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Vaden is a community located in the southeastern corner of Clark County.
Located near the Ouachita River, the community was established by several families in the late nineteenth century. Woodson Vaden, a former resident of North Carolina, purchased eighty acres in the area in 1849 and an additional 160 acres in 1861. The community that grew in the area adopted his name and eventually consisted of several homes, churches, a school, and a store. Families in the area farmed, raised cattle, and worked in the timber industry.
The Vaden Post Office opened in 1888. When it closed in 1905, mail service was given to the nearby settlement of Hebron (Clark County). The post office was reestablished in 1908, but it closed for good in 1935; mail was routed through Arkadelphia (Clark County).
Timber played an important role in the community. The nearby Sparkman Lumber Company, located across the Ouachita in Dallas County, constructed a short-line railroad in the community to carry logs. Once the timber reached the river, an overhead cable system carried the logs across the stream.
Locals who wished to cross the river utilized Nix’s Ferry, named after the family that operated it. The ferry was replaced by a bridge in 1948.
Vaden had two segregated schools to serve the children of the community. The school district consolidated with the Gurdon (Clark County) district in 1949.
Never heavily populated, the Vaden area today consists of a few homes and churches.
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 10/9/2017
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