Aplin is located on Highway 60. In 1835, Matthew Marion McCabe became Aplin's firstborn child.
The town gets its name from a Mr. Aplin who is believed to be the first man to settle in the community. Tradition has it that he was buried on the knoll north of the highway in what is now Elliott and Bess Edwards' front yard under the pear tree.
The town site was layed out in four or six city blocks. It was never incorporated. A frame building stood on the corner where the rock store is now. Just south of it, Pike VANDALSON had a blacksmith shop. Then farther south Pitts and Wallace had a store. Later a drugstore with a soda fountain was added. Back of this fountain was a huge mirror made in three sections. Somewhere between the Wallace Store and the frame building on the corner, Nolen PRICE had a barber shop. About where Lindsey CARTER'S house [now] stands was another store owned at different times by Judge HARRIS, Harris and Thompson, Tom BROWN, and the WALLACE family. North of the road was a garage, Jim FALLS' store and post office. East of that was Dr. J. M. MATTHEW'S drug store and office. A vacant space between these buildings was sometimes used by Joe THOMPSON as a lemonade stand. Lennie CLAYTON bought this whole layout and built a store in the same spot.
The first post ofice was established in 1872. In later years, it came by horse and buggy from Casa carried by Mr. ROBINSON; from Perryville by Model T by Millard CREASEY; and, for a short time, from Plainview by Dolph FURR. Later carriers were Loyd HOUSE, Eugene BRAZIL, Dell HATHORN, and Sarah WEISS. The first post master in Aplin was Mr. Van HOOK. Later post masters were J.A. Falls, Dan MARTIN, J. M. COBB and Maud COBB. In 1959, the post office was closed and the address of Aplin people was changed to Route 1, Perryville.
Over the years, there have been several businesses in Aplin, including at one time three general stores, three blacksmith shops, two sawmills (one built in 1875), barber shops, two drug stores, two cotton gins, grist mills. In 1881, Phillip MOSBY and Morgan Green SMYERS entered into a partnership as Mosby and Smyers. Mr. SMYERS settled in Aplin in 1837 and purchased 1600 acres and donated land for the cemetery which was then known as Aplin-Pleasant Grove Cemetery, but is now known as Smyers Cemetery.
Another early land owner was Mr. BLACKWELL. He owned a large area south of the river towards DeBerrie. Dr. LINDSAY of Plainview was also an owner over there.
Cutting timber started as a business around 1911 when Fort Smith Lumber Company set a camp on Casa Road north of Aplin. Fort Smith Lumber Company owned most of the mountain land between Rock Island Railroad and Fouche River. The company built a railroad from Plainview to Cooper's Spur, near McGhee Mountain.
At one time, there was a coal mine discovered near Aplin, but the location is not known now.
From 1900 to 1910, the livlihood of the population was mostly derived from farming. The land was fresh and the crops were plentiful. Cotton was the main crop, but it was being attacked by insects so other crops were planted. After WWI, the prices weren't too good, but the expenses were light.
The social life of Aplin has always been centered around the church and school. The first school was built about 1870. It burned in 1889 and was rebuilt at another location. This was a two story building with two classrooms with a stage in between, and a large room upstairs which was used for a meeting place of the Masonic Lodge. This lodge was organized in 1886 with 23 members. This building served the needs of the community until 1933, when it was replaced with a rock building which still stands. During WPA days, a gymnasium was built and was used until it burned in 1949.
Among the early teachers were Mr. KEMPNER, Mrs. HARRIS, Mrs. VAN DALSEM, Mrs. YOUNG, Mr. and Mrs. L.O. WHITE, Mrs. CLAYTON, Quilla FINK, Mrs. FLYNN, and others.
The old church building was just a short way north and faced west. It sported a pole steeple for the bell. This was a union building. It was used by Baptist and Church of Christ. The Baptist were torn asunder by a young man named Salen Welch and was never reorganized. The Church of Christ bought their interest about 1920 and built a new building facing west. Then in 1971 built the present brick building and a brick dwelling for the preacher.
Rock Creek has always been a focal point in Aplin history. It consisted of three large water holes and two smaller ones, beginning with Blue Hole, Long Hole, Round Hole, Mill Hole and last, Heneretta Hole. The last got its name from a man who took a swim every day - winter and summer.
At the upper end of Long Hole is a beautiful waterfall. It was popular with young lovers and picture takers. The only way to cross the creek was to walk a "footlog" or wade the creek. About 1906 a footbridge was built about 30 feet north of the present concrete bridge. There have been three vehicle bridges.For a long time the creek furnished the school's drinking water. A bucket sat on a shelf, and everyone drank out of the same dipper.
The Mill Hole furnished water for the cotton gin by means of a stream jett and was a swimming hole for the kids. After you learned how to swim, you were graduated to the Round Hole. The Mill Hole was noted for its religious aspects. Many times during a protracted meeting there would be 10 to 15 baptisms.