Washington County Arkansas Genealogical Society
It is the objective of the Washington County Arkansas Genealogical Society to collect and preserve genealogical and historical information with a focus on Washington County, Arkansas. We wish to encourage and provide training to those interested. We champion ethical and accurate research and publication of genealogical and historical information.
Mark your calendars now for these upcoming meetings. All WCAGS meetings are currently held at Headquarters House, 118 E. Dickson, Fayetteville, AR and start promptly at 2:00PM. Dates of the 2008 WCAGS programs and meetings are listed below:
Sunday, November 9, 2008-“How deep do you need to go into genealogy information which looks to be well documented to be comfortable in accepting it? Would you find an insurance policy in a probate file?” Find out the answers to these questions and more at “Ask the Experts” This should be a fun program with experts, Marcia Connors, Ray Niblock, Ann Sugg, Carolyn Reno and Sue Thompson.
Our membership is so wonderful and helpful. I want to use this issue to share some of the articles that have been submitted. Thank you to everyone!
This was submitted by Judi Shannon
I thought some of the "genealogists" in our group might like to check this out. I have applied and been accepted to receive my G-G-Grandfather’s Civil War medal the last of October. (There is a 6 month waiting period after they accept your genealogy paperwork.)
The State of West Virginia has over 4,000 unclaimed medals from the Civil War. They were issued as a "token of respect" to Union Soldiers. These medals were issued only for the UNION soldiers that served in West Virginia. They are bronze medals and have the soldier’s name, rank, company, and regiment engraved on the back. There were 3 different medals made; "Honorably Discharged," "Killed in Battle," and "For Liberty." The medals have been stored in a vault in the West Virginia archives since 1868, each in their own little box.
The web link below explains the Civil War Medals, as well as a listing of the names of the unclaimed medals, and paperwork necessary to apply. There is a $30 fee charged for their genealogists to check your application. You must submit line of descent from yourself to the veteran along with complete documentation to support each line of descent. (a family tree isn’t enough)
Submitted by Mary Ellen Johnson, P. O. Box 496, Johnson, AR 72741
A reprint of an article in 1961 from the newspaper (perhaps the Springdale News): Plans Made To Elect Town Officials At Johnson
At a town meeting held last night at the Johnson Community building, plans were made to elect officials for the newly incorporated town.
Attorney James Blair of Springdale conducted the informal meeting, attended by a relatively small number of persons.
Blair explained that the next step is to post a notice of election of officers. This could be posted April 1 and election of officers held 10 days later.
Officers to be elected will be mayor, recorder and five aldermen. Candidates for these offices must file intentions with the County Election Commission. This group will then constitute the City Council which can name other officers, such as marshal and treasurer, as desired.
The city limits extend over an approximate area of 537 acres, beginning 660 feet west of Highway 71 north at Johnson Road, and south to the center channel of Clear Creek. The southern boundary continues down the stream to the west concrete railroad bridge and the south again along the tracks to the southern boundary of Section 22. It then extends west for a short distance, and takes in Zero Mountain. Then it goes a quarter of a section east and constitutes the northern boundaries of the city.
The eastern boundary runs south at a point approximately even with the third quarter of Section 23 until it intersects Johnson Road.
An Industrial City
Thomas Roth rock wrote a history of the town of Johnson that was published in the FLASHBACK publication of the Washington County Historical Society in November of 1954. An effort is being made in 2008 to record the names of those persons who served the City of Johnson from that first election in 1961 until today. If you can help with this project, please send an email to: email@example.com or write to Mary Johnson, PO Box 496, Johnson, AR 72741.
No one today thinks of Johnson as having been a large industrial site but it once was the site of a rather large mining operation, the Ozark White Lime Company.
Mining was once a profitable venture in the little town of Johnson, sandwiched between Fayetteville and Springdale in the late 1800s and early 1900s,
The first lime kiln in Johnson was built by a Mr. Carter who sold it to F. O. Gulley and Ed Gillett (approximately 1898). Gulley and Gillett organized the Ozark White Lime Company which operated until about 1945 when the mining ran out of profitable rock. Vine Blumenberg was general manager of the company for a number of years and other mine supervisors were Charley Lockhart, Jim Claypool, Andy Cardwell and Ed ‘Posty’ Bookout.
Johnson’s rich lime deposits were mined, processed and shipped in homemade barrels to points throughout the United States. The company operated two lime plants, which used a total of five kilns to burn the rock for processing into lime. These kilns could burn enough rock to produce approximately 400 barrels of lime daily. The firemen, who were in charge of the kilns, would draw out as many as 30 to 35 barrels of burned lime rock every five to six hours. Each kiln was constructed similar to a giant jug, in which the rock was cooked. The kilns operated day and night, and were never allowed to stop burning except when they needed to be relined with brick.
After the rock was baked at the bottom of each kiln for several hours, it was drawn out of the heated pit. The cooked rock was hauled to a brick floor on which it was spread and remained several hours to cool. After ghee cooling process was completed, the big chunks were broken up into fine pieces of lime and shoveled into barrels for shipping.
Approximately 100 men worked at the kilns and quarries year round and additional workers were hired when both kilns operated simultaneously. The men worked 12-hours shifts, rotating at midnight and noon. Those who fired the kilns worked 7 days a week.
Breaking the rock was hard work and often irritated the skin of the workers, especially in the summer when sweating made the lime dust stick to the skin.
An estimated 4,000 to 6,000 cords of wood were used each year at the plant, although gas eventually replaced wood because it was cheaper to burn
Today the mines are closed and a facility known as Zero Mountain uses the empty man-made caverns along the banks of Clear Creek in Johnson.
Note: Lime (Calcium Oxide, CaO) was used in fertilizer, deodorizing outhouses, and in some commercial ventures.
Browsing Old Cemeteries Submitted by Elizabeth Floyd
A truly Happy Person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour. And, one who can enjoy browsing old cemeteries… Some fascinating things on old tombstones!
Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York
Born 1903–Died 1942.
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the
car was on the way down. It was.
In a Thurmont, Maryland cemetery:
Here lies an Atheist, all dressed up and
no place to go.
On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East
Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia:
Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102.
Only The Good Die Young.
In a London , England cemetery:
Here lies Ann Mann, Who lived an old
maid but died an old Mann. Dec. 8, 1767
In a Ribbesford, England cemetery:
The children of Israel wanted bread, and
the Lord sent them manna. Clark
Wallace wanted a wife, and the Devil
sent him Anna.
In a Ruidoso, New Mexico cemetery:
Here lies Johnny Yeast… Pardon me
for not rising.
In a Silver City, Nevada cemetery:
Here lays The Kid.
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger
But slow on the draw.
A lawyer’s epitaph in England:
Sir John Strange.
Here lies an honest lawyer,
and that is Strange.
John Penny’s epitaph in the
Wimborne, England cemetery:
Reader, if cash thou art in want of any,
Dig 6 feet deep and thou wilt find a
In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England
On the 22nd of June, Jonathan Fiddle
went out of tune.
Anna Hopewell’s grave in Enosburg
Here lies the body of our Anna,
Done to death by a banana.
It wasn’t the fruit that laid her low,
But the skin of the thing that made her
On a grave from the 1880s in
Under the sod and under the trees,
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there’s only the pod.
Pease shelled out and went to God.
In a cemetery in England:
Remember man, as you walk by,
As you are now, so once was I
As I now, so shall you be.
Remember this and follow me.
To which someone replied by writing
on the tombstone:
To follow you I’ll not consent
Until I know which way you went
And from the mailbag………
Barbara Lewis, myself and all the Monday night library crew had worked with Mr. Tharp. His wish was to become a SAR member.
I did receive the Elkins Newspaper you sent. Thank you!
The article on the Reese Cemetery was the first thing I read. My great, great, great grandparents, Lewis and Judy (Vernon) Tharp are buried there.
I was delighted to see the close-up photograph of one of the graves in the Roberson Cemetery. Definitely, the overgrown status of the cemetery is sad and it needs to be cleared of the shrubs, vines, and briers to slow down the damage they cause to the tombstones. I know that in time the shrubs, and ect. will grow back and it will need to be cleaned again. But in a cleaned up state one could photograph each grave marker and record what was still readable on the marker, preserving the historical facts for posterity. If I was younger and in good health, I would come and do it myself. But as a 78 year old with heart problems, I know I can’t do it.
As you know, my ancestors — Daniel and Susannah (Wax) Howry and Priscilla (Howry) and John Roberson are buried in the Roberson Cemetery.
In regard to the Elkins Newspaper, I enjoyed reading all of the articles in the paper. Thank you for sending it to me.
On October 11, I was presented my SAR certificate and was accepted as a member in the Heart of Texas Chapter of SAR. They gave me an opportunity to speak to the group. In my remarks, I shared with them that you and the WCAGS were very helpful in the research done to complete my application. Again, I want to express my appreciation.
Raymond R. Tharp
Websites to check out!!
Online Index to Arkansas Historical Quarterly
There is now an online index to the Arkansas Historical Quarterly which covers all the articles from 1942 through 2000. You can download the entire 23 megabyte .pdf file (874 pages) or click on the alphabet letter of interest and check the index online. The website is http://arkindex.uark.edu/AHQ/ (note there is no www in the URL). Check by place name, subject, and personal name. For details about the Arkansas Historical Association, see http://www.uark.edu/depts/arkhist/home/ .
Source: News from Arkansas Research, Inc. (email newsletter), by Desmond Walls Allen, 24 July 2006.
Confederates have a neat website called The Arkansas Toothpick. There are lots of neat stories and news of events. It is free, of course. They also have a Civil War trivia contest of 10 questions