Creator

Date Original

1922-1930

Description

These records relate to the general operations of the South Bend Plantation, and others, in Jefferson County, Arkansas.

Biographical/Historical Note

In 1909, internationally known agricultural expert and future governor of Illinois, Frank Orren Lowden, purchased a plantation of 21,000 acres at South Bend in Lincoln County, Arkansas, seven miles northeast of Gould. This enterprise, actually a number of separate "farms", stretched for more than 20 miles along the Arkansas River in Lincoln and Desha counties. Lowden considered Arkansas agricultural lands to be among the most fertile in the world. His main farm at South Bend included a large Greek revival plantation house of 20 rooms, built before 1857. Although Lowden made yearly visits to Arkansas, he employed a number of different men to oversee plantation operations in his absence. Among them was Phillip Boggs of Gould who was financial agent and bookkeeper at South Bend from 1921 to 1936. The plantation, which grew cotton exclusively, was divided into a number of separate farms: Clay Place, Lake Place, Langdon, Massey, as well as South Bend. These locations were developed into "model farms with Delco electric lights and deep well water system." Lowden built the largest country store in the South at South Bend. These ledgers begin a year after Lowden's tenure as Governor of Illinois and his failure to achieve the Republican nomination for President.

During the 1927 Arkansas River flood, the levee at South Bend broke, inundating the farms and "ruining" the entire area. This caused the white tenants to move elsewhere. Later, Bogg rented the South Bend farm and "reclaimed much of the land that the river sand had ruined."

In 1933, Lowden established a charitable trust called the Farm Foundation "to improve conditions of rural life." In 1936, he rented his land to a group from A.M.&N. College in Pine Bluff who planned to establish a cooperative "colony" for black tenants. Plans were drawn to subdivide the large farms into individual plots of 20 to 40 acres each and then sale them to "selected negro families." At the time of his death in 1943, Lowden willed the entire plantation to the Farm Foundation. In 1948, the foundation sold the land to several private investors and the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company of Greenville, Mississippi.

"L. F." = Farm Location (?)

"SO B" = South Bend Farm

"LG" = Langdon Farm

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Subjects

Plantations; Cotton; Arkansas Delta (Ark.); Floods--Arkansas--1920-1930.; Account books

Geographical Area

Lincoln County (Ark.)

Language

English

Identifier

MS.000248

Resource Type

Text

Collection

Lowden Plantation records, MS.000248

Publisher

Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Lowden Plantation records, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Rights

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 501-682-6900 or email at state.archives@arkansas.gov.

Disciplines

United States History

Share

COinS