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Fendley is a community in Clark County located about three miles east of Alpine (Clark County).
Early settlers in Clark County visited the Fendley area due to the presence of a chalybeate spring nearby. Visitors used the waters to bathe, claiming that the iron-enriched water helped treat ailments. The name of the community comes from the Fendley family that settled in the area. Elisha and Martha Fendley arrived in the area in the late 1870s and were accompanied by their son Thomas and daughter-in-law Mary. The younger Fendleys had two children by 1880, and both families farmed.
The Fendley Post Office opened in 1901. Thomas Fendley, the son of early settler Thomas, served as the first postmaster. The post office at nearby Lenox (Clark County) was consolidated with the Fendley office in 1936. The Fendley office closed in 1939, and its service was combined with Amity (Clark County). Fendley also appeared in a regular column in the Southern Standard, a newspaper that served western Clark County.
The Arkadelphia Telephone Company worked to connect the community with Little Rock (Pulaski County), installing lines to Fendley in 1902. The South Central Arkansas Electric Cooperative connected Fendley and nearby Alpine to electric power in 1942.
A school operated at Fendley in the early twentieth century. The exact details of the school are unavailable, but it served only white students, and a school for African Americans was not available in the area. The school operated only during the months of July and August.
Never a large community, Fendley looks much as it did when the area was first settled. In the twenty-first century, the community consists of a plant nursery, a cemetery, and several homes. The Loy Kirksey House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 3, 1992, is located in Fendley.
For additional information:Richter, Wendy, et al. Clark County Arkansas: Past and Present. Arkadelphia, AR: Clark County Historical Association, 1992.
David Sesser Henderson State University
Last Updated 10/18/2016
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