Entry Type: Place - Starting with W

W. F. Branch High School

Located in west Newport (Jackson County) on Arrington Avenue, W. F. Branch High School served as the town’s high school for black students until its closure in 1970. After the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decision in 1954, some school districts in Arkansas, such as Charleston (Franklin County), Hoxie (Lawrence County), and Fayetteville (Washington County), desegregated successfully. In 1957, the attention of the nation focused on desegregation at Central High School in Little Rock (Pulaski County). The federal government allowed school districts to utilize the Freedom of Choice plan, which allowed for more gradual integration. In Newport, for example, the all-black Branch High School and the all-white Newport High School operated separately within the same district. In …

Wabbaseka (Jefferson County)

Wabbaseka is a town in northern Jefferson County. It is on the conjoined highways U.S. 63 and U.S. 79 between Humphrey (Arkansas and Jefferson counties) and Altheimer (Jefferson County). When Arkansas became part of the United States, the land where Wabbaseka would later be founded was a forested swamp that attracted few settlers. Antoine Barraque visited Quapaw chief Heckaton at what was referred to as Wadittesha Wattiska, or Black Clay Bayou, in January 1826. Surveyor William Pelham noted “Bayou Wabbaseekee” in 1836, calling it “a stream with a gentle current.” High land next to the bayou was noted during a flood in 1844, leading Jordan Embree to purchase the “island” in 1853. On his map of Jefferson County in 1872, …

Waldenburg (Poinsett County)

Waldenburg is an incorporated town in Owen Township of Poinsett County. Located west of Crowley’s Ridge, the town lies at the intersection of State Highways 14 and 49. It is located south of Weiner (Poinsett County) and approximately twenty-five miles from Jonesboro (Craighead County). Originally known as the German Settlement, then Bern, and later Youngville, Waldenburg was incorporated in 1958. Early in its settlement, the town was a small milling community predominately settled by German immigrants whose descendants still make up the majority of the population. The construction of the St. Louis Southwestern Railway (commonly called the Cotton Belt) in 1881 established a firm foundation for the town, and many businesses began to appear. Waldenburg’s milling and agricultural economy soon …

Waldo (Columbia County)

Like many small cities throughout the state of Arkansas, Waldo (Columbia County) owes its existence to the construction of the railroad through the area in the 1880s. With a connection to the outside world, it soon became a thriving commercial area with as many as seven lumbering operations located in the immediate vicinity. Waldo owes its founding and development to the construction of the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railroad into the surrounding timberlands in 1883. At that time, Lamartine (Columbia County) was a thriving town in the area. But when the tracks were put down approximately three miles to the south, citizens began to move there, with businesses soon to follow. Once the Lamartine post office was relocated along …

Waldron (Scott County)

Surrounded by forested ridges and wide fertile valleys, Waldron is located fifty miles south of Fort Smith (Sebastian County), near the Oklahoma border in Scott County. It is situated on the South Fork of the Poteau River in the Ouachita Mountains. The town, the seat of Scott County, is centrally located on the north-south highway artery on the western side of the state and is within easy reach of air, train, or truck shipping facilities. Louisiana Purchase through the Gilded Age The founder of Waldron, William Grandison (W. G.) Featherston, moved to the area in 1832 with his mother, wife, and four children. He built a store/tavern on his property where Main Street was later constructed. A post office named …

Waldron Commercial Historic District

The Waldron Commercial Historic District comprises a collection of buildings along Main Street from 1st to 5th Street in downtown Waldron (Scott County). Within the boundaries of the historic district are thirty-four buildings and one additional structure, built in several different phases between the years 1880 and 1958. Of the thirty-five total structures, twenty maintain a high level of integrity and contribute to the historic district; the other fifteen are non-contributing. The district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 25, 2008. The oldest buildings remaining in the Waldron Commercial Historic District date from circa 1880; however, development on Main Street began prior to that time. In the late 1830s, resident William Featherston operated a tavern …

Waldron School Historic District

The Waldron School Historic District is located at the corner of West 5th and Cedar streets in Waldron (Scott County). Within the campus are two contributing buildings: the C. E. Forrester Building (Home Economics Building) and the Vocational Agriculture Building. Both buildings were constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the late 1930s and maintain a high level of integrity in the twenty-first century. The buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 19, 2019. One of the most significant figures in the development of the Vocational Agriculture and Home Economics buildings was Charlie Edward (C. E.) Forrester. Forrester was born in Parks (Scott County) in 1871. After his mother died, he moved to Waldron …

Wallaceburg (Hempstead County)

Wallaceburg is an unincorporated community located in northeastern Hempstead County. The community is about two miles northeast of Blevins (Hempstead County) and sixteen miles north of Hope (Hempstead County). It is located in Wallaceburg Township. Early landowners in the area include William Hasley, who obtained eighty acres as part of a land patent in 1837. Other early landowners include the Philip Graves family, who obtained forty acres in 1854, and James Wood, who received a patent for 160 acres in 1856. The name of the community may come from Stephanus Wallace, who obtained eighty acres of land in the area in 1875, or Marcus Wallace, who acquired forty acres the same year. The first courthouse in Hempstead County stood about …

Walnut Grove (Independence County)

The Walnut Grove Cemetery on Walden Road just north of Cord (Independence County) is all that is left of the historically important community of Walnut Grove, located on the Jackson Military Road (named for President Andrew Jackson) built parallel to the old Southwest Trail in the early 1830s. A main road ran nearby from the county seat of Batesville (Independence County) to Elgin (Jackson County), seven miles southeast, where a ferry crossed Black River. Before it was called Walnut Grove, the area was referred to on the census reports as Black River Township. The Military Road then ran through Hazel Grove (Independence County) to Walnut Grove along Curia Creek, where the marker is located today at the entrance to the …