Carroll County from the 1875 Arkansas and portion of Indian Territory Map - FM

Settlement and Development of Carroll County Arkansas

There are 110 varieties of trees in Carroll County. The oak is largely represented, the principal species being the Spanish, water, black, red, burr, pine, post and white oak. The black-jack, resembling the oak in some respects, is of a scrubby nature, and is found everywhere throughout the county. The ash, elm, cherry, walnut, box-elder, sycamore, hickory, birch, maple and lino are well distributed. Pine is found in the western part of the county. Fruits, particularly apples and peaches, are here cultivated under climatic conditions more favorable.

Early Mills of Carroll County Arkansas

Several mills came into existence in the county at an early date, and it is difficult to decide the question of priority. The first in the western part was a steel mill, turned by hand, brought by John Baker. people from this section had previously been obliged to go to mill thirty miles away, on War Eagle Creek. William Wood built a small water mill with the assistance of his neighbors in 1837-38. It was on Osage, and the land is now owned by Richard Walker. Henry Klinginbeard owned a small corn mill a short distance farther down the Osage, in 1838. The first mill on Yocum Creek was built by John Yocum about 1835. It was within a mile of Green Forest. It was a log building about 14×16 feet, and stood on four posts, one of which is yet to be seen. The dam was made of logs and brush, and was constantly being repaired. It was renewed after every freshet. The water was conducted by a chute over a tub wheel, communicating by shafting with the single “runner.” The bed stone was stationary. This mill had a capacity of four bushels a day. Lassiter & Crawford built a mill on a branch of Osage several years later, and Thomas H. Clarke built another on the Osage River farther up about the same time. Both of these mills were in Liberty Township. John Boyd built a mill on Long Creek about 1836, and another was built by Malachi Reeves on the same stream, near Denver Post office, at an equally early date. One Patton built the first mill on Dry Fork, and two or three others followed it in close succession. John Denny built the first mill on King’s River so far as known. Steam mills have come into existence since the war, during which nearly all the old water mills were burned. A Mr. James built the first saw-mill in 1843 on Dry Fork, and Joel Blair built another on the same stream in 1844. B. H. Hobbs & Co. erected the first steam saw-mill nine miles northwest of Berryville in 1857.

Roads of Carroll County Arkansas

The opening of the old Dubuque road has been mentioned. The road from Huntsville via Rockhouse Creek, through Trigger Gap, crossing Carroll County diagonally from southwest to northeast, was laid out in 1837 by Thomas Hall, under the direction of the court. A road from Carrollton through Green Forest to Sprngfield, Mo., and a military road from Fayetteville through Carrollton to Jacksonport, twenty-five miles above Batesville, on the White River, was laid out, or at least opened for travel, prior to 1836.

Tanneries of Carroll County Arkansas

Tanning was at first effected by the most simple processes. The pelts were rubbed with ashes or lime, stretched and dried. Charles B. Whiteley was one of the first men in the county who made tanning a business. E. Roper, who lived upon land now owned by Prof. A. B. Johnson, was probably the first to introduce tanning by vats. At first these consisted only of log troughs, in which the hides were placed. Roper’s tannery was continued five or six years.

Stores of Carroll County Arkansas

At the time when the first settlement of the county was in progress the nearest trading points on the east were on White River, fifty mile away; and on the west, Fort Smith and Fayetteville, an equal distance. Powder and lead were the principal commodities of which the frontier population stood in need. Business was done principally by barter. The frontiersman exchanged pelts and honey for ammunition and other supplies. The first stores in the county were at Carrollton, and Henderson Lafferty was probably the first store-keeper. Merchandising was profitable in those days.

Regulators of Carroll County Arkansas

A company of regulators was organized by the citizens of Carrollton and vicinity in the spring of 1839 with Thomas A. Clarke as captain. It numbered twenty or thirty members. The object was to suppress stealing and punish the miscreants, a community of half-breed Cherokees. Several were whipped and compelled to leave the county. Two or three confessed, promised reformation, and were permitted to stay. After accomplishing the object of its organization the company disbanded.


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.

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