Greene County Arkansas

Paragould, AR

Centennial Edition

                                                                                                                                                    (Paragould Daily Press reprint, 1983)                  



VOL. XXVIII                             PARAGOULD, GREENE COUNTY, ARKANSAS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 1909             No. 26



The Varied Resources of Greene County


Its Climate, Fine Agricultural Lands, Timber Products and Natural Advantage


    Thousands of Acres of the Best Lands
         Being Reclaimed by Drainage


Paragould as a Manufacturing, Railroad and Trade Center--Recollections of Old Times   by  an  Old Timer--Remarkable Career  of  a  Pioneer  Preacher -- Side Glances  at   Paragould   Newspapers.
No better literature descriptive of Greene county has ever been printed than a pam-phlet issued a few months ago by Ben Crowley, Jr. This pamphlet, 5000 of which were printed for distribution, makes a fair and honest description of the county and it would be hard to improve upon it, hence
we quote from it at length, advising anyone interested in the county to write to Mr. Crowley for a copy of his pamphlet, which he will take pleasure in sending. Following is the description given of the county:
    Greene county was named for General
Nathaniel Greene of Revolutionary fame, and was organized in 1833, or three years before the state was admitted into the Union. It is situated in the northeast corner of the state, being the second
county south of the Missouri line on the north and touching that state on the east, where the St. Francis river is the dividing line. It is traversed by both the St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern railway,
besides the Paragould Southeastern railroad, and the Cache Valley railroad, the last two being, as yet, only tributary roads of the other great systems.
    Greene county has a area of five hundred and forty-four square miles or nearly  400,000  acres of  land. It has a population of about thirty thousand white people, and is increasing rapidly.
    Nearly half of the country is bottom-land, and the soil varies from a sandy loam to a black sand. The other portion of the county is situated upon the famous Crowley's Ridge, an elevated plateau of
over on hundred miles in length by from six to ten miles in width. This beautiful ridge was named after Gen. Benjamin H. Crowley, a pioneer citizen of the county, whose descendants still form an element in the social, commercial and professional life of the county. This ridge divides the county nearly equally, with the rich Cache bottoms on the west, and the equally fertile plains of the St. Francis on the east
side of the ridge.

     While  the  population  of  Greene  Co., is virtually all white, there being less than a score of colored people in the county at this time, and our people are from all sections of the country, all are given an equal chance and a square deal when they become citizens of Greene county.
   At Walcott, an inland town, twenty miles from
Paragould there lives an old time darky, the only one in that section of the county, who commands the respect of all classes of people. He is a leading spirit in all religious gatherings, and no man has a larger measure of the respect and confidence of the people than this old negro.
   Politics, religion or nativity have nothing to do with a man's success or failure, here. Democrats,  republicans,  prohibitionists  or what-not, cut no figure with our people. The main question asked of a man is as to whether he is honest and industrious, and these questions being settled by a brief residence, a stranger is given a hearty welcome, and be-comes one of us.

   The general health of Paragould and Greene county is unusually good, tho' the health of any locality is dependent in a very large measure upon the occupation and care taken of the individual health. A country where the people work outdoors nine or ten months in the year, is sure to have some malaria or other bodily ills. A  reckless  exposure to  the  elements at all seasons of the year, without proper regard for the  laws  of health will  here, as  elsewhere, result in sickness loss of service and some-times in death.  Our  mild climate,  gentle refreshing summer breezes and absence of prostrations from excessive heat, render it easy to keep in a normal condition and no where is there to be found  more  robust and superb physiques   than  in   Greene  County, Arkansas and these are the most convincing proofs of the healthfulness of this locality.

   It is the general impression everywhere that it rains more in Arkansas than in any state in the Union. This is only another of those prevalent falacies not borne out by the facts. An examination of the statistics of other sections of the country will show that while the annual rainfall forArkansas is about thirty-six inches, it is thirty-nine in Ohio, thirty-one in Illinois, forty in Kentucky, and forty-two in Indiana. A general rain here extends into these and other central states, and the annual rainfall is nearly the same in each of them.
   What is known as the rainy season here is a part of March, February andJanuary, and is over with in time to begin farm work in the early spring, and is precisely the same as it is in all the central and southern states.
   Closely allied to this erronious opinion about our excessive rainfall, is the belief that a greater portion of Arkansas is under water much of the year. Statistics show again that just sixteen states of the Union have a greater water surface than Arkansas, and that much of our water area  is due to our numerous broad is due to our numerous broad rivers, and excellent springs.
   Only in recent years has the subject of public roads and road building received any attention from our people. River navigation is abundant and cheap and the almost level condition of the country rendered the construction of roads a matter of very little concern.  But since the country  has  settled up  the  subject  of road building has been given considerable attention and the county now can boast of as good roads and  bridges  as  the  average  new  country. Nearly all county roads have been graded, many of them graveled a fine and inexhaustible mine of gravel being situated in the center of the county. We have good substantial bridges over our streams. Steel bridges of the most modern type are taking the place of the coarse wooden structures where concrete culverts and tile are not equal to the purpose.
   As an evidence of the progress being made in road building in the county, only last year the Commercial Club of Paragould gave a hundred dollars for the best piece of public road in the county, and several smaller sums for the next best road constructed or improved during the months following the farming season. The Club has  indicated  its  purpose  of  continuing the giving of prizes during next year, and much real good is expected to result from this kind of encouragement.

   This is the ideal farm country. The climate, soil and long open season are just what the farmer desires in order that he may mature any kind of crop before early frosts, and two and three crops of some kinds can be raised on the same land in one season. This practice, however, is not  very  generally  followed  in Greene county. The average farmer here plants in the early spring as much grain of all kinds as he and his
force can attend and gather and the second crop is rarely raised upon the same land during one season. The yield is entirely satisfactory, and the land is allowed to rest for the year.
  Cotton is the money crop in Greene county. It produces well, and finds a ready market in Paragould, Marm-aduke, Gainesville and at Walcott. Cotton will make a half bale to a bale and a half to the acre. A bale of cotton is reckoned at five hundred in the seed, and is marketable in both forms. The price of cotton both in the seed and in the bale varies greatly, the lowest offered for seed in recent years  was  2.22 to  2.25 cents, and highest was 4.10 cents; while the
lowest price ever offered for cotton on the local market was 6.15 cents and the best in recent years was something over 14 cents per pound. The average price for the crop of the past year was nine cents. Good money can be made raising cotton at eight cents. Cotton seed has a ready sale at about fifteen dollars per ton, and are also highly prized as feed for cattle. The meal and hulls after the oil is extracted make even better food for stock. The boll weevil, so disasterous to cotton in Texas and other sections of the south, has never appeared in Greene county, nor do we feel any fear of the trouble reaching here, as the nearest point to us reached by the weevil is Sherman, Texas, about five hundred miles from Paragould.
   A greater acreage is cultivated in corn than in any other crop. This yields from thirty to fifty bushels to the acre. Corn is always in demand here and finds a ready sale at the crib for the market price. Owing to the fact that this is a great stock country not enough corn is grown in Greene county to supply the local demand and buyers have to seek other markets. We need corn-growers to increase the acreage and supply the demand.
As a hay country this county can not be excelled.   Many kinds of grass yield abundantly such as clover, pea, red top, timothy bermuda, blue grass, all thrive  and  make a  sweet and
wholesome  hay.   Alfalfa is in its infancy here but where it has been tried on our bottom lands the result has been entirely satisfactory. It is as yet not generally cultivated, and it will
be some years before the Greene county farmers are convinced that alfalfa can be made a profitable a crop as cotton.
          WHEAT AND OATS
   For a number of years wheat was successfully grown in  all northeast Arkansas, but in late years there has been but little attention paid to wheat growing. Two of the principal flour mills were destroyed by fire a few years since, and as there has been no local market for cereal raised in excess of home consumption the growing of wheat has almost been
abandoned in Greene county. _ell sowing does well here, the grain always matures to perfection and there is no reason why all the flour consumed in Greene county can not be made at home. There is a small flour mill at Walcott, an interior town,
which manufactures into flour the wheat grown in the immediate vicinity which is about all the wheat now raised in the county. The yield is from fifteen to forty bushels per acre, and the quality is as fine as that grown any-where. Chinch bugs and the Hessian fly, so destructive to wheat elsewhere are entirely unknown in Greene county.
    Fruit growing has proven an immense success in Greene county. It is only a matter of time when the whole of Crowley's Ridge will be one immense orchard, displaying
a magnificent picture of semi-tropical fruits.
   The big red apple is a natural product of this section, and in every instance where it has been brought into competitive exhibition with other fruit in New York or San Francisco, it has never failed to win the premium for size and quality. At the Paris Exposition in 1900 the Arkansas apple created a mild sensation by beating the world for size and beauty. Almost any kind of tree will bear well here but the Ben Davis, Winesap, Mammoth Black Twig, Arkansas Black, Shockleyand other varieties of the winesap apple grow to the most perfect maturity in this climate.
    Peaches do well, also, the varie- ties most common being the Elberta, the Heath, White Cling, and the Crawford varieties. Complete fail-ures from frosts such as are experienced in the north are unknown. The Elberta seems to be the favorite, but other varieties grow rapidly, bear early and endure a reasonable length of time. Of the many kinds of pears grown in the most thrifty, though we have a native pear that is a large fruit and a steady bearer.
   Plums bear as well on Crowley's Ridge as any other fruit growing section under the sun. The Wild Goose, Wickson, Shopshire and Damsons are leaders. Cherries do equally as well.
   Grapes prosper, especially those of the black varieties, such as the Concord,  Ives  Seedling,  and Moor's Early, and the white kind, the Niagara, Prentiss and the Golden Pocklington seem to do the best. Smaller fruits, strawberries,
rasberries and gooseberries yield abundantly.
   Taking it as a whole Greene county is wonderfully adapted to the growing





Transcribed by: PR Massey

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