Sharp County Arkansas Genealogy Trails


Zinc Manufacture in Arkansas, July 26, 1872

Little Rock Daily Republican, Sept 2, 1873

Widow Murdered, March 9, 1875

Rushville, (IL) Times, 1877

Court House burns, Jan 1880

Lewis Allen's wife sets house afire, Aug 1882

Horse thieves, Oct 15, 1885

Center, Sharp County, Arkansas, Dec. 4, 1886

Constable Shot Another, Dec 19, 1889

Gold and Silver Found in Sharp County, Sept 3, 1909

Inheritance Tax Is $8,265, Aug 17, 1910

Stock Judgers Go to Sharp Co. Fair, Sept 17, 1913

Six Men Killed on Battleship Michigan, Jan 18, 1918

Sharp County has 11,132 People, July 21, 1920

Second Mrs. Salisbury Sues, Aug 14, 1922

Sells Ninety Tickets, April 1929

A Visit to Williford, 1983

 The American Zinc Company, whose offices are in New York city, have established large works at Calamine, in Sharp County, Ark., for the production of zinc from the native ore found in abundance in that mountainous part of the State.  Arkansas is rich in mineral ores, as lead, iron, silver, copper, zinc, etc.  Coal also is abundant; and capitalists are beginning to pay particular attention to the development of these resources.  The railroad system of Arkansas, when completed, as it will be in a few years, will open up the whole State to such enterprises as that started by the American Zinc Company, and of which the following sketch is given by an Arkansas paper's correspondent, writing from Calamine.
  Zinc is generally produced in furnaces heated with stone coal, and the ore itself in the manipulation has to be mixed with the same material.  At Calamine only wood and charcoal were to be had, and hence a furnace had to be constructed to suit these conditions.  This was accomplished by Mr. Tuppel, the temporary superintendent of the works.  A so-called gas furnace was built--i.e., a furnace where the fuel (wood) is almost literally distilled into gas, which, by the admixture of air forced into the furnace, is burned and causes an intense heat.  This is the first furnace of the kind ever constructed, and Arkansas is entitled to the credit of claiming that the first gas furnace fired with wood, and applied to the reduciton of zinc ores, has been built here.
  The metallurgical treatment of the zinc ore is as follows:  It is first roasted in kilns then crushed to powder between heavy iron rollers run by steam, then mixed with charcoal dust and put in cylindrical retorts, made of fire-clay, and lying in a nearly horizontal positon in a furnace.  The open end of each retort protrudes out of the furnace, and is connected with a smaller conical tube, called condenser, luted to the first by means of clay.  There are in this furnace one hundred and twelve such retorts.  By heating them, the oxide of zinc becomes reduced to metal by the carbon mixed with it, but the xietal being volatile, it escapes as a fume to the end of the retort, where it condenses partly to liquid metal,  and is kept at the bottom of the condensers, from which it is scraped out from time to time.
  The establishment, as now in existence, consists of a machine house, with crusher; one of the most beautiful steam engines in the State, of 60-horse power, with two boilers; a clay mill, chilian mill and ore-grinder, and a large pottery building, where the retorts and condensers are manufactured, mostly of fire-clay from St. Louis, but which will hereafter be obtained from the vicinity of Little Rock.  There is one furnace in operation and another commenced.  {Source:  Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), Friday, July 26, 1872.}

LITTLE ROCK DAILY REPUBLICAN, Sept 2, 1873--In Sharp County last week, a woman give birth to three boys, each weighing seven pounds.  
--The Sharp County Herald entered upon the second year of its existence last week.  
--William Burrow, who was confined in the Sharp County Jail awaiting trial for the murder of James Coggin, and who escaped on the 13th, has been recaptured.
--Contributed by Frances Cooley.

Sharp County (Ark) Democrat:  A widow woman living on Polk bayou, in Independence county, was recently killed by a brute, in the shape of a man.  The woman was destitute of anything to eat, also of any means by which she could obtain a sustenance for herself and children, and went to this man's house to get something to eat, telling her condition, and stating that she was unable to get employment, and that her children were starving.  He refused her in a very abrupt manner, when she told him that she was bound to have something to eat, and that he might look out for his corn-crib that night.  The unfeeling wretch loaded a shot-gun and watched his crib until the poor woman came, when he shot her, killing her instantly.  We are happy to hear that the monster is in the Batesville jail, where he will remain until he is punished in that way and manner which he deserves.  --Macon Weekly Telegraph (GA), March 9, 1875.

Rushville, Illinois--January 5, 1877, John S. Medley, lately of Frederick, now runs a flouring mill at Evening Shade, Sharp County, Arkansas.
September 21, 1877, John Medley, who went to Arkansas last winter, returned to Frederick a few days ago--he will stay to settle his father's estate.  (Transcribed and contributed by Sara Hemp, taken from the Rushville Illinois Times newspaper.)

Sharp County (Ark) court house was burned Wednesday night, with all the county records.  --Portland Daily Press (ME), Jan. 23, 1880.

The wife of Lewis Allen, a planter in Sharp County, Arkansas, became insane and set fire to the house.  The loss of property was great.  --Daily Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), Aug. 29, 1882.

New York (NY) Herald, Oct. 15, 1885--Farmers of Sharp County, Arkansas, pursued a band of horse thieves.  The latter resisted arrest and two of them were killed.

Silver City, ID--We received a letter from D. R. King of Jordan Valley, Oregon, dated at Center, Sharp county, Arkansas, a few days since, in which he says that he has been visiting old friends and the scenes of his younger days, and while may changes have taken place, yet he is able to recognize many faces and old land marks that were familiar to him years ago.  He will remain there this winter and return next fall, and winds up by saying, "send me the Avalanche, for without it, I am like a ship at sea without a rudder."  
--Owyhee Avalanche, Silver City, ID, Saturday, Dec 4, 1886.

Two constables named Morris and Yaddif got into a difficulty at Evening Shade, Sharp County, Ark., yesterday.  Morris shot Yaddif through the heart and is under arrest.  --New York Herald, (NY), Dec 19, 1889.

Newport, Ark--Sept 3--Considerable interest is being manifested just now in the valuable deposits which have been found in the hills a few miles from here.  The White River Mining Company has secured control of a number of claims in Sharp County, Arkansas which are being developed as rapidly as possible.  Samples of the rock and quartz which have been examined contained paying quantities of gold, silver, copper and zinc.  There seems to be little question but what these hills are rich in minerals of various kinds.
--FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 1909 - THE DAILY SOLIPHONE; transcribed and rewritten by Tina Easley.

Morrison, (IL), Aug 16--The State of Illinois will be paid $8,265 inheritance tax from the estate of the late Jeremiah Collins of Grundy county.  He left a fortune of $500,000 to be equally divided between his wife and two children.  Included in his holdings are 3,400 acres of land in Grundy county and 1,000 acres in Sharp county, Arkansas.  --Daily Illinois State Journal, Springfield, IL; Aug 17, 1910.

Lewis Story and George Ely, two of the students at the Agricultural school left last night for Ashflat, Sharp County, Ark., where they will represent the school in the stock judging contests at the Sharp county fair, which will be held there.  Prof. D. T. Rogers of the Agricultural school will go to Ashflat on Friday to represent the school at the fair.  --Jonesboro Weekly Sun (Jonesboro, AR), September 17, 1913.

Washington, Jan. 17--Six men were killed and three injured on the United States battleship Michigan when the ship was caught in a heavy gale at sea, it was officially announced today.  The dead are O. C. Belyeu, C. F. Marahenens, C. E. Book, F. J. Prinz and J. S. Bell, all seamen, and J. E. Chico, a fireman.  The injured are E. T. McDonald, G. S. Farmer and V. V. Biggers.  All the injured are seamen.
The men were killed and injured by the falling of a cage mast, the first accident of its kind in the navy.
F. J. Prinz lived at Cole Camp, Mo., and J. S. Bell at Kress, Texas.  V. V. Biggers lived at Hardy, Ark.
--Dallas Morning News, Jan 18, 1918, page. 3.

Washington, July 21--The census office announced-Sharp County, Arkansas, 11,132.  --Jonesboro Daily Tribune (AR), July 21, 1920.

Wealthy Farmer's Wife Asks Divorce and $100,000 Alimony
Kansas City, MO--Mark S. Salisbury, wealthy Jackson County farmer, was sued for divorce today by his second wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Salisbury.  She asks $100,000 alimony and $5,000 attorney fees.
  The Salisburys were married March 13, 1920.  She alleges he deserted her a year ago.  In addition to general indignities Mrs. Salisbury, in her petition recalls the alienation suit of her first husband, Joseph H. Grannon, against Salisbury in which judgment was rendered for $35,000 against Salisbury.
  At the time of that case, Mrs. Salisbury alleges, Salisbury told her she would be of great service to him if she would testify she had been unduly friendly with other men.  She refused to give such testimony because it was untrue, the petition states.  Shortly afterward Salisbury, she charges, left her and has failed to support her.
  In stating the amount of alimony desired Mrs. Salisbury's petition alleges her husband's estate is valued at $450,000 consisting of 500 acres of Jackson County land, 1,000 acres in Sharp County, Arkansas, and livestock.
  In his suit Grannon alleged Salisbury had alienated his wife's affections.  The case was tried in April, this year.
  Mrs. Mark S. Salisbury, the first wife, obtained a divorce from her husband on a cross-bill, June 29, 1918.  She charged him with infidelity.  The first Mrs. Salisbury was awarded $60,000 alimony.  The records show the award has been satisfied.
--Kansas City Star, Kansas City, MO; Monday, August 14, 1922.

When Mr. H. T. Wilkinson, agent, at Williford, Arkansas, found that a party from the Omnibus College of Winfield, Kansas, were making inquiries about the roads and a bus to Hoxie, he immediately got busy and out of 110 passengers, sold ninety of them a ticket via Frisco Lines.  
While the distance was only approximately thirty miles, Mr. Wilkinson did his share in securing the patronage of this party as far as he could.
It is understood they will touch our lines at various other points, and will no doubt use the Frisco to their destination.  
--The Frisco Employes' Magazine, April 1929, p. 26.

by Mildred Hicks
(This article appeared in an area newspaper (perhaps the Ozark Journal) after the flood of December 1982.)
    The little town of Williford is tucked away in Sharp County on Highway 58 three miles south of Hwy. 62-63 halfway between Hardy and Imboden.  A three mile winding drive across Spring River takes you there.
    Coming upon the townsite, quiet and peaceful as a country church, one would never guess it was the scene of devastation six months ago when the beautiful river just crossed burst its banks and flooded the area.
    Visiting Williford on a sunny morning in early June, if you're lucky you may see among others these three:  Maurice Starr, Superintendent of Williford Public Schools until this coming June 30; Louis Booth, Postmaster since 1957; and Zula Howard, a delightful former school teacher and Williford's press representative for the Ozark Journal.
    Passing the school grounds where a baseball game is in progress and several students on a paid work program are cleaning the grounds, you find Superintendent Starr in his office in the Elementary School building.  Though he has been superintendent for 20 years, he seems too young to retire.  But you understand when he tells about the many things that need doing on his farm at Smithville, his wish to spend more time with his wife, Daphine and his wistful hope that their son and daughter will keep the land in the family and love it as he does.
    Reflecting on his years at Williford, Superintendent Starr speaks with warmth of teachers, school employees, board members, parents and students.  There was a retirement ceremony for him in May.
    Enrollment in Kindergarten through 12th grade at Williford is 354.  Starr likes a small school and says there have never been discipline problems.  "In rural areas, such as our parents still expect their children to behave well at home and at school.  They expect teachers to correct the children when they misbehave."
    Yes, the fifth grader who recently placed third in the State Spelling Bee is from Williford--Gayla Bassham.  And there have been other winners, especially in speaking contests.  Starr hopes that plant scheduled to open soon at Ash Flat will hire a number of graduates who must now leave the area to find work.
    He has a simple philosophy concerning athletics in school.  "It's important to learn to read and write and to learn mathematics--then start looking at sports.  We try to get all the children that (line omitted) try to get all the children involved.  There's a lot to be learned on the basketball court that has to do with life.  Sometimes you go out and do the very best you can and it may not come out the way you want it to.  That's life."
    Superintendent Starr is an inspiring public speaker and speaks frequently to church congregations.  Roy Stewart of Imboden who died last year paid him a high tribute when he said proudly, "I've got two of the best preachers as sons-in-law, and neither of them is ordained (Maurice Starr and Eugene Jones of Imboden.)  Eugene Jones and his wife, Willene, attend the Imboden Methodist Church; Maurice and Daphine Starr attend the Smithville Methodist Church.
    Flood water didn't quite reach the Williford School buildings last December.  However, school personnel took part in the rescue and clean-up operations.  Starr tells about the great work done by volunteers; how refugees were fed, clothed and housed for weeks; the furniture, clothing, bedding, food and money that poured in; the great work of volunteers--the churches, volunteer Fire Department, American Legion, Auxiliaries, Mennonites; and the organized, professional care and directions of the Red Cross.  
    Several hundred yards down from the School the little Post Office is all spic and span and new looking inside.  A pencil mark remains near the ceiling to show where the flood water stood.  Postmaster Booth tells about it.  "The water was waist deep when I came to work that morning (Dec. 3, 1982).  We were lucky.  There wasn't much mail in the Post Office--the Thursday mail had gone out and the Friday mail wasn't in.  Of course the building had been closed during the night, so nothing had floated out.  As soon as the water went down we began cleaning and drying out.
    "A lot of people moved out and said they weren't coming back, but most are back in the normal swing and getting their houses repaired.  Of course some houses and trailers are gone forever."  Metal furnishings in the Post Office could be saved, but wooden furniture, counters, cabinets, sheetrock walls, etc., all had to be replaced.  The owner of the building had it renovated, Booth says.
    Zula Howard lives in a stone house between the Post Office and the School.  It was built by her father, Noel Arnold, and she has lived there 66 years.  The water came up 31 inches inside the house, but the furniture--piano, TV, beds, appliances, were all saved, except a kitchen range and bedding which had to be replaced.
    Mrs. Howard spends much of her time working with old family pictures that were water soaked and mud stained in the flood.  She presses each one with an iron and places it in a book to flatten.  She probably has one of the most complete records of the December flood that can be found anywhere--a huge album with hundreds of photos and news clippings, sectioned off into areas--Hardy, Cherokee Village, Williford, Ravenden, Imboden, Black Rock, Portia, etc.
    Mrs. Howard credits Ashley Boozer and his mother, Lorene with saving her piano and TV set.  They moved the pieces to their home and carefully cleaned and dried them over a period of weeks while Mrs. Howard was out of her home.  Jim Swartz of Smithville repaired and refinished all of her fine antiques including the bed her grandfather was born in.  The walls of a back room have not yet been scrubbed or painted.  They are bright above and dingy below where the water stopped.  
    She asks, "Have you talked to Mrs. Garner across there in the white house?  She's repairing her house and can tell you a story.  She took peanut butter, crackers and water upstairs and said she wouldn't leave, even when the water was two inches up on the second floor--they had to come back three times to get her to leave."
(Note:  If anyone has other news articles of the flood of 1982 or 2008, please email and I will place them on this site also.  According to the Social Security Death Index, Zula G. Howard was born August 14, 1903 and died September 20, 1991 at the age of 88.  She is buried in the Smithville Cemetery.  Maurice G. Starr was born Oct 19, 1928 and died Dec. 26, 2007 at age 79.  This article was saved by another victim of the flood, Louise Garside, and given to a niece.)

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