City of Clinton Celebrates 125 Years
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The City of Clinton, Seat of Van Buren County, southern gateway to the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas, has a heritage of progressive idealism dating back well beyond its 125 official years as a mainstay of commerce and community good will throughout the region.

Factually, Clinton is one of the oldest if not the oldest community settled by homesteading pioneers in this region of Arkansas with a dynamic history dating back more like 175 years into times past.

Back to at least the 1830's, when hunting was a primary means of earning a living and one man's annual harvest of the abundant local deer herds could produce 500 hides to barter for necessities and luxuries at the mercantile.

Back to the time when the Great American Buffalo drank from Archey Fork Creek (pictured below).

Back to a time when convicted criminals were hung by the neck until dead from scaffolds constructed with planks hewn by local sawmills from timber locally felled and thirteen carefully turned wraps of a homespun hempen noose.

Back to a time when the idea of boys and girls going to school together, as they did in Clinton's "Male & Female Academy," was considered "radical" and the newspaper in which everyone read such facts was called "The Clinton Banner."

Back to before there was electricity, when indoor plumbing was unheard of and folks burned slabs of pine to cook. When five cents bought an ice cream cone and when $3.50 paid for the delivery and finishing of each square yard of masonry rock used to build the Van Buren County Courthouse (photo below).

On Saturday, August 14, 2004, the City of Clinton celebrated this illustrious heritage, with an afternoon and evening filled with homespun events that would make any founding pioneer family proud.

Things got off to a mid-afternoon start with volunteers moving picnic tables, getting ready to grill hot dogs, and making sure everything was in place. In the photo below, City of Clinton Clerk Merl Eoff (on the right), coordinated the plethora of activities.

Volunteers with Main Street Clinton proudly displayed their community spirit...

...and hosted an excellent exhibit of the City's outstanding history.

Chip Ellis, Mayor of Clinton, opened the celebration with Samantha Shelton, a senior at Clinton High School, performing the National Anthem as a trumpet solo. 

Celebrated musicians entertained, including Cotton Nixon (of RaggMopp fame) and Steve Trawick (center and far right, below) who usually perform as the "Cotton Patch" duo.

Noteworthy speakers, including Clinton native and former head of the National Transportation Safety Board, Jim Burnett (center stage, below), told tall but true tales about Clinton's civic and colloquial past.

Pretty girls of all ages (at left and below) bestowed smiles to warm every visitor's heart and served up heaping helpings of hospitality, including a delicious "Happy Anniversary" cake...

...along with platters full of ice cold watermelon.

And of course, found a moment or two to enjoy the treat!!!

All in all and for whatever it's worth, the event (in my humble opinion) came together as excellent family-style fun. The kind of success every community strives for and deserves to enjoy.

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Photo: Exterior of the Van Buren County Child Care Center building.

L-R: My youngest daughter, Shawna, and her friend Tina >>>

As always, I'm wishing all of us a life worth living, filled with all those things we prefer, desire, wholeheartedly celebrate and richly deserve to enjoy.

Christine Weiss

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