Montgomery County Arkansas Communties

Montgomery County, Arkansas


Population was 7,841 in 1990; housing units was 4,269 in 1990;
land area is 780.98 square miles (499,828 acres); water area is 19.37 square miles (12,395 acres)

About six miles east of Sims on Hwy 88. Looks like someone was familiar with local school history.  Further east was a school by that name.

Your land, my land, God's land!
And a place where eagles fly.

Towns (trading centers) naturally sprang up at river fords or ferries, crossroads and mill sites where travel was broken or where settlers had their grain ground. In 1890 there were fifty-nine common schools, open three months of the year. The nearest railroad point in 1890 was Hot Springs. Reference: A Pictorial History of Arkansas by Fay Hempstead.

1851 U.S. Post Offices Postmaster
Akin's Store a post office of Montgomery Co., Arkansas
Big Fork  a post office of Montgomery Co., Arkansas
Caddo Cove Wm D. Rowton
Harold Gibson K. Robinson
Mount Ida James T. Fleming

1870 U.S. Post Offices
Black Springs     Centreville    Crystal Hill    Harold    Mount Ida (c.h.)

Official Register of the United States By United States Civil Service Commission
Post Office Postmaster 1884
Black Springs 		W. N. Thornton
Crystal Springs 	J.C. Tramel
Hickory Station 	A. Nelson
Fancy Hill	 	G.R. Waggoner
Mazarn 			P.M. Mullings
Mount Ida 		W.L. Burton
Oden 			L.J. Johnston
Silver City 		F. Pease

Bear 			A.M. Beam
Black Springs 		L.J. Hendricks
Buckville 		J.W. Freeman
Cedar Glades 		R.L. Houseley
Crystal Springs 	J. C. Tammel
Fancy Hill 		G.R. Waggoner
Mazarn 			P.M. Mullings
Mount Ida 		W.L. Barton
Oden 			L.J. Johnson
Silver City 		Frank Pease
Stillwater 		Harold Hall

Alf Post Office, Montgomery County, Arkansas
(Originally established as Helen) (dates are when appointed)

Sarah E. Scott 	Postmaster 		06/12/1908
Effie V. Buerge 	Postmaster 		10/09/1909
Claude L Goodman 	Postmaster 		11/30/1914
William M. Edwards 	Postmaster 		11/12/1915
Changed to Alf on January 19, 1916
William M. Edwards 	Postmaster 		01/19/1916
Nina V. Edwards 	Postmaster 		03/31/1921
William M. Edwards 	Postmaster 		01/05/1925
William A. Edwards 	Actg. Postmaster 	04/01/936
William A. Edwards 	Postmaster 		04/24/1936
Mrs, Inez Edwards 	Actg. Postmaster 	10/06/1939
Mrs. Inez Edwards 	Postmaster 		04/16/1940
Discontinued on July 31, 1952; mail to Big Fork.


2002 Polk township, Montgomery Co.,  (AR) Detailed Profile
County income

Mauldin was a company town,  built on the forestry industry.

Communities Past and Present

    Churches    Populated place  Post Offices   Springs  Civil 
Population was 7,841 and housing units was 4,269 in 1990
Summits in Montgomery Co.

I am sure a few more colorful names have been added to the area in Y2k.. Montgomery County, Arkansas will be getting a 911 system soon and the residences were asked to give their driveways, lanes and roads physical address so the emergency vehicles can locate the place. e.g. "Country View Rd" Hog Jaw.  Today many community names and ninety-three school districts are not found on maps but they tell a part of the history of the area as well as the names of the Cogburn, Garrett, Howton, Montgomery, Robbins, Waggoner, and Woodall cemeteries named after Civil War veterans.

Centennial History of Arkansas By Dallas Tabor Herndon, pg 783 (1922)
Situated southwest of the center of the state is Montgomery County, which was created by the act of December 9, 1842, from part of Hot Spring County. It is supposed to have been named for Richard Montgomery, one of the American generals in the Revolutionary war, who was killed at Quebec on December 31. 1775. Its area is 784 square miles and its average elevation is 700 feet. On the north it is bounded by Scott and Yell counties ; on the east by Garland and Hot Spring; on the south by Clark and Pike, and on the west by Polk County. Farming and lumbering are the leading industries. When the county was established the county seat was located where it is at present, though the place was at first known as Montgomery. In July, 1850, the county court ordered the name changed to Salem, but at the October term the same year it was changed to Mount Ida. On October 26, 1921, the court appropriated $40,000 for a new courthouse. Mount Ida was incorporated on December 14, 1854, and in 1920 reported 'a population of 298. It is a banking town, has a weekly newspaper, a flourmill, sawmills and woodworking concerns, general stores, a public school, etc. Womble is the nearest railroad station. Womble is an incorporated banking town about ten miles south of Mount Ida. It is the terminus of a branch of the Missouri Pacific railway system that connects with the main line at Gurdon, has a weekly newspaper, large lumbering interests, general stores, etc., and a population of 420. Black Springs, Caddo Gap, Oden and Washita are the principal villages. The population of the county in 1920 was 11,112.
Montgomery is divided into the following townships: Big Fork, Caddo. Caney, Center, Fir, Gap, Gaston, Hazel, Leverney, Mazarn, Missouri, Ouachita. Parks, Polk, Rock Springs, Scott, Smith, South Fork, Sulphur Springs, Walnut and Womble.

Alamo: The Alamo Community Reunion Picnic in mid October at the Alamo Missionary Baptist Church has been an annual event since 1987.

Albert: Now  Albert Pike, a recreational area nestled in the forested splendor of the Ouachita Mountains in the southern portion of the Ouachita National Forest.  Visitors can hike, fish, camp, picnic or canoe on the Little Missouri River. The Putman Cemetery 1885-1886 deep in the woods of the Ouachita National Forest near Albert Pike and only 2 grave markers that were still legible.  One was Elijah Covington Putman.  There were several other markers there most of which had sunk into the ground or you could no longer read. 12 buried. Pike Co. ARGenWeb has an article on Gen. Albert Pike.

Albert Pike was a lawyer and Masonic leader born in Boston, Mass. Dec. 29 1809, d. Washington, D.C. April 12 1891.  He left New England Dec. in 1831 and settling finally in Little Rock, AR where he rose to distinction as a lawyer.  He was a Calvary captain in the Mexican War (1846-1848) and a brigadier general in the CSA.  He published several volumes of poetry and the author of one of the standard versions of the song "Dixie" which appeared in the Natchez Courier May 30 186? written with a southern interest. His portrait is at the Albert Pike Memorial Temple, Little Rock. The area was also known as Greasy Cove and moon shiners liked this isolated area.

Albert Pike's home in Montgomery County, Arkansas - The Record (Garland County Historical Society) 1:18- & 3:18 Jan & Sept 1962 
"Greasy Cove"... scene of beauty... and endless bootlegging. Arkansas Democrat p.1, editorial section Sept 17, 1933

A Federal game refuge is maintained in the Muddy Creek area for the benefit of hunters in the Ouachita National Forest. The Albert Pike camp on the Blaylock and Albert Pike road near Norman is a recreational park where swimming, boating and fishing where enjoyed by many visitors during the summers. 1942 Montgomery County Mt Ida AR WPA History.

Avant see Buckville


Bear City : May 1998 a black bear was shot in Montgomery Co. Bear was annexed to Garland County in 1917.  

Harington, Donald. Let Us Build Us a City: Eleven Lost Towns. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, 1986. Includes Bear City and Y City.

Big Fork:  is in Polk Co., was in Montgomery Co. prior to 1860, it was named for Big Fork Creek. Section 23 Twp 3S Range 28W. From Memdag to Norsk: A Historical Directory of Arkansas Post Offices 1832-1871 by Russell Pierce Baker.  

Buckville NW Garland Co.

Black Springs: Is probably the oldest settlement on Montgomery County. In 1830 it was known as Caddo Township. The census for that year recorded a population of 165 people, classified as white and 24 classified as slaves. Located two miles E. of Norman, nine miles SW of Mt. Ida on the Hot Springs and Dallas road near the Caddo River. Merchants: F. Gross and Rowton Bros 1891. Population was 97 in 1990; housing units was 46 in 1990.

Cedar Glades - Harold see Buckville

Caddo Gap: Caddo Gap was first named Centerville. The area was first settled by Tula Indians and there is a statue here built by the WPA in 1936 recalling the most westward point DeSoto reached in the States in 1543. Note the feather is missing. The plaque on the base of the statue reads "DESOTO 1541 -A.D. Here Desoto reached his most westward point in the Untied States.  Here was the capitol of the warlike Tula tribe of Indians who fought Desoto and his men.  Relics found in this vicinity suggest the romance of past centuries about which history will ever be meager and incomplete.  Arkansas State Historical Commission." The current bronze statute was erected in 1980. The original copper statue had fallen during a storm earlier in the year.
     The actual "gap" for the Caddo River occurs just above the Arkansas 240 bridge where the river passes through a narrow opening between the ridges, and so does Arkansas 8 and the railroad. The Caddo River is a good "family outing" float stream and the most popular float is the six-mile journey from Caddo Gap to Glenwood. Another photo of statue with feather. without 1968 Map Along the west bank of the Caddo River (river right), in the area known as Caddo Gap, thermal springs bubble up into the river at or just below the surface.  Naturally occurring thermal springs rise from the riverbed approximately 200 yards northwest of the old low water bridge. The hot springs average ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit and can be felt as the thermal waters rise from the depths into the river.

In 1851 Balaam Strawn built a grist mil at the lower narrows on the Caddo River.  Adjacent to this was a two story store, a trading store for furs, a blacksmith, a Methodist church and the Centerville post office post. John Shipp was the first postmaster. After the Civil War the name was changed and the post office was moved one half mile west due to the possibility of flooding.  Middleton Reynolds had a grist mill here.  David Bassinger built a log store, which was also a post office and the New Hope Masonic Lodge No. 42 met on the second floor, beside his large two story house.   His daughter was Susan Shuffield and her daughters were Belle and Lue. William A. Hopper moved into the county from TN in 1851 and settled near Buttermilk Springs, later brought 160 acres in the Manfred community then a large bottom farm on the South Fork, later know as Gibbs farm and then the Ira West farm.  He built a large house, a grist mill, cotton gin and a small store. After Bassinger died Hopper purchased the store. Reference: Extracted from an article written by the late Julia Biggers, a former teacher for the Caddo Gap School,  for the Glenwood Herald, Aug 19, 1971and includes a photo courtesy of late Clarence Hopper of the Bassinger store.  Today the pine log Bassinger store built about 1855 is still standing but was moved to its present location in 1910.

Place names--Caddo Gap - Arkansas Gazette p.5F June 29, 1980
Towns vanish, memories cling: Caddo Gap, 1851 to 1906 by Biggers, Julia - Record (Garland County Historical Society) 26:24-28a 1985 - history and families
Caddo Gap to have a niche in history - Arkansas Gazette p.1C June 5, 1966
Picturesque Caddo Gap by Osra Cobb - Arkansas Gazette Magazine p.1 ; p.3 May 19, ; May 26, 1935
Highways and byways - Arkansas Democrat Magazine p.10 Sept 9, 1962  Caddo Gap, Ark.
Small-town basketball - Arkansas Democrat p.1E Dec 7, 1958 - Caddo Gap
The toll bridge on the Caddo by Otto Ernest Rayburn. Arkansas Historical Quarterly 13(2):160-163 Sum 1954. M. M. Chandler and the Narrows; 1870-1884, Chandler built and ran toll bridge at Caddo Gap.

1851: Caddo Creek, of Arkansas, rises near the s. border of Montgomery Co., and flows through Clark Co. into the Washita River.


Chapmondville: Was a village 10 miles from Hot Springs on the Mt. Ida Rd. Thomas Chapmond was a general merchant, George Washington Maddox had a cotton gin, saw and grist mill.  Dr. A. J. Pole was a physician and surgeon for the community. Reference: The Goodspeed Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas 1891

The General Store. It was probably taken between 1891 and 1900. 
The 1900 Business Directory lists T.L. Chapmond as having a store at Washita and a store at Story 
Photo courtesy of Eunice who is researching the Chapmond line.

Thomas Louis Chapmond m. Allie Vanderslice 1873. Children were:
Alfred Berry Chapmond , Dora E. Chapmond and Louisa E. "Lura" Chapmond .
In 1883 he married Almeda M. Irons, children were:
Thomas Earl Chapmond, Eva Allie Chapmond, Oscar Louis Chapmond and Mary Delsie Chapmond.

Alfred B. Chapmond married #1 Sadie Josephine "Josie" Whittington in 1896 #2 Carrie Bell Shepard in 1903 .
Dora E. Chapmond married #1 Frank D. Cothern in 1897 #2 Gibson Witt Sr. in 1908.
Louisa E. "Lura" Chapmond married #1 Dr. Eugene Calton Tolleson #2 Louis Napoleon "Poley" Burnett

Crystal Springs: Now in Garland County. Located half way between Hot Springs and Mt Ida and 4 miles from Bear. 

Dilce: Located half way between Silver and Mt. Ida.

Fancy Hill: Four miles west of Hopper on Highway 240. Cemetery. Cogburn and Waggoner names dominate.


Gaston: Church



Glenwood: Population about 1,500 in Pike County just over the county line. The town created in 1907 was first called Holly.  The A. L. Clark lumber company built many of the houses, a church and school.  Downtown businesses support the farming area and the sales barn is open to the public. In the fall there is the Sawmill Days festival. 

Hickory Station: Cemetery. 33 miles SW from Hot Springs and 22 miles from Mt. Ida. G.A. Tackett merchant, and mill man,  George B. Willis, assessor resided here.  Reference: The Goodspeed Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas 1891.

Hog Jaw: Located on the south side of the Ouachita River from Oden.  A tramp who wandered through the area and as he went from house to house, everyone fed him hog jowls, (the fatty part under the pig's jaw)  so he called that area Hog Jaw when he left. Another version: The origin of the name 'Hog Jaw' supposedly came from Sam Goodner.  He was in charge of a road crew in that area many years ago-and when lunch time came around, they ate lunch at the nearest home.  The meal always consisted of some kind of beans with hog jowl, and he started calling the area Hog Jaw.  (Another version by an older man, (Singleton), was that a itinerant wheat thresher gave it the name for the same reason mentioned above. Mount Olive Baptist Church is in the vicinity with the cemetery across the road.

Chat Lawrence Standridge from Pine Ridge b. Oct.. 28 1888 said her father named two places. "When they was threshin' wheat-everywhere they'd thresh wheat they'd eat their dinner. And they'd always have turnip greens and hog jowl cooked for dinner. And they eat it too. And Pa called the community Hog Jowl. And everything Pa put a name on, well, it just wore.... They's a bunch of little hills between Pine Ridge and Mena -there's seven of 'em. Now then they're graded down till you can drive right on. But in those days when we'd get to them it was a dead pull-over the top, and over the top, and over the top. Elevation is 786 feet.

Hopper: Just over 300 headstones in the Hopper Cemetery. Coffman, Davis, Golden, Hollifield, Hopper, Putman, Shields, Thomas, Tollerson, Tweddle, Walker names dominate.  William (Jack) Hopper had a general store in the area and mail was left here so the community took on the name Hopper.


Hurricane Grove: 4 miles east of Mt Ida toward Silver on Highway 270. Here the soil "is black as the bible".  A tornado struck the Ouachita Mountains on May 8, 1882, wiping out a section of what is today the Ouachita National Forest giving Hurricane Grove its name. The path of the storm was about one-half mile wide by approximately 14 miles long through a stand of virgin shortleaf pine.

Joplin: On Highway 270 12 miles east of Mt. Ida. Cemetery.

Liberty: SE of Norman. Liberty Church and cemetery here. Collier, Dutton, West,. Wilson  dominate.

Love: Post office was formed in 1873 with Josiah H. Demby as postmaster. It was 8 miles west of Mt Ida on the main road to Hot Springs. Later changed its name to Silver City

Lucky: In the SW corner of Montgomery County on the Memphis-Dallas & Gulf railroad line 25 miles from Mt. Ida and 25 miles from Hot Springs. Had a steam saw, grist-mill with cotton gin owned by Short & Montgomery as well as a Post Office and a  "pin-hook" store. Reference: The Goodspeed Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas 1891.

Mauldin : Existed from about 1922 to1933 and was once a thriving little company town with a company store, office, church and school an about one hundred and fifty  people. The Caddo River Lumber Company had acquired much of the land in western and northern Montgomery county so built a railroad from Norman to the future town of Mauldin. The economy was built on the forestry industry and men of the town earned their living cutting down the trees and taking them to the hardwood sawmill in Mauldin.

Mazarn: In SE Montgomery County.

Mount Ida : County seat. Population: 924.  Alt 663ft. In 1923 the building of a new stone courthouse, in the town square, commenced and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Whittington's Pharmacy now City Drugs and Soda Fountain.  Bars stools and counter still in use, date back to 1910.County records remain intact from July 1845 to present. "The county seat was established on its present site in 1842, the year the county was created and to the place (now Mount Ida) was given the name Montgomery courthouse in 1850, the name of the town was changed to Salem but in the same year was changed back to Mt Ida. Transcribed from plaque placed by Arkansas Centennial Commission 1886-1996 in front of the courthouse.  Granville Whittington established the first post office in the county in 1842. He had opened a store in the area in 1832. It was named Mount Ida after a hill near his former home in Massachusetts. 1890 there were two hotels, Watkins Hotel and the Smith House and Methodist and Christian churches. 1907 Andy J. Smith was  a merchant and Thomas P. Saudlin a blacksmith, G. H. Speer, Jr  was county clerk. 1913 C.J. Watkins was a hotel proprietor and W.A. Brakefield a merchant and T.P. Saudlin deputy clerk.  Mt Idy is a local pronunciation.

Watkins Bros., and Mrs. G.W. Golden, dealers in dry goods, groceries etc.,
C.A. Abernathy, dealer in lumber, lath and shingles, and also in flour.
Watkins and Witt, attorneys at law
R.C. Roberts, physician and surgeon
N.B. Riffe, general blacksmith and woodworker
Prof. W.G. Fail and daughter Annie, directs Mount Ida High School
Sheriff Golden. 
Reference: The Goodspeed Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas. 1891

Twenty the 20% of the 64 street names in Mount Ida are named after trees but some are probably named to honor early settler families: Abernathy, Featherston, George, Golden, Graham, Guinn, Hall, Irons, Jackson, Powell, Ray, Scott, Simpson, Smith, Van Buren, Watkins, West, Whittington 



Norman: Population under 400. Womble was formed in 1907 and prospered as the railroad terminated there. Businesses were relocated from nearby Black Springs  to Womble about the same time as the new railroad.   First called Womble after brothers who lived in Black Springs and owned the 'Womble Timber and Land Co.'  The name was changed in 1925.  A man with the last name Norman provided money for the town at a time when it was badly needed, and many feel that is why the town changed its name. The Presbyterian Church in Norman celebrated its 90th year in 1998 and there are detailed articles in the Montgomery County News August, 1998.  Dr. John Tilman Barr was a circuit pastor for 51 years.   The library and town square are listed on National Register of Historic Places. The Caddo Valley Academy an old school building is currently being restored. Next door is the remains of an old dormitory that house students who lived to far to walk. The Caddo River, canoeable, runs behind the town and has caused flooding in the past. Melba's Cafe is a meeting place with "home" cooking. Big 4 Cafe

Annual Report of the United States Civil Service Commissions - Page 141. 1916
Womble, case of Water B. Womble, fourth-class postmaster.
Charge: Undue activity in political affairs.
Date of charge: November, 1915.
Result: Upon investigation by a post-office inspector, it appeared that Mr. Womble, with his brothers, started the village which bears their name, and had been very active in the advancement of the village ever since its founding. He was appointed postmaster, elected mayor, justice of the peace, and school director, and was at one time chairman of the county central committee of his political party. It was also found that he was active in the interests of his brother's candidacy for a county office by soliciting votes on election day in March, 1914, and that he was very active in several attempts to have the county seat removed from Mount Ida to Womble, he having participated in the political campaigns before two special elections called for the purpose of voting upon the proposition, and that he secured and paid for the printing of campaign circulars. Mr. Womble claimed that he did not consider himself in the competitive classified service until after he had passed an examination and been accepted by the Post Office Department, in May, 1914. However, the political activity restrictions of the civil-service rules applied to this postmaster from October 15, 1912, on which date his position was made competitive, regardless of the date on which the incumbent was given a classified status. The commission recommended that he be reprimanded and warned, and this action was taken.

Oakwood : Once a small community with about 100 people in 1900 with a post office established 1894 and discontinued in 1914. Near the present Montgomery / Garland Co. line six miles east of Story on Hwy 298. First left after Irons Fork Creek, and go 1� miles.  There was a "creek" and the school, a church and some other buildings there. The Odd Fellows Lodge #362 members met at the Mt Zion Baptist Church. The creek kind of divided up the "town" and was usually no problem to cross but it could separate the town during heavy rain or flooding. The first school was near the cemetery which today has approximately 100 graves. Lat 344145N Long. 0932352W          Twp1N R23W Sec25. NW� of NE� Here is another photo of an Odd Fellow group in Montgomery County.

Oden : Alt 771ft. The general store, old rock bank and many barns make good photographic subjects.  There is a Ranger Station at Oden west of the school where you can obtain maps and other literature. Picturesque Brushy Recreational Area is a good place for a family reunion but bring water for drinking purposes. There is a good hiking trail, part of the Ouachita trail, (marked with blue paint) from old Forester Road down to the recreational area.  Brushy Cemetery and the Brushy Creek Missionary Baptist Church are located three miles north of Oden and Foster, Hickey, Hill, Singleton, Vincent and Wilhite names dominate. 1891 merchants were H.S. Goodner, Philpot & Sims and James Allen.  In the 1920s store owners were A.J. Plemons, S.N. Hickey, A.C. McKay and I.C. Chapman.  Taylor Town in Oden was named after C.C. Taylor who built a few economical homes in the 1960s & 1970s. 
Elevation is 761 feet.
Population was 126 in 1990
Housing units was 66 in 1990
US Postal Service Zip Code is 71961
Population 2000: 710
Biggest employer:  The local Oden School.

In the 1970s the Oden store 'Rusert's Grocery', was run by Paul Rusert. The house next door heading east toward Pencil Bluff was Carl Willhite's and next to him was Elder M. Norman home and his workshop out back were he engraved tombstones. The old bank closed down many years ago after it had been robbed. Across the road where the new Post Office now stands was a vacant lot where an old house had burnt down. Across the road west of the PO today was Frank Elder's service station with the Post Office in the back room and Frank Smith, Postmaster. One door west was a hardware store, then a variety store and a gas station. On the north side of the road was C.C.Taylor's appliance store and Irvine Sickafus barber's shop. Opposite the bank on the road to Brushy was Granville Mullenix house with a little hair saloon. Further north Carl Willhite's small store, Tarten's Garage. and Willis Willhite's house. Willis and Carl were cousins.

Oden is a tiny village on the banks of the Ouachita River, in Montgomery County. Incorporated seventy five years ago in 1929.  It is impossible to get lost there. The entire county retains its friendly atmosphere and rural past.  It's safe to say that any of the town's 200 residents would be willing to give directions provided visitors lose their way.  In Montgomery County, Ark. the biggest tourist attraction is the Lum and Abner Museum at Pine Ridge another nine miles east down the road is Oden and  Oden, is about eight miles west of Mt Ida. Churches outnumber gas stations, 2-1. There is no police department. The village is covered by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department and an all-volunteer fire department with about a dozen fire-fighters. And by far, the biggest building in town is the elementary school. This is a community where I would say everyone looks out for each other.  It's a quiet neighborhood, really.

At the Deli towards Pencil Bluff some men mostly of retirement age, gather, drink coffee and catch up on the local goings-on. for an early morning cup of coffee and a common conversation topic is the weather. You hear a lot about everything. They love to talk about the weather. People get to be people out here.


Pencil Bluff : Named after the nearby slate bluff overlooking the Ouachita River. Formerly called Sock City.

Pine Ridge: Formerly Waters until April 26, 1936.  Alt. 8840ft  Located in western Montgomery County is only slightly smaller now than it was in the early 1900s and it is small. If you blink you will miss it. There was a saw mill, general store, grist mill, blacksmith shop, and the other services necessary to a farming community where change occurs slowly. Dick Huddleston built his store in 1909 and it became the hub of activity in the community. The county local newspaper is still published every Thursday and way back in the1930s Dick would read aloud to the group of locals huddled around the stove. Dick purchased groceries from a wholesaler named Mr. Goff. Tuffy Goff, his son, got the inspiration  for the radio comdey hour from the day to day scenes, dialects and customers observed at the store. Tuffy was "Abner" the one with the little white beard.  Lum and Abner Jot em Down StoreHuddleston and McKinzie stores at  Pine Ridge are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Photo taken 1998. and museum is located here. The museum has a 1897 school district script receipt book, 1869 tax notices, 1894-1900 ledger for A.J. Risenhoover's store and post office, 1923-24 school record book, displays on local history and Lum and Abner and more. Postcards of Pine Ridge years ago are for sale as well as postcards of local characters from the Lum and Abner era. US Postal Service Zip Code is 71966 for Pine Ridge. Maps and books are available and the Post Office inside the store is still active. Some of the local residents who collected mail from the  postmaster, Ashel J. Risenhoover, in 1908 were: A.A. Bates, R. Bullue, William Clayton,  Bob Cranford, C.L. Fountain,  B. Gamble, John W. Gilliam, J.C. Guinn, Marion F. Hill, James R. Huddleston., J. E. Johnston, J.B. Mckinzie, Fannie Morris, Wallace Morris, James J. Mullenix,  William New,  W.M. Rigley, Lena  Risenhoover,  Maggie Vincent, G.A. Willhite, L.D. Willhite and W. Williams. The cemetery is located � mile down a gravel road, the "Old Waters Highway," between the outhouse and the museum and near the Pine Ridge Baptist Church and Union Baptist Church.

Red Bird

Rocky formerly Gibbs. Approximately 4 miles east of Sims on Hwy 88. "Presently, the community seems just a continuation of the communities of Sims to the west and Washita to the east. The old schoolhouse has rotted and the site cleaned up. I do not know why there has always been a conflict of opinion on what the community should be named. It seems that folks related to Gibbs want to call it Gibbs. Everyone else wants to call it Rocky. Greenberry Gibbs and G.W. Gibbs were some of the first people to live in the Rocky/Gibbs community. I believed that they were related.  We believe the community got its name (Gibbs) because Greenberry had the Post Office in his house. Sallie H. West was the first appointed Postmaster there. Greenberry's first wife, Sarah Ann (Jones) Gibbs, helped him run a cotton gin, grist mill, and large farm with orchards. They had the following children: Louana "Lewaney", Martha, Green Berry, Roland, Sally and Telithia." On information courtesy of Doug Anderson.


Silver City: During the late 1880s there were several large silver mines in the area. The 1880 census showed Central Township had 48 miners and only 27 farmers and the population of the county had risen to 5,743, residents, including 408 African-Americans and this was due to the silver boom that occurred in the 1880s. About 1915 the silver ore started playing out so people left  There were grist and saw mills that were powered by water from Murphy Creek, that flows through the area. Where homesteads use to stand there may be water wells over 100' deep and private silver mine shafts  200' covered in vines or caved in.  Today people dig in the area looking for quartz.  A lot of cotton was grown in the hills and now no cotton is grown in Montgomery County.

Silver City is 8 miles east of Mt. Ida and 32 miles west of Hot Springs., 10 years ago there was a mining camp of considerable magnitude but now practically abandoned. Ores of this district consist of galena, gray copper, chlorides, etc. Mines included: The Waterloo, Silver King, Montezuma (patented), Mammoth, Walnut, Diamond Jo, and several others. About 1 mile from Silver City is situated Elnora City, where the Elnora mine is located. Reference: The Goodspeed Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas. 1891


Slate City

Slatington: A company mining town early 1900's. Slatington, an extinct town deep in the mountains of Montgomery County, is evidence of a futile effort to operate a commercial slate quarry


Story: From "Montgomery County, Our Heritage", there are some comprehensive biographies about JAMES STORY and his wife CALIFORNIA STORY who came to Arkansas from West Plains, Missouri in 1870. Other biographies include Claude Roy Story (b.1899), Lewis Clark Story (1872-1956), and William Fern Story (1914-1976), all of them lived at one time in Story, AR. The writings also include a history of Story School District, and the Story Church of God.

On August 27, 1886, James Story received a permit to establish a post office at Story which was named Story, Montgomery County, with Nellie Story appointed postmistress. It has remained Story since that time. There were sawmills, gins, and gristmills since the 1870s. General stores were owned by Jim Logan Blakely, Columbus (Lum) Story, and several others, including an Owen Story. (The complete article was submitted by Jewell Story Phillips.)

The book also has a few paragraphs and photograph of the Story School. The first school was a one-room structure located two miles north of Story on land donated by Franklin Lamb. Several years later this school was replaced by a one-room frame schoolhouse which was built east of Story near the present locations of the churches. The Story School was established before 1885, consolidated with Mount Ida November 23, 1929, but remained as a wing school until 1965. Teachers in the school including Jewell Story and Jewell Smith Story.

The book has several pages of biographies of Story families. The earliest Story to arrive in the area was James and California Story who came to Yell County near Rover, Arkansas, in 1870. They came in covered wagons from West Plains, Missouri. They immediately moved to Montgomery County, Arkansas where Story is now located. They acquired some land, 160 acres, under the Homestead Act. James served in the Confederate Army. They had five children: Isabelle, Dora, William Henry, Sidney Columbus (Lum) and Eddie. After California died in 1883, James married Nellie Myers Neese in 1884. There was no post office there so on August 27, 1886, the post office at Story was established under the name of Story. Nellie Story became the first postmistress.

Sulphur Springs: 17 miles west of Norman. There use to be a school here. Names in the cemetery include Edwards, Hoyle, Hughes, Hutchinson, Rainwater, Wigger.

Tackett : Near Hickory Station

Washita: At intersection of Hwy 88 and 27.  In the 1920s Washita was a thriving community with two hotels, a cotton gin, bakery, general store, two doctors Dr. Steely and Dr. Sullivan. Ouachita means good hunting /good fishing grounds. Game here includes deer, 'possum, mink, squirrel, red and gray fox, bobcat, wild coon, duck, quail, dove, wild turkey.  Buried at the West Washita Cemetery is George Washington Giffin a Union veteran (IN. I Co. 81st Reg. Vol. Inf.).  A CSA veteran A.Y. Hays (4th AR Inf. Montgomery Co. Hunters) is buried here.  The East Washita Cemetery is on Corps of Engineers land, at the boat dock at Washita, and is in terrible shape.  "We do not want this cemetery to be lost in time."  There are four graves with headstones in this abandoned cemetery including Drew Allen Wallace (Co. D. 4th Reg. AR Calvary). Drew's wife, Patience is also buried there. Elevation is 582 feet. Washita P.O. closed 30 September 1955.

Welsh: Located in the SW corner of Montgomery County on Highway 70 between Glenwood and Hot Springs.

White Plains see Buckville 

White Town: Between Oden and Pencil Bluff, nearly in Pencil Bluff. There use to be a general store here.

Forest industry still plays an important role in the county.

Montgomery - There are eighteen Montgomery Counties in the USA.
In keeping with the tradition of naming townships after military and political leaders Montgomery County, Arkansas was named in honor of a Revolutionary War (1775-1783) hero, General Richard Montgomery (1738-1775). Born in Swords, County Dublin, Ireland.  The 2nd New York marched with General Montgomery's army on the successful drive through the Champlaign Valley to Fort Saint John. There they laid siege to that British outpost which surrendered after two months of steady rains, floods, and sickness.   In November, Montgomery pushed the army forward with the promise of provisions and quarters.  Montreal fell with little resistance and they arrived with 300 troops to join Colonel Benedict Arnold's forces from Maine and closed on Quebec.  Arnold's forces attacked the strongly fortified city, only to have the assault end in disaster. A hundred Americans were killed, including Montgomery while leading an assault on Quebec's defenses in a blinding snowstorm, 4 AM on 31 December 1775.  Four hundred were captured; and many were wounded, including Arnold, who fell as he stormed over a barricade, a ball through his leg.

"Follow the saw with the plow" Was a truism in the early days of Montgomery and Polk County.  Farmers would prepare the land they homesteaded  and plant cotton.  Today there isn't any cotton grown in Montgomery County. During the depression many of the farmers moved to California after they sold their farms to the national forest service.  Now Montgomery County is now 63% national forest land.  There use to be about 83 school districts in the county when the children had to walk to school and the population was greater. The three school districts today are Caddo Hills, Mount Ida and Oden.  

Montgomery Co. ARGenWeb Project
If you know any history on any other communities and  towns and the origins of their names, please let me know and I'll add them. 

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Arkansas Place Names by Ernie Deane. "From Apt to Zink, by way of Oil Trough, Toad Suck, Smackover and Ink." Ernie began collecting Arkansas place names in the 1950s. Tells how and why places got their names. A good source of information for the researcher who wants to know about that Arkansas town with the funny name. 

What's in our name? Arkansan? Arkansawyer? Arkansian? Arkansasan?
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette 27 December 2007
Who are we? We know where we live - Arkansas. We know how to pronounce it - Ark-an-saw. The state's General Assembly made that pronunciation and the current spelling a matter of law in 1881 after an 1880 report from a joint committee appointed by the Arkansas Historical Society and the Eclectic Society, whose members included Judge U.M. Rose. So what should we call ourselves? That's where things get complicated. The word Arkansas is based on a French interpretation and spelling of an American Indian word (probably from the Quapaw); it is spelled differently than it is pronounced. When the Legislature settled on the state's spelling, it ruled out other versions that included Arkansaw, Arkensaw, Alkansas and Akansea. No wonder there are several words to identify residents and natives of the Natural State.
We pronounce it Ark-an-saw; the standard way in English is to add `an.' To get to a word like Ar-kansan, it changes into a mispronunciation of the state itself ... and that becomes offensive to some people." The words Arkansan, Arkansawyer and Arkie are in common use. Each term has its partisans and its detractors. Other names have surfaced, such as Arkansasan (Ark-an-saw-an) and Arkansian, each presented with what supporters say is historical or linguistic logic and precedent.

"Through the 200 years of our state's history people haven't understood the evolution of the word Arkansas, so we end up with works like Arkansian, Arkie, Arkansan, Arkansawyer," Westbrook says. "We don't know what to call ourselves." Westbrook says that following the official pronunciation of our state, Ark-an-saw - with the final "s" silent - "tradition is that you add `an' to the `ah' or `aw' sound. So, if we add it to the Arkansaw pronunciation, you would call it Ark-an-saw-an, spelled Arkansasan."

You'd be well-advised not to use the word Arkie around Bill Bowen of Little Rock. "It's offensive," says the former lawyer, banker, chief of staff for Gov. Bill Clinton in 1991-'92 and law school dean for whom the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's law school is named. "Arkie is derogatory, it goes back to Depression era, Arkies and Okies fleeing poverty and the Dust Bowl to pursue the harvest ... the picture it painted is one of illiteracy and broken-down cars heading west," he says. "I favor discontinuing the use of negative terms." That negativity, Bowen says, was also fueled by Greenwoodborn radio comic Bob Burns, who spun tales about people and life in Arkansas in the 1930s and '40s. "He brought us the worst kind of notoriety," Bowen says. He recalls that during his time in the Air Force, when other airmen found out he was from Arkansas, "they would say `You are? But you have shoes on.'" Westbrook agrees, adding Lum and Abner and H.L. Mencken to the list. Writer Donald Harington says that "all literate Arkansawyers for many years have preferred calling themselves that," citing noted Arkansas writers John Gould Fletcher, Vance Randolph, Ernie Deane and Neil Compton. "Arkansan is not only wishywashy and P.C., but also makes one sound like some kind of artificial Kansan. Arkansawyer is the only proper name for us," says Harington, whose books include The Architecture of the Ozarks and Let Us Build a City. He is a distinguished professor of art history at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

"There was a newspaper in the 1850s in Fayetteville called The Arkansian," he says. The earliest reference Dillard knows of for Arkansawyer was uncovered by Wintory, who found a reference to "the Argenta Arkansawyer" in a Nov. 25, 1882, article in the Arkansas Democrat. Dillard says Arkansawyer "may be an informal, colloquial thing more commonly used in the Ozarks. It seems a purposeful rejection of a name that has historical precedent ... Arkansian and Arkansan. I think Arkansawyer is a reaction to Kansas; Kansas wasn't popular here because of the pre-Civil War violence in Kansas and the fact Kansas troops fought in Arkansas during the Civil War. The `ian' ending and Arkansawyer may be a conscious rejection of association with Kansas." The fact that we are still asking the question, Dillard says, "may be related to the fact that Arkansas people are neither Southern nor Western and it doesn't have a strong unified history like Texas." As a result, he says, the people of Arkansas are unable to define themselves and are unwilling "to delve into our very mixed heritage." Our legislators have tried to pin down a name for us, too. In 1959, Rep. W.H. Thompson of Poinsett County sponsored a resolution to make Arkansan the official name. It was approved by both houses but vetoed by Gov. Orval Faubus, who reportedly favored Arkansawyer, according to a March 12, 1965, story in the Arkansas Gazette. On Jan. 18, 1965, the Arkansas Senate adopted Prescott Sen. Olen Hendrix's measure to have our inhabitants known as Arkansawyers, but the resolution never came up for a vote in the House. For the time being, at least, Arkansan seems to have the upper hand. It's used by many newspapers and radio and television stations. That, Wintory says, could be as much the product of a reaction to negative images of the state evoked by Arkie and Arkansawyer. Wintory says he is bothered by words such as Arkansan that change the pronunciation of the state's name, but says, "ultimately, it's a social consensus." For now, at least, that seems to point toward Arkansan.

REMEMBERING ARKANSAS History of state's post offices is a social history, too by Tom W. Dillard
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette 16 July 2006
Arkansas Post Offices, From Memdag to Norsk, the book, was compiled by Russell P. Baker of the Arkansas History Commission in Little Rock. The copy I bought is a revised edition, published in 2003 by the Arkansas Genealogical Society (P.O. Box 17653, Little Rock, Ark. 72222). Other than a brief introduction and illustrated explanation of how the book was compiled from a variety of sources (since there is no reliable encompassing government list), this truly is an alphabetical listing of every known post office ever established in Arkansas.
More than 6,500 Arkansas towns have had post offices at one time or another. Many of these turned out to be short lived. Accident, in southern Montgomery County, had a post office from 1888 to 1890, but that short duration might have been because of the unfortunate choice of name. The settlement of Ada in Stone County (not the ones by the same name in Conway, Montgomery or Washington counties) had an even shorter life; it was born and died in the same year, 1907.

The postal system has changed a great deal over the years. Until well into the 20th century, politics played a major role in naming local postmasters. Indeed, dispensing federal jobs - especially postmasterships in larger towns - became the glue that held together the Arkansas Republican Party during its lean years after 1874 when the "Redeemer" Democrats regained power and ended Reconstruction. "Post Office Republicans" became their unfortunate nickname. Smaller post offices, which is to say the great majority, were not considered political plums - and the income from such postmasterships was minimal. A general store owner often doubled as the postmaster, and the mail was distributed along with groceries. Having a post office in a store meant that people often gathered there, with older men hugging the potbellied stove in the winter and whittling away at sticks on the front porch during the warm months. Many of the small post offices were named after the first postmaster. Scobey, in Cleveland County, was named for John P. Scobey. Harbour in Calhoun County, which existed from 1886 to 1904, was the namesake of Postmaster John H.S. Harbour. Post office names changed frequently. Rohwer, the Desha County community that became a large relocation camp for interned Japanese-Americans during World War II, was originally named Harding.
    The book does not address how Ink in Polk County got its name - which has been a source of speculation for years. The story, which seems too good to be true, is that the person completing the paperwork for a post office took literally the form's direction that the line reserved for the name be filled in with ink. Records do not address that probable bit of rural mythology, but they do record that the Ink post office was established in 1887 and closed in 1967. Interestingly, the original plan was to name the post office Melon, but the authorities rejected that name. I have always wondered how Eros, in Marion County, got its name. Baker tells us the post office was intended to be named Sweet Water. In my mind I can see the disappointed locals getting together in 1880 and deciding to one-up the postal authorities by giving the town a name that might have raised eyebrows among the upright Victorians. Possibly the most famous post office in Arkansas today is at Romance, in rural White County, which does a booming business each year leading up to Valentine's Day. The name was chosen in 1884 when the original suggestion, Clifty, was rejected. The post office at Vimy Ridge in Saline County was originally named Germania, reflecting the large number of German immigrants who settled in the area. During World War I anti-German sentiment resulted in a petition to change the name of the post office. To add insult to the injury, the post office was renamed in honor of a recent battle in which the Allies defeated the Germans.

Montgomery County -  Arkansas Gazette p.9B Sept 16, 1945 Names, Geographical

Arkansas -A Guide to the State
Compiled by Workers of the Writers' Program
of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Arkansas
First published in 1941

"In 1932 whenever a comment was made that the stock market was going down, many of us in Mount Ida thought they were referring to the price of cattle and hogs." Ralph J. Smith Montgomery County News Feb. 4, 1988

The Great Depression took its toll on Montgomery County. In 1935 there were 1,601 farms in the county, comprising of 138,951 acres. In 1945, there were only 1,118 farms, with 124,767 acres. Sesquicentennial Committee - pg 325.