Of Calico Rock, Arkansas
Dedication Without the legacy of many pioneers, Calico Rock would not be in existence today.
We believe this community is the finest place in the world to live, work, raise a family, and enjoy the many blessings of life. For that reason, we dedicate this book in the celebration of our One Hundredth Anniversary as an incorporated town. We dedicate this book to the people of Calico Rock…past, present and future…who made our community possible, who continue those traditions, and who will pass this way long after we are but a memory. We give special appreciation to three historians and pioneers that shaped
our development, recorded our history, and shared with us the legacy of our past.
Helen Lindley, Barbara DeAngelis and Reed Mac Perryman
contributed in many ways to the development of this book through their words and their labor. We appreciate the lasting legacy they provided for us to follow.
-The Board of Directors
Calico Rock Industrial Development Corporation
This land is your land; this land is my land…
This land was made for you and me.
Yes, indeed this land was made for all of us to enjoy and it seems that God added a special blessing on the little bend in the river where the banks rise up to touch the face of Calico colored rocks. It was no wonder settlers made their homes here and steam boats found their way up the scenic White River to barter, trade and set their sights on fortune.
The land was lush with grasses, tall timber, beautiful mountains, warm winds, and clear waters fed by so many creeks and springs that they ran white with foam. The Osage and Quapaw camped by those streams and hunted deer, buffalo, rabbit, squirrel, quail and wild turkey. The women fished the waters while their children ran about in the shadow of those great bluffs along the river banks.
The U.S. Government first took note of the place when, under the Cherokee Land Grant, the Cherokee people were moved to this area and forced to fight the natives, who did not wish to give up their land to strangers. Both sides lost terrible numbers, but it was the Cherokee who were forced to move on in the end, leaving the Osage and the Quapaw to face extermination by the gun and diseases such as Smallpox, Mumps, and Whooping Cough, all brought here by other settlers.
John Lafferty, one of the first to arrive, came from Tennessee bringing a herd of cattle and his family. They built a cabin there along the banks of the White River. His story is captured in this song by Mrs. Ruth Blair:
The Ballad of John Lafferty
By Mrs. Ruth Blair This is the tale of a settler long ago,
Brian Labbertach of Old Ireland. No other ones had come here to stay
To settle in this wilderness land
John Lafferty brought his wife and his child
There were eight in the Lafferty clan One had died on their journey to these hills,
A daughter, Elizabeth Ann
At Arkansas Post, they’d laid her to rest
By the river, in the sand. He drove from his home in Tennessee
A herd of cattle grand.
They grazed on the canebrake, thick and green In this wonderful Ozark land.
He built their house of logs and clay
The logs he had hewn by hand
A cabin in a dense, dense wood
And a creed beside it ran. John was a rover, a fighter, too.
A restless, restless man.
He had fought three years in the bloody, bloody war
‘Twixt the Colonies and Old England.
When Jackson called for help in the war,
The war of ’12 had begun,
Old Lafferty left his cabin on the creed
To serve his country again. He fought in the Battle of New Orleans,
In Louisiana Land.
Was wounded bad in that battle far away,
Our fighting Irishman. He came back home to die one day,
To be with his Lafferty clan.
He died in his cabin, with the creek running by,
Our brave, brave Arkansas man.
Some time later, Dan Wilson made his way to the area with his three sons-Dan, Dick, and Jerome-and his brothers-Bob, Bean, and Dick. They set up a blacksmith shop, a trading post, and a pair of race tracks built, they say, on a high sand bar, so they could enjoy their horses!
As for the race tracks, folks came from miles around to run their horses and watch all the goings-on. Races in those days were rough and tumble. In one particularly violent race, Dick Wilson’s horse flew the track, ran under a leaning tree, and killed him.
The early settlers first cleared some land and planted a crop, but the buffalo and bears ate it up. So, they turned to the river and ran a floating store. They traded salt, powder, lead, sewing needles, whiskey, news, and stories for any hides, food and garden sass the settlers could spare.
They told some wild tales, alright, including one about gold left here in the hills by DeSoto who was said to have passed along the banks of the river in 1541. The floods of 1927 did in fact uncover Indian burial grounds that held gold coins dated before that time.
In January 1819, Schoolcraft, the author and scientist, mentioned Calico Rock in his journal after passing by the rock bluffs on a canoe trip from Taney County, Missouri. He told about stopping for dinner with the “Widder Lafferty” and other settlers. There was no house at Calico Rock, but the place along the river had already been named.
In 1819, the U.S. Government saw fit to settle the Shawnee Indians in the area. They settled with their chief, Lewis, at the Lunnin Place below North Fork River and at Livingston Creek on Piney Bayou.
Jacob Wolf was sent as Indian Agent and the “Wolf House” was built as a seat of government in the area. The Wolf House remains standing to this day, beautifully restored, in nearby Norfork.
The Shawnee were considered by the “locals” to be good neighbors. They traded with the settlers, exchanging melons, roasting-ears, venison, and recipes, remedies and stories. Much like the Indians who later came along the Trail of Tears, which ran through nearby Crossroads and Wild Cherry, the Shawnee slowly vanished. There is no mention of them after 1830.
Athens became the first county seat of Izard County in 1830. Government was established in a 20 foot by 20 foot log building with no windows, two doors, and a mud and stick chimney. Here, the first records were kept and, of course, the first taxes were assessed.
In 1837, the courthouse moved to Mt. Olive which was a thriving community at that time. Around the same time, the first Post Office was established in Liberty. In their first year, they sold $1.75 in stamps. It was a lucrative business in Izard County. Other Post Offices were established at Athens and Mt. Olive. Mail arrived by canoe and horseback about every two weeks. In 1829, the Postmaster General of the United States is known to have advertised in the Arkansas Gazette for “men to carry the mails over ten routes, one of them to Izard County” to towns like…Adler, Anderson, Athens, Antioch, Bandmill, Battles, Barren Fork, Berry, Blue Mountain, Bly, Boswell, Brockwell, Byler, Calico Rock, Concord, Conflict, Creswell, Croaker, Croom’s Mill, Crossroads, Day, East Sylamore, Engle, Forty-Four, Franklin, Gid, Gorby, Gully, Ham, Hayden, Hill, Huron, Iuka, Jumbo, Lafferty, Love, Lunenburg, Mt. Olive, Mullins, Myron, Needmore, Newburg, Nubbin Ridge, Penter, Pineville, Philadelphia, Quarry, Ralph, Richwoods, Riggsville, Ring, Rockford, Round Bottom, Ruddles, Stella, St. Clair, Spray, Sylamore, Thomasville, Troyville, Twin Creek, Tyler, Violet Hill, Whit, Wideman, Wild Haws, Wild Haws Landing, Wiseman, Woods, Wyatt, and Zion.
Later, when the mail began being carried by steamboat and eventually trucks, stops were added in Dolph, Oxford, Sage, LaCrosse, Guion and Horseshoe Bend.
The first U.S. Post Office in Calico Rock was established in 1851. It was short lived, however, and was discontinued in 1852. A permanent U.S. Post Office was established on May 2, 1879. The first Postmaster was James Jeffery, son of James Jeffery of Virginia. In 1879, William M. Aikin was named the Postmaster when the Post Office was re-established following the Civil War. The Post Office would eventually be housed in the building first occupied by the Bluff City Bank. This building was first built in 1890 and was the first building built on the upper side of Main Street.
At one time the town of Calico Rock had two banks. One was known as The Bluff City Bank and the other The People's Bank. After a few years, the Bluff City Bank was discontinued. One bank took over all the business and the name was changed to The State Bank of Calico Rock in 1914. Today, the bank is known as First National Bank of Izard County. During it’s early years as State Bank of Calico Rock, the bank operated in a building at the end of Main Street which is available for viewing today. The bank relocated behind Main Street and has since relocated to Highway 56 and Spring Creek Road today.
Slaves came to Izard County with many pioneer families. In 1850, there were 196 slaves in the county with the tax books reflecting each slave assessed at $700 each. According to custom, the land cleared by slave labor was valued at the same value as the slave price. At that time, the value of the slaves and land totaled $283,322 which equaled 23% of the county assessment.
The first census taken in the county in 1850 listed Thomas Black as the largest slave holder in the county, owning 16 slaves. Polk Mountain was named for former slave Polk Ripley who was freed at the age of 21 when the Civil War ended. In 1932, there was a move to change the name of the mountain in honor of a white settler, but it was met with fierce resistance. The notice of the proposed change drew this ire from A.S. Jeffery:
“I grew to manhood under the shadow of this noble landmark. I knew when Polk Ripley braved the wilds, as no one else would do, to carve a home on this mountain. I knew Polk from my earliest recollection. And, though he was black of skin, he was honest, industrious, and faithful, and his name was given to this mountain by right of conquest.” The name was not changed. Polk Mountain stands to this day.
When Arkansas became a part of the Confederacy, Izard County was a thriving area. Steamboat landings were numerous along the White River which has played such a large part in our history. Cotton was a cash crop and timber was important to the area even in the late 1800s.
Calico Rock came into existence as a steamboat landing and it is said to have been the most popular landing on the river above Batesville. The fact there was no mountain to climb to get out of the river was the reason for its popularity. A steamboat could land on either side of the river where they unloaded supplies for the few businesses here. Merchants from Pineville, Wild Cherry, Iuka, and other small inland towns would travel to the landing to meet the steamboats to buy their merchandise. Local farmers traded cotton for supplies and the cotton was then transported down the river.
The most popular boats that brought supplies for this community were the Batesville, Alberta, Alberta No. 2, Alberta No. 3, and the Winnie. These were owned by Captain Albert B. Smith. Others were the Lady Boone and the Home, which were owned by Captain Tom Stallings. Stallings built the Home at Calico Rock.
Circuit riding preachers had routes all over the county by the early 1820s. By the 1840s, several churches had been built and officially dedicated. The oldest church on record is the Mt. Olive Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Where there were no church buildings, folks gathered near springs and in cleared areas and built brush arbors for revivals. These provided spiritual awakenings and opportunities to visit with neighbors, trade goods and horses, and go courtin’. Marriages were solemnized, babies were baptized, and prayers were said for those who had been buried without a preacher the winter before.
Schools were established in Violet Hill, Old Philadelphia, Spring Creek, Pineville and LaCrosse. Within a few years, schools cropped up in nearly every community in the county. Schools would later consolidate in the 1930s after the Arkansas legislature passed a law requiring a minimum number of 350 students. A similar law passed again in 2004.
When the first rumblings of the Civil War began to roll along the countryside, thriving Izard County rode the political fence for as long as possible. Most families tried hard to remain neutral. Unionists in the area took advantage of this common delusion to try and hold the county from Confederate hands. Those believing in States rights and local dominion leaned to the Confederacy and hoped everyone else would accept the new government simply because it had been declared “the law.”
These hopes would not last. A number of prominent citizens were arrested and marched to Little Rock in chains to stand trial or join the Confederate army. One man actually stood trial in Little Rock and was acquitted after two days of hearings and freed. He later joined some friends and neighbors who had joined the Union army in Missouri. Later, others would desert the Confederacy and join the Union army. Meanwhile, Captains Mathews, Deason, Elkins, Smith, Barnett, Mason, Cook, Powell, Gibson, and Taylor raised companies of soldiers and joined the fight.
During the Civil War, folk lore holds that many families buried their gold, silver and jewelry to save it from the greed of the Northern and Southern armies. Several skirmishes were fought in Izard County including one near Lunenburg and another near Mt. Olive in January, 1864.
There was no actual fighting in and around Calico Rock during the war but there was considerable jay-hawking. We who have studied a history of the Civil War know the effect it had upon the people. A rather amusing incident was told to me by a local citizen: she said, "At the time the jay hawkers were going through the community they took a lot of possessions from many homes. A friend of mine, and whose home had been raided a number of times, had practically nothing left except one mare. One day while in the field plowing, she saw some men coming whom she suspected of being jay hawkers. She called one of the children and told him to bring her the ax. Taking the ax in one hand and getting a firm grip on the bridle at the mare's head, she was ready for the men when they arrived. She did not have to tell them very many times that 'the first one that touches the mare gets this ax' until they became convinced that she meant what she said.”
During the Mt. Olive raid, Isaac Jeffery, already recuperating from wounds sustained in another battle, was shot and killed along with two other Confederate soldiers. Ten local men were captured.
Like many other towns, Calico Rock acquired the reputation of being a tough frontier town and maintained that reputation for a number of years. The Civil War and its aftermath did not help any but as time went by and the town grew, it gradually took on the quiet, orderly life of a law-abiding town.
In 1866 a great tornado swept down on this section. There were no lives lost but roofs were blown from houses and barns. Before the tornado, the beautiful mountain just south of Calico Rock was covered with a heavy growth of cedar. After the "hurricane" had passed, not a cedar was left standing. They were just piled on top of each other. Two years later fire broke out in the dry cedar and the mountain was completely denuded of all timber and shrubbery. To this day there is a very little growth on this mountain. It is said by some that saw the fire that the light was so bright one could read a newspaper by its light almost a mile away.
The first store on record in Calico Rock was run by Bartley Kennedy, a son-in-law of Rev. John Wolf, in 1857. In 1859, Captain R. C. Matthews opened a store but closed out when the Civil War broke out. He never opened a store for business here anymore, but later ran a business at Pineville. As time went on, others began coming to Calico Rock and going into business. In 1867, a man named Ellis had a store here. In 1871, Albert Edmonston opened a store. In 1873, Sams and Mayfield put in a large stock of goods, but the firm failed after two years.
During the 1873 General Assembly of the Arkansas Legislature, the present boundaries of Izard County were set. With the new county lines, Mt. Olive was not located in the Southern tip of the county and discussion began on moving the county seat to a more central location. An election was held in 1884 to decide the matter. Mill Creek (now Melbourne), LaCrosse, Burnt Sand (near Newburg), Philadelphia, and Center were the contenders. None received a majority, but Melbourne became the new county seat in a run-off election.
At one time, Izard County boasted six newspapers, the first being the LaCrosse Post published in around 1884. In the early 1900s, the Calico Rocket and the Calico Rock Progressive were first published. In 1972, the White River Current was founded by Barbara DeAngelis. TheCurrent changed ownership upon Ms. DeAngelis’ death by her daughter, Jeannie Day. In late 2004, the White River Current was purchased by The Melbourne Times of Melbourne and continued operating under the independent banner.
Doctors had begun to arrive in the county. Dr. Baxter, the son of a governor, was among the earliest to arrive. Drs. Schenck and Goodwin practiced in Pineville and Calico Rock and opened the first drug store in the county. Napropaths practiced in several towns. Drs. Evans, Watkins and Copp opened early practices in their homes and making house calls on horseback and by buggy or wagon. The first hospital was opened in Mt. Pleasant under the sponsorship of the Presbyterian Church USA. A county hospital operated briefly at Melbourne.
Many recall Doc Copp making his rounds on horseback, coming into people’s homes to deliver babies and treat the sick, and bringing medicine to the masses.
The Calico Rock Medical Center was opened in a little white house on Park Street in 1959. Since that time, the hospital has expanded several times including a planned $3.5 million expansion in 2005 which will include a new trauma center, emergency center, surgical suite, and better planning. In the early 2000s, the hospital changed its name to the Community Medical Center of Izard County to reflect the wider focus for the community. The hospital is supported by clinics in Melbourne, Horseshoe Bend and Calico Rock with five full-time doctors.
The first drug store was opened by Roby & Galloway of Missouri. It changed hands a number of times in the next twenty-five years. The drug store was finally taken over by Evans Brothers. They ran the store until 1947 on Main Street in what is now Family Shoe and Dry Goods Soda Fountain. Reed Mac Perryman purchased the pharmacy in 1947, but took a one year leave of absence to fight in World War II. He ran the business until his daughter, Brenda Ward, purchased the pharmacy in 1990. Mr. Perryman moved the pharmacy to its present location at Highway 56 and Park Street in 1971. In 2000, Sarah Mitchell purchased the pharmacy and continues running the business today.
Industry included the mining of Lithographic stone, manganese, silica, cotton, timber, cattle and orchards. At one time, there were over 40 cotton gins in Izard County. During the late 1800s, Izard County orchards produced half of the nation’s peaches and many apples. Industry flourished, in part, because of the White River with steamboats and barges traveling up and down the river.
Some of our famous Izard County citizens include Robert Emmett Jeffery, a lawyer, who was named ambassador to the Republic of Uruguay by President Woodrow Wilson. His son, Robert Emmett Jeffery, Jr, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and became a Lieutenant Commander. Another son, Jerry Henry Jeffery, commanded a B-24 bomber in World War II.
Preacher Roe, baseball great who played for the St. Louis Cardinals, coached baseball at Melbourne for a time and has family in Pineville.
Ms. Emma Drown Morgan of Pineville was a nationally renowned artist whose paintings and sculptures have been displayed at the U.S. Capitol and the White House.
Dr. Hildred Mead was the first female dentist in Arkansas. She had offices at the hotel in Calico Rock
In addition to many treasured folks, more treasure tales emerged in the early 1900s. Alabama Hunt told some men about visions of gold buried at the foot of Pilot Knob. The men spent the entire summer digging a hole at the location, but no treasure was ever found.
Until a bridge was built in 1967 spanning the White River, the only way across the river into or from Stone County was by ferry. Several men operated the ferry, including Virgil Thornley. Many folks recall the days when they took the ferry across the river. The stanchions, concrete pillars used to anchor the ferry, remain intact on either side of the river today. The Calico Rock stanchion can be seen by walking by the train tracks to the West of the bridge.
The buildings in Calico Rock in the early days faced the river and Main Street ran east and west. But this was changed with the coming of the railroad. From a record given in a writing by John Q. Wolf, there was no school, church, nor a sermon preached in Calico Rock so far as he could remember until the coming of the railroad. When the talk of the railroad began about 1900, the first idea was to build it through by way of Pineville. It was finally decided to follow the river. This necessitated blasting off the beautiful striped bluffs and some were bitterly opposed to the idea even though they realized a railroad would help in the growth of the town and community.
Greeks and Italians were brought here to help in the work of preparing the roadbed for ties and rails. They made camp on the lots across Calico Creek at the foot of the bluff where Mr. Ezra Martin's and other houses now stand. It was interesting to learn that these campers made ovens by digging holes back in the hill. These were lined with rocks and heated. Loaves of bread were put in these hot ovens and sealed with a hot rock. A slogan we hear quite often now could have applied then. "Slow Baking for Lasting Freshness." It is reported that the bread was delicious.
One lady recalled that these Greeks and Italians had a terrible quarrel among themselves about the time they were preparing to leave here. They threw things out of camp and broke them up, in fact, tore up things in general. After they had gone, several people visited the place where the camp was and among the things left behind was a very small trunk which this lady still has in her possession.
The railroad was completed around 1902. It was then that the town really began to grow and develop. Business houses began to be opened. Main Street was changed to run north and south instead of east and west. Because the west side of the street was so much higher than the east side, a rock wall was built through the middle of Main Street making an upper and a lower street with two or three sets of steps leading from lower to upper street.
At one time during the building of the railroad, the powder house blew up and shook every building in town. One man ran into the Post Office and asked about Uncle Sam and was criticized for being more interested in the mail than in the loss of lives.
The Stoner Hotel was demolished after the explosion in Calico Rock in the Fall of 1902. This building was less than a year old and stood where the former building for First National Bank of Izard County is located, behind Main Street. At the time of the explosion, the railroad workers were eating dinner on tables set up on the porch. An Irishman was eating when the explosion caused the roof to fall in but he never stopped eating.
As the town continued to grow, a wholesale grocery was established. This was owned by E. N. Rand & Sons. This was about 1910. After several years this business was bought by another group of stockholders.
Prior to 1920, there were very few buildings in the business section on the east side of Calico Creek. Mr. W. L. Talburt ran a small business a with general line of merchandise and groceries. Goodwin-Jean had a produce house where poultry and eggs were bought and shipped for them by W. T. Bracy. This main part of town had grown quite rapidly since the coming of the railroad and in 1920 the section covered the length of two blocks on either side of Main Street. The town was incorporated in 1905 and the population was more than one thousand. There were three churches and one high school.
On April 7, 1923, one of the worst fires in the history of Calico Rock almost completely destroyed the business section of the town. The fire started in a small storage building behind the Mercantile Company owned by Garner Brothers. This building was very near the railroad switch track. Sparks from the switch engine set fire to the dry shingles on the wind was very high and fanned the flames, it was but a few hours until the complete length of two blocks on the lower side of the street and one block on the upper side of the street was a blazing inferno. There was no water system at the time and it was through the very heroic efforts of the bucket brigade that finally brought the blaze under control. Some of the stock of goods from each store was save from the fire, piled out in the street and quite a bit of it was carried off by thieves before it could be put inside again. A number of people came out of that fire with a new pair of shoes but it would have been impossible to tell just who they were unless one could identify the owner by looking at the old shoes left by the side of the railroad track.
Out of approximately twenty-five buildings, only five remained. These housed the State Bank of Calico Rock, Yeatman Gray Grocery Co., Evans Bros. Drug Store and R. H. Wayland & Son's Store. Rebuilding began as soon as claims could be settled and the good people of Calico Rock began to triumph out of the destruction.
Brick and stone buildings replaced the old wood structures. In the years from 1920 to 1925 there were also many new concrete buildings erected. Among them was the new High School building, also several business houses in East Calico Rock. A few years later Mr. H. W. Wright moved to Calico Rock and erected a large building and installed the Ice Plant and Electric Company. In 1935, the town put in a water system. In 1967, the new concrete bridge was built across Calico Creek which has since become Highway 56.
The Tri-County Fair was held on land that now houses the Tip Wiseman Lions Club Rodeo Arena, the Wilson-Byler VFW Post, and King City Park. Large numbers of people from miles around came to the fair. At one of these early exhibitions, the county’s first hot air balloon ascension occurred, as did the first airplane flight.
People enjoyed good times, watched silent movies at the theatre in Calico Rock, danced the Charleston, and drank home brew in Peppersauce Alley.
Just as the Great Depression was settling in and the peach borer was sucking the life from the economy, the Hoss Hair Pullers gained national fame with their vocals and fiddle playing. In 1929, they were broadcast on the radio with their wholesome country music and descriptions of the laid back life in Izard County.
Dr. H. Harlin Smith introduced the group with this perfect advertisement for the area:
“So everybody come to the Arkansas Ozarks, where you can eat the best fruit in the world; where home-cured meat is found in the smokehouse, and corn and hay in the barn; where you can juice your own cow, feed your own chickens, fish in the wonderful White River, meet these men of he Missouri Pacific and the natives, and you will then say ‘yes, indeed, you have the most wonderful country in the world.’” Izard County history marched on with the Great Courthouse Fires, The Depression, the WPA, the opening of the White River and Sylamore Bridges, the last ferry ride at Calico Rock, blacktopping of roads, new school buildings, and many changes to our community.
World War II saw many sons and daughters go off to war. A monument to those who gave it all for our country stands in front of the Courthouse in Melbourne, imported from Italy, and erected to honor the men who died in service in World War I and World War II. The marker reads, “They gave their lives to make the world safe for democracy that we might be free.”
We honor those who gave their all in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War I, and the Gulf War II. And, we honor those whose names have not yet been called to serve in places not yet known to defend our way of life, who will sacrifice some or all to make men free.
In 1946 the wall through the middle of Main Street was torn away and the street was leveled. That added much to the looks of the street and well as being an aid to traffic and parking. Early in 1947 Calico Rock was divided into three wards and made a second class city. Calico Rock being located on the banks of White River and Calico Creek is located in a place where its has been flooded many times with thousands of dollars lost in damage to buildings and merchandise.
In 1986, a group of concerned citizens formed the Calico Rock Industrial Development Corporation. Donations were made to purchase land for an industrial park which was traded with land purchased by the Calico Rock School District in the early 1990s. David Mathews developed the first industrial building in the park in the early 1990s when he expanded his Stone County Ironworks to Calico Rock. They manufactured metal products for Longaberger Basket Company until 2004 when the plant closed following Longaberger’s decision to use a Chinese supplier. Though the Ironworks had changed ownership previous, the closing of the plant was devastating to the community with the loss of jobs.
The former Ironworks property occupies nearly 20 acres of land in the Hale Garner Industrial Park and has nearly 65,000 square feet of prime manufacturing space. The property has a powder coating system that makes the site ideal for metal fabrication. For more information on this property, contact the CRIDC offices at 870-297-4129.
In the early 1990s, Calico Rock received the North Central Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction, a municipal airport was developed, and the regional office of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission was located in Calico Rock.
There’s a lot going for us, too… Medical Center
The Community Medical Center of Izard County is located in Calico Rock, just
minutes from our industrial park. CMCIC features a clinic open six days per week
and staffed by five full-time physicians. The hospital features a 25 bed facility, surgical suite, trauma center, and complete diagnostic capabilities. A $3.5 million expansion to be completed in 2006 will more than double our capacity.
Airport Facilities The Calico Rock area is serviced by Calico Rock Municipal Airport located just minutes from downtown Calico Rock. The 3,000 foot asphalt runway features tie-downs and a new lighting system. A $500,000 grant from the FAA will allow the development of a master plan to include expansion and improvements to a 4,000 foot runway, taxiway, hangars and instrument approach.
911 ServicesCalico Rock and Izard County are serviced by 911 services coordinated at our county seat in Melbourne. Ambulance services are provided by Arkansas Emergency Transport and AirEvac helicopter. Emergency medical treatment is available at the Community Medical Center of Izard County in Calico Rock and regionally at Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home or a number of trauma centers in Springfield,
Education The White River Pre-School (formerly Rainbow Child Center) is an accredited preschool and day care facility recently relocated to a new modern facility.
Calico Rock Head Start (870-297-8853) offers a preschool education experience for students, giving them the tools they need to be ready to go to public school.
The Calico Rock Public School system (870-297-8533) is rated among the best in the state for academic and extracurricular educational opportunities. The district is accredited by the North Central Association and boasts some of the finest facilities in the state. A new fine arts complex and auditorium are welcome additions to our elementary campus along with state-of-the-art athletic facilities at our high school campus. Contact Jerry Skidmore, Superintendent of schools.
Ozarka College (870-368-7371)offers both vocational training programs and a two-year college located within 20 minutes of Calico Rock. Arkansas State University in Mountain Home (870-508-6100)offers both four-year and two-year degree programs and transfer credits to other four-year higher education institutions. Both are just a short drive from Calico Rock.
Fire & Police ProtectionThe Calico Rock Volunteer Fire Department (870-297-4203) provides an all-volunteer fire protection system to our area with modern facilities and equipment and state-of-the-art training. Our fire protection insurance rates are very low and our community has continually invested in the services of our fire department.
Police protection is provided on a contract law enforcement basis with the Izard County Sheriff's Department (870-368-4203). Modern equipment, well-trained staff and a department focused on crime prevention and community policing provides excellent services for our area.
Civic Organizations get things done… 20/20 Group
The 20/20 Group was started in April 2004 based on a desire by private citizens, businesses and other groups to support and promote efforts that preserve, restore and value the unique culture, history, natural beauty and charm of Calico Rock and the surrounding region.
The Mission:Appreciating and celebrating the past to enhance the present and enrich the future.
The Goals: Goal I: Promote activities that preserve, restore and beautify historical buildings and areas.
Goal II: Develop activities that will increase 20/20’s membership and promote mission.
Goal III: Sponsor efforts to secure appropriate signage for Calico Rock historic buildings and other points of interest.
Goal IV: Identify buildings, areas of natural beauty, trails and other points of interest in Calico Rock and the area that can be included in the publication of a brochure promoting a “Walking Tour”.
Goal V: Collect and preserve documents, pictures, etc. that “tell the story” of the history and culture of Calico Rock and the surrounding region.
Goal VI: Secure grants, money and in-kind donations that will enable 20/20 to
achieve its’ goals
Chamber of Commerce
A civic organization whose members are individuals and merchants dedicated to a thriving economy and growing the opportunities for our community. The chamber plans many festivals and special events throughout the year.
Industrial Development Corporation
A non-profit organization whose sole mission is jobs. The group works to attract businesses, economic development, and industry to the community. They manage the Hale Garner Industrial Park.
A civic organization whose members are active in community service. They sponsor the annual Rodeo Days, provide a concession stand during the summer ball program, provide an annual Fourth of July Fireworks Display, assist with programs for the blind, and many others.
A non-profit group dedicated to increasing community awareness and involvement in the Community Medical Center of Izard County and fundraising for hospital projects. The auxiliary also supports medical clinics in Calico Rock, Melbourne, and Horseshoe
Bend. Anyone can be a member and new members are welcome. Dues are $4 per year and meetings are held monthly from September to May on the first Monday of every month. Meetings are at the Home Health Center in Calico Rock.
Community Recycling Center
The Community Recycling Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a location for collecting recyclable materials for the towns of Calico Rock and Pineville. Recycling Bins are located behind the Calico Rock Elementary.
Recreation and fun for the family
The city has excellent recreational facilities in King City Park and Rand City Park. Mountain biking trails are located just minutes from Calico Rock in the Ozark National Forest. For the adventurism, Blanchard Springs Caverns, Lake Norfork, and the White River offer many activities.
Our families come first in Calico Rock, our history and heritage provides a strong foundation, and our hope is in a bright future for our children and future generations.
Perhaps the best parting thought is found in the Walnut Street Bridge. A true historic landmark, the bridge was closed for many years due to deterioration and age. Today, the bridge is fully functional in downtown Calico Rock as an opening to Peppersauce Alley. The bridge is a metaphor for our community. We are strong because we remember our past and we’re going toward our future!
On the Banks of the White River
A Celebration of the 100th Anniversary
Of Calico Rock, Arkansas Published by the
Calico Rock Industrial Development Corporation
Copyright 2005, All Rights Reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
2005 CRIDC Board of Directors and Staff
Steven D. Mitchell, President; Danny H. Moser, Vice President;
Gary Teague, Secretary/Treasurer; LaNelle Hamby, Director;
Chris Eck, Director; Dean Hudson, Director; Gene Lockie, Director;
Jim King, Director; Cheryl Coffey, Director
Velda Dixon, Office Manager
For additional copies or information on Calico Rock contact us:
Calico Rock IDC/Chamber of Commerce
Historic Bank Building
Post Office Box 311
Calico Rock, Arkansas 72519
Or visit us on the World Wide Web at:
The photos used in this book are courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce.