A Brief History of Mount Ida, Arkansas

George and West St. intersection in Mount Ida. Cotton was an important cash crop. There were at least six cotton gins in the county. Local and out of town buyers would telephone Little Rock for the current market prices. Bales would be hauled the four miles to Womble to be shipped out by train. Farmers planted a small patch of cotton for personal use. Women would spin thread to be woven into cloth and loose cotton was carded to make batting for quilts.

Mount Ida is near the center of the Ouachita National Forest, the South’s oldest and largest national forest. Nearby Lake Ouachita and many rivers and streams make it a favorite of nature lovers. For rock collectors, a layer of topsoil hides countless tons of clear quartz crystals. The first post office in the area was established on June 28, 1842, by Granville Whittington and named Mount Ida after a hill near his former home in Massachusetts. For six years, he operated the post office and general store out of his large log home one mile north of the present town square. In 1848, the post office was relocated to the clerk’s office in the county house. The name of the post office was changed from Mount Ida to Montgomery but was changed back to Mount Ida in January 1849. Another change of the name of this county seat took place in July 1850, when the county court changed the name to Salem but this new name was short-lived and was changed back to Mount Ida in October of that year (Baldwin, 2018).


Baldwin, Debbie and Prince, Betty. (2018, Jan. 19). Mount Ida (Montgomery County). Retrieved from encyclopediaofarkansas.net

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