Anna and J.L. Dewberry

History of Harmony Cemetery


White County Historical Society


armony Methodist Church was established in 1868 or 1869 during the Reconstruction period. The late William T. Dowdy was the leader of the project and deeded the property to the White River Conference. Howard Mitchell has the deed. The church was located on the east end of the five-acre plot that extends just west of the cemetery. This building was used until 1936-37 when it was torn down and rebuilt at the present site. Mrs. Howard Mitchell was the determined leader in the rebuilding program. Many of the members were in favor of keeping the old church at the original site and as it was the first built.

Mrs. L.G. Canfield’s step-mother, Mrs. Samuel Clements, who died in 1873, was the first person buried in the Harmony Cemetery. Four Confederate veterans are buried in this cemetery: J.L. Dewberry, John Simpson (Nannie George and Herbert Barger’s grandfather), W.T. Dowdy and L.G. Canfield. One, if not more, World War I veteran (Robert Polk), one World War II veteran (Archie Barger), a National Guardsman (Harlon Heggie) and a Razorback (Claud Smithey) are buried here, as well as an old Center Hill physician, Dr. Ira Majors.

John R. Dewberry, father of Carthel Dewberry, said the first school he attended in the community was a subscription school taught in a small two-room house on the Dewberry farm. A pile of rocks are still at the location of the old chimney place. It was in what is now the pasture and north of the location of the old house that burned years ago. The old house was by the large oak tree where the sorghum mill stood.

Des Arc Creek flows between two bluffs some distance west of Dug-Out Mountain, and a dam is to be constructed between the two bluffs. Just below these bluffs is an old mill race and pond where a water mill once stood. John Patton was the owner and operator of the mill. Today an old iron bolt and bits of concrete can be seen. This spot is still a favorite fishing spot called "Patton’s Mill." About one-half mile downstream is an old swimming hole known as "Benton Hole." In the long ago, this place was ruled by the Benton and Strayhorn boys, noted fighters, and all other boys ran for their lives when they heard them coming.

On the west side of the Old Military Road, where Sutton Creek enters Des Arc Creek, a pile of rocks mark the remains of an old inn and post office. It was said the James and Younger brothers once stayed there. The Old Military Road crossed the Dewberry land line near a little branch above the slough and the road bed can be seen along the west side of the line to the creek. It runs through the Trip Varner Place, the Gidinghagen Place (near Center Hill), crosses Highway 36 by the place formerly owned by George Baker.

Most of the homes of the early settlers in the community have either burned or were torn down and rebuilt. Some of the farms are still owned by the third and fourth generations.

The oldest home still standing as it was originally built, with the exception of a larger porch, is the main farm house on what is known as the Old Dewberry Place. This house was built just before the Civil War, or during the period of Reconstruction that followed the war. Thomas Clinton was the owner and builder of the house. The foundation was laid with hand-hewn timbers and wooden pegs were used at the corners; these can still be seen underneath the house. Square nails were used throughout the house. With the exception of a few patches in front of each fireplace, the original floors are still in use. The windows on the north are the original sashes put in when the house was built. On one windowpane in the east room the name "Mary Alice" can be seen. This was written with a pean knife by Mary Alice Dewberry who died at the age of 16.

Some time after the main part of the house was constructed, the kitchen and smokehouse was built away from the house. Mr. and Mrs. Smith walked from this house to a log cabin just back of where the present tenant house now stands for their meals, which were prepared by a colored woman.

Thomas Clinton Smith moved to Johnson County, Texas. He sold the farm in March 1880 to John L. Dewberry, who moved to Arkansas from Panola County, Mississippi. Three generations of Dewberrys were born in this house, and three generations died here. Two marriages took place in the doorway by the double chimney and many family gatherings have assembled here. This farm was sold again in 1959 after being owned by three generations of Dewberrys for a total of 79 years.

In the lower field in front of the old Dewberry home is a small rock mound with several trees growing on it. This is thought to be an Indian mound. Human bones have been plowed up, also arrowheads have been found, as well as a few pieces of broken pottery.

(This article was published originally by the White County Historical Society in the 1968 edition of White County Heritage. Mrs. Dewberry’s daughter, Leah Dewberry Moss, was a member of the Historical Society when this was placed on the Internet in 2001, and lived at 5218 "R" Street, Little Rock, AR 72207. See "Christmas In The Country", a related story about the Dewberry Farm in 1937, under "Memories of Yesterday".)


FLOYD – 7TH and 8th Grade Classes 1941. Photo courtesy Merle Webb, who provided 13 of the names. Others provided by Leah Dewberry Moss of Little Rock, who is in the photo. From left to right are: Front row – Willard "Spud" Benton, Mary Ruth Moore, James Wendle Fuller, Margaret Dewberry, Nelda Ruth Burkett, Betty Sue Perry; second row – Bruton, Charlene Jackson, Dora Lee House, Juanita Seats, Auda Lee Davis; third row – Betty Jean Akin, Eula Jean Nolan, Tom Byars; fourth row – teacher Marian Webb, Evalina Barnett, Leah Dewberry, unknown boy (hidden), Sanders; fifth row – Jimmie Thomas, Rachel Jenkins; sixth row – O.D. Barnett, Loy Mitchell, Donnie Taylor, Newman Taylor, Milburn Belew, Randall Crossland.