Early Fayetteville, Arkansas Government

Early Fayetteville, Arkansas Government At the January term of the county court, in 1841, a petition signed by more than two-thirds of the taxable inhabitants praying for the incorporation of Section 16, Township 16 north, Range 30 west, was presented and granted. P. V. Rhea was appointed the first alderman, and John W. Johnson, John B. Costa, Richard P. Pulliam, Hosea G. Cardwell and M. W. Thornby, the first councilmen. This organization was maintained until 1859, when a city charter was obtained from the Legislature. The first election under the new charter was held in April of that year, when

Early Crimes of Washington County, Arkansas

The organization of the circuit court in 1829 has already been noticed. Washington County then constituted a part of the Second Judicial Circuit, of which Benjamin Johnson was judge. There was much interchanging of circuits, however, and the court at Fayetteville was presided over successively by Thomas P. Eskridge, Edward Cross and S. S. Hall, and from 1833 to 1837 by Archibald Yell. During that time no very notable or curious cases were tried. At the June term of 1833 Samuel Wackard was called upon to answer the charge of stealing a steer, valued at $12, from one John Musick.

Early Election Results of Washington County, Arkansas

Washington County has always been strongly Democratic in politics. In its early history the Whig party had some very able leaders, and through their superior ability were frequently able to secure an election to some legislative or judicial office. In 1836, and again in 1838, the Democrats elected solid delegations to the Legislature, but in 1840 David Walker, a Whig leader, was elected to the Senate, and two of the representatives, W. D. Reagan and G. A. Pettigrew, were Whigs. In 1842 the failure of the State Bank still farther strengthened the Whigs, and Mark Bean, another Whig leader, was

Early Bar of Washington County, Arkansas

The bar of Fayetteville has always been one of eminent ability, and has numbered among its members some of the most brilliant legal lights in the State. One of the first lawyers to locate here was Judge David Walker, who came to Arkansas in 1830, and, after standing an examination by Judges Cross and Johnson, was admitted to the bar, and located in Fayetteville. He was born in what is now Todd County, Ky., in 1806, and had but meager opportunities for securing an education. He, however, had an indomitable will, that enabled him to rise above adverse circumstances, and

David Walker’s Address

To the People of Washington County: Under existing circumstances, I feel it to be my duty to take your advice upon some important questions which will, in all probability, arise for the consideration and action of the convention, now shortly to be convened. Your delegates were elected under a pledge to co-operate with the border slave States in an effort to settle our difficulties with the Northern States upon honorable and just terms, and under no circumstance to vote for an ordinance of secession, unless the same was referred back to you for your rejection or approval. The majority received

Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Washington County, Arkansas

One of the first religious organizations to enter Washington County was the Cumberland Presbyterian. The first Cumberland Presbyterians to locate in Arkansas were the Pyeatts and Carnahans, who, in 1812, emigrated from Northern Alabama, and located at Crystal Hill, fifteen miles above Little Rock. The party consisted of James and Jacob Pyeatt and James and Samuel Carnahan. The next year the father of the Carnahans, Rev. John Carnahan, removed to Arkansas, and, in the house of Jacob Pyeatt, preached the first sermon delivered in what is now Arkansas by a Cumberland Presbyterian. He formed a circuit, and was placed on

Washington County, Arkansas in the Civil War

The position of Washington County on all the questions which led up to the Civil War was similar to that of the State as a whole. She was reliably Democratic, and at the presidential election of 1860 gave Breckenridge a majority of 149 votes; her interests and sympathies were all with the South, but there was a decided feeling against disunion until the war had actually begun. On January 24, 1861, the Legislature passed a bill providing for an election to vote upon the calling of the State Convention, and also to select delegates to the convention, provided it were

Washington County, Arkansas Courts

The first court for the county was held in March, 1829. The following is a transcript of the record of the first day’s proceedings: At a circuit court in and for the county of Washington and Territory of Arkansas, on Monday, the 2d day of March, 1829, present: The Hon. James Woodson Bates, circuit judge, Lewis Evans, sheriff, returned into court list of grand jurors to serve as a body for the county at this term of the court, viz.: James Buchanan, foreman; James Billingsley, John Billingsley, John Conner, David Conner, James Simpson, Hugh Shannon, William L. Weddington, John Woody,

Colonel W. H. Brooks

Col. W. H. Brooks was probably the most active representative of the Southern cause for Washington County. Among the first organizations was Brooks’ battalion of cavalry (State troops), which afterward became E. I. Stirman’s battalion, and later on was transferred to the Cis-mississippi Department, where it was known as the Sharpshooters’ battalion. A few of these were Washington County men. Capt. Lafayette Boone’s company, which served at Elkhorn, was officered as follows: First lieutenant, L. P. Beavert; second lieutenant, Sam. H. Smithson, and third lieutenant, John O. Parks. Battle of Prairie Grove The well-known Thirty-fourth Arkansas Infantry then fell to

The Cane Hill Tragedy

With the advent of these desperadoes peace and quiet were at an end. Murders, robberies and other outrages were of almost monthly occurrence, but what was still worse these crimes went unpunished. Numerous suspected persons were arrested, indicted and tried, but convictions did not follow. The culprit had only to summon a few of his friends, prove an alibi, and be discharged. This state of things existed until law-abiding citizens lost confidence in the courts, and declared that they were in league with the assassin and the robber. The culmination was reached on both sides of the State line in