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Dallas County, Arkansas

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Contents

Welcome to the Dallas County, Arkansas!

Dallas County is a county located in the southern part of the state of Arkansas, United States. Named after George Mifflin Dallas, who was Vice President of the United States under President James Knox Polk, the county was officially established on January 1, 1845. Its county seat is Fordyce, which was incorporated in 1884. Let's explore the history of Dallas County.

Native American tribes, including the Quapaw and Caddo, inhabited the area before European settlement. French explorers arrived in the region during the 17th century, but the area remained largely unsettled until the early 19th century.

The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 opened up the region to American settlers, and Dallas County became part of the Arkansas Territory in 1819. White settlement of the Ouachita River valley began as early as 1812, but very little settlement was in the area until 1840. Fordyce was established in 1882 and named for Colonel Samuel Wesley Fordyce, a railroad builder and developer. It has long been a center for the timber industry in southern Arkansas, and the world's first southern pine plywood plant was built in Fordyce.

During the American Civil War, Dallas County witnessed military action as Union and Confederate forces clashed in the region. The Battle of Marks' Mills took place on April 25, 1864, resulting in a Confederate victory. However, the war brought significant devastation to the area, leaving it economically and socially damaged.

After the Civil War, the county experienced a slow recovery. Agriculture, particularly cotton farming, became the backbone of the local economy. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century, with the completion of the Cotton Belt Route, contributed to the county's growth and development.

In the early 20th century, Dallas County saw a decline in population due to various factors, including the boll weevil infestation that devastated the cotton industry and the general agricultural crisis. However, the construction of the Ouachita River Reservoir, known as Lake Ouachita, in the 1950s, brought new opportunities for recreation and tourism, helping diversify the local economy.

Throughout its history, Dallas County has been home to notable individuals, including Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce, the renowned American writer and journalist, who lived in the county for a time. The county has also produced prominent politicians and business leaders who have made significant contributions to the state and nation.

Today, Dallas County remains a predominantly rural area, with agriculture, timber, and tourism as important sectors of the local economy. Its rich history is celebrated through various historical sites, including the Dallas County Museum in Fordyce, which preserves and exhibits artifacts and documents related to the county's past.

The history of Dallas County, Arkansas, reflects the broader patterns of settlement, agriculture, and economic challenges experienced by many counties in the southern United States. Its story encompasses Native American heritage, the struggles of the Civil War era, and the perseverance of its residents to build a prosperous community.

Maps and Boundaries

Communities

Cities

Fordyce

Towns

CarthageSparkman

Unincorporated Communities

IvanPrincetonTulipOuachita

Minor Civil Divisions (MCD)

BucksnortBunnCooneyDalark
FairviewFarindaleForrest BonnerHolly Springs
IvyJacintoManningNew Hope
Pine GroveRamseyRound HillWave
Willow

Townships:

BunnChesterDry RunFordyce
Holly SpringsJacksonLibertyManchester
NixOwenPrincetonSmith
SmithSouthallWillow

Historical Communities

Beech BluffsBeech GroveCache MarsoCampton
ChappellCruseCynthianaEdgar
NixPettyPrinceton JunctionRed Bird
RoaneSalineStover

Military and War

Civil War

During the Civil War, Dallas County, Arkansas, like many other parts of the state, witnessed significant military activity and played a role in the conflict. The county experienced both Confederate and Union occupations at different times, and several battles and skirmishes took place within its borders.

One notable engagement in Dallas County was the Battle of Marks' Mills, fought on April 25, 1864. It was part of the Union Army's Camden Expedition, which aimed to disrupt Confederate supply lines and ultimately capture the capital of Little Rock. Union forces under the command of General Frederick Steele clashed with Confederate troops led by General James Fagan. The battle resulted in a Confederate victory, with the Union army suffering heavy casualties and losing a significant portion of its supply train.

Two notable skirmishes occurred in the county near Princeton. The first on December 8, 1863, and was part of a Union reconnaissance mission conducted by Colonel Lewis Merrill under the orders of Major General Frederick Steele, who was the commander of Union forces in Arkansas during the Civil War.

The purpose of this mission was to assess the strength and movements of Confederate forces located south of Princeton. It took place following the Union army's retreat from Camden to Little Rock after the abandonment of Camden by Major General Steele's forces. As the Confederate cavalry pursued the retreating Union army, Confederate infantry units faced challenges crossing the Ouachita River.

The other skirmish at Princeton can be considered a prelude to the larger engagement at Jenkins' Ferry, which occurred on April 29-30, 1864. The engagement at Jenkins' Ferry was a significant battle between Union and Confederate forces adjacent to Dallas County, Arkansas, near the village of Jenkins' Ferry. It resulted in a Union victory and was part of the broader Red River Campaign in the western theater of the Civil War.

While the specific details and accounts of the skirmish on December 8, 1863 may be limited, understanding its context within the Union reconnaissance mission and its connection to the subsequent engagement at Jenkins' Ferry provides a broader perspective on the military actions that occurred in Dallas County during the Civil War.

Civil War Units

In terms of the units from Dallas County, many residents joined Confederate regiments to fight for the Southern cause. Some Confederate units associated with Dallas County include:

  1. 2nd Battalion, Arkansas Cavalry (Confederate) - The battalion was organized at Memphis, Tennessee, in early April 1862, just after the Battle of Shiloh. Company C was a Dallas County Troop, organized at Tulip, Arkansas.
  2. 3rd Consolidated Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate) - Formed under orders from the Trans-Mississippi Department the #15th (Gee's-Johnson's) The 20th and Dawson's-Hardy's Consolidated Regiments by a letter dated 29 Nov 1864. Men from Dallas County served in this unit according to They'll Do To Tie To.
  3. 3rd Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry (Confederate) - was organized in July 1861. Company A included men from Dallas County (Princeton Light Hores).
  4. 6th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate) - was formed at Little Rock, Arkansas in June 1861. It consolidated with the
  5. 7th Arkansas Regiment. It companies were recruited from several counties including Dallas.
  6. 12th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate) - was organized during the summer of 1861 by E. W. Gantt. Many of the men were recruited in Dallas County.
  7. 18th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate) - known as Carroll's-Daly's-Crockett's Infantry Regiment it was assembled at Devall's Bluff, Arkansas during the summer of 1861. Company B consisted of men from "Princeton Rifles" of Dallas County.
  8. 26th Infantry Regiment (also Called 3rd Trans-Mississippi Regiment) (Confederate) was organized during the summer of 1862. Company F consisted of men form Dallas County.
  9. 33rd Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate) - was organized during the summer of 1862. Company C contained men from Dallas County.


On the Union side, the recruitment of soldiers from Dallas County was relatively limited. However, there were some individuals who joined Union units from neighboring counties or other regions in Arkansas.

  1. 3rd Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry (Union) - was organized at Little Rock, Arkansas in February 1864. Company F contained men from Dallas County.

Civil War Markers

There are a few notable sites that commemorate the war's impact:

  1. Battle of Marks' Mills Monument: Located near the town of New Edinburg, this monument honors the soldiers who fought in the Battle of Marks' Mills. It stands as a testament to the significance of the engagement in Dallas County's history.
  2. Skirmish at Guesses Creek: There is a marker in Leola, Dallas County, Arkansas that marks the skirmish at Guesses Creek which occurred on April 29, 1864.

Other Military Monuments or Memorials

While there are no prominent military memorials specifically dedicated to events or individuals outside the Civil War era in Dallas County, Arkansas, the county has a few memorials and markers that honor veterans and military service in general. These memorials typically pay tribute to the sacrifices made by local residents who served in various conflicts. Here are a few examples:

  1. Veterans Memorial Park: Located in Fordyce, the county seat of Dallas County, Veterans Memorial Park is a tribute to all veterans who have served in the military. The park features a memorial wall inscribed with the names of local veterans, as well as statues and plaques honoring different branches of the military.
  2. Veterans Monument: In Sparkman, a small town in Dallas County, there is a Veterans Monument near the Dallas County Courthouse. The monument recognizes the contributions and valor of the county's veterans, who have served in the armed forces throughout history.

These memorials often serve as gathering places for community events and ceremonies held on holidays like Veterans Day and Memorial Day, providing an opportunity for residents to remember and honor those who have served in the military.

Historical Landmarks

Amis House
  • Amis House - The Amis House is a notable historic house located at the northeast corner of 2nd and Mark Streets in Fordyce, Arkansas. It was constructed around 1900 and is one of the two documented I-houses in Dallas County. What makes it even more distinctive is that it is situated in an urban environment, not in a rural setting.
The house follows the basic design of an I-house, which is a traditional architectural style commonly found in the Southern United States. Typically, an I-house features two full stories and a central hallway that runs from the front entrance to the back of the house, dividing it into two equal sections.
In the case of the Amis House, a projecting two-story gable bay expands the basic I-house plan positioned in the center of the main facade. This bay section contains the entryway on the lower level and a pair of double-hung sash windows on the upper level. This architectural feature adds visual interest and breaks the monotony of a standard I-house design.
Furthermore, the Amis House boasts a single-story porch that extends across the front of the house. Four Tuscan columns support this porch, which contribute to the aesthetic appeal of the structure. The porch serves both functional and decorative purposes, providing a sheltered area and enhancing the house's charm.
Henry Atchley House
  • Henry Atchley House - The Henry Atchley House is a historic residence in Dalark, a rural town in western Dallas County, Arkansas. Positioned on County Road 249, just off Arkansas Highway 8, Henry Atchley constructed 1908 in this two-story wood-frame house, a prominent figure in the community who operated a general store in town.

The architectural style of the Henry Atchley House is primarily vernacular, reflecting the local building traditions of the time. However, it incorporates several stylish elements that enhance its visual appeal. Notably, the front of the house features a hip-roofed porch supported by turned posts, adding a touch of elegance to the structure. The porch provides a welcoming entrance and shaded area for outdoor relaxation.

The entryway of the house is noteworthy, showcasing a double-door design accompanied by a transom window. This architectural feature allows natural light to enter the interior, while adding a decorative touch to the facade.
The front section of the house features a side-gable roof pierced by three gabled dormers, which break the roofline and contribute to the aesthetic charm. These dormers provide additional light to the upper level and add architectural interest to the design.
Additionally, a cross-gabled ell extends to the rear of the house, expanding its footprint. This architectural element creates additional space and potentially accommodates different functions within the residence.
The construction of the Henry Atchley House coincided with an economic boom in the area, which was attributed to the arrival of the railroad and the subsequent success of Dalark as a lumber town. The house is a testament to this period of growth and prosperity, representing the architectural style and lifestyle of the era.
Bank of Carthage
  • Bank of Carthage - The Bank of Carthage is a notable historic bank building located at the junction of Arkansas Highway 229 and West Kelly Avenue in Carthage, Arkansas. Constructed in 1907, this single-story brick structure is the only period commercial building in the small town.
The architectural design of the Bank of Carthage reflects the Classical Revival style, which was popular in the early 20th century. Charles L. Thompson designed the building, an architect known for his work in Arkansas.
The bank building is characterized by its use of salmon-colored brick, adding a distinctive hue to the structure. The choice of brick as a building material not only provides durability, but also contributes to the visual appeal of the building.
One notable feature of the Bank of Carthage is its low parapet on the main facade. A parapet is a low protective wall or railing typically found at the edge of a roof or balcony. In this case, it adds a sense of architectural interest to the exterior of the building.
The entrance to the bank is located in a diagonal cutout from one of the corners of the building. This design choice creates a dynamic and visually engaging entryway, breaking away from the conventional rectangular layout commonly seen in commercial buildings. It adds an element of uniqueness to the structure, while still maintaining functionality.
The Bank of Carthage is a testament to the architectural heritage of the town. As the only period commercial building, it holds historical and cultural significance within the community. Its Classical Revival style, salmon-colored brick, low parapet, and diagonal entrance cutout contribute to its distinct and eye-catching appearance.
  • Bird Kiln - The Bird Kiln is a significant historic pottery site situated in rural Dallas County, Arkansas. It is positioned approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) southwest of Leola, off Arkansas Highway 9. The site holds importance, as it was established in 1843 by William Bird, who played a crucial role in introducing pottery as an industry in the area.
William Bird operated the kiln at this site from its inception in 1843 until 1851. After that, he relocated to another site north of Tulip, Arkansas. During his time at the Bird Kiln, William Bird and his brothers focused on producing utilitarian salt-glazed pottery goods. Utilitarian pottery refers to functional items used in everyday life, such as pots, jars, and other vessels.
The Bird family's pottery production was influential and had a lasting impact on the region. They not only established pottery as an industry, but also trained and influenced subsequent generations of potters in the area. Their expertise and techniques were passed down, contributing to the development and growth of the pottery craft in the community.
The pottery produced at the Bird Kiln featured salt glazing, a technique that involves adding salt to the kiln during firing, resulting in a distinct and durable glaze. Salt glazing produces a characteristic orange-peel texture and a glossy finish, making the pottery visually appealing and functional.
The Bird Kiln site represents an important chapter in the history of pottery production in Dallas County, Arkansas. The establishment of the kiln by William Bird and the subsequent training of other potters helped create a legacy of craftsmanship and contributed to the cultural and economic development of the area. The site reminds us of the significance of pottery as an industry and the enduring impact of the Bird family's contributions.
Brazeale Homestead
  • Brazeale Homestead - The Brazeale Homestead is a notable historic farm complex located in rural Dallas County, Arkansas. Situated off Arkansas Highway 128, the homestead includes a collection of structures that reflect the development and history of the property.
The oldest portion of the main house, built in 1853 by Benjamin Brazeale, holds historical significance, as it is one of only three documented dog trot houses in Dallas County. A dog trot house is a traditional Southern architectural style characterized by a central breezeway or "dog trot" that separates two distinct sections of the house. This design promotes natural ventilation and helps mitigate the hot climate.
The Brazeale Homestead complex comprises eleven structures, each representing different phases of development spanning from approximately 1850 to 1900. This demonstrates the evolution of the farm and its buildings over time.
Of particular note within the complex is the county's only surviving example of a double-crib driveway barn. This type of barn features two separate cribs, or enclosed areas, with a central drive-through aisle for convenient access. The double-crib driveway barn was an essential structure in farming communities, providing storage for equipment, feed, and livestock.
The Brazeale Homestead is a testament to the agricultural heritage of Dallas County, Arkansas. Its collection of structures showcases the evolution of rural life and farming practices in the region from the mid-19th to the early 20th century. The historic significance of the dog trot house and the unique double-crib driveway barn add to the value and cultural importance of the site. The homestead serves as a tangible reminder of the area's agricultural roots and provides insight into the lives and activities of the early settlers in Dallas County.
Butler-Matthews Homestead
  • Butler-Matthews Homestead - The Butler-Matthews Homestead is a historically significant farm complex located near the hamlet of Tulip in rural Dallas County, Arkansas. The property holds importance for two main reasons: its collection of 15 farm-related buildings, constructed between the 1850s and the 1920s, and its status as one of the two surviving I-houses in Dallas County.
The farm complex has a rich history, with its establishment dating back to 1853 by Alexander Butler (1807-1881). It represents a rare fragment of Tulip's economic peak during the period between 1840 and 1860. Alexander Butler's daughter, Mary Jane, married into the Matthews family, adding to the historical lineage associated with the property.
The original house built by Alexander Butler was unfortunately destroyed by fire in 1921. However, the present I-house replaced it in 1922, constructed by Ben Matthews. An I-house is a traditional architectural style commonly found in the Southern United States. A two-story main block characterizes it with a two-story shed-roof porch spanning the front. Additionally, a single-story gabled ell extends from the rear of the house, adding to its architectural appeal.
In addition to the main house, the Butler-Matthews Homestead boasts a collection of outbuildings and ancillary structures that contribute to its historical significance. These include a potato house, corn crib, smokehouse, henhouse, cow barn, blacksmith shop, milk house, water well, servant's cottage, overseer's house, and office. Each structure serves a specific function related to the operation and maintenance of the farm, representing the diverse activities and agricultural practices of the time.
The Butler-Matthews Homestead provides a glimpse into the agricultural heritage of Dallas County, Arkansas, and the history of Tulip as an economically vibrant community. Its collection of buildings, including the surviving I-house, highlights the evolution of the property and its importance within the local context. The farm complex is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Butler and Matthews families, and their contributions to the region's agricultural legacy.
A House on Charlotte Stree Historic District
  • Charlotte Street Historic District - The Charlotte Street Historic District is a significant residential subdivision located in Fordyce, Arkansas. It encompasses a portion of Charlotte Street, stretching between Holmes and East 4th Streets, with a few properties also found on Broadway. The district includes the remaining grounds of A. B. Banks' estate, an influential figure in the area's development during the 1920s.
Originally, the area was a large tract of land situated outside the city limits of Fordyce. However, it was annexed to the city in 1906. Charlotte Street, within the district, was named after A. B. Banks' wife. Banks, an insurance company owner, had a magnificent estate house constructed on the land. Charles L. Thompson designed the house, an architect known for his work in Arkansas. Unfortunately, fire destroyed the estate house in 1964. However, many features of the estate, located between Broadway and East 4th Street, have been preserved, including an in-ground swimming pool, which was reputedly the first private pool in the state.
A. B. Banks played a crucial role in the gradual development of the area north of his estate. Between approximately 1906 and 1930, he oversaw the construction of modest Craftsman-style houses along Charlotte Street. C. H. Kollman built these houses, a contractor who worked on many of the homes in the neighborhood. As a result, the Charlotte Street Historic District presents a unified and cohesive appearance, with many houses sharing similar architectural elements.
Some houses within the district were designed by associates of Charles L. Thompson, further enhancing the architectural significance of the area. The Craftsman style, popular during the early 20th century, is characterized by its simplicity, natural materials, and attention to craftsmanship.
The Charlotte Street Historic District in Fordyce, Arkansas, is a notable residential area with historical and architectural significance. It showcases the influence of A. B. Banks, the development of the neighborhood, and the craftsmanship of the Craftsman-style houses. The district is a testament to the city's growth and provides a glimpse into the architectural heritage of the region.
Fordyce Station
  • Fordyce station (St. Louis Southwestern Railway) - The Cotton Belt Railroad Depot is a significant historic railroad station located at the junction of Main and 1st Streets in downtown Fordyce, Arkansas. Constructed around 1925 by the St. Louis Southwestern Railway, also known as the Cotton Belt Railroad, this single-story brick building holds architectural and historical importance.
The architectural style of the Cotton Belt Railroad Depot is predominantly Craftsman. This style was popular during the early 20th century and is characterized by its emphasis on simplicity, natural materials, and skilled craftsmanship. One notable feature of the depot's design is the extended eaves with elaborately styled brackets, adding a touch of decorative detail to the building.
The significance of the Cotton Belt Railroad Depot is recognized by its listing on the National Register of Historic Places, a prestigious designation that acknowledges its historical and architectural value. The listing on the National Register occurred in 1992, further solidifying the depot's importance within the community.
In terms of its operational history, the Cotton Belt Railroad Depot served as a station for various train services. It was known to host the Morning Star and Lone Star trains in the past, although other unnamed trains eventually replaced these trains as the years went by. The depot played a vital role in connecting Fordyce to the broader railway network, facilitating transportation and commerce in the region.
The Cotton Belt Railroad Depot is a testament to the rich railway history of Fordyce, Arkansas. Its Craftsman-style architecture, extended eaves, and decorative brackets contribute to its visual appeal and architectural significance. The depot's inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places highlights its historical importance within the local community and beyond.
  • Culbertson Kiln - The Culbertson Kiln is a historically significant pottery site in rural Dallas County, Arkansas. Located east of Princeton off Stark Bland Road, this site was home to a kiln that operated between 1858 and 1865. It is believed Nathaniel Culbertson, who had previously worked at Thomas Welch's pottery, established the works at this location.
The pottery produced at the Culbertson Kiln displayed distinct characteristics in terms of style and texture compared to the works of Thomas Welch and the earlier potters, the Bird brothers. Despite utilizing the same sources of clay, Culbertson's creations exhibited variations that set them apart from his predecessors.
The exact range of objects produced at the Culbertson Kiln is not extensively documented, but it is known that the pottery produced during this period showcased unique attributes and qualities. The variations in style and texture might have resulted from differences in techniques, glazing, or firing methods employed by Nathaniel Culbertson and his team.
The Culbertson Kiln represents an important chapter in the history of pottery production in the region. It demonstrates the evolution of pottery-making techniques and the individual artistic expressions of different potters during the mid-19th century in Dallas County, Arkansas. The site reminds us of the skilled craftsmanship and creative endeavors that contributed to the rich cultural heritage of the area.
While the specific details of the pottery produced at the Culbertson Kiln may be limited, the site's historical significance lies in its association with Nathaniel Culbertson and the unique characteristics of the pottery he created. The kiln and its remnants offer valuable insights into the region's pottery industry during the 19th century, and provide a glimpse into the artistic legacy of Dallas County.
Dallas County Courthouse
  • Dallas County Courthouse - The Dallas County Courthouse is a prominent landmark, situated at the corner of Third and Oak Streets in Fordyce, Arkansas. As the county seat of Dallas County, Fordyce was chosen as the location for the courthouse after the county seat was relocated from Princeton. The courthouse is a two-story structure designed in the Classical Revival architectural style and was completed in 1911, under the guidance of architect Frank W. Gibb.
The courthouse's design reflects the grandeur and elegance typical of the Classical Revival style. The architectural elements employed in its construction are inspired by ancient Greek and Roman architecture, characterized by symmetrical proportions, decorative columns, and other classical details. This courthouse is the most substantial example of Classical Revival architecture within Dallas County.
Frank W. Gibb, the architect behind the Dallas County Courthouse, was known for his skill and expertise in designing significant buildings. This courthouse is considered one of his early works and represents his architectural style and capabilities.
The Dallas County Courthouse serves as the administrative center and legal hub for Dallas County. It plays a crucial role in facilitating the judicial system and housing various county offices. Beyond its functional purpose, the courthouse's architectural significance contributes to the cultural and historical fabric of Fordyce and Dallas County as a whole.
The construction of the Dallas County Courthouse is a testament to the growth and development of Fordyce after becoming the county seat. Its Classical Revival design, executed by architect Frank W. Gibb, showcases the architectural sophistication and attention to detail prevalent during the early 20th century. As an iconic structure, the courthouse continues to be a symbol of justice, governance, and the heritage of Dallas County.
Dallas County Training
School High School Building
  • Dallas County Training School High School Building - The Dallas County Training School High School Building is a historic school located at 934 Center Street in Fordyce, Arkansas. Constructed in 1934, it holds significance, as it was the sole high school serving African Americans in a four-county area in southern Arkansas until 1940. The funding for the building was provided by the Rosenwald Fund, an organization dedicated to supporting the construction of schools for African American communities.
The original section of the building is a rectangular brick structure with a gable-on-hip roof, showcasing the architectural style of the time. In 1954, a flat-roof addition was built onto the rear of the building. This addition expanded the facility to accommodate the growing needs of students and staff.
For several decades, the Dallas County Training School High School Building housed grades 6 to 12 for African American students. However, in 1970, following the integration of schools in the city, it transitioned into an elementary school. This integration marked an important milestone in the civil rights movement, as schools began to provide equal educational opportunities to all students, regardless of race or ethnicity.
After serving as an elementary school for a significant period, the Dallas County Training School High School Building eventually ceased its operations in 2001. Since then, it has remained closed. Despite its closure, the building reminds us of the historical significance of providing education to African American students during a time of segregation and inequality.
The Dallas County Training School High School Building is a testament to the importance of education and the progress made in ensuring equal access to educational facilities for all students. It holds cultural and historical value within the community and serves as a reminder of the challenges faced and overcome in the pursuit of equality in education.
Elliott House
  • Elliot House - The Elliott House is a historic residence located at 309 Pine Street in Fordyce, Arkansas. Constructed in 1925, this 1+1⁄2-story wood-frame house is recognized for its well-executed Craftsman style architecture, which was popular during the early 20th century.
The house features a rectangular design and has three overlapping gabled roof sections, each with different pitches. This roof style adds visual interest and character to the structure. Notably, the eaves of the house are wide and adorned with knee braces and exposed purlins, which are horizontal beams that support the roof.
One distinctive feature of the Elliott House is the fourth gable that extends over the main entryway. This architectural element draws attention to the entrance and contributes to the overall charm of the house. The main entry itself is graced by a twelve-light door, which likely allows natural light to filter into the interior. Flanking the door, there are sidelight windows that further enhance the aesthetics of the entryway.
the Elliott House characterizes the Craftsman style, is characterized by its emphasis on natural materials, simple lines, and handcrafted details. This architectural style emerged as a reaction to the ornate and elaborate designs of the Victorian era. Craftsman homes, like the Elliott House, often featured elements such as exposed rafters, decorative brackets, and front porches supported by tapered columns.
The Elliott House is a noteworthy example of the Craftsman style in Fordyce, Arkansas. Its well-preserved architectural details and unique design contribute to its historical and cultural significance within the community. The house reminds us of the craftsmanship and architectural trends prevalent in the early 20th century.
  • Fielder House - The Fielder House, located in Fordyce, Arkansas, is a historic house that holds significant architectural and historical value. Constructed in 1875, it is the oldest building in Dallas County and predates the establishment of the city of Fordyce. The house is situated on the south side of US 79B, on the west side of the city.
The Fielder House appears today as a single-story central-hall gable-roof structure with a rear shed addition and a shed-roof porch that extends across the front. The original core of the house is built from logs, which now forms the western side of the building. In the 1880s, an eastern pen was added to create a dog trot structure. Over time, this area was enclosed and incorporated into the house through subsequent additions.
One notable aspect of the Fielder House is its association with author Harold Bell Wright. The house served as the home of Wright's aunt, and it is said he wrote some of his works while staying there. Harold Bell Wright was a popular American writer in the early 20th century, known for his inspirational and adventure novels.
The historical significance of the Fielder House lies not only in its age and architectural features, but also in its connection to the early history of Fordyce and its association with an influential author. It serves as a tangible link to the past and provides insight into the local heritage and cultural significance of the region.
First Presbyterian Church
  • First Presbyterian Church - The First Presbyterian Church in Fordyce, Arkansas is a historic church located on AR 79B. The church has a rich history, as it was the first congregation established in the city of Fordyce. The current building is the third sanctuary constructed by the congregation and was built in 1912 according to a design by Tennessee architect Reuben Harrison Hunt.
The church building is a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture, albeit modest. It is constructed using buff brick and features three towers, adding to its visual appeal and grandeur. Pointed arches characterize the Gothic Revival style, steeply pitched roofs, and decorative details reminiscent of medieval European architecture.
Reuben Harrison Hunt, the architect responsible for the design of the church, was renowned for his expertise in ecclesiastical architecture. His designs often showcased his mastery of various architectural styles, including Gothic Revival. Hunt's work was highly regarded, and he contributed significantly to the architectural landscape of Arkansas and Tennessee during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The First Presbyterian Church is a testament to the faith and history of the congregation, as well as the architectural heritage of the region. Its construction in 1912 represents an important milestone in the development of Fordyce and the establishment of religious institutions in the area. The church continues to serve as a place of worship and community gathering, maintaining its significance as both a religious and architectural landmark in Fordyce, Arkansas.
First United Methodist Church
  • First United Methodist Church - The First United Methodist Church in Fordyce, Arkansas is a historic church building that holds significance both architecturally and historically. Designed by John Parks Almand and constructed in 1925, the two-story brick building is a testament to the architectural styles of that era.
The church building showcases the Arts and Crafts architectural style, which emphasizes craftsmanship, natural materials, and simplicity of design. The two-story structure presents a long facade facing East 4th Street, with its main entry as a focal point. The sanctuary is situated to the right of the entrance, while a wing with offices and Sunday School classrooms is located to the left.
The church's history can be traced back to the establishment of the congregation around 1883. However, the current building is not the original church. Fire unfortunately destroyed the first church in 1922. The construction of the new church in 1925 was a testament to the resilience and determination of the congregation.
The First United Methodist Church's architectural and historical significance lies in its representation of the architectural styles prevalent during the early 20th century, and its role as a place of worship and community gathering for the Methodist congregation in Fordyce. The building reminds the community of their dedication to their faith and their commitment to rebuilding after adversity.
Today, the First United Methodist Church continues to serve its congregation and community, providing a place for worship, fellowship, and spiritual growth. Its historical and architectural value makes it a notable landmark in Fordyce, Arkansas, preserving the legacy of the Methodist community in the area.
Fordyce Commercial Historic District
  • Fordyce Commercial Historic District - The Fordyce Commercial Historic District is a significant area in Fordyce, Arkansas, that represents the town's historical and architectural heritage. It is located in the heart of Fordyce, serving as the focal point for the community. The district spans four city blocks along North Main Street, stretching from 1st to 4th Street, and also includes properties on adjacent streets. The district received recognition and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.
Fordyce was established in 1882, and the Nutt-Trussell Building, located at 202 North Main Street, is the oldest structure within the district, dating back to around 1884. The town experienced growth and development due to the logging industry and the presence of the Cotton Belt Railroad. By 1901, Fordyce's downtown area boasted 25 buildings, and over the following decades, it continued to expand. This growth led to a concentration of commercial architecture from the period, which can be observed within the district.
Among the notable buildings within the Fordyce Commercial Historic District is the Fordyce Home Accident Insurance Company building at 300-302 North Main. Designed by Charles L. Thompson and constructed in 1908, this building stands out for its architectural significance. Another interesting structure is Bob's Barber Shop, located on the 100 block of North Main. It is a well-preserved building from around 1900, offering a glimpse into the town's commercial history.
Fordyce Home Accident Insurance Company
  • Fordyce Home Accident Insurance Company - The Fordyce Home Accident Insurance Company building, located at 300 North Main Street in downtown Fordyce, Arkansas, is a historically significant structure with a unique architectural design. Constructed in 1908, the building was designed by architect Charles L. Thompson, who incorporated elements of both the Classical Revival and Romanesque architectural styles.
The two-story building holds a prominent position within Fordyce's downtown area. One of its distinctive features is a corner tower, which adds to its visual appeal and makes it stand out among the surrounding structures. The tower is topped with a terra cotta finial, enhancing the building's architectural character.
The Classical Revival style, popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, drew inspiration from classical Greek and Roman architecture. This style is characterized by symmetrical facades, grand entrances with columns or pilasters, and decorative elements such as pediments and cornices. It aimed to evoke a sense of elegance, grandeur, and timelessness.
In contrast, the Romanesque style is known for its robust and heavy appearance, often featuring rounded arches, thick walls, and ornate detailing. Medieval European architecture inspired it, particularly Romanesque churches and castles.
The combination of these architectural styles in the Fordyce Home Accident Insurance Company building creates a unique and visually striking structure. The corner tower, with its terra cotta finial, adds vertical emphasis and serves as a distinctive feature of the building's design.
The Fordyce Home Accident Insurance Company building is a testament to the architectural craftsmanship and aesthetic sensibilities of the early 20th century. Its presence adds to the historic charm of downtown Fordyce, serving as a reminder of the town's past and contributing to its architectural diversity.
Capt. Goodgame House
  • Capt. Goodgame House - The Capt. Goodgame House, located at 45 Highway 128 in Holly Springs, Arkansas, is a historic house with significant architectural value. Constructed in 1918, it is a unique example of vernacular architecture, which was more commonly seen in 19th century construction in the region.
This single-story wood-frame house exhibits several distinctive features. It is topped by a gable roof and covered in novelty siding, giving it a distinct appearance. The front facade boasts a porch that extends across its width, supported by plain chamfered posts. Notably, the gable ends of the roof are extended, featuring full pediments, which adds to its architectural interest. Additionally, the door and window surrounds showcase a higher level of embellishment compared to other houses in the area.
Inside the Capt. Goodgame House, the layout follows a standard central hall plan. However, the interior detailing showcases exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail, reflecting the high-quality workmanship of the era.
As a historic house, the Capt. Goodgame House serves as a tangible reminder of the architectural heritage of the region. Its unique blend of vernacular style with refined detailing sets it apart and contributes to its significance.
  • Hampton Springs Cemetery - Hampton Springs Cemetery, which is a notable cemetery located in rural Dallas County, Arkansas, near the city of Carthage. Positioned at the junction of county roads 425 and 427, it holds historical and cultural significance due to its distinct characteristics.
The cemetery is divided into two distinct sections, each representing different burial customs. In one section, traditional European grave markers predominate, reflecting the burial practices of the European-American community in the area. These markers are likely composed of various materials, such as stone, marble, or concrete, and bear inscriptions providing information about the deceased.
The second section of Hampton Springs Cemetery is dedicated to African-American burials and showcases a local adaptation of African burial customs. Although it is believed to have been used since the late 19th century, the oldest identified grave in this section dates back to 1916. Within this area, there are approximately 128 marked graves, each exhibiting a distinctive approach to memorialization.
Unlike the more formal European markers, African-American graves are denoted by informal means and objects that hold personal or cultural significance. These markers include small bushes, ceramic objects, metal pipes, wooden stakes, offering vessels like glass jars and bowls, and even a kerosene lamp. These items are symbolic and represent the local adaptation of African burial practices within the African-American community in the region.
Due to its cultural and historical importance, the African-American section of Hampton Springs Cemetery has been recognized and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its inclusion acknowledges the cemetery as a significant regional example of traditional African burial practices, shedding light on the diverse cultural heritage and contributions of the African-American community in the area.
Ed Knight House
  • Ed Knight House - The Ed Knight House is a historic residence near Pine Grove, a rural community in Dallas County, Arkansas. Positioned off Arkansas Highway 128 on County Road 275, the house is a testament to the architectural heritage of the region.
The house's appearance resembles a double pen structure, characterized by a narrow and wide design with a gable roof. Its oldest section, built around 1880, is a dog trot log structure. Initially, the central passageway, known as the dog trot, provided an open breezeway for airflow. However, this area was enclosed over time, and an ell (an extension) was added to the southern end of the house. The exterior of the enclosed section was then covered with horizontal weatherboarding, giving it a distinct appearance.
On the front facade of the Ed Knight House, there is a porch with a hip roof that extends across the width of the house. This porch is supported by six turned posts and features decorative jigsaw-cut brackets, adding a touch of architectural embellishment.
The Knights, after whom the house is named, were a prominent local family who settled in the area in the 1840s. Their presence and contributions to the community add to the historical significance of the Ed Knight House, representing a tangible connection to the region's past.
As a historic house, the Ed Knight House serves as a valuable reminder of the architectural and cultural heritage of Dallas County, Arkansas. Its blend of log construction, enclosed dog trot, and the later ell addition showcases the evolution of the house over time, reflecting the changing needs and styles of the period in which it was built.
  • George W. Mallett House - The George W. Mallett House is a historic residence in Princeton, Arkansas, which served as the first county seat of Dallas County. Constructed around 1853 by George W. Mallett, one of the county's early settlers, the house holds historical significance as one of only three surviving pre-Civil War houses in Dallas County, and the sole remaining one in Princeton.
Originally built as a dog trot style house, the Mallett House featured an open breezeway in the center. However, around the turn of the 20th century, the breezeway was enclosed, transforming the house into a central hall structure as it appears today. The enclosure of the breezeway changed the exterior of the house, giving it its present appearance.
The original portion of the house is covered by a hip roof, which is a roof with slopes on all four sides. Additionally, a two-room ell, added to the rear of the house during the same period, is covered by a gable roof. This ell expansion also dates back to the turn of the century.
A shed-roof porch extends across the width of the main facade, providing an inviting and functional outdoor space. Chamfered posts support the porch, adding architectural interest to the front of the house.
The George W. Mallett House not only showcases the architectural styles and construction techniques of its time, but also represents the early settlement and history of Dallas County. Its status as one of the few surviving pre-Civil War houses in the area highlights its historical value and contributes to the understanding of the region's past.
Marathon Oil Service Station
  • Marathon Oil Service Station - The Marathon Oil Service Station is a historic automotive service facility located at the southeast corner of East 2nd and Spring Streets in downtown Fordyce, Arkansas. Constructed in the 1920s, it is considered a well-preserved example of a service station from that era.
The building is a single-story structure made primarily of red and buff brick. It features a distinctive auto canopy covered in a tile roof. The main facade of the building is adorned with a parapet that hides a barrel roof. This architectural detail adds character to the station's design.
The building is divided into two functional bays. On the left side, there is an office space, while the right side houses a garage bay. The canopy extends in front of the left bay, providing shelter for customers and vehicles. A single brick column supports it, which showcases an original Marathon Oil logo. This logo is an interesting piece of historical significance and represents the brand that operated the service station.
As a well-preserved structure from the 1920s, the Marathon Oil Service Station is a testament to the automotive industry's early development. It reminds us of the importance of service stations in providing fuel, maintenance, and assistance to vehicles during that time period.
The preservation of this historic building showcases a commitment to preserving local history and architectural heritage. The Marathon Oil Service Station is an important landmark in downtown Fordyce, contributing to the unique character and charm of the area.
Mt. Carmel Methodist Church
  • Mt. Carmel Methodist Church - Mt. Carmel Methodist Church is a historic church situated in rural Dallas County, Arkansas, near the hamlet of Jacinto. It is located northwest of the county seat, Fordyce, on County Road 113, just east of Arkansas Highway 9. The church is nestled in a clearing and is surrounded by several other small frame churches in the area.
Built around 1900, Mt. Carmel Methodist Church stands out from other rural churches in Dallas County due to its unique architectural features. The church is a frame structure and distinguishes itself with its incorporation of Gothic Revival pointed-arch windows. These windows, with their elegant pointed-arch shape, add a touch of architectural grandeur to the church.
The Gothic Revival style of the windows is further accentuated by slightly projecting triangular hoods positioned above each window. This design element enhances the prominence of the Gothic points, creating a visually appealing contrast and adding interest to the otherwise plain side facades of the church.
The use of Gothic Revival architecture in a rural setting like Dallas County demonstrates the influence of architectural trends and styles even in remote areas. The church's design reflects the dedication and craftsmanship of the builders, who sought to create a place of worship that would inspire and uplift the local community.
As a historic church, Mt. Carmel Methodist Church serves as a significant cultural and architectural landmark in the area. It bears witness to the religious heritage and traditions of the region, offering a glimpse into the past and religious practices of the early 20th century in rural Arkansas.
The presence of Mt. Carmel Methodist Church, along with the neighboring small frame churches, contributes to the historical and cultural fabric of the community, showcasing the diversity and variety of religious architecture in the region.
Mt. Zion Methodist Church
  • Mt. Zion Methodist Church - Mt. Zion Methodist Church is a historic church in rural Dallas County, Arkansas. Situated on County Road 407, approximately 2.5 miles northeast of Carthage, this church holds historical and architectural significance in the area.
Constructed around 1910, Mt. Zion Methodist Church is a wood frame structure with clapboard siding. Remarkably, the church has remained virtually unaltered since its original construction, retaining its authentic character and charm. The preservation of its original features provides a glimpse into the architectural styles and traditions of the time.
The main facade of the church is characterized by simplicity and vernacular styling. It features two doors, traditionally designated for men and women. This practice of separate entrances was common in many churches of the era. The straightforward design of the facade reflects the practicality and functionality of rural church architecture.
One notable aspect of Mt. Zion Methodist Church is its well-preserved interior. This suggests the church has maintained its original layout, furnishings, and architectural details. Exploring the interior of the church allows visitors to experience the atmosphere and design of a historic rural Methodist place of worship.
Preserving the original interior offers a unique opportunity to understand the religious practices, social dynamics, and cultural traditions of the local community that used the church for worship and gatherings.
Mt. Zion Methodist Church is an important historical and cultural landmark in rural Dallas County. Its architectural integrity and well-preserved interior make it a valuable asset to the region's heritage. The church is a testament to the faith, commitment, and community spirit of the individuals who built and maintained it over the years.
Nutt–Trussell Building
  • Nutt–Trussell Building - The Nutt-Trussell Building is a historic commercial building located at 202 North Main Street in downtown Fordyce, Arkansas. Constructed in 1883, it holds significant historical and architectural value as the first brick building in Fordyce, a town situated in southwestern Arkansas.
Originally a two-story structure, the building was built by Robert Nutt, who operated a dry goods shop within its premises. It played a pivotal role in the early development of Fordyce as a railroad town. The exterior of the building was covered in stucco around 1920, adding a protective and decorative layer to its appearance.
Over the years, the Nutt-Trussell Building served various purposes. It housed the Bank of Fordyce at one point, indicating its significance as a financial center in the community. The building's upper floor became a hub for social club meetings, notably hosting local Masonic gatherings. Additionally, it became the city's first telephone exchange, contributing to the advancement of communication in Fordyce.
The ownership of the building eventually passed to L. L. Trussell and his descendants. In 2000, recognizing its historical importance, the Trussell family generously donated the building to the city of Fordyce. The intention was to use the building as a local history museum, showcasing the heritage and cultural significance of the town.
This act of preservation and donation by the Trussell family allowed the Nutt-Trussell Building to continue its legacy as a community landmark. The building's transformation into a local history museum provides residents and visitors with the opportunity to explore and learn about Fordyce's past, preserving its heritage for future generations.
The Nutt-Trussell Building is a tangible link to the town's early days and represents the entrepreneurial spirit, social life, and technological advancements that shaped Fordyce's history. Its historical and architectural significance makes it an important asset to the community and a valuable source of knowledge about the town's heritage.
Princeton Cemetery
  • Princeton Cemetery - Princeton Cemetery is a historic cemetery in rural Dallas County, Arkansas. Situated on County Road 201, southeast of Princeton, it holds significance as a pre-Civil War burial ground. Princeton was the county's first seat, and the cemetery is a testament to the early settlers and their contributions to the area.
The cemetery's historical importance is evident through its oldest grave, which belongs to William Suggs. Suggs was an early settler of Princeton and passed away in 1849. His grave serves as a connection to the early days of the community and provides insight into the lives and experiences of those who played a role in its development.
Covering an area of approximately 3 acres (1.2 hectares), the cemetery is an open tract of land surrounded by forest on three sides, with the road bordering the fourth side. This natural setting creates a serene and peaceful atmosphere, adding to the solemnity and reverence associated with burial grounds.
As a rural cemetery, Princeton Cemetery reflects the traditions and practices of the time. Its layout and design are likely simple and unadorned, in line with the rural setting and the era in which it was established. The location of the cemetery in a rural area, surrounded by nature, further enhances its historical and cultural significance.
Cemeteries like Princeton Cemetery are important historical resources, as they provide a glimpse into the past, offering insights into the settlement patterns, cultural practices, and community dynamics of the time. They serve as a final resting place for early pioneers and generations of local residents, preserving their memory and contributions to the community.
Princeton Cemetery is a solemn reminder of the area's history and the individuals who helped shape it. Its rural setting and connection to the county's early settlement make it a place of historical and cultural value, worthy of recognition and preservation.
Prosperity Baptist Church
  • Prosperity Baptist Church - Prosperity Baptist Church is a historic church in the rural community of Ramsey, Arkansas, located in central Dallas County. The church is positioned on Arkansas Highway 8 West and holds significance as a historical and cultural landmark in the area.
Constructed in 1904, Prosperity Baptist Church is a single-story wood-frame structure that follows the Plain Traditional architectural style. Over the years, the church underwent a significant addition in 1945, resulting in its present T shape. This expansion enhanced the capacity and functionality of the church, while maintaining its architectural integrity.
The church features a gable roof and rests on a foundation supported by concrete piers and petrified wood. The use of petrified wood in the foundation adds a unique and distinctive element to the church's construction.
The land on which Prosperity Baptist Church stands was purchased from the Fordyce Lumber Company by a congregation organized in 1902. This land acquisition signifies the establishment and commitment of the early church community in Ramsey.
Remarkably, Prosperity Baptist Church is the only surviving building from Ramsey's early days, making it a valuable historical artifact. The church's longevity and continued use as a place of worship showcase its enduring significance to the local community.
As a historic church, Prosperity Baptist Church serves as a spiritual center for the community, fostering a sense of faith, fellowship, and cultural continuity. It is a testament to the religious heritage and traditions of Ramsey and Dallas County.
The preservation of Prosperity Baptist Church is essential to maintaining the historical fabric of the area. It serves as a tangible link to the past, allowing residents and visitors to connect with the early days of Ramsey and gain insight into the community's history and evolution over time.
Rock Island Railway Depot
  • Rock Island Railway Depot - The Rock Island Railway Depot is a historic train station building located on 3rd Street in Fordyce, Arkansas. Constructed around 1925 by the Rock Island Railroad, it is one of the two remaining brick railroad stations from that era in Dallas County.
The depot is a large rectangular structure with a distinctive cross-gable tile roof. This architectural feature adds visual interest to the building and reflects the design preferences of the time. The use of brick in its construction further contributes to its durability and historical charm.
While the exact architectural details may vary, typical train stations of the period often featured spacious waiting areas, ticket offices, and platforms for passengers to board and disembark from trains. The Rock Island Railway Depot would have served a similar function, accommodating travelers and facilitating the transportation of goods and products.
It is noteworthy that the Rock Island Railway Depot continues to be utilized by the Fordyce and Princeton Railroad for managing the shipment of lumber products. This ongoing use highlights the importance of rail transportation in the region's economy and the depot's continued relevance.
Preserving and utilizing historic buildings like the Rock Island Railway Depot connects the present with the past. They serve as reminders of the region's transportation history, the growth of the railroad industry, and the impact it had on local communities.
The Rock Island Railway Depot is a testament to the significant role railroads played in Fordyce's development and surrounding area. Its well-preserved structure and continued use by the Fordyce and Princeton Railroad contribute to the local identity and offer a glimpse into the town's history.
John Russell House
  • John Russell House - The John Russell House, located at 904 Charlotte Street in Fordyce, Arkansas, is a historic house considered the finest example of Craftsman architecture in Dallas County. Constructed around 1925, this single-story wood-frame house showcases the distinctive features and craftsmanship of the Craftsman style.
One of the standout features of the John Russell House is its impressive porch. The porch boasts a roof supported by four columns, which are arranged in a geometrically pleasing manner. These columns are made of wood and contribute to the aesthetic of the house.
To add further visual interest and structural support, a horizontal tie beam runs between the inner columns of the porch. This tie beam helps reinforce the structure and also provides a unique design element. Additionally, this beam supports a central column that extends all the way up to the apex of the gable roof. This design choice adds symmetry and balance to the exterior appearance of the house.
Craftsman architecture is known for its emphasis on natural materials, fine craftsmanship, and attention to detail. The John Russell House exemplifies these characteristics with its wood-frame construction, carefully designed porch, and the integration of geometric elements. This style of architecture became popular in the early 20th century and is often associated with the Arts and Crafts movement, which emphasized handcrafted objects and a return to traditional craftsmanship.
Sardis Methodist Church
  • Sardis Methodist Church - Sardis Methodist Church, located northeast of Pine Grove off Arkansas Highway 128 in Sparkman, Arkansas, is a historic church with deep roots in the local community. Constructed around 1895, this single-story wood-frame church is a well-preserved example of a vernacular rural church in Dallas County.
One notable architectural feature of Sardis Methodist Church is its cross-gable roof, which sets it apart from many other rural churches in the area. The cross-gable roof configuration adds visual interest and uniqueness to the building's design. It consists of two intersecting gable roofs, creating a cross-like shape when viewed from above.
Another distinctive feature of the church is its pyramid-roofed tower, situated at the southwest corner. This tower includes an open belfry, providing a prominent visual element to the church's appearance. The open belfry is a traditional architectural element often seen in churches, allowing the sound of the bell to carry over a greater distance.
As a vernacular rural church, Sardis Methodist Church reflects the architectural style and construction techniques prevalent in the local area at the time of its construction. Vernacular architecture refers to buildings designed and built by local craftsmen using local materials and traditional methods. This approach often results in structures that blend harmoniously with the natural surroundings and exhibit a sense of simplicity and practicality.
The well-preserved condition of Sardis Methodist Church is a testament to the dedication and care of the local community in preserving its historical and architectural heritage. It serves as a tangible link to the past, providing insight into the religious and cultural life of the area during the late 19th century.
Jessie B. Smith House
  • Jessie B. Smith House - The Jessie B. Smith House, situated at 200 Charlotte Street in Fordyce, Arkansas, is a historic residence that holds architectural significance in the area. Constructed around 1890, this single-story wood-framed house is an excellent example of a center-hall-plan house, which emerged as a response to the growing urbanization during that period.
The center-hall-plan house design became popular as cities and towns expanded, and offered a functional and organized layout for residential living. The Jessie B. Smith House follows this architectural style, featuring a central hallway that runs through the middle of the house, dividing it into two nearly symmetrical sections.
The house itself is three bays wide and one bay deep, representing a compact yet well-proportioned structure. A brick chimney is located at the north end of the house, serving as both a functional element for venting smoke and a visual focal point.
The front of the Jessie B. Smith House is adorned with a porch that extends across its width. Jigsaw-cut brackets characterize the porch, which add decorative detail and a touch of intricacy to the overall design. These brackets are often crafted with intricate patterns or shapes, showcasing the craftsmanship of the era.
The use of wood framing in the construction of the house reflects the prevalent building material of the time. Wood was readily available and versatile, making it a popular choice for residential construction in the late 19th century.
The Jessie B. Smith House is a testament to the architectural heritage of Fordyce, Arkansas, and exemplifies the style and design trends of the period. It provides a glimpse into the lifestyle and aesthetics of the time when it was built.
Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia 101
  • Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia 101 - The Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia 101 is a significant piece of history located near the Cotten Belt Railroad Depot in downtown Fordyce, Arkansas. It represents the last known steam locomotive associated with the Fordyce and Princeton Railroad, carrying with it a rich historical legacy.
Built in 1922 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia 101 initially served on the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia Railway. This steam locomotive played a vital role in transporting goods, passengers, and resources during a time when rail travel was a primary mode of transportation.
In 1931, the locomotive was sold to the Fordyce and Princeton Railroad, further solidifying its connection to the local area. For many years, it faithfully served the Fordyce and Princeton line until its retirement in 1948.
Following its retirement, the locomotive was acquired by the city of Little Rock and found a new home at the Little Rock Zoo. For two decades, it was proudly displayed at the zoo, allowing visitors to appreciate its historical significance and marvel at its engineering prowess.
In 2007, the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia 101 were moved back to its original location in Fordyce. This relocation brought the locomotive back to its roots, where it could be celebrated and recognized as a symbol of the city's history and its connection to the railroad industry.
The Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia 101 serve as a tangible reminder of the importance of rail transportation in the development of Arkansas and the wider region. Its presence near the Cotten Belt Railroad Depot and in the heart of downtown Fordyce allows residents and visitors to appreciate the significance of this historic locomotive and its role in shaping the local community.
Preserving and displaying the locomotive in Fordyce showcases the city's commitment to honoring its heritage and providing educational opportunities for future generations. It is a tribute to the Fordyce and Princeton Railroad and serves as a beloved historical landmark in the community.
Thomas Homestead
  • Thomas Homestead - The Thomas Homestead, located off Arkansas Highway 7 in Fairview, Arkansas, is a historic property that holds significance in the local area. The homestead includes several structures, showcasing the agricultural and rural lifestyle of the time.
One of the main features of the Thomas Homestead is a dogtrot house built around 1910. A dogtrot house is a traditional Southern architectural style characterized by a breezeway or open-air corridor running through the center of the house, dividing it into two distinct sections. This design allowed for improved airflow, providing relief from the heat during hot summer months. The dogtrot house at the Thomas Homestead represents a typical example of this architectural style.
In addition to the dogtrot house, the property includes a potato house and various outbuildings, such as barns and sheds. These structures were essential for supporting the agricultural activities and daily life of the homestead. The potato house likely served as a storage facility for harvested potatoes, protecting them from spoilage and ensuring a supply of food throughout the year. The barns and sheds provided shelter for livestock, equipment storage, and space for other agricultural needs.
The Thomas Homestead represents the agricultural heritage and rural lifestyle prevalent in the region. It offers insights into the self-sufficiency and resourcefulness of early settlers, and provides a glimpse into the daily activities and challenges they faced in their rural existence.
Preserving the Thomas Homestead helps maintain the historical and cultural identity of Fairview, Arkansas, and serves as a connection to the past for the local community and visitors. The structures and outbuildings on the property reflect the architectural styles and construction methods of the early 20th century, offering a valuable window into the region's history and heritage.
By recognizing the historical significance of the Thomas Homestead and ensuring its preservation, communities can appreciate and learn from the traditions, skills, and ways of life of those who came before them. The homestead reminds us of the important role agriculture played in shaping the local economy, and provides continuity between past and present.
Tulip Cemetery
  • Tulip Cemetery - Tulip Cemetery is indeed a historic cemetery located in Tulip, a small hamlet in rural Dallas County, Arkansas. Situated behind the Tulip Methodist Church and occupying a high spot in the area, the cemetery holds significant historical value.
Tulip itself is one of the earliest settlements in Dallas County, and the cemetery reflects the area's long history. The oldest documented grave in the cemetery dates back to 1847, showcasing the burial practices and traditions of the early settlers in the region. The cemetery serves as a poignant reminder of the area's past and the individuals who shaped it.
One notable aspect of Tulip Cemetery is the presence of graves belonging to Confederate Army soldiers. These soldiers, who fought during the American Civil War, are laid to rest in this cemetery. Their graves are a testament to the sacrifices made during a tumultuous period in United States history. The inclusion of these Confederate soldiers' graves further adds to the historical significance of Tulip Cemetery.
The cemetery's location off Arkansas Highway 9 makes it easily accessible to visitors and locals alike. It provides a tranquil and reflective space where people can pay their respects to those who are buried there and contemplate the history of the area.
Tulip Cemetery is a memorial to the early settlers of Tulip, Arkansas, and serves as a connection to the past. Its historical graves, including those of Confederate Army soldiers, make it an important cultural and historical site within Dallas County.
Waters House
  • Waters House - The Waters House is a historic residence located at 515 Oak Street in Fordyce, Arkansas. Designed by architect Charles L. Thompson and constructed in 1907, it is one of the notable examples of Colonial Revival architecture in the city.
The house is a 2+1/2-story Foursquare design, characterized by its square shape and symmetrical layout. It features a hipped roof with flared eaves, giving it an elegant and distinctive appearance. The sides of the roof have cross gables, adding visual interest and architectural detail to the structure.
The main facade of The Waters House showcases a projecting bay that extends for two stories, creating a prominent architectural element. A gable tops this bay adorned with dentil molding and flared eaves, further emphasizing the Colonial Revival style. These decorative elements contribute to the charm and grandeur of the house.
To enhance its aesthetic appeal and provide outdoor living space, The Waters House boasts a single-story porch that wraps around two sides of the building. The porch serves as a welcoming feature and offers residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy the surrounding views.
As one of the finest examples of Colonial Revival architecture in Fordyce, The Waters House holds historical and architectural significance. It is a testament to the craftsmanship and design trends of the early 20th century, showcasing the beauty and elegance associated with this architectural style.
The Waters House remains a distinctive landmark in Fordyce, Arkansas, contributing to the city's architectural heritage and providing a glimpse into the past.
  • Welch Pottery Works - The Welch Pottery Works of Dallas County, Arkansas, operated from approximately 1851 to around 1891. The pottery works consisted of various facilities, including a kiln, a sawmill, and other necessary infrastructure. It was initially established by the Bird brothers, who had been running another kiln in the vicinity of Tulip since 1843.
In 1860, John Welch purchased the pottery works, who took over operations and continued to run the business until 1891. At that time, Welch relocated and established another kiln near Wave, Arkansas. Subsequently, the original site of the Welch Pottery Works was abandoned.
The primary focus of the Birds and Welch at the pottery works was the production of utilitarian salt-glazed pottery. Utilitarian pottery refers to everyday items created for practical use, not decorative purposes. Salt-glazed pottery is a type of ceramic ware where salt is introduced into the kiln during firing, resulting in a distinctive glaze with a textured and slightly orange-peel appearance.
During its active years, the Welch Pottery Works played a significant role in producing functional pottery for the local community. These utilitarian vessels would have included items such as jugs, crocks, churns, and other containers used for storing and preserving food and liquids.
The pottery works were part of the rich ceramic heritage of Dallas County, Arkansas, and contributed to the local economy and daily life of residents during the mid to late 19th century. Today, the products of the Welch Pottery Works are highly sought after by collectors and provide valuable insights into the region's history and art of pottery production during that era.
  • Welch Pottery Works - The Welch Pottery Works of Dallas County, Arkansas, had a notable presence in the region from approximately 1851 to around 1891. The pottery works were initially established by the Bird brothers, who had been operating a kiln near Tulip since 1843. In addition to the kiln, the pottery works included a sawmill and other necessary facilities.
However, in 1860, the works were purchased by John Welch, who took over the operations and continued to run the business until 1891. Afterward, Welch established another kiln near Wave, Arkansas, and the original site of the Welch Pottery Works was abandoned.
The focus of the Birds and Welch at the pottery works was the production of utilitarian salt-glazed pottery. Utilitarian pottery refers to functional ceramic items created for everyday use, rather than purely decorative purposes. Salt-glazed pottery is a type of ceramic ware where salt is introduced into the kiln during the firing process, resulting in a distinctive glaze with a textured and slightly orange-peel appearance.
The Welch Pottery Works played an important role in providing the local community with practical pottery vessels. These utilitarian items included jugs, crocks, churns, and other containers used for storing and preserving food and liquids. The production of these items by the Birds and later by John Welch contributed to the local economy and met the everyday needs of the residents in Dallas County.
Wynne House
  • Wynne House - The Wynne House is a historic residence located on 4th Street in Fordyce, Arkansas. Constructed in 1914, it is widely regarded as the finest example of residential Classical Revival architecture in the city.
This two-story wood-frame house follows a Foursquare plan, which is characterized by its square shape and symmetrical layout. The Wynne House features a hip roof with large gable dormers that project from the roofline, adding architectural interest and providing additional space within the upper floor.
One of the standout features of the Wynne House is its wraparound porch, which extends around two sides of the residence. This porch is adorned with elaborate spindled balusters, which are intricately designed balustrades, and Ionic columns, a hallmark of Classical Revival architecture. The Ionic columns, known for their scroll-like capitals, add a touch of grandeur and classical elegance to the house's exterior.
The Wynne House represents the refined style and attention to detail associated with the Classical Revival architectural movement. The use of balanced proportions, decorative elements, and careful craftsmanship are evident in its design.
As a prominent example of Classical Revival residential architecture in Fordyce, the Wynne House holds historical and architectural significance. It is a testament to the architectural trends of the early 20th century, showcasing the elegance and grace associated with this particular style.
The Wynne House remains a notable landmark in Fordyce, Arkansas, representing the city's architectural heritage. Its distinctive features and well-preserved design make it an architectural gem worth appreciating for its historical and aesthetic value.

National Protected Areas

The Ouachita National Forest is located in central and western Arkansas and covers over 1.8 million acres of land. It is managed by the U.S. Forest Service and offers a variety of recreational activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The forest is known for its scenic beauty, diverse ecosystems, and abundant wildlife, providing opportunities for visitors to explore and enjoy the natural surroundings.

Notables

  • Anderson Watkins Atkinson was born in Fordyce, Arkansas around 1923. He was a major general in the United States Air Force.
  • Tommy Wayne Barnes was born on April 12, 1951 in Fordyce, Arkansas. He was an American football player and coach. He served as head football coach at the University of Arkansas at Monticello from 1985 to 1996.
  • James Warren Benton was born on September 25, 1916 in Carthage, Arkansas. He was an American football player. He played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) with the Cleveland/Los Angeles Rams and the Chicago Bears between 1938 and 1947. He was selected for the National Football League 1940s All-Decade Team.
  • Bonnie Jean Brown was born on July 31, 1938 in Sparkman, Arkansas. She was an American country music singer and member of The Browns, a sibling trio popular in the 1950s and 1960s. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015.
  • Ella Maxine Brown was born in Campti, Louisiana, but her family later moved to Arkansas and lived in Dallas County. She was an American country music singer and member of the 1950s sibling trio, the Browns. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015.
  • James Edward Brown was born on April 1, 1934 in Sparkman, Arkansas. He was an American country singer-songwriter who achieved fame in the 1950s with his two sisters as a member of The Browns. He later had a successful solo career from 1965 to 1974. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015.
  • James Hal Cone was born on August 5, 1938 in Fordyce, Arkansas. He was an American theologian, and author, best known for his advocacy of black theology and black liberation theology.
  • Ronald Truman Farrar was born on June 3, 1935 in Fordyce, Arkansas. He was an American journalist, author and academic. He received the Distinguished Service Medal for Research in Journalism by the Society Professional Journalist in 1969, and authored several books on journalism history. His legacy continues through the Ronald T. and Gayla D. Farrar Award for Media in Civil Rights History at the University of Southern California (USC).
  • William Kelly Fearing was born on October 18, 1918 in Fordyce, Arkansas. He was a visual artist. His spiritual themes spanned multiple styles including abstract, impressionism, and surrealism.
  • Samuel Wesley Fordyce was born on February 7, 1840 in Guernsey County, Ohio. He later moved to Arkansas and is the namesake of Fordyce, Arkansas. He was a prominent railroad executive of the American South.
  • James Kimbrough Jones was born on September 29, 1839 in Marshall County, Mississippi. His family moved to Dallas County in 1848. He was a Confederate Army veteran, plantation owner, lawyer, US Congressman Representative, United States Senator from Arkansas.
  • Scipio Africanus Jones was born on August 3, 1864 in Tulip, Arkansas. He was an American educator, lawyer, judge, philanthropist, and politician from the state of Arkansas.
  • Jewel Chris McNair was born on November 22, 1925 in Fordyce, Arkansas. He was an African-American politician and businessman.
  • Ray Edison Porter Sr was born on July 29, 1891 in Fordyce, Arkansas. He was a U.S. Army Major General who served during World War II in the Africa campaign.
  • Samuel Woodrow Williams was born on February 12, 1912 in Sparkman, Arkansas. He was a Baptist minister, professor of philosophy and religion, and Civil Rights activist.

Records and Resources

Sources





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