PRAIRIE GROVE
U S Highway 62

Prairie Grove AR 72753


Prairie Grove is best known for the large Civil War battle fought there on December 7,1862. Some 2,700 casualties were suffered in what was the last major Civil War engagement in northwest Arkansas. A beautiful State Park protects what is called one of America's most intact Civil War battlefields.

Settlement by white people began around 1829 by a hunter named Thomas Wagnon. Wagnon soon sold his land to Reverend Andrew "Uncle Buck" Buchanan who built the first school and church there.

A post office named Sweet Home was opened there in 1840 and closed in 1846. In 1857 a second post office was opened named Ada after postmaster Archibald Borden's daughter. This post office building was riddled by bullets during the battle and was moved after the war.

Prairie Grove was officially incorporated in 1888 after a stepson of Andrew Buchanan, James Preston Neal, took ownership of Buchanan's property in 1871 and began organizing the town Buchanan had started.

As was common in the towns of Washington County, a mill for grinding of grains grown in the area was established in 1877 operated by steam. The town began to grow steadily and by 1889 had a population of around 500. Growth continued with the town boasting four general stores, hotel, two newspapers, several physicians, a telephone company and in 1901 a train depot was started. The canning industry provided steady employment during Depression years with two factories operating during World War II. Along with the rest of the area, Prairie Grove has had considerable growth since that war.

Bibliography:
Arkansas State Parks Guide for 2008
Encyclopedia of Arkansas - Prairie Grove by Susan Parks-Spencer



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