South Arkansas Historical Journal
Volume 3, Fall 2003
Dr. Susan Chappell
John G. Ragsdale
P. Sue Allen
Dr. Sara Teague
Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources
Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission
Nevada County Depot and Museum
South Arkansas Community College
South Arkansas Historical Foundation
South Arkansas Historical Society
P. O. Box 10201
El Dorado, Arkansas 71730-0201
From the Editors:
The geographical area of South Arkansas has been inhabited continuously for centuries by peoples descended from Native Americans, Europeans, Africans, and numerous others. This journal hopes to tell the continuing stories of the great, the mighty, the strong, and the weak who have lived here either by choice or by chance. Family and occupational history can help the reader understand the great chain of events that has built our region though the recounting of old stories and reexamining past documents.
This third issue of the journal covers only a small part of the history of southern Arkansas. Witnesses to past events write of their experiences, hopes, and tragedies on the South Arkansas march through time. In recognition of the bicentennial of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, El Dorado writer Sara Teague reports on the French administration of Arkansas in the years prior to its annexation to the United States. John G. Ragsdale writes on the development of oil in the region, events which completely transformed the economy and society of the area. Three other Union County writers have added tender reminiscences of loved ones in their struggles to build a life for their families and communities in the early 1900s. Enjoy this journey of “historical imagination” of the world our predecessors built and whose memories and monuments we preserve for the future.
The South Arkansas Historical Journal, established in 2001, is an annual publication of the South Arkansas Historical Society made possible through the generous support of members and the South Arkansas Historical Foundation.