Greene County, Arkansas

The Sportsman's Paradise

This is the cover of the brochure published.
The information and photo's below came from the original brochure.
The copy of the Sportsman Paradise was donated by Keith Wooldridge, the original copy belong to his dad.

An early guide and a St. Louis photographer team up to show us the St. Francis as it was in the early 1900's , shortly after the Paragould Southeastern had extended its line to Hornersville, Mo. the rail company published a 38 - page promotional booklet aimed at luring St. Louis sportsmen to the hunting and fishing lodges located along the route.

Although the PSE had dropped its original name - Paragould and Buffalo Island Railway Co. - its booklet was titled. "The Sportsman's Paradise on the Buffalo Island Route, Arkansas and included a drawing of a western bison on the back cover.

Back Cover


Page 1

Buffalo Island Hunting and Fishing Club, Bertig , Ar.


PARAGOULD is the county seat of Greene County, located at the junction of the Southern, the St. Louis Southwestern and the Paragould Southeastern Railroads, population of 4,500; substantial mercantile establishments , two solid banks , manufacturing plants, commodious court house, jail, city hall, elegant churches, handsome residences, good schools and school buildings, of advanced grade and a happy contented and prosperous people with prospects to attain a population of 10,000 or more within the next five years.

It lies at the east base of Crowley's Ridge, and the surrounding country is well adapted to the growth of fruits, cereals and cotton. The country lying east of town is level and the soil very rich. West are table lands of Crowley's Ridge, slightly undulating and covered with heavy pine forests and bountifully supplied with good water.

Page 4 and 5

Club House, Buffalo Island

Interior Club House - Colonial Fireplace- Buffalo Island

Page 6

Up to seven or eight years ago, wheat - growing was in industry almost unknown to the farmers in this section, but the erection of the Paragould Roller Mills has stimulated that industry, and the market value of the wheat crop for 1897 for Greene County is from home-grown wheat is a superior grade and finds ready market in competition with the mills of Kansas City , St. Louis and other cities.

The three railroads, two trunk lines, affording direct connection with St. Louis , give the town superior shipping facilities, and the construction of the Paragould Southeastern has added an important improvement in railroad enterprises. The Paragould Southeastern is owned largely by home capitalists. Its construction and equipment are up to date in every particular and its passenger service is as good as can be found on other lines of this section.

The recent extension of this railroad from Cardwell, Mo. to Hornersville, Mo. has given a great impetus to the development of the county through which it passes this entire country being level and the finest timber and agricultural lands of Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas.

The Knobel Club House Bertig , Ar

Page 7

Black Bass St. Francis River, Bertig Ar

Page 8 & 9

Bard, Arkansas

Leaving Paragould, the first station east is Bard, a lumbering town where the Meiser Lumber Company, who are shippers of unfinished lumber have an immense saw mill and own thousands of acres of good tillable land, which they offer to home seekers and investors at low prices.

The Holman Shingle Mill is also an important industry located there . The country surrounding Bard is comparatively unsettled, but the lands are level and will produce fine crops with rare failures and being only about six miles east of Paragould are within easy reach of the market.

Bertig, Arkansas

Is located about ten miles east of Paragould on the St. Francis River. The principal manufacturing concerns of Bertig are the Smeltzly Lumber Company, Penrod & Wood, saw mill and the American Hardwood Lumber Company.

There are large concerns giving employment to a great number of men and their annual shipments over the Paragould Southeastern amount to many million of feet.

Page 10 & 11

MoArk Boat Club 15 miles north of Bertig on St. Francis River

Native of Upper St. Francis River on his way to Bertig, Ar for provisions for MoArk Boat Club

Page 12

But to prospectors and especially the devotees of the rod and gun , the leading attractions at Bertig are the splendid club houses . These club houses are built partly extending into the river and you step from their broad verandas into your boat and go in any direction you may chose in quest of game and fish. The Buffalo Island Hunting and Fishing Club with S. Virgilio as manager is a home for the weary traveler from whatever direction he may come. Mr. Virgilio caters to the wants of his guests with all the skill of a connoisseur , being an experienced hotel and club house manager. The officers of this club are C. S. Wheeler pres. Equitable Building, St. Louis, Mo. and John H. Holmes, secretary 506 Columbia Building, St. Louis, Mo. The rates to club members are $1.00 per day, which includes boats, board and lodging, and to non - members $2.00 per day.

The membership fee is fixed at the nominal sum of $2.50 per year. The membership certificates expire on the first day of each year, and membership is open to all persons of good standing. This club house is situated about one - half mile from Seneca Slough which affords the best duck shooting from the first of September until the first of March. It is a mile and a half to Badwell's Lake which can be reached by hand car. The lake is about 20 miles long, with an average width of half mile, with water from two and a half feet to twenty feet deep. This body of water is celebrated for its fine fly and minnow fishing.

Fifteen miles below Bertig is another club house under the same management and is located it is said on the finest duck shooting waters in the United States. Mr. Virgilio

Page 13

Blue Hole on St. Francis River North of MoArk Boat Club

Page 14

View on Upper St. Francis River - Pond Lilies

Page 15

furnishes boats and guides to his guest and transports them to the lower boat house, where they are admitted on the same membership. When we state upon the authority of hundreds of sportsmen who have tried it that the average days catch in these waters is from 40 to 125 bass per day, we are warranted in saying that this is the sportsman's paradise and that the followers of Sir Isaac Walton can here find everything to gratify their most fastidious dreams.

Persons wishing further testimony of credible witnesses to corroborate these statements may write to Dr. D. S. H. Smith, Treasurer of Missouri Pacific Railway Company, E. A. Peck, General Superintendent of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway Company; William Nichols, President of the Commercial Bank; W. S. Eames, Architect and F. U. Hugunin, all of St. Louis, who have been there and know what it is.

The Knobel Hunting and Fishing Club also have a fine club house at Bertig , which is owned and officered mostly by St. Louis sportsmen, with Alex H. Smith, president and W.P. Kennett, secretary. The membership fee is $10.00 per year and application for membership should be made to either of the above named officers. It is also understood that the members of this club are contemplating the erection of a commodious club house on Big Lake, fifteen miles south of Hornersville, Missouri.

There are fine farming and timber lands in the vicinity of Bertig, and persons desiring information concerning them should write to Alexander, Amberg & Co.

Page 16

Native Hunter on St. Francis

Page 17

Fisherman's Boat on St. Francis

Page 18

 Contractor's Camp on P.S. E. Ry


Leaving Bertig and pursuing our way eastward along the route of the Paragould Southeastern, you will leave Arkansas and enter Missouri and a four miles run brings us to the progressive little city of Cardwell, Missouri.

This town was laid off in the spring of 1896 , when the first house was built and is owned largely by Bertig Bros. the enterprising Paragould merchants.

The town from the start grew rapidly and attracted population and wealth. It is surrounded by a fine agricultural country especially adapted to the growth of corn and cotton this season. while the timber supply contiguous to the town is almost inexhaustible. The town now has a population of 700 and is growing rapidly. It will handle 5,000 bales of cotton this season. There is a large steam cotton gin a number of splendid mercantile establishments one of which is Bertig & Co. who do an annual business of $75,000. The Decatur Egg Case Co. located there during the past summer and are giving employment operation in a few months. There are also numerous saw mills in the vicinity of the town and still the demand for houses exceeds the capacity of the builders and the lumber meantime, there is a regular Klondike rush upon the town. Persons interested should write to J. R. Pool, real estate dealer and agent for Bertig Bros.

Page 19

Native Hunter on Upper St. Francis

Page 20

Cardwell , Mo.

Page 21

It is estimated that all the manufacturing plants that may be located at Cardwell cannot possibly consume the supply of cottonwood timber within reach during the next twenty years while the opening up of the fine lands in the surrounding country, will make it one of the richest agricultural sections in Southeast Missouri. But pursuing our way further eastward along the line of the Paragould Southeastern, six miles from Cardwell, we reach.

Klondike, Missouri

Not the one on the Yukon where the midnight sun glistens in the icy glaciers and the people live on seal fat, but the one where gentle spring time comes perennially, and the song of the mocking bird is sweetened with the fragrance of rarest flowers. Klondike is in the heart and the very center of the finest cotton growing region of Southeast Missouri . The new depot has just been completed town lots have been surveyed and placed on sale and its industry will soon rival its protype of the Arctic's. For information write William Hunter, Benton, Missouri.

The Seitz Lumber Company and the Winder Lumber Company are both putting in large saw mill plants and are ready to fill orders for all kinds of merchantable lumber. Land around the Missouri Klondike is cheap and nuggets of gold are produced in the finest cotton crops grown in the Southwest.

Page 22

T. J. Douglas Feeding Barn , near Hornersville, Mo.

Page 22

Corn field on Mr. T. J. Douglas' Plantation, near Hornersville, Mo.

Hornersville, Missouri

Hornersville is the eastern terminus of the Paragould Southeastern Railway. Here is the oldest town in southeast Missouri having been located in 1834. It is located in the heart of a rich agricultural country , surrounded by fine farms well improved and on the banks of Little River which is navigable most of the year for small steamers. Hornersville has never been a town of much commercial importance for the reason that it never had a railroad; but the extension of the Paragould Southeastern connects it with the outer world and has given new life to the old town. After the extension of the Paragould Southeastern Railroad, hundreds of investors have visited Hornersville and very few have gone away without buying a town lot, a fine farm, or opening up some kind of business. Hornersville it is predicted will soon be the thriftiest and most populous town in Dunklin County, Missouri. There is not an acre of poor land within twenty miles of Hornersville and there is not an acre of improved farming lands within ten miles of Hornersville that does not produce from a bale to a bale and a half of cotton.

The country surrounding Hornersville on the west side of Little River is in a high state of cultivation and you not only find fine farming lands with great productive capacity but you find commodious farm houses with excellent barns outbuildings and fences everything indicating a high state of civilization and a soil that is a rich sandy loam which

Page 26

Bears captured two miles south of Hornersville 

produces immense crops of cotton and corn and surrounded by such a country with the extension of the Paragould Southeastern Railroad and with the abundant resources of the country lying east of Little River, Hornersville is destined to a rapid and substantial growth. Already there are fifteen or twenty houses under way, and new business enterprises of every character are being opened up in town. For special information as to Hornersville, write Judge J. W. Black at that place.

Hornersville like Bertig is a paradise for sportsmen. Little River is abundantly supplied with game fish and speckled perch. Trout almost jump into your boat when you run out in the river.

The country lying east of Little River is comparatively unsettled being a distance of only about twenty miles to the Mississippi River.

There are dense cane-breaks in this bottom country where turkey abound and bear may be found by hunters seeking large game. Quail shooting and duck shooting are so common to the local sportsmen as to excite little interest, but when it comes to bruin the local sportsmen finds some game worthy of his taste and talent, and if our sporting friends from the cities desire to have one really sensational experience they should go on bear hunt in the bottoms east of Hornersville and in that way they would find something worth engaging their attention. Wild turkey are so numerous that you can almost kill them with a stick, and does not have to walk his legs off to bring in a fine buck, provided he is a good shot, deer being plentiful and for duck and geese shooting, no sportsman who visits Northeast Arkansas or Southeast Missouri should stop short of Big Lake, which is fifteen miles south of Hornersville.

Page 28

Scene on stock farm of Mr. T. J. Douglas , near Hornersville, Mo.

Page 29

Natives Moving , near Hornersville, Mo.

Big Lake is a body of water that was produced by the earthquake of 1811 at the same time the celebrated Reel Foot Lake of Tennessee was formed. To reach Big Lake you take the Paragould Southeastern at Paragould and run to Hornersville: at Hornersville you secure boats and guides and make a trip to Big Lake on Little River. There during same season millions and millions of ducks harbor and the sportsman who visits this celebrated resort may expect greater results for his time than on almost any other body of water in the United States.

The trains from Paragould for all stations along the line of the Paragould Southeastern leave early in the morning from Paragould to Hornersville, Mo. and all intermediate points reaching them in time for dinner.

For additional information call on or address ,

W. C. Hasty or F. S. Yantis

Pres't & Gen'l Mgr. ---G. F. and P.A.

Paragould, Ark.

Page 31

 The only Entrance to Swift Water


Native Boy Fishing at Swift Water

Fishermen on Big Lake , Ark.

Native Trapper at Swift Water

Fishermen's camp at Swift Water

Gar Hole Big Lake , Ark


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