West Point dates back to 1851, when it was incorporated and
became the 21st town in Arkansas. The town was named for a settler named
West and a nearby point on the river bank where it made a turn. It was a major port in northeast Arkansas for freight traffic and one time
proposed as the Capital of Arkansas until the railroad bypassed it.
West Point was an extensive trade center when the steamboat was the principal freight and passenger hauler. There was an enormous
business and commanded trade for 40 to 50 miles around reaching up into the Ozarks making it a hub of business and social activity.
West Points population in 1884 was 123, after the war it grew to 300 to 400.
A boardwalk which was four or five feet off the ground in places because the river was infamous for overflowing, connected the businesses.
Some of the boats around 1887 were "The Hard Cash" and "The Josie" Freight would travel by steamboat to West Point where it would be
transferred to railroad. Strawberries grown in this area measured up to six inches around according to R.R. Wilson in a (Special
correspondence to The Memphis Avalanche 1887).
In 1907, a railroad from Joplin, MO., was built through West Point and continued on to Helena and the Missippi River. It shut down after World war II.
In 1909, the Missouri & North Arkansas Railroad arrived and there was a tram, pulled by three mules, that took freight and passengers
The last steamboat traveled to West Point sometime between 1922 and 1924.
The West Point post office was built in 1967.
Union gunboats came up the river to shell West Point during the Civil War.
Blanche Crow Hardy Dusty Corner
|A previous steamboat port (1852) on the Little Red River that went slowly by the way after the Cairo & Fulton RR went through. Kensett was then created nearby in 1873.|
|© 1996 by Bonnie Baker-Palmer; all rights reserved. This information may be used for research only. Commercial use of this information is strictly prohibited without prior permission. If copied, this copyright notice must appear with the information. Any use via internet links or otherwise by the US GenWeb Project does not give them or any of their representatives the rights to this or any other of my written material , implied or otherwise.|
Map Fire Dept.
Mayor: David Hamilton (I)
POB 79, West Point, AR 72178-0079
Recorder/Treasurer: Derrell Williams (I)
|1 M.G. Sanders (I)||3 David Neal (I)||5 David Koty (I)|
|2 Robert Jack Sanders (I)||4 Charlie J. Cleaver )I)|
: Garrison Sanders, David Neal, Eddie
Garrison, Bud Woodle, and David Koty. Darrell Williams serves as treasurer.
FIRE CHIEF: Layne "Boss" Vaughn
J.P.Dist. 8: Layne "Boss" Vaughn
West Point has some big plans to take shape as soon as the income
tax lawsuit is settled, according to Mayor David Hamilton.
The sales tax litigation is currently before the Supreme Court, so plans for a new fire station are pending settlement.
But some plans are moving ahead, according to Hamilton. The city stumbled upon "a bargain" in its new city hall and community center, bought for $10,000 from the gas company. After some renovation, the building is serving the city well, Hamilton said.
Resident Jim Clark is utilizing some vacant property to open a convalescent home for elderly people who are unable to take care of themselves. "They've been working on that building all summer," Hamilton said, adding that 45 to 50 people will reside there.
The home will include a gymnasium for recreation and a lunchroom, according to Hamilton.
On top of these improvements the city hopes to start work on a sewer project within the next two years.
In 1996, the city's fire rating was reduced from Class VIII to a Class VII, which greatly reduced the amount of insurance the town will be forced to pay.
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