History of Springdale, Arkansas

This is now a horticultural and commercial place, although its founding was due to religious purposes. As in many other cases the immediate cause of the settlement was the noble spring near a tree across the road west of Haxton & Co.’s woolen mills, but which, during the war, broke out at a period about 400 feet distant from its first opening, and south of the mills. The following entries of land in this part of the county will show what material there was for a settlement: Township 18 north, Range 30 west, Section 36–John Holcomb, September 1, 1845; S. P. Fine, February 29, 1840; W. G. Quinton, March 16, 1840; John Holcomb, September 18, 1856; Joseph Holcomb, December 29. 1852; James Fitzgerald, March 7, 1840; Isaac S. Fitzgerald, December 29, 1849, April 2, 1853, December 26, 1849, and April 9, 1855; W. H. Holcomb, January 11, 1853; Section 35–Freeborn Graham, February 28, 1840; Section 30–John Ingram, April 24, 1840; Thomas M. McLain, January 2, 1831; Section 31–William Barrington, September 5, 1849; Jacob Pearson, November 29, 1851; Section 32–John Ingram, November 22, 1848; John Hamilton, November 7, 1840. Township 17 north, Range 30 west, Section 1–James Brandon, Octo-29, 1838; W. D. Quinton, September 19, 1839; Section 2–John Fitzgerald, February 9, 1839; Isaac S. Fitzgerald, October 25, 1838. Township 18 north, Range 29 west, Section 30–John Fitzgerald, June 6, 1840; Joshua Fitzgerald, June 6, 1840; Section 29–S. White, September 12, 1840; W. Graham, June 12, 1840, and J. S. Graham, August 2, 1848. These are some of the earlier entries of the region of Springdale and Elm Springs, covering the plats of both places. The earliest settlers, then, about Springdale’s site were the Fitzgeralds, James Brandon, W. D. Quinton, the Grahams, S. P. Fine, the Holcombs and S. White, together with some others at various dates, as Elijah Lee, William Easley and James Mayfield.

Many of these were adherents of the Primitive Baptist faith, and soon after their arrival held meetings at various places, and among the first visiting preachers were Rev. James Mayfield and Rev. John Holcombe (he retained the final e). Mr. Joseph Holcomb thinks the first members were Elijah Lee, William Graham, William Easley, Freeborn Graham and wife, Ira Graham and wife. The church was organized in 1840, and given the biblical name Shiloh, and on Christmas day, 1841, William D. Quinton deeded a plat at the spring, six rods by twenty rods, to the trustees of the church, William Easley, Elijah Lee and Freeborn Graham, for the site of a church. They soon erected a log church, and in 1843 found their first regular pastor in the person of Rev. John Holcombe, who bought of W. D. Quinton, and entered all the present plat of Springdale, and more, to the amount of 600 acres. From this time on to the present the place attracted attention through the well-known and largely attended “May Meetings” of this sect, in which the ceremony of “feet-washing” is performed. They have been held regularly, with three exceptions during the war. Rev. Holcombe built him a home, and also established a wagon-shop in which he employed four or five men, but aside from these and his wife and several children, and Shelby Fitzgerald, there were no residents on the site of Springdale for over twenty years. With dangers of the opening war arising, Rev. Holcom be and the most of his family sought refuge in Texas, and during the first year all their buildings were burned by men claiming to be Federal soldiers.

Following the close of hostilities he and the family returned, at once rebuilt the church, and built his home on the elevation just east of the woolen mills. This was in 1866. In July, 1868, he laid out the original town of Shiloh, on the west side of Spring Creek, about the old church plat. The first store was opened by R. S. Coon, whose stock was purchased the following year by Holcomb & Putman. In 1870 Joseph Holcomb returned from his travels succeeding his war service, and bought the old homestead, excluding the town plat. The Missionary Baptist College was about the next addition to the town of Shiloh, although it was short lived. It was organized in 1872. (Its growth will be treated of in the chapter on schools.) Then Mr. Jack Steele opened a general store. In 1875 the post-office was established, and the name changed to Springdale. The postmaster appointed was B. E. Putman, and the successors to that position have been W. H. Lovelady, C. C. Phillips, B. W. Gregg, J. B. Gill and W. Y. Winton, the present incumbent.

The growth of the village was so marked that incorporation began to be agitated, and the most active in this, as in other enterprises for the good of the place, was Joseph Holcomb, “the father of the town,” as he is familiarly styled. By an order of the county court on April 1, 1878, “the town of Springdale” was incorporated. June 14, 1879, the following officers were elected, and on July 4 sworn in: Joseph Holcomb, mayor; W. R. Ritter, C. Petross, A. J. Hale, J. B. Baggett and R. M. Huffmaster, aldermen, and S. S. Purcell, recorder. The successors of Mr. Holcomb to the mayoralty have been: R. M. Huffmaster, O. C. Ludwig, Mr. Holcomb a second time, W. G. Prunner, S. L. Staples, for two terms, and Millard Berry, who is now serving his second term. The present aldermen are Joseph Holcomb, J. F. Barr, N. S. Haxton, E. A. Linebarger and Wilson M. Davis; treasurer, C. Petross, and recorder, E. H. Bryant.

During about a decade, in the earlier half of which was the date of incorporation, some of the following firms opened their respective places: W. H. Lovelady, the successor of Holcomb & Putnam; Slaughter & Seacy, A. M. Phillips and Joseph Holcomb with general stores; in the hardware line, J. A. Coffelt, Gill & Harris (afterward Deaver & Harris, and Deaver & Co.); wagon-shop, Drum & Phillips; flouring-mill, Petross & Son; evaporator, D. Wing & Bro.; nursery, J. B. Gill; Springdale Canning Co., president, J. R. Harris; lumber yard, A. J. Armstrong, and a newspaper, mentioned elsewhere.

The construction of the “Frisco Railway” during 1881 gave an impetus to the growth of Springdale, greater, probably, than any other place in the county, and it has been so marked as to be denominated a “boom.” Putman’s Addition to the town was laid out on the west, and afterward Joseph Holcomb laid out Railroad Addition on the south and east. Business spread itself along the street leading to the depot. The railway outlet for produce and fruit made those two industries the most prominent, and gave Springdale a leadership in the general fruit-growing interests of this part of the State, equal to any.

The general merchandise trade is represented by B. F. Deaver & Co., Dodson & Co., Lane, Linebarger & Co., Searcy & Sons, D. A. White and Martin & Livingston, while the grocers are G. M. Gabbert, C. W. Wright and Theo. Parker. W. T. Farrar and J. R. Harris & Bro. deal in hardware, and the drug trade is handled by H. A. Daily, W. Y. Winton and A. Starkweather. The Springdale Canning Co., a stock company, has a large factory. The Springdale Nurseries, owned by Gill & Vincenheller, another owned by A. M. Kennan & Son, and Zimmerman & Bryan represent the fruit interests. The W. B. Haxton & Co. Woolen Mills and the Springdale Milling Co. (roller mill) represent the mills. Phillips & Phillips and J. R. Harris & Bro. have lumber yards. Real estate is handled by Berry & Harris, while Millard Berry and A. J. Hale are lawyers.

The Springdale House, Thomas Gladden, proprietor, is the only hotel, while the bakeries, restaurants, confectioneries, etc., are represented by R. E. Renner, J. W. Kensil, Mr. Yocum and Mr. Davis. Drs. John Young, D. Christian, J. M. Kennedy and W. J. Wilkerson are the medical representatives, while Dr. J. B. Dare cares for the dental needs of the community. A. M. Kennan and Roach & Vinson are shoemakers; Charles A. Minney, barber; Sevier & Lewis, J. B. Baggett and G. W. Bowman care for wagon and blacksmith interests; Bobert Orr and W. H. Russell have tin shops; Stokes & Bro. are liverymen; W. T. Farrar, harness-maker; E. T. Caudle and J. W. Carter have brick yards; a dairy is owned by W. Hewitt; milliners, Miss Mary Hodges and Miss Fannie Kensil; furniture is handled by B. H. Welch and B. F. Pollock; meat market, J. B. Henson; jeweler and photographer, George F. Kennan; plasterers, Van Dyke & Bartholomew; and among the sixteen or seventeen contractors and builders are C. W. Phillips, Stork & Gaut, D. M. Linebarger and C. A. Jones.

The Springdale News is the only newspaper. Its existence began in 1882 under the title of the Springdale Enterprise, O. C. Ludwig, editor, and a year or so later H. C. Warner purchased it and gave it the name Springdale Yellow Jacket. Price & Bro. then ran it for a brief interval under the cognomen Springdale Journal. Damon Clarke gave it its present title when he assumed control in 1886, but he sold out to H. M. & J. Van Butler, whose editorial charge, under the appellation The Arkansaw Locomotive, with which they headed the paper, closed May 1, 1887. The present editor, John P. Stafford, has since had charge of it, and has resumed the title News. Its political policy is Democratic.

The schools and churches of Springdale appear in the chapter on those subjects. Three societies, a farmers’ club, the Masonic and G. A. R., are in a prosperous condition; two, the I. O. O. F. order and the W. C. T. U., once organized, are abandoned.

The Springdale Farmers’ Club was organized in January, 1886, with W. M. Davis, president, and John B. Gill as secretary. The club has been one of the powerful instruments in the development of Springdale. They have introduced fine stock, particularly a Holstein bull and Berkshire hogs, the latter being the property of the organization. New varieties of fruit have been introduced and experimented with, amongst which is the noted early red peach, “The Gov. Garland,” named and discovered by J. B. Gill. The shipping interests have been worked up by them. A successful live-stock show was held at Springdale in the fall of 1887 by the society, and they now have the finest collection of grains and grasses in the State for exhibition in the fall of 1888. The society has fifteen wide-awake members. I. D. Rader and John B. Gill have filled the office of president since the first incumbent. J. D. Beck is secretary.

Springdale Lodge No. 316, F. & A. M., was chartered in 1873, and organized by James D. Henry, D. D. G. M. The first officers chosen were J. B. Steele, W. M.; W. H. Lovelady, S. W.; D. C. Smithson, J. W.; A. G. Smith, Treas.; J. R. Harris, Secy.; C. Petross, S. D.; Peter Graham, J. D.; and W. B. Smith, Tyler. They began with seventeen members, and have increased to fifty, with lodge property valued at $500. The present officers are D. Christian, W. M.; B. S. Williams, S. W.; W. N. Pierce, J. W.; C. Petross, Treas.; Evans Atwood, Secy.; L. D. Petross, S. D.; W. F. Daily, J. D., and E. Adams, Tyler. A list of Masters is as follows: B. Putman, N. D.; J. B. Steele (chartered), H. G. Hartley, W. H. Lovelady, W. M. Harris, J. A. Armstrong, B. F. Deaver, J. S. Patterson and the present incumbent. Messrs. Putman, Hartley, Harris, Lovelady and Deaver have served more than one term.

U. S. Grant Post No. 34, G. A. R., at Springdale, was chartered October 30, 1886, and the members were mustered in by S. P. Gilbreath, of West Fork. They had nineteen members, and elected the following officers: B. R. Butcher, C.; J. Smith, Sr. V. C.; C. W. Wright, Jr. V. C.; B. C. Cox, Adj.; A. W. Baker, Q.; R. E. Renner, Chaplain; J. T. Sullivan, Surgeon; John Vernon, O. of D.; J. W. Langford, O. of G.; S. Mayes, Q. S. They have a hall in the Searcy Block, and number sixty-five members. Present officers: J. Smith, C.; W. Mayes, Sr. V. C.; A. W. Baker, Jr. V. C.; C. W. Wright, Q.; R. E. Renner, Chaplain; E. P. Hall, Adj.; J. Vernon, O. of D.; E. A. Ellis, O. of G.; J. Pollett, S. M.; J. Conger, Q. S.; J. T. Sullivan, Surgeon.

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.

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