Greene County, Arkansas
NEWBERRY, LOULYMA OR LAFE ?
In 1886, Mr. Herman Toelken, a German immigrant, came south from his home in New Haven, Franklin County, Missouri, seeking a new life for his family. He got off the train at Gainesville with an axe and with 35 cents in his pocket.
In an effort to establish himself, he began cutting railroad ties and selling them to the railroad company. As soon as he had saved enough money he paid the railroad company $40.00 for forty acres of hill land about 1 1/2 miles east of the present town of Lafe. He built a little log shack and sent for his family in New Haven. His wife, the former Lina Ommen, and their children, came on the train to Gainesville, bringing with them a dresser, a chifferobe, a bedstead and some chairs. After having paid for having the family and furniture hauled to the cabin, he again found himself with only seventy-five cents. Again, by cutting and selling railroad ties, he saved enough money to buy a yoke of oxen for hauling the ties. Then, seeing the abundance of land in the area, he began advertising in a Minneapolis newspaper, the "Germania", for other German Lutherans to come and settle in the community. In fact, several had already arrived prior to the end of 1886.
In the meantime, more settlers had arrived and settled down closer to the railroad. A large sawmill, located in the area, was operated by Mr. W. C. Newberry, and as more houses and stores sprung up, the settlement became commonly referred to as "Newberry". On December 9, 1889, Mr. Carl Gilg submitted an application to the United States Postal Service for establishment of a Post Office at Newberry, Arkansas. He described Newberry as a "flag station" on the St. Louis Iron Mountain Railroad. Records indicate that the name "Newberry" was considered by the Postal Department, but not accepted. Mr. Gilg was ask to submit another name for consideration. In selecting the name, Mr. Gilg decided to combine portions of the names of each of his three daughters, Louise, Lilly, and Mary, with the name subsequently becoming Loulyma (pronounced LU - LA - MAH). The application listed the number of inhabitants as twelve. It was accepted, an the official name of the little town became Loulyma.
Loulyma would never have survived without the railroad; but it was also the railroad which caused it to disappear from the map.
Transcribed by: Sandy Hardin
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