Yell

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Entries - Entry Category: Yell

Belleville (Yell County)

Located on State Highway 10 four miles northwest of Danville (Yell County), the second-class city of Belleville was once the second-largest city in Yell County. The city is near Spring Lake, a popular recreational site on the edge of the Ozark National Forest, and is on the highway that leads to Mount Magazine State Park. The settlement of Monrovia (Yell County), now abandoned, existed in the area before the Civil War and was used as a temporary prison by Federal troops during the war. The first settler of what is now Belleville was William Fergeson, who established a sawmill and store in 1872 and later became the first postmaster of what then was called Fergeson Mills. The next year, a …

Chickalah (Yell County)

Chickalah is an unincorporated community in the northeastern portion of Yell County located on Arkansas Highway 27, approximately nine miles west of Dardanelle (Yell County). The community is reportedly named after a man named Chikileh, a Cherokee leader who resided in the area in the late 1700s and early 1800s, making his home somewhere between Little and Big Chickalah creeks. In addition to the community and the creeks, Chickalah Mountain, a 925-foot peak, also bears this name. The peak is approximately twelve miles to the west of the Chickalah community near Spring Lake in the Ozark National Forest. Chickalah history is closely linked to the Harkey Valley (Yell County) and Sulphur Springs (Yell County) communities, both of which lie to the …

Danville (Yell County)

Danville, one of two county seats of Yell County (the other being Dardanelle), is situated near the center of the county where Highways 80, 10, and 27 converge. The city is located in the Arkansas Valley natural division on the south side of the Petit Jean River and north of the Fourche Mountains subdivision of the Ouachita Mountains. Danville has often been overshadowed by the more populous Dardanelle, which has grown larger due to its situation along the Arkansas River and proximity to Interstate 40. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Cherokee settled in the Arkansas Valley, including the area that is now Yell County, in the late 1790s and early 1800s; however, they ceded these lands to the U.S. government …

Dardanelle (Yell County)

Dardanelle, adjacent to the Arkansas River in northeast Yell County, was platted in 1847 and incorporated on January 17, 1855. The origin of the town’s name is open to conjecture. Perhaps the 300-foot-high rock face at the river’s edge reminded early explorers of the Dardanelles in Turkey, or perhaps the early French coureur de bois and holder of a 600-acre Spanish land grant in the area, Jean Baptiste Dardenne, is the source of the town’s name. European Exploration and Settlement Several Native American tribes hunted in or inhabited the area, including the Osage, Caddo, and Cherokee. Thomas Nuttall’s 1819 journal described Cherokee people living in log cabins along the Arkansas River south of the Dardanelle Rock surrounded by cotton fields …

Harkey Valley (Yell County)

  Harkey Valley, often referred to as “Harkey’s Valley,” is a community located in Yell County between County Roads 38 and 39. Located southwest of Dardanelle (Yell County), the community is bordered by Chickalah (Yell County) on Highway 27, which lies approximately ten miles to the east, and the Mount Magazine Division of the Ozark National Forest to the west. Portions of the community are located within the forest itself. The community’s history is closely associated with the neighboring community of Sulphur Springs (Yell County), which lies slightly to the north. Both areas are often referred to as simply “the valley.” County Road 38, which leads from Chickalah to Harkey’s Valley and Sulphur Springs, was renamed “Harkey’s Valley Road.” Therefore, many …

Havana (Yell County)

Havana is a second-class city located on Highway 10 between the Ozark National Forest to the north and the Ouachita National Forest to the south. Highway 309 winds north from Havana to Mount Magazine, and Blue Mountain Lake on the Petit Jean River is a few miles west of Havana. The small city is the birthplace and childhood home of three major league pitchers, the most renowned of whom is Johnny Sain. Before Havana was incorporated in 1900, several names were given to the small settlement that was developing on the north side of the Petit Jean River. Marvinville was the earliest name given to the settlement, which was a stopping-point on the Military Road which connected Dardanelle (Yell County) …

Ola (Yell County)

Ola is the third-largest city in Yell County. It was originally known as Petit Jean, but its name was changed to Ola on December 10, 1880. On March 20, 1900, it was incorporated as a second-class city. Louisiana Purchase through Early StatehoodThe area that became Ola was part of the Ward Township, Section 3, Township 4 North, Range 21 West. The 1850 Census shows twenty-two families residing within the Ward Township and includes a store and scattered, outlying homesteads. Postal service was established in 1848. Early settlers came from North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee, attracted to the area by its cheap land and commercial possibilities. Civil War through the Gilded AgeThe first house was completed in 1860 by homesteader …

Plainview (Yell County)

  The city of Plainview began in the early twentieth century as a lumber town. Since the decline of the timber industry, the city has struggled with various problems, including industrial pollution, but it remains home to more than 600 citizens in the twenty-first century. Plainview is in the forested hills of Yell County near the Petit Jean River. Prior to the Civil War and Reconstruction, the area was sparsely populated. Most of the residents were subsistence farmers, although the farmers also sold wheat, corn, hogs, and cattle. A ferry crossing on the Petit Jean River was established around 1876. Samuel and Augustus Ward both owned land near the river, and a settlement called Ward appears on some maps. Two …

Sulphur Springs (Yell County)

In the twenty-first century, Sulphur Springs is nothing more than a few houses and a cemetery. However, in the early to mid-1800s, it was a popular medicinal resort known for its healing waters. The details of its discovery were not recorded, but by the early 1800s, the springs were known as far away as New Orleans, Louisiana, and Boston, Massachusetts, for their purported ability to treat kidney and stomach ailments. The first known advertisement for the springs was published in the May 1, 1841, issue of the Arkansas Gazette, in which proprietor V. T. Rogers stated, “The resort has opened for the season for entertainment for those in search of health and pleasure.” A similar advertisement ran in 1851; the …