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The article mentions the fact that the zinc ores were found to be in scattered pockets and contained little or no silver, making them uneconomical to mine. Also intimated is the fact that the railroad didn't offer any exceptional access to the area over and above the resources of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Colorado deposits.
I would posit that the leading reason for the discontinuation of the mining effort in the northern Arkansas areas was due to the ending of World War I and the concomitant plunge in base metals prices, especially of zinc.
The discontent from the Harrison Railroad Riots that followed the collapse of the Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad closure pitted neighbor against neighbor, labor unions against outsiders, and culminated in fostering distrust in northern capitalists. The Ku Klux Klan found its way into north Arkansas from farther down south and east as a backlash to the hostility, resulting in the Harrison Railroad Riot in 1923: http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=3700

 


Thomas Christenbury
Memphis, TN