Carroll County, Arkansas

Goodspeed's History of ... Carroll County, Arkansas

Settlement and Development Con'd., p. 344

Population. -- The population of Carroll County in 1840 was 2,844; in 1850, 4,614; in 1860, 9,383; in 1870, 5,780; in 1880, 13,337. The apparent decrease in the decade ending 1870 is explained by the fact that Boone County was formed in 1869. The population by townships, in 1870 and 1880, was as follows:

Township 1880 1870
Carrollton 1,148 808
Cedar 965 511
Eureka Springs 3,984
Clifty 401
Dry Fork 274
Hickory 1,020 660
King's River 410 686
Liberty 295 253
Long Creek 574 452
Osage 563 842
Piney 319
Polo 781
Prairie 2,190 1,568
Yocum 413

The White population in 1860 was 9,053; in 1870, 5,743; in 1880, 13,272. The colored population in 1860 was 330; in 1870, 37; in 1880, 60. There were five Indians in the county in 1880. The native population in 1870 was 5,771; in 1880, 13,211, of whom 5,882 were born in the State, 1,583 in Tennessee, 207 in Alabama, 156 in Georgia, 102 in Mississippi, 2,121 in Missouri, 211 in North Carolina, 542 in Kentucky, 52 in South Carolina, 187 in Virginia. The foreign born population was 9 in 1870 and 126 in 1880. Of the latter number, 24 were born in British America, 19 in England and Wales, 27 in Ireland, 6 in Scotland, 26 in the German Empire, 6 in France, 3 in Scandinavia, 3 in Switzerland. The male and female population in 1880 was 6,976 and 6,358, respectively. There were 2,219 males and 2,114 females between the ages of five and seventeen, inclusive (the school age). The number of males between the ages of eighteen and forty-four was 2,671 (subject to military service). The number of males above twenty-one was 3,229.

Statistics. -- 1880, horses, 2,814; mules and asses, 817; working oxen, 120; milch cows, 2,898; other cattle, 4,182; sheep, 6,223; swine, 23,547; wool, 13,655 pounds; butter, 73,888 pounds; corn, 22,979 acres, 582,734 bushels; wheat, 7,343 acres, 51,992 bushels; oats, 4,626 acres, 64,451 bushels; rye, 582 acres, 4,820 bushels; cotton 982 acres, 502 bales; tobacco, 28 acres, 16,540 pounds; sorghum, 20,084 gallons. In February, 1883, the county assessor returned 3,302 horses, valued at $151,987; 8,562 cattles, valued at $105,112; 6,339 sheep, valued at $8,389; 19032 swine, valued at $26,838; 1,038 mules and asses, valued at $62,712. The number of farms in 1880 was 1,375; total number of acres, 140,245; improved acreage, 45,707; under cultivation, 43,903 acres; meadows, pastures, etc., 1,804; unimproved, 94,538 acres; woodland and forest, 69,522 acres; unimproved, mountain and prairie, not wooded, 25,016 acres. Value of farms, including land, fences and buildings, $515,647; value of farming implements and machinery, $49,540; value of live stock on farms, $270,484; estimated value of all farm productions, 1879, $255,816. The aggregate value of real estate in the county in 1880 was $326,875; personal property, $335,631; total, $662,506. In 1883, real estate, $633,323; personal property, $722,482; total, $1,354,805. The following table shows the valuation of lands by congressional townships for the year 1888 (to which should be added ninety-eight town lots in Carrollton, seventy-six in Berryville, and fifty-six in Green Forest, valued respectively at $6,840, $19,365 and $3,438; total, $29,643):

Range Acreage Valuation
of Land
17 22 1,486.22 $3,700
18 22 5,161.71 16,720
19 22 9,414.23 34,770
20 22 7,295.22 29.320
21 22 1,520.00 5,805
17 23 1,725.13 9,425
18 23 8,501.18 41,350
19 23 13,497.98 61,075
20 23 14,029.63 63,405
21 23 5,159.16 18,410
17 24 2,888.33 13,180
18 24 3,689.53 10,000
19 24 8,177.70 37,140
20 24 12,699.71 76,110
21 24 8,117.64 32,380
18 25 586.63 1,925
20 25 7,595.34 84.890
21 25 8,112.43 31.370
134,488.34 $585.695


The Mountain Meadows Massacre, p. 346.

In the spring of 1857 an emigrant train was organized in Northwestern Arkansas, and principally in Carroll County, by Capt. Alexander Fancher, and in due time set out for the journey across the plains and the Rocky Mountains to California. Capt. Fancher was a native of Tennessee; he married in Cumberland County, Ill., and settled on Osage. He had made two overland journeys to California, and was well qualified to conduct them thither. His train consisted of about forty wagons, several carriages in which some of the ladies rode, nearly a 1,000 head of cattle, several hundred horses, including a stallion valued at $2,000, and was said to have been the finest that crossed the plains in 1857. There were forty or fifty men. The entire company were in comfortable circumstances; they had with them valuables and money which, with the property referred to, has been estimated at $70,000.

Progress of the Train. -- The train left Arkansas in the spring of 1857, passed through Kansas and Colorado by the accustomed route, and reached Salt Lake City in August. From here "the sourthern route," through Provo, Nephi, Fillmore and Cedar City was taken, and at the last named point the party reached the Spanish trail, their road to Southern California. They had not traversed the favored land of the Saints many days before it became apparent that they were regarded with suspicion and aversion. It was in vain that supplies of food and forage were negotiated for; they were "friendless as in a voiceless desert." The Federal power was openly defied in Utah, and armed troops were on the march toward its borders. Brigham Young openly declared that his "protection" would be withdrawn from emigrants passing through the Territory, and under a combination of the most unfavorable circumstances, Capt. Fancher and his party slowly approached the melancholy termination of their journey. They crossed the Great Basin; they climbed up the southern rim, and on the border of Mormonism they stopped for a few days, to let their cattle revel in the rank, coarse mountain grass, before they went on the "Ninety Mile Desert."

The location of the Mountain Meadows, their stopping place, is in the southwestern corner of Utah, in the present county of Washington, about eight miles south of the village of Pinto. The place is a pass, sometimes called a valley, about five miles in length and one in width, but running to a rather narrow point at the southwest end. At about its center, lengthwise, is the "divide" between the basin and the Pacific slope, the ascents being very gradual, and at each end is a large spring. At the eastern spring was the house and corral of Jacob Hamlin, Mormon sub-agent for the Pah Utes, who, with some assistance, all Mormons, was pasturing cattle on the meadows. The train passed his place on the 3d of September, and encamped at the western spring on the 4th. This spring, which is a large one, is in the southern end of the narrow part. The bank rises from it to a height of about eight feet, and from its top there reaches a level stretch of some 200 yards, upon which the emigrants encamped.

The First Attack occurred on Monday morning, September 7, 1857, while the party were at breakfast. A volley was fired from the gully through which the waters of the spring meander, killing seven and wounding sixteen. A momentary confusion ensued; but the coolness of Capt. Fancher avoided a panic, and the women and children were soon placed within the shelter of the corralled wagons, while the men returned a vigorous fire. The attacking party drew off, and the emigrants improved the opportunity by chaining their wagons, wheel to wheel, and throwing up a breastwork. Their cattle had been driven away, and the frequent appearance of savages caused continual apprehension. One Aden and another man were accordingly dispatched to Cedar City for assistance, on Wednesday night. They were attacked by whites from that place at Richard's Spring; Aden was killed, but his companion returned to camp, and for the first time the truth dawned upon their minds -- the Indians were abetted and instigated by the Mormons. A written statement was prepared, imploring assistance from good people generally, and intrusted to three of their best scouts, who set out for California. They were overtaken at the Santa Clara Mountains by an Indian party under Ira Hatch, and all three suffered death.

The Massacre. -- The fifty-four white men and about 200 Indians under John D. Lee, were convinced that a direct assault would not be successful. A meeting of the Mormons in the meadows, under Maj. John Higbee, was held; the orders of President Haight, of Cedar City, directing that the entire party should be exterminated, was read; and after prayer (?) Higbee announced in confident tones, that he had the evidence of divine approval. The "higher law," in all its naked enormity, was to be executed by treachery.

On the morning of Friday, September 11, 1857, John D. Lee and William Bateman advanced toward the emigrants with a white flag, and were met by one of the party. Lee explained that the Indians were much excited because of certain acts of violence committed by the party, and that the only way of pacifying them was a surrender to the Mormon militia. They agreed to do so. Their arms were placed in wagons brought by Lee, with the small children; the women and older children followed on foot; the men, each at the side of a Mormon, brought up the rear. The wagons had just passed over the divide toward the eastern spring, the women were a quarter of a mile behind, and the men an equal distance behind them, in the ravine. Suddenly from among the ambushed Indians the form of Higbee appeared on the divide; he motioned with his arms, and at once the work of death began. Each militiaman wheeled and shot his man. The rifle of John D. Lee cracked, and a wounded woman in the forward wagon fell from the seat. The Indians rushed upon the women. Two young girls escaped some distance, but were pursued by Lee and an Indian chief. There is reason to think they begged for more than life.

Burial. -- October 2, 1857, the scene of the massacre was visited by eleven Mormons, secretly escaping from Utah. They mention two piles of bodies, one composed of women and children, the other of men. The bodies were entirely nude; all were more or less torn by wolves except one, that of a woman, which lay apart from the rest, and showed no signs of decay. In the spring of 1859 Capt. R. P. Campbell, with two companies of infantry and one of dragoons, passed through the meadows and buried the remains of twenty-six of the victims. May 20, 1859, Maj. James Henry Carlton, United States Army, buried the disjointed bones of thirty-four skeletons in a grave on the northern side of the ditch. A rude monument, conical in form, and fifty feet in circumference at the base and twelve feet high, was erected over this grave. This was surmounted by a red-cedar cross, upon the transverse part of which was carved this inscription:


A rude slab of granite, leaning against the northern base of the monument, bore these words:

IN SEPT., 1857.

The Entire Number Killed was 121, 10 at the camp, 107 at the massacre, young Aden and the three scouts.

The Property, by direction of Brigham Young, was disposed of by Lee. A portion was given to the Indians; the money was kept by Lee and Klingensmith; the bedding and clothing were deposited in the tithing house at Cedar City, and was commonly referred to as "property taken at the siege of Sevastopol." The wagons, stock, etc., were disposed of at the tithing house, and the proceeds turned over to the Mormon treasury.

The Survivors. -- The circumstances of the massacre were known at Los Angeles, Cal., the following month, and on the last day of the year 1857 William C. Mitchell, ex-clerk of Carroll County, and then a member of the State senate, apprised a friend of the death of his son and brother-in-law, with their families, numbering twenty-four persons; the Legislature of Arkansas took immediate action, as did also the National Congress. Dr. Jacob Forney, superintendent of Utah, learned the whereabouts of the surviving children June 22, 1858; they had been distributed among Mormon families of the vicinity. June 29, 1859, fifteen of them were placed in charge of Maj. Whiting, United States Army, who reached Fort Leavenworth August 25, 1859.

Here they were taken in charge by William C. Mitchell, special agent of the Government, and reached Carrollton September 16, 1859. Two other children, John C. Miller and M. Tackett, were detained in Utah as witnesses. In January, 1860, they were taken to Washington by Dr. Forney, and from there to Carrollton by Maj. John Henry, of Van Buren. The following is a list of the names, ages and residences of the children referred to:

Rebecca Dunlap-9
Louisa Dunlap-7
Sarah Dunlap-4
Females; daughters of Jesse Dunlap, deceased, of Carroll County, Ark.
Prudence Angeline Dunlap-7
Georgiana Dunlap-4
Females; daughters of L. D. Dunlap, deceased, of Marion County, Ark.
Elizabeth Baker-8
Sarah A. Baker-6
William B. Baker-4
Heirs of G. W. Baker, deceased, of Carroll County, Ark.
C. C. Fancher-9
Tryphena Fancher-5
Heirs of Alexander Fancher, deceased, of Carroll County.
John C. Miller-9
Mary Miller-7
Joseph Miller-4
Heirs of Joseph M. Miller, deceased, of Crawford County, Ark.
M. Tackett
William Tackett
Heirs of Pleasant Tackett, deceased, of Carroll County, Ark.
F. M. Jones-4
Sophronia Jones-7
Heirs of J. M. Jones, deceased, of Marion County, Ark.

But one of this number, Tryphena Fancher, the wife of J. C. Wilson, of Rule, is at present a resident of Carroll County.

John D. Lee was tried and convicted twenty years after the commission of his crime; he was given his choice of being hung, shot or beheaded. He preferred to be shot, and was accordingly executed at Mountain Meadows on March 23, 1877.

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