Montgomery County, AR

 Let's have more poems that stir the mind,
Of precious places where the sun shined;
With words that reveal, just how we feel:
And humor employ, that all can enjoy.

This is Story, Arkansas 
Rosie's Ribbon Quilt
Arkansas, The Beautiful

Welcome to Montgomery County
Murfreesboro's Dead
She is far from the land where her young hero sleeps
Montgomery County Herald Verse
The County Seat

"Remember that old masters were new masters once."

A frosty morning down Brushy Rd, Oden.

"Poetry is a mirror of our rural history and development, of spacious days that are gone." 


Now folks, I'll tell you something----up here where I reside,
Of course, I speak of Story--I live on the East side;
I've been thinking lately--I do sometimes, you know,
That you couldn't find a better place, anywhere you'd go.

The people here at Story, are mostly rather poor,
But you won't hear no hungry wolves a-howling at their door;
They're all good friends and neighbors, treat each other right,
We have no need to lock the doors, before we sleep at night.

I've known the folks at Story, for more than forty years,
I've had my share of troubles, of sorrow and of tears,
My wandering days are over, I'm now at home to stay,
I hope to be a Story, 'till my dying day'.

They're all rural people here, just ordinary folks,
Neighborly and friendly and love their fun and jokes,
Most like one great family, don't always agree,
But settle their difference quietly, whatever they may be.

There's no big I's or little U's all about the same,
They respect and trust each other and call each by his name;
They seldom say Mistress or Mister, where I live,
Seldom are fault finders, but willing to forgive.

They always help in sickness and cheer each other on,
And grieve with the family, when some one passes on,
They help to bury departed friends and weep o'er their graves,
No better friends could e'er be found, no nobler service gave.

And there are the girls and boys, the finest in the land,
Not haughty or proud, just noble, true and grand,
Chips from the old block, outstanding and fine,
Pure, wholesome and sincere, in body and in mind.

Most precious of all are the little ones, pure as the morning dew,
Friendly, trusting, charming, cute and lovely, too,
Flowers from God's garden, transplanted from above,
An emblem of purity and God's abiding love.

Written February 4, 1951 by Fred Southard
Story, Arkansas

This was written by my husband's grandfather.  He wrote under the pen-name the "The Muddy Creek Philsopher" in the Montgomery County Herald in the 1950's.

Marjorie Southard
Emmett, ID
Posted July 1st 2003

Civil War poetry


Oden dear Oden, how I love thee.
With your hills and plains and mountain range.
Crystal brooks that ripple with delight,
To yonder stretch of glory bright.

I love the trees of varied kinds,
The rocks of all shapes and sizes I find,
The whistle of the wind as it rustles the pines
The sweet magnolias fragrance divine.

The peace the quiet of a small town,
Where everyone seems to care that you're around
The little church at the top of the hill
Which beckons to folks "God still lives".

The schoolyard rings with laughter and cheer,
Proclaiming beyond a doubt life truly is here,
The sincerity and beauty of the youth so rare,
Searching and seeking truth everywhere.

Life is brief but peace I find,
In the sincerity and beauty so hard to attain
For church families support and love proclaimed
My heart soars with praise for God's infinite grace,
As He directed and lead me to this wonderful place.

Printed in the Montgomery County News mid 1990s
Poetry Corner - written by Claris Barrett - won best of show at the recent
Montgomery County Fair Poetry Competition
Copyrighted by author

Civil War poetry

Rosie's Ribbon Quilt

Rosie Singleton's Ribbon Quilt

Now it keeps me warm at night,
Rosie's old worn ribbon quilt.
Pieces gleaned from floral sprays;
Squares of colored silk.

Niece Juanita held the sale,
I spotted that old cover,
The quilting crude,
The edges frayed,
And I bought it for a dollar.

Old Rosie lived in Arkansas,
Happy, proud and poor,
She sewed that lovely Texas Star,
Now gone, she'll quilt no more.

Written by Laura Willhite
Posted here with Laura's permission

Rose Mullenix was born 30 Nov. 1895 at Oden and attended the Hog Jaw School.  She married Lee Singleton in 1919.  Rosa A. was buried 27 June, 1986 at Brushy Cemetery.  This cherished quilt, although showing its age, will be passed down to Laura's grandson.

When the well's dry, they know the worth of water.  B.F.


The moon looks down on Fodderstack,
She mellows the shades on his shaggy back,
And seems his giant form to throw
In a darkened cone on the vale below;
And naught is seen in the vault on high
But the moon, and the stars, and a cloudless sky.

His sides are broken by spots of shade,
By the pine tree's bough and the oak tree made,
And through their clustering branches dark
Glimmers and dies the firefly's spark,
Like a starry jewels that twinkle back
Through the rifts in the wood on old Fodderstack.

All is quiet - -e' the wind is still,
And naught is heard on that lone hill
But the cricket's chirp and the katydid's shrill;
And the moon shines down on the whippoorwill;
And the rock-ribbed slopes of old Fodderstack.
- James L. Richards, Norman, Arkansas
Arcadian Life Magazine, July-August, 1939, #41 page 37
Published in Caddo Gap, Arkansas - 15c a copy

katydid - colours inverted

When the well's dry, they know the worth of water.  B.F.


I love the hills of Arkansas.
There's beauty in their names.
"The Ozark and the Ouachita"
And in them, peace remains.

The mountain folks live happily,
They're friendly from the start,
Extending hospitality,
They're grand, indeed , at heart.

The things of Nature have full sway,
Here's beauty in the raw,
"Give me," you hear the poets say,
"The hills of Arkansas."

So when contentment I would find,
I choose this quiet retreat,
In seeking rest for soul and mind,
These hills cannot be beat.

-Pearl Mankin Stout,
1507 E. 15th , Little Rock, Ark.
Arcadian Life Magazine, July-August, 1939, #41 page 36

Grapevine Mtn, looking towards Pine Ridge, Dec. 2005

When the well's dry, they know the worth of water.  B.F.


When its autumn in the Ozarks I feel a magic spell,
The nightingale is breathing to his mate a fond farewell,
The sumac's scarlet wings are floating on the breeze,
The fading moon is silver above the chinquapin trees,

Ouachita is calling me; I hear his sad refrain,
"Come sailing on my crystal flood; I want you here again."
I want to roam the mountain side and pick the sweet wild rose,
And linger by my mother's grave where purple violets grow.
I'll take my fishing pole and sail the Fourche Le Fave,
Where bass and perch and goggle-eye abound (I hear you rave)

Ouachita is calling me; He has me in his thrall,
Ouachita I love you, I love you best of all!
- Dorothy Fay,
Los Gatos , Calif.
Arcadian Life Magazine, July-August, 1939, #41 page 36

When the well's dry, they know the worth of water.  B.F.


Arkansas, the beautiful, land of my fondest dreams,
Garden of fondest memories, flower of my fondest dreams;
Land of the stately pine tree, the place of sparkling rills,
A picture of paradise, with entrancing, verdant hills.

In fancy- I see a river, emerald, in the light,
Then flowing through deep gorges, its waters dark as night;
And the, like burnished silver, its waters glide along,
Flowing through the shallow ford, above my dear old home.

I see the sweet flowers blooming, so gay, along the stream,
I see the honeysuckle, and wild rose, in the spring;
I see the fields, and by ways, with flowers all aglow,
I feel anew its beauties, as outward I go.

I see the old long cabin, most beautiful of all,
I see the lovely morning glories, that cling upon the wall;
I see the hollyhocks, in bloom, the marigolds, so gay.
Just as I saw them oft before, er'e I went away.

I see again the warbling birds, fluttering, round their nests,
I see the face of Clara Bell, the one I loved the best;
I see the old friends, gathered round, bidding me good-bye,
Their friendship, so beautiful, I remember with a sigh.

I see my dear old mother's face, her smile, brave and serene.
I see my little sister, too, petite, and artist's dream;
I see supernal beauty, exquisite and grand,
In dear old friendly Arkansas, my own, my native land.

My bed is hard--the battle field, my life is fading fast,
But memories, of blest Arkansas, are comfort at last;
I send my fond remembrance, back home to all of you,
The shades of death are falling, dear Arkansas, Adieu!

Written by Fred Southard, January 27, 1951
Story, Arkansas

When the well's dry, they know the worth of water.  B.F.

Welcome to Montgomery County

Where "Y'all" means all of you,
and 'sly poky" is a compliment.

Where outhouse can still be found,
and satellite dishes stand nearby.

Where neighbors live ten miles away,
and no one is a stranger.

Where school is the hub of the town,
and K thru 12 go together.

Where old-timers greet new-comers,
and wonder at their coming.

Where Charley Weaver got letters,
and Lum and Abner kept store.

Where Hog Jaw greets Shangri-la,
and Dragover bumps Caddo Gap.

Where visitors say "Kaw-chi-ta" and "O-a-cheeta",
and we say Ouachita.

Where "highway" only means pavement,
and there's not one traffic light.

1999 Kathryn Stucker
Posted here with Kathy's permission

Civil War poetry

I knew by the smoke
That so gracefully curled
Above the green elms
That a cottage was near

And I said "If there's peace
To be found in the world
A heart that was humble
Might hope for it here"

The Mena Evening Star, April 22, 1939.
Article by Ida Sublette Cobb (Caddo Gap)

Caddo River half way between Caddo Gap and Norman, looking north, 13th Oct. 2010. It as a dry October, burn ban in effect, no rain for the last three weeks.

Below is a song written by Jas. W. Ellis, a private of Company E., 4th Arkansas Regiment
page 70 Gammage. W.P. The Camp, the Bivouac, and the BATTLEFIELD


As "Sixty-Two" lay down to die,
He'd scarcely reached his tomb
When "Sixty-Three" was ushered in
'Mid cannon's awful boom:
Whilst on the East the New Year blushed
Ere Phobus rose in view:
Full many a Patriot breathed his last,
And went with "Sixty-Two."

Their names are dropt at roll-call now.
Nor will they answer more:
Yet will their deeds of valor live,
Remembered as before.
The fatal ball their bosoms pierced.
And shed their warm life-blood
On Southern soil - for "Southern rights"
To water Freedom's sod!

Ho! living men behold their deeds.
And see their nameless graves;
Come forth, avenge their death on fields
Where died these Southern braves;
Their names a Nation now reveres,
For nobly did they fall
Defending right - religion's cause -
At Freedom's sacred call!

They rushed to arms and joined the ranks
In which they fought and bled.
Come, emulate the example set
By Murfreesboro's dead;
The mercenary hordes;
Strike, strike! remembering all the while
"The battle is the Lord's"

Should the invader dare advance
And desecrate their graves.
Then charge and shout "we'd rather die
Than live and be his slaves."
Their children in our sunny land
When Peace is smiles shall shed
Can proudly say, our fathers sleep
With Murfreesboro's Dead."

Shelbyville, Tenn., Feb. 15th 1863.

Some folks say that when 'Wall Street' fell we were so poor we couldn't tell.

"She is far from the land where her young hero sleeps,
And "dear one" around her are signing;
But coldly she turns from their gaze and weeps,
For her heart in his grave is lying.
She sings the wild songs of her dear native place,
Ah! little they think who delight in her strains,
How the heart of the minstrel is breaking.
He had lived for his love - for his country he died -
They were all, that to life had entwined him:
Nor long will his love stay behind him.
Oh! Make her a grave where the sunbeams rest,
When they promise a glorious morrow:
They'll shine o'er her sleep, like a smile from the west,
From her own loved country of sorrows."

Gammage. W.P. The Camp, the Bivouac, and the BATTLEFIELD
page 53.
Who wrote this?

Battle of Pea Ridge Song wayback

Some folks say that when 'Wall Street' fell we were so poor we couldn't tell.

Montgomery County Herald  Verse

For spring tonic none surpass
Good old sulphur and molasses
Or sassafas made into tea
Helps a lot we all agree
But the tonic I like best
Is to shed my coat and vest
Take a fish pole and a string
And go fishing in the spring

Sims news - Montgomery County Herald June 16, 1927

Mary Mary, tell me dearie
Why do your children grow?
"They get milk every day
A quart anyway
How can they help but grow?"

Montgomery County Herald June 16, 1927

Job had patience - but then,
Job never tried to live in Bear town

Montgomery County Herald June 8, 1894

He shook and he shook, till his shaking was chronic
He then brought a bottle of Cheathams Chill Tonic
He said to his friends, though a shaker of yore,
Thanks to the tonic, I are a shakey no more
For sale by Watkins Bros. 75 c.
It will surely cure you and that quickly

Montgomery County Herald June 8, 1894

Whistle and hoe,
Sing as you go
-shorten the row
by the songs that you know

Montgomery County Herald June 16, 1927

Your land, my land, God's land! And a place where eagles fly.


We have spared it.
Little poem.
lacks fire;
Sent back-
kitchen fire.

Montgomery Co. ARGenWeb Project

What's In a Name

What's in a name.
To some its insane.
To some its fortune and fame.
Yet some complain and change their name.
Though I may never have fortune and fame.
I may not even have a penny to my name.
I will never complain and change my name.
I am proud to bear my family name.
What's in a name.
To me it's not insane.
To me it's not fortune and fame.
To me it's pride in my family name.
I'm very proud of my family name.

by Larry E. Hopson who lived in Pencil Bluff


If you know any verses on any Montgomery County, Arkansas communities and folks, please let me know and I'll add them. Thanks.

Ode to Fodderstack Mountain by James Richards of Norman published in the Mena Star and Arcadian Life Magazine Issue 41

The beauty of poetry is in the telling of a story in accord with the nature of the subject. Nonsense has a place too.

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Poetry relies on the medium of language. Versification - usually implying end-rhyme and metre and "poetry" which as rhythm.
A.E. Houseman says 'whatever poetry is, the best we can say, when we encounter it, is that we know that it is for us.'
Speaking is part of culture. Dialects - talking country.

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing" (Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)

Russell Crowe said 5 May 2010
 "I know some hard men, mate, and I am not a hard man.
I'm a guy who likes poetry, who writes songs.
I put on make-up for a living. Give me a break. If I was a hard man.
I wouldn't be any good at my job.
That's assuming that I am good at my job."