LAWRENCE COUNTY contains 600 square miles, and lies partly in the Black River Valley, which extends
from the Missouri line on the north, to Newport on the south. It is about equally divided by the Black
River, which runs north and south, leaving a high, rolling country to the west, and fine, rich,
level lands with alluvial soil, to the east. Owing to its location and transportation facilities it is
in easy reach of the large cities of the West and Southwest. This county had at the census of 1890, 12,984
inhabitants, its present population being something over 15,000, of which only about 400 are colored, the balance
white. The greater part of the people are members of the Methodist and Baptist churches. Nearly every
denomination, however, is represented. The Old School Presbyterians have three congregations within the
limits of the county, and there are many members belonging to the Cumberland branch of that church. The
Christian Church is gradually spreading, and a few Universalists, Unitarians and Adventists might be mentioned :
also a Catholic Church at Hoxie. The majority of the inhabitants are engaged in agricultural pursuits, such
as stock raising, growing of corn, wheat, cotton, potatoes and nearly every kind of fruit adapted to the
temperate zone. Those engaged in trade are principally lumbermen, merchants, and dealers in hogs and cattle.
The agricultural products of this section of Arkansas are varied and remunerative. Cotton is one of the
staple crops, but owing to the low price of this crop there is now a disposition on the part of the working farmer to
go at something else. Corn, wheat, potatoes, hogs and cattle seem to be the most inviting. The vast range for
cattle and hogs makes it possible to raise them at very small expense. In fact, cattle do well here for nine months
in the year without any feed except what the range furnishes. The mast, which is generally abundant, keeps the
hogs until they are ready to put in the pen to fatten for market. In fact, large quantities of hogs are marketed
without any corn at all. The mast of the white oak, hickory and pecan furnishes rich and fattening food, and in
a good year the greatest trouble is to get the hogs together.
Watermelons and cantaloupes are profitable crops near the railroad and sell from $40 to $150 per car,
according to quality and the time they are put on the market, the early ones bringing very much the highest
price. An acre of good melons will make a carload.
Early potatoes are gi-own successfully and yield a large amount per acre, and find a ready market at from
75 cents to $1.00 per bushel. These potatoes are always in demand, as thej' reach the market much earlier than
the general crop. After the potatoes are taken off, the same land is planted in corn and yields from forty to fifty
bushels per acre, thereby giving two crops off the same land. Or a second crop of Irish potatoes raised from
seed of the first crop (or better still, with seed from the second crop of the year before) can be planted the last
week in July, after the first crop is ripe and harvested, and this second crop, although not yielding usually quite
APPLE GROWING IN ARKANSAS. SHANNON APPLE TREES. FIFTH YEAR FROM GRAFT
as heavily as the first, will, in many cases, produce on good land over lOO bushels per acre of sound potatoes that
will come out of the cellars and pits in good condition the next spring. These are always in demand for seed, and
sell for a good price. Sweet potatoes grow finely and yield large returns of succvdent roots.
In fact, all crops can he successfully raised. Wheat and oats are now grown, but not to the extent these
crops deserve. The great obstacle to successful farming is the one crop idea. The people raise cotton, and buy,
to a great extent, everything they consume. Cotton is always cash at some price, but the extremely low price is
keeping the people poor. What this country needs is a lot of thrifty small farmers who will raise corn, wheat,
vegetables, fruit, melons, cattle and hogs, which always find a ready market at remunerative prices ; farmers
that will own their own farms and fix them up with taste and comfort. Renting land at high figures and making
cotton at a loss will not build up any country.
GRASSES AND FODDER PLANTS.
The soil and climate of Lawrence County are adapted to the growth of the following grasses : Blue grass
does well for lawns and pastures when properly dressed and partially shaded. Timothy grass does well on almost
any of our valley lands, holding a sod for from three to five years. The yield being from one to one and a half
tons per acre, timothy is by far the most profitable grass that we can raise in this county. Red Top does well
in our low wet lands, and makes a fair turn-out and an excellent good pasture. Red clover succeeds on almost
allot our lands, both valley and upland, producing about two tons per acre. Orchard grass does extra well,
especially when it is partially shaded. Millet and Hungarian are a sure crop here, and the yield is good.
The above statements are furnished by Mr. W. M. Ponder, of Walnut Ridge, who has had twenty-seven
years' experience in farming in this county. Mr. Ponder says: "I feel satisfied that, with a better method of seeding
and farming, such as is found in an older farming country, far better results could be obtained."
In addition to the fodder plants named above, it may be said that Bermuda and Johnson grasses, the cow-
pea and sorghum, raised as a fodder plant (or for syrup), are successfully grown here, as also are oats, millet and rye.
Lawrence County, lying as it does with one-half of her territory on the southern slope of the Ozarks, and
the other half composed of the finest bottom lands along Black and Cache Rivers, offers to the horticulturist more
varied opportunities for the culture of fruits and vegetables than can be found in any other section of Arkansas.
Here, on our hill lands, can be grown to their highest degree of perfection, apples, peaches, pears, plums, grapes
and berries of all kinds; while our warm, sandy loam soil will mature fruit for market from ten days to two
weeks earlier than the rocky hills north and west of us. While we do not wish to disparage any section of the
famous "Ozark Range" for fruit culture, feeling, as we do, that no better place has ever been found, as a
whole, yet we are fully persuaded there are degrees of excellence in this district, and Lawrence County seems to
have, by its location, more natural advantages, and consequently can offer more inducements to fruit and vegetable
growers than other parts of Northern Arkansas. Here also we grow successfully early and late Irish potatoes ;
sweet potatoes and cabbage also could be made one of our best paying crops, as two good crops can be grown
each year, while cantaloupes and watermelons have already become a part of our staple productions, many
hundred carloads being shipped from this county each year. Celery will soon be grown here on our rich, alluvial
bottom lands, as experimental tests have demonstrated these to be perfectly adapted to its culture. The people
of the North and East are already seeing the marvelous development we are making along the many lines above
mentioned, and the time is not far distant when our hills and valleys will be settled by men and women,
prosperous and happy, having found the land long looked for, where nature has done so much to aid them in their
endeavor to obtain a competency and to provide for their old age.
The fame of Arkansas apples may justly be said to be almost world-wide, as she has carried off first honors
wherever she has exhibited her fruits; such apple countries as New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Canada
and the Pacific Coast States having been beaten again and again in the competition, and leading pomologists
of the country have sung the praises of the matchless fruit she has exhibited.
In that part of the State lying north of the Arkansas River, the business of apple raising has passed the
experimental stage and has assumed large proportions, some of the counties having hundreds of thousands and
will soon have millions of bearing trees, and the quality of the fruit is unsurpassed.
Apple trees one and two years old cost here from $4.00 to $5.00 per hundred. It is best to buy trees grown
in the South, as there are large and reliable nurseries raising such varieties as are found to succeed best here. The
favorites for profit are Ben Davis, Missouri Pippin, Mammoth Black Twig, Ingraham, Jonathan, Shockley,
Winesap, Ozone Red, Rome Beauty, Huntsman's Favorite, Hoss, Springdale, Clingman's Yellow Forest, and
the Tull apple ; and for early varieties, Early Harvest, Red Astrachan, Arkansas Red, Red June and Yellow
Transparent. A failure of the crop was unknown until last year, 1894, when a freeze in March ruined almost
the whole crop of this State.
The market for Arkansas apples is mostly in Texas, Colorado and the Northwest, and the price in carload
lots is from 50 cents to $1.00 per bushel.
Taking the lowest figure as the price, apple raising is a very profitable business.
Trees planted twenty feet apart give 100 trees to the acre. The more prolific sorts, such as Ben Davis,
will bear at five years from the nursery a bushel to the tree, the sixth year they will bear five bushels, when ten
years old from ten to twenty bushels.
Supposing that only fifty trees are set to an acre instead of 100, and that they bear an average of
twenty bushels to a tree, this would give 1,000 bushels per acre, and if sold at the lowest price, fifty cents per
bushel, would make the income from one acre $500, or $5,000 from ten acres.
When it is remembered that root crops, such as sweet or Irish potatoes, can be successfully grown between
the rows of trees while they are coming into bearing, an idea is gained of the profit there is in apples on the
exceedingly cheap lands of Arkansas. Thousands of immigrants have already found out these facts, have settled
here and are raising Arkansas apples, but we have still room for hundreds of thousands more.
By M. G. WILSON, of Black Rook, Ark.
For a man of limited capital, I know of no surer business than that of growing strawberries for market,
right here in Lawrence County, Ark. This is, as it were, the natural home of the strawberry, in fact,
the soil and climate are so well adapted to their growth that fine marketable berries can be raised here
with less attention than in any other section of country I know of. Do not understand me to say that
they will grow, harvest, market and make returns in and of themselves; no, they will not do that, no
more than will any other crop in any other country. But I do say that you can get more net dollars from
one acre of strawberries, well cultivated and nicely marketed, than you can from any other crop with a like
amount of capital and labor invested. And now for a few figures from crops of berries grown and shipped from this
immediate neighborhood. One gentleman, from a little less than one acre, shipped lOO crates (twenty-four
quarts to crate), for which he received $200. The time required to do this, cultivating, harvesting and
marketing, was only about sixty days. We are not quite so early with berries as Texas, Louisiana and
Florida, in fact, we are about mid-season here, beginning 23d of April and continuing thirty days. As compared
with the South and the Northeast, our advantage over the former is from 200 to 600 miles nearer the berry market,
and over the latter in being some thirty days earlier. I would mention the following varieties as having been
tested and found well adapted to the soil and climate. For very early, Michel's Early, Van Deman and
Crescent; medium, Haverland, Jessie, Warfield No. 3, Great Pacific, Bubach No. 5, and Eclipse; late,
Gandy and Rio.
The above have all given good paying crops here, without any fertilizers, grown on good average corn and
potato land. Our facilities for shipping are good, having two railroads running through the county, leading out
to the best berry markets, which can be reached in from six to twenty-four hours. As to the quality of the berries
grown here, I will only say that the first season, berries shipped from here sold for from 50 cents to $1.00 per
crate more than berries from south and west of us, on the same market, at the same time, as per account of sales
rendered bv commission houses at the time.
STOCK FARM. ARKANSAS.
I do not think you will ever regret it if you will come to Lawrence County and grow strawberries, and in
fact any and all kinds of fruit. For the benefit of those whose means will not permit them to invest in large tracts
of land, I wish to tell them what can be done on a few acres in Lawrence County. Seven years ago I bought the
place on which I now live (seven acres), in the woods. After paying for the place I had no money left, but went
to work. My sister helping me, for the last four years, the place has made us a good living. To-day, in their
season, we are enjoying and selling our own apples, peaches, pears, plums, grapes and berries of all kinds. This
season, from one-half acre, we sold 1,550 quarts of strawberries and made thirty-five gallons of strawberry wine.
Have not bought a pound of hog meat in four years. Sold $150 worth last season. Have plenty for ourselves,
something for the neighbors, and something to sell all the time, and all from only seven acres.
With the admiralile grazing and feeding facilities found in this superb county, with short, mild winters in
which special feeding is required, and the excellent stock water enjoyed here, it is no wonder that cattle do
remarkably well, and are a very profitable investment.
The native cattle breed up readily with choice foreign strains, such as the Durham, Guernsey, Jersey,
Herefords, Holsteins and polled Angus, and produce very fine animals. All fine imported cattle acclimate here
very readily; there seem to be no diseases incident to change of climate to which they are subject; they do well
from the day of their landing, right along.
The shipping facilities enjoyed by this county in its two great trunk lines of railway, namely, the St. Louis,
Iron Mountain and Southern, and the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis, are of the very best character, and
secure the most favorable shipping rates on cattle. What is said here as to the raising of cattle, applies with equal
force to mules, horses, sheep, and hogs. They all do excellently well here, and the latter are now raised and
Let it be noted, that in Lawrence County the razor-back hog is almost, if not quite, a thing of the past.
Those now raised are the Poland China, Berkshire, and Chester White breeds, and these are found to be
free from disease, fatten quickly, and have all the points of perfection noted in these famous strains in the most
favored northern and eastern localities.
The plentiful crops of mast our vast timbered regions supply, furnish ample food resources, costing
nothing; so that here, all that is required are a few bushels of corn at the last to harden up the fat, and then the
splendid porkers are ready for market, and fetch the best prices, although they have not cost one-quarter as much
as northern or western raised hogs.
The stock business in Lawrence County offers most attractive opportunities: land^ are low in price, water
plentiful, range still very extensive, cattle, horses, mules, sheep and hogs healthful ; food of all sorts plentiful and
cheap ; facilities for transportation excellent. All this in a country rich in general agriculture and fruit, and having
a healthful, salubrious climate.
In considering the resources of Lawrence County, the timber interest is a factor that merits a leading
position. Nearly all the lands, not in cultivation, are covered with a heavy forest growth: this is especially
true of the bottom lands. Black River and its tributaries penetrate these vast forests to an aggregate
extent of 500 miles, making available an almost unlimited supplv of as fine timber as is to be found
anywhere in the United States, including white and red oak, red gum, ash, cypress, hickory, maple, birch, syca-
more, Cottonwood, elm, sassafras and other desirable varieties. Oak trees twenty feet in circumference at the
stump can be found, and six large saw logs sixteen feet in length have been cut from one trunk. Mills are located
at various points on the rivers, the products of which are shipped by steamers and barges to Black Rock. Large
quantities of logs are floated in rafts and on barges to the various mills and factories located at that point, and are
there manufactured into lumber, shingles, wagon material, cooperage, handles, furniture, and other articles, and
shipped to various points in the United States, and large quantities of lumber are exported to Europe. The quality
of the lumber produced is recognized as being equal to any offered in the leading markets of the country. The
various timber industries established here are capable of much larger development and there can be no doubt
but that the business will steadily increase.
It is a matter of no small concern to those seeking a home, or investments, to do so in a country not over-
burdened with assessments or taxes. Since the Constitution of 1874, in the State of Arkansas, except for indebted-
ness that existed prior to that time, there can be no greater levy than five mills for all county purposes, five mills
for all State purposes, and for public schools a special tax, not exceeding five mills, may be levied in each school
district, thus making $1.50 on the $100 as the maximum tax. But in cities or towns, for city purposes, another
five mills may be levied. Lawrence County, as other counties in the State, has its railroads and improved river
transportation, without being in debt for it one dollar. In this respect it is far better off than many of the counties
in States north and west. A man who owns property here is not liable to heavy assessments by reason of bonded
indebtedness for the purpose of building railroads and other enterprises, and our county scrip or warrants are
now, and have been for the past ten or twelve years, at par.
This county is well supplied with railroad facilities, having the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern
Railway in its eastern part, running entirely through the county in a northeastern and southwestern direction, and
crossing this at about right angles, entering the county near its northeastern corner and having a length in the
county of thirty miles, is the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Railway. These are both through trunk
lines and have splendid train service. These two lines give excellent shipping facilities for all kinds of produce.
The Black River is navigable for steamboats the year round for a good part of its waters within the county.
There are three boats now engaged in this trade, giving an outlet by the Black and White Rivers to the
OUR RIVERS. LAKES AND SPRINGS.
This county is one of the most favored in the State in its superb water supply, both as to streams and
water courses, and sweet healthful drinking waters, from springs and wells. No country is worth living in, that
is not well supplied with pure water, and in this respect Lawrence County ranks with the first.
Black River cannot be surpassed for its good wholesome water; its meandering channel slowly winding its
deep and spacious water course sufficient to float good sized boats at all seasons of the year, insures to the manu-
facturer of shingles, staves, heading and other lumber along its line, as well as to the farmer who cultivates the fer-
tile lands through which it runs, the safest and best transportation. This stream, with its adjacent lakes, furnishes
splendid sport for the devotees of Isaak Walton, and gives meat to the hungry as well as drink to thousands of men
and beasts who are thirsty. There can be no estimating the worth of such a stream to the county.
Then, there is Spring River, on the banks of which are lovely homes where reside many of the best citizens
of our county, and while it is not a navigable stream, it is really lovable for its clear, lucid water, which, after
rising from the great Mammoth Spring, in Fulton County, swiftly rolls down its rocky channel till at intervals of
every few miles it forms little falls or cataracts, making natural mill sites with unsurpassed water power for
manufacturing, until it is lost in the more sluggish waters of the Black River.
Again, there is Strawberry River, which passes from a northwest to a southeast direction, on which is
located Smithville, the old county site of Lawrence County. This stream, though of about the same size as Spring
River, bears no resemblance to it, as it has no falls, but more fish ; more fertile land, but fewer inhabitants, along
Then, there is Cache River on the eastern boundary of Lawrence County, which is made up of a chain of
lakes, and has furnished a great deal of the finest timbers that have been manufactured in our county. It is well
known as the best stream for catching perch in this county, and is, perhaps, not excelled anywhere. You have only
to go with a well-baited hook to insure all the fish you want at any reasonable time. While this is laid down as
navigable (at some times during high water, may be), no steamer ever plies its waters ; the timber man's Johnnie
boat, his skiff and his raft, alone, are found here. Though it is a somewhat sluggish stream, it is still a delight
to the hungry as well as the thirsty. Myriads of excellent fish are found here. In its splendid forests a most
e.xcellent hunting ground exists for the devotees of Nimrod. Along its banks are numerous wood-working manu-
factories, already established and in operation, affording markets for all good timbers.
On the west side of Black River are found some splendid lakes, namely, Little Bay, Holt Bay, Swan
Pond and Horse Shoe Lakes, and on the east side of the river are Crooked, Robinson, Minor, Horner Bay,
Lindsay and Clear Lakes, all of which abound in fish and furnish the sportsman all the pleasure he can desire.
We have very fine springs in many portions of our county. In the western part are found, not only the
best of springs noted for the coolness and abundant flow of water, but also several noted for their curative qualities,
among these are the following: Bonita Spring, one mile from Black Rock ; Clear Spring, about five miles from
Black Rock; Wayland Spring, three miles from Imboden, and the Medical Spring, about two and one-half miles
northwest of Smithville. None of these have been advertised to any extent, and although their virtues have been
a blessing to some, they are still comparatively unknown.
As has been noted in the preceding pages this county is naturally divided into an eastern, alluvial, section,
and a western, upland, hilly and mountainous, portion, the latter lying west of Black River.
In the eastern portion no mining has ever been done, although indications point to the probable existence
in the deeper strata, of coal, petroleum and natural gas. Fire clay of a very superior quality, also clays suitable
for the manufacture of the best quality of pressed brick and tiling, exist here in inexhaustible quantities.
In the western portion of the county are found immense beds of fine chiys heavily charged with aluminum
well adapted to the manufacture of that metal, and for other mechanical and chemical uses.. Here, deposits of
zinc in all its forms, carbonates, sulphates, etc., are found all over this western part of the county, and await the
enterprise of the miner snd the capitalist and the development of better shipping facilities. Lead and iron are
also found here, usually in close proximity to the zinc. The lead is largely silver bearing, and there are many
indications that in some former time these minerals were all successfully mined here, by what nation or people is
not known. Kaolin is also found at different points and is said to be of excellent quality. Many of the lands
covering these mineral deposits are of good value as farming lands, and are also in many cases covered with fine
timber, which, when cut and marketed, will more than pay the cost of the land and of the clearing. In many
parts of the world mining lands have no other value than such as the minerals, give it, while here farm produce
and fruits can be grown on the surface, while the mining of valuable metals is carried on below.
• • • • OUR TOWNS • • • •
SMITHVILLE. Beginning with Smithville, near its western border, we would say tliat it is, with the excep-
tion of Powhatan, the oldest town in our county, and was originally the comity site. The
lands surrounding it are more or less hilly, but reasonably fertile and productive. It is a healthy, quiet place,
with man-sober, industrious and prosperous citizens ; has good schools and churches ; is surrounded with a belt
of country that has considerable mineral, and can be reached from nearly all points of the compass, by reason of
the splendid modern bridges recently built across Spring River, at Imboden, and over Strawberry River, south of
POWHATAN. This town is located on Black River, is the present county site, and lias a beautiful and splen-
didly built court-house, which would be an ornament to a cit)' of ten times the number of
inhabitants. It has three churches, a good public school-house, and is peopled by about 300 inhabitants,
among whom may be found some of the most substantial and leading citizens of our county. It was the landing
point on the western bank of Black River for steamboats, in earlv da^'s, for a long distance above or below
CLOVER BEND. Clover Bend is noted for its beautiful fields of growing corn and cotton. It, too, is situ-
ated on Black River and about seven miles below Powhatan; was once, in 1868, the
county site of Lawrence County, from which point, in the same year, it was moved to Powhatan. It is probable
there is a larger body of improved land under the control of one firm here, than elsewhere in the countv. At
this point Miss French, the noted authoress, who writes under the nom de plume of "Octave Thanet," spends
much of her time each fall and winter, and doubtless she is often inspired to the production of some of her best
work from scenes coming under her own observation in this neighborhood, and from what she hears and learns
from old settlers, who give her incidents and occurrences that transpired "Befo' the Wah."
This point, as much or more than any other in the county, deserves well for the interest it has taken in
educating its children.
ALICIA. Alicia, located on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway near the southern boundary
of the county, in the midst of a well-timbered and productive scope of country, contains a church, a
school-house and probably 250 inhabitants, who seem to be prosperous and contented. Its leading citizens
are engaged in farming, milling and merchandising, and it bids fair to be a good substantial point for a variety
MINTURN. Minturn is the next town northward on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway,
and lies in a sharp curve of Village Creek, where are located milling and cotton ginning busi-
nesses and large mercantile houses. This place is the nearest point on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and
Southern Railway, to Clover Bend and Lauratown, on Black River, and much freight is delivered there for and
from these points.
HOXIE. Hoxie is the next regular station, and being the point of intersection of the St. Louis, Iron
Mountain and Southern and the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Railways, it is a place of
much interest, as here the traveler changes cars for points on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway,
for all points on the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Railway, or vice versa. This point affords greater
facilities for travel and intercourse with neighboring cities than any other point in our county. Here freight
and expressage should be and are cheaper, and. greater conveniences in many respects are afforded than can be
found in any other part of our county, as there are twelve (13) passenger trains passing every day. At this point
is a good brick public school-house and a Catholic church.
WALNUT RIDGE. Walnut Ridge is located on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway, about
one and a half miles above Hoxie. It has, perhaps, i,ooo inhabitants, more substantial
brick business houses than any other point in the county, and does a larger business in merchandising, buying
and selling cotton, etc., than any of its sister towns in the county. It is surrounded by fine lands owned and
cultivated by prosperous farmers. Here is located the county seat for the Eastern District of Lawrence County,
a splendid frame court-house with fire-proof vault. The three evangelical denominations — Methodist, Baptist
and Presbyterian — have nice churches already built; here is located, too, an opera house with outfit and finishings
which would do credit to a much larger place. It is thought that before long a Jewish synagogue will be erected
here for the convenience of our numerous Israelite bi-ethren living and doing a prosperous business in the town.
The Lawrence County Bank is located here our oldest, strongest and most prosperous bank — doing a large
business and having the confidence and patronage of many of our best citizens in this and adjoining counties.
Walnut Ridge has a street car line to Hoxie, making trips every hour of the day. The Walnut Ridge Fair Asso-
ciation owns nice grounds south of town. One of the best hotels in the State, the Railroad House, is in Walnut
Ridge. A handle factory, making the finest handles in the market, is successfully operated at this place. There
are several general stores that carry from fifteen to forty thousand dollar stocks, and the trade extends into the
adjoining counties. The cotton shipments from this place amount to 5,000 bales each year. Three first-class
cotton gins and one cotton seed huller and grist mill are established here. This little city has the advantage of
two trunk lines of railroad, and no place in the State has better shipping facilities. Walnut Ridge is surrounded
by a fine farming country ; the land is very fertile, no hills or rocks. The live stock shipments exceed those of any
other town in the county.
SEDGWICK. Sedgwick is located on the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Railway, at the crossing of
Cache River. It has a population of 350 souls and is noted principally for its large lumber
interests. Perhaps, as much lumber is manufactured here as at any other point in our county. The variety
of Its timber is great, and in quality it has no superior. Here piling, shingles, ties, and all kinds of lumber which
can be made out of the fine timber standing in the surrounding virgin forests, is brought and shipped to the Northwest.
This point is belted by much tine land as well as timber, and though not now as well developed as
some other points, it bids fair to be a good substantial town in the near future. The timber business is only fairly
begun, and when the agricultural interests develop more fully, the place will make rapid strides in the way of
PORTIA. Portia is one of the brightest gems along the Kansas City, Fort .Scott and Memphis Railway. It is
compactly built, the first town in a fertile and peaceful valley as you go east toward the "Father of
Waters ;" has 300 inhabitants, a good school-house and church, and is surrounded by a beautiful country in a high
state of cultivation ; has one of the loveliest parks, within its limits, to be found anywhere, in this or any other
State, and is the greatest watermelon shipping point to be found in Arkansas. Its commerce, like that of its
sister towns along this line of railroad, is in lumber and agricultural products, such as corn, peas, oats, potatoes,
cotton, etc., as well as in fruits and hundreds of car-loads of melons.
BLACK ROCK. Black Rock, at the point where the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Railway crosses
Black River, has about 1,000 inhabitants and has the largest lumbering interest of any
other place on the route of the railroad. There are located within the limits of this town, and adjoining it, over a
dozen sawmills, some of which have planing and molding machine attachments, a stave and hoop factory, a
furniture factory and two handle factories. All kinds of wagon materials are made here. Many mills, located
both above and below this place on Black River, ship their products by boat to Black Rock, where railroad trans-
portation is found, accommodated with nearly two miles of switch track running up and down the river. The
busiest part of town is on Main Street, where are located the principal hotels and houses doing a general merchan-
dise or grocery business. On this street is located the Bank of Black Rock, which has been established about two
years and is doing a fairly thriving business. Lately, a machine shop has been located here, and has a bright
prospect before it. The Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist denominations have each a beautiful house of
worship, and the Christian Brethren often hold services here also. Very good schools are maintained most of
the time, and a lively interest is manifested in the moral and intellectual training of the children of the town.
Here the hill country sets in and the elevation grows gradually higher until we reach the Ozark range of mountains
in the western part of the State.
Around and adjacent to the town on the north and northwest, lies some of the most fertile rolling land to be
found anywhere. It is comparatively free from rock, is well adapted to agricultural purposes and is especially
suited to fruit culture. On the south and east lies the beautiful rich valley of the Black River, now becoming so
well and favorably known as the Miami Valley of the South, suited to all varieties of farming industries, and
unsurpassed in fertility and salubrity by any other part of the State.
IMBODEN. Next above Black Rock, going northwest, we come to the beautiful little town of Imboden,
located on the south side of the railroad and overlooking the clear sparkling water of Spring
River as well as the beautiful valley along its west bank. This place is nicely placed in a healthful location and is
a good business point. It is noted for its being the strongest stock shipping station of its size in the county.
Much of Randolph County, being adjacent, is tributary to this place by reason of the magnificent bridge recently-
built here. There are probably 300 inhabitants, and among them are some of our best and most prosperous citizens.
RAVENDEN. Ravenden is the next station as we go west, a town that takes its name from the far-famed
Ravenden Springs, in Randolph County, which are some seven or eight miles north of it.
This is a very good business point where quite a good mercantile trade is done. There are probably 250 inhab-
itants who are engaged in stock raising, agricultural, mercantile and other pursuits. Some of our most reliable
and substantial citizens live here and in the adjacent country.
Further information in regard to Lawrence County and her superb resources, will, if desired, be cheerfully
furnished by S. C. Dowell, of Walnut Ridge, or Orr & Billings, Black Rock, Lawrence County, Arkansas.
S. C. DOWEILL,
WALNUT RIDGE, ARK.