ARKANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY, Volume 17 (Spring 1958), p. 68

TULIP IN HER GLORY

BY HERSCHEL KENNON SMITH, JR.

Nashville, Tennessee

Most Arkansans have long forgotten or have never known the glory of antebellum Tulip, once called 'the "Athens of Arkansas." It is the purpose of this article to record some interesting events of its history.

Tulip is situated in Dallas county, its chief enterprise being that of farming. After Arkansas became a state in the Union (1836) this area was the center of much settlement. About 1841, Tyre (Tarry) Brown from Tennessee, settled and built his cabin on the site. A short time later Moses Overton built a store on Tulip Creek, three miles west of present-day Tulip. It was here that the mail was left and settlers for many miles around came to get their mail.

Tulip was not a village, but rather the name of a mail-stop. The name had been chosen for the settlement because of the beautiful Tulip trees that abounded there. The scene was soon to change for in the summer of 1843, Colonel Maurice Smith, of Fayette County, Tennessee, had sent an overseer and sufficient slaves to the site of Tulip to make a corn crop, for the Colonel was planning to bring his family to the settlement. In October Colonel Smith, his son-in-law and daughter, Dr. W. B. Langley and Cornelia (Smith) Langley, their overseers and slaves started from Tennessee for Dallas county. It was a hard journey to make across the Mississippi River, through the Saint Francis bottoms, while it rained and snowed upon the little caravan of wagons as they made their way westward.

After arriving in Tulip Colonel Smith had his slaves build a comfortable dwelling, and he returned to Tennessee before Christmas. The following year, 1844, was spent in disposing of his lands and preparing his family for the movement to Arkansas. In October of that year they started out and got to Tulip before harsh winter came. People generally traveled in the spring and fall seasons of the year to escape the fatigue that they would stuffer from the hot summer and the bitterness of winter. This is what the Smiths did.

 

 

 

 

 

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