City of EMMET
City Hall | P.O. Box 245 | Emmet, AR 71835 | 870-887-5370
Town and County History
The western portion of Nevada County was carved out of Hempstead County when Nevada was formed in 1871. The post office was established in the vicinity of the Nevada/Hempstead county line that same year. At the time the post office was established, it was known as Burkville. According to the Arkansas Post Office Directory of 1988, the early name of Burkville was changed to Emmet in 1874, after the Cairo & Fulton Railroad was built through the region.
The Cairo & Fulton Railroad was completed to Emmet on August 12, 1873, and the first freight train ran on that date. It later became the St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad, now the Union-Pacific Railroad. The railroad has been instrumental, not only in the development of the Town of Emmet, but also in the development of Nevada County.
Emmet, located seven and a half miles southwest of Prescott (the county seat), is a railroad town that was surveyed and platted out in 1873, by Emmet Elgin, an Irish employee of the railroad. A few years later, another man with the last name Elgin, Robert Francis Elgin, an employee of the Cairo & Fulton Railroad, who assisted with the surveys of the Nevada County towns of Boughton and Prescott, became the first depot agent in Emmet and later the first postmaster. Robert Elgin died in Emmet in 1937, though it is not known where he is interned.
Two-thirds of the town—and the portion of the town containing Ephesus Cemetery— lies in Nevada County, and one-third lies in Hempstead County. Emmet was incorporated on May 5, 1883. By 1920, the town recorded a population of 420. It has remained a small town since its inception, and as of the 2006 Census, Emmet’s population has only increased to 506 people.
In 1884, the incorporated town of Emmet contained such local businesses as a steam saw mill, two churches, and a school. Fruit and vegetables were shipped on the Southern & Pacific Railroad, and the town’s population was quite small—but viable—at 150.
Polk’s Arkansas State Gazetter and Business Directories listed the following businesses in Emmet from around the same year (1888):
Barton W.G. & Co. General Store
Frederick Chambers, Poultry Breeder
Emmet Farmer’s Club, Dr. John E. Snell, President,
J. G. Gillespie, Physician
John P. Holmes, Methodist Episcopal Reverend
Charles E. Jenkinson, Carpenter
G. W. L. Kanawah, Nurseryman
G. W. Logan, Methodist Episcopal Reverend
John L. McGough, Saw Mill Owner & Operator
S. McSwain, Hotel Owner & Operator
James W. Neill, Justice of the Peace
Oscar Phillips, Town Marshall
Stainton & McSwain, General Store
Charles H. Titus, Real Estate
Miss E. van Valkenburg, Teacher
According to Goodspeed’s 1890 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas, Emmet contains:
"A water-power flouring-mill, 2 general stores, a grocery, hotel, 2 churches, a district school, post office, railroad depot, express office, etc., and a population of about 200."
Sitting some 60 feet to the south of the cemetery is the Ephesus Primitive Baptist Church, which was established in 1860, in order for the early settlers in the area to have a place to worship. An old daguerreotype of Ephesus Primitive Baptist Church shows a large congregation in front of the church, indicating the church was very active in the early days of its history, and many of the settlers of Emmet are assumed to have attended the church. Unfortunately, the last two members of the church’s congregation passed away within the past decade, and were buried in the Ephesus Cemetery. Thusly, the Ephesus Primitive Baptist Church is no longer an active church.
|Dale Booker||MAYOR||Email Dale Booker||870-887-5370||870) 887-5370|
Square Miles: 1.50
People Per Square Mile: 345.00