September 22, 1808
Charles M. McDermott was born in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. McDermott was a doctor, minister, plantation owner, Greek scholar, charter member of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, and inventor. He was a regular contributor to the Scientific American, and he was among the first to advocate the germ theory of disease. While visiting Mississippi, McDermott had heard of the rich land in Arkansas’s Chicot County and traveled to investigate it. He bought a large tract of land, which is now in Dermott (Chicot County), in 1834 and established a plantation. After living in cabins on the bank of Bayou Bartholomew for seven years, the McDermotts moved into their new home, Bois D’Arc, which was designed after Louisiana houses of the period.