Date Original

circa 1936-1940


This document was written by Arthur Large, who was a writer for the Federal Writers' Project under the Works Projects Administration. The document tells about different immigrant groups that moved to Arkansas, where they settled and why.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Works Progress Administration, which became the Work Projects Administration (WPA), was the largest and most ambitious of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal agencies. The Arkansas Federal Writer's Project was the part of the WPA that was created to focus on the history of Arkansas as part of the American Guide series. Publications such as these would give points of interest from each state, covering topics of agriculture, geography and geology, history, Indians, industry, place names, immigration, and transportation. The Work Projects Administration's final report for Arkansas was completed on March 1, 1943. During its operations it expended more than $116,000,000 on employment programs, paved over 11,000 miles of roads, built over 600 new public schools, and repaired many others.


This Colony is located on the tops of the ridges back of Ledgwidge
and Bigelow. They purposely chose the tops of the ridges because
they believed they would grow better grapes. I visited the
Colony in 1934 and asked the leader if -with what he now knew,
he would have located the Colony elsewhere, if he had to do it
over again. He said, he would not as the land was as good for Grape
as they had in Italy and the price was so low and within the reach
of their people. There are some twenty families in this Colony
and they are doing very well, raising grapes for sale and making
wine. This is a Colony in the strict sense of the word as
there is no one in it but Italians and they all do the one thing,
raise Grapes. I think this Colony was located about 1912.
They came from Chicago and what is known as the South Halstead
Italian Colony.

POLISH COLONY: white co.
Thrre [SIC] was a Polish Colony located on our Mesa-Searcy Branch. The
Colony was between Mesa-Des Arcs and they had a town of their own
called Polonia. This Colony was not on a large scale and not
much of a success, but I think there are still a number of Polish
families there. Mr. M..L. [SIC] Buckhoski located the Colony and
used to have an office at Mesa, but I do not think that he is there
any more.

Mr. Martin Gaulden, now of the Baltimore Hotel Kansas City,
Missouri, but formerly of Little Rock, located a numb r [SIC] of
foreign-born citizens on the lands of Bigelow Lumber
Company, around Bigelow, Fourche and Ola. There are a
number of these still there.

There has been quite a settlement of settlers from nearly all of
the States into portions of our Arkansas territories, but these
came as individuals and located and operated individually, whereas,
those above mentioned came as Colonies and were either acquainted
with each other or bound together by ties of race or religion or both

If there is any further i formation [SIC] that I can furnish, please
advise and will be glad to comply as far as possible.

Yours very truly,

Arthur W> Large
In Duplicate
Copy to Mr. C.A. Searle General Agricultural Agent

Physical Description

Document, 8" x 10.5"


Colonies; Italian Community; Polish Community; Works Projects Administration

Geographical Area

Perry County White County (Ar.)




MS.000567, Box 6, Folder 76, Item 21


Works Progress/Work Projects Administration (WPA) Arkansas research files, MS.000567


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Arkansas Federal Writer's Project: "The Italian Colony", "Polish Colony", and "Misc. Settlements", Works Progress/Work Projects Administration (WPA) Arkansas research files, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


Use and reproduction of images held by the Arkansas State Archives without prior written permission is prohibited. For information on reproducing images held by the Arkansas State Archives, please call 501-682-6901 or email at


image preview



Download Full Text (603 KB)

Arkansas Federal Writer's Project: