Early Polk County Settlers

From "Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas," Southern Pub Co, 1891

"The settlement of the territory now composing Polk County began about 1830, or perhaps a little earlier. Thomas GRIFFITH from Illinois, settled near the present village of Dallas, and about the same time Jacob MILLER settled two miles east of Dallas, where Ben THOMPSON now resides, and George WILES settled in the same neighborhood. In December, 1833, James PIRTLE from Tennessee settled on the farm where his son, B. F. PIRTLE, now resides one-half mile north of Dallas. The same year Isaac PIRTLE and Ben PIRTLE, also from Tenn., made their settlements-the former one mile north of Dallas, and the latter in Mountain Fork, near the camp-meeting ground. Also in the same year Walter SCOTT and Allen TROUSDALE, from Tennessee, settled on Board Camp Creek, east of Dallas. The same year Isaac JONES settled the site of Dallas, and a year or two later he sold his improvement to John B. STEWART, who settled thereon.

About the year 1835, Mr. CANTRELL settled in the neighborhood, east of Dallas. Kennison SULTH, from Missouri, located on Six Mile Creek, near the present town of Cove, and Joseph SULTH settled on Mountain Fork, about twelve miles west of Dallas. About the same time William COX, from Missouri, settled on the Ouachita, six miles northeast of Dallas, Thomas EDOM settled four miles west of Dallas, and William JOSLING, from Missouri, settled two and one-half miles north of Dallas. JacobRITCHIE was a very early settler on the Ouachita, twelve miles east of Dallas. George M. WINTER, from Missouri, settled seven miles west of Dallas in about 1833. Other pioneers of the thirties were Richard POWELL, who came from Tenn., and settled near the camp ground, in the western part of the county; Fred LUNSFORD, who settled a few miles east of Dallas, and Elisha BAKER, who settled near Baker's Springs in the southern part of the county. In 1840 Isaac A.MORRIS came from New England and settled at Dallas, and near the same time Joshua COX settled three miles southeast of Dallas.

In the fall of 1854 Rev. H. C. RIDLING came from Mississippi and settled on the Ouachita near where he now resides, about twelve miles east of Dallas. He informs the writer that at that time there was only one cotton-gin in the county, and that one was located three miles northeast of Dallas, and was owned by one KUYKENDALL. This gin had no press, as the cotton was not then baled, and none was then raised except for home use. There was not a steam-mill in the county until about the year 1867, when the ASHFORD steam saw and grist-mill was put on on Dry Creek. There were then only three water-power mills in the county, two of them being on Big Fork and one on Two Mile Creek.

. . . James OWENS, of Dallas, is probably the largest apple-grower in the county. . . Grape culture has already been made a specialty, and an association for the better culture of the vine has been organized. Thad. M. CARDER, M. J. HOPKINS, W. NALL and J. F. ENGLAND, of Dallas and vicinity; T. J. TATE, W. C. SMITH and O. T. ALLISON, in the neighborhood of Cove; S. C. BATES and M. V. LEE, at Egger post-office; James S. STANDRIDGE, on Big Fork, and about thirty others constitute the members of the association, and are the leading vine-growers. . . ."

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