Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
East Hamilton Avenue Historic District
East Hamilton Avenue Historic District

EAST HAMILTON AVENUE HISTORIC DISTRICT, WYNNE, CROSS COUNTY

SUMMARY

The East Hamilton Avenue Historic District is being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places with local significance under Criterion C for its collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth century architecture, including excellent examples of the Queen Anne, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, English Revival, and Spanish Revival styles. The district also contains some good examples of the Ranch style, which are representative of the neighborhood’s growth to the east during the mid-twentieth century. The East Hamilton Avenue Historic District contains the properties along East Hamilton Avenue between North Falls Boulevard and North Killough Road, as well as the residences along Eldridge Court, a small oval-shaped addition just to the north of East Hamilton Avenue. Of the sixty-three properties included in the district boundary, 48 (or 76.2%) contribute to the historic significance of the district, 14 (or 22.2%) are non-contributing, and one property is individually listed on the National Register (making up 1.6% of the total).

ELABORATION

History of Wynne and Cross County

The City of Wynne developed around the intersection of the Helena and Memphis branches of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad, which provided transportation to markets in all four directions.  Wynne grew rapidly around the turn of the twentieth century as retail and wholesale commercial buildings were constructed close to the railroad intersection.  Wynne grew so quickly that residents voted in 1903 to move the county seat of Cross County from Vanndale to Wynne, where it remains today.

Cross County was one of two counties created by Arkansas’s Confederate Legislature in November 1862.[1]  Cross County is located in northeast Arkansas and was formed from parts of St. Francis, Poinsett, and Crittenden counties.  Crowley’s Ridge runs through the middle of Cross County, dividing it into three distinct geographic regions.  In Cross County, Crowley’s Ridge rises about 75 to 100 feet above the surrounding Mississippi Alluvial Plain.  The area east of Crowley’s Ridge is drained by the St. Francis River, while the area west of the ridge is drained by the L’Anguille River.Agriculture dominates the county economy, with the lowland soil ideal for growing cotton, soybeans, rice, wheat, milo, and corn.[2]

Cross County was named after Colonel David C. Cross, who led the Fifth Arkansas Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.  Col. Cross had a home in southern Poinsett County, which is now northern Cross County.  He returned home from the war in 1862 to lobby for the creation of a new county.  Cross and his allies slipped past enemy Union troops and went to Little Rock, where they persuaded the legislature to establish Cross County.[3]  Wittsburg was designated the temporary county seat of Cross County, but it was not recognized as such because Union troops occupied the area.  Pineville was chosen as the next county seat in 1863, and the first county clerk, Dr. Burley D. McClaren, lived there, so his house was used to conduct county business.  In the spring of 1865, county commissioners selected Cleburne as the next county seat.  Cleburne was named after Col. Cross’s fallen commander, General Patrick R. Cleburne of Helena. Col. Cross donated land in the center of the town for the construction of a courthouse, and his home in Cleburne was used as the temporary courthouse (because Col. Cross had moved to Memphis).[4]

The county seat was moved again in 1868 to Wittsburg, a thriving town on the banks of the St. Francis River in eastern Cross County.  However, when the north-south Helena branch of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad was completed through the center of Cross County in 1882, Wittsburg declined as the railroad replaced the steamboat as the major form of transportation.  Many people relocated to Vanndale, a community located on the railroad.  Vanndale was named after a local merchant, John M. Vann.  In 1884, the county seat was moved to Vanndale, and a courthouse was erected there in 1888.  Meanwhile, it appeared as if the east-west Memphis branch of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad would come through Wittsburg, possibly providing another shot of life for their town; however, a natural gap in Crowley’s Ridge to the north of Wittsburg proved the most economical route for the railroad.  The Memphis branch would eventually make its way through the small community of Wynne in 1886.[5]

Wynne can actually trace its history back to 1882 when the Helena branch of the railroad was completed.  A train derailed almost due west of then-county seat Wittsburg, leaving behind a boxcar.  The boxcar was turned upright, and the site was called “Wynne Station” in honor of Civil War veteran and prominent Forrest City banker Captain Jesse Watkins Wynne.  However, the small community experienced rapid growth after 1886, when the Memphis branch of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad crossed the Helena branch of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad at Wynne.Wynne was incorporated on May 28, 1888, and the county seat was moved in 1903 about six miles south from Vanndale to Wynne, where it remains today.[6]

Wynne had a population of about 400 people when it was incorporated in 1888; however, by 1890, the population had more than doubled to 1,000.  The Goodspeed Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Eastern Arkansas ranked it “among the first of Eastern Arkansas towns” in “commercial importance” in 1890.[7]  As early as 1897, commercial buildings lined Front Street, which runs to the east of, and parallel to, the north-south railroad tracks.  The town was situated primarily to the southeast of the railroad intersection in the early years.  Wynne was home to large industries like the Kennedy-Murelock Stave Company and the Wynne Sawmill Company in addition to a host of commercial enterprises concentrated along Front Street between Levesque and Commercial Avenue.  However, a fire in September 1897 destroyed over two-thirds of the downtown businesses, amounting to over $200,000 in damages.  The area was quickly rebuilt with more substantial structures, and the town continued to grow.[8]

A promotional brochure published in 1904 by the owner of the Wynne Telephone Exchange, T. A. Bedford, Jr., listed the businesses in Wynne:  “one large tight-barrel stave factory; one furniture factory; one large spoke factory; one large hoop factory; two saw mills; one planing mill; one Blacksmith shop; two lumber dealers…; one wholesale hardwood lumber company; one bottling factory; three cotton gins…; two brick hotels, and three other hotels; one wholesale grocery store; forty-five retail business houses…[and] two newspapers.”[9]  Wynne also had its own Electric Light and Water Plant as early as 1904 on the same site as the current Wynne Municipal Waterworks.  According to Bedford, it was “probably the best equipped in the State” and “lights and water are probably cheaper here than anywhere else in the State, being sold to its subscribers at cost.”[10]

Cross County (and much of the Arkansas Delta, for that matter) was once covered by vast forests of hardwood timber.  Sawmills, stave mills, and associated timber industries operated near the junction of the rail lines at Wynne in order to easily ship their goods.  However, “cut out and get out” practices quickly depleted the Delta forests, clearing much of the land for farming.[11]  In addition to timberlands, much of the county was situated on fertile soil ideal for growing a variety of crops.  The lowlands were predominantly planted in cotton in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and as many as three cotton gins were located in the city limits of Wynne from 1903 to 1908.  Two gins continued to operate inside the city limits until at least 1951, and Wynne was also home to a large cotton compress and warehouse during those years.[12]

After reaching their lowest post-Civil War levels in 1899, cotton prices rebounded due to World War I and the increased demand for food and fiber.  These artificially high prices enticed many people to invest in cotton farming operations, but by the 1920s, the market was flooded and prices were falling.  Farmers lost their land and were forced to return to sharecropping.  The Flood of 1927 further devastated Arkansas’s Delta farmers, and the onset of the Great Depression further impacted agriculture in the state.  In response to the declining cotton market and the Great Depression, the federal government enacted the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 in order to establish acreage controls on certain surplus crops in hopes of increasing market prices.  Acreage controls on cotton naturally reduced the amount of cotton ginned at local gins, putting a strain on gin operators.  Because farmers were forced to reduce their cotton acreage, they turned to rice and soybeans, foreshadowing a change in growing preferences that would signal the end of an era when cotton was king.  In addition, the severe drought of 1930-31 caused many of Arkansas’s hill farmers to migrate to the Delta in search of work on large farming operations.  Some of these newcomers farmed land that traditional Delta farmers deemed undesirable, but they made a profit by planting rice and soybeans, which grew in marginal-quality soil.  Beginning in the 1940s, rice and soybeans returned a higher price per acre than cotton, making them the mainstay crop on most Delta farms.  The federal government’s Farm Bill of 1956 provided subsidies to farmers reducing their cotton acreage, further contributing to the increase in rice and soybean production.[13]

Crowley’s Ridge was formed during the most recent glacial advance when the Mississippi River ran west of its current course, and the Ohio River ran along the current path of the Mississippi.  These two bodies of water carved out a ridge over 150 miles long, stretching from Missouri to Helena-West Helena.  The rivers deposited sand and gravel along the top of the ridge, and the lower portion of the ridge is covered in loess, which was blown up from the Mississippi Alluvial Plain 20,000 to 30,000 years ago.[14]  The sandy soil on Crowley’s Ridge, along with the ridge’s slightly higher elevation, made it ideal for growing a variety of fruits, particularly peaches.[15]  Because Wynne is located near the western slope of Crowley’s Ridge, the town became a major shipping hub for area fruit growers.

The development of commerce in Wynne was, and continues to be, a reflection of the area’s agricultural economy.  For instance, there were two lumber companies in Wynne in 1951, but the stave mills, hoop factories, and other timber-related industries were gone due to the depletion of the hardwood forests.[16]  As stated previously, two cotton gins operated in Wynne as late as 1951, but they closed by the late 1950s due to a combination of factors resulting in the decline of cotton as a cash crop.  Gibbs-Harris Rice Dryer, Inc., the first rice dryer in Wynne, was constructed between 1945 and 1951, indicating a shift to rice farming.[17]

The Missouri Pacific Railroad stopped passenger service through Wynne in 1965, signaling the end of the railroad era and the final push toward the automobile age.  The 1910 Missouri Pacific Passenger Depot was demolished in 1993.  Although Wynne and Cross County still rely heavily on agriculture, a variety of modern industries have established locations in Wynne, including Addison Shoe Company, Carwell Elevator Company, Inc., Mueller Industries (manufacturers of copper and plastic tubing), McKnight Milling Company, Wynne Exhaust Distributors, and Fulbright & McNeill Incorporation (manufacturers of commercial and industrial machinery).  Wynne’s commercial area is now situated along major highways, serving as an indicator of our dependence on automobiles to transport people and freight.[18]

Early Residential Development and East Hamilton Avenue

Wynne experienced rapid population growth during the early twentieth century due to the presence of commercial and agricultural enterprises and the railroad. Wynne’s population increased from 565 in 1890 to 2,933 in 1920.[19]  During this period of rapid population growth, new residential areas were platted throughout Wynne.  Initially, residential development was located near the intersection of the railroad tracks just beyond the city’s commercial area. Hamilton Avenue runs east-west one block north of the railroad tracks.  The western end of Hamilton Avenue is very close to the downtown area, and thus developed earlier than the eastern end of the street, which did not appear on a Sanborn map until 1951.  In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a few homes were constructed on the eastern end of Hamilton Avenue, but they would have been on the eastern edge of town at that time.  For instance, the high-style homes of Raphael Block, Edward Dale Robertson, and Oliver Newton Killough were some of the only residences on East Hamilton Avenue in the early twentieth century.

Raphael Block, a successful Cross County merchant, operated general mercantile stores in Wittsburg, Vanndale, and Wynne. He platted numerous residential additions in downtown Wynne. However, Block chose to construct his family home on the eastern end of Hamilton Avenue, slightly removed from the town’s commercial area. Built in the early twentieth century, this two-story, Classical Revival-style home featured a monumental entrance with a triangular pediment supported by four Ionic columns. It was located at 704 East Hamilton (the northeast corner of E. Hamilton Avenue and N. Falls Boulevard). Unfortunately, the home was demolished in 1971.

The Giboney-Robertson-Stewart House at 734 East Hamilton Avenue (NR-listed 6/5/1998) was built about 1895 and is the best example of a two-story Queen Anne-style house in Wynne. The home’s second owner, Edward Dale Robertson, owned a substantial amount of land around East Hamilton Avenue. He and Oliver Newton Killough divided their landholdings and platted several additions around Hamilton Avenue in the early twentieth century.

Oliver Newton Killough built a large Classical Revival-style home on a hill northeast of the intersection of East Hamilton Avenue and North Killough Road in the early twentieth century. Killough was a prominent attorney in Wynne. His home is no longer extant, but it would have been beyond the easternmost limits of the East Hamilton Avenue Historic District.

After dividing their landholdings, Edward Dale Robertson platted additions around his home on the western end of East Hamilton Avenue, and Oliver Newton Killough platted additions near his home on the eastern end of East Hamilton Avenue. By the 1930s, there were many homes built along East Hamilton Avenue, which was, and still is, considered to be one of the best neighborhoods in Wynne. Wallace Eldridge, Sr., was employed by Cross County Bank and platted the Eldridge Place Addition, which includes the twelve lots facing Eldridge Court. Eldridge Court is an oval-shaped street just to the north of East Hamilton Avenue. A large median with trees is located in the center of the oval. When the Eldridge Place Addition was platted, the City of Wynne did not maintain the neighborhood streets or the median area. Sometime between 1908 and 1912, Eldridge Court was paved by James and Arthur Robertson, who started a paving company in order to pay for their college tuition. In the late 1940s, local residents Jack Gardner and Jere Kernodle mowed the Eldridge Court median for 35 cents.[20]

Today the neighborhood on the eastern end of Hamilton Avenue (east of North Falls Boulevard) retains the best historic integrity in Wynne. Most of the residences in the district boundary were constructed from the 1920s to the 1940s and represent a variety of Period Revival styles popular during the first half of the twentieth century. Residences built in the late 1940s and 1950s reflect the move toward mid-century Modernism and the emergence of the Ranch style.

A detailed description of each property in the district boundary is below. This information was gathered from interviews with Bridget Hart, Joe Dooley, and Martha Robertson Carvill; architectural survey forms completed by Arkansas State University student Leslie Hester; and A Virtual Tour through History in Downtown Wynne, Arkansas by Bridget Hart. The properties are discussed in the order listed on the district site map.

Detailed Property Descriptions

734 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Giboney-Robertson-Stewart House was built about 1895 by W. A. and Ann Giboney on part of the original parcel of land deeded to the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad Company for the construction of its east-west Memphis (or Bald Knob) branch through Wynne in 1886. About 1902 the house was purchased by Edward Dale Robertson and his wife, Ethel Beard Robertson. Humphrey Robertson, one of the Robertson’s eight children, died in 1900 as an infant. Ethel Robertson could not bear to remain in the house where the child died, so the family moved to 734 E. Hamilton Avenue. Edward Dale Robertson became the first chancery judge in what is now the Fifth Chancery District in Eastern Arkansas. His sons, James, Arthur, and Hugh, were World War I pilots. James Robertson later became a highly respected lawyer in Wynne. In 1917 the house was purchased by Dr. T. J. Stewart, a pioneering doctor in Wynne who helped establish the town as a center for medical services in the region. In the 1930s Dr. Stewart owned a drug store at the northeast corner of N. Front Street and Merriman Avenue in Wynne (the building was later home to Burnett Drugs). In the mid-to-late 1930s Dr. Stewart’s health declined, and he was bed-ridden. He would talk to the neighborhood children through his window when they played nearby. The house was restored in the late 1990s by Mary June Burnett and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 5, 1998. The Giboney-Robertson-Stewart House is the best example of a two-story Queen Anne-style residence in Wynne.

804 East Hamilton Avenue:  The J. C. Hilliard House was built in 1929 and is an excellent example of the Craftsman style with its one-story, wrap-around porch with square, brick porch supports, porte cochere, and widely overhanging eaves. John C. Hilliard acquired the property in 1917 from D. L. Small. John C. and Evelyn Hilliard lived here until at least 1952. Mr. Hilliard owned The Hub Men’s Wear and Bargain Basement stores at 107 E. Merriman Avenue in Wynne (this building was demolished in the late 1990s). Hilliard became a director of the Cross County Bank in 1941. The home was later purchased by Roland and Mary June Burnett. Roland Burnett operated Burnett Drugs at the northeast corner of N. Front Street and Merriman Avenue. Burnett Drugs closed in 1992.

814 East Hamilton Avenue:  The David Hamilton House was built about 1912. It was designed in the Colonial Revival style with a small front portico and a hipped roof with a low pitch. David Hamilton was a cashier at a local bank and cousin to Herman Block at 813 East Hamilton and David Block at 104 Eldridge Court. By the early 1930s Leland and Camille Harris purchased the house. Leland worked at the Wynne Wholesale Grocer Company, and Camille was a talented pianist.

824 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Moore-Stacy House, built about 1905, is a good example of the Colonial Revival style with its triangular pediment supported by fluted, Doric columns, multi-pane windows with shutters, and paneled front door with four-pane transom window. The home was originally owned by Ossaine and Nellie Moore. Later, their daughter, Florence Moore Stacy and her husband, Mack Stacy, lived here. Mr. and Mrs. Stacy worked for county government. Mrs. Stacy was a beloved Sunday School teacher at the Wynne Presbyterian Church. The street to the east of this house was named in her honor. Originally named North Maple Street, the street was named Florence Stacy Street sometime after 1951. Ernest Dooley and his wife, Mary Daniel Dooley, purchased the house in 1973. A small addition was built to the east of the house, and a landscape architect was hired to design the rear patio and garden. The house contains a stained glass window obtained from the Wynne Presbyterian Church after it burned in 1968.

103 Eldridge Court:  The Marvin Ogan House was built in 1923 and is an excellent example of the Craftsman style in the district. The two-story house features a one-story, wrap-around porch supported by massive, square porch supports, false half-timbering on the upper story façade, eight-over-one windows, a porte cochere, and widely overhanging eaves. Mr. Ogan was an insurance agent. In the 1940s Mrs. Elsie Urfer lived here and rented out the upstairs rooms to local teachers.

105 Eldridge Court:  This Craftsman-style house was built in 1923 by Homer Crawford. The Crawford family lived here until at least the 1940s. Mrs. Crawford was a seamstress. Homer Crawford grew up at 823 East Hamilton, and his parents were dry goods merchants in Wynne. After the Homer Crawford family moved out of this house, the home was purchased by Leon Wigginton, who used it as a rental property. The house features a prominent one-story porch with a front-gabled roof, triangular knee braces under the eaves, exposed rafter tails, and massive, square porch supports.

107 Eldridge Court:  The English Revival-style house at 107 Eldridge Court was built about 1924 by Homer Crawford. The one-story brick house features a side-gabled roof with clipped gable ends and a prominent front-facing gable with a steep pitch. A Mr. Horner lived here after the Crawford family.

109 Eldridge Court:  The Will Hinton House was built in 1923 and is one of two identical Sears & Roebuck pre-fabricated houses in the district boundary. The 1 ½-story, wood-frame house exhibits Dutch Colonial Revival characteristics like a side-gabled roof with a prominent shed dormer and a one-story front porch. Willie Hinton was a pharmacist and from the 1930s to the 1950s, he worked in the drug store built by his father, Cephus Fletcher Hinton, at 106 N. Front Street in Wynne. In later years, Clyde Burke and his wife, Frances, lived here. Mr. Burke was employed by the Missouri-Pacific Railroad Company.

111-113 Eldridge Court:  The Isadore and Lena Lehman House, built about 1931, features Craftsman-style porticos over its two front entrances. The rounded arch porticos are each supported by two triangular knee braces. Isadore and Lena Lehman built this duplex as a rental property. Isadore was of Polish descent, and his wife, Lena, was Russian. They were part of a thriving Jewish community in Wynne.

115 Eldridge Court:  The Standley Greenfield House, constructed about 1930, is a good example of the English Revival style with its side-gabled roof, prominent front-facing gable, and brick chimney situated near the center of the front façade. However, a large window on the front façade has been filled in with glass block, making the house non-contributing. Mr. Greenfield owned and operated Standley’s Ladies Wear, a large dress shop at the southeast corner of N. Front Street and Merriman Avenue, from the 1930s to the 1970s (this commercial building burned in the late 1990s). Standley Greenfield was the son of Polish and Russian immigrants. His father, Joe Greenfield, was a dry goods merchant in Wynne. This house was later purchased by P. H. Curd, who owned Curd’s Grocery & Market at 108 N. Front Street in Wynne.

117 Eldridge Court:  Built in 1940, the W. H. Heitt House features English Revival-style characteristics in its side-gabled roof with two front-facing cross gables and a small portico accessed by a rounded arch opening. From the early 1940s until at least 1975, Carl and Irene Lyles lived here. Mr. Lyles owned the Pontiac-Buick car dealership in Wynne and sold insurance. Mrs. Lyles was a teacher.

110 Eldridge Court:  The Dr. Thomas A. Peterson House was built about 1935. This handsome brick home was designed in the English Revival style with a side-gabled roof and two front-facing cross gables. A prominent chimney is situated on the front façade. The house also features rounded arch openings over the front door, windows, and a side porch. In the early 1930s Dr. Peterson built the Peterson Clinic at 303 East Union Street in Wynne.

108 Eldridge Court:  Built about 1937, the James L. and Mildred Gardner House features elements of the English Revival style with its two steeply pitched, front-facing cross gables. However, the application of synthetic siding and new windows has obscured important architectural details, making the house non-contributing to the historic significance of the district. Beginning in the late 1940s, J. L. Gardner owned the Wynne Lumber Company and was a director for Wynne Federal Savings and Loan, organized by George W. Eldridge. Mr. Gardner also served as president of the Wynne School Board for many years. J. L. Gardner, Jr., is a retired General in the United States Air Force, and his brother, Jack, is a doctor in Searcy. In the late 1940s, Jack Gardner and nearby resident Jere Kernodle mowed the Eldridge Court median for 35 cents.

106 Eldridge Court:  The Herbert Everett Proctor House was built about 1935. The English Revival-style house was designed by architect Estes Mann from Marianna, Arkansas. It features a side-gabled roof with a large front-facing gable. The upper portion of the front-facing gable is decorated with false half-timbering. In 1930 Herbert Proctor was the Cross County Clerk. He later owned and operated a home furniture and gift shop in Wynne. The house was later purchased by Andy Clements, a lawyer in Wynne.

104 Eldridge Court:  The David and Mary Louise Block House, built in 1928, is a one-story house with a cross-gabled roof and a close eave. The house best reflects the Minimal Traditional style of architecture. David Block was a prominent banker and landowner in Wynne. He also served as chairman of the Arkansas State Highway Commission. David Block was the son of Raphael and Hester Block and brother to Herman, Felix, and Nina Block. His cousin was David Hamilton at 814 East Hamilton.

102 Eldridge Court:  The Dr. Thomas Wilson House was built in 1926. Dr. Wilson built the house for his first wife, but she died of cancer five years after the house was completed. Dr. Wilson’s second wife, Elizabeth Watson, was from Memphis, Tennessee. Although she had a law degree and had passed the bar exam, she never practiced law. Dr. Wilson was a much-loved country doctor in Wynne. He practiced at the Wilson Clinic, which was located at 518 E. Merriman Avenue. The Wilson Clinic served as the local hospital, with patients treated for illnesses, babies delivered, surgeries performed, and emergencies handled. The clinic building was demolished about 1976. After the deaths of Dr. and Mrs. Wilson, the house was purchased in 1972 by Jim and Bridget Hart. The Hart family lived here for twenty-five years and sold the property to Lawrence Taylor. The Dr. Thomas Wilson House is non-contributing in the district because the two-story, stucco house originally had a Spanish Revival influence. The Mission-style parapets have been removed.

924 East Hamilton:  The Carrie Robinson Miller House, built in 1940, is a good example of the Colonial Revival style in the district. It has a symmetrical façade with a central portico, six-over-six windows with shutters, and three gabled dormers. The house was built in 1940 by John Stephens, and Carrie Robinson Miller purchased it in 1942. She was secretary/treasurer for Wynne Savings and Loan and was the first woman to serve on the board of directors of the Arkansas State Savings and Loan League. Her siblings, Elmer Robinson and Leta Robinson Barwick, also lived on East Hamilton Avenue. Tragically, Mr. Miller died in 1936 after his vehicle slid off the St. Francis River Bridge, plunging him into the water below. Carrie Robinson Miller lived in this house until she was ninety-four years old. Then in March 2000, she went to be with her long-lost husband by deliberately driving her vehicle into the St. Francis River.

1004 East Hamilton Avenue:  The R. E. Kelley House was built about 1953. Before the house was constructed, this parcel of land was vacant. R. E. Kelley was a building contractor from Memphis, Tennessee, and built this house himself. The home was later purchased by Bill Rule, who opened a short-lived plywood factory in Wynne. Currently, the home is owned by James Westmoreland, Jr. Westmoreland’s father, James Westmoreland, Sr., worked in Russell Clemons’s Tin Shop in downtown Wynne. Russell Clemons came to Wynne in the early 1920s and started his tin shop in 1922. It was in a long, one-room brick building near the northwest corner of Canal and Wilson streets. The tin shop made custom tin or copper pieces used in building construction and repair work, such as skylights, cornices, cresting, drain pipe, and guttering. The company also serviced heating and air conditioning units by the late 1930s. By 1939 the tin shop moved around the corner to the last brick building on S. Front St. before the creek bridge (this building is now gone). In the mid-1940s, Russell and his brother, Thurman, opened Clemons Brothers Sheet Metal Works in a building just to the southwest of the rice dryers. Then in the late 1940s, they built a new shop at 301 Cogbill where the Tri-County Baptist Association is now (either a different building or heavily altered to its current appearance). The tin shop closed in the early 1950s, and Russell Clemons died in 1955. James Westmoreland, Jr., now owns Westmoreland Heating and Air, continuing the business started by Russell Clemons. The Ranch-style house is non-contributing in the district due to the enclosure of a carport on the west side and an addition on the east side of the house.

1010 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Clarence A. Forbes House, built about 1931, is a Minimal Traditional-style house with a cross-gabled roof and close eaves. The property was first owned by F. H. Jones. C. A. Forbes purchased it in 1941 and lived here until the 1990s. Mr. Forbes worked for the Missouri-Pacific Railroad Company, and he served as president of Wynne Federal Savings and Loan from 1934 until about 1954.

1012 East Hamilton Avenue:  The J. C. Patterson House was built about 1929 and is an interesting example of the Colonial Revival style in the district. It features a symmetrical façade with a slightly recessed central bay covered by a front porch supported by six square columns. Mrs. Lucy Daniel lived here in the 1970s and 1980s. She worked for the Home Extension Service, providing education programs on agriculture, community development, home and garden, and youth services. Her husband, W. Corbin Daniel, Jr., founded the Wynne Implement Company in 1937. Wynne Implement Company sold John Deere farm implements and “Superfex” oil-burning refrigerators. The business was first located at 302-304 S. Front Street but later moved to 1705 N. Falls Boulevard. It is known today as Greenway Equipment Company.

1014 East Hamilton Avenue:  The H. D. and Patty Cleaver House was built about 1947 as a small, one-story, concrete block house situated near the back of the lot. H. D. Cleaver worked for the Missouri-Pacific Railroad. The house is non-contributing in the district due to a large 1 ½-story garage addition to the west side of the house. The entire residence has also been covered with synthetic siding, obscuring the original wall material.

1016 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Fred and Mary Ritchey House was built about 1935 and is a good example of the Colonial Revival style in the district. The house is symmetrical with six-over-six windows with shutters, a gabled portico, and two eyebrows on the side-gabled roof. Mr. and Mrs. Ritchey were part owners and managers of the Nehi-Crown Royal Bottling Plant at 208 S. Front Street in Wynne. They also owned and operated the Soda Grill Restaurant on North Wilson Street in Wynne. Mary Ritchey’s son was married to Winnifred McNeil Gammill. In later years, the house was occupied by Winnifred Gammill, the daughter of D. M. Hamrick, co-owner of Hamrick Brothers Hardware at 206 E. Merriman Avenue.

1104 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Cecil and Veda Gibbs House was built in 1936 and designed by architect Estes Mann from Marianna, Arkansas. The buff brick, English Revival-style house features a side gabled roof with a front-facing gable at the entrance. The doorway is inside a rounded arch opening, and a prominent chimney is situated in the center of the front façade. The letter “G” is in-laid in brick on the chimney. Mr. Gibbs was one of the first large-scale rice farmers in Cross County and was part owner of Gibbs-Harris Rice Dryer, Inc., the first rice dryer in Wynne. The company was later bought by Producers Rice Mill from Stuttgart, Arkansas.

1108 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Rani Perry House was built about 1941 and is a good example of the Plain/Traditional style of architecture with its side-gabled roof, six-over-six windows with shutters, and close eaves. An addition was built to the east side of the house, but it blends well with the historic character of the original structure.

1110 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Marvin Ellis House was built about 1952. It is a good example of the Ranch style with its low-pitched, side-gabled roof and carport. Ellis was a cashier at First National Bank of Wynne and later ran a farm equipment company.

1112 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Oscar and Blanche Murray House (2) was built about 1935 in the English Revival style. Mr. and Mrs. Murray occupied the house at 1210 East Hamilton Avenue before moving to this home about 1945. The house features a side-gabled roof with two front-facing cross gables, close eaves, a rounded arch front entrance, and a prominent chimney on the front façade.

1210 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Oscar and Blanche Murray House was built about 1930 by Oscar Murray. The home features some English Revival-style characteristics like its asymmetrical façade, cross-gabled plan, and rounded arch front entrance. Oscar Murray was born in Wynne in 1901 to Ben and Lizzie Thompson Murray. Oscar’s brother, Thompson “Tom” Murray, Sr., lived at 1017 East Hamilton Avenue. Oscar Murray served in World War I and later owned Murray Tire and Electric at 205 E. Merriman in Wynne. Oscar and Blanche Murray’s only child, Nancy, was born in the front room of this house in 1931. When the Murray family moved next door to 1112 East Hamilton Avenue about 1945, they sold this house to Tom and Corinne Baker.

1212 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Arthur Weeden House was built and designed in 1962 by local builder Arthur Weeden. It is a good example of the Ranch style in the district with its low-pitched, hipped roof, carport, and large picture window. However, its construction date precludes it from contributing to the historic significance of the district.

1310 East Hamilton Avenue:  Built about 1935, the Neil Killough House features some Craftsman-style characteristics in its asymmetrical façade, widely overhanging eaves, and paired six-over-six windows. This was the first house built by Neil Killough on East Hamilton Avenue. Neil’s father, Oliver Killough, constructed a large Classical Revival-style home on the northeast corner of East Hamilton Avenue and N. Killough Road. This area was locally known as “Killough Hill.” Oliver Newton Killough and his wife, Blanche Malone Killough, had two sons, Neil and Walter. Neil’s son was named Jack, and Walter’s son was named Newton. Wynne lawyers Oliver Killough and Edward Dale Robertson co-owned much of the land around East Hamilton Avenue. They divided their landholdings and each platted additions along the street. Killough Road, as well as Malone, Jack, and Newton streets, are named in honor of Killough family members. Newton Killough’s wife, Marion, also has a street named after her. It runs parallel to East Hamilton Avenue one block to the north. After Neil Killough lived at 1310 East Hamilton, the house was purchased in the 1940s by Will Robinson and his wife, Ruth. In the 1950s Gene and Clarisse Cook owned the home. Mr. Cook served as the county clerk when he lived here. In later years, Bob Castor purchased the house. In January 2009 Marlin Call bought the house.

1314 East Hamilton Avenue:  Built in 1949, the Doyl Brown House is a good example of the Ranch style with its sprawling, cross-gabled plan. The house features a two-car garage on the west side and two large picture windows on the eastern end of the front façade. Doyl Brown was employed by First National Bank of Wynne, starting as a bookkeeper and rising to chairman.

1316 East Hamilton Avenue:  The A. E. Moultrie House was built in 1953 and is another good example of the Ranch style in the district. It has a low-pitched, side-gabled roof pierced by a wide chimney. A ribbon of three six-over-six windows, as well as two pairs of six-over-six windows, fenestrate the front façade. The whole interior of the house burned about nine years ago, and the home was recently restored by Rev. Ramsey.

1325 East Hamilton:  The W. F. Gardner Building, built about 1924, is the only building inside the district boundary originally constructed as a commercial property. Located at the southwest corner of East Hamilton Avenue and N. Killough Road, the building housed Gardner’s Service Station. In the 1930s and 1940s, it was occupied by Dodd’s Grocery and Tire Shop. Business owner Dow Dodd also built the home at 1321 East Hamilton Avenue. The building is non-contributing in the district because its original garage bays have been enclosed, and there is an unsympathetic wood-frame addition on the southeast corner of the building.

1321 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Dow Dodd House was built about 1924. The one-story house has a front-facing gabled roof with a clipped gable on the front façade. A one-story front porch is offset on the northeast corner of the house. Dow Dodd, owner of Dodd’s Grocery and Tire Shop at 1325 East Hamilton Avenue, built this house as a rental property.

1315 East Hamilton Avenue:  Built about 1945, the Homer L. Mitchell House is another good example of the Ranch style in the district. The house has an asymmetrical plan with a low-pitched, side-gabled roof. A wide, brick chimney punctuates the front façade and is connected to a small brick planter below the front picture window. Homer Mitchell served Cross County in various roles, including deputy county clerk and deputy sheriff, but he was best known as county judge, serving ten consecutive terms from 1946 to 1966.

1303 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Glenn and Thelma Graddy House was built about 1966 in the Colonial Revival style with a side-gabled roof, six-over-six windows with shutters, and a partial front porch supported by four round columns. Because the house is not yet fifty years old, it is non-contributing in the district. Thelma Graddy’s first husband, Deloss McKnight, was the Cross County Sheriff. When he died in office, Thelma took his place as sheriff, becoming the only woman to ever hold the office of sheriff in Cross County. Glenn Graddy was a traveling salesman for the Esso fuel company and frequently made stops in Wynne. Hamilton Avenue resident Elmer Robinson (who owned the local Esso distributorship) introduced Glenn Graddy to Thelma, and the two later married.

1221 East Hamilton Avenue:  Built about 1955, this is the second home built by Walter Killough on Hamilton Avenue (he and his wife, Marion, lived at 1011 E. Hamilton prior to the construction of this house). The Walter and Marion Killough House (2) has a Ranch-style form with a low-pitched, side-gabled roof, but the home also features Colonial Revival-style elements like an accentuated front entrance, multi-pane windows with shutters, and a dentiled cornice. Walter Killough, son of Wynne lawyer and landowner Oliver Killough, was elected to the Arkansas State Senate, representing the Thirty-first District, which included Poinsett and Cross counties. Walter Killough was also a lawyer and served as general counsel for Wynne Federal Savings and Loan and the Cross County Bank.

1215 East Hamilton Avenue:  Built about 1931, the L. W. Bloxon House (2) was the second home built on Hamilton Avenue by Mr. Bloxon. In the 1940s the home was occupied by John and Edna Cook. John Cook, brother to Hamilton Avenue resident Gene Cook, was in the insurance business. The house has Colonial Revival and Craftsman-style characteristics in its front-facing gabled porch supported by four Tuscan columns and its widely overhanging eaves with triangular knee braces.

1213 East Hamilton Avenue:  The L. W. Bloxon House, built in 1931, was the first house built on Hamilton Avenue by Mr. Bloxon. Because this Plain/Traditional-style house was extensively remodeled and bricked in the 1960s, it is non-contributing in the district. L. W. Bloxon worked for Rail Express in Wynne. He bought the lot from Neil Killough in 1929. W. B. and Louise Jones purchased the house in 1953. Louise Jones worked for Barwick Ford Company in Wynne, and she later kept books at the Hayes, Young & Jacobs Clinic.

1209 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Haven Hodges House was built about 1946 and features elements of the Craftsman style in its cross-gabled roof, side porch supported by massive, square columns (now enclosed), and three-over-one windows. A large brick chimney is centered on the front façade of the house, and a “B” is attached to the chimney. Haven Hodges owned a hardware and furniture store at 215 N. Wilson Street in Wynne. In 1961 Jimmy Britton purchased the house. A brick exterior was added to the house in the 1960s, making it non-contributing in the district. Before the home was built in 1946, residents at 1143 East Hamilton Avenue used this lot as their garden and later a dirt tennis court.

1145 East Hamilton Avenue:  Built about 1936, the Elliott A. and Winnie Rolfe House was designed in the Colonial Revival style with a side-gabled roof, symmetrical façade, multi-pane windows with shutters, and a front porch supported by four round columns. In the late 1960s, an extensive remodeling project redesigned the front porch, making the house non-contributing in the district. Elliott A. “Piggie” Rolfe owned an auto repair shop and filling station on the southwest corner of Wilson and Levesque streets in Wynne. The station offered Pierce Petroleum Products and had two gasoline pumps with glass holding tanks. By 1939 Mr. Rolfe operated the Rolfe Implement Company in the same location. The company sold the J. L. Case line of farm implements and also maintained a service department. This building was razed in the 1990s. Elliott Rolfe’s wife, Winnie Davis Rolfe, was the daughter of Isaac Joshua Davis, founder of Davis Furniture Store at 215 N. Wilson Street in Wynne.

1143 East Hamilton Avenue:  The W. Sidney Newsom House, built about 1921, is an English Revival-style home with a side-gabled roof and two large, front-facing gables. The Newsom family was prominent in Wynne, and W. S. Newsom worked as a civil engineer. By 1934 James and Bess Robertson rented the house and purchased it in 1937. Before the house at 1209 East Hamilton was constructed in 1946, the Robertson family used that lot for their garden and later a dirt tennis court. Mr. and Mrs. Robertson lived here until about 1943, when they moved down the street to 813 East Hamilton Avenue.

1113 East Hamilton Avenue:  Built in 1927, the Wallace Eldridge House is the best example of the Spanish Revival style in the district. This home was built for Wallace Eldridge, Sr., by his father, George W. Eldridge. Wallace Eldridge, Sr., was employed by Cross County Bank and platted the Eldridge Place Addition, which includes the twelve lots facing Eldridge Court. He and his wife, Dorothy Block Eldridge, had one child, Wallace Eldridge, Jr. In more recent years, the house was occupied by Wallace Eldridge, Jr., and then by his daughter, Karen, until about 2006. The house is asymmetrical, features a Mission-style parapet above its eastern wing, has rounded arch window and door openings with decorative wrought iron grilles, and stucco walls.

1103 East Hamilton Avenue:  The George W. Eldridge House, built in 1925, was the first house built by George W. Eldridge on Hamilton Avenue. In 1927 he built the house next door at 1113 Hamilton for his son and daughter-in-law, Wallace and Dorothy Eldridge. The home features Craftsman-style characteristics like massive square supports under the carport, ribbons of six-over-one windows with shutters, and a front-gabled portico over the front entrance with triangular knee braces. From the mid-1930s to at least the mid-1950s, the house was occupied by Neil Smith and his wife, Hazel McKnight Smith, and their daughter, Sharis.

1017 East Hamilton Avenue:  Built in 1938, the Thompson and Kathleen Murray House is the best example of the Colonial Revival style in the district. The two-story brick home features a symmetrical façade with three eight-over-eight windows with shutters evenly positioned across the upper story. The side-gabled roof is bounded by a chimney on each side. The central entrance is slightly recessed with sidelights and crowned by a decorative triangular pediment. A Palladian window is situated on either side of the front entrance on the lower story. A one-story wing on the east side of the house features a decorative balustrade. Thompson “Tom” Bernard Murray was a large landowner in Wynne and owned the Chevrolet-Oldsmobile Dealership. His wife, Kathleen Hays Murray, was injured in a car accident in 1966, leaving her a quadriplegic. For this reason, members of the Murray family were strong advocates for the spinal cord-injured and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Tom and Kathleen Murray had two children, Alva Jane and “Buddy” (T. B. Murray, Jr.). Jane Murray married Maurice Smith, who served as Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, director of the state highway department, and chief lobbyist for legislation for the disabled. Jane Murray Smith also helped to establish the Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission. Buddy Murray married Martha Williams, and they had two children, Martha Jane and Thompson Williams Murray.

1013 East Hamilton Avenue:  Built about 1941, this is the second house built by Neil Killough on Hamilton Avenue (he built the house at 1310 E. Hamilton Ave. about 1935). Neil Killough, son of local lawyer Oliver Newton Killough, and his wife, Lucy Armstrong Killough, lived here in the early 1940s. Neil Killough became a well-respected circuit court judge in eastern Arkansas. Tragically, Neil Killough died of a heart attack during his service in World War II. The house has Colonial Revival-style characteristics in its six-over-six windows with shutters and fanlight over the front door, but it also features some retrained English Revival-style elements like flared eaves and a rounded arch front door opening.

1011 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Walter and Marion Killough House was built about 1945 and represents a unique variation of the Colonial Revival style in the district. The home features traditional Colonial Revival-style characteristics in its multi-pane windows with shutters and a side-gabled roof with gabled dormers, but a steeply-pitched, front-facing cross gable on the west side of the front façade adds an English Revival influence. Walter and Marion Killough lived in this house before moving down the street to 1221 E. Hamilton Avenue. Walter Killough, son of Wynne lawyer and landowner Oliver Killough, was elected to the Arkansas State Senate, representing the Thirty-first District, which included Poinsett and Cross counties. Walter Killough was also a lawyer and served as general counsel for Wynne Federal Savings and Loan and the Cross County Bank. Elmer and Jewel Robinson purchased the house from the Killough family. Mr. Robinson owned the Esso distributorship, located southwest of the intersection of the Helena and Memphis (or Bald Knob) branches of the Missouri-Pacific Railroad in Wynne.

1009 East Hamilton Avenue:  The J. W. and Sula Wallin House, built between 1922 and 1926, is the only example of an “Airplane” Bungalow in the district. The house features Craftsman characteristics in its widely overhanging eaves with decorative brackets, and an upper story room with a 360-degree view adds distinction to the home. J. W. and Sula Wallin purchased the lot in 1922, and Sula Wallin’s father, John Greene Autry, built the house over the next four years. However, the house is non-contributing in the district because of a large garage addition to the east side of the residence, which detracts from the historic integrity of the home.

1001 East Hamilton Avenue:  Built about 1916 by local bank cashier A. S. Ammerman, this is one of two Sears and Roebuck prefabricated houses in the district (the houses are almost identical, and the other one is located at 109 Eldridge Court). The house has some Dutch Colonial Revival-style elements like its side-gabled roof with widely overhanging eaves, one-story front porch supported by four square columns, and shed dormer with exposed rafter tails. In the 1930s and 1940s, Al E. Bassham and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Mitchell Bassham, lived here. Shortly after their marriage in the 1950s, Jim and Bonnie Shaver lived here. Ronald and Ruth Sallings later purchased the house.

925 East Hamilton Avenue:  The William Whitfield “Whit” Shaver House was built in 1924 and is a good example of the Colonial Revival style in the district. The house features a symmetrical façade fenestrated by four multi-pane windows with shutters and a single door with sidelights. The front entrance is accentuated by a portico with a front-facing gabled roof and decorative door surround. Prominent Wynne residents Whit and Martha Shaver lived here. Whit Shaver managed the Barwick Ford Dealership in Wynne as well as a real estate company. The Shavers were members of the Wynne Presbyterian Church, and their house contains a stained glass window salvaged from the church after it burned in 1968. Whit Shaver raised pigeons as a hobby and worked with the Boy Scouts of America.

923 East Hamilton Avenue:  James L. “Bex” Shaver and his wife, Louise Davis Shaver, built this house in 1924. The house is an American Foursquare with a compatible one-story addition to the west and a carport to the east. The home features a hipped-roof dormer, widely overhanging eaves with decorative brackets, and a roofline balustrade over the one-story western wing. The front entrance is offset to the east side of the house and is accessed by a small portico crowned by a triangular pediment and supported by two square columns. James L. Shaver was a prominent attorney in Wynne and served in the Arkansas State Legislature in both the House of Representatives and the Senate in the 1930s and the 1940s. He was lieutenant governor in the 1940s under Arkansas Governors Homer Adkins and Benjamin Travis Laney, Jr. The nickname “Bex” was given to him by his brother, Whit Shaver. James and Louise Shaver had two children, Winnie Bob Shaver and James L. “Jim” Shaver, Jr. Jim Shaver also served in the Arkansas State Legislature for about twenty-five years.

919 East Hamilton Avenue:  The G. C. Hollan House was built about 1940 and features a Craftsman-style front porch with a low-pitched, front-facing gable roof supported by massive, square porch supports. A low, brick wall surrounds the porch. G. C. Hollan was manager and president of the Wynne Wholesale Grocer Company, started in 1913 by C. S. Lemons and G. L. Gholston. The five-sided commercial building is still standing to the southwest of the intersection of the Helena and Memphis (or Bald Knob) branches of the Missouri-Pacific Railroad tracks in downtown Wynne.

915 East Hamilton Avenue:  Built in 1921, the H. K. Barwick House was designed in the Spanish Revival style with stucco and brick walls and a large, stationary, rounded arch window on the front façade. The front entrance is set in a rounded arch with brick trim and a parapet. H. K. Barwick and his wife, Leta Robinson Barwick, lived here. Two of Leta’s siblings, Elmer Robinson and Carrie Robinson Miller, also lived on East Hamilton Avenue. H. K. Barwick owned Barwick Ford at 444 E. Merriman in Wynne (the Mediterranean-style building was demolished in the 1950s). The front display window at Barwick Ford contained a carnival of mouse-driven Ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds. Many local children stopped to watch them over the years. Mr. Barwick was also a director of the Cross County Bank and Wynne Savings and Loan. H. K. Barwick’s brother, Chip, owned a large Chevrolet dealership in Memphis, and the brothers enjoyed duck hunting. Local legend holds that the two men once turned ducks loose in the fountain at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis as a joke, which consequently started a tradition. It is said that the Barwicks were the source of the original Peabody Ducks.

909 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Clarence J. Coffin House, built in 1923, is an interesting example of the Craftsman style in the district. The house has brick walls fenestrated by ribbons of windows with Craftsman-style glazing patterns. The front entrance is oriented toward the northeast corner of the house, rather than the front. A recessed entry porch on that corner is supported by massive, square columns. Exposed rafter tails and decorative brackets further contribute to the Craftsman design. Although the house was built by Clarence J. Coffin, he did not live here. Born in 1888, Coffin was a bank cashier in Wynne and then served as postmaster. He later worked with the Works Progress Administration to install a mural in the Wynne Post Office. Most local residents remember this house as the home of David and Kris Drexler. Beginning in 1948, Mr. Drexler served as president of Wynne Insurance and Loan, and then in 1954, Drexler succeeded C. A. Forbes as president of Wynne Federal Savings and Loan.

903 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Roy Hartzel House was built in 1947 on what had previously been a vacant lot. Roy Hartzel was a dispatcher for the Missouri-Pacific Railroad. In later years, the house was occupied by Donna Presley Early, a cousin of Elvis Presley. Her cat, Smokey, is buried in the back yard with a grave marker. The house features Colonial Revival-style massing and window and door arrangement, but its stucco walls and shaped parapet over the one-story garage wing give it a Spanish Revival influence as well.

823 East Hamilton Avenue:  The Mary Alice and Mildred Crawford House was built about 1956. Mary Alice and Mildred Crawford were sisters who never married. Their parents, Thomas and Bettie Crawford, built a house at 823 East Hamilton which stood for most of the early twentieth century. This house was built to replace their family home, but Mary Alice and Mildred were the only family members to ever live here. Mildred Crawford taught fifth grade in Wynne for many years, and later worked as a bookkeeper at Wynne Lumber Company. Mary Alice moved back to Wynne to retire and lived with her sister. Their brother, Homer Crawford, built the houses at 105 and 107 Eldridge Court. The Crawford sisters deeded the house at 823 E. Hamilton to the Wynne Baptist Church. It is a modest, Ranch-style house with a low-pitched, side-gabled roof and red brick walls. The front porch is partially enclosed with brick, and the entrance faces east.

813 East Hamilton Avenue:  Built in 1915, the Herman and Clara Block House is the best example of an American Foursquare with Craftsman-style details in the district. The two-story, brick house has a pyramidal roof with a hipped-roof dormer on the east, north, and west sides. A full, one-story front porch is supported by massive, square columns. Exposed rafter tails and decorative, paired brackets are situated under the eaves. An original two-story carriage house is located to the southwest of the house. Raphael Block operated a successful general mercantile business in Wittsburg before relocating to Vanndale in 1887. Block later moved his business interests to Wynne after it became the center of commerce in Cross County. He platted numerous residential additions in downtown Wynne in the early twentieth century. Raphael and Hester Block had four children—David, Felix, Herman, and Nina. At one time, all of their children lived in the East Hamilton Avenue neighborhood. David and Mary Louise Block lived at 104 Eldridge Court, Herman and Clara Block lived at 813 E. Hamilton, Felix Block lived at 726 E. Hamilton (this home was later owned by Roy and Forrest Urfer and burned in the 1980s), and James and Nina Block Andrews lived at 717 E. Hamilton and 704 E. Hamilton (704 E. Hamilton was demolished in 1971). Herman Block was an accountant in the Block Mercantile Company. Herman and Clara Block had big dances in the front rooms of this house. The Blocks sold the house to James and Bess Robertson in 1944 or 1945. Bess Robertson sold the house in 1988, and it has had several owners since that time. Before the house at 813 E. Hamilton was constructed, the Edward Dale Robertson family who lived at 734 E. Hamilton planted a garden on this lot.

803-805-807 East Hamilton Avenue:  The George Eldridge House was built about 1921 as a Folk Victorian-style cottage, but large additions were constructed on the south and east sides of the house. In addition, the application of synthetic siding over the original weatherboard obscures important architectural details, making the house non-contributing in the district. Mrs. George Eldridge lived here as a widow and converted the single-family home into three apartments. According to the Cross County Assessor’s office, J. E. Smith owned this property in 1908 and built a residence/doctor’s office on this site. However, the records also state that in 1923 the property was owned by George Eldridge, and the assessor lists the home’s construction date as 1921. Most likely, George Eldridge demolished the 1908 structure to construct the current house. Furthermore, this house burned in the 1930s and was rebuilt (this is possibly when the house was converted to apartments). After the structure became apartments, residents included Wallace Eldridge, Jr., and his wife, Jennie; H. C. Carvill and his wife, Martha Robertson Carvill; and P. H. Curd.

731-733 East Hamilton Avenue:  The duplex at 731-733 East Hamilton Avenue was built about 1986 and is therefore non-contributing in the district. At one time, Hamilton Avenue residents Jerry and Mona Dallas owned the duplex.

729 East Hamilton Avenue:  The N. B. Martin House (2) was built about 1950 as a garage with an apartment upstairs. The 1951 Sanborn map indicates that the structure was built by the owner of 727 East Hamilton, N. B. Martin, and that it was already serving as a dwelling with a separate postal address. In the 1950s Thomas Baker, Jr., and his wife, Jackie, rented the apartment.

727 East Hamilton Avenue:  The N. B. Martin House was built about 1927 by local farmer Norman B. Martin. Mr. Martin was also active in community affairs. The one-story house has a cross-gabled roof and red brick walls with buff brick accents. The front door is set in a recessed segmental arch opening, and the twenty and ten-pane, metal-frame windows have casement sashes.

719 East Hamilton Avenue:  Built about 1950, the Varee Bogard House was designed in the Colonial Revival style with a side-gabled roof and three gabled dormers. The house has close eaves and multi-pane windows with shutters. According to the 1951 Sanborn map, the empty lot to the east of the house has been there since at least that time. Varee Brewer Bogard was married to A. R. “Butch” Bogard, and they lived in Parkin, Arkansas. After her husband’s death, Varee built this house and moved to Wynne to be closer to her daughter, Ann Varee Bogard. Varee Bogard later remarried Menta G. Gardner. Ann Bogard married Erskine Boyce Falls, who operated Falls Equipment Company at 218 N. Terry Street in Wynne with his brother, Harold Naill Falls. Harold Falls served as the mayor of Wynne for over twenty-five years. He was also the first president of the newly-organized Wynne Chamber of Commerce in 1947 (there was an earlier Chamber of Commerce in Wynne in the 1920s, but it disbanded during the Depression and reorganized in 1947). Because Harold Falls had red hair, his nickname was “Pinky.” On September 11, 1973, Falls Boulevard was named in his honor. The major north-south street in Wynne was first called Seventh Street before becoming Arkansas Highway 1. By the mid-twentieth century, it was called State Street because it was a state highway. Today it is still known as Falls Boulevard and serves as the western boundary for the East Hamilton Avenue Historic District. The Varee Bogard House currently houses Marcum Real Estate, and the lot to the east of the house is used for parking.

717 East Hamilton Avenue:  The James and Nina Andrews House was built about 1932 in the English Revival style. The house has a side-gabled roof with a prominent front-facing gable with flared eaves. The front entrance is set inside a rounded arch opening, and a large chimney is centered on the front façade. James Holt Andrews was a school teacher and served as superintendent of Wynne schools. His wife, Nina Block Andrews, was the daughter of Raphael and Hester Block and sister to David, Herman, and Felix Block. Most local residents remember James and Nina Andrews living in a large Classical Revival-style house at 704 East Hamilton Avenue (northeast corner of E. Hamilton and N. Falls Boulevard). Most likely, the Classical Revival-style home was constructed around the turn of the twentieth century by Raphael and Hester Block. Then their son-in-law and daughter, James and Nina Andrews, built the English Revival-style house across the street at 717 E. Hamilton. Nina Block Andrews later inherited her parents’ house and lived there for many years. Unfortunately, the beautiful home at 704 E. Hamilton Avenue was demolished in 1971. Regions Bank now occupies the lot and is not included in the district boundary because it faces N. Falls Boulevard and is not in keeping with the character of the residential district. The house at 717 E. Hamilton is currently occupied by Heavenly Sweets.

703-705 East Hamilton Avenue:  Built in 1921, the James and Nellie McKie House is a good example of the Craftsman style in the district. It has a side-gabled roof with multiple front-facing cross gables. The house has stucco walls, exposed rafter tails, and a front porch with massive, rectangular supports. An addition was built to the east side of the house sometime after 1951, but it blends well with the architecture of the original structure. The house was built by James and Nellie McKie and was used as their residence along with three apartments. Mr. McKie worked for the Missouri-Pacific Railroad. Renters included James and Bess Robertson, who later lived at 1215 East Hamilton, 1143 East Hamilton, and 813 East Hamilton; and Fred and Mary Ritchey, who later built the house at 1016 East Hamilton. Mrs. McKie had an antique shop in the house during the late 1940s. The house at 703-705 E. Hamilton is currently home to Ella Bella Boutique.



[1] Cross County was established on November 15, 1862, and Woodruff County was created on November 26, 1862.  Woodruff County had to be reapproved in 1865 following the upheaval of the Civil War.  Barnett, “Woodruff County,” Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.

[2] Seabaugh, “Wynne,” Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture; The Wynne Progress, Cross County Revisited, 3.

[3] Col. Cross would eventually own 85,000 acres of land, making him the most extensive landholder in the county.  He relocated to Memphis and later died in August 1874 while visiting Cross County.  He was buried in the family cemetery of fellow former Confederate William Percy Wilkins.

The Wynne Progress, Cross County Revisited, 3.

[4] A courthouse was never constructed at Cleburne.

The Wynne Progress, Cross County Revisited, 3; James, “Cross County History,” unpublished document available at the Cross County Historical Society Museum; The Goodspeed Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Eastern Arkansas, 322-323.

[5] The Wynne Progress, Cross County Revisited, 4; James, “Cross County History,” unpublished document available at the Cross County Historical Society Museum.

[6] The Wynne Progress, Cross County Revisited, 4; James, “Cross County History,” unpublished document available at the Cross County Historical Society Museum.

[7] The Goodspeed Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Eastern Arkansas, 326.

[8] Sanborn Fire Insurance Company, “Wynne,” 1897 map; The Goodspeed Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Eastern Arkansas, 326.

[9] Bedford, “An Opportunity of a Lifetime,” 7.

[10] Bedford, “An Opportunity of a Lifetime,” 7.

[11] Timber companies practiced the “cut out and get out” technique until at least the 1920s, quickly depleting much of the state’s hardwood forests.  This technique involved purchasing a parcel of land, cutting the trees, processing them, shipping them, and then moving on to another parcel of land.

George W. Balogh, “Timber Industry,” Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture; Internet, accessed 19 June 2009, available from http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?search=1&entryID=2143.

[12] Sanborn Fire Insurance Company, “Wynne,” 1897, 1903, 1908, 1913, 1919, 1945 & 1951 maps.

[13] Laurie E. Jasinski, “Texas Cotton Acreage Control Law of 1931-32,” The Handbook of Texas Online; Internet, accessed 19 June 2009, available from http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/TT/mltpc.html; C. Fred Williams, “Agriculture,” Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture; Internet, accessed 19 June 209, available from http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?search=1&entryID=385; Gilbert C. Fite, “Agricultural Adjustment Act,” Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture; Internet, accessed 19 June 2009, available from http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/A/AG002.html.

[14] Thomas Foti, “Geography and Geology,” Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture; Internet, accessed 19 June 2009, available from http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?search=1&entryID=401.

[15] Peach trees flourish in light, sandy soil, and the higher elevation lessens the impact of frosts.

Jackson, “Peach Industry,” Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.

[16] Sanborn Fire Insurance Company, “Wynne,” 1951 map.

[17] Sanborn Fire Insurance Company, “Wynne,” 1945 & 1951 maps.

[18] Seabaugh, “Wynne,” Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.

[19] Seabaugh, “Wynne,” Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.

[20] Bridget Hart and Joe Dooley, Interview by author, 25 January 2011, Wynne, Arkansas; Martha Robertson Carvill, Interview by author, 15 February 2011, Little Rock, Arkansas.

SIGNIFICANCE

The East Hamilton Avenue Historic District is being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places with local significance under Criterion C for its collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth century architecture, including excellent examples of the Queen Anne, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, English Revival, and Spanish Revival styles. The district also contains some good examples of the Ranch style, which are representative of the neighborhood’s growth to the east during the mid-twentieth century. The East Hamilton Avenue neighborhood was also home to some of Wynne’s most respected and notable citizens, including attorneys, doctors, state legislators, a lieutenant governor, local and regional merchants, teachers, farmers, and landowners. The homes within the district boundary retain excellent integrity and reflect a broad spectrum of architectural styles. Because of its picturesque homes and tree-lined streetscapes, the East Hamilton Avenue Historic District remains one of the most popular neighborhoods in Wynne.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Balogh, George W.  “Timber Industry.”  Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture; Internet, accessed 19 June 2009, available from http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?search=1&entryID=2143

Barnett, Paula Harmon.  “Woodruff County.”  Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture; Internet, accessed 16 June 2009, available from http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?search=1&entryID=815.

Bedford, T. A., Jr.  “An Opportunity of a Lifetime.”  Brochure (Memphis:  S. F. Toof & Co., 1904).

Carvill, Martha Robertson. Interview by author, 15 February 2011, Little Rock, Arkansas.

CB&I.  “History.”  Internet; accessed 17 June 2009, available from http://www.cbi.com/about/history.aspx

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