Entries - Entry Type: Place - Starting with S

Southern Club

The Southern Club was a gambling and entertainment facility established in 1893 in Hot Springs (Garland County) that gained notoriety during the 1930s as a hangout for visiting gangsters. Among the oldest structures in Hot Springs, the club is located at 250 Central Avenue near the center of the downtown business district. The building was added to the National Register of Historic places on June 25, 1985, as part of the Hot Springs Central Avenue Historic District. At the end of the nineteenth century, Hot Springs experienced tremendous growth as a health resort and spa. One of the buildings constructed during this period was the private club of Charles Dugan and Dan Stuart, the Southern Club, which was built and …

Southern Tenant Farmers Museum

The Southern Tenant Farmers Museum in Tyronza (Poinsett County), which opened on October 6, 2006, focuses on the tenant farming system of agriculture in the South and the farm labor movement that arose in response to this system. The museum is owned and operated as an educational program of Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro (Craighead County). It is housed in the historic Mitchell-East Building, which served during the 1930s as a dry-cleaning business for H. L. Mitchell and a service station for Clay East, two of the principal founders of the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union (STFU). The museum was created after the Tyronza community approached Arkansas State University for assistance in saving the rapidly deteriorating building and in utilizing it …

Southland College

Southland College emerged out of a Civil War–era mission by Indiana Quakers who came to Helena (Phillips County) in 1864 to care for lost and abandoned black children. Its founders, Alida and Calvin Clark, were abolitionist members of the Religious Society of Friends who arrived in Arkansas to render temporary relief to displaced orphans. They stayed for the remainder of their working lives, establishing the school that became the first institution of higher education for African Americans west of the Mississippi River. The school survived six decades of economic adversity and social strife. After operating an orphanage and school in Helena for two years, in 1866, the Clarks, with the vital assistance of the officers and men of the Fifty-sixth …

Southside (Independence County)

Southside is a second-class city in Independence County, south of Batesville (Independence County). It incorporated in 2014 to prevent Batesville from annexing the community. Batesville, on the White River, was one of the earliest settlements in Arkansas Territory. According to the Goodspeed history of Independence County, the Trimble family moved from Kentucky to a settlement five miles southwest of Batesville in 1817. They were most likely the first white settlers in what now is Southside. Batesville flourished, while the population south of the river remained sparse. Neighbors of Jackson Trimble in 1860 included Benjamin Taylor, Elijah Harvey, Mary Prichard, and Thomas Crouch. Around the beginning of the twentieth century, T. J. Walbert started the Walbert Oil Company to drill for …

Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives (SARA)

The Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives (SARA) in Washington (Hempstead County) began as a local archival collection and is now a branch of the Arkansas State Archives (previous called the Arkansas History Commission). Its purpose is to preserve material relevant to the history of twelve southwestern Arkansas counties: Columbia, Hempstead, Howard, Lafayette, Little River, Miller, Nevada, Ouachita, Pike, Polk, Sevier, and Union. In 1975, the Washington (Arkansas) Bicentennial Celebration Committee began making plans for the town’s participation in the upcoming national festivities. To commemorate the event, the committee members decided to raise money to purchase research books for a local library. Mildred Smith, an educator in Washington, sought the advice of Dr. John L. Ferguson, director of the Arkansas State Archives, on …

Southwest Trail

The Southwest Trail is a general term referring to a network of routes connecting the mid-Mississippi River Valley (the St. Louis-St. Genevieve area of Missouri) to the Red River valley (northeast Texas) in the nineteenth century. Most of the trail crossed Arkansas from northeast to southwest, entering at Hix’s Ferry (later Pitman’s Ferry) across the Current River in Randolph County and exiting at several crossings of the Red River south and west of Washington (Hempstead County). It followed the edge of the eastern terminus of the Ozark Plateau in northeast Arkansas and of the Ouachita Mountains in central and southwest Arkansas. The trail avoided the swamps, which covered much of eastern Arkansas, while skirting the foothills of the Ozarks and …

Spadra (Johnson County)

When discussing Spadra, it is important to note that there are actually two locations to which the name applies: Spadra and New Spadra. Spadra, which was the earlier of the two towns, was the location of an Indian trading factory (a government-authorized trading post) and was the trading point for many settlers who moved into the area. It is the current location of the Spadra Marina, located on the Arkansas River. New Spadra was the location of the boom town that emerged many years later due to coal mining and the arrival of the railroad. The two can be difficult to separate in the historical record. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The U.S. government established the Indian trading factory program in 1796 …

Sparkman (Dallas County)

Sparkman, a small second-class city, is located on State Highway 7 approximately twenty-six miles west/northwest of the Dallas County seat of Fordyce. Once a thriving lumber town, it is today chiefly a farming community perhaps best known for a 1920s and 1930s girls’ basketball team known as the Sparkman Sparklers. Present-day Sparkman is located about a quarter of a mile southwest of the original settlement, which local residents today refer to as Old Sparkman. Lemil Pete Sparkman, who established a lumber mill near the seventeen-mile trunk line Ultima Thule, Arkadelphia and Mississippi Railway, founded the settlement in 1892. On September 19, 1893, a post office was opened with Sparkman as the postmaster. By 1899, the town was home to about …

Spring Hill (Hempstead County)

Spring Hill is an unincorporated community in Hempstead County located about six miles southwest of Hope (Hempstead County). The community is about seven miles from the Red River and was an important early settlement in southwestern Arkansas. A fertile farming area due to the location near the Red River, Spring Hill became a popular location for early settlers. Many land grants were made in the area beginning in 1837. Aquila Davis quickly became a significant landowner, with a total of 400 acres owned individually or jointly with others, all of the land having been acquired between April and August 1837. George Foster also obtained 120 acres in 1837. He appears in the 1850 census with three relatives and fifteen slaves. …

Springdale (Washington and Benton Counties)

Springdale (Washington and Benton counties) is a major industrial center in northwest Arkansas with a population that almost doubled between 1980 and 2000 and is still on the increase; as of 2010, the population is 69,797. The area is the birthplace of seven major trucking companies and a center for the poultry industry in the state. Nearly 700 people moved to the Springdale metropolitan area each month in 2003. In that same year, Forbes magazine rated it third best in the nation for business and career opportunities. Pre-European Exploration through Early Statehood People have lived in the area now called Springdale for about 12,000 years. Early settlers came and stayed because of abundant natural resources, just as later European settlers …

Springdale College

Civic leaders in Springdale (Washington County) established the Springdale College Company on June 22, 1895, by filing articles of incorporation in Washington County. Forty-eight people committed to purchase two shares each, at $25.00 per share, to create the initial capital for the venture. In November 1895, the corporation purchased a building and land from the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Springdale to provide a college facility. The building had previously housed a common school for six grades, operated initially by the Baptists from 1871 and from 1885 by the Lutherans. After organizational delays, October 4, 1897, was finally set for the opening of the college. However, the educator selected to lead the college—Professor Charles Parsons of Webster, South Dakota—failed to …

Springdale Poultry Industry Historic District

The Springdale Poultry Industry Historic District was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A with statewide significance and under Criteria Consideration G for properties that have achieved significance within the past fifty years. The period of significance for the nomination of the district ends in 1969 to reflect the year that Tyson Foods moved its main office from East Emma Ave. to Johnson Road and Jeff D. Brown and Company sold its hatchery building on East Emma Ave. The district consists of three buildings, located at 317 and 319 East Emma Ave. and 316 East Meadow Ave., and was added to the National Register on September 23, 2011. Jeff D. Brown and Company: 317 East Emma Ave. …

Springfield (Conway County)

Springfield (Conway County), once the county seat of Conway County, began as the intersection of the Old Cherokee Boundary Line and a principal route of the Western Cherokee in their relocation west of the Mississippi River. The National Road, from St. Genevieve, Missouri, was routed through the area, taking advantage of a large reliable artesian spring. These roads connected the area with developing population centers such as Batesville (Independence County), Clinton (Van Buren County), Lewisburg (Conway County), and Little Rock (Pulaski County). A small trading post was established that served the first settlers in the area, Cherokee who came in the early nineteenth century. They began clearing farmland plots and established cabins; some of the foundations remain. The trading post …

Springfield Male and Female Collegiate Institute

aka: Springfield College
During the latter part of the nineteenth century, many communities in Arkansas established small institutions of higher learning in an effort to attract and retain young citizens. The small community of Springfield in northeastern Conway County organized the establishment of the Springfield Male and Female Collegiate Institute in the fall of 1887. At the time, Springfield was a thriving community, located at the junction of three important roads. Professor William Beverley Toon, a graduate of Vanderbilt University, was hired as president of the institute. The initial faculty also included Thomas Murphy and a Mr. Trumbul. While the local population composed much of the student population, many “boarding students” came from across the region. While many early schools were affiliated with …

Springtown (Benton County)

Springtown is a small town in western Benton County, between Gentry (Benton County) and Highfill (Benton County), about eighteen miles southwest of Bentonville (Benton County). Named for a natural spring, the source of Flint Creek, the town has maintained a population of around 100 since its incorporation in 1909. The Osage hunted and fished in northern Arkansas until a series of treaties moved them to Indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma). Settlers arrived in northwestern Arkansas almost as soon as Arkansas had become a state. Charles Kincheloe built the first house in what is now Springtown in 1841. Shortly thereafter, Isaac Dial built a house near the spring for which the town is named. Civil War activity around Bentonville …

St. Anthony’s Hospital

aka: CHI St. Vincent Morrilton
With a view of the Arkansas River to the south and mountains to the southwest, the original building of St. Anthony’s Hospital in Morrilton (Conway County) (which later became CHI St. Vincent Morrilton) is an imposing three-story Art Deco–inspired structure made of brick and stone. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 28, 1986. The Benedictine sisters at St. Scholastica Monastery established St. Anthony’s Hospital as a fourteen-bed facility on December 4, 1925, initially using a private home belonging to the Burrows family of Morrilton. During the following twelve years, they moved twice, first to a Harding College dormitory (when that school, now Harding University, was located in Morrilton), then to the Jones Hospital building …

St. Bernards Healthcare

St. Bernards Healthcare, based in Jonesboro (Craighead County), was founded by the Olivetan Benedictine sisters at Holy Angels Convent and is the largest employer in northeast Arkansas, with more than 2,200 employees. Its mission remains: “To provide Christ-like care to the community through education, treatment and health services.” Like many contemporary healthcare institutions, St. Bernards was begun in response to a crisis—a malaria fever epidemic that raged throughout northeast Arkansas in 1899. Civic leaders realized that the events of the 1890s had highlighted the need for a hospital, and as the twentieth century dawned, the idea was gaining momentum. A first challenge, and one that would be ongoing throughout the century, was to raise money necessary for a hospital. The …

St. Boniface Colony

aka: New Dixie (Perry County)
The St. Boniface Colony was the informal name for a successful German Catholic immigrant settlement established in 1880 in eastern Perry County. Over time, the colony became known as the community of New Dixie. Beginning in 1880, immigrants from Germany, Switzerland, and other German-speaking countries began arriving in the area near the small village of Dixie, located near the Arkansas River in eastern Perry County. Dixie had been settled in the mid-to-late 1870s and was named after the daughter of Hezekiah Lewis Trundle, a man who owned a large plantation on the banks of the Arkansas River. The Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad (LR&FS) held large swaths of land in Perry County, and although the railway often utilized its …

St. Charles (Arkansas County)

St. Charles, a town in Arkansas County, is located on a bluff over the White River. The most destructive single shot in the Civil War was fired at St. Charles. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Pierre Pertuis, fur trader, arrived after purchasing a 1797 Spanish land grant. By 1839, Charles W. Belknap owned the site, known briefly as Belknap’s Bluff. He built an adobe house, one of only a few found on the Arkansas frontier. The house served as a hospital for both sides in the Civil War and was a longtime landmark. The name St. Charles first appears with Belknap’s appointment as postmaster in 1850. He platted the town and began selling lots. St. Charles flourished during the 1850s …

St. Elizabeth (Conway County)

St. Elizabeth in Conway County is a small unincorporated community located on State Highway 154, about eight miles south of Morrilton (Conway County) and near Oppelo (Conway County) in Martin Township. The farming community, originally settled by German Catholic immigrants, is bounded on the north by the Arkansas River. It was named in honor of a thirteenth-century Hungarian saint who, though born into royalty, committed her life to working with the poor and sick. The first white settlers to the area were members of the Bahr family, who established the community in 1874. The Joseph and Julia Hoyt family arrived about four years later. Within the next few years, other families moved to the area, attracted by the fertile farmland. …

St. Francis (Clay County)

The city of St. Francis in northeastern Arkansas was a prosperous community relying on the timber industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Since that time, it has remained a quiet community adjacent to the Missouri bootheel. North of St. Francis lies Chalk Bluff, the name of the white clay outcroppings that constitute the northern face of Crowley’s Ridge. A military road crossed the St. Francis River at this location, and a ferry served travelers using the road. Around 1840, the first permanent settlers arrived. They included Abraham, Jacob, David, and George Seitz, who raised horses and cattle, operated the ferry, and ran a small store to provision travelers. In 1850, a post office with the name of Chalk …

St. Francis County

St. Francis County in eastern Arkansas is divided north-south by Crowley’s Ridge, which forms the high ground upon which the county seat, Forrest City, was founded. The St. Francis and L’Anguille rivers further subdivide the county and provide the resources for the agricultural industries that have long been central to the county’s economy. Pre-European Exploration Plenty of evidence of prehistoric habitation of St. Francis County exists, including head pots. Clarence Bloomfield Moore conducted extensive excavations along the St. Francis River, including two Indian mound sites in St. Francis County, and later archaeologists have returned to some of these sites for further investigation. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The first permanent white settlers, along with their slaves, arrived in St. Francis …

St. Francis County Museum

The St. Francis County Museum in Forrest City (St. Francis County) is an initiative of the St. Francis County Cultural Foundation. It was established to preserve the history and heritage of the St. Francis County area. The museum’s scope includes agriculture, business, military history, genealogy, education, transportation, and prominent figures of the area. The St. Francis County Museum was originally located at 419 Front Street in Forrest City. It opened at this location in 1995 but quickly outgrew its environment. The members of the Rush family were contacted by Brad Beavers, a local attorney, to move the museum into their former residence, located in downtown Forrest City at 603 Front Street. The St. Francis County Museum bought the Rush-Gates Home …

St. Francis National Scenic Byway

The St. Francis Scenic Byway is a twenty-one-mile stretch of road wholly within the St. Francis National Forest linking Helena-West Helena (Phillips County) and Marianna (Lee County) and traversing the hilly southern portion of Crowley’s Ridge; it is designated a National Forest Scenic Byway. The route merges Arkansas Highway 44 and Forest Service Road 1900, combining nine miles of pavement and fourteen miles of well-tended gravel. Rambling across national forest lands, this corridor is included in both the Crowley’s Ridge Parkway and the Great River Road. The Federal Highway Administration oversees the National Scenic Byways Program, America’s Byways, yet the title “byway” may be bestowed by some 600 byway organizations, both government and private. The National Forest Service initiated its …

St. James (Stone County)

St. James is a community on Highway 14 (East Main Street) between Batesville (Independence County) and Mountain View (Stone County). The White River is about two and a half miles west and can be reached by the Younger Access. Nearby Penters Bluff (Izard County) overlooks the river. St. James was first known as Shave Navel (a.k.a. Shaved Navel), though the origin of the name is unknown; it was later called Buck Horn (a.k.a. Buckhorn). How it received the name St. James is unclear, although a few residents have associated the name with the outlaw Jesse James. Buck Horn resident Walter Canard maintained that Jesse James had spent the night at his house when the outlaw was on his way to …

St. Joe (Searcy County)

St. Joe is a town in northwestern Searcy County, located on U.S. Highway 65. Like many similar communities in Arkansas, St. Joe has an Old Town that was settled before the arrival of the railroad and a New Town that was built nearer the railroad. During World War I, St. Joe was a shipping center for the region’s lead and zinc mines. Osage were traveling from the north to hunt and fish in the rugged Boston Mountains of northern Arkansas when the region became part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Eventually, treaties with the U.S. government moved the Osage farther west, and the land was opened for white settlement. The first settlers in the St. Joe vicinity were Bill …

St. Joe Historical Missouri and North Arkansas Depot and Museum

The St. Joe Historical Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad Depot and Museum, which is located in St. Joe (Searcy County), is a repository of railroad and local history. It also serves as an area tourist information center. The museum, which opened in May 2011, is housed in the 1902 Missouri and North Arkansas (M&NA) Railroad depot. When the M&NA ended area service in 1946, the depot closed after over forty-three years of operation. Over the next few years, the building was used as a church, to provide classrooms for the local school district, and as a feed store. Once the feed store went out of business, the vacant building began to deteriorate into a community eyesore. A movement to preserve …

St. Joseph Colony

St. Joseph Colony, covering land throughout Conway, Faulkner, and Pope counties, served Roman Catholics living along the Arkansas River Valley and the German-speaking Catholic immigrants who later settled these lands. Father Joseph Strub of the Holy Ghost Fathers, a Roman Catholic missionary society, founded the colony in 1878. St. Joseph Colony attracted immigrants to Arkansas until the middle of the 1880s, though the presence of the colony is still felt today. Chancellor Otto von Bismarck of Prussian-dominated Germany expelled Strub and other Holy Ghost Fathers in 1873 by means of his anti-Catholic policy, Kulturkampf. The Holy Ghost Fathers fled Germany and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, Strub learned of railroads offering land in Arkansas for settlement. Strub …

St. Joseph’s Home

aka: St. Joseph Center
St. Joseph’s Home sits on a summit overlooking North Little Rock (Pulaski County) and offers picturesque views of the Arkansas River and Pinnacle Mountain. Since 1910, the home has been a source of refuge for many Arkansans, children and elderly, as well as U.S. Army officers of World War I. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 4, 1976. Now called St. Joseph Center, it is home to a non-profit organization that offers urban farming opportunities. The Catholic Diocese of Little Rock, under the directive of Bishop John Baptist Morris, built St. Joseph’s Home. On July 1, 1907, Morris purchased a 720-acre farm, which at the time, was about four miles north of what is now …

St. Mary’s Catholic Church (Helena-West Helena)

St. Mary’s Catholic Church is a Gothic Revival–style building along Columbia Street in Helena-West Helena (Phillips County), designed by renowned architect and designer Charles Eames and his architectural partner Robert Walsh. Charles Eames was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Washington University in St. Louis for a few years before opening an architecture firm with Charles Grey and Walter E. Pauley. After a solo trip to Mexico in 1933, Eames started a new firm with Walsh in St. Louis in 1934. During the 1930s, Eames and Robert Walsh worked on several projects in and around St. Louis as well as two Catholic churches in eastern Arkansas: one in Helena-West Helena and one in Paragould (Greene County). Eames …

St. Mary’s Catholic Church (Paragould)

St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Paragould (Greene County) is a brick-and-steel structure designed by renowned architect Charles Eames and his architectural partner Robert Walsh in 1935. Charles Eames was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended Washington University before opening an architecture firm with Charles Grey and Walter E. Pauley. After a solo trip to Mexico in 1933, Eames started a new firm with Robert Walsh in 1934. During the next few years, Eames and Walsh worked on several projects in and around St. Louis, as well as two Catholic churches in eastern Arkansas: one in what is now Helena-West Helena (Phillips County) and one in Paragould. Eames eventually gained an international reputation as an architect and …

St. Mary’s Church (Altus)

aka: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church (Altus)
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, more commonly known as St. Mary’s Church, was founded in Altus (Franklin County) in 1879. It has been located atop Pond Creek Mountain, better known as St. Mary’s Mountain, since its inception. The congregation was founded by and for immigrants from Germany and Switzerland. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71 and the Kulturkampf (religious persecution) of the 1870s in Germany drove many Catholics out of Europe and to the Altus region of Arkansas. As these new immigrants did not speak English, there was a conscious effort on the part of the Church to get a German-speaking priest in order to maintain these immigrants in the Catholic faith. After St. Mary’s became established, the fact …

St. Paul (Madison County)

St. Paul is a town in southern Madison County on the banks of the White River. Crossed by State Highways 16 and 23, St. Paul is just to the north of the Ozark National Forest and is near several high peaks of the Ozark Mountains. Osage hunted and fished in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas long before the first white settlers arrived. By 1834, fifteen settlers had already made their homes in the White River valley around St. Paul. A post office was established there in 1840. A Methodist church was also established around that time. The earliest land patent issued for the area was received by William Ake in 1848. He was joined by Fielden Salyer in 1860. …

St. Scholastica Monastery

St. Scholastica Monastery, a community of Catholic Benedictine sisters in Fort Smith (Sebastian County), has been a religious presence in the state of Arkansas since its founding in 1879. Their call is not to any specific work but rather to a life of seeking God through common and private prayer, work, leisure, and extending hospitality in service to the needs of the church and civic community. By living that call, they have impacted the lives of many in the state and beyond in education, healthcare, and social service. The sisters’ contribution includes having staffed three girls’ high schools for boarding and day students; conducting elementary schools; operating four hospitals in rural areas; and caring for children in an orphanage in …

St. Vincent Infirmary

aka: CHI St. Vincent
The Charity Hospital, founded in 1888, evolved into today’s St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center of Little Rock (Pulaski County). The Charity Hospital was Arkansas’s first Catholic hospital, and St. Vincent remains the state’s oldest continuously operating hospital. What became known as CHI St. Vincent Health System, an affiliate of Catholic Health Initiatives, continues to emphasize the healing mission of the Catholic Church through its focus on the values of reverence, integrity, compassion, and excellence. The 1882 will of Alexander Hager, a wealthy Little Rock resident, promised to provide funding for hospital service in Little Rock if God spared the city from the yellow fever outbreak that was tearing through the South. When the outbreak passed over Little Rock, Hager’s will …

Stamps (Lafayette County)

  Stamps was developed late in the nineteenth century as a lumber town situated on the railroad. The childhood home of Maya Angelou, Stamps was one of the more prosperous cities of southwestern Arkansas in the late twentieth century, although it has seen some decline in the twenty-first century. Prior to white settlement, southwestern Arkansas was home to the Caddo. Even after Lafayette County was established in 1827, only a few families claimed land in the area that would become Stamps. Last names of early settlers include Calhoun, Tatom, Norwood, Stamps, Vaughon, Lande, and Baker. The Stamps family built a small sawmill in the late 1860s, which was later acquired by the Bodcaw Lumber Company. The area did not begin to …

Star City (Lincoln County)

Star City is the county seat of Lincoln County and is the county’s largest city. It is a center for local agriculture as well as the site of many manufacturing enterprises. The Star City Commercial Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Also listed are the Lincoln County Courthouse and the Confederate Memorial located in Star City. At the time the county was organized in 1871, the county court commissioned John G. Simmons, William S. Stidham, and Francis Sawyer to select a location for the courthouse and to name the new town. The court accepted their recommendation on December 2, 1871, as the location was near the center of the county. For unknown reasons, they named …

Star City Commercial Historic District

The Star City Commercial Historic District in Star City (Lincoln County) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. The district features eleven contributing buildings and one monument. The 1926 Star City Confederate Monument on the town square was individually listed on the National Register in 1996. West Bradley Street borders the district on the south while South Jefferson Street provides the western border. The northern and eastern boundaries of the district are marked by the town square. The dominant architectural style is Twentieth-Century Commercial with some Classical Revival details. The brick and stucco structures are simple with minimal ornamentation. Star City was created by the Lincoln County court in 1871 and incorporated in 1876. The construction …

Starnes Spring (Independence County)

Isolated in the middle of a wooded area in Relief Township in Independence County, Starnes Spring lies between Floral (Independence County), which is four and a half miles to the south, and Concord (Cleburne County), about four miles to the west. At one time, there was a road that cut across to Jamestown Mountain from the spring, but it later closed. The water from the spring flows into nearby Caney Creek. Picturesque Bailey’s Falls (a.k.a. Bailey’s Pour Off) and an unusual geological rock formation called the Devil’s Tea Table (both currently restricted areas on private land) are within a few miles of Starnes Spring, as is Camp Tahkodah, a ten-acre Church of Christ camp on the banks of Salado Creek …

Steiner, Christian

Christian Steiner was a soldier who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallantry during an 1869 battle against Apache Indians in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona. He died in Hot Springs (Garland County) and is buried there. Christian Steiner was born in Wurttemberg, Germany, in 1843. By 1860, he had immigrated to the United States and was living with saloon keeper Philip Steiner, then twenty-seven, who was presumably his brother, and his brother’s wife, Louisa (twenty-one), in the Third Ward of St. Louis, Missouri. Seventeen-year-old Christian Steiner’s occupation was listed as saddler in the 1860 census. As the Civil War broke out, Steiner joined many of St. Louis’s citizens of German descent in enlisting in the Union army. …

Stella (Izard County)

Stella is located on Highway 69 about four and a half miles northwest of the center of Mount Pleasant (Izard County). The county seat, Melbourne (Izard County), is seven miles to the northwest. Within a radius of five miles are the hamlets of Sage, Bone Town, Gid, and Zion. The White River is about ten miles to the southwest. When Highway 69 was constructed in 1926, it bypassed the original Stella settlement. In the twenty-first century, Stella lies within the city limits of Mount Pleasant. One of the pioneer trails into the interior of Izard County followed Polk Bayou (a.k.a. Poke Bayou) from Batesville (Independence County) northward and then traced Barren Fork Creek northwest toward present-day Melbourne. During the 1860s, …

Stephens (Ouachita County)

  Stephens is an important city in the oil-producing region of southern Arkansas, home to four oil fields that are still producing in the twenty-first century. It is also noteworthy for a number of “firsts” in state and local history, such as having the first and only bank in the nation organized with a GI loan from the federal government. Post Reconstruction through the Gilded Age Stephens is laid out on one of the oldest tracts of settled land in Ouachita County. The original land grant was issued on February 19, 1846, through the Internal Grant Act of 1841 for 320 acres to Benjamin Bell. After Bell’s death, his heirs sold the land to M. J. Gentry, who, in 1882, …

Stone County

Stone County, named for its numerous rocky ridges and rocky soil, is widely known for its preservation of Ozark folk music and traditions. Rivers, streams, and forests provide rich natural habitats for wildlife in the diverse landscape from river bottom to hilltop. The White River forms the county’s northeast border. Many spring-fed creeks, including the South Sylamore, are tributaries. A familiar tributary of the North Sylamore is Blanchard Springs. Known for cool, clear water that is a haven for trout and bass, the White River provides recreational opportunities in fishing and canoeing and is the source for the county’s public water system. Hell Creek Cave, near the White, is home to the endangered Cambarus zophonastes, a blind crayfish. This is …

Strawberry (Lawrence County)

Although it was not incorporated until 1965, the town of Strawberry in southwestern Lawrence County represents one of the oldest white settlements in Arkansas. Unaffected by the Civil War and missed by the railroads, Strawberry was slow to develop, but it remains in the twenty-first century as the home of Hillcrest High School. Prior to the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, Osage from the north hunted and fished in northern Arkansas. White settlement quickly entered the territory, and the Strawberry River valley was one of the earliest areas to be populated. Although families did not gather into organized communities as was the case in Batesville (Independence County) and Davidsonville (Randolph County), William Taylor, Samuel Rayney, and Jacob Fortenberry came from Missouri …

Strong (Union County)

Strong, located seven miles north of the Louisiana border, was founded in the early twentieth century as a settlement along the railroad tracks. Originally named Victoria, the settlement grew quickly. Later rechristened as Strong, it became an important shipping station for local farm products, especially cotton. Union County experienced significant growth with railroad construction through the area in the late 1800s. One such railroad, the El Dorado and Bastrop Railway, was built in the early 1900s. Once the railroad was completed, management posted notices calling leaders of the surrounding small southern Union County communities to a meeting to discuss area development. During the poorly attended meeting, held in Collinston, Louisiana, James Solomon Coleman offered a right-of-way to his land at …

Stuttgart (Arkansas County)

Stuttgart, one of the seats of Arkansas County, is a predominantly agricultural community situated on the Grand Prairie. Begun as a colony of German immigrants in the late nineteenth century, it became over the years one of the centers of rice farming in Arkansas and is also known for the quality of the duck hunting available in the area. Post Reconstruction through the Gilded Age The Reverend George Adam Buerkle is considered the founder of Stuttgart. Buerkle was born in Plattenhardt, Germany, and immigrated to America with his family in 1852. He was working as a Lutheran minister in Woodville, Ohio, when he first came to Arkansas and bought over 7,000 acres of prairie land in 1878. He brought his first colony …

Stuttgart Army Air Field

The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) opened the Stuttgart Army Airfield in October 1942. The airfield was located in Prairie County on approximately 2,682 acres about seven miles north of Stuttgart (Arkansas County). The facility consisted of four 5,000-foot runways and facilities for 6,000 personnel. The USAAF trained pilots in the use of gliders from October 1942 to May 1943. This was the second, or advanced, phase of their training, and they learned to fly the WACO CG-4A “Hadrian.” This glider had plywood-covered wings that spanned eighty-three feet and a fabric-covered tube-structure fuselage that was forty-eight feet long. It could carry about thirteen men, or six men and a Jeep, or various other combinations, including ammo, supplies, and weapons. …

Subiaco (Logan County)

  The Logan County town of Subiaco, midway between Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and Russellville (Pope County), straddles Highway 22, a major connecting roadway for the western Arkansas counties immediately south of the Arkansas River. The town takes its name from the nearby Subiaco Abbey, itself named for the Italian town where a Benedictine order originated in 1878. The town, granted a post office in 1910, formed when the railroad reached the area in June 1909. Although the railroad ceased operation in 1949, the town of Subiaco remains and continues to provide services to area residents, as well as to travelers and visitors to Subiaco Abbey and Academy. Construction of the Military Road from Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Fort …

Subiaco Abbey and Academy

Subiaco Abbey and Academy, a Benedictine monastery and college-prep boarding school, began as St. Benedict’s Colony, established in 1877. St. Benedict’s Colony provided for the settlement of German-speaking immigrants in western Arkansas and laid the groundwork for the Subiaco Academy and Subiaco Abbey, both founded in 1891. The academy and abbey evolved over the last 100 years into the present Subiaco Abbey and Academy, located on extensive farmland in Logan County. By 1877, Abbot Martin Marty of St. Meinrad’s Abbey in southern Indiana was pursuing his dream of establishing a Benedictine mission on the western frontier. After hearing of the desire for a German Catholic colony in Arkansas, Marty contacted the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad in order to …

Success (Clay County)

Located at the intersection of State Highways 211 and 328 in the northwestern corner of Clay County, about three miles south of the Arkansas-Missouri state line, Success has its origins as a timber town near the railroad. Settlers came slowly to northeast Arkansas, both before and after Clay County was established in 1873 from parts of Randolph and Greene counties. The first settlers in the area that would become Success were associated first with the Heckt community that became Corning (Clay County) and then with the Bridgeport settlement that became Datto (Clay County). All this changed with the construction of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway (later acquired by the Missouri Pacific Railroad) through Clay County. With modern …