Searcy Rock Quary c 1900

--Photo courtesy Ivan Quattlebaum, White County Historical Society

Searcy rock quarry c1900. This photo came from a scrapbook owned by the late Oran J. Vaughan, a charter member of the White County Historical Society, who wrote the following caption: "This rock crusher belonged to a dray company headed by Mr. W.H. Lightle (grandfather of Ed Lightle and Lee Biggs). The company was engaged in hauling freight, in wagons, between Searcy and Kensett. There was a period of time when inbound freight could be transported more cheaply from Kensett than to ship all the way into town over the Rock Island, which was the only railroad serving Searcy at the time. Later, there were two others – the Missouri & North Arkansas and the Doniphan, Kensett & Searcy. The stone was quarried out of the end of the ridge on the east side of Rocky Branch (where the continuation of North Main Street crosses it) and run through the crusher. The power unit was a self-propelled rig consisting of steam boiler and engine. The crushed stone was used to surface the road into town and the railroad dump used by the DK&S line from Searcy to Kensett. It had first been used by a tram road from West Point to Searcy and later by a light rail line from Kensett to Searcy (that service was started after the completion of the Cairo & Fulton railroad (later the Missouri Pacific) that was completed about 1875. The said dump was privately owned at the time the dray company surfaced it. Rail service had been discontinued on it subsequent to the completion of the Rock Island (originally the Des Arc & Northern). Searcy’s connection on the main railroad was at Higginson at that time."