Sulphur Springs, Jefferson County, Arkansas
|Sulphur Springs, Arkansas
White Sulphur Springs, Arkansas
|• Total||5.579 sq mi (14.45 km2)|
|• Land||5.579 sq mi (14.45 km2)|
|Elevation||292 ft (89 m)|
|• Density||200/sq mi (76/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|ZIP code (s)||72079|
|Area code (s)||870|
|GNIS feature ID||78494|
Sulphur Springs, also known as White Sulphur Springs, is a census-designated place (CDP) in Spring Township, Jefferson County, Arkansas, United States. Its population was 1,101 as of the 2010 census.
Until 1819, the area west of Pine Bluff through what is now Jefferson and Grant counties was a mostly unpopulated wilderness. In that year, the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers flooded the Delta area east of Pine Bluff, covering all of southeast Arkansas except for some of the absolute high points. This western area was very hilly, and had mostly small streams which did not flood. Shortly after the flood, the George Brummitt family moved from Desha County to what became White Sulphur Springs. He bought 40 acres on what is now the site of White Sulphur Springs Camp from the Federal Government with a War of 1812 land bounty and patented an additional 360 acres around the circumference of the spring property.
Many others saw the wisdom of settling on higher ground, including Brushrod Lee, who settled about a mile west near several springs and built a plantation known as Lee Springs. Lee was a doctor and with the establishment of his large house and medical practice, the community became a destination for folks from all over the state to come and drink and bathe in the waters from the two sets of springs. Pine Bluff residents and others made summer homes in the area.
In 1855 the burgeoning community applied for a post office for the town under the name of Sulphur Springs, but since there already was a town by that name in the northwestern part of the state, they chose the name White Sulphur Springs instead. During the American Civil War, White Sulphur Springs became a mobilization point for troops in the region. The Confederate hospital was moved to White Sulphur Springs from Pine Bluff in 1862, and many died and were buried at Camp White Sulphur Springs Confederate Cemetery. In September 1863 the U.S. Army burned the town, leaving nothing. Most residents abandoned or sold their land and left the area. According to census records, almost none of those who lived at the springs in 1860 were there in 1870 when a Methodist minister named Benjamin Watson moved to the area, became a Presbyterian, and founded a church and school which was later known as Watson Chapel.
It was 25 years after the American Civil War before the springs became the site of a real town again with the building of a hotel by two men, one black and one white. Unfortunately they were burned out twice, possibly by prohibitionists or racists. The two eventually rebuilt the town but it never recovered its former glory.
After the war, residents continued to bury their dead in the Camp White Sulphur Springs Confederate Cemetery, with only a few of the grave sites being marked.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "American FactFinder". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Sulphur Springs, Jefferson County, Arkansas
- "Camp White Sulphur Springs Confederate Cemetery". Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- "SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP (2010 CENSUS): Jefferson County, AR." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on July 31, 2017.
- Sulphur Springs, Jefferson County, Arkansas at Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture
- Watson Chapel Public Library at Pine Bluff and Jefferson County Library System (pineblufflibrary.org)