Some Families from North Carolina
Pope County, Arkansas

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Beginning in 1838, a large number of North Carolinians living in Cabarrus, western Montgomery, and Anson Counties removed west settling on lands along the Arkansas River in Pope County, Arkansas. On numerous occasions spanning back to 1800, residents in western Montgomery County petitioned the state’s general assembly for the creation of a new county. Just prior to this migration, the state finally acted positively on a petition and ordered the formation of Stanly County. Possibly in reaction to disgruntled citizens, the decision was likely politically driven in order to minimize the effect such migrations had on voting power. This petition serves as one of the last legal documents signed in North Carolina by many of those who moved to Arkansas.

As population grew, upcoming generations of North Carolinians no longer had access to large tracts of land cheaply purchased from the state. The cost of living was on the rise. Many had tried their hand at gold mining. Some made fortunes, but most suffered from illness and economic ruin. The migration west was healthy, offering promises of a new and better life. And as time moved forward, its mark was stamped forever on both those who moved and those who decided to remain in Carolina. Now defunct and as was once located in Montgomery County NC, the minutes of Flat Rock Lutheran Church (1832-1845) include a broken roll of its membership. To illustrate the effects of this migration, the following names appear in the roll marked with an “+” indicating by key that the person had “+ move away:”

Peter Pless
Milly Tucker
V. D. Shinn
Martha Shinn
Sarah Teeter
Elizabeth Harky
Kelly Harky
Sophia Shinn
Pleasant Tucker
Paul Teeter
Isaac Harky
George H. Teeter
Garret Pless
Catherine Pless
Elizabeth Shinn
John Harky
Liza Teeter
Caroline Teeter
Kathern Harky
Saly Harky
J. E. Shin
Ransom Shinn
Peter Teeter
Martin A. Teeter
John Harky
Elizabeth Pless
Hester Shinn
Elizabeth Pless (dau.
of Adam Pless)
Elizabeth Teeter
Mary Harky
Rebecca Harky
Mariah Harky
Elison Sossamon
Silas M. Shinn
David Harky
James M. Shinn
Archbald Teeter
The above is only one church whose members mostly moved to one county in Arkansas. Citizens in the same area also moved to Crawford, Montgomery and other counties in Arkansas. And they moved to Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Flat Rock Lutheran Church was forced to close its doors. Though a portion of its membership was folded into the congregation at St. Martin’s, most became members of the Methodist Church. The photo of Flat Rock Lutheran Cemetery at the top of this page is in memory of those the migration left behind. It is the resting place of many friends and family who did not make the trip west.

One of those who made the early journey west was David Harkey. His daughter Elizabeth Cartherine was born in 1847 and later married George Allen Reed in 1867. Catherine died in 1933. Dated 14 Jan 1929, and as appeared in the Russellville Courier-Democrat the following article tells clearly of early life in Pope County and of the migration west:

Mrs. Kate Harkey

Another sprightly pioneer woman is Mrs. Reed, affectionately called "Aunt Kate," widow of George Allen Reed, also a pioneer. When abstractors get a bit mixed on the title for a deed, they consult Mrs. Reed, who can tell exactly who settled that tract, and who several subsequent purchasers were. This is how she came to be a pioneer. "My father, David Harkey, started with twelve other families in wagons from Cabrais, Stanley County, N.C. November 15, 1839. They came through Tennessee and part of Mississippi and Georgia and they got to this section on December 12, 1839 -- just lacking three days of taking a month on the way. They crossed at Memphis on the first steamboat they ever saw. My father built a house and cleared some land at the foot of Norristown Mountain. There were 18 children, and I am the youngest. I have two brothers living in Texas, Henry Harkey of Arlington, and Jacob Harkey of Lancaster - we are the last of the family. My father lived to be eighty-seven, but mother died at fifty-six. "My mother spun and wove and knit, and taught her girls to do the same, and I think, helped to clear land, too. Everyone worked hard to get their land ready to farm. Sometimes bears passed through on their way across the river to higher mountains - panthers, too. But what the women and children feared most was wild hogs. "We crossed the river in skiffs and flat-boats when we wanted to trade in Dardanelle, and later there were a good many steamboats. I remember one called "Tennessee Belle" from Tennessee. Another was the "Glandy Bird" and Mr, Love's negroes made a song about it. Part of it was like this: "I'll take mah duds an' pack on mah back Till de Glandy Bird comes down." "Another man built a tavern at Norristown -- but I don't remember who that was -- Col. Norris was the first. There was a Masonic Hall built about 1850, I think, and the lodge was held in the upper hall of it, and church service in the lower part; we had service on a week-day usually for the ministers had to go to other places. Later, there was a log church -- built by the Methodists on the present site of the city cemetery, but the first frame building was built just back of the present Methodist Episcopal church and served for all denominations, with a Union Sunday School. The first stores in Russellville were Jacob and Madison Shinn's, and Hugh Wells'. J.B. Erwin bought out Mr. Wells, who then went into the grocery and liquor business while Mr. Erwin did general merchandising. Dr. Russell built an office and he and his brother, Capt. James Thomas Russell, lived for a short time with the Maddox family, until they could build a home. The Russell’s were English and came from Liverpool, originally. Dr. Russell was the only physician anywhere near. The town, you know, was named for them, a second choice being for the Shinn family, but it was finally decided in favor of Russellville. "I can remember the gold rush in 1849 and how people cried when their kin left for the west. The first hotel or tavern in Russellville - it was where the Central Presbyterian church now stands, and was built by Coke Darneil. Another tavern was built by a man named Richmond and later sold to Jonah Tucker, who conducted it for many years. It was on the opposite side of River Street." Mrs. Reed told of many Indians living here and later of hundreds coming each fall on a secret pilgrimage, camping at the foot of Norristown Bluff. White people were kind, but feared them. The annual visits continued until after the War Between the States. Mrs. Reed is now in her eighty-fourth year and lives with her daughter, Miss Emma Reed, a teacher in the city schools. A son, L.D Reed, lives at Ozark. Mrs. Reed maintains the high standards and ideals of the old citizenship and an honored and active member of the Methodist church, enjoying a wide circle of friends.”

During the summer of 2003 I had the chance to visit Pope County. Its people are wonderfully polite and the land is equally inviting. I hope you enjoy reading through some of my notes. The following is an index of pages on family and family friends who moved to Pope County, Arkansas. Also try using the search engine below.

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Love Family

Darling Love
Likely the son of James and Polly Tucker Love.
Pleasant Love
Likely the son of James and Polly Tucker Love.
Sarah N. Love
Likely the daughter of James and Polly Tucker Love. She married Dr. William A. Burkhead.
John Asbury Love
Son of Jonah and Mary Garmon Love
Mary Love
Daughter of Jonah and Mary Garmon Love. She married Lewis Tucker, Oren Taylor, and lastly Josiah L. K. Honeycutt.
Martha Love
Daughter of Jonah and Mary Garmon Love. She married John Petray.
Elizabeth Love
Daughter of Jonah and Mary Garmon Love. She married George Wilson Petray.

Pless Family

Peter Pless
Son of Christopher and Sarah Pless.
He removed to Pope County ca. 1838 with his sons. Peter returned to Stanly County where he wrote a last will and testament in 1854
Garret Pless
Son of Peter and Elizabeth Boger Pless
Charles “Charlie” Pless
Son of Peter and Elizabeth Boger Pless
Catherine Pless
Daughter of Peter and Elizabeth Boger Pless
She married George H. Teeter
John Adam Pless
Son of Peter and Elizabeth Boger Pless

Reed Family

Conrad and Martha Love Reed
Their children Martha Reed (wife of Arthur Reed), Thomas P. Reed, and Nancy Reed (wife of William A. Cagle moved to Arkansas. Also, grandson Jackson B., son of Elizabeth Reed Rendleman made the trip.
George Reed
George Reed married Elizabeth Freeman, grandaughter of James Love. Their children Claiborne Freeman Reed, Arhtur Taylor Reed, George W. Reed, and possbly Marshall M. Reed moved to Pope County, Arkansas.


This homepage is the result of many a turned page and word passed. If you have any questions, additions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. My name is:

George Thomas

9936 Huntwyck Drive
Raleigh, North Carolina

Copyright © 2003 by George G. Thomas


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