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The Pike County Archives and History Society (PCAHS), located in Murfreesboro (Pike County) in southwestern Arkansas, houses research materials such as census records, manuscripts, maps, and photos.
The PCAHS was established in 1986, developing out of the earlier Heritage Genealogy Club. According to its mission statement, the PCAHS “is dedicated to collecting and preserving the unique history of Arkansas and Pike County.” The first board of directors consisted of Marion W. (Dewayne) Gray, Linda Wilson, Jan McGalliard, and Bobbie Hendrix. Meetings were held at the library and municipal building (where archival materials were also stored) until the current location was secured in 2002. The archives house more than 500 Pike County record books dating from 1895, including early tax records, deed books, and other items for research purposes, including a ball and chain from the local jail and surveying tools from early settlement of the area. The PCAHS website provides census information, cemetery transcriptions, and photos. As of 2013, the PCAHS has a membership of 190 dues-paying members.
The PCAHS publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Gems of Pike County. Additionally, the PCAHS has published several books, compiled through committee work, including A Look at the Past: A Pike County History in Pictures (1995), Another Look at the Past: A Pike County History in Pictures (2010), and A Salute to Pike County Military Men and Women (2012). Bound copies of the Pike County Census of 1920 and 1930 are also available.
The PCAHS has received grants for computers, a printer, and a microfilm printer. In 2013, in conjunction with the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission Historical Marker Program, the PCAHS placed a marker on the town square in honor of the Royston Factory Mill and Henry Merrell. The Royston Factory Mill, Arkansas’s first textile factory, was built by Henry Merrell in 1856. Merrell, a native of New York, moved to Murfreesboro in 1856 to build the industrial complex. The mill was requisitioned to make cloth for soldiers during the Civil War. The funds for the marker were provided by grants from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, the Arkansas Humanities Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
For additional information:Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Marker Program: Henry Merrell/Royston Factory Mill. http://www.arkansascivilwar150.com/historical-markers/detail.aspx?id=73 (accessed October 15, 2013).
Pike County Archives and History Society. http://www.pcahs.com/ (accessed September 6, 2013).
Lacy S. WolfeOuachita Baptist University
Last Updated 10/22/2013
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