Why is the creek that runs through town called Heartsill? What is the history behind the name?
I have been meaning to research this for a while. The creek is named after Heartsill and there is a monument on Town Square dedicated to Heartsill that reads “Confederate Soldier 1861-5 Public Service Legislature 1907-9-13. Heartsill Salary Bill”.
The monument was the only thing on the square that survived the 1968 tornado.
The following is a summary of information taken from the South Sebastian County Historical Societies Key Magazine. This is in NO WAY a complete account of W.B. Heartsill’s life. For more information purchase a copy of the 2014 Key Magazine.
Willie (pronounced Wylie) Blount Wright Heartsill was born September 13, 1840 in Louisville, Tennessee.
He was an apt student and learned to speak German and Cherokee. He volunteered his services for the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Blount left home for the army in April of 1862.
He served in the Second Tennessee Cavalry rising to the rank of Captain. One of his proudest moments was escorting and protecting Jefferson Davis, Confederate President, during his tour and inspection of East Tennessee at the height of the war.
It is believed Heartsill was on his way to Marshall Texas, where his cousin W.W. Heartsill lived as they were growing up. He stopped at Waldron, Arkansas and here he engaged in selling sewing machines.
In 1875 he met and married Nancy Susannah Cole Phillips. Nancy owned a home and eighty acres of land near Greenwood. Blount engaged in farming and worked many years as a bookkeeper for a Mercantile Company in Greenwood.
Heartsill later became deputy clerk of the Sebastian County Court and was appointed Postmaster at Greenwood.
From 1899-1906 Blount served as Sebastian County Commissioner of Accounts. In his 70s Heartsill was elected to represent Sebastian County in the House of Representatives of the Arkansas General Assembly in 1907 and 1909, 37gh and 39th General Assemblies. He was the author and chief advocate for the passage of the Heartsill Salary Bill which would pay the county officials a salary for their services. He also proposed a Sebastian County Pauper Commission and supported legislation that protected the miners.
During the 39th General Assembly Heartsill became ill and died of pneumonia fever on March 7, 1913.
A special railway car on the Iron Mountain Railroad was dispatched to Greenwood. Relatives and members of the legislative committee accompanied the deceased. Heartsill was laid to rest at Liberty Cemetery.
The granite stone memorial was dedicated on Town Square on March 18, 1914.
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