Log Cabin Democrat

Centennial Edition

History of Faulkner County Towns and Townships

From the LCD Centennial Edition, 1873-1973:


These small homesteads above Palarm Bayou merge suddenly with Mayflower about four miles north of the county line. The town was originally located west of the railroad, but the business firms followed the highway when it was relocated, in 1936, eastward across the railroad about one-quarter from the original town, There remains only one general store and the old site and the Pentecostal Church with numerous homes on both sides of the first narrow T-model era highway erected here in the 1920's.

The post office, service station, Baptist and Methodist churches and other general stores are located astride and between the newer roadway and the railroad. With the completion of Interstate 40 in 1965, the town again became benefit of a direct highway link. The town; however, is serviced by an interchange and an on-ramp to enter this new four-lane limited access highway.

Even after the construction of the Little Rock - Fort Smith Railroad, it was some time before the benefits of such a service became apparent. In 1871, at Twenty-mile Camp, the new railroad construction superintendent had at his disposal the Pullman car, Mayflower. The telegraph call for his headquarters was, therefore Mayflower and the name remained long after the car had moved northward with the construction crews. There were some new benefits to the area, as the railroad purchased as late as the railroad purchased as last as 1893, "two-foot wood" to be fed into the hungry maws of the steam driven engines.

July 31, 1931, the Missouri Pacific Railroad., closed the depot at Mayflower. Trains would still stop at the station to pickup passengers, but no tickets could be purchased except on the train.

During the early 1870's, a Mr. Lorentz erected at mayflower a small general store. In the same period, the Williams saloon was opened. Mann Nichols constructed a steam cotton gin and due to the close proximity of the Mayflower to the Little plantation to the west, there soon were 10 cotton gins at Mayflower.

Mayflower was full of woods in 1844 and had a post office which was opened on Nov. 9, 1880/ Worley E. Vanlangingham was the first postmaster. There also were three homes, a saloon owned by E.C. Dunlap and a store with a stock, it was said, that could have been carried out in a wheelbarrow.

In a partial report to the county court in October of 1882, it was determined that the 16th section of Danley township which by law was to be sold for the use of the common school fund, was sold in Danley Township. No record existed of the sale, however, nor the amount of the acres sold, nor to whom, nor of the purchase price.

Here also was Nichol's Inn, which became a stagecoach stop before the completion of the railroad in 1871. Much later a hotel was erected at Mayflower. This town had an Odd Fellow's school building which was built of logs. The lodge had constructed and donated the school building to the community. A Union army officer, Richard Knichols, was the town's first schoolmaster.

Nov. 22, 1887, the tiny town of Mayflower and the surrounding area was burned over when a forest fire swept the area.

In 1916 Mayflower had three churches and a two-story hotel belonging to John Ledrick, who also owned a store. There were three other stores at Mayflower. Wiley Moseley had come to Mayflower February 4, 1894, and opened his little store building after purchasing a vacant lot from the estate of the late Dr. V.G. Dickens. The town also had the Gibbons wagon and blacksmith shop, the railroad depot, a number of cotton gins and the J.R. Miller corn mill.

Nov., 10, 1917, Hayes Realty Co., of Tennessee held a town lot auction at Mayflower. Several new residences were planned as a result of this sale.

The first municipal elections at Mayflower were held April 3, 1928, even though the town was 50 years old. Thirty-six votes were cast and Dr. J.R. Kettley was named mayor. O.L. Hackler was the first town recorder The five alderman chosen that day were A.L. Matthews, Marion Berry, J.T.Starr, M.D. Needham and A. Smith. By 1938 Dr, Kettley had been elected for his 11th one year term as mayor, and he held this position until his death.

March 20, 1934, the Mayflower public school building was destroyed by fire. This building had been erected on 1928 at a cost of $15,000. School was in session shortly after the noon luncheon period when the alarm was sounded. The students marched out in orderly procession and on one was injured. A bucket brigade of the townspeople and students saved the Smith-Hughes building.

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