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THE HISTORY OF MARION CO AR|
By: Earl Berry
Transcribed by: Julie Predmore
RESPECT THE COPYRIGHT: This book is still under copyright of the Marion County Historical Association and may not be used for any purpose other than your own personal research. It may not be reproduced nor placed on any web page nor used by anyone or any entity for any type of "for profit" endeveor.
(Page 376) Kingdon Springs in the early 1900's was one of the leading towns in Marion County. As early as 1902 a post office was located there with Felix Wallace as the first postmaster. It was located on Moccasin Creek some six miles north and west of Flippin. It owed its existence and early growth to the mineral deposits and virgin pine timber nearby. According to earl reports it was named in honor of a semi-retired opera singer who invested a large part of her career earnings in large tracts supposedly rich ore-bearing land in the area. She came to the region feeling confident that this land would bring her a fortune once her land was mined. When the post office was named, since she was a well-known opera singer and living in the area at the time, it was called Kingdon Springs in her honor. Honor but not wealth was her reward.
In addition to the post office there were at one time during the mining boom for or five stores, a blacksmith shop, a barber shop, and, at the time, one of the finest hotels in the county - The Elkhorn, situated on a beautiful lawn surrounded by large trees. It was a rather large hotel for that day and, perhaps, the first hotel in Marion County to have electric lights. The hotel was owned by I.N. Linton.
Among the early merchants in Kingdon Springs were: I.N. Linton, William Penn, later postmaster, W.W. Treadway, R.P. King and later Uncle Joe Hardy and Mr. Bolen.
Grant Warren had a blacksmith shop, as did Champion Sanders at an earlier date. Nearby sawmills were in operation by the Fisk family and by W.W. Treadway and these employed a number of men. Mines in the (Page 377 Top Photo: Elkhorn Hotel at Kingdon Springs. First Hotel in the County to have electric light [people in photo not identified]) immediate vicinity were the Monkey Hill and Erie Ozark and nearby the Beatty, The Mitchell and several others. During WWI, particularly, these mines were in full operation and employed many men.
Some of the early names connected with the town were Captain Crane who is remembered for his fine surrey drawn by two beautiful, fine horses; Uncle Ike Linton is remembered for his fine attire - black tie, spats and his cane; Uncle Christy King, a native, who was ever present and never too busy with his own affairs to talk with and advise Eastern mining prospectors on the various mines and prospects in the area and the "Sure Thing" if only properly financed; the Uncle Willoughby Gay family of gifted musicians; William Penn, merchant and later postmaster, remembered for his preface to most conversations" Oh, well now! While I know" and to the reported theft of a keg of liquor which he kept in the side room of his store and from which it was reported to Uncle Bill in the course of a day's business made occasional visits to the side room. This side room was supported by several columns of stones some three feet above ground level. The floor was tongue and grooved pine. Some young fellows in the vicinity having learned the liquor keg was kept in the side room decided one night to help themselves by crawling underneath the building, sawing a hole through the floor large enough to crawl through and enter the room. After draining all the liquor from the keg, they placed it back in its accustomed spot, put the sawed-out floor back in place as nearly as possible and moved some boxes to cover the saw marks. Not content with taking the whiskey, some of the more adventurous made it a point to be at the store early the next morning so they could see what would happen when Uncle Bill made his first trip to the side room. What followed was a comedy and as Uncle Bill exploded with threats, with what would happen if the "criminals" were ever caught and the participants joining in with expressions of their help in finding and punishing those guilty of such a crime. The "criminals" were never found!
The W.C. Pilgrim, Jim Pilgrim and Joe Pilgrim families, the Morrow family, the R.K. Morgan family, the Bob Woods family, the Fisk family and the George Fee family - Uncle George, Aunt Mary, John, Ben, Maude, Myrtle, and Lizzie (though not living in the town itself) were thought of as (Page 378 Top Photo: Bill Penn Store at Kingdom Sprinngs in 1915. First four from left: unidentfied little girl hold Prince Albert tobacco can is Ova King Cagle, Captain Crain, Martha Penn. Back Row third from left: Lizzie Warren King, Bill Penn, Nancy Warren holding Burl King) early residents of the vicinity. There were many other families living in Kingdon Springs during its time whose names I cannot recall.
Kingdon Springs never had trouble usually associated with boom mining towns but was a peaceful, congenial community with friendly neighborly people. So far as memory serves me, there were no church buildings in the town but the people attended church in the Baptist Church at Moccasin school house or the Church of Christ at the Wild Cat school house. Children attended school at Moccasin School. J.P. Jenkins taught there many years.
Mail was carried from Flippin usually on horseback. Robert Gay was the mail carrier for many years. Freight was hauled by wagon over very rough roads from Flippin of Summit.
With the closing of the mines in the vicinity after WWI and with the cutting of the timber and closing of the sawmills, Kingdon Springs began a decline and by 1935 was no longer a town - only a pleasant memory to those of us who can remember it as a thriving town of bygone days.
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