A new resource for pre-World War II news articles pertaining to Walnut Ridge and Hoxie is available online, and Edward Harthorn shared some excerpts from some of the notable articles found on the new Walnut Ridge and Hoxie Online Archive website.
“Walnut Ridge: A Hustling City With One Thousand Inhabitants.” Arkansas Gazette, Sept. 5, 1897, page 12.
“Walnut Ridge is in the heart of a magnificent bottom country, and the land surrounding it on all sides is exceedingly fertile, more especially that portion lying to the westward between the Iron Mountain railroad and Black river. The greater part of this land is put in cotton, with some corn, but there are some notable instances of success with other crops, notably timothy.
“... There are four lunch rooms, the railway eating house, two cotton gins, three liquor houses, livery stables, etc. The courthouse for the eastern district of Lawrence County is located here. The city is connected with all the outlying towns by telephone lines.”
“Tight-Rope Walker’s Mishap,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, March 10, 1895, page 3.
“Billie Delaporte, an open-air tight-rope walker, has been here (Walnut Ridge) two days with his wire stretched across the street. Today as he walked out on the rope to give an exhibition the fastening at one end gave way, and he shot down to the ground, 35 feet below, alighting on his feet. His left leg was broken below the knee, and the bone was crushed out through the flesh. The leg was amputated two hours afterward. His people live in New Orleans.”
“Prayer Promptly Answered: Remarkable Occurrence at an Arkansas Camp Meeting,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 5, 1894, page 6.
“This town (Walnut Ridge) is all excitement today over the terrible answer that was made to a prayer at a camp meeting near the town last night. The weather is warm, and the people have built an arbor in a grove and revival meetings are being held in it. Great interest has been manifested, and this fact has added to the zeal. Last night, as Rev. Robinson, a local preacher of strong lungs, was praying, he asked the Lord to bless them now with rain, saying:
“‘Lord, come down now and pour out a blessing of some nature upon us; one of such a nature as we can remember; one that we can feel certain that it is from you, and come now.’ Here the prayer was stopped, not because the ‘Amen’ was reached, but because a flash of lightning came down with the roar of ten or more cannon, shattering a huge tree near by, scattering its branches near the entire audience, knocking some senseless, wounding others and frightening all, most of the audience believing that the end of the world had come.”
“Frogs, Mushrooms Aid Walnut Ridge Farmers,” Blytheville Courier News, April 14, 1931, page 1.
“Farmers here have found another means to make money since the drouth [drought] ruined their crops. They are selling bullfrogs to eastern markets and recently shipped 200 crates. Several weeks ago they discovered large patches of mushrooms near here and have built up a flourishing business with them.”
“Quarantine Against Small-Pox,” Chanute Daily Tribune, Kansas, March 11, 1895, page 1.
“Quarantine rules are being enforced here (Hoxie). The traveling public is requested to procure genuine health certificates. Tramps and bums are prohibited from entering the town under any circumstances.”
These and many more stories can be read at www.whoa-archive.org.