At the time when this county was first visited by settlers the Indian population was sparse. There was an Indian village at the site of Bellefonte, Boone County; the Delawares had a number of tepees on Long Creek, in Carroll County and their principal town was on the James River, in Stone County, Mo. The Cherokees, from Georgia, began their migration about 1832, and the bands were wont to proceed leisurely, and pause for awhile upon the borders of their western home. Several bands, numbering 300 or more, are mentioned by early settlers. They had with them large herds of cattle, horses, etc., and lived comfortably in their camps, one of which, in July, 1833, was situated north of Berryville several miles. A visitor to this camp says they were very hospitable; he was almost obliged to eat with them. “Maybe sometime I get hungry and eat with you,” was the logic of his host. There were no resident Indians in this locality after 1835. Hunting parties from the “Nation” returned frequently during the winters until game became too scarce, but their relations with the white settlers were always friendly. No outrages by either party are known to have been perpetrated within the limits of the county.
Emigration to that part of Arkansas within the bend of White River, and about its headwaters, followed two distinct routes, the courses of which are best indicated by reference to previous settlements in the State, which naturally followed the valleys of the Arkansas and White Rivers. Fort Smith was the terminus of a military road which naturally invited settlement in that direction; but it was also upon the western boundary of the State, and emigrants thither turned to the north for permanent locations. The extreme northwestern part of the State was also accessible from St. Louis by a direct road; and thus it happened that many of the first settlers of Carroll County came thither after a temporary sojourn in Madison or Washington.
Batesville was for a long time the limit of emigration up the White River valley. The level country to the east seems to have been considered preferable to the mountainous region at its source, which received but little attention except from the hunter and trapper. It was by this route that the first white inhabitants of what is now Carroll County entered its borders.
Back to: Carroll County Arkansas Genealogy
Source: History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, And Sebastian Counties, Arkansas: From the Earliest Time to the Present, Including a Department Devoted to the Preservation of Sundry Personal, Business, Professional And Private Records ; Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Etc., Etc. Salem Mass.: Higginson Book Co., 2000. Reprint. Originally published: Chicago : Goodspeed Pub. Co., 1889.