Historical Tour of Arkadelphia
This tour will guide you through one of the oldest cities in Arkansas
during one of the richest eras this land has known
As the county seat of one of the state's three oldest counties,
Arkadelphia has contained a remarkable variety of architectural styles
and expressions of the vernacular. Many of them have been lost in recent
years to unthinking expansion and "progress." As we enter the Twentieth
Century's last decade, a sampling of the best remaining is presented for
- Barkman House - 406 North 10th Street
- Originally owned by J.E.M. Barkman, son of early Clark County
settler Jacob Barkman, this house was constructed by
Madison Griffin, who built Magnolia Manor as well. Its ornamentation is
known as "Steamboat" or "Carpenter's Gothic." The house was not
completely finished when the Civil War began, and local legend reports
that piles of lumber were taken from the front yard to build Confederate
fortifications. Now owned by Henderson State University, the Barkman
House is included in the National Register of Historic Places.
- Benjamin House - 410 Main Street
- Arkadelphia's first known brickmason and builder of the 1842 courthouse,
J.H. O'Baugh, built this combination business/residence for J. K.
Benjamin about 1849. The large front room, which extended to the
sidewalk, was removed about 1900 to leave only the residence portion.
This is the oldest brick building in the county and has been added to
the National Register of Historic Places. (no longer exists)
- Bozeman House - Highways 26 and 51
- This A-frame, one and one-half story Greek Revival dwelling was built in
the mid-1840s for early Clark County settler Michael Bozeman, who owned
the most successful large farming operation in pre-Civil War Clark
County. Built at a cost of $1,500, the home is one of the oldest
structures in the county. It was approved for inclusion in the National
Register of Historic Places in 1978.
- Cobb House - 307 North 6th Street
- Local lore attributed this raised cottage dwelling to Rev. J.E. Cobb, a
Methodist minister in the early 1860s. The style, reminiscent of New
England saltboxes, incorporated a full cellar which contained the
kitchen and dining area. The sill beams are hewn and dowelled; all
interior walls were originally plastered.
- Cargle House - 106 North 5th Street
- Constructed in 1898 by lumberman and merchant Stark Cargile out of
carefully-selected trees and lumber, this house features oak
appurtenances and an unusual double parlor with tiled fireplaces. During
a renovation in the 1970s, steel siding was installed over the original
- County Courthouse - Courthouse Square
- Designed by one of Arkansas' best-known architects, Charles Thompson,
this structure was erected in 1899 on the same site as the county's
previous courthouse. The Victorian styling was enhanced by a tower clock
which has defied numerous attempts to make it function. The Courthouse
is listed in the National Register.
- County Library - 609 Caddo Street
- This structure, among the oldest library buildings in Arkansas, is
representative of early efforts by women to establish libraries in the
state. Designed by architect Charles Thompson of Little Rock, the
building was constructed by James Pullen and financed by the Women's
Library Association. An oversized portico with Ionic columns marks the
one-story brick structure's facade. Completed in 1903, this excellent
example of early Twentieth Century institutional architecture in
Arkansas was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
- Flanagin Law Office - 320 Clay
- Completed prior to the Civil War, this stuccoed brick building has
served as an office for many Clark County attorneys. Early Arkadelphia
bricklayer J.H. O'Baugh built the structure for James Witherspoon. In
addition to Harris Flanagin, Confederate Governor of Arkansas, other
owners of note have been Duncan Flanagin, J.H. Crawford and Ernest
Still. The law offices of B.W. Sanders and Randy L. Hill currently
occupy the building, which is listed in the National Register of
- Habicht House - 8th and Pine
- Built about 1869 at the direction of a Northerner, Capt. Habicht, this
frame dwelling was modeled after a Natchez, MS mansion. A cupola served
by an interior staircase originally adorned the roof, but was removed
during one of several renovations. M.M. Cohn owned the house during his
years here. When he moved to Little Rock to found his merchandising
empire, he sold it to Arkadelphia's first real estate agent and a
founder of the Chamber of Commerce, A.M. Crow. The house is listed in
the National Register.
- Magnolia Manor - Highways 26 and 51
- Built for John B. McDaniel several years after his arrival from South
Carolina, this early colonial house was constructed between 1854 and
1857 by Madison Griffin, a master bricklayer, designer, and builder.
While the house was under construction, McDaniel made a trip to New
Orleans and returned with two seedling magnolia trees, which were
planted near the main entrance. One survived, providing the home
with its name. Magnolia Manor is owned and maintained by The Ross
Foundation and was listed in the National Register of Historic
Places in 1972.
- Strong House - Highways 7S and 8E
- Built about 1842 by early settler Nathan Strong, this two-story
structure with its long front porch was his original home-place. Near
the hill which the house tops is a year-'round spring which furnished
water for the house and the plantation offices, stables, storehouses,
flower and vegetable gardens that surrounded it.
- Turner House - 1052 Clinton
- Built about 1840, this house was probably constructed on another site
and moved to its present location about thirty years later. During an
early remodeling, J. C. Turner discovered an 1836 newspaper behind the
- Ross House - 210 North 5th
- Originally built circa 1905 by a Ouachita Baptist University professor,
this house has served as a dwelling and a kindergarten. Renovations have
enlarged the original one-story front porch and enclosed one at the back.