Eight miles southwest of Prairie Grove is this flourishing community of two or three hundred souls. It is in one of the oldest settled sections of the county, and dates its existence as a village from the “thirties.” The first store was opened by Morris Wright in 1834 or 1835, in a little log cabin, just north of the present village. In 1840 he removed a little further south, and continued in business until the war. At about the same time Levi Richards and White McClellan opened a second store, and John F. Truesdale erected a steam mill just below the town, where some ten years before a small water mill had been built by Thomas Garvin.

The establishment of Cane Hill College in 1852 somewhat increased the importance of the village, but in 1860 it could boast of only two stores. These were kept by McClure & McClellan and Wright & Lewis. At the close of the war E. W. McClellan & Son, Lewis & Ayres and Warren Stewart were among the first merchants to resume business.

The great distance of the town from the railroad has somewhat obstructed its growth, yet it has made steady improvement. The following is a directory of its present business interests: Edmiston & Co., J. Edmiston, S. T. Cole, McBride & Haygood and Cowley & Welch, general stores; J. W. Cope, druggist; Ross & Blackburn and Mrs. M. L. Mann, millinery; W. F. Easterley, wagon-maker; Russell & Wood and A. E. Andrews, blacksmiths; Moore & Pyeott, roller flouring-mill; J. M. Russell & Co. and R. H. Bean, grist-mills; canning factory, operated by a stock company. The canning factory is similar to the one at Prairie Grove, and was recently put into operation. The president of the company is J. S. Edmiston, and the secretary, H. W. Moore. The raising of nursery stock is an extensive business in the vicinity of the town. The leading nurseries are owned by J. B. Russell & Co., Haygood & Co. and D. M. Moore & Son.

When Cane Hill Lodge No. 57, A. F. & A. M., was organized is not now known, as the charter and records were destroyed during the war. The first meeting of which any record could be found was held on August 3, 1865, when J. A. L. McCulloch was W. M.; George W. Scott, S. W.; L. W. Yates, J. W.; F. R. Earle, S. D.; R. H. Bean, J. D.; E. W. McClellan, Secretary; A. Mitchell, Treasurer, and W. B. Brodie, Tyler. The next year a building committee, composed of J. W. Staggs, J. A. L. McCulloch and L. W. Yates, was appointed, and a second story was built over E. W. McClellan’s store for a lodge room. It was occupied until December, 1886, when the building was destroyed by fire. Meetings have since been held over the Methodist Church. The following is a list of the Worshipful Masters since 1865: W. B. Welch, 1866; J. M. Lacy, 1867; F. R. Earle, 1868; R. D. Hays, 1869; James Mitchell, 1870; J. P. Carnahan, 1871; H. M. Welch, 1872; C. McCulloch, 1873; H. M. Welch, 1874-76; J. A. L. McCulloch, 1876; J. A. Buchanan and J. P. Carnahan, 1877-79; T. S. Tennant, 1879; J. P. Carnahan, 1880; W. B. Welch, 1881; R. H. Bean, 1882; H. L. Routh, 1883-85; T. W. Blackburn, 1885-87; J. P. Carnahan, 1887. The members of the lodge now number about thirty.

Back to: Washington County, Arkansas History

Source: History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas. Chicago, IL, USA: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889.