Cushman (Independence County) - Encyclopedia of Arkansas (2022)

Latitude and Longitude:35°52’22″N 091°45’15″W
Elevation:715 feet
Area:4.08 square miles (2020 Census)
Population:433 (2020 Census)
Incorporation Date:March 12, 1906

Historical Population as per the U.S. Census:











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Cushman, established in 1886 as the result of an accident, was an important shipping and trade center for the next seventy-two years. The center of the tremendously valuable manganese mining industry, Cushman also served as a shipping point for businesses and farmers in northern Independence County and most of Izard County.

William Einstein of St. Louis established a mining operation on what is now known as Polk Southard Mine, near what is now Sandtown Road, in about 1866. At the time, this was just a wild wooded area. In 1885, the Keystone Mining Company, an Andrew Carnegie company, began operations on Southard Hill. Shortly thereafter, the St. Louis Mining Company came to the area and began operations near Polk Southard. This marked the beginning of significant mining in the area.

The Batesville Manganese District is an east-west belt about two miles north of Batesville (Independence County). The belt is twenty-four miles long and four to eight miles wide, with Cushman near the geographic center and closest to the richest deposits. Originally, the mines were shafts and tunnels with some surface prospects, though in the 1950s, earthmoving equipment converted the operations to strip mining. Manganese has long been an important alloy agent in the manufacture of steel.

A small village grew around the mining activity and shortly became known as Minersville. A rather large quantity of ore was being shipped from the area, hauled by wagon and ox cart to Batesville or to Penter’s Bluff (Izard County) on White River for shipment by packet ship to world markets. Owners of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad were very much aware of the importance of this mining industry. The Iron Mountain Railroad, as the company was generally known, built a rail line from St. Louis to Little Rock (Pulaski County) by way of Newport (Jackson County). Shortly thereafter (about 1873), they began construction of a branch line to the mining fields. Their objective was the rich mining area near the tiny village of Minersville in northern Independence County. About one and one half miles from their destination, while blasting through very difficult terrain, a worker was accidentally killed. The contractor was sued, and construction halted. The railroad company decided to terminate the rail line at that point and build shipping facilities at end of track.

J. M. C. Southard, a local civic leader, surveyed and laid out lots, blocks, and streets in the town he called Minersville, near the new rail terminus, on December 9, 1886. Henry and Elizabeth Newman, who owned the land, dedicated these streets on May 17, 1888. The terminus, about a half mile from the village, was named Cushman in honor of a railroad vice president and operating officer. Minersville changed its name to Cushman when it was incorporated in 1906.

The first passenger train arrived on December 29, 1886. The train made daily runs from Cushman to Newport and returned to Cushman for the night, where a turntable had been built in 1886 to turn the engine around. The train crew was required to spend the night at the terminus. A depot and other buildings were built in what is known as the turntable hollow.

A post office was established on July 7, 1887, with William Riggs as postmaster. In 1889, Cushman had a population of sixty, with fourteen businesses. Ninety-six mining employees and a number of farmer/contractors contracted their wagons and teams to freight the ore from the mines to the rail terminal. In 1899, records show Cushman with a population of 200. At this time, Cushman had three doctors and two hotels. The town was officially incorporated on March 12, 1906.

Cushman’s estimated population during the World War I years was in excess of 2,000, with many more in the area adjacent to Cushman. The shortage of labor for the mines was of national concern. The shortage was so serious that Italy, an American ally during the war, sent 900 soldiers to Cushman to mine ore. Manganese is essential to the manufacture of strong steel, especially the kind of steel needed in the production of war machinery such as tanks.

With the end of World War I, the demand for manganese dropped greatly. The economy of the area became based on farming and timber. Cattle pens were built alongside the railroad, and a lumber yard was established. During the next twenty or so years, hundreds of carloads of fruit, cattle, sheep, and lumber were shipped from Cushman. Cushman was once famous for its peaches. A cotton gin produced baled cotton to be shipped. Manganese was still being mined but only in small amounts.

In addition to freight moving out of the terminus, Cushman was an important incoming freight terminal for northern Independence County and southern and eastern Izard County. Freight was shipped to Cushman to be off-loaded and hauled by wagon to such places as Mount Pleasant, Lunnenburg, Melbourne, Franklin, Violet Hill,LaCrosse and many other communities in Izard County.

Freight was not the only commodity brought to Cushman by the railroad. Many “drummers” (traveling salesmen) came to Cushman on the Cushman Local, the regular Iron Mountain train serving Cushman and points on the rail to Newport and back. After spending the night at one of the hotels, they rented buggies at the local livery stable and left for points north on their route, returning to Cushman on the way back to their home base.

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The Depression years saw mining decrease to very low levels, with farming and timber remaining the major activities. World War II brought back manganese mining and boomtown activity to Cushman, but at the end of World War II, mining again decreased considerably.

Filmmaker Montgomery Pittman set his 1956 movie Come Next Spring in a fictional version of Cushman. He also claimed to have lived there, though his name does not appear on any census reports for the area.

In 1952, the U.S. government established a strategic program to stockpile manganese, which was considered a strategic and critical material. The program was to terminate on January 1, 1961, or when 28 million long ton units of manganese had been purchased. In 1956, more than $2 million worth of ore was shipped from the Batesville Manganese District. In 1958, Cushman shipped 286 carloads of ore valued at more than $1 million. On August 5, 1959, the government purchased the last ton of ore, as prescribed by the program. Domestic production of manganese ore came to an end, and the mines in Cushman closed. Brazil, Gold Coast Africa, and others were putting manganese ore on American docks for less than the freight cost of domestic mines.

Cushman has made the transition from a booming mining town to a quiet bedroom community, with many residents working in Batesville. The Cushman schools were consolidated with Melbourne’s for the 2007–2008 school year, and then with Batesville schools in 2008–2009, being closed completely in 2010. The town has a community water system and local law enforcement. A school and community homecoming and Miner’s Day celebration are held each year on the last Saturday in June.

For additional information:
Hewett, D. F. “Manganese Output in Arkansas District Affected by Labor Shortage.” Engineering and Mining Journal 104 (November 24, 1917).

Shiras, Tom. “Manganese Mining in Arkansas.” Engineering and Mining Journal 105 (December 22, 1917).

Sims, C. C. “The Story of Cushman.” Independence County Chronicle 2 (April 1961): 8–13.

Smith, Jim, and Becky Wood. Cushman, Arkansas: The Boom Town That Wouldn’t Die. N.p.: 1994.

———. The Cushman Manganese Mines and the Batesville Manganese District Arkansas. N.p.: 1995.

Spier, William. “A Social History of Manganese Mining in the Batesville District of Independence County.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 36 (Summer 1977): 130–157.

Widner, Amy. “Cushman School Can Go out with Pride.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 15, 2009, pp. 1S, 4S.

James Smith
Batesville, Arkansas

Last Updated: 05/17/2022

Touring Cushman in Arkansas, Independence County (United States). Travel ideas and destination guide for your next trip to North America. Events, Webcams and more. Lat/Lng: 35.873, -91.754.

The closest airport in United States is Jonesboro Municipal Airport in a distance of 62 mi (or 100 km), East.. Morning Temperature21°C / 70 °F Evening Temperature27°C / 81 °F Night Temperature23°C / 73 °F Chance of rainfall 3% Air Humidity46% Air Pressure1017 hPa Wind SpeedLight breeze with 4 km/h (3 mph) from North-East Cloud ConditionsOvercast clouds, covering 91% of sky General ConditionsModerate rain. These are videos related to the place based on their proximity to this place.. Batesville, Arkansas had a very white Christmas!. 2011 ATV Rally at White Buck Ranch between Cushman and Mount Plesant, Arkansas and not far from Sandtown ATV Ranch.. ATV's playing in the mud pits at Sandtown Ranch near Batesville, Arkansas.. KCCJ-LP is a radio station licensed to serve Batesville, Arkansas.. KZLE (93.1 FM, "Classic Rock 93") is a radio station licensed to serve Batesville, Arkansas, USA.

Discover Cushman Junction in Arkansas, Independence County (United States). Travel ideas and destination guide for your next trip to North America. Events, Webcams and more. Lat/Lng: 35.769, -91.690.

Cushman Junction in Independence County (Arkansas) is located in United States about 832 mi (or 1,340 km) west of Washington DC, the country's capital.. Morning Temperature21°C / 70 °F Evening Temperature27°C / 81 °F Night Temperature23°C / 73 °F Chance of rainfall 3% Air Humidity46% Air Pressure1017 hPa Wind SpeedLight breeze with 4 km/h (3 mph) from North-East Cloud ConditionsOvercast clouds, covering 91% of sky General ConditionsModerate rain. Time Information Check availability. Time Information Check availability. Time Information Check availability. Time Information Check availability. Time Information These are videos related to the place based on their proximity to this place.. Video preview of Business Financing Options workshop for small businesses in Independence County hosted by the ASU Small Business and Technology Development Center and Batesville Area .... Batesville, Arkansas had a very white Christmas!

Welcome to the Independence County Quilt Trail! The trail was developed by volunteer coordinator Jessica Hogue. She painted several of the blocks and had other terrific volunteers who also painted. Encyclopedia of Arkansas provides some historical information: Independence County, one of the “mother counties” of Arkansas, originally contained all or part of fifteen modern counties of Arkansas. The county’s history is tied closely to its strategic location—it sits astride the White River where it flows from the Ozark upland into the Mississippi Alluvial Plain; the river bisects the modern county from west to east. The White River bottomland is a fertile area for farming, although cotton has been largely replaced by other crops such as soybeans and rice. ” Batesville is the county seat of Independence County and has the distinction of being the second oldest municipality in Arkansas and the oldest city, with settlement starting about 1810 and the town’s plat laid out by 1821. You will want to drive through the residential area downtown and see the lovely old homes that are meticulously restored. Batesville is home to Lyon College and University of Arkansas Community College-Batesville. Other towns in Independence County include Cave City, Cushman, Newark, Southside, Magness, Moorefield, Oil Trough, Pleasant Plains, Sulphur Rock. Unincorporated communities include Bethesda, Cord, Charlotte, Desha, Floral, Rosie, Locust Grove. Enjoy your drive through Independence County looking at our quilt trail!

Encyclopedia of Arkansas provides some historical information: Independence County, one of the “mother counties” of Arkansas, originally contained all or part of fifteen modern counties of Arkansas.. #10-1, 3-Gen Farmer’s Daughter5430 Bethesda Rd.Batesville AR. Jessica is the coordinator of the Independence County Quilt Trail but also took the time to paint a block for her parents’ farm in neighboring Izard County.. #10-2, Hackberry Farm5430 Bethesda Rd.Batesville AR. The address is 5430 Bethesda Rd., Batesville AR.. Batesville AR.. Four quilt blocks titled “Broadwater Farms” are displayed on the family farm in Bethesda.. #10-4, Eight Hands Round quilt block is located at 65 Lawrence Rd, Batesville AR, in the Bethesda community.. Going west on Highway 106 through Bethesda (Independence County), the ONeal Road leads to ONeal, which is about four miles from Bethesda.. Batesville AR.. This “Carolina Lily” quilt block, designed and created by Professor Dustyn Bork and Lyon College art students, is an artistic representation of the Cook/Morrow quilt, part of the Old Independence Regional Museum’s quilt collection.. It is installed on the beautiful historic Lyon College Campus in Batesville, Arkansas.. “I come from a family of quilters, I took a quilting class in college, and made my first quilt right after I got married.. As I was researching which quilt pattern to replicate and hang on our lean-to, I looked at the quilts I have, and patterns I love, but was indecisive.. #10-14, Bicentennial190 ONeal Rd.Batesville AR

An informative and historical overview of Independence County, Arkansas with 122 pages including 158 biographies plus 53 different Independence County communities on 4 different maps. Includes history and genealogy for the cities of Batesville, Cushman, Jamestown, Newark, Pleasant Plains, Sulphur Rock, AR

Additional. Free Genealogy and Map Resources Fully. searchable - find any name or location instantly!. This fascinating and detailed CD contains ALL of the following material in. two. separate sections, ALL on one CD: Section One of two,. all on one CD: Maps of Independence County, Arkansas Included here are the Northeastern region of Arkansas sections of 4 different. historical maps:. A.. Locations shown include: Alder Brook * Batesville * Curia *. Graham * Oil Trough * Pleasant L. * Pleasant Plains * Polk Bayou * Rock Point * Sulphur Rock * Wallace Cr.. A map of 1895 Independence County showing the locations of 22 different. settlements including all of the following: Alvis * Batesville * Charlotte *. Desha * Dota * Floral * Hazel Gr.. * Hickory Valley *. Jacksonport * James * Jamestown * Mobley * Moorefield * Newark * Oil Trough *. Paroquet * Pleasant Plains * Rosie * Salado * Sandtown * Sharp * Sulpher Rock *. Victor *. D. A map of 1915 Independence County showing the locations of 31 different. settlements including all of the following: Alonzo * Batesville * Bethesda *. Charlotte * Cord * Curia * Cushman * Denieville * Desha * Dota * Dunnington *. Ellers * Elmo * Graham * Hutchinson * James * Jamestown * Moorefield * Magness *. Newark * Oneal S. * Paroque * Penters Bluff * Pleasant Plains * Rosie * Sandtown. * Sulphur Rock * Walls Ferry * Walnut Grove * White River Jc.. * Wrenton *. Section Two of two,. all on one CD: The complete 1889 "Biographical and Historical Memoirs of. Independence County, Arkansas" by the Goodspeed Publishing Company This detailed (122 pages in all) book has an incredible amount of historical. and genealogical information. about Independence County, Arkansas.. Included. are a total of 158 different family biographies.. Independence County Organized Independence County Seat Established Independence County Buildings Independence County Officials The Independence County Courts French Trappers and Traders in Independence County The Pioneer Settlers of Independence County, Arkansas Independence County Boundaries Location of Independence County Physical Description of Independence County Rivers and Springs in Independence County Population of Independence County, Arkansas Railroads in Independence County Churches in Independence County, Arkansas Independence County Cities, Towns, and Villages: Batesville * Cushman * Jamestown * Newark *. Pleasant Plains * Sulphur Rock Independence County Schools The Civil War in Independence County, Arkansas Biographical Sketches. The cost for this CD containing both sections described above is only $9.95 plus. shipping, or only $4.95 as a digital download!. A truly fascinating view of Independence County, Arkansas from its first. settlement to 1889.. SAVE $$: The download is only. $4.95 ($4.00 less than the CD plus no shipping charges!). Use the ADD TO CART button BELOW to order as a download:


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