No post office
The town of Durham was established as a station along the St Paul Branch
railroad. But the post office was established in 1873 before the railroad
and closed in 1967. No question the town prospered with the railroad but
the community existed before, and after, the railroad.
According to Ms.Bull, the earliest recorded settlers in the area were
Richard and John Robbins. They purchased U S land grants in the 1830's
and were recorded in the 1830 Census. Other members of the Robbins family
bought land in and around what is now the town of Durham. Many of the
Robbins' family moved to Texas around 1849. By 1880's most of the property
in Durham was owned by John S. White with a portion owned by W.A.McKenzie.
Mrs.Brotherton also lists a Clark family as one of the early settlers
and a Mary Clark married William McKenzie.
In the Polk directory for 1892-93 the population was shown as 60.
Businesses included a steam grist and saw mill owned by J.S.Moore, two
general stores owned by J.J.Vanhoose and Williams and Bassett,
a blacksmith shop, a drug
store owned by Dr.G.W.Carter (of the Carter family at Carter's Store
community just over 3 miles to the southwest of Durham), J.S.Thompson
physician and a railroad station. The 1900 Business Directory shows the
population at Durham remaining at 60. Dr.G.W.Carter still had a drug
store, no mill was listed, VanHoose and Son had a general store as did
W.S.Bassett, M.A.White had a hotel and T.Goble was blacksmith.
The railroad was operated between Fayetteville and St.Paul from 1887
and in 1897 was extended to Pettigrew in Madison County. The primary
purpose for the railroad was to haul out crossties cut from the white
oak forests of the area. One of the places where these crossties were
cut and stored for shipment was at Durham. Cattle were shipped and
passenger service was also provided by the train. The last train ran
on this line in 1937.
Washington County Postoffices and Postmasters 1829-1976 by
Deane Carter, published 1976 by Washington Co Historical Society
R.L.Polk's Arkansas Gazetteer and Business Directory 1892-1893:Washington
County Towns Flashback Fall 2007
A Business Directory of 1900 Flashback February 1952
The History of Durham, Arkansas (Southeast Washington County) by
Jane Harris Bull, 2004
Railroads of Northwest Arkansas by Robert G. Winn
The Boston Mountains Lost in the Ozarks by Velda Brotherton
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Click here for a map to Durham