Entry Type: Place - Starting with P

Padgett Island

Padgett Island is bottomland along the White River across from the Oil Trough (Independence County) bottoms and about four miles from Magness (Independence County). To the north and east lies the backwater Big Bottom Slough (a.k.a. Island Sough), forming the “island” surrounded by the White River and the slough. Padgett Island is named for William Benjamin Padgett from Fairfax, Virginia, who farmed the area before the Civil War and married Phoebe Engles, member of a prominent Independence County pioneer family. By 1876, the Padgett Island area was called Big Bottom and appeared on Frank A. Gray’s map of Arkansas. The Sulphur Rock (Independence County) post office served Big Bottom before it had its own post office. A post office was …

Palarm Bayou Pioneer Cemetery

The Palarm Bayou Pioneer Cemetery, located northeast of Arkansas Highway 365 and west of Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church near Morgan (Pulaski County), is the historic burial ground of the pioneering Wilson, Danley, and Boyle families, with its earliest interment dating to 1837. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 20, 2005. The Palarm Bayou Pioneer Cemetery contains ten marked burials and one depression that may contain an unmarked grave. Nine of the burials are bordered on the west side with a partially collapsed stone wall and contain the remains of the three pioneer families. The tenth burial is surrounded with an elaborate wrought-iron fence and holds the 1886 grave of neighbor John Ferguson. The cemetery …

Palestine (St. Francis County)

Palestine is located in northeastern Arkansas on Interstate 40 and State Highway 70, with the L’Anguille River on its east side. It is one of the oldest towns in St. Francis County and was also the site of the first county school. Civil War through Reconstruction In 1840, what is now Palestine was part of the much larger L’Anguille Township, which had only nine recorded households. The Prairie Township was formed from part of the L’Anguille Township in the 1870s (including the African-American communities of El Cannon, Shiloh, Hawkins, Weaver, Fullerton, and Cooperwood), and the Palestine area, which was located centrally within the Prairie Township, grew in population. Palestine was named in 1870, when the first post office was established there. …

Palmyra (Lincoln County)

Palmyra is an unincorporated community in southwestern Lincoln County, about five miles west of Star City (Lincoln County) on State Highway 114. Its most distinctive landmark is Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church. The Baptist church was organized on July 18, 1861, but it met only sporadically during the Civil War. By 1867, it was meeting regularly again; church records show a membership that year of forty-four members—forty who were white and four who were African American. At this time, the church was located in Drew County, as Lincoln County was not created until 1871. Historian William McGriff provides a somewhat tortured explanation of the naming of Palmyra, suggesting that the name honors the memory of Myra Collins, daughter of early settler …

Pangburn (White County)

Pangburn is an incorporated second class city in extreme northwestern White County, located on Arkansas Highway 16 about halfway between Searcy (White County) and Heber Springs (Cleburne County). The city is located a quarter-mile south of the Little Red River, which made possible the arrival of the first white settlers in the 1850s, decades before any railroad was built through the isolated, hilly terrain. Pangburn once served boats on the Little Red back when the river was commercially navigable. It incorporated in 1911, shortly after the Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad (M&NA) built a line through the city. At one time, Native Americans had inhabited the area, as the first white settlers to the area reportedly discovered the remnants of an …

Pankey (Pulaski County)

Pankey is a small African-American community located in western Pulaski County, approximately thirteen miles from downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County). Now a part of Little Rock, it is one of three communities—and the last remaining intact—that were owned and subdivided by real estate agent and land developer Josephine Irvin (or Irving) Harris Pankey. Josephine Pankey was born Josephine Irvin (or Irving) in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1869; her father was a former slave. She was sent to Arkansas by the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in 1892 as a missionary to teach children of sharecroppers and tenant farmers in Prairie County. She moved to Little Rock in the early 1900s; married Samuel Pankey in 1904; taught school in the Little Rock School District for …

Paraclifta (Sevier County)

Paraclifta was the first county seat of Sevier County. An 1850 plat shows fifteen families living in Paraclifta. At this time, however, only the historic Gilliam-Norwood house remains. Sevier County was formed on October 22, 1828, eight years before Arkansas became a state. The county was, at that time, a vast area comprising what is now Sevier, Polk, Little River, and Howard counties. A board of commissioners consisting of George T. Boring, Joseph Ladd, James Holman, David Clark, and Levi Davis was assigned the duty of permanently locating the county seat. They established the county seat at a site that later became Paraclifta. The first courthouse was built of logs at a cost of $150. The second, however, was built …

Paragould (Greene County)

Paragould (Greene County), an Arkansas Community of Excellence and a Main Street Community, is situated atop Crowley’s Ridge. The unique name Paragould is a blend of the names of two highly competitive railroad men, James W. Paramore and Jay Gould, evidencing the importance of railroads in the development of the town. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood In 1815, Benjamin Crowley moved his family from Kentucky to Lawrence County in Arkansas. In December 1821, Crowley crossed the Black and Cache rivers to explore the ridge area that now bears his name. Armed with a War of 1812 land grant, he selected a vacated Delaware Indian site that had developed around a large spring. The county seat was in Crowley’s home until …

Paris (Logan County)

Paris, located in north-central Logan County, is one of the county’s two seats. The other county seat, Booneville, is located in the southern part of the county. Built around the courthouse square, Paris is economically supported by agricultural activity, retail business enterprises, and small industries. One of the town’s attractions is the Logan County Museum, located in the old county jail. The museum is dedicated to preservation of the history of Logan County. Tourism related to Mount Magazine, located seventeen miles south of Paris, also has benefited the town. Reconstruction through the Gilded Age When the legislature created Logan County as Sarber County in 1871, naming it after noted “carpetbagger” John Newton Sarber, Paris did not exist. The act creating …

Park Hill Historic District

The Park Hill Historic District in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) recognizes the city’s first planned suburban development and its growth. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000, following a survey by historian Sandra Taylor Smith, the district includes 568 properties from two distinct periods of development: 1920s Craftsman bungalows and Period Revival styles, and 1940s Minimal Traditional styles. The historic designation is strictly honorary, not being subject to regulations regarding architectural change. In 1921, businessman Justin Matthews Sr. acquired significant acreage in the sparsely populated, wooded “high country” north of the North Little Rock city limits. With the Broadway Bridge under construction and the time being ripe for development, Matthews announced the debut of Park Hill in …

Parkdale (Ashley County)

One of the oldest incorporated communities in Ashley County, Parkdale (formerly known as Poplar Bluff) has benefited from its location on Bayou Bartholomew and on the Missouri Pacific railroad (now the Union Pacific railroad). Once a busy, prosperous, and even violent city, Parkdale has become a relatively quiet community in the twenty-first century. John Tillman Hughes built a store at the present location of Parkdale in 1857. Some farmers were already working the land near the bayou at that time, including William Morris, John Harris, and William Butler. Morris’s son, John William Morris, worked as a clerk in Hughes’s store and later opened his own store. A Methodist church had also been built in the area sometime in the 1850s. The …