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Thursday, Sep. 29, 2016

History of Cardwell

Posted Tuesday, August 21, 2012, at 9:29 AM


Cardwell was situated about two miles from the St. Francis River, six miles north of the Arkansas and Missouri State line and on Buffalo Island. It was the boundary of the Paragould and Southeastern Railroad and its people believed it was destined to be the metropolis of the south end of the county.

Cardwell was laid out and surveyed by the Burtig Brothers, of Paragould, Arkansas, and named in honor of Mr. Frank Cardwell, cashier of the Bank of Paragould ; the first house was erected by Cox Bros, of Paragould and the second by J. R. Pool. The post- office was established February 16, 1895. Since that date the town had a steady and rapid growth. It's people showed their energy and thrift by their manner of chopping the great forest trees, sawing them into lumber and shaping them into neat and comfortable resident and business houses. The place which was once the forest home of the bear, deer, coon and turkey, became a thriving little railroad town of 150 inhabitants, having two general stores, owned respectively by Burtig Brothers and Lamb & Hale; they both carried a full line of fresh goods, and bought cotton and other produce. J. W. Wetherby, J. M. Gist and J. A. Southers, each carried a nice selection of fresh groceries. There were three restaurants and two saloons.

Hotel Cardwell was a large well-built house, that would be a credit to any town of 1,000 inhabitants. Three saw-mills, one cotton gin, and grist mill, a livery stable and two blacksmiths, did prosperous business at this new town. Daily mail was brought by the Paragould and Southeastern Railroad, which connected with the Cotton Belt Route at Paragould. The new road was completed from Paragould to Cardwell in February, 1895, and compared favorably with older roads in the South and West. The business of the road was quite heavy and increasing.

They had a first-class depot at Cardwell and were fairly well prepared to accommodate the general public. The train carrying passengers arrived from Paragould at 11 o'clock a. m. and left for Paragould at 1 o'clock p. m. A six months' school with fifty -three pupils enrolled under the supervision of Mr. Walter Cook, one of the most successful and best informed teachers in the county, alone speaks well for the enterprise of the people of Cardwell and vicinity. They had preaching once and twice each month and the M. E. C. S. bought a lot on which they expected soon to build a house of worship.

There were some good farms opened and fairly well improved around this new town, but there were thousands of acres of land that would produce anything that can be produced in this climate upon which there was scarcely a tree amiss. The timber was mostly large, plenty of it being from three to five feet in diameter, and in many cases worth more than is asked per acre for the land.

As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House. If you would like to discuss any issue, please call 573-751-3629. You can also email me at Kent.Hampton@house.mo.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.

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