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(Contributed by B. J. HOUSER)



Blackton hardly qualifies as a ghost town today (2004); goats graze where stores once stood. Only a few houses remain; however, from the late 1800’s until the early 1950’s the town was quite lively and the center of activity for a wide community of people. During WWII, several grocery stores, a post office, a sawmill, a cotton gin, dance halls, beer joints, and the railroad flourished. Migration to California and "up North" begun during the depression speeded up during the War, and as farming methods changed after the war, the continued exodus spelled the end of the town.

Blackton is located about 2 1/2 miles northwest of the intersection of the Monroe, Lee, and Phillips County lines. This intersection also marks the point established in 1815 as the beginning place to survey lands of the Louisiana Purchase. The site is now a state park and a national historic site. (See entry for Louisiana Purchase State Park)

Post Office Department records show a post office in the general area as early as 1870 by various names: Hickory Hills, Hickory Ridge, and Dunn. Catherine Moody, Postmistress in 1880 completed a Post Office form by crossing out the printed name "Dunn" and inserting the name "Blackton." By 1890, the Post Office Department is writing to the "Postmaster at Blackton, late Dunn." The post office was closed in 1966.

Dunn was actually located about 2 miles east of the site of Blackton. Oral history has it that the community shifted west and was renamed when a man named Black built a railroad from Brinkley to Pine City to bring timber from the area to his sawmill.

The Blackton Special School District was created from territory then known as District 14 by an Act of the State Legislature in 1919. A small handsome frame building was erected in 1926. An older school building remained on the grounds for many years. The school closed in 1952; the building burned in the late 1960’s.

The Arkansas Secretary of State has documents petitioning for the incorporation of Blackton. The petition was approved December 10, 1892. The file contains a map or plat of the town. Streets were named West Front, East Front, Oak, Maple, Pine. This layout never existed except in the mind of the mapmaker. There is no indication that town officials were ever elected or that the incorporation was effected.

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