Return to First Page---ARKANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY, Volume XLVIII, Summer 1989 p. 139

Supposedly, a scrap of paper with Antoine written on it was found in his pocket (2). There is no documentary support for this folk tale. Doubtless the town took its name from the stream which probably was named by the same French hunters in the late eighteenth century who named the Little Missouri River into which the Antoine flows.

In the early 1800s there was a small French settlement at what is now known as the East Place on the Antoine a few miles downstream from the town site. The settlers worshipped at the Church of St. Francis Xavier that stood on the site of the present First Baptist Church of Antoine (3). During the late 1700s a gold mine on the Little Missouri was reported to the Spanish government. Spanish officials were advised not to make its location known. (4). No commercial deposit of precious metal ever has been found in the Little Missouri basin. However, iron pyrites crystals ("fool's gold") occur in the bed of Wolf Creek, a tributary of the Antoine, and this ore might have been mistaken by colonial hunters for gold.

ARKANSAS.---"Father Marquette, who visited this region in 1673, spelled the word Akansea on his map, but in the text it is spelled Akamsea and Akansea. In both instances it is the name of a village," Dr. Branner wrote. Then he gave variations of the spelling of the name in he journals of later French visitors to the tribe living near the mouths the Arkansas and White rivers. Dr. Branner was not aware that the name was of Algonquian origin and not the name that the tribe called itself. These Indians were one of several Dhegiha Siouan tribes, and in heir own language they were known as the Ugaxpa. A young man of the Illinois tribe, which belonged to the Algonquian linguistic stock, served as interpreter for the Jesuit priest (5). Consequently, this Indian used the Algonquian term to identify the Ugaxpa. It means "South Wind" and was derived from the root Ak-a-kon-ce or Ak-a-kan-ze (6).
2. Interview with Olen Hendrix, Antoine, Arkansas, April 6, 1951.
3. Interview with Elbert Riley, Alexander, Arkansas, September 8, 1987.
4. Francisco Bouligny to Bernardo de Galvez, August 4, 1778, Archivo General de Indias, Seville, Papeles
Procedentes de Cuba, Legajo 2358.
5. Jacques Marquette, Voyages of Marquette in the Jesuit Relations, 59, With French and English
Text, Great Americana, Readex Microprint, 1966, p. 155.
6. Muriel H. Wright, A Guide to the Indian Tribes of Oklahoma (Norman, 1951), 219.








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