Moorefield in Independence County was
named by railroad workers
Written by: Tracy Crain
October 8, 2000
Moorefield, located in Independence County,
is known primarily for three families, a
peach orchard, and the state’s oldest
Another characteristic, less common, makes
the town worthy of a visit in autumn--its
warm fall colors. Located off of Arkansas
69, the area, abundant with trees, is
picturesque. An array of multi-colored
leaves can be seen floating about the
rooftops of its 160 residents---giving
Moorefield its own distinct beauty.
Residents in the area overwhelmingly repeat
one phrase: “It’s peaceful here.” And, it is
indeed. There was a time, however, when
Moorefield wasn’t quite so peaceful.
The sounds of loggers and railroad workers
were once very common to this farming
community and remnants of that earlier
lifestyle are still visible.
The railroad tracks that spread alongside
the mile long radius of the town still
function and an old sawmill to the right of
the tracks is used once in a while, although
it no longer caters to the bigger logging
The Goodwin family and their two dogs, Joe,
a half lab and a blue heeler, as well as
Charlie, a pug, are residents of Moorefield.
From the front porch, Charles Goodwin
recants his memories of the town while his
wife Debbi attends to the dogs and their two
year old son, Cory.
Goodwin said his family, as well as the
Morgan and Moore families, were some of the
first settlers. “There were also two
brothers, Conrad and Hugh Morris, part of
the Moore family, who were well known to
The Goodwin family owned a good portion of
the land in the area over the years, which
was used for farming. And, Goodwin’s
grandfather raised corn and potatoes on the
lands he purchased. He also ran a store. “A
store is all that has ever really been
here,” Goodwin said. “It’s now a car lot.”
Interestingly enough, Charles and Debbi live
in a house that was built by his parents 38
years ago. He has a lot of fond memories
centered around that house and the fields.
“I remember riding in the horse drawn wagon
and picking up potatoes with my grandpa. I
still have that wagon,” he said.
Edna Morgan, 77, a native of Moorefield and
Charles’s aunt, also remembers what it was
like to grow up here, particularly before
cars were common.
“We walked everywhere, even to church on
Sunday. My aunt had a car and sometimes she
would come get us. Mostly, we just walked,
though, and the road was not blacktop,” she
Morgan, whose husband was the first alderman
in Moorefield, recalls the old depot and how
the trains would come and go. “There was
also a post office back then. Now, the mail
comes out of Batesville,” she said.
One of her favorite memories is of the peach
orchard they used to have in town. “In 1942,
when it was still here, people would come
from Batesville and wait in line just to buy
There was also a school in town that Morgan
attended as a little girl. “It was a
one-room school,” she said. “We lost a lot
when we lost it to consolidation.”
Although the school system is now part of
Batesville, community members have two
churches that host a variety of community
One of the churches, Rehobeth Baptist
Church, is known as the oldest Baptist
church in the state.
“There is another Baptist Church known for
being the oldest, but it was disbanded at
one time. My church, Rehobeth, has had
continuous service,” Morgan said.
Rehobeth is famous for its annual homecoming
service. “We have a potluck dinner picnic
and there is always entertainment,” she
said. “Our homecoming is kind of like a
family reunion because almost everybody is
related to everybody here.”
As far as the town’s namesake, Morgan, who
keeps a journal of historical information
for her family, was told the name originated
from railroad workers.
“There’s an old story where a train man
supposedly came along and said there is more
field than anything else, so they called it
Moorefield,” she said. “It’s a play on the
Moore family, who also owned a lot of the
One of the most distinct attractions, Morgan
said, is the mural that can be seen on the
community wall. “It was painted by Charley
Handford and is really beautiful,” she said.
Goodwin says expansion has been slow but
steady. He also notes that the value of land
has been increasing since Wal-Mart opened a
store a few miles from their town.
“There is a lot of development starting in
this area,” he said. “If they keep moving
out here, then I might move, but I doubt it.
For being a small area, the wages are pretty
Goodwin, who works as a tool and dye maker,
describes his pay as competitive as the pay
in Texas or larger states.
“Companies are having to compete with the
bigger towns to get good workers. We do a
lot in Searcy and with Emerson Electric.
Things are pretty good right now,” he said.
“About the only thing we don’t have anymore
is a family doctor. We used to have one who
was famous and then he moved to Cave City.
My old physician, Dr. I.M. Husky, was in
Ripley’s Believe It or Not one time because
of his name,” Morgan says.
“He was a really nice man and my family
doctor for a long time. Then, he moved away.
I’ll never forget him.”
The small town of Moorefield, positioned
next to Quail Valley, was incorporated in
the mid 1800s.
(This article was revised 12/09 for
historical archiving and is an excerpt from
Road Trips; a weekly feature of small towns
in Arkansas, which was written by Tracy
Crain and published by the Arkansas Democrat