Highlights of the Paragould-Greene County, AR Story

Taken from The Big Picture - Jubilee Edition July 17, 1958
transcribed by Sandy Hardin


1541-Fourty Spaniards (De Sotos Scouts) crossed the "ridge" and traded Spanish trinkets to the Delawares for beans and roasting ears.

1686-Four Frenchmen crossed the ridge near Walcott and traded French jewelry to the Shawnees for tobacco and clay pipes.

1773-Several Frenchmen appeared at the Delaware village near Delaplaine and forced the Indian women and children to vacate their log huts.

1778-A band of Delaware returned to their former village and forced the Frenchmen to vacate their old homes and leave the vicinity.

1804-Daniel Boone and ex-governor Bogg (of Missouri) visited the Osages near Lorado and asked the Indians to make cornmeal bread and cook fish.

1808-White men of unknown nationality stopped near Lafe and engaged the Osages to help locate and gather medicinal herbs.

1811-During the month of December an earthquake "shook the ridge."

1812-During the month of January, another earthquake caused "sunk-lands" in St. Francis river bottoms and the Mississippi river flowed backward (up stream) for fourty-eight hours.

1813-"Arkansas" was attached to Missouri as one county, with one representative appointed to the Missouri Legislature that met in St. Louis.

1815-Lawrence County was created, that embraced Greene and other that were created later.

1817-Davidsonville, first Post Office approved in Arkansas, was the only P.O. for the whole of N.E. Arkansas and S.E. Missouri for years.

1819-Arkansas County was detached from Missouri and became Arkansas Territory.

1820-Benjamin and Samuel Crowley moved to the ridge (that later took the name Crowley's Ridge) and were the first white settlers in Greene County.

1832-The government approved a Post Office for "Crowley" that was established in the Crowley home and the two brothers were the first Postmasters.

1833-The Arkansas Territorial Legislative enactment, creating Greene County was approved November 5th of that same year.

1835-First official county seat was established at Paris, about 5 miles N.E. of Gainesville, where all county records were intact for five years.

1836-Arkansas Territory was admitted to the Union as a state and many fine families from the eastern states moved to the "ridge" that year.

1840-County seat was removed from Paris to Gainesville, where the county records were housed in four different buildings-three of which were destroyed by fire (twicw in 1874 and the third time in 1876) causing complete loss of all records.

1850-The first school in this county was conducted by Robert H. Hailey in a log house on Eight Mile Creek about 1 1/2 miles north of Paragould, sometime prior to 1850.

1874-Rev. JDC Cobb set up the Gainesville Times, the first newspaper of this area. In 1884, Paragould residents were subscribing to a news media owned by Rev. David B. Warren.

1882-The St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Helena Railroad and the St. Louis Arkansas ans Texas Railroad formed a "crossing" which later became known as Parmley.

1882-April 17th official approved was received for a Post Office to be called "Paragould". he name was "coined" by using a portion of the name of Col. J.W. Paramore and the surname of Jay Gould); and a few months later freight and express was billed to Paragould.

1883-Town of Paragould was incorporated March 3, 1883. The Methodists founded the first church to be erected in Paragould, followed by the Catholic Church in the same year.

1884-The county seat was removed from Gainesville to Paragould where the records were kept in the home of R.H. Gardner, until the completion of the new frame building on the site of the present City Service Station at Third and Emerson.

1888-Thecounty records and offices were removed to the new brick courthouse that cost $14,700. The belfry cost $700 and the two story jail approximately $7,000. The Greene County bank was incorporated.

1890-By this date Post Offices had been established at Crowley, Paris, Gainesville, Walcott, Lorado, Poplar Creek, Fontaine, Finch, Bethel, Halliday, Herndon, Delaplaine, Marmaduke, Stonewall, Tillmanville, Lafe, and Paragould.

1891-Electric lights were installed in the homes and on the streets of the city that was destined to gain national recognition later.

1892-First firefighting equipment was purchased by the City and a fire station, size 45 x 12 was built.

1896-Paragould Telephone Co. was incorporated May 14 and located on the southeast corner of Pruett and Emerson Streets.

1898-The city water plant was installed, and improved again in 1915, and in later years.

1900-Paragould's two school districts were consolidated to form the S-1 district.

1904-First rural mail route in Greene County was laid out in the latter part of this year, but was not actively established until ebruary 1905.

1905-The Missouri Pacific established R.R. shops and roundhouse in Paragould.

1907-First hospital for the city was incorporated at Paragould Sanitarium.

1907-On December 31st Paragould became a first class city.

1908-City mail delivery services was set up in Paragould November 16th, 1908.

1912-Paragould streets were paved in part, and $50,000 appropriation was secured for the present Post Office Building which was built in 1913, and occupied in 1914. J. Harry McPherson was postmaster.

1915-Paragould Chamber of Commerce was organized through absorption of the Commercial Club of former days, and has continued to be an active and useful medium for the advancement of Paragould and trade area.

1916-The "White Way" system was installed with 76 street lights in use.

1925-Paragould procured a cash grant of $2,000 from the Harmon Foundation of New York, and the funds were used in developement of the Harmon Playfield at north edge of city limits.

1930-A meteorite weighing 910 pounds was found near the Finch community with citizens of this area witnessing its it's plunge to earth. It's now in a Chicago Museum.

1934-Paragould was honored by winning the cup for the "Clean-up, Paint-up and Fix-up" campaign, offered by hte national bureau for the outstanding town in Arkansas, in cleanliness and civic beautification.

1935-Miss Romanyne Tate of Greene County was declared theee highest raning 4-H Club girl in America.

1936-Celebration of Arkansas Centennial and dedication of Crowley's Ridge State Park, Near Walcott.

1937-Ely & Walker Dry Goods Co. located a shirt factory here.

1944-Paragould Post Office became first class office, July 1st.

1947-Greene County Tech School District was organized, the largest in Arkansas. Tech High opened. Present enrollment 540 and 1900 in district.

1948-Established were The Big Picture, Ed White Junior Shoe Factory, and KDRS Radio Station.

1949-Community Methodist Hospital opened. Greene County Fair Association organized and the first county fair held on the new fair grounds.

1950-Dickson Memorial Hospital purchased for use as a City Hall and Municipal Building.

1951-Greene County Library established. Tastemark Dairy organized as a processing plant for much of Greene County's dairying industry. Midsouth Gas Company installed natural gas lines in Paragould.The City also was awarded first place in the State Community Accomplishment Contest. Seventeen miles of new paving was put down in Paragould. City again recieves first award in Community Accomplishment.

1952-Fairview Rural Community Improvement Club, is awarded first in the state in the first state sponsored contest on the rural improvement program. The Big Picture, also receives first in state in promotion work.

1955-Municipal Utility Building constructed.

1956-Three new city school buildings completed.

1957-New 250,000 gallon water tower erected. Modern 20 bed Greene Acres Nursing Home constructed. Emerson Electric Mfg. built and placed in operation.

1958-Last years postal receipts for the city of Paragould reached an all time high of $147,510.04.


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