Photo courtesy Paul Miller.

This is Providence School probably in the 1920s.


Owes Much To Its Early Settlers

White County Record, March 3, 1938

This short feature story was discovered in a copy of the White County Record for this date. The material, according to the original text, was gathered and written by students and faculty members of Providence School of that year.

The history of Providence dates back to 1832, when Uncle Elijah Little came from Tennessee for the purpose of establishing a home in Arkansas. Liking the location, he purchased a tract of land that included practically all of what is now Providence.

After the Civil War the land was sold bit by bit until less than a hundred acres remain of the original tract. "Uncle Lige," as he was known, had several sons, and one of these, George W. Little, was for years one of the outstanding citizens of the community.

Among those first settlers were the Robbins, and well known were Uncle Than and Aunt Jennie Robbins, who lived in the same place from the time they were married until their death. Then there came Uncle Joe and Jason Robbins, brothers of Uncle Than, and Lee Robbins, who, although no relation, was also an old settler. The place settled by Bill Watkins still bears his name, as do the "Old Gordon Places," settled by Wright and Booker Gordon.

The names of Dr. Harrington and Uncle Arter Stephenson are only a memory to our citizens, but the land they cleared still bears mute evidence of their labor. Mr. Will House and Mr. Philip House will be remembered for years to come, also Uncle Dave James, Uncle Jack McDaniel and John Humphries.

Others who deserve credit for progress of the community were: John Brunson, Sam Brown, Sam Womack, Jack Thompson, Lester Humpries, Cal Moore, Louise Hilger, Noah Hilger, Jake Smith, Oscar and Art Hooper, John Scantlin, John O’Brien, Will Hearn, Jim Hearn, Grandpa Leasure, Will Leasure, George Ferren and Uncle Jim Cox. There are some, perhaps, whom we have failed to mention.

Some of these good people moved away, many of them have gone to their reward and some of them are still alive in the community. Most of them have descendents who are trying to take their place, and work for the upbuilding of this section of the county.

All through the years a great interest has been manifested in the church and school. Recently our church building was remodeled and reconstructed. Our school building is proving inadequate, and we are looking forward to a new building with all necessary equipment, one that we can point to as "ours."