The Pea Ridge Historical Society
Pea Ridge, Arkansas

Joe Pitts, Editor
Volume I,  Issue 1 April 12, 2004

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Pea Ridge Historical Society
P.O. Box 276
Pea Ridge, AR  72751-0276

Organized:  October 23, 2003

Board Members:
Mary Durand, President
Jerry Nichols, Vice President
Marcia Cothran, Secretary
Gus Bradley, Treasurer
Joe Pitts
Martha Ruth Hall
Diane Bone
Matt Jines

Historical Society Members:
Diane Bone
Gus Bradley
Jim & Margaret Cheek
Marcia Cothran
Mary Durand
Delores Hall
Martha Ruth Hall
Billie Hickman
Matt Jines
Donna Lasater
Joe Pitts
Bob & Beulah Prophet
Jerry & Nancy Nichols
Carmen Snyder

July History Day Planned
  Planning is underway to hold a Pea Ridge History Day in downtown Pea Ridge on Saturday, July 10, 2004.  The Historical Society is especially interested in taping stories from days gone by, and in obtaining copies of pictures, documents, and artifacts related to the history of Pea Ridge.
  The event will take place all through the day, at Pea Ridge City Hall, located in downtown Pea Ridge.
  The Historical Society is working toward establishing a Museum of Pea Ridge history, and the collections of stories, artifacts, pictures, and documents obtained through such events as History Day will preserved and prepared for museum display and interpretation. Funding for History Day is expected to come from Historical Society membership dues, fundraisers such as a Quilt Raffle, and a matching grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council.

Original Town of Pearidge
It is now known that for the first 29 years, the town's name was spelled Pearidge.  The historians say they cannot determine who owned the first store in Pea Ridge, nor where it was located, although they can determine that the first Post Office was established in 1850.  The first Postmaster we know was Robert H. Wallace, who was appointed August 6, 1850.  The Wallace homestead was a mile south and a mile and a half east of the then town of Pearidge.

It is now my belief that the first store belonged to Robert Carroll Foster, the man who homesteaded the land and plotted the town.  The Foster home was on what is now West Pickens Street, where the trail then curved northward and down the hill, then westward up the hill to where the High School now stands.  The reason for this was that water was there, and the town was built near an abundance of water.

I believe that the first store and blacksmith shop were on the north side of the present Pickens Street, just before it curved northward down the hill.  The first settlement seemed to be in that area.

The second Postmaster was William Martin.  I know a little about William Martin.  His homestead was where the Twelve Corners Road corners at Highway 72.  William had 80 acres on the west side of Twelve Corners Road.  When the Twelve Corners Church was moved from Elkhorn Tavern and established in its present location, William Martin is said to have suggested the name, because it was the name of his church in Bedford County, Tennessee.  William became sick, and his daughter, Miss Martha Martin, was asked to finish his term as Postmaster.

The fourth Postmaster was Elije H. (Lige) Buttram, a circuit-riding Methodist minister who was instrumental in organizing Buttram's Chapel and School in 1860.  He was this writer's great uncle.

Joe's Musings
When I was a young lad, I attended three Old Soldiers Reunions at Elkhorn Tavern; the first in 1927, the second in 1932, and the third in 1933.  I believe the one in 1933 was the last reunion held.

In 1932 and 1933, the owners of the Tavern were Ramsey and Frances Cox Scott.  Ramsey Scott would pay Byron Pratt and me twenty-five cents a day to lead his huge St. Bernard dog around the grounds.  Ramsey would tie a small keg on the dog's collar, and Byron and I would lead him around the Tavern, then around the big walnut tree that had its top shot out during the Civil War, then around the monuments and back.  This seemed to be Ramsey's idea of an added attraction.

About dark a huge bonfire would be lit, and then the stories from the old veterans would begin.  One I remember well.  The vet told that he was shooting from the loft of the smokehouse, until some fool set fire to the smokehouse.  Then the next speaker said, "I set fire to the smokehouse!"  Next came the fiddler's contest, which Ward Bond won.  Then they turned the hounds loose to chase the fox!
---- Joe N. Pitts

We now know that in 1879 Allen Bryant Stroud and son H.L. Stroud were co-owners of the store and Allen B. Stroud was Postmaster.  According to George H. Phillips's book, Handling the Mail in Benton County from 1836 to 1976, Allen B. Stroud made application to the postal department to reestablish the post office from Pearidge to Pea Ridge.

In about 1886, H.L. Stroud sold his interest in the Stroud store at Pea Ridge, and built the H.L. Stroud Mercantile on Walnut Street in Rogers.  In the last ten years, the home of H.L. Stroud was moved from Rogers to a lot on the southwest corner of what is known as Blackjack Corner at the west end of Pea Ridge.

Other Newsletter Issues

Pea Ridge Historical Society
P.O. Box 276
Pea Ridge, AR   72751-0276

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