Yesteryear

100 Years ago

February 18, 1921

New mail boxes have been placed in convenient locations about the city during the past week. De Queen is growing more metropolitan every day. 

At 2 o’clock this morning fire destroyed a large barn belonging to Walter Polk, one mile and a half south of De Queen, with a property loss in excess of $2,000. 

The Texas, Oklahoma and Eastern this week completed the construction of a new telephone line from Valliant to De Queen. The work was done under the supervision of W.A. Bowles. Mr. Bowles is now engaged on the construction of a new line to Dierks for the use of the De Queen and Eastern railroad. 

The new plate glass front at the Fair Store has been polished until it is difficult to tell that the glass is there. Wednesday morning a gentleman walked right through one of the plate glass doors shattering it into a thousand pieces. The man was unhurt. 

Dierks has a new school paper, the Trouver. It is neatly printed and ably edited. Of school conditions at Dierks the Trouver says: “The Dierks public schools have enrolled 505 to date. This is the largest enrollment the schools have ever had. 

Mr. and Mrs. Earnest Roberson of Cane Creek are the happy parents of a fine girl who visited their home the 9th. 

The first barrel of 1921 De Queenland radishes were shipped to Kansas City Tuesday by J.C. Raines. 

Some moving of late. Carl Frint has moved from the Thompson place down on the Bankhead highway on John Bourns’ place. Ferd Smith changes places on Will Kings place, moving to the house near the school house. 

Murphy Williamson has moved his family from the Klondike berry farm to the S.E.L. Smith place where he will farm this year. 

Mrs. C.E. Nelson gave Miss Ruth Brazel a birthday dinner Sunday. Quite a number of friends partook of the good things to eat.

75 Years Ago

February 28, 1946

The Osceola Latimer family of Melrose community, Route 2, Lockesburg, was selected as the Farm Family of the Year in Arkansas, it was announced Wednesday by the Farm Security Administration headquarters at Little Rock. 

The Sevier County Farm Bureau lacks only a few members reaching the quota assigned it by the state Federation, and Flint Nichols, president, urged every farmer to turn in his membership on or by March 1. The county will get statewide publicity if it reaches its quota before the deadline, Nichols said. 

Two traffic lights are now in operation on Highway 70: one at the Dawkins store corner to protect East Side school children and the other at the Lakeside intersection; a third is expected soon for Elk Hotel corner. 

The Sunday school class of Mrs. W.H.A. Thompson entertained returned service boys with a picnic at the Thompson farm Friday night. Those present were Mrs. Thompson, Rev. W.B. Savage, Joaquin Shull, Billie Land, Nina McCoy, Norma McCoy, Wannoka Wilson, Freida Poole, Shera Nix, Mary Ella Garrett, Betty Jackson, Dick Halliday, A.R. Friday, Eugene Merchant, Bernard Cowden, Bill Montgomery, Bill Edmonson, Jerry Ray, Ireland Regnier, Eugene Cowden, Jim Everett, and Sam Thompson. 

William B. Wallace is moving his poultry and egg business this week, back to the building which he occupied prior to taking over the large Goff building. The new location is directly behind the Goff building, next door to the cream buying station operated by Mrs. E.M. Allmond. 

50 Years Ago

February 25, 1971

The Cossatot E.H. Club met in the home of Mrs. Jerry Brake Wednesday, Feb. 17 for a regular monthly meeting. Mrs. Jerry Brake gave the devotional, Mrs. P.E. Morris gave the treasurer’s report. Present were Mrs. W.L. Adcock, Mrs. Brake, Mrs. Morris, Miss Linda Conatser, Mrs. Eula Hodges and Miss Manasco, Mrs. C.J. Vallee and Mrs. Jesse Smith.

Joey Barnhill, James Hornsby, Terry Williamson represented the De Queen chapter in the poultry contest held in the spring at Southern State College. 

Mr. and Mrs. Philip Van Voast announced the birth of a grandson, Phillip Ray, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Van Voast of Lawton, Okla. 

Three benefit basketball games have been scheduled for Saturday night in the high school gym by the De Queen Athletic Boosters club, according to Rev. David Wilson, president. The first, at 7’oclock, will pit faculty members of Horatio and De Queen in a woman’s game. The second will be a “free-for-all” between Booster club members on a choose-up basis, and the final game, starting at 9, will be between male faculty members of De Queen and Horatio.

25 Years Ago

February 22, 1996

A tangled mess of charred desks and tables litter a classroom at Horatio Elementary School where fire damaged four rooms early Monday morning. Students were dismissed on Monday but teachers reported to help clean up. 

A promise that hunting will continue in Pond Creek Bottoms may have led Congressman Jay Dickey to lend his support to a proposed land exchange between Weyerhaeuser Company and the Federal government. Congressman Dickey had earlier voiced concerns that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service planned to stop hunting and fishing for two years until a management plan could be written for the area. The area known as Pond Creek Bottoms would become the Cossatot National Wildlife Refuge if the exchange takes place. But Rep. Dickey released copies of a Feb. 15 letter from George T. Frampton Jr., the Department of the Interior’s assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks, which says hunting and fishing in the area would not be interrupted. 

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Horatio man on arson charges Monday, although the suspect has not been charged in connection with a fire that damaged the Horatio Elementary School on Sunday. Sheriff John Partain said Joseph Mailon Loftland, 19, of Horatio was arrested Monday afternoon in connection with a fire that destroyed an old school bus used in the school’s recycling program. The sheriff said Loftland has confessed to the Dec. 10 bus fire but has denied any involvement with two more early morning fires at the school on Friday and Monday. The fire on Friday destroyed a double-wide mobile home used as a classroom and for storage space. The fire early Monday damaged four rooms of the Horatio Elementary School. 

The Sevier County Rural Water Association signed up 292 new users Thursday evening, enough to put the association within easy reach of its goal of 1,100 members. Board member Bill Lee said 274 people were signed up at the fourth and final public meeting Thursday. Another three people signed in at the county judge’s office and another 15 from Green’s Chapel, which were turned in Friday morning, put the total at 292. Two more late arrivals at the judge’s office on Friday morning made the total for the two-week sign-up period 1,044 residential and agricultural users. The group has a goal of 1,100 residential customers and 150 agricultural or commercial customers. 

10 Years Ago

February 17, 2011

The project to deliver safe portable drinking water to Queen Wilhelmina State Park (QWSP) atop Rich Mountain, begun in February 2010, is very near completion. The issue of “Can it be Approved?” is answered by a resounding “Yes!” water samples have been submitted to the Arkansas State Health Department and have been approved. The system has been tested and is now awaiting final acceptance by the Arkansas State Parks and Tourism Department before the valve connecting the new system to the lodge facilities is opened.

Soaring metal prices have local authorities investigating numerous thefts across the county, including the theft of several air conditioning units from two churches near Lockesburg. When the price of scrap metals go up, so do the thefts, say investigators. “Metal thefts are our biggest problem right now,” said Lt. Mike Wilson, criminal investigator for the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department. “With prices as high as they are, this is becoming a really serious issue.”

While most Sevier County residents huddled near the fire under several layers of blankets, Terri Devlin, a local pediatrician, and her daughter, Brianna, went off to enjoy the near-tropical weather of Florida. While few wouldn’t be jealous, the Devlins didn’t just leave to escape the snow and cold weather, but to run 13 miles for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). The Devlins ran in the annual LLS half-marathon on Jan. 8, 2011 in Orlando, Fl.- a 13-mile race to raise money for research and support of cancer patients suffering from leukemia and lymphoma. 

The Sevier County Relay for Life committee event will feature a variety of activities, including music and food. A chili cook off will be held during the kickoff meeting. Individuals and groups can participate in the cook off for $10. Sevier County Relay for Life event coordinator Susan Alspaw said several people have already joined, though there’s room for more participant. The public will be able to eat for a donation to Relay for Life.

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