Stevens Creek in White County is a close knit community
Written by: Tracy L. Crain
Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Sunday, October 21, 2001

Virgil Louks has lived "on the hill" in Stevens Creek for 74 years. He enjoys life in this rural area, located just north of Providence in White County.

In Stevens Creek, Louks is considered the historic expert and regarded as one of the community's most notable residents. "I enjoy living here because it's a nice, quiet place. I have a lot of good neighbors. They've all been very good to me," he said.

There's an estimated 150 people who alongside Louks in Stevens Creek. "That number would be conservative," he said. "We might have a few more. I guess it depends on the way you view it."

As for the community's origins, Louks' father settled here in early 1920. "I believe the community was founded just previous to that," he said.

Today, the area is considered to be evolving and has changed quite a bit since it was first established.

"This was once all forest when my father originally came here. It's not all forest today," Louks said.

The town, now, is home to two churches and the landmark Stevens Creek. The area is described as settled.

"In the 1920's, a person's nearest neighbor was a mile away. Even then, not many of them were around," he said. "Now, my closest one is two blocks away."

Residents of this community earn their keep in a variety of ways. Employment is mostly found in nearby factories. Those who do not work outside the community support themselves primarily through farming. Dairy and beef are considered the two mainstays.

"We have a large cattle ranch here. It used to be owned by Mr. King," Louks said. "A theory is that the name of the community could have derived from him, but I'm unsure of that. We also have a few families here named Stevens, but I don't believe the town was named for them. Most people think it came from the creek that runs through this area and connects into the Red River."

Tourist attractions are seemingly few. Louks says that most come to see either the creek or a place known as King Mountain.

"This community could be described as a fairly rolling place," he said. "Our creek is positioned between two large hills. Fishing was very popular here at one time, but folks don't do it as much today."

Even so, town residents share a nice camaraderie and frequently gather for special occasions.

"We have fundraisers every year where the town members come together to help the Providence Cemetery," Louks said. "There is always gospel singing and we usually have a pie sale and sometimes a cake walk at the end."

As for who makes the best pie here, he says he'd be afraid to answer that. "It might get me in trouble." Laughingly, he adds, "If you want a good one, come up on Memorial Day. That's when they have the pie sale."

Activities for the kids, such as sports are usually found outside the community.

"We don't have a park here, but our children participate in a lot of different activities," Louks said. "They usually go to Searcy, where they have parks for the county and the children cab play on Searcy athletic teams."

Baseball and softball are described as big events for the younger members of the town. "We are very supportive of their games and the White County Central School," he said. "Our school was ranked in the top 100 of the nation. Although it is not in our community directly, the Stevens Creek Community is part of that school district."

As for area commerce, Stevens Creek does not have a store, a city hall, or a post office. But, it's considered to be growing.

"We are not incorporated, but we do have a volunteer fire department and we are getting a new bridge," Louks said.

Judge Bob Parish of White County is very familiar with much of the area expansion.

"I receive a lot of inquires regarding the new bridge being built over the creek," he said. "The project started three months ago. We had to take the old one-way wooden bridge out and then put it back. When the new bridge is completed, it will be concrete and two-way. It's a half-million dollar project."

Residents believe it is going to improve the community significantly.

Along with construction efforts, something else is also flourishing in the community…that would be "love."

Romance in this little rural haven is very much on the rise. "We have quite a few marriages that take place here. Our church is used quite frequently for that purpose," he said. "The churches also host a variety of festivals during the holiday season."

Something else to note, Louks says, is that the area is prone to have quite a few tornadoes. "I don't know if we have ever had one here, but we do think about it a lot," he said.

Overall, Louks says Stevens Creek is a good place. "I raised my family here and I was raised here. We don't have a lot of problems that they have in larger communities or in the cities."

(Stevens Creek is an excerpt from Road Trips; a weekly feature of small towns in Arkansas written by Tracy Crain and published by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.)