Category: Chicot County

Rev. Green Hill Jones of Grand Lake, Arkansas

Rev. G. H. Jones served in the Arkansas General Assembly in 1885 and 1889. Courtesy of the Old State House Museum.

Few people realize that African-Americans continued to be elected in Chicot County into the early 1890s. The Rev. Green Hill Jones (1842-1924) was one of those men.

Jones had been enslaved on the Rayner Plantation on Grand Lake in Chicot County prior to the Civil War. Jones escaped slavery and served in the U. S. Colored Troops during the war. After the war, Jones went north to New Madrid, Missouri and Mound City, Illinois where he taught school and was ordained in the Free Will Baptist Church. From 1870 to 1873, he attended Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. After graduation, he taught in Paducah, Kentucky. Upon his return to Chicot County, he was elected county treasurer in 1874 and then to two terms in the Arkansas House–1885 and 1889.

The Free Baptist Cyclopaedia published a short, but fascinating biography of Rev. Jones in 1889:

Biography of Rev. Jones, published in Free Baptist Cyclopaedia (1889)

Jones, Rev. Greenleaf [sic] H., of Gr[a]nd Lake, Ark. was connected with the Cairo Mission as an ordained minister as early as 1870. The next year he attended Hillsdale College and afterwards taught among the colored people in Paducah, KY., and vicinity, where he also engaged in ministerial work. Subsequently, he secured land in Arkansas and became wealthy. He served in the Legislature of the state and held many county offices. He is at present pastor of the Rising Sun church of the Bon Eagle Q. M. (Miss.), and exerting a wide influence among his people.

Jones pastored several churches in Chicot County:

Rising [Risen] Sun at Grand Lake (1876-1877; 1889-1897; 1899)
Mt. Pisgah at Grand Lake (1898; 1903)
Mt. Olive at Grand Lake (1902)
Sweet Home at Eudora (1906-1907).

Jones died in 1924 and is buried in Mason Cemetery south of Eudora.

Also see Southeast Arkansas’s African-American Legislators, 1868-1893 and

Wintory, Blake. “African-American Legislators in the Arkansas General Assembly, 1868-1893: Another Look,” in A Confused and Confusing Affair: Arkansas and Reconstruction, ed. by Mark Christ. Little Rock: Butler Center Books, 2018. [expected April 2018]

Wintory, Blake J. “Green Hill Jones (1842-1924),” Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture (April 2018)


Update February 15, 2018

It appears the Rising Sun Church was still standing as late as 2006. A 1936 Chicot County Highway Map shows a church between Eudora and Grand Lake. This church, as of 2018, still shows up in Google maps as Rising Sun Church. Google Earth’s historical imagery shows what is likely the Rising Sun Church still standing as late as 2006.

Church, now identified as Rising Sun, as shown in a 1936 Chicot County Highway Map

Rising Sun Church, Google Earth imagery, 2003


Close-up of 2003 image of Rising Sun Church

Lake Village Postcard shows Lakeshore homes ca 1950

We recently added this ca 1950 postcard to our collection at Lakeport. The mid-century scene clearly shows two homes along Lakeshore Drive.



Roughly the same view of South Lakeshore Dr via Google Streetview (August 2016)

Looking closely, I believe I have identified both houses on South Lakeshore Dr., just south of downtown. The second home in the image is commonly called, the Reynolds House. “Lakeside,” as its owner officially christened it, was built for General D. H. Reynolds in the 1870s by Nelson Bunker. The home was significantly remodeled in the 1890s.


Close up of “Lakeside,” ca. 1950


“Lakeside” in 1990. Courtesy of Arkansas Historic Preservation Program










The first house (unnamed as far as I know) is also still standing, although modified a bit. The home is identifiable by the four sets of columns along the front porch.  Today the house has a brick exterior and the lattice work along the roof is gone; the dormer, now a window rather than a vent, is still a distinguishing feature for the early twentieth-century home.

The home was likely built in the first decade of the twentieth-century and appears on the 1912 Sanborn Fire Insurance map for Lake Village. D. H. Reynolds’ death in 1902 and the subsequent growth in Lake Village initiated new construction around the Lakeside homeplace. Sanborn Maps label the area, “Mrs. Reynolds Second Addition”


The home is still identifiable by the four sets of columns along the front porch.


Close up of “unnamed house,” ca. 1950





The two homes appear in the 1912 Sanborn Fire Insurance map.


Updated November 22, 2016

1935 Lake Chicot Garden Club Visits Lakeport

While doing research at the Arkansas History Commission in the Clara B. Eno Collection, which contains the source material for her 1939 book, Historic Places in Arkansas, I found a June 1935 article about the Lake Chicot Garden Club’s visit to Lakeport.

By 1935 Lakeport had been vacated by the Johnsons, who moved to Greenville, Mississippi, and sold to Sam Epstein.  Frank Dantzler and his wife, Fannie (both originally from Macon, Mississippi), occupied the home and ran the plantation for Mr. Epstein.  Mrs. Dantzler died in 1936 and Mr. Dantzler continued to operate the plantation until 1950.  He died in 1952.  Both are buried in Odd Fellows Cemetery in Macon.  

The article describes the house (not always accurately) as having a “spacious front lawn filled with oaks and magnolias,” “wrought iron balconies, 12-foot tall mahogany doors, arched doorways, winding stairs and beautiful coped ceilings.”  Outside the house, the ladies of the club found “old slave quarters, dairies and outdoor kitchen still in perfect condition.”

Commentary: The ornamental iron is cast iron, the doors are 10′ 8″ pine with a faux grain in oak and rosewood, and there is only one arch in the house.  There was probably only one dairy and the “outdoor kitchen” was likely the smokehouse, since the kitchen, with a built in cast iron stove, is attached to the house. I’m very curious about the “old slave quarters”; is it the collection of building north of the house captured in a 1927 photo during the flood?  We have since decided these buildings date to after 1870, probably to the time Victor Johnson ran the plantation.

Eno listed 11 historic places in the Chicot County (vs. 34 in her home county of Crawford).

 Eno’s Historic Places in Chicot County (1939)

1. Battlefield of Dutch [sic Ditch] Bayou.

2. A Skirmish during the War between States occurred on the Tecumseh Plantation.

3. Confederate Monument at Lake Village, erected by the Capt. McConnel Chapter of Lake Village, George K. Cracraft Chapter of Eudora, and the citizens of Chicot County.  It stands on the Court House lawn on the lake front.

4. Site of the Corneil Warfield home on Grand Lake on Highway 65 just beyond Eudora.  It contains secret closets.

5.  Home of Lycurgus Johnson, a noted family.

6. The John Saunder home, occupied as a hospital during the War between the States.  Now the home of Judge Harry C. Cook.

7.  Lewellen [sic Llewellyn] Place 12 miles above Luna Landing.

8.  Luna Landing in the northern part of the county on the Mississippi river, where the inhabitants of the nearby county received their supplies from 1840 to 1903.  From the Steamboat Landing on Grand Lake, those in the southern part were supplied.

9. A monument marks the sight where Lindbergh made his first night flight in 1923.  This is on Highway No. 2, two miles north of Lake Village.  Marked by the Delphian Club.

10.  Indian Mounds, Mt. Tecumseh, about 50 feet high.

11.  Lake Village County Seat, marked by Centennial Commission.

I plan on visiting Eno’s sites and updating their description.  Check back for more information.