Greene County Arkansas

Paragould, AR

Centennial Edition

                                                                                                                                                                      

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Paragould's Prospects for Future Growth Give Confidence to the Present

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 The future of Paragould is something that every citizen is vitally interested in. The town has never been a boom town. It has always maintained a steady growth. There have been periods of depression but they were only temporary. The town is growing now and several hundred thousand dollars have been put out in new improvements this year. During the year the town has  con-structed a sewage system which has just been completed. Bonds aggregating nearly $40,000 were issued for this purpose. Bertig Bros. have built a three story department store at a cost approximating $75,000. The public school district has erected a $30,000
high school. Numerous residences and
cottages have been built and improved and miles of concrete sidewalks have been built. The Crystal Ice Co. is preparing to make improvements in the city lighting plant that will cost $20,000. Deep wells are being bored by the city waterworks company, the
waterworks being the property of the city.
The Breckenridge Mer. Co. are laying the foundation for a two-story implement house 60x80, to be built of brick and concrete. Other improvements are in contemplation and there is no reason why the year 1910 should not keep  pace with preceding years in the march of progress.
   Paragould is yet in its infancy, both in age and in growth. It is only an infant and will develop into a giant of commercial prowess as the years roll on.
   The surrounding country is comparatively undeveloped. True there are many good farms with fine improvements, but there are still thousands of acres of lands that are not cultivated and they can be bought at a reasonable price. This is especially true of the country east of us, where there is much
submerged land that is being restored by drainage. The great fertile valley of the
Saint Francis spreads out before us on the
east inviting the strong arm of the husband-man and here are millions of acres of as fine lands as the sun ever shone upon that are yet to be opened up to settlement and culti-vation. When this country is opened up and put into cultivation it will be a veritable Egypt to which our population can turn for the staff of life. There are now enough vacant lands on the St. Francis and within the trade area of Paragould to support almost a million population and when this land is put in cultivation, as it will be, it will add many cubics to the dimensions of Paragould. The country west, north and south, while more thickly populated, is not by any means developed to the fullest possibilities. Improved agricultural methods, better farms and farm houses, better roads and a more progressive citizenship are the inevitable results of the coming years. The ridge land contiguous to Paragould is well adapted to fruit and berry growing, to stock raising and to pasturage.

    The time will come when Paragould will be a fruit, berry and vegetable market, not only for home con-sumption but for supplying the cities. The strawberry is in its natural element  in  this  climate  and  this  soil as  has been demonstrated  by  several  years  by  several years cultivation. No finer berries are grown in the world than  are  marketed in  Paragould  during the berry season. To enlarge this industry and develop it to the fullest  extent  would  mean  that  Paragould,  like Judsonia, Rogers, Van Buren, Ark., and Humboldt, Tenn., will ship hundreds of carloads of berries every season. We are in easy reach of the St. Louis and Chicago  markets,  and  with  fast  through trains of refrigerator cars we can place our fruit and berry crops on  the market  of  those  cities  fresh and sweet, and when this is done where now are grown a few acres for home consumption there will be hundreds of acres to supply the markets of the cities. It will take time to develop this industry, but the natural adaptability
of our soil and climate to the fruit and berry industry and  our  easy  access  to  the  markets  it  is  only a question  of time  when  Paragould  will become an important shipping point for these products.
   There is no better point in the south for canning industries and if we had half a dozen canneries in and around Paragould they would put added life and energy into  the  city  and  the  country  and  fruit  and berry growers would reap a harvest from them. But it is to the east that we must turn for the heavy trade that is to make the future Paragould. The St. Francis river, lying  nine  miles  east  of  us  has  been  a barrier to
securing the fine trade of the section which is tributary to  Paragould,  but  in  recent   years the  Paragould Southeastern Railroad has opened one avenue and a wagon bridge constructed across some two or three
miles below where the railroad crosses the river has given another route. This bridge has been maintained as  a toll  bridge  but  recently  the  merchants  of

 

Paragould bought the bridge and have thrown it open as a free public highway.Greene county has assumed the responsibility for the maintenance of the bridge and will in the near future make needed repairs that will put it in first class condition. With a free bridge across the St. Francis it is believed that a heavy trade
will come from the territory east of the river, much of which lies in Missouri.
    Other  avenues of  transportation  to that favored region,  one  of  the  finest  arming  sections  of the country, are expected to be opened and Paragould will aid and encourage any movement that will place the town in easier reach of that trade and improved trans-
portation facilities. It is only a question of time when the P. & M. railroad will find it necessary to build to Paragould and that will afford a much needed and desired outlet to the east.
   The Paragould of the future depends  much upon the development of that section of the country and on improved facilities for reaching it. The whole of the St. Francis  valley  is  a  rich,  alluvial country which, if
opened up to cultivation and settlement  would make Paragould a city of 50,000.The local drainage projects are but one of the means of reclamation. The govern-ment is expected to take a hand in the reclamation of this vast area by dredging the river and affording an outlet of the surface water which covers much of the county and then local drainage will finish the complete
reclamation.
    Paragould doubles its population every ten years. The census of 1900 was double that of 1890 and the census of 1910 will double that of 1900. There was no census  of 1880,  because  there  was  no town, not a brush broken for a town. If this ratio of increase is maintained what will Paragould be in 1995? Our con-ception of the Paragould of that date is shown in the
handsome sky scraper printed on this page. A building of this character will perhaps occupy the corner where the Baptist church is, another of like dimensions will likely stand on the Clyde Mack corner and some of Clyde's  great  great  grand  children  may be multi-millionaires  who  will  look  back  with  feelings of commiseration upon this day and generation as a age of medevialism.
 

 

  

   We can  raise  the  curtain  of futurity  and in our imagination  see  the  entire  country girdled with rail-roads and electric cars, while the more venturesome fly through the air in aeroplanes. The swamps of the St.
Francis valley will be dotted with elegant homes and the  means  of  transportation  twenty  miles  from Paragould into the interior will be so quick and easy the the average citizen will skim over the country while reading the Daily Soliphone, which will then be a twelve and sixteen page paper, carrying a full telegraph service and
printed on a fast perfecting press with a
capacity of 50,000 an hour.
   Had we not better be optimists seeing
the bright side of the picture of the future
than pessimists groveling in despair with
no hope for future glory? If you say the
picture is overdrawn and that there is no
possibility of its realization can you not look back at the development that this country has made in less than a half century and by the comparison say that such realization is possible?
   Is it not true that what has been done can be done? If what has been done in 27 years of progress in Paragould has raised plots of ground  then  worth  $40 to  a  valuation of $10,000,  and  farm  lands then worth fifty cents an acre in coon skins is now raised to $25 an acre and in many instances more, is it not possible that future development will show equal enhancement in values, equal increase in population and equal improve-ment in all lines of human endeavor?
   Figure it out for yourself and in the mean
time gaze upon the stately walls of the
Paragould sky scraper of 1995.
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        CACHE VALLEY RAILROAD
   The future of Paragould looks to the
extension of the Cache Valley Railroad to
this city. The road is now in operation for
a distance of about twelve miles and its
extension to Paragould is one of the things
contemplated for the future. Perhaps the
extension would have been made before
this,  but  for  the  panic  of  1907  which
demoralized financial matters for several
months, extending far into 1908.
    Paragould  needs  a  western  outlet, it
needs a branch of the Frisco to give com-
peting rates and it is only a question of time until the P. & M. or the Cache Valley or both  will be  absorbed  by  the  Frisco and when that is done Paragould will soon have increased railroad facilities and competitive freight rates.

 

 

Transcribed by: PR Massey

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2011 PR Massey