Business View Magazine | March 2019

235 ps County, Arkansas A RICH HERITAGE land, was a cotton-producing area, containing large plantations with many African-American slaves. The first sawmill was built there in 1826. In addition to agriculture and lumber, trans- portation was one of the county’s early indus- tries. In 1875, the Arkansas Midland Railroad was built west from Helena. New cities were established along the railroad lines, includ- ing Marvell, which was incorporated in 1876. Several new lumber companies arose as a re- sult of the railroads, which made transporting wood and wood products far easier. One of the darkest spots in Phillips County history took place on the night of September 30, 1919 in what became known as the Elaine Massacre. What started as a meeting of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America at a church in Hoop Spur, three miles north of Elaine, erupted into violence which ended in the death of hundreds of African- American citizens and the arrest of nearly 300