A Brief History of Siloam Springs, Arkansas
In 1835 Simon Sager and his family settled on a farm one mile west of what is now Siloam Springs, making them the first white settlers in the area. The first settlement was called Hico, established in 1848 by Caldeen D. Gunter as a trading post with the Cherokee nation. Before long Hico had two stores and a mill. The Hico Post Office was established in 1855. In 1879 it was discovered that the waters of the twenty-eight springs near the settlement contained medicinal qualities and the establishment of a summer resort began. In 1880, Hico merchant and former Union scout John Valentine Hargrove laid out the original plat of Siloam City on land he owned in the valley along Sager Creek. Due to the reputation gained as a summer resort and the prospect of the railroad through town, the town was incorporated during its first year of existence on December 22, 1881, with a population of over 3,000. After this initial boom many of the transient residents returned to their homes and the population dwindled to about half. The coming of the railroad in 1897 stepped up the economy of western Benton County. Orchards, poultry products, hides, wool, beef and all agricultural products found a ready market with Siloam Springs serving as the shipping point and trade center. This trade center remains today, and is a great advantage to industry (History, n.d.).