s Colony, referring to the multitude of children. The name stuck, and for many years the area was known as Jennie’s Colony. Another source said the …

Patterson (Woodruff County)

Patterson, located in the southwestern part of Woodruff County, was once an important shipping point for the lumber industry. Today, its economy relies on farm services and granaries. Patterson, like many other settlements, was not always called by that name. It began when the B&B Railroad tracks were built across the Missouri Pacific tracks in the 1880s. Rufus Martin was the construction engineer on the project, and the place where the tracks crossed was named Martin’s Junction. Sanders Sawmill on the Cache River floated logs down the river to Martin’s Junction for shipping. Several other sawmills in the area, as well as a stave mill, used the point for shipping, and businesses began to spring up. At some point, the …

Snapp (Woodruff County)

Located about twelve miles northeast of the county seat of Augusta (Woodruff County), Snapp was an agricultural, business, and postal center for that area of the county from the late 1800s until well into the twentieth century. The community took its name from Lafayette D. Snapp, who moved there in 1866 from Missouri. Born on April 22, 1842, to a pioneer family of German descent in Taney County, Missouri, Snapp—along with two of his brothers—enlisted in Company E, Third Missouri Cavalry (CS), during the Civil War. Following the war, Snapp moved to Woodruff County, where on March 4, 1869, he married Mary Hester Luckenbill. Snapp established a general mercantile store and grist mill, as well as a cotton gin with …