The Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives recently received records donated by the City of Blevins in Hempstead County.
“These records are a fascinating look into what life was like in rural, historical Blevins,” said Melissa Nesbitt, archival manager at SARA. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to preserve these records for future generations and to make them accessible to the public.”
The records date from 1914, when the city was incorporated, through the 1990s. Documents include city council meeting minutes, city ordinances, town incorporation and correspondence of account holders with the Bank of Blevins. Researchers may be most interested in the Mayor’s Docket from the 1910s. Those records list individuals’ offenses, including drunkenness, fighting, carrying a pistol, gambling and disturbing the peace.
Blevins is a second-class city that is often overlooked in historical studies. The settlement, which was named after a landowner in the area, was omitted from reports during the Civil War and was not incorporated until 1914. In the 1890s, the settlement was established as a stopping spot on the Prescott and Northwest Railroad. The settlement received its first post office in 1901.
The roads in northern Hempstead County, including through Blevins, were improved by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. Vehicle traffic began to replace railroad traffic, and by 1945, passenger trains were discontinued. All train services stopped by 1980, and the track was removed in 1994.
Although the city’s population has fluctuated between around 200 to 370, Blevins had about 315 residents as of the 2010 U.S. Census.
For more information about Blevins or Hempstead County history, contact SARA at 870-983-2633 or visit the branch at 201 Highway 195 in Washington, Arkansas. Queries may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.