Springdale is a town located in Arkansas. The settlement of this town that was known as Shiloh began around 1838. The settlement began due to religious purposes.
The survey of the Arkansas territory by the United States government began in 1831. The survey established the township and the section lines that up to today, define the area. In 1834 when surveyors surveyed the area around Shiloh, they noted that there were six farms and one hundred acres under cultivation. The name James Fitzgerald was the only one recorded in their notes. There were three log cabins along the section line where Maple Street runs today.
The father of James Fitzgerald, John, was among the very first white people to settle in the area. He did so in 1825 before it was legal for white settlers to do so. The area at that time was populated by Osage and Cherokees.
In 1840, the Regular Baptist Church was started. It was started in Shiloh because the settlers came to the area claiming that their reason is to spread Christianity. The church was burned down during the Civil War and was later rebuilt in 1868. After being rebuilt, the church was named the Shiloh Church. There were graves near the Shiloh Church. These graves were moved to Bluff Cemetery in 1894. As the community continued growing, many more churches were established, and some of them started meeting in the old Shiloh Church building.
There was an inn near what is now the intersection of Old Missouri Road and Old Wire Road started by John and Mary Fitzgerald in 1839. In 1839, a group of Cherokees who were fleeing their ancestral homes in the southeastern U.S. made a stop at the inn and bought supplies from Mr. Fitzgerald. This inn later became a regular stop. There is a barn near the location of this inn built by Butterfield that still stands today. The Lynch’s Prairie Post Office that was located nearby was the first to serve the community.
William Davidson Quinton donated a land grant for 80 acres on Spring Creek in the hopes that a church would be built. This, however, did not happen until the arrival of John Holcombe in 1843 who built a log church in an area that was briefly called Holcombe Springs, then later Shiloh. The name Shiloh stood until Washington County incorporated the town of Springdale in 1878 and John Holcombe’s son, Joseph, became the first mayor of Springdale.
Springdale flourished with the development of railroads and roads after the Civil War. These developments gave way to the growth of a trucking industry pioneered by Harvey Jones and his Jones Truck Lines. Other trucking companies that sprouted due to Jones’ success in trucking include J.B. Hunt, Joe Robinson, and Willis Shaw, though they did not operate in Springdale, but in other nearby towns.
Agriculture also grew, and strawberries, grapes, and cherries became the major crops in the area. A processing industry also grew with canning factories such as Steele Canning by Joe M Steele springing up.
In 1929, Jeff Brown started the Springdale Hatchery becoming the first person to raise chickens on a large scale in the area. This was a result of crop damage from insects that affected the fruit growing industry, causing growers to look to poultry as a source of income.