Greene County, Arkansas
Dr. R. C. Grizzard who moved to Gainesville from Tennessee in October 1882 states that there were about three hundred or three hundred and fifty people living in Gainesville at the time. He says there were five stores: Jackson Dry Goods Company, Less and Joseph, Wyse and Kuykendall, P.K. Parson's General Store and H. A. Glasscock General Store. Dr. T. H. Wyse and Dr. Calvin Wall were retired physicians residing in Gainesville. The practicing physicians were Dr. M. V. Camp, Dr. Tom Thorn, and Dr. J.P. Gregory. Lawyers in Gainesville were Judge L.L. Mack and son A.P. Mack, W. S. Luna and John B. Boykin. There was a school under the direction of a Professor Harvey who was succeeded by George Hopkins. The only church was Methodist, with Rev. Watson as pastor. Later a Presbyterian Church was added.
There was not a brick building in the town. All the houses were frame; most of them had been painted at some time; all were lighted with coal oil lamps. Since there were no banks, people kept their money at home. The first survey placed the railroad through the center of the town, on land owned by Dr. Calvin Wall. Dr. Grizzard says that Dr. Wall was not willing to give the land for the right-a-way, and asked for a second survey. The second survey placed the tracks a mile from the center of town. Had the railroad gone according to the first survey, the history of Gainesville might have taken a different turn.
When Paragould began to draw the citizens of Gainesville, John B. Boykin sold his home in Gainesville to Dr. Grizzard and moved to the new county seat. He built the house at the corner of South Fourth and Garland Street, then known as the Lackner home. This was a show place of the town. Dr. Grizzard says that when he paid his first visit to Paragould someone took him to the south door of the courthouse to view the fine Boykin home. There were no buildings to interfere with the view from the courthouse. In 1891 Dr. Grizzard joined the procession of people moving from Gainesville to Paragould.
Transcribed by: Sandy Hardin
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