Log Cabin Democrat

Centennial Edition

From the LCD Centennial Edition 1873-1973


Three miles north of Greenbrier, still on Highway 65, a side trip along an unpaved county road another three miles brings one to the small community of Republican.

There is a bountiful spring located in a small meadow on the south bank of Pea Vine Creek, which runs at the foot of a small ridge. An Italian family, the Casharago's clan, came to this area in 1854 in one of the many migrations to this county. This spring began to be known as Cash Springs from the family name.

In 1850, when Vatorio Emanuele was King of Italy and Pius IX was Pope, the Casharago family grew tired of religious oppression and disorder in Civil government and decided to leave their native country of Italy and migrate to America.

The laws of Italy made it illegal for the two small boys in the Casharago family to leave the country. Gilbert and James Casharago, their parents, disguised them as girls in order to get them on a ship. This trip from Italy to America by sailing vessel took seven months to reach New Orleans. Once during the voyage the ship reached a place where it was forced to remain for several weeks because of a calm. Many people on the ship died and were buried at sea.

In Little Rock this family purchased a wagon, oxen and some household supplies and traveled to Prairie County, where they lived two years. They then moved to White County for one year before settling in Union Township.

Game was plentiful when they first came here. Wheat fields had to be protected from deer with high fences built of rails. The family of young women, now Protestants, spun thread, wove cloth or knitted the family garments.

Before the building of the railroad in 1871, the Casharago family would make from one to five trips per year to Little Rock to market their produce and to buy the family supplies.

These trips took about a week for each journey. They traveled in ox-carts or wagons and camped near Gold Creek. They crossed the river at Little Rock on a pontoon bridge until the 1880 decade.

T.L. McMillen of Bob was born Sept., 26, 1871, a son of D.G. McMillen and Delilah Casharago McMillen. Other groups came here when the area was still bare of wooden cabins or houses. two brothers, both bachelors, Jim and Loren Nichols, settled near the spring and erected a small hut sometime during the late 1880's. The residents petitioned for a post office and regular mail service. There was another Cash Springs in Arkansas, and their petition was denied. This perturbed the villagers and as the Republican party was in power these staunch Arkansas Democrats decided to rename the town for those Republicans far away in Washington. Their new post office was opened on Sept. 20, 1897.

The post office was closed Dec. 31, 1919. Fay Cates and John Oliver operated cotton gins at Republican. The 1880 population of Union Township was 860. In 1884 a Methodist church was established at this village of Cash Springs. They erected a small building. It was dissolved after several years, and the building was moved to another community.

In 1886 a Missionary Baptist church was built. About 1896 another story was added to this building to house the Woodman of the World and the Odd Fellows lodges.

The Primitive Baptist Church met in the nearby school house. In the early 1900's the Nazarenes collected a membership from the nearby officially organized a church at cash Springs. Regular meetings were held, however.

In 1926 a community church building was advanced by the various groups, since the Missionary Baptist Church had dissolved and the Primitive Baptist group was small in number. This latter group's building was not safe for use and it was proposed by several local citizens that it be torn down and rebuilt for all of the various religious.

The Missionary Baptist Church members would not participate in the project -- neither did the Primitive Baptists who owned the building. In any case, the building was rebuilt and a deed prepared naming two members of each church group as owners.

In the summer of 1926 the Methodists again established a church. In 1931 a Church of Christ congregation organized at Republican and in May, 1932, the Missionary Baptist Church was re-organized. So at this time four denominations held monthly services in the same building.

The schoolhouse at Republican has long been abandoned. The children here go by bus each day to Greenbrier to school. There is a Missionary Baptist building, as well as the community church building. The settlement cemetery is located across another ridge to the north some two miles from this one store village.

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