OLD BETHEL

CHURCH AND CEMETERY

ESTABLISHED : 1880

PREPARED AND DONATED BY : RON WILLIAMS

THANK YOU !

TRANSCRIBED BY : TINA EASLEY

tina@grnco.net

OLD BETHEL METHODIST CHURCH AND CEMETERY

GREENE COUNTY , ARKANSAS

BY : DONALD COX

HISTORY IS CONSTANT . IT GOES ON ALL THE TIME . IT IS RECORDED IN MANY WAYS , BY WRITTEN OR PRINTED WORD , BY MEMORIES WHICH EVENTUALLY FADE AWAY . IT IS RECORDED IN THE FACE OF A PERSON , OR IN THE WHOLE FORM OF THE FACE OF A COMMUNITY ... AN TODAY IS THE RESULT OF READING AND ALSO CONVERING WITH PERSONS WITH DIRECT OR TRANSPLANTED MEMORIES.

THE HISTORY OF THIS COMMUNITY COULD BEGIN WITH THE STORY OF THE SEAS , THE GLACIER AGE , OR THE STORY OF THE WINDS THAT BROUGHT THE DUST FROM DESERTS AFAR . EITHER OF THOSE , ACCORDING TO SOME HISTORIANS, COULD HAVE HELPED CREATE WHAT IS NOW CROWLEY'S RIDGE , ON WHICH THIS COMMUNITY IS LOCATED.

THERE WAS , AND HAD TO BE , A BEGINNING. SO , LET'S BEGIN WITH THE INDIANS , SIMPLY BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE MY IMAGE OF OLD BETHEL BEGINS. SINCE I CONCUR IN THAT AN IMAGE OUGHT TO BE BASED ON FACTS , HERE ARE A FEW THINGS GLEANED FROM HISTORY ... HERE AND THERE.

1541-FORTY SPANIARDS (DESOTO'S SCOUTS) CROSSED THE "RIDGE", LATER NAMED CROWLEY'S RIDGE , LOOKING FOR GOLD AND TRADING , SPANISH TRINKETS TO THE DELAWARES FOR FOOD ITEMS.

1668 - FOUR FRENCHMEN CROSSED THE RIDGE NEAR WALCOTT AND TRADED FRENCH JEWELRY TO THE SHAWNEES FOR FURS , TOBACCO AND CLAY PIPES .

1804 - DANIEL BOONE AND FORMER GOVENOR BOGG OF MISSOURI VISTED THE OSAGES NEAR LORADO.

1820 - BENJAMIN AND SAMUEL CROWLEY , NATIVE KENTUCKIANS , MOVED TO THE RIDGE , LATER TO BE NAMED CROWLEY'S RIDGE , THE CROWLEYS HAD COME BY WAY OF OLD DAVIDSONVILLE IN LAWRENCE COUNTY WHERE THEY HAD LIVED FOR A SHORT TIME.

1824 - THREE HUNDRED EASTERN CHEROKEES CROSSED THE RIDGE AND CAMPED WITH LOCAL INDIANS.

1828 - A TREATY WAS MADE ; AND THE SHAWNEE , OSAGES , DELAWARES , AND CHEROKEES EXCEPT FOR A FEW WHO REMAINED FOR SOME FEW YEARS , WERE PUSHED WESTWARD TO OKLAHOMA RESERVATIONS .

EARLY FIELD NOTES SHOW THAT THERE WAS A DELAWARE INDIAN VILLIAGE ON THE SITE THAT WAS LATER TO BECOME GAINESVILLE. OTHER HISTORY AND LEGENDS TELL OF THE INDIAN TRIBES OF THE AREA AND ALL ARE BASIC TO MY IMAGE OF THIS COMMUNITY.

SO, THE INDIANS WERE A PART OF THE BEGINNING. THEY LIVED , ROAMED AND HUNTED IN GREENE COUNTY INCLUDING THIS AREA . THE SPANIARDS CAME FOR GOLD AND THE FRENCHMEN CAME FOR FURS . THEN CAME OUR FIRST PILGRIMS IN THE YEAR OF 1607 ON THE MAYFLOWER AND LANDED AT PLYMOUTH ROCK. THIS GROUP WAS FOLLOWED BY MANY OTHER GROUPS OF PILGRIMS , ALL SEEKING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

THE COLONISTS DECLARED THEIR INDEPENDENCE FROM ENGLAND ON JULY 4, 1776 , THEN IN 1789 A CONSTITUTION BINDING THE COLONIES INTO WHAT WAS THE UNITED STATES WAS ADOPTED . FROM THIS DATE FORWARD OUR CITIZENS BEGAN TO ADOPT LAWS TO CONTROL THE LAWLESS AND ADOPT OTHER GOVERMENTAL ACTIONS INTENDED TO HELP PLAN AND GOVERN OUR GROWTH . THESE ARE BUT A FEW FACTS; HERE ARE OTHERS;

1803 - THE UNITED STATES PURCHASED THE LOUISIANA TERRITORY.

1813 - "ARKANSAS" WAS ATTACHED TO MISSOURI AS ONE COUNTY.

1815 - LAWRENCE COUNTY WAS CREATED , EMBRACING GREENE AND OTHERS THAT WERE CREATED LATER.

1819 - ARKANSAS COUNTY WAS DETACHED FROM MISSOURI AND BECAME ARKANSAS TERRITORY.

1815 - LAWRENCE COUNTY WAS CREATED , EMBRACING GREENE AND OTHERS THAT WERE CREATED LATER.

1819 - ARKANSAS COUNTY WAS DETACHED FROM MISSOURI AND BECAME ARKANSAS TERRITORY .

1832 - CROWLEY WAS GRANTED A POSTOFFICE . IT WAS ESTABLISHED IN THE CROWLEYS HOME TO SERVE THE CROWLEY'S RIDGE AREA . THE NAME OF CROWLEY LATER CHANGED TO WALCOTT.

1833 - THE ARKANSAS TERRITORIAL LEGISLATIVE ENACTMENT CREATING GREEN (MISSPELLED) LATER NAMED IN HONOR OF NATHANIAL GREENE , GREENE COUNTY . THIS WAS APPROVED NOVEMBER 5 BY GOVERNOR JOHN POPE .

1834 - CROWLEY WAS DESIGNATED THE TEMPORARY SEAT OF JUSTICE FOR GREENE COUNTY .

1835 - FIRST "PERMANENT" OFFICIAL COUNTY SEAT OF GREENE COUNTY WAS ESTABLISHED AT PARIS , ABOUT FIVE MILES NORTHEAST OF GAINESVILLE , NEAR TO THE CENTER OF THE THEN EXISTING GREENE COUNTY .

1836 - ARKANSAS TERRITORY WAS ADMITTED TO THE UNION AS A STATE.

1840 - THE JUDICIAL SEAT OF GREENE COUNTY WAS MOVED FROM PARIS TO GAINESVILLE.

1850 THRU 1870 - FOUND CROWLEY'S RIDGE AND GREENE COUNTY GROWING IN POPULATION , AS FAMILIES MOVED HERE FROM VIRGINIA , KENTUCKY , TENNESSEE, MISSISSIPPI AND A FEW FROM ILLINOIS AND MISSOURI.

1873 - CLAYTON COUNTY , LATER OFFICIALLY RENAMED CLAY , WAS CREATED OUT OF TERRITORY TAKEN FROM GREENE AND RANDOLPH COUNTIES.

1882 - IS AN IMPORTANT HISTORICAL YEAR FOR OUR AREA ; THAT'S WHEN THE RAILROADS WERE BUILT THROUGH OUR COUNTY . FIRST THE ST. LOUIS IRON MOUNTAIN RAILWAY CO. NOW CALLED THE MISSOURI PACIFIC , BUILT A RAILROAD THROUGH GAINESVILLE AND ESTABLISHED A STATION CALLED PARMLEY ABOUT 8 MILES SOUTH OF GAINESVILLE.

1882 - THIS YEAR ALSO BROUGHT THE ST. LOUIS , ARKANSAS AND TEXAS RAILWAY CO., NOW CALLED THE COTTON BELT , THROUGH OUR COUNTY . IT CROSSED THE MISSOURI PACIFIC TRACKS ABOUT 1500 FEET SOUTH OF PARMLEY WHERE IT BUILT A STATION AND NAMED IT THE "CROSSING" A SINGLE NAME , PARAGOULD , WHICH WAS COINED FROM THE SURNAMES OF THE BUILDERS OF THE TWO RAILROADS J.W. PARAMORE AND JAY GOULD AND INCORPORATED THE NEW CITY ON MARCH 3RD , 1883 .

1884 - THE COUNTY SEAT OF GOVERMENT WAS REMOVED FROM GAINESVILLE TO PARAGOULD BY A COUNTY-WIDE VOTE OF 943 TO 737 IN AN ELECTION HELD ON THE FIRST MONDAY IN SEPTEMBER , 1884 .THE COUNTY COURT ORDERED ON OCTOBER 6TH , 1884 THAT THE SAFE AND RECORDS BE MOVED THE FOLLOWING WEEK.