The Great South - Down the Mississippi


But now the most effective civilizer, the iron rail, has been laid down across the State. The St. Louis, Southern, and Iron Mountain railroad has stretched an arm from the Missouri border down the Black and White River valleys to Little Rock, the pretty and flourishing capital of the Commonwealth; thence through Arkadelphia, along the Ouachita valley, and across the Little Missouri and the Red River valley to the Texas boundary, where it connects with the Great Northern, the International, and the Trans-Continental. In other words, it has placed Arkansas on the direct high road to Texas, and opened up to settlement, on terms which the poorest immigrant can accept, good lands for raising corn and the smaller grains, uplands wooded with pine, and bottoms all through the Red River Valley timbered with walnut, oak and ash,—noble cotton lands,— and a fine country for fruit and grapes. The wild grape grows abundantly in the forests, and to large size. Along the line of this railroad also are scattered iron, coal, kaolin and clay in large deposits. That portion of the road extending from the Missouri border southward was built as the Cairo and Fulton railroad, giving a through line from Cairo, Ill., on the east bank of the Mississippi, to Fulton, on the Texas line; but it is now consolidated with the St. Louis and Iron Mountain road, which has recently completed its line from St. Louis to Little Rock, running through the range of mineral mountains in south-eastern Missouri, and uniting with the Cairo and Fulton route at Newport. Through the White River Valley there are some of the loveliest river-bottom lands on the continent, where cotton yields a bale or a bale and a half, corn, seventy-five bushels, and wheat, twenty-five bushels, to the acre. This section of Arkansas is also admirably suited for the culture of tobacco and hemp, besides being an excellent fruit and stock country. Along this mammoth line of rail nearly two million acres, confirmed to the company by act of Congress, are now in market, and immigrants are rapidly settling at distances of five and ten miles from the railroad.

  Visit #Hit Counter since 11/11/2002
Last updated 10/07/2009.