May 17, 2007 - Posted at 6:20 a.m. CST
Greene Co. -- Our Community Spotlight shines the light on Greene County. The people, the community, and the industry.
"Paragould, Arkansas is the only Paragould in the world."
Paragould, the county seat for Greene Co. is nestled on Crowley's Ridge. The county was established in 1834, two years before Arkansas even became a state. So what brought people here, and how did it develop? Bob Branch, a retired lawyer in the area, knows a thing or two about the history of Paragould.
"The railroads made Greene Co."
Bob Branch has been learning about Greene County history for some time now and says it was a battle between two railroad tycoons, Paramore and Gould...
"So paramore decided to build a railroad from St.louis to Texas...so Gould said if you wont sell I'll just build a parrallel railroad and I'll cross you everywhere I can and break you. And so he did, he built that railroad. But where they crossed that became an ideal place to ship timber. So people would come to the place where the railroads met and they called it The Crossing which is now Paragould."
And with the railroads, came jobs and people making The Crossing, a city.
"The first railroad came in February 1883, and the second one came just a month later and in a year there were over 1,000 people here at The Crossing."
"We evolved into an agricultural, commercial, and later an industrial area."
Greene County is the home to many industries including railcar manufacturer, ARI... located in Marmaduke and Paragould.
Its a faith based community that takes pride in its school system and offers opportunities in higher education, both public and private.
Sue McGowan, with the Chamber of Commerce, has lived here her whole life.
"We saw it as a great place to raise our kids, the safe environment, the school systems, we just found that it was a great place to raise a family. It's the citizens of Greene Co. that make it what it is, it's just a wonderful group of individuals that work together for the betterment of the community."
And what sets them apart from others?
"We're willing to invest in ourselves. We see citizens that are willing to reach down into their own pockets and help fund projects and things in the community."
"It's a growing community, its a wonderful community, it's a place that people want to live in, not because they have to, but because they want to."
To learn more about the History of Greene Co. visit their website, and check out all the festivities at the Loose Caboose Festival going on the 17th, 18th, and 19th.