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Red Springs is a community in southeastern Clark County. It is located about five miles east of Gurdon (Clark County). An early name of the community was Bethel Springs.
The earliest landowners in the area were William Gwin and Samuel Davis, who obtained 1,040 acres on April 8, 1846. The two were business partners who owned thousands of acres in Clark and Hempstead counties. Jacob Wingfield Jr. obtained 320 acres in the area in 1859. He owned land in several other locations across Clark County but lived in the Red Springs community with his wife Mary, their seven children, and two slaves in 1860.
Other families moved to the community over the next several decades. All were small-scale farmers. Red Springs Missionary Baptist Church was organized in 1894, and the first building was constructed the next year. The church continues to operate today in another building constructed in the 1920s. The Red Springs Assembly of God operated in the community from 1939 to the mid-1970s.
The Red Springs School was constructed at an unknown date before 1920. A chapter of the Woodmen of the World met on the second floor of the building in the 1920s. An open spring supplied the building with fresh water that was reddish brown in color, giving the community its current name. The school consolidated with the Gurdon district in 1946. The closure of the school led to a decrease in the population of the community. Red Springs never supported a store or a post office.
The community in the twenty-first century consists of several homes and Red Springs Missionary Baptist Church. Much of the surrounding countryside is used for farming and timber production.
For additional information:
Richter, Wendy, et al. Clark County Arkansas: Past and Present. Arkadelphia, AR: Clark County Historical Association, 1992.
Henderson State University
Last Updated 11/14/2017
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