A History of Batesville, Arkansas 1919

A History Of


1919 By MEMBERS OF THE FOURTH YEAR CLASS Batesville High School

A History of Batesville Prepared by Billy Sensabaugh, Homer Whitener, Homer Lindsey, Lewis Gardner, Mary Parsons, Loraine Hardister, Thelma Creager, Carter Cantrel Members of Fourth Year History Class of Batesville High School, under direction of J. R. Bullington, Teacher April 1919 This history is most respectfully dedicated to Mrs. Mary A. Neill, Mrs. Susan Alexander, Mr. Theo. Maxfield, and Col. V. Y. Cook, who have been so patient in helping us write it.
Second Edition 1951
This second edition is published through the courtesy of Barnett Brothers Mercantile Company, one of Batesville's oldest and most enterprising business firms, being established in 1903.

This history was prepared as part of the regular class work. A beginning in this work was made by the fourth-year class in the early part of 1918, and the work was finished by the fourth-year class in 1919. It does not claim perfection but was the best that could be collected and written under the circumstances. It was not intended, at first, for publication, but merely for the benefit of the class. The class and teacher wish, here, to render acknowledgements to the following for material: Hempstead's Arkansas History, Hallman's Biographical History of Arkansas, History of Northeast Arkansas, Volumes of the Arkansas Historical Association; Stockard's Arkansas Book, Biennial Report of the Secretary of State 1909-12; Shinn's History of Arkansas; Special Editions of the Batesville Guard; Jewell's History of Methodism; Mrs. J. H. Kennerly; Mr. J. P. Coffin; Mrs. J. W. Ferrill; Mrs. A. L. Crouch; Mrs. A. A. Webber; Batesville Eagle; Batesville News; Mrs. C. W. Maxfield; E. R. Long's History of Arkansas College; Mrs. Maude Jeffery; J. C. Bone; G. T. Reaves; Minutes of the Arkansas Bankers' Association; John Q. Wolf; A. A. Webber; Col. V. Y. Cook; Report Adj.-Gen. Ark. State Guard 1897-1900.



The land on which Batesville now stands was first owned and occupied by the Osage Indians. By a treaty of 1808 the Indians ceded this territory to the United and, unlike most of the territory of Arkansas, it was never again given into the hands of the Red man. However, the territory just south of the river was held by the Cherokee Indians from 1808 to 1817. Perhaps the earliest settlement on the present site of Batesville was that of the Trimbles and Laffertys in 1810 at the mouth of Polk Bayou. Jas. Trimble, accompanied by Jno. L. Austin, Henderson S. and Lorenzo Dow Lafferty, came overland from Kentucky driving a herd of stock cattle before them an stopped at the mouth of Polk Bayou. Here they found vast cane-breaks, affording find winter pasturage. In the spring of 1811, Jno. Trimble, father of Jas. Trimble, accompanied by his brothers and their families, left Kentucky in keelboats. They landed at the mouth of Polk Bayou and there formed a settlement. We have other authorities who say that they first settlement was made by Jno. Reed who came from Missouri to Batesville and cut the first tree on the site of the present town. With a store of supplies and whiskey he traded with the Indians. We have still other authorities who state that Batesville was settled as late as 1820. However, there is considerable evidence for believing that the earlier dates are correct. The city has existed under three names: Napoleon, Polk Creek, and Batesville. In 1824 the name Polke Creek gave place to Batesville in honor of Judge Jas. Woodson Bates. Judge Bates was the first territorial delegate of Arkansas Territory to Congress. He came to Batesville in 1819 and was one of the most prominent citizens of the community for fifteen years. His brother, Hon. Edward Bates, of St. Louis, was Attorney General under President Lincoln. The Bates brothers originally came from Virginia. In 1813 Samuel Miller, grandfather of Gov. Wm. R. Miller came to Batesville and settled on the creek which bears their name. Col. Robert Bean came up White River in a keelboat in 1814 and established himself at the mouth of Polk Bayou. In the same year, Jas. Meachum and Samuel Peel came to Batesville. Other pioneers who came to Batesville prior to 1820 were: John Ringgold, Col. Hartwell Boswell, John Redmond, and Henry Eagle. Among the most prominent of these was John Ringgold, whose home, erected in 1820, is known as the old Dr. Lawrence place, which stands on West Main, the first house west of the railroad. Some time after 1820, Col. Charles Fenton Mercer Noland came to Batesville from Virginia. He later married John Ringgold's daughter. Col. Noland was one of the greatest literary celebrities of the early days. Other prominent settlers of this time were Judge Townsend Dickinson and Richard Searcy. The latter was the first county clerk of the courts. The town of Batesville was partially laid out in 1821 and, on May 23, 1821, land was granted by Richard Searcy, Thomas Curran, and Joseph Hardin to Mark Bean. The above-named grantors, on the 3rd of March, 1822, executed and recorded a bill of assurance and a plat of the town as then laid out, extending from Block number 1 at the foot of Main Street to Spring Street, being the street running just above First National Bank, and thence to the bridge across Polk Bayou. The principal trade of Batesville during its early existence was that of supplying the settlers with groceries and provisions, for which hides and furs from the numerous wild animals of that time were taken in exchange. Batesville became the county seat in 1821 and on November 19, 1821 the first court of common pleas was held, Judge Richard Peel and William Moore presiding. This seems to have been the last court of this nature for in January, 1822, Hon. Richard Searcy opened the first circuit court. This was the only court until on April 30, 1830, the first county court was held by James Boswell. The first post office was established here in 1822 with Nathan Cook as postmaster. Col. Boswell was made postmaster in 1827. In 1830 Batesville was described as a "busy little village with three brick buildings, three stores, and a courthouse which would do credit to any part of the union." Chas. Fenton Mercer Noland in speaking of Batesville said: "So much beef is eaten in this region that, catch a man by the ear, he will bellow like a calf." Aaron W. Lyon came to Batesville in 1833 and engaged in teaching for some years but entered the mercantile business in 1842. Mr. Lyon was one of the trustees of the Batesville Academy, the first academy incorporated in the state, the bill for which was approved by Gov. Conway on September 26, 1836. The first steamboat to visit Batesville was in 1831 when Captain Pennywit came to the city on January 3 with the steamer, "Waverly." This chapter attempts to cover in a very brief way the period of 1810-1836--a period of beginnings.


Batesville has furnished a number of prominent men who took part in state and county politics ever since it was established and several men who have been prominent in national politics. One of the earliest of our men to take an important part in State politics was Colonel Robert Bean, who came to Batesville in 1814. He was a representative in the territorial legislature in 1821, 1823, 1825, being elected Speaker of the House on the latter date. Another prominent man of territorial days was Judge Townsend Dickinson who came to Batesville in 1821 and was elected to the territorial legislature in 1823. In 1836 he was a delegate to the constitutional convention and was later our first representative in the state legislature. Still later he served as Judge on the Supreme Court bench. John Ringgold was also a delegate to the constitutional convention of 1836 and Charles Fenton Mercer Noland of this city was delegated to carry the constitution to Washington for approval of Congress. Noland served three terms in the state legislature and was a candidate of the Whig party in 1848 for State Senator but was defeated. J. S. Trimble was a representative from Independence County in 1850 and a great speech in the House placed him in the front ranks as a sound and able debater. In 1856 he was elected State Senator where he served nine years, this making thirteen years as a legislator. He was a prominent resident of this county for more than seventy years. Thomas S. Drew was the first man from Batesville to become Governor of the state. He came to Arkansas in 1821 and was, for a few years, a peddler, but afterwards he became a school teacher; and still later, he married a rich plantation owner's daughter and became a prosperous farmer. In 1844 Elias N. Conway refused the Democratic nomination for Governor and advised the convention to nominate Thomas S. Drew of Independence. The convention followed his advice and Drew was elected and at the end of his term he was re-elected, but resigned at the end of the first year of his second term because his salary was not sufficient to support his family. He then returned to this county in a bankrupt condition and went to California to regain his fortune; but having failed there, he went to Texas where he died in 1880. In the Constitutional Convention of 1861 Batesville was represented by M. Shelby Kennard, father of J. A. and J. F. Kennard, who voted for David Walker for President of the Convention. David Walker was opposed to secession. On account of so many delegates wanting their views on the various questions made a part of the record, Mr. Kennard in a spirit of humor introduced a resolution in the Convention requesting every delegate to write out his views on all questions connected with the state of affairs and have them put upon the record and published in the newspapers at his own expense. Of course, the resolution was not passed but it had the desired effect. In 1872 Elisha Baxter was elected governor of the State, being the second governor Batesville had produced. Mr. Baxter came to Batesville in 1853 and began business as a merchant but soon decided to study law. In 1854-56 he represented this county in the Legislature, being elected by the Whig party, which had not elected a candidate in this county for over twenty years. He served as associate justice of the Supreme Court in 1864 and later was circuit judge. Governor Baxter was instrumental in securing the constitution of 1874. It will be recalled that one of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1836 was Judge Townsend Dickinson. Batesville had no delegates to either of the Constitutional Conventions of 1864 or 1868. That is, the delegates were not from Batesville. However, one of the ablest men of the Convention of 1874 was Jas. W. Butler of Batesville. One of the county's delegates in the Constitutional Convention of 1918 was Judge John B. McCaleb. Therefore, Batesville has had its full share in the making of the foundation law of our State. In 1876 William R. Miller, one of the most prominent men in state politics that Batesville has ever produced, was elected Governor of the state on the Democratic ticket. Gov. Miller was born in Batesville in 1823 and had worked his way up to this high office. he received is education in the common schools of the county. In 1848 at the age of 25 years, he was elected County Clerk. In 1856 he was elected Auditor, being one of the three great auditors of the State and serving from 1856 to 1862, again from 1864 to 1868, and again from 1874 to 1876. It will be seen, then, that Batesville has furnished the state three Governors Drew, Baxter, and Miller. Batesville has supplied the Congressional District in which she is situated with two Congressmen, Gen. Robert Neill and William A. Oldfield. Gen. Neill served during the Civil War as a Lieutenant, was captured by the Federal troops and spent the last fifteen months of the war as a prisoner at Fort Delaware. In 1866 he was elected clerk of the circuit court, studied law and became one of the most prominent lawyers of Batesville. In 874 he was appointed brigadier general of state militia. In 1892 and again in 1894 his district elected him to Congress. Afterwards he served as chairman of the state railroad commission. Hon. Wm. A. Oldfield was first elected from this district in 1908 and took office in 1909. He has represented his district continually since that time. Previous to his election as congressman he had served the third judicial district as prosecuting attorney. For many years he and Judge Chas. F. Cole formed the law firm of Oldfield and Cole. Space will not permit us to mention all the men from Batesville who have served as county and district officers. Chas. Kelley served the county a sheriff from 1820 to 1832. Richard Peel was the first district judge from Batesville and served from 1832 to 1844 when he retired form public life. W. C. Bevens was a representative in the legislature in 1852-53; in 1856 he was elected circuit judge and served the people in that capacity for four years. Judge J. W. Butler married one of the daughters of Judge Bevens and Gov. W. R. Miller married another. R. R. Case served as sheriff of the county for three terms from 1876 to 1882. E. M. Dickinson served as clerk from 1874 to 1886. In more recent times Jno. A. Hinkle served as sheriff from 1898 to 1902 and as state senator in 1903-1907. Franklin Perrin served as county treasurer from 1906 to 1914. The following have served one or more terms in the State Legislature: Ernest Neill, S. A. Moore, R. A. Dowdy, W. M. Thompson, S. M. Bone. We have been unable to find who the first mayor of Batesville was. We know that in 1853 Elisha Baxter was mayor and in 1888 J. C. Yancey. The present mayor is J. E. Rosebrough, who some years ago served the city in the same capacity. The present recorder is T. Albert who has served the city in that capacity for eight years. This account leave unmentioned numbers of men who have taken prominent part in political history of Batesville but our failure to mention them is due to our being able to get an account of their work. Batesville and Independence County have been pretty consistently Democratic in politics with the exception of the wandering off toward the Wheel in the late eighties. She has done her share to give men to the public service of the county, the state, and the nation.



Introductory: Since Batesville is the second oldest town in the state, it has had a long and interesting period of social history. In this account will probably be given the history of the different churches, public and private schools, and fraternal organizations and clubs. The history of the churches of Batesville dates back to times when travel was difficult and ministers scarce, but the different churches have grown steadily and Batesville now has some of the best churches in the state, as she did even then. Methodist Church. Rev. Eli Lindsey in 1816 came up White River in a small boat and, as there were some scattered settlements near the mouth of Polk Bayou where Batesville now stands, he made an appointment to preach on the following Sunday. A small house had been built by Mr. Reid. Here in this private house was preached the first sermon, of which we have any knowledge, at Batesville. The first annual conference was held in Batesville in 1836. Among the early settlers were Rev. M. Steele and Rev. Burwell Lee whose name appears first on the roll in 1834, and whose marble slab adorns the wall of the First Methodist Church of Batesville. The church has grown in membership as Batesville has progressed. It now has a membership of about 500 who are housed in one of the best buildings for worship in the state. The West Batesville Church was organized at the Red Hill school house in 1890 with thirteen members, and the present house was erected in 1811. Its membership has grown to about 200. Presbyterian Church. The first Presbyterian minister known to have preached in Batesville was Rev. Cham who was an agent for the American Bible Society, during the summer of 1832. In the same year a colony of Presbyterian families emigrated from West Tennessee bringing with them their own preacher, Rev. Daniel L. Gray. In 1833 Rev. Gray began to preach in Batesville every month. Mr. Gray and Rev. Moore, of Little Rock, organized a church of about 30 members at Elizabeth, near Jacksonport. In the fall of 1834 the colony of families returned to Tennessee and the church was disbanded. According to one account by the authority of the Presbytery of Arkansas, the Presbyterian Church was organized by the Rev. Moore in 1849. However, this item appears in the Batesville News of April 7, 1842: "The Rev. Mr. Moore of the Presbyterian Church will hold a two days meeting in Batesville on the 23rd and 24th inst., at which time a Presbyterian Church will be organized." We are inclined to believe the latter statement since we find that, after using the Methodist Church for several years, in 1848 trustees were elected and a building erected. One of the most famous of the early Presbyterians was A. W. Lyon who, before the organization here, was accustomed to attend services in Little Rock, going to and from that city on horseback once a month. The old Presbyterian building was vacated in 1910 when the congregation occupied their modern new building on South Street. Baptist Church. The First Baptist church was organized in Batesville in 1847 with a membership of eleven. The first building was near the railroad on Main Street. It was organized by Elder McElmury. The present home of the congregation was erected in 1881. The membership now numbers about three hundred. The church in West Batesville was organized February 25, 1909, with 24 charter members. The present membership is about two hundred. St. Paul's Church. The history of the St. Paul's Church dates back to the early sixties. Bishop Freeman made irregular visits into the Southland. The first record of an Episcopal Church service in Batesville was an official notice of the baptism of an infant by Bishop Lay, March 4, 1861. Chas. H. Albert was the first rector and his service began in 1866. Rev. C. Bruce succeeded him in 1869. Mr. Bruce's rectorship extended to 1874 and it was during his service that the first church building was erected. The St. Paul's congregation has grown in membership until in 1918 a beautiful new building has been erected. Christian Science. The Christian Scientists have no incorporated church in this city but there are a number of this belief in town who hold regular meetings. Probably history will record a regular organization in a few years. The Church of Christ (West Batesville) was first some time prior to 1884 in a building called the Allen house on the site now occupied by the handle factory. The present building was erected in 1889. The number of members at the present time is about 135. Catholic Church. The Catholic Church building was dedicated in 1910. Father Schlaterer was the dedicator. While here he conducted a confirmation class, the only one held since they have services once a month. These services are held by a priest who is on a circuit. Christian Church. This church was organized in Batesville in February, 1907, by Attorney Thomas King, who served as their first pastor. Their membership now numbers about one hundred and fifty. The Batesville Eagle of September 12, 1848, states: "We find four religious societies organized in this place. The Methodist have a neat and commodious building of brick and number in strength some 150 or 200 members. The Presbyterians have now in progress a neat and commodious brick building. We find also that the Baptist have purchased ground and are preparing to build." [WHAT IS THE FOURTH?] The history of the school system of the city of Batesville does not extend as far back as that of the churches but they have grown as rapidly. In the early days the different churches and private individuals established private schools and later a system of public schools was begun. We regard our school system at the present time as one of the best in the state. The first school in Batesville was located in the present site of the Edgar Glenn house on Boswell Street. This school was taught by R. R. Kelly. The next building was a frame building on Main Street where S. A. Hail is now in business. This was built by H. W. Hart and was used for both residence and schoolhouse. A. W. Lyon came to Batesville in 1833 and began teaching. We became one of the trustees of the Batesville Academy, the first academy to be incorporated in the state, 1836. The following school advertisement appears in the Batesville News of January 17, 1839:

Batesville Seminary

Mr. and Mrs. Hunt, late of Kentucky, design opening some time in January, 1839, in Batesville, Ark., a Seminary for the instruction of young ladies. The course of instruction will embrace everything usually taught in such institutions. The school will be furnished with a Chemical and Philosophical apparatus, a pair of Globes, and an elegant Piano. The terms of tuition, boarding, etc., will be made known in due time. They have taken the large and commodious house heretofore occupied by W. Byers, Esq., and will be fully prepared to receive young ladies as boarders. References: David W. Lowe, President of the Bank of Batesville. Jno. Ringgold, Rev. B. Lee, Maj. W. Moore, James Pope, Esq.; A. W. Lyon, Esq.; Wm. Byers, Esq. Soulesbury Institute was established in 1850. It was housed in the present J. W. Glenn house on Water Street. This school was named for Bishop Soule and Asbury and was the first Methodist school in this county. It had a wide reputation but ceased to run during the war. After the close of the war, Mr. Shelby Kennard founded a school where Dr. Lawrence's office now stands. Dr. I. J. Long came to Batesville and in 1872, founded Arkansas College, the first Presbyterian College in the state, and became its first president, 1872. Mr. Lyon was made the Vice-President of the Arkansas College Board. Dr. I. J. Long remained President of the college during his lifetime when his son Dr. Eugene R. Long became its President, 1891. Dr. E. R. Long remained President until 1895 and after an interval of two years again became President of the institution in 1897. Five years ago Dr. Long resigned to take up work in Texas and Dr. Robertson became President, serving for three years when the present President, Dr. W. S. Lacy, was elected. The financial matters of the College are improving and future appears very bright for it. Batesville public schools started with a one or two-room house with two teachers, a Principal and one assistant. The first school was taught in the court house in 1860, later it was moved to the house known as the Woods Thomas house. The first principal was C. D. McCormack with Mrs. McDowell as assistant. Mrs. C. W. Maxfield and Prof. C. P. Hudson were teachers in 1881. Some of the principals of the school have been Mr. J. C. Littlepage, S. D. Campbell, J. M. Oliver, and others. Mr. Sidney Pickens was elected Superintendent of Batesville schools in 1909. The buildings of that time have been enlarged and one new building has been added. The enrollment has grown from 500 to 1250. The course of study has been raised from 10 1/2 units to 19 1/2 units. The teaching force in the high school has been raised from 2 to 6 teachers, not including the Superintendent. The school in West Batesville now has 6 teachers. The school is fully accredited with the University and all state schools. Just this year the school has been put on the accredited list of the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities. For the raising of the standards of the school and for its reputation Mr. Pickens should be given the credit. He is recognized as one of the leading educators of the state. The people of Batesville have always taken a great deal of interest in fraternal organizations and community organizations. Nearly all the fraternal organizations and clubs are represented in Batesville. United Daughters of the Confederacy. On September 27, 1897, a charter was granted to the Sidney Johnson Chapter, No. 135, which contained the named of 13 members. At a subsequent meeting the following officers were elected President, Mrs. Kate Hooper; First Vice-President, Mrs. J. W. Butler; Recording Secretary, Miss Mabel Padgett; Corresponding Secretary, Miss Stella Warner; Treasurer, Mrs. Neva C. Butler. The aim of the Chapter was to cooperate with the veterans in preserving a true record of the War between the States by recording the deeds of the Confederate soldiers and their reminiscences of the war period. They had the honor of bestowing the bronze cross of honor upon sixty veterans in appreciation of their valiant service of the Confederacy. The Sidney Johnson Chapter cooperated with the Sidney Johnson Camp U. D. C. in erecting a beautiful monument to the memory of the sons of Independence County who served in the Confederate Army. The present officers of the U. D. C. are: Mrs. Edgar Glenn, President; Mrs. Nellie Trevathan, Recording and Corresponding Secretary. D. A. R. The D. A. R. was organized on February 2, 1910, in Batesville, and was then known as the Col. Martin Pickett Chapter. Officers: Mrs. J. W. Ferrill, Regent; Miss Amy Ferrill, Recording Secretary. The Chapter is interested in patiotic education and are prompt in responding to our state and national calls. The present officers of the D. A. R. are: Mrs. Ferrill, Regent; Mrs. J. H. Kennerly, Recording Secretary; Miss Stella Pickett Hardy, National Vice President General. Mount Zion Lodge No. 10, F. & A. M. was organized some time in the forties but a charter was not granted until November 13, 1843. The first W. M. was Bro. D. S. Knight, while Brothers Silas C. Walker and A. R. Porter were the first Senior and Junior Wardens. Such men as Minniken, C. H. Pelham, Isaac Fulsom, W. M. Byers, A. R. Porter, Thos. Womac, Rev. B. Lee, Henry Neill, and M. Shelby Kennard were honored members of the Lodge and labored for the uplift of the order. In the dark days of the Civil War while the enemy was quartered in Batesville the Masons of both sides met together in the Masonic Hall and fraternized as brothers. The present W. M. is Dene H. Coleman. Batesville Chapter No. 9, R. A. M. was chartered November 14, 1853 with Capt. Jno. Morris, H. P. St. Elmo Commander No. 13, Knights Templars, was organized April 21, 1890. The buildings for the Masonic Home at Batesville were completed in 1909 and the first Superintendent and matron were Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Tuggle. The present Superintendent is G. W. Longan. W. O. W., Cedar Camp No. 15, was organized in 1896. The present Council Commander is L. U. Crutchfield; Clerk, N. M. Alexander. I. O. O. F. Independence Lodge was organized June 9, 1848 by Jas. Norton. Among the members of the organization were Uriah Maxfield, Chas. D. Cook, and H. Dennis. The first Noble Grand was T. L. Fortune. During the war they had no meetings and did not resume meetings until 1867. The Odd Fellows Home for Widows and Orphans was established in 1898 and was opened in the fall of that year. The buildings have been added to since that time until now the home will accommodate abut 175 occupants. The first Superintendent was Mrs. Potter, the present Superintendent, Mr. G. T. Reaves.


Introductory: In this Chapter, the following matters will be spoken of: Banking, various manufacturing enterprises, mining, railroads, various mercantile enterprises, public utilities, and newspapers. Banking: On November 2, 1836, the governor of Arkansas signed a bill providing for a State Bank to be located at Little Rock with two branches, one at Fayetteville and the other at Batesville. These latter banks were to have a capital of $300,000 each. In accordance with this act, a bank was organized at Batesville and opened for business on February 5, 1838, with John Ringgold as cashier, and with David Lowe, president; and D. J. Chapman, John Miller, Wm. Moore, C. H. Pelham, John Robinson, J. Anthony, Robert Smith, Lawson Henderson, and Joseph Egner, directors. Troubles early beset this branch of the State Bank as well as the mother bank and the one at Fayetteville. The banks at New York began to dishonor the drafts of these banks as early as 1840. The history of the Batesville Branch during these years is similar to that of all the other banking houses of the country of that time. By July 1st, 1843, it had been put in the hands of a receiver. In 1845 the building used by the bank which had cost $15,000 was sold for $1,000.00. The failure of this institution in no way casts a reflection upon its officers and directors. The above is the experiences of this city in the state banking business. After that time banking was conducted by private individuals up to the time of the national banks. Edwin T. Burr & Co., prominent merchants of Batesville, received the deposits of their customers and bought and sold exchange on New Orleans as a minor adjunct of their business for quite a number of years prior to 1860. From about 1873 to 1876 Robert Neill and Isaac N. Reed, under the firm name of Robt. Neill & Co., bought and sold exchange. About the year 1880, Simon Adler opened up a banking and brokerage office in this city, continuing in this business until the People's Saving Bank was organized in 1891, of which he was the first president. Henry Hinkle and John Q. Wolf started a private bank in 1887, occupying an office over the building at present occupied by S. A. Hail. This private banking venture culminated in 1889 in the organization of the Bank of Batesville with J. S. Handford president and Dr. Ewing vice-president, and Henry Hinkle cashier, and John Q. Wolf, assistant cashier. In 1905, the first National Bank was organized as the successor of the People's. In the same year the Maxfield Bank and Trust Co. was organized. This latter bank was made a national bank in 1906 and consolidated with the Bank of Batesville in 1908, assuming the name of National Bank of Batesville. In 1912 this bank and the First National consolidated, forming the First National as we now have it. The present officers are: Dr. R. C. Dorr, president; and John Q. Wolf, cashier. The deposits of this bank at the present are $940,000.00. The Union Bank and Trust Co. was organized in 1911 with J. E> Roseborough as president and C. D. Metcalf, Cashier. Mr. Metcalf is the present cashier, but the president now is D. D. Adams. The deposits of this bank now are $760,000.00. The Citizens' Bank and Trust Co. was organized in 1910 with Maj. W. J. Erwin as president, and Paxton Thomas, cashier. The present officers are: T. J. Walbert, president, and H. M. Kennerly, cashier. This bank now has deposits of $343,000. Manufacturers: The excelsior mill was established in 1907 by A. K. Goodnight. It was built at first on the west side of the Bayou, but, that building having been destroyed by fire, the mill was rebuilt on the present site in 1910. This mill manufactures about a carload of excelsior per day and its products are shipped all over the country. The Mount Olive Stave Co. was organized at Mount Olive in 1905 and moved to Batesville in 1906. At this time G. W. Walbert is president of the company. The present general manager is T. J. Walbert. This company employs about 175 men; operates a mill at Guion and two at Beebe. Also operates one steam and two gasoline boats which are used to transport timber to the plant. The White River Marble and Granite Works was established in 1905 by Mr. F. S. Thompson and so satisfactory has been the work turned out that it has had a large growth. The equipment consists of steam polisher, steam rubbing bed, and pneumatic tools of all kinds. The plant is located on the White River Railroad and the company owns its own switch. Some of this stone was used in building the Arkansas State Capitol. Mining: The country around Batesville has produced a very important war ore since 1915. According to late geological reports, the United States in 1918 needed the equivalent of 800,000 tons of manganese ore. Batesville did a large part in filling the demand. Investors and miners came to Batesville in an unbroken stream. Great progress has been made in the opening up and operation of mines. Railroads: The Batesville branch of the St. L., I. M. & S. Railroad was completed to Batesville in 1882 and extended to Cushman in 1886. It leaves the main line at Diaz, three miles above Newport. For a number of years Batesville was favored only by the transportation facilities t hat this branch afforded. But later it was decided to extend this branch to Joplin, Missouri. From a Guard of 1902 we read: "Hon. J. C. Yancey was invited to do the honors of the occasion, and with a free swing and well-directed blows, amid the hearty cheers of those present, the first spike was driven home. It meant much for Batesville. A trunk line which opens up one of the most promising sections for development in the South, and also places us in direct touch with Kansas City, Memphis, and New Orleans." Batesville has, at the present time, one passenger train each way daily and one local freight. Owing to war conditions the local passenger running from Batesville to Newport and return daily has been taken off. (Two passengers, April 20, 1919.) The dam. "For several years the Federal Government has been engaged in the construction of a series of locks and dams in the upper White River for the purpose of making the river navigable the year round and giving the zinc miners and other producers of the Upper Valley transportation by river as well as by rail to the outside world. in the very early days of Batesville and in fact up to 1882 the chief means of transportation in this country was by water, but in getting the railroad we have forgotten the river. The White River is the fourth largest stream in the United States and to so improve it as to make it a possible competitor of the railroads is to give the people near it a great commercial advantage. in addition to this, the immense water power now going to waste over these great dams will in time be used to run many manufactories as is being done by similar dams constructed by the government on the streams of the Northern and Eastern states." Batesville Guard of August 1905. Lock and Dam No. 1 on White River was authorized by Congress through the influence of Hon. S. Brundige, Jr. and Senators Berry and Jones. It was completed in 1900 at a cost of $160,000 but after having been washed out to some extent was rebuilt at a cost of an additional $150,000. Mercantile Enterprises: According to the Batesville Eagle of Sept. 12, 1848, Batesville was a thriving town with nine mercantile and two drug establishments, two blacksmith shops, one boot and shoe shop, one cabinet shop, one saddlery establishment, two wheelwright and wagon-making establishments, one copper and tin manufactory, two cotton gins, and one wool carding machine. Heavy loads of sale, iron, groceries, etc., are wagoned in all directions. The above gives some idea of early mercantile history. The chief means of transportation for long distances was the steamboat. In the old newspapers we see advertisements of the arrival of certain steamboats or their departure. The arrival of the boats was made a time of great jollification. Usually the boat was given over to the crowd which cam e down from the town and a general good time ensued. The dance would last into the morning. Batesville was the head of navigation for White River and as we have stated before, wagons from the upper counties came in great numbers to carry back the groceries the boat had brought. Some of the oldest businesses in town, at least twenty years old, are as follows: C. W. Maxfield & Co. is the representative of three generations of Maxfields who have been in the business, Uriah Maxfield, and Theo. Maxfield and Co., having preceded this firm. Judge S. A. Hail, who is now about to retire from active business, has continued at this task of selling goods since 1879 when his business was established. Barnett Bros. Mercantile Co. was founded by R. D. Williams. I. N. Barnett was then a partner. When in 1903 Mr. Williams' death occurred, the firm assumed the name of Barnett Bros. Mercantile Co. Rosenthal Hardware Co. was established in 1878 by C. T. Rosenthal. Chas. Mosby and Son have been in the jewelry business for the past 34 years. The jewelry firm of Alexander & Davidson was organized in 1888. J. W. Evans, after being a salesman for several years, went into the general merchandise business in 1891. J. L. Evans was in a general merchandise business until 1918 when he commenced selling out his general stock preparatory to going in to the shoe business which he is now in. J. B. Fitzhugh went in the general merchandise business in 1885 on the corner now occupied by Jeffery Bros., then called the "Red Front." He moved his business to the present location in 1890 and began the Men's Furnishing business. L. G. Boggs went into the grocery business in Batesville in 1891 and has held to the same sort of business since that time. Few businesses in town have been continually under the management of the same person as long as that of Mr. Boggs. E. R. Goodwin founded a drug store about forty years ago, which is the predecessor of the present Goodwin Drug Co. Public Utilities: Telephone. The first telephone exchange in Batesville was put in in 1888 when there were only two other exchanges in the state, one at Little Rock and the other at Fort Smith. The first office was in a little frame building where the old fire department used to stand, on Spring Street. A number of times the exchange has had to move for one reason or another. In 1901 long distance connection was secured through the local exchange. In 1906, Mr. E. H. Glenn, who then owned the exchange, sold out to the Southwestern people. In 1918 the exchange was moved to the present location in the Dowdy building on South Second Street. Mr. Ernest Kinman has been connected with the telephone business for a number of years. Water and Light Plant. The water and light plant was established in the early part of 1898. $25,000 worth of 6 per cent bonds were issued for the building of the plant. All these bonds with interest have been paid off as they have fallen due. Two remain unpaid, one to be paid in 1919 and one in 1920. Mr. Yeager was the contractor for the plant. he built the standpipe on the hill at the east end of Boswell Street. The original commissioners were Gen. Robt. Neill, C. R. Handford, and Wm. Ramsey. The present commissioners are: Ernest Neill, D. M. Frierson, and A. K. Goodnight. The plant is owned by the city and has been enlarged two or three times since its original establishment. For fifteen years the plant was not self-sustaining, but it is now. N. E. Duffey was the first collector, a position held at the present time by Miss Ella Case. Former superintendents of the plant were E. H. Glenn and W. H. Walkup. Mr. P. M. Pierce is the present superintendent. The water system extends all over town but the sewer system does not extend into West Batesville. Fire Department: The first means Batesville had of putting out fires was a bucket brigade. Later on a cart pulled by a mule was used to carry the hose. One end of the hose would be put into a well or into the nearest water obtainable and the water would be pumped by hand through the hose onto the fire. On September 7, 1896, the city bought a chemical engine with four small hand extinguishers for $750.00. In October 1903, it purchased a team and a hose wagon and provided other necessities for a fire department. The city leased a lot on Spring Street in this same year. In 1917 the city purchased an up-to-date fire engine paying about $2,300 for it. A new building was erected and equipped on the corner of First and South Streets in 1918. The city now has adequate protection against fires. The Ice Plant: This plant was build by the city in 1903, but failing to pay its expenses and having fallen into debt, it was taken over by Frank P. Albright and Wm. Ramsey. For a number of years the city of Batesville has had a Board of Trade which for some years has had Dr. M. C. Weaver as its President and A. A. Webber as its secretary. This Board of Trade has done a great many things for Batesville. Just this year a reorganization of the Board has been made. This Board is contemplating the employment of a secretary who will give his full time to the interests of the city. The business women of the town have also organized into a Civic Betterment Club and are ready to boost Batesville in any wise endeavors. Newspapers: The Batesville Eagle was started prior to 1940 for earlier copies of it are on file in the archives of the Arkansas History Commission. For some time this paper was edited by Charles Fenton Mercer Noland. Under the nom de plume of "Peter Whetstone," Noland wrote for all the leading papers of the country. The chief subject written about was politics. This first paper adhered to the Whig party. The Batesville News was established shortly afterwards by Wm. Byers. the North Arkansas had a short career in 1843-44. The Commercial Standard was founded by John C. Claiborne in 1853 but suspended publication in 1856. This paper was succeeded by the Independent Balance, owned by Urban E. Fort and edited by M. Shelby Kennard. This paper espoused the cause of the American Party and continued publication until the advent of the Federal Army her in 1862. During about the same period the Democratic Arkansas was being run by W. H. H. Russell. The first paper published after the war was the North Arkansas Times founded by Charles and H. K. Maxfield in March, 1866. It continued publication until 1876. Meanwhile in 1868 the Batesville Republican was founded by James Seler and Michael McAnanny, Northern men, and became the official newspaper of the county. It continued until the adoption of the Constitution of 1874. In 1877 the Batesville Guard was founded by Frank D. Denton and has been published continuously since that time. It has the reputation, under the present management, of being one of the best edited newspapers in Arkansas. The Guard has issued a daily for the last few years. It was edited for a number of years by George H. Trevathan, one of the leading newspaper men of the State. It was while he was manager of the Guard that he was elected Secretary of the State Senate for three consecutive terms, from 1907 to 1911. Mr. Trevathan had been connected with newspapers at various places throughout the State. He put his life into the work which explains his success as a newspaper man. He was manager of the Guard until his death, May 6, 1917. At this time, his son, J. Allen Trevathan assumed the responsibility and proved worthy of it. He remained manager until his death in October 1918. Since that time it has been under the management of Jared E. Trevathan with Mrs. N. H. Trevathan as acting editor. The Record was established in 1914 by H. D. Routzong. The publishing company changed hands several times until in February, 1919, W. M. Shelby assumed the management. Mr. Shelby has been connected with the newspaper business in the state for forty years. Batesville is exceedingly fortunate to have two as progressive papers as the Guard and Record.


Batesville has always taken an active part in patriotic movements. With the exception of the Civil War when Batesville, of course, gave her allegiance for the most part to the South, Uncle Sam has always been able to depend on our city. The first war after Batesville became a town of note was the Mexican War, 1846-47. In answer to the first call for volunteers after the declaration of war, Company D was organized. This company, composed of 79 men, was raised in this city in the summer of 1846. It was commanded by Capt. Andrew Porter, Franklin W. Desha was First Lieutenant, and Jesse and Richard Searcy were Second Lieutenants. Capt. Porter was killed in the Battle of Buena Vista. His body was buried in Oaklawn Cemetery. An armchair used by him is now in the lodge room of Mt. Zion Lodge No. 10, F. & A. M. After Capt. Porter's death, Franklin W. Desha was made Captain. These, so far as we have been able to learn, were Batesville's most prominent soldiers in the Mexican War. During the Civil War Batesville also took an active part in the war activities of the state. So interested were the inhabitants that the women gathered at the Court House every day in the week, making tents, scraping lint, and making uniforms out of butternut jeans, preparatory to the departure of the boys from this place. The first battle near Batesville was the battle of Oak Hill, August 10, 1861, in which Gens. Price and McCullough defeated the Federals and drove them from the field. Many brave soldiers were killed in this battle, among which were Job Neill, and Jonathan Osborne. Co. K, under Capt. Gibbs, participated in this fight. Late in May, 1862, a Federal army under Gen. Curtis took possession of the town. The U. S. flag was raised over the Court House and a sentinel placed behind the flag to watch for Confederate troops who might appear in the surrounding country. However, regardless of the sentinel, Sam Faust succeeded in hauling down this proud flag and burning it. Of course, he had to get away quickly to get away at all. Gen. Curtis remained in Batesville until July of the same year. Again in November the town was taken possession of by the Federals who held it almost continuously until June, 1864. Often during this time Batesville found itself in the path of raiders who managed to ravage and destroy everything they could not carry away with them. Another battle between the Confederates and the Federals was fought at Waugh's farm. Capt. George Rutherford with him company of Dobbin's cavalry and Capt. S. J. McGuffin's Pop Corn company were resting at Knight's Cove in Stone County when they learned that the 11th Missouri Cavalry, commanded by Capt. Cassel had encamped at Waugh's farm, eleven miles west of Batesville. Capt. Rutherford, accompanied by 83 men, reached the Federal camp about daybreak of February 18, 1864. He attacked with such vigor that he stampeded the escort, wounding four, capturing 17, and killing 13 including Capt. Cassel. The Missourians retreated leaving their wagon train in the hands of the Arkansans. John Miniken was killed in this battle and his body brought to Batesville for burial. In the latter part of 1864 Livingtone's command of Federal troops occupied Batesville and were quartered at the Ewing place. Batesville and Independence County furnished 23 full companies for the Confederate cause. We have been unable to get the names of those who served in the ranks and have not succeeded in getting the names of the companies. It has been impossible to distinguish between Batesville men and Independence County men. The following are some of the companies and their Commanders: Capt. W. E. Gibbs, 1st Ark. mounted riflemen Capt. G. W. Rutherford, 1st Ark. Cavalry Capt. Tom West, 1st Ark. Cavalry Capt. John H. Dye, 2nd Ark. Cavalry Capt. J. W. Cullins, 2nd Cavalry Capt. G. Brightwell, Arkansas Cavalry Capt. S. J. McGuffin, 28th Ark. Cavalry Capt. Norman Floyd, 28th Ark. Cavalry Capt. C. J. Washburn, 45th Ark. Cavalry Capt. Sam Fetzer, 45 Cavalry Capt. Tom Morgan, 8th Reg. Ark. Infantry Capt. W. Smalley, 8th Reg. Ark. Inf. Capt. Justice Tracey, 8th Reg. Ark. Inf. Capt. C. W. McAuley, 8th Reg. Ark. Inf. Capt. Sim Cason, 7th Ark. Battery Capt. Sam Jones, 7th Ark. Battery Capt. E. Houser, 31st Reg. Ark. Inf. Capt. Robert Echol, 38th Reg. Ark. Inf. Capt. L. E. Knight, 38th Reg. Ark. Inf. Batesville also played a prominent part in the Spanish-American War. Co. B was organized here and joined to the 2nd Arkansas Volunteers. The 2nd Arkansas Regiment, commanded by Col. V. Y. Cook, was mustered in on May 25, 1898, ordered to Chickamauga Park, Georgia, where it remained until September 9, when it was ordered to Camp Shipp, Anniston, Alabama, where it was finally mustered out on February 25, 1899. This regiment was never permitted to see active service but suffered severely from attacks of malaria, typhoid and other fevers. Col. Cook was mustered out with his regiment. The same difficulty arises with reference to the World War as with the other wars in which men from Batesville has engaged, that of separating the men from Batesville from the men from the rest of the county. However, out of about one thousand men furnished by the entire county, Batesville is said to have furnished about 200. There were no deserters from Batesville and only one or two from the county. The Secretary of the Local Board, Mr. A. A. Webber, states that out of all the discharges with which he has had anything to do there is no one which shows a single mark against the boys. Company F was a volunteer company organized from men of Batesville and surrounding country. Capt. W. J. DeCamp and Omer Albright were active in the organization of this company of volunteers. When it was mustered in to the national service, DeCamp was selected Captain and Albright Second Lieutenant. The company left Batesville August 10, 1917, for Camp Beauregard, Louisiana. There it was broken up. A number of its members, probably the most of them, saw service in France. Soon after the formation of Co. F volunteering was prohibited and no other entire companies left Batesville. Space forbids our trying to give the names of the boys from Batesville who served their country so nobly. The authors have been attempting to get the names of the boys who lost their lives in the service or were wounded, but have not finished their work yet.

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