Arkansas History and Pioneers

Arkansas History and Pioneers


Explored by Hernando de Soto in 1541, Arkansas became the twenty-fifth state of the Union in 1836. This database is a history of the state and biographical register of many important settlers in the region. Beginning with the earliest explorers to the region, it provides a detailed account of the state's development. Additionally, it contains biographical sketches of important pioneers and residents. Of particular use to the researcher are these brief histories and genealogies. Names of ancestors and descendants are included in many entries, making this an invaluable tool for the researcher whose ancestors lived in Arkansas.

Pioneers and Makers of Arkansas. Little Rock, AR: Clearfield Press, 1908.

Pioneers and Makers of Arkansas

This old soldier came from Virginia to the Arkansas region in 1817, and was well located on the Arkansas river when Nuttal passed up in 1819. He acquired his title as major in the War of 1812, and was one of the most vigorous citizens of the old Pecannerie region. In a trip to the southwestern part of the State lassoing wild horses in 1822 he was killed by the Indians.  This is one report; in another report it was noted tha the escaped, and in still another that he was killed and scalped by the Indians. I am not able to say which report is correct, but his prominence was sufficient to give his name to a township in the county, the thriving town of Morrilton, I believe, being its center. Major Welborn and General Lewis were firm friends and contributed much to the respectability and power of this old settlement. It was then a part of Pulaski County, and the most prominent citizens of the settlement, in 1822, other than Welborn and Lewis, were Thomas White, John Hibbin, Timothy Harris, William Frazier, William Lackey, Jacob Slinkard, James Titsworth, Thomas Hibbin, George Bentley, Adustin Rogers,George Carden, John Belcher, Larkin Womack and Samuel McCall. 

(Editors note:  Larkin Womack, above, born abt., 1785 married Frances Basye.  I have been unable to connect him to our Womack lines.  Also Timothy Harris above, I believe is the same Timothy Harris that married Tacy Elizabeth Womack, daughter of Newton C. Womack, The compiler does not  have this connection either.  Could these two be related?.  If anyone has anything on these families,  PLEASE let me know.  Roger Womack, Compiler.)


Pioneers and Makers of Arkansas

Another old pioneer in that part of Pulaski which is now Faulkner was Abner Harold. He appears to have been Kentucky born and to have entered the territory in 1820, locating in the neighborhood in which he lived and died. He was a man of most forceful convictions, of splendid influence among his neighbors and friends, but without political aspirations. Modest, unassuming, honest and industrious, Abner Harold made a fine impression on the neighborhood in which he lived and was in every respect one of the most respectable citizens of Pulaski County. In February, 1823, a daughter, Betsy, was married to Zechariah Lorance, very probably Lawrence. Going out the Arch street turnpike toward Cockmon's sawmill, a citizen of today will pass a little creek called Lorance creek. This would seem to indicate that the name, Lorance, whether originally Lawrence or not, still clings to Arkansas as a place name, and would indicate that the surname Lorance was a part of the earlier territorial history. Very probably the pioneer Zechariah Lorance lived upon this creek, or, if not, some of his descendants. Abner Harold must have had sons and grandsons to perpetuate his name, since in more modern times one of the most distinguished lawyers of the State carries that name and roots back as to his forbears into this old Faulkner-Pulaski County settlement. The vigor of the grandfather or great grandfather, if these be the exact relations, is most aptly shown in the strong native parts of this illustrious descendant. 



 This old soldier was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, that thriving county of which Carlisle is now the county seat. He won a colonel's commission in the War of 1812, and located his land warrant in Pulaski County in 1820, where he built a mill which was known far and wide as Cadron mill. Heat once became one of the leaders of the settlement, and was considered a good catch, by all the respectable girls of the neighborhood. 

 In 1823 he was married at Pecannerie to Mary, daughter of George Bentley. Colonel Mathers served in the third territorial legislature from 1823 to 1825, and was clerk of Conway County from 1832 to 1836. He died at his home at Cadron Mills in 1839.  Other old settlers of Pulaski County in the Conway County region were Judge W. G. Saffold,  David Barber, James Ward, Judge B. B. Ball, J. I. Simmons, James Kellam, James Barber, Reuben Blunt, John Houston, William Ellis and E. W. Owen.221


 Conway County was named after Henry W. Conway, the second delegate to Congress from Arkansas territory, and was formed out of Pulaski in October, 1825. It was originally much larger than its present boundaries indicate. A large part of the Cherokee Indian purchase was added in 1828, while large subtractions were made and given to Pope and White in 1853. Besides the ones named, Gregory township, Griffin, Higgin, Howard,McLaren and Nichols carry the names of other old settlers of that region. Faulkner County was not created until 1873,and was named for Colonel Sandford C. Faulkner, a wealthy planter of Chicot County, the author of the famous colloquy and piece of music entitled "The Arkansaw Traveler."  Edward P. Washburn of Pope County has painted in oil this famous scene as told him by Colonel Faulkner. The painting was said to be a fine piece of art, and found place for many years in the parlor of Colonel Faulkner at Little Rock. I do not know where this historic painting is lodged at present,  but in deference to Colonel Faulkner, and as an honor to Arkansas' earliest artist it should find place in the archives of the State. 



Pioneers and Makers of Arkansas

It has been said that this literary production of Colonel Faulkner has been an injury to the State. This is a very shortsighted view of the question. In my opinion no community canever be permanently or temporarily injured by any mere work of  humor, and as a piece of humor, broad, it is true, "The ArkansawTraveler" has never been excelled. Instead of injuring Arkansas it has carried that name to the remotest parts of theearth, and has exploited a type of easy-going citizens common to all localites the world over. The type needed excoriation, which Colonel Faulkner gave with a gloved but not a mailed hand. No living man in any part of the world has extended the range of the type to include all the citizens of the State, and the idea that it does so has originated in the mind of those who claim it has injured the State, and not elsewhere. Colonel Faulkner deserves honor for the fidelity with which he has delineated the type, and Mr. Washburn an equal honor for perpetuating it inoil. "The Arkansaw Traveler" has a niche in the temple of fame from which it can never be dislodged, and is in no sense a reflection upon the energy and masterly parts of the great mass of the population which has contributed to its growth and power.222