Greene County Arkansas

Paragould, Arkansas

Centennial Edition Section 2

12- Section 2, Centennial Edition                                                                                                                      Paragould Daily Press, Monday, August 29, 1983

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"Pruett Street Retrospective"

       

 

  Pruet, Pruit, Prewitt
The man, the street, the spellings

  Was what we know today as Pruett Street named for W. S. Pruett or W. S. Pruet?
   Arguments about the spelling of the namesake's name and the street's name have surfaced from time to time and, contrary to modern usage, the historical record seems to weigh heavily on the side of Pruet.
   But Delores Horton, a relative of the street's namesake, says the name has been spelled about every which way -- Pruet, Pruett, Pruit, even Prewitt.
   Wills S. However-he-spelled-his name was one of the 77 signers of Paragould's incorporation petition 100 years ago. When his name was recorded on the official record by County Clerk R. H. Gardner, it was written "W. S. Pruet." Folks who have seen the old man's signature say he also used the same spelling himself.
   An earlier investigation of plats filed at the courthouse showed that the street was consistently designated as "Pruet" before 1900 and that "Pruett" crept onto the plats only after that date.
   Goodspeed's 1889 biographical history, early city directories, the Daily Press before 1935 and several other sources also favor the five-letter variation.
   When and why the longer version gained popularity is not known.
    It is known that Pruett Street --no matter how it's spelled -- was not intended to be Paragould's main street. Oddly enough, Main Street was. Willis Pruet was not only the man for whom Pruett Street was named but was also the man responsible for transforming that street into the town's main business center -- by deciding not to sell any more pasture-land for the time being, thus preventing Main Street from being extended west. But he later donated part of that land for construction of the new Greene County Courthouse.

Photo courtesy: Delores Horton
  Photo Caption Top:
 

   Through the years, Pruett Street looking north from Main seems to have been a
favorite vantage point for photographers. Above, the 1902 street fair added the
festivity of banners and booths to the scene.
   At right from top, the same scene is repeated chronologically up to the present
day. The top three are from postcards, the earliest one carrying a 1909 postmark.
The others are not dated, except the last, which was taken just the other day by a
Daily Press photographer.

Above Right Photographs are courtesy of:

Kennon Mack

Talma Buchanan Hayes

Danny Dollins

Daily Press/Bruce Moore

 

  The same block of North Pruett Street, between Poplar and Court, 

Bottom Photo courtesy: The Big Picture Files
 from different angles at different times. The old city hall can be seen in both pictures.

Bottom Middle Photo courtesy: Inez Clark
 

Transcribed from the 1983 Centennial Edition by : PR Massey

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