MN&A, DK&S? Old Railroad Depot in Searcy AR. Another one.

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Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Advantage

 Railroad depot Searcy aR

Our continuing saga about railroad depots.....here's another one.  This photo was taken by Paula in her Girl Scouts' project about photography.  That was in the 40's.  I mistakenly said it was a 4H project earlier but I've been corrected.  Paula went around old Searcy snapping photos of buildings and businesses and those photos have almost made her a new Disfarmer.  (Look him up if you've never heard of him. He was an eccentric photographer in Heber Springs and is worth a blog all by himself. His photos now sell for thousands.)

I need someone in Searcy-land to tell me which railroad depot this was.  There's a very interesting article in the Searcy Daily Citizen http://www.thedailycitizen.com/articles/2008/08/09/news/local_news/news01.txt today about the M&NA Railroad line which went through Searcy. This may be its depot.

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Rainmaker
736,228
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Michael Thornton, those skylines will be memorabilia.  Look at the twin towers old photos.  They are the collectibles of the future.

Mike, I'll look him up.

Dick, I'll take the cats over men anyday.  At least cats can't talk back and make demands and hurl insults like you guys do.  I'm glad I was your 10th;  couldn't take any more insults! 

Aug 10, 2008 10:07 AM #15
Anonymous
Ludean

Anyone from Searcy remember the railcar type diner on the northside of the station run by Mrs. Davidson?  She was a nice lady and my grandmother liked to stop and talk to her.  I was a young kid, but I thought she had the coldest drinks in town. 

Aug 10, 2008 04:41 PM #16
Rainmaker
736,228
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Barbara, that is the Rock Island Depot and it was indeed just north of Spring Park and the library on Spring St. and Pleasure Ave.. The depot was the terminal on a spur of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific RR from where the main line passed through Prairie county.

Beautiful building isn't it? I used to accompany my father, E.A. Collins, in the late 30's/ early 40s to pick up express and other freight from there for delivery in Searcy. He also picked up freight from the DK&S, southeast of the park on Main Street, and the M&NA Station on what is now Capps Expy about three blocks south of the park. The M&NA also had passenger service provided by the "Dinky", a self propelled car.

Posted by Barbara for Bob Collins.

Dec 16, 2008 01:33 PM #17
Rainmaker
736,228
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Here's another note from Bob Collins.

Someone was asking about a diner on your blog. One run by a Mrs. Garrison. I don't remember that one, but  my grandfather, Jim Selvidge, owned and operated Jim's Diner on the north side of court house square from the mid 30s until after  WWII when he sold it. About the time he retired from the diner business my mother opened up a diner on what is now S. Spruce across from Moye and Young's and on the site where Thompson Hatchery sat before it burned down. Sometime around 1950 she moved the diner to a lot across from the fire station and city hall. I can't remember the name of her diner.  

Ludean could this be what you wre asking about?

Dec 16, 2008 01:35 PM #18
Rainer
13,920
Maggie Baumbach
Search Homes for Sale in Maryland at HelpShop.com - Reisterstown, MD

The old photos are really priceless. And train stops are really neat and romantic. Thanks for sharing it.

Dec 16, 2008 05:46 PM #19
Rainmaker
736,228
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Maggie, I'm glad you liked the old photo.  I personally have always liked the looks of railroad depots.  I don't know why but I do.

Dec 16, 2008 06:28 PM #20
Anonymous
Bob Collins, Colorado Springs, SHS '51

January 4, 2009

Technology Reveals History 

I discovered the Activerain blog while Googling for "M&NA, Dinky". The picture of the old Rock Island depot got me to researching railroads that had serviced Searcy. By using the Street View feature of Google Maps I see that the Doniphan, Kensett & Searcy depot is the only one of the three still standing. I believe that the building just to the south of the depot on Main Street was once a DK&S warehouse. Also, I think the brick building in the background of Paula's depot picture was the old Western Union telegraph office. The building that replaced the depot ties into it.

After reading Reece Wyatt's comments in an AP story about finding old Missouri and Arkansas /Missouri & North Arkansas (M&A/MN&A) railroad tracks http://www2.arkansasonline.com/news/2008/aug/10/construction-reveals-old-railroad-track-searcy/ and the late Tom Pry's recollections of the M&A from his Blog site "Searcy Yesteryear" http://searcyyesteryear.blogspot.com/2005_04_01_archive.html , I wondered if I could follow the alignment of the M&A roadbed as it passed through Arkansas. This curiosity turned into a lot fun because an unbelievable amount of its "footprint" remains over sixty years after the railroad's demise.

I went to the satellite tab of Google Maps and started looking at each end of Beebe Capps Freeway in Searcy.  On the westerly end I found traces of the railroad (a row of trees) between Beebe Capps and Skyline Drive.  The homes on Western Hills Drive back up to these trees. Mr. Wyatt referred to this location in the AP article. By adjusting the map and scale you can see from other trees that the railroad would have crossed through the middle of Searcy Healthcare Center, run parallel to Stoneybrook Lane, through Food King and crossed highway 36 at an angle in line with Chapel Lane. Continuing west on Chapel Lane you can see where the M&A passed through some through some woods, down what is now Pinion drive, and across Valley Road. The trace becomes faint here but by moving the map (click and drag) and/or adjusting the scale you can see where it picks up again and makes a wide sweeping turn to the north after crossing Crosby Road. This curve in the roadbed across a field and through the woods is beautiful even today. 

Fortunately, railroad beds, for the most part, follow a direct line. So, using the technique of dragging the map and changing scale to cover some iffy places I was able to follow the old roadbed through Crosby, Letona, and Pangburn, to Heber Springs. I had intended to try to follow it all the way to Leslie, but lost the trail near Big Dike Road west of Heber. I assume that the lake covers much of the old roadbed now.  I tried to pick it up again at Shirley, but the satellite maps aren't the quality of those to the southeast. My 1942 railroad atlas aided me in locating the M&A route through Arkansas.

In the southeast direction I was able to trace the M&A remains to near the airport at Helena. I'll only cover the route from West Point back to Main Street in Searcy here. Looking at West Point there is a tree line to the southeast, which lines up with Old Railroad Road between Kensett and West Point. At SE 4th Street in Kensett the alignment is with Lutrell. The trace ends at SE 1st and the ‘Missouri Pacific' tracks near the south end of the Kensett rail yard. The track picks up again near the end of SW 3d street. Follow the tree line and the unnamed road to where the trace ties into East Beebe Capps west of the US 67 interchange. From here to Main Street, Beebe Capps was, for the most part, built on the M&A roadbed. However, I believe that the RR followed a more direct path between Burks Blvd and Oak St. than the freeway does. There is a trace between Oak and just to the east of Main and Mulberry, but this may have been a spur. There is evidence of a link between this trace and the DK&S tracks to the northeast.

If anyone is interested in tracing the M&A on to Helena, the towns southeast of West Point, shown on my 1942 railroad map, are Georgetown, McClelland, Cotton Plant, Wheatley (crossed the Rock Island line here), Hopper, Moro, Aubrey, Rondo, the M&A appears to have by-passed Lexa to the north and east, West Helena and Helena. There appears, from the Google map tab, to be a lot of active tracks in and near Helena.

Jan 05, 2009 01:09 AM #21
Rainmaker
736,228
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Bob, thanks for posting.  History lovers will enjoy this info.

Jan 05, 2009 07:06 AM #22
Anonymous
Roger Dobbins

The building attached to the one which replaced the Rock Island depot was formerly the Railway Express Agency.

May 08, 2010 08:59 PM #23
Rainmaker
736,228
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Roger, thanks for the comment.  I love the looks of this building.  It had class.

 

May 08, 2010 10:19 PM #24
Anonymous
William Bohannon

The Rock Island tracks were taken up from Searcy to Des Arc circa 1959.  If you go the Arkansas Highway Department's web site they have the county maps from 1936.  The quality of the maps isn't all that good but you can match up the grids with your standard 7 minute topographic map.  At one time Searcy was served by three different lines.  The M & NA (M&A) tracks were taken up prior to 1950 after the line closed shortly after World War II.  The D K & S, formerly a subsidiary of Mo Pac, has had various sections taken up over the last 20 some odd years.  All that's left is the section from east of Benton street to the interchange in Kensett with the UP.  The branch to the old Doniphant Mill is still there but grown over with weeds.  Only about 400 feet is being used for switching and the lumber yard in Kensett.   Then there was the Rock Island branch that ran from Mesa (on the "Sunbelt" section of the Rock Island) to Searcy via Des Arc.  As mentioned before, the Des Arc/Searcy section was pulled up in '59.  The Des Arc to Mesa section went out about the same time the Rock Island went belly up in the early 80's.       

Oct 20, 2010 08:53 PM #25
Rainmaker
736,228
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

William, thanks for this update.  It makes my head dizzy to try to figure out just where all those railroads were.  I had land for sale once on Crosby Rd and it had the remains of an old railroad including the trestle.  I'll bet it's still there.

Oct 20, 2010 09:15 PM #26
Anonymous
Byan Bohn

Barbara etal.,

One good place for information about the physical development of communities, especially railroads and industrial heritage are Sanborm maps. They are likely available at a local historical society or a state college depository. As well, the Smithsonian's collecting them slowly, but not yet digitizing them. A quick Google search shows the University of Arkansas subscribes to the commercial ProQuest digital Sanborn library.

Bryan Bohn

Aug 15, 2011 08:44 PM #27
Rainmaker
736,228
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Thanks, Bryan Bohn.

Aug 15, 2011 09:01 PM #28
Anonymous
Mystic

Our land on Crosby Road has the remains of an old railroad trestle on it and also a very old house and a couple of other buildings which appear to be a shed and a chickenhouse. How would I go about finding out who lived in this house? Any ideas?

Jan 11, 2012 08:57 PM #29
Rainmaker
736,228
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Mystic, perhaps the Searcy courthouse records would give the history of who owned the property in the past.  An abstract company could also do a search for you.  Good luck in finding the previous owners.  Send us a picture of the old house and shed and chickenhouse!  Interesting.

 

Jan 12, 2012 09:19 AM #30
Anonymous
M&NA Enthusiast
I have looked at the Sanborn Maps for Searcy. I've studied the foot print of the depot on the Sanborn Map and compared it to the depot of this picture. The depot in the picture was the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. This depot was located at the corner of E Pleasure and S Spring St., right across the street from where the White Co. Library is located today. The Donaphin, Kensett & Searcy Railroad was located on S Main St., right across from where the Simmons First National Bank is today. It looks like this old depot is still there. It's a small white building, built like old depots were built in those days. The Missouri & North Arkansas Depot was located between S Main St. and S Spring St., at the location of Youngs Tire & Auto. E Mulberry St. runs atop of what was the M&NA Railroad line. Also, it ws the M&NA Railroad that ran west out of Searcy, across Crosby Rd, and northwest towards Heber Springs.
Jan 10, 2014 08:16 AM #31
Rainmaker
736,228
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

M&NA Enthusiast, thanks for that information.  It is a shame that this beautiful building no longer exists.  I drive by the other old depot regularly and know it has to come down soon because the condition looks so bad.  We appreciate your comment.

Jan 10, 2014 08:28 AM #32
Anonymous
M&NA Enthusiast
I didn't realize this question had been answered in earlier post. I would like to expand on Bob Collins comment about the M&NA Railroad. He ended his comment of the northerly track of the M&NA, at the Big Dike Rd (Hwy 107) in SW Heber Springs. The track continues northwest of Heber, which is covered by Greers Ferry Lake. If look at Google Maps and follow the lake, the track ran in a westerly and northerly direction. It ran up between an island to the east in the lake and the mountain to the west. At this point it ran north, following close to the western edge of the lake until a point where the lake fans out in a east-west direction. This is about where it ran through the community of Miller, following old hwy 16, now under the lake. Also, this is about the area where the M&NA starts following on the west bank of the Little Red River northwesterly. It ran south of the community of Shiloh (Shiloh Park today), running northwesterly, it ran through what is now known as "The Narrows", to Higden. The original town of Higden is under water today. Looking at Google Maps, you will notice at the northern tip of Higden where it meets the lake, you'll notice an island just north, the railroad ran just north of this island and crosses the South Fork of The Little Red River. It turns northeast along the northwest edge of the lake, to Edgemont. Looking at Google Maps at Edgemont, you will see the strip of land separating the larger lake to the south from the Middle Fork of the Little Red to the north. Hwy 16 runs across this strip. You will notice on the west edge, a deep cut was made through this strip, so the train could cross this portion of land, then the train ran along the west bank of the Middle Fork of the Little Red River. Just north of here, the railbed is visible and is known as Sandiff Rd. Following Sandiff Rd, it then becomes Pole Ranch Rd, leaves it, then becomes Pole Ranch Spur. Leaving the spur road, you can see the remains of the railroad bed and crosses the Middle Fork of the Little Red River, east of Shirley. The railroad enters Shirley from the east between Depot Rd and Brown Rd., crosses Hwy 9 and ran through what is now the middle of a rodeo arena. It continues west out of Shirley on what is today River Rd. Crossing the Little Red over the Shirley bridge which is an auto bridge today. Friends and I have riding 4-wheelers many times on the part of the rail bed from Shirley up to Arlberg. When I started riding this part of the line, it was a county road. Over the years, flooding by the river has claimed portions of the old rail bed and we have to take detours only ATV's can take. The part of the rail bed between Lydalisk and Arlberg have been claimed by the river. From Arlberg to Leslie, you can see much of it on Google Maps. It's moslty Elba Rd and Rumley Rd, until it crosses the Little Red just east of US 65. It then travels north on the east bank of the river into Leslie. The train depot still stands in Leslie. It is just south of Oak St. (Hwy 66) and just east of Cove Creek. The track ran north out of Leslie, crossing Begley Creek and running parallel to Main St. It followed Main St., until the road turns northeasterly, the track turned northwesterly, just before Rail Rd. It runs parallel to Rail Rd, until the road crosses a creek, then Rail Rd runs atop the old rail bed to the community of Baker. It parallels Hwy 74, but is hard to tell exactly where the rail bed was located as it ran east into Marshall. Once in Marshall, it ran just north of present day US 65 and is Fair St today. It turns north just northeast of Marshall High School football field. It crosses Factory Rd a few feet north of School Rd. From here, it meanders north as Zack Rd and crosses the Buffalo River just east of Gilbert. You can see the piers of the old bridge. It turns west after crossing the Buffalo and runs through the southern part of Gilbert just north of the river. I've written this, in case anyone was interested in reading it. I can continue from this point to Seligman, MO, if anyone who doesn't know where it is would like to know.
Jan 10, 2014 12:39 PM #33
Rainmaker
736,228
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

I got totally lost on this one. : )

Jan 10, 2014 04:47 PM #34
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Barbara S. Duncan

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