Blacksmith shop in Dalton, Arkansas circa 1910

Lifestyles in the Eleven Point River Valley Changed Slowly

Lydia Upshaw and family in front of the Rice-Upshaw House

It was not until the late-nineteenth century when photography began to document the lifestyles of the grandchildren of Reuben Rice, William Looney, and the other pioneering families. In the early twentieth century Dalton became the principal trading center. One of its two blacksmith shops, circa 1910, is shown in the historic photograph above. Even by mid-twentieth century stacked-rail fences still surrounded pastures and fields. Many log dwelling houses and outbuildings were still standing from earlier days, some purely out of habit. By 1900 the log house Reuben Rice built in 1828 was once again altered by his grand-daughter Lydia Rice Upshaw and her husband Andrew Jackson Upshaw. They gathered their children, and the family dog to pose for an itinerant photographer passing through Davidson Township.

Today the restored Rice-Upshaw House and the William Looney Tavern, still stand amidst vast pastures of grazing cattle, emblematic of two centuries of agricultural heritage.

 

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Pocahontas & Paragould, Arkansas

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