1912 Bee Branch, Arkansas

Bee Branch Township is within Van Buren County, Arkansas

Created on November 11, 1833

The Bee Branch community was first known as Crossroads. By 1848 there was an area within Crossroads which was referred to as Greasy Valley at this time the area was still mostly wilderness. About this time is when Capt. John Bradley moved to Greasy Valley his was the seventh family that settled in that area. Mr. Bradley was Circuit Clerk of Van Buren County for almost thirteen years, beginning shortly after arriving.

Although by 1920 the Greasy Valley community was referred to as Bee Branch Township on census records; we find marriages referred to as residents within Greasy Valley… such as the marriage of Melvin Chrisco to Alma Etta Edward March 25, 1927 at Greasy Valley, Van Buren County, Arkansas.

We know that in 1850 three Parish brothers John, Thomas and James with their families came from Virginia and Tennessee migrating and established their residence near the center of what was known at that time as the “Greasy Valley settlement.” 

Most of the Van Buren County records were destroyed in a fire in 1863, the Crossroads community and the settlement within it the Greasy Valley settlement; this was a community that was settled by pioneers before Van Buren County was formed; indications pointing to Crossroads being in existence before Arkansas became a State. This settlement of Greasy Valley is within today’s (2005) Township of Bee Branch. Not to be confused with Greasy Valley that is within Bee Branch’s neighboring township Morganton.

The township of Bee Branch was originally called Crossroads. It is said that the name was changed just prior to 1879 about the time when the post office was moved from the Lankford’s old place to a log building in Crossroads. No records have been found to date to my knowledge giving the exact date of 1879 for the name change. 

The post office in Bee Branch Township was established on November 24, 1860; it was discontinued on June 22, 1866 and reestablished on August 08, 1866. Postmasters and appointed dates were as follows: William D. Neal November 24, 1860; William Johnson august 08, 1866; William Lankford December 20, 1869; James M. Holderfield November 06, 1871; Rufus B. Edwards January 26, 1875; Jonathan E. Rhea February 25, 1878; Rufus B. Edwards March 03, 1879; Nathaniel Greer April 07, 1879; Jeremiah E. Scanlan February 09, 1880; William M. French may 16, 1889; William A. Gifford September 07, 1893; Mary L. Gifford may 15, 1896; William B. Payne October 20, 1897.

Both of the Greasy Valley communities are within Van Buren County and they are neighboring townships as well. Morganton Township was much larger than it is today, Bee Branch Township was split from Morganton Township. They had many Civil War Veterans whose families help pioneer this area in Arkansas, many of these Civil War Veterans have descendants that live within the Bee Branch and Morganton communities today; a few names are:

[01] Bailey, James Marmaduke’s Div.  

[02] Bailey, Steve (came to Greasy Valley in 1871)

[03] Bennett, P. C. Company 10th Arkansas Infantry

[04] Britton, P.H. Company “A” 

[05] Fulkerson, Wm. Thomas 10th Arkansas Infantry

[06] Gardner, Henry J., Sgt. Company “I” 16th Arkansas Infantry (Lost an arm)

[07] Graddy, John Frank 10th Arkansas Calvary

[08] Graddy, W. G.  10th Arkansas Calvary

[09] Harmon, David Z., 34th Mississippi Infantry

[10] Hardin, George Washington 10th Arkansas Calvary Morrison’s Company (Captured 2-16-1865)

[11] Hutchins, William P.M. “CAS” (Hardin Cemetery) 

[12] Lankford, C.C “Callie” 10th Arkansas Infantry Company “A”

[13] Lankford, Robert C., 10th Arkansas Infantry Company “A”

[14] Linn, Daniel M., 36th Arkansas Infantry Company “D”

[15] Mix, P.T., 12th Kentucky Calvary Company “E”

[16] Neal, Samuel A., Crannell’s Arkansas Calvary Company “H”

[17] Pennington, Killis Edmond “CAS” (died during War time)

[18] Parish, Daniel 8th Arkansas Calvary then 36th Arkansas Infantry

[19] Parish, James C., 10th Arkansas Infantry (ill of health or wounded – discharged & died shortly afterwards)

[20] Parish, Richard F., 8th Arkansas Infantry and 36th Arkansas Infantry (wounded at Jenkin’s Ferry)

[21] Parish, William T., 10th Arkansas Infantry Company “I” (died in 1861 at Camp Beauregard, Graves, Kentucky)

[22] Parish, William Franklin 10th Arkansas Infantry Company “I”