Kesterson County Histories

County Histories


HISTORY OF HOWARD COUNTY AR Burg Arkansas is located in Township 6 south and range 29 west. Burg was originally named Rock Springs but was renamed Burg in 1915. In the late 1890's there was a shingle mill, a saw mill, a grist mill and a blacksmith shop all owned by Ed Triplett. A post office was operated in the drugstore owned by Ebb Burgess. Jim Powell owned a dry goods store. The town also had a cotton gin and the scales are still buried where they weighed the cotton. Early families in this are were Carter, Young, Stamps, Ross, Townsend, Hunter, Dairymple, Ralls, Choat,Grimes, Embry, Kitchens, Kesterson

The Kestersons were early settlers in Euclid and Old Euclid AR. Daniel Huffman had a store at Flower Springs, just under the hill from the present "Uncle Bill Kestersons place". This was a hotel/resort area with 7 springs . Many came for health reasons. The Hotel burned during the Civil War and the springs slowly filled up. In 1936 according to Burnis Kesterson "a 95 year old man from Lockenburg who had been at Flower Springs came back and showed a group of men" including Burnis where the springs were located. These men cleaned out the spring and restored them. A solid wooden bathtub was found in one of the springs.

Madison Twp gives the first settlers of the present Dierks Area. Madison Twp in the 1840's and 1880's covered roughly the territory surrounding Dierks. The western boundary was Saline River, the south by Messer Creek over to Fellowship, through Green Plains to a few miles north of Dierks and back west to the Saline River. In 1840 Madison Twp had approximately 38 households on census including Kesterson, Props, Dorsey, Westbrook. In 1870 there was listed John, William , Samuel and Thomas Kesterson


The early settlers of Madison Twp were a hardy, determined people, who for the most part lived by farming theland. One of the ost important ways to socialize was to gather in each others homes and help one another with hard chores. The church was a vital partof our ancestors lives. Early church records are very scare and for various reasons many wer lost. Early churches were located at Old Liberty, north of Dierks, Kolbtown, west, Possum Hollow and Oak Hill, south. Green Plains east and Fellowship. Some of thses churches were community buildings and schools comgined. Several faiths met a different times in one building. The most prominent church in early township history was Baptist. The first chucrch was a log house on the old fort Towson Road. It probably burned during the civil war. The church was rebuilt around 1880. Property for this building was sold to the church by Samuel and Sarah B Kesterson. Among the early pastors there was T H Westbrook, T F Westbrook, Jim Westbrook, C H Tippert. Early members were Hardy J & Phereby Jane Briscoe Westbrook, James Price, Dick Tollett.

Early settlers in the fellowship area were James W Risco and family, Allen T Westbrook and John Kesterson families, Daniel Tollett, Michael and Annis Price. Kestersons were also found in the Possum Hollow area south of Dierks as well as Westbrooks and Beans. In the Town of Smyrna there was also found families of Kesterson


by William R Henry

Prior to 1842 VA via OH & AR: Meriday Kesterson Sr born ca 1786 VA married Polly about 1796 VA, were settlers in Center Twp. Nearby was Drake. Meriday Kesterson Jr born about 1823 OH and married 8 Apr 1849 to a Hewey, married 2nd to Nancy Larten born about 1826 TN. Children by his 1st SARTEN wife were Polly born 1844 AR and Mary born 1846 AR. Early marriages were John W Kesterson and Polly Hewey 15 Jun 1848 and Moody Kesterson and Nancy Sarten 28 Aug 1850.



Piqua is a village in Neosho Falls Township at the crossing of the St. Louis, Fort Scott & Wichita and the Missouri Pacific Railways. It is in a sort the successor of Bramlette, a station about a mile below, which was abandoned by the railway after the building of the new east and west road. The main street of the village is upon a half section line, the land upon the north being owned by George A. Bowlus, of Iola, and that on the south by P. C. T. Buck who used it for farming purposes. The town started in the spring of 1882, the store of J. W. Kesterson being the first building. Next came the blacksmith shop of John Kipp, and third the residence of Dr. J. Beekman. Street & McClure soon afterward erected a store building, which burned November 8, 1882. A schoolhouse was erected in 1882 at a cost of $1,000, and has an attendance of sixteen. It is taught by Miss Nannie Stewart. The Methodists have recently organized a society, with twenty members, at this point, and completed a church edifice in December, 1882. Services are held by the pastor of the church at Neosho Falls. A post office was established in the spring of 1882, and M. Street appointed Postmaster. The town now has one store, one school, one church, one lumber yard and a dozen residences. A hotel building is in the process of erection.



----The passage of time, a bulldozer, a fire and floods have changed Galice so drastically that not much remains to remind one of the kind of busy place it was in its heyday. Still standing is the Ed Friday house, built around 1900. He owned the big freight wagons and draft horses that brought supplies from Merlin to the mines. It is now a private home owned by the Kesterson Family. About the same time, Galice Consolidated Mining Company built a cookhouse and office at the mouth of Galice Creek. It now is the private home of the Gallagher Family. Carpenter's Store, just upriver from Galice Creek, was built in 1923 and now serves the Galice area as a community hall.