Faulkner County, of course is to a very great extent rural. Conway,its county seat, was the only townsite to acquire a large urban population.The people here are for the most part descendants of the first early colonists.
Throughout America there existed a generation of two farmers who triedto go along on their grandfather's example, i.e., taking all and puttingnothing back into the soil with the result that they soon ruined they soiland ran themselves into bankruptcy.
It will be noted that the manysettlements in this county are from six to 11 miles apart, or about thedistance of a brace of lumbering oxen or perky mules could be expectedto cover from sunup to sundown on primitive roadways. So as these earlysettlers moved day by day, they often liked the terrain or the type ofsoil in which they camped and decided to move no further.
All of FaulknerCounty townsites came into being after the Civil War, with the single exceptionof Greenbrier, which dates from 1857. Cadron had for some two decadeslay moulding, quite forgotten and even unknown, by these hardy newcomersin this new land and county.
We shall now begin a systematic discussionof the principal townsites. We will review their history as to their origin,their naming if it can be determined, and some of their principal commercialfirms of the past.
This town-by-town study has not been exhaustive,but it does reveal much of these early towns or settlements. There isnothing unusual about the history of these small communities. It is thesame story of thousands of other villages throughout America. One farmhouse is erected, then another, the timber is cut off, piled up and burned.
There remained 10 inches of rich forest loam, the residue of a millionyears of growth and decay. It was often ruined in one man's lifetime.
Many people in this county made no significant contribution to ourhistory, but were merely interesting characters in a cast of hundreds justlike them. Their lives are often summarized in a mere sentence in thisbrief history.
Any study of pre-1900 Faulkner County is hampered bythe fact that many important facts have been lost by the newspapers ofthat era being burned in fires. The little that remained has been badlyused by early historians and their errors have been perpetuated by laterwriters. Often this writer has had to subject much material and discardand then go back to the original source material to secure the correctfacts.
Three of the present townships - Matthews, Mountain and Bristol- now contain no villages. Bristol had at one time a thriving villagewith even a telephone exchange, but this, through the years, has entirelydisappeared. Today no church or store building stands in Bristol township.A lonely cemetery is the only sign of former prominence.