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2023 Citizen of the Year Awards Nomination form

Posted on May 19, 2023 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

2023 Citizen of the year Annual Award Nomination Form

Nominee’s Name:_________________________ Organization: _________________

Address: ________________________________ Phone: ______________________

Submitted For (Check One): Turn in by June 20, 2023 [email protected]

□ Independent Business of the Year

□ Veteran of the Year

□ Firefighter of the Year (JFD or Base FD)

□ Police Officer of the Year (JPD or SFS)

□ Teacher of the Year (JNPSD/Private/Charter in Jax) □ Citizen of the Year

person submitting nomination: ________________________________ Phone:____________________

□ Work Related Activities (may include any job-related or organization related activity):

➢ List each accomplishment



__________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________

□ Community Involvement (usually volunteer work but may include work related activities)

➢ List each accomplishment






Jacksonville in 1800's

Posted on May 19, 2023 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

* The History of our town started with a few families that moved here in the early 1820’s when it was swamp land.

* They most likely came up the Bayou Meto in a flat bottom boat or used Indian trails as guides.

* One such group migrated from Williamson County Tennessee to an area in northern Pulaski County on the Bayou Meto. The members of this party were Jacob Gray, Sr.; Jacob’s brother, Shared Gray, and Jacob’s children. Jacob, Sr., and Shared Gray had both served in the Revolutionary War in the Carolinas. Jacob was fifty-eight and his brother Shared was sixty-two. Soon after migrating, the older members of the group passed control over the family affairs to Samson Gray, Jacob’s eldest son.

* Other members of the party were Samson’s sister, Sarah; her husband Charles Legate, and their six children; his sister, Nancy and her husband, Francis Secrest, and two children; his sister Jane; her husband, George Wooten; and Samson’s two younger brothers, Jacob, Jr., and Thomas W.

* There were at least four Slaves, two belonging to Jacob Sr., and one each for Samson and Abraham Secrest.The location of this settlement was twelve miles north of Little Rock between Bayou Meto and the Bayou of the Two Prairies on a 160 acres in the southwest quarter of section thirty, range three north, ten west, in Pulaski County Arkansas.

* 1800’s-George Harvey Douglass and his wife Sarah A. Douglass from South Carolina, they settled on a farm north of Jacksonville, east of LeConte

* August 7, 1825- Samson Gray eldest son of Jacob Gray married Maria Gray, they settled their family on land located between Bayou Meto and the two Prairies about twelve miles north of Little Rock. Over time he made improvements on the 160acres of land in the South east quarter of section 30 (thirty), Range 3 (three),North 10 (ten) west.

* 1826-The Members of the Gray Community were a close group and the younger members married, their spouses were usually kin, under the leadership of Samson Gray the settlers cleared the land and begin to raise cotton. Slaves brought by the settlers became the first black residents of the area.

*June 18, 1827- Samson Gray eldest son of Jacob Gray Sr., submitted bids for a mail service and by 1832 he added a mail stage

* 1828- Military road was completed, but there wasn’t a dependable way to cross the Bayou Meto- until Thomas Gray 

brother of Samson Gray received a charter in 1838 to operate a toll Bridge.

* 1830- Samson Gray along with Jacob Gray Sr. and Sharrad Gray built a stage coach house and tavern that was used for early stage stops, and a school.

* 1833-Moses Blue was the postmaster of Bayou Meto post office

* 1834- The Government granted an appropriation for a road survey from Memphis TN. To Little Rock Ar.. The survey located this route to pass by Samson Gray’s land, the road work was put up for bid and Samson and partners won the bid for bridges across the Bayou Meto and a road bed from two Prairies to Little Rock, which was completed in 1828, this would come to be known as Military road.

* June 15, 1836- Arkansas gained her statehood and became the 25th state to join the United States of America

* 1838 – Thomas W. Gray a son of Jacob Gray Sr. was granted a charter to establish a toll bridge across the Bayou Meto, This would become known as Reed’s Bridge.

* 1845 John Russell Beall migrated to Jacksonville from Carrolton Mississippi. His Granddaughter was on eof the oldest living people in town, Mrs. Emma McBride, Martin, Thomson. Her father was Theo B. McBride, he owned livestock and land where the Vestal Nursery once stood.

* 1849- Joe Lamb was born in 1849, he was a farmer all his life, had a dozen children with two wives. ( Jacksonville Book #1)

* The 1850s brought others to the area; the westward movement was in full swing in Arkansas from 1850 to 1860. Steamboats traveled the larger rivers and made travel easier. Railroading became a major issue in the Arkansas Legislature which passed the ground work for the Cario Fulton Railroad, these were partially complete on the Little Rock-Memphis Railroad when the Civil war halted all work on the lines.

* Jessie Wilson moved to Gray township in 1823 with a wagon train from South Carolina. He was a farmer and died in 1881, buried in Bayou Meto Cemetery.

* Nicholas W. Jackson moved to Gray Township with his wife Elizabeth Cemont (1833-1875) and his 5 children. Nicholas remarried after the death of his first wife to Mary Davisson ( 1854-1889) a widow and they had two children. The town of Jacksonville was named after him for he was the one who brought the railroad here and had them build a train station.

* Elias C. Wilson moved to gray township from South Carolina in 1856, with his wife Jane Pierce Wilson and four children, he owned 1,080 acrs of land located on Military Road, 450 of which he farmed.

* James Harvey Douglass was born on June 27, 1853 in LeConte area to George Harvey Douglass and his wife Sarah A. He grew cotton , corn along with his orchards of Apples, peaches, pears,plums and berries, his farm was located north of Jacksonville, east of LeConte.

* 1858- Mancil Stone moved to Gray township in 1850’s along with his wife Virginia Ferguson Stone and five children. He was a farmer, owned a grist mill and cotton Gin, a Justice of the Peace before the civil war and established a Mercantile store here. He and his son Elihu established a general store in 1881.

* His daughter married P.W. Dupree Sr. and went into business with her family.

* John W. Vaughan settled in the area known as Toney-Ville in 1860’s with his parents, and he grew into be known as one of the earliest Democratic politicians of the area, also served as Justice of the Peace, Constable, school Director, a member of the House of Representatives in 1885, and was a Mason in Jacinto Lodge No 216 in 1869.

* The Battle of Reed’s Bridge was fought at the toll bridge belonging to Thomas Gray. The return of casualties from the Union forces were: 1-killed in the skirmish near Bayou Meto. In August 26, 1863 and 7-killed and 38 wounded in action at the Bayou Meto on August 27. The return of casualties for the Confederate forces were 1-killed and 1 wounded on August 27 1863. After the battle of Reed’s Bridge the federal forces regrouped at Browns-ville and crossed 5 miles south of Reed’s Bridge on August 30.

* 1863- Robert Beall was among the earliest black landowners, he started out with 80 acres and later added 40 acres. Robert was a freed slave of Russell Beall family, Russell Beall saw that his freed slaves had land to give them a start. Robert Bealls holdings was located now at the corner of Graham Rd and Southeastern. A small settlement grew up on Bealls Land and it was called Mt. Pisgah. The Mt Pisgah Church was built there and served as a school until the Rosenwald School was built next to the church. Later Mt. Pisgah Church was relocated to Ray Road a new center of black population developed. The earliest families included Robert Beall, Sam Beall, Collins Beall, Andy Craft, Jacob Ferguson, W.m. McGraw, Daniel McGraw, and Henry Neely.

* November 18, 1868- Jacinto Lodge 216 A.F. and A.M. was chartered with the following members: J.M. Stovall, C.M. Stover, Joil Joiner, David Andress, John E. Curtis, K.H. Langley, J.W. Boyd, W.L. Cook. The first meeting was held August 1, 1868 on the second floor of the Methodist Church.

* The community of LeConte was established in 1870. M.J. Henry settled his family in this area and started a mercantile store, the business proved successful, but transportation of goods was a problem so at the turn of the century he moved his family his family and business to Jacksonville in 1905

* Nicholas W. Jackson and his wife Elizabeth, were . Not the first settlers in this area, but in 1870 they deeded land for a right of way to the Cario and Fulton railroad for $300, the Train Depot opened the doors for more settlers to the area that was platted and named Jacksonville ( was known as Jackson Springs)

 * Active measures are being taken on November 3, 1870, to remove and clear out obstructions in the Bayou Meto to make it a navigable stream, it flows south Easterly to the Prairie County line, 150 feet long and empties into the Arkansas River.

* A Party from Little Rock in 1870 numbering some five hundred took passage on a number of open cars, over which had been erected brush Arbors, The city band led by Mr. Gray, played at Jacksonville (better known as Jackson Springs at this time) was reached in about ½ hour after it started.

* 1871 Dr. M.J. McHenry moved to Jacksonville Ar., he opened a drug store and sold drugs, chemicals, and sundries, and became a prominent physician and surgeon, opened a business in Jacksonville after his service in the Confederate Army was over. He became a prominent citizen of Jacksonville, served one term in the Arkansas State Legislature and Gray Township School Director for 2 years.

* The Eastern Star was organized in Jacksonville in 1871, when a group of women instituted Jacinto No.3 of the order of the Eastern Star, our town was the third in Arkansas to organize an Eastern Star chapter.

* Jacksonville’s Train Depot was built in 1872, the first scheduled train on the Cario and Fulton railroad passed over the road February 1, 1872. From this date trains ran daily except on Sunday. The building of this railroad brought wild reckless days to Jacksonville, Shacks were built to house railroad workers, two saloons were established. Anyone with mules or oxen was hired to haul ties. Nicholas Jackson owned several mules and he put them to good use.

* Horseracing was the biggest form of entertainment and went on all hours of the day and night, the men raced through town yelling and shouting making it very dangerous for anyone trying to cross the street. A level field west of town was set aside as a racetrack to clear the streets of this danger.

* First Baptist Church organized on May 4,1872 located at 401 North First Street. James M. King and J.P. Eagle, regularly ordained Baptist ministers along with William Swaim.

* On August 16, 1901, the church passed a resolution whereas the church had labored for over 20 years.

* Mt Pisgah Baptist Church was established in 1875 on land of Robert Beall. Robert Beall was 37 and a farmer on 1870 census with wife Sophia (McBride) and children, Ann, Mary and Ellen, by 1880 a daughter Rosa.

* He started with 80 acres which was a gift from Russell Beall, and later added 40 more acres to his holdings, which was located at the corner of Graham Road. and Southeastern. A small settlement grew up on Beall’s Land that was called Mt. Pisgah. a church was built there named Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church which also served as a school until the Rosenwald school was built next door. Early residents there were Robert Beall, Sam Beall, Collins Beall, Andy Craft, Jacob Ferguson, Daniel McCraw, and Henry Neely.

* Tragedy at Jacksonville on September 27, 1876- A Railroader disemboweled by a companion, he was brought to Jacksonville by the early train from St. Louis yesterday morning. He gave his name as Mooney and was admitted to the Ladies Benevolent Hospital, where he now lies in critical condition, his wound a long gash across his abdomen was inflicted with a barlow knife in the hands of William King, both men were employed on section 19 and both had been drinking but were not intoxicated. Mooney survived his attack.

* In 1877 a Democratic Newspaper was started known as “Jacksonville Intelligencer” for a short time.

* By 1880 the following people were listed as residing in the town of Jacksonville: J.W. Dodson-Physician and Dentist, J.K.P. Harbour-General Merchant, William Thomas-Clerk, A. Bennett-Dry Goods Merchant, M.J. McHenry-Physician, W. A. Galloway-Dry Goods Merchant, J.T. Tatum- Physician, Mancil Stone- Miller, Joseph Walton- Machinist, A. J. Hancock-Black Smith, Thomas Andrews-Railroad Worker, McClain- Railroad worker, John W. Tally-Minister of Gospel, James Frost – School Teacher, N.R. Price- Physician, A. Skinner-Telegrapher, J.W. Stovall- Teacher, John Taylor- Laborer, Fred Gorman- Laborer, T.C. Hardcastle-Attorney At Law.

* In 1880 Dr. Samuel W. Murtishaw built and operated a creamery for people to have a place to sell their excess milk. In June 1881 records show he was a registered Physician and Surgeon authorized to practice in any county in Arkansas.

* First United Methodist Church was built in 1880 a two-story log structure that was also used as a community building and as the first public school in the area. The Masonic Lodge would hold its meetings on the second floor and church services on Sunday. This church stood where the Bayou Meto Cemetery now stands. By 1883 the congregation built a new church, located on Hogs Thief Road (now 220 West Main St.) using logs from the old Church.

* In 1881 Squire Harpole moved his family to a farm that was located where the Air Force Base sits now. He and his wife Rena Harpole and children operated a Livery Station and a Saloon in Little Rock on 6th and Center, they moved their business to Jacksonville in 1916 opening a Mercantile Store in an old frame building on North First St. His son Austin was the bookkeeper, son Reck drove the delivery truck, son Edgar was the barber and son Harry was the meat cutter. In the back of this store, showers were installed for the public, before running water was available in most homes, this building was replaced with a brick structure in 1926, in the early days they sold such things as flour, meal, sugar, coffee, beans and rice were sold in bulk,shoes and hardware as well. Weekly Salary checks were cashed for the Ordnance Plant workers before Jacksonville had a bank. This building still stands today.

* Jerry and Margaret Hudson came from Tupelo Mississippi to Jacksonville in 1881 with four sons. The boys grew up in the Ebenezer Community.

* In 1884 Jacksonville had a population of 50 and the following businesses: Steam Grist & Cotton Gin, W.A. Galloway -General Store, Gray & Heard- Flour Mill & Gin, J.K.P. Harbour-Grocer, T.C. Hardcastle-Lawyer, M.J. McHenry- Druggist, D.M. McLees- Notory Public, H.T. Miller-Hotel, Murtishaw & Granberry- Druggist, M. Stone-Flour Mill & Gin, M Stone & Son- General Store.

* The Gazetteer listed Jacksonville in 1888 with a population of 100 and the following businesses: Steam Grist Mill & Cotton Gin, E.W. Dodge-Railroad Express & Telegraph agent, W.A. Galloway- General Store, Gray & Heard-Flour Mill and Gin,T.C. Hardcastle-Lawyer, M.J. Henry-Druggist, D.M. McLees-Notary Public, H.T. Miller-Hotel, Murtishaw & Granberry-Druggist, M. Stone-Flour Mill & Gin, M.C. Stone & Son- General Store.

* In 1890 Dr. Samuel W. Murtishaw put in telephones and managed to get a line to Little Rock, the men who did the most work on the lines were: Bill Elmore and Sam Jones. Sam was known for his size 21 shoe.

* William Henry Clay Nixon moved to Jacksonville in 1890, they settled on a farm known as Hodge Place (Now Stonewall Subdivision) along with his daughters & four sons. He was born August 28, 1845.

* In 1891 the area Known as New Town (Now Ray Road area) recorded some of the first families there: Casey and Needom families were the first to build homes here followed by Henry and Charity Steele with two of their daughters, Mrs. Adley McGhee, and Mrs. Hannah Murry. Mrs. McGhee recalls the early days when Jacksonville had dirt roads and boards for sidewalks, only had four (4) stores- Walter Galloway, Stone and Dupree, Peg Leg Ramsey, Dr. Murtishaw.

* Jeff Ramsey’s General Store was the hub in 1895 of the small community, located on the Northwest corner of Main and Front streets, this establishment offered shoes, clothing, and Dry Goods.

*The History of the Presbyterian Church in this area dates to 1894, it was located on Oak Street across from Jacksonville Elementary School. Charter members were: Mr. & Mrs. W.W. Nixon, Mrs. F.G. Blodgett, George Blodgett, Mrs. Frank Stanfill, Mrs. Grace Faulkner, Mrs. C.D. Reeser, Miss. Blanche Felton, Mrs. Jewell Harpole, Mr & Mrs. J.F. Gordon, Nina Nixon, Harold Gordon, Charles Gordon, and Mrs. W.G. Whitworth.


*The congregation met for a time at the school across the street. On October 8, 1927 members of the church met to gather rocks and transport them to the church building site- construction began December 1927, the first service in the new church was held March 25, 1928 with 32 members on the roll. By 1963 the community growth had progressed such that expansion was necessary.