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A history of Sherwood(1820-2013)

Frank and Mary Calva, members of the Calva Family that settled the area in the 1880s.
Frank and Mary Calva, members of the Calva Family that settled the area in the 1880s.
Photo of the Kellogg Lead and Silver Mines in Sylvan Hills, Circa 1926.
Photo of the Kellogg Lead and Silver Mines in Sylvan Hills, Circa 1926.
Wirges Dairy Farm’s first delivery truck, Circa 1930s.
Wirges Dairy Farm’s first delivery truck, Circa 1930s.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Next week, we will take a look at the next phase of Sherwood’s history, courtsey of Darrell W. Brown.

1820— Benjamin Kellogg, a blacksmith and farmer originally from Pennsylvania, and his family settle in the area known today as Sylvan Hills.

1840— Precious minerals, such as silver, lead, and zinc, are discovered on Kellogg’s land along the creek that would later bear his name. After confirmation from officials with the Arkansas Geological Commission, Thomas Newton, Sr., President of the Southwest Arkansas Mining Company, leases Kellogg’s land and begins mining operations. The City of Argenta, Arkansas, (now North Little Rock) would take its name from these silver mines as “argentum” is Latin for silver.

1861— Newton’s mining operations are shut down as the Civil War begins, and Confederate forces take over the mines, using the lead to make bullets.

1863— In September, Union forces take over the Kellogg Mines and destroy the Confederates’ operations there.

1866— One year after the end of the Civil War, mining operations resume at the Kellogg Mines.

1874— John Hampton Lea and Annabelle (Smith) Lea settle on 500 acres in the area. They build a log cabin in the vicinity of present-day Powell Drive. Although misspelled, Lee Avenue in Sherwood is named for this family. Their family cemetery is located near the corner of Essex Street and Coolhurst Street in Sherwood.

1881— Frank and Mary Calva settle a large portion of land which covers most of the western area known today as “Old Sherwood.” The original Calva homestead is built where Sherwood Elementary School is now. Calva Road in Sherwood is later named for them.

1912— Julius Koehler, Sr. and his wife, Pauline, purchase and farm land located in the southwestern part of early Sherwood, where Koehler Avenue is today. Koehler Avenue in Sherwood is named for them.

1922— Julius, Sr. and Pauline Koehler’s son, Julius Jr., along with his wife, Josephine, and their two daughters, Lorene and Pauline, move to the area to help their parents farm the land and raise cattle. The family begins the Koehler Dairy.

1923— John Wirges, Sr. and Mary Wirges start a dairy farm in the area where West Kiehl Avenue is now. Their son, John, Jr. and his wife, Florene, would also help run the family business. Former Arkansas Governor and U.S. Senator, James Clarke, purchases the land where the Kellogg Mines were located, and mining operations begin, again. Sylvan Hills Community Church is built along State Highway 5 (now Highway 107), on property donated by prominent central Arkansas real estate developer, Justin Matthews, Sr.

1925— The Koehlers are the first in the area to receive electricity.

1926— The Kellogg Mines are permanently closed. Matthews begins plotting a subdivision in the Sylvan Hills area, centered around Batesville Cutoff (now Kellogg), Miller, and Loop Road. The subdivision is intended to be a more rural version of his Park Hill subdivision in North Little Rock. Several homes are built on these streets, including homes for Matthews’ mother and mother-in-law on Miller Road.

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