Lincoln County

Star City

Lincoln County, Arkansas is in the southeastern part of the state about 60 miles south southeast of Little Rock, and about 25 miles southeast of Pine Bluff in the neighboring county. It's about 60 miles west of the Mississippi River and 60 miles north of the Louisiana border. The Arkansas River forms the Northeast border of the county and Bayou Bartholomew bisects the county from northwest to southeast. The principal interior stream is Cane Creek. East of Bayou Bartholomew, the land is part of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, known as the delta. The Goodspeed History of Lincoln County described the two parts of the county as “bottomland” to the East and “Pineywoods hills” and “post-oak flats” to the West. Although the land was owned by the Quapaw Indians at the time of European settlement, very few Native Americans lived there. Prior to the Civil War, slave labor was common and the principal crop was cotton. Lincoln County was created from portions of Arkansas, Bradley, Drew, Desha and Jefferson counties on March 28, 1871 by the Reconstruction-era Arkansas General Assembly and was named after President Abraham Lincoln. The county court first met at the Cane Creek Church in 1871, but Star City was designated as the county seat. The area where the Boyds first moved around 1860 was in Drew County at the time and in the townships of Mill Creek and Lone Pine as shown in the 1895 map.

Arkansas 1859
Arkansas, 1859*
Lincoln Land Patents
Lincoln County, 1895

In February 1873, the Little Rock, Pine Bluff, and New Orleans Railroad was completed to a point about half way between the modern towns of Grady and Gould, spurring development of these two towns. However, Star City remained the county seat and the most important municipality in the county.

The map on the right shows land purchases made by the Boyds in Drew and Lincoln County. As can be seen nearly all of the land purchased by the Boyds was north of Monticello in what is now Lincoln County and close together. The plots are mostly all in the townships of Mill Creek and Lone Pine as shown in Figure 167. Charles Boyd (green) made six separate purchases between 1859 and 1860 for a total of 600 acres of land. Jesse Goins purchased two plots, one of 160 acres and one of 40 acres, in what would become Lincoln County, but he also purchased 240 acres in two other lots closer to and just west of Monticello. The white block was purchased by James C. Boyd in 1890, probably James Carlisle, the son of Andrew Jackson Boyd.

In 1853 and 1854, a number of families moved from Porterville in Tipton County Tennessee (members of the Salem ARP Church) to Drew County Arkansas, settling near Monticello. In February 1855, the ARP church at Monticello was organized. In 1866, the pastor, Rev. J. A. Dickson, along with about half the congregation left the church to affiliate with the Presbyterian Church. The remaining members of the congregation, including three elders, A. J. McQuiston, Samuel Allen and R. B. Harper, continued the organization and was supported in the spring of 1867 by Rev. John Wilson. In 1881, the elders were A. J. McQuiston, Hugh Wilson, W. H. McQuiston, D. P. Craig and J. B. Wilson. This Hugh Wilson was probably the father of Sallie Wilson who married Austin Quay Boyd. The Monticello ARP Church continued to be successful and organized the Ebenezer ARP church in Lincoln County in 1869. Revs. John Wilson and William Little Patterson, among others, were pastors of the church, and Andrew Jackson Boyd was an elder. By the 1890s the church was suffering low membership as a result of its members relocating and had only 34 members in 1896. It has since been abandoned.

There were several other Boyd families in Lincoln County by the 1880s. Some were from Georgia and Tennessee and unrelated to the Boyds from South Carolina. At least three Boyd families who were cousins also moved to Lincoln County. The family of William Boyd, son of Alexander Boyd and Betsy Allen and a first cousin of these Boyds had moved to Alabama around 1850. William died in 1858 in Alabama, and his family moved to Arkansas several years later. His son, William Boyd, became a prominent business man in Cornerville, the proprietor of a large mercantile business and a justice of the peace. Abraham White Boyd and Robert Romaine Boyd, the grandsons of Alexander Boyd and Betsy Allen also moved to Lincoln County in the 1860s and 1870s, respectively.


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The Boyds in Arkansas

All but three of Alexander and Martha's children moved west. William Boyd who moved to Mississippi with his family of 10 children (highlighted in blue in the Figure below). Of the nine other children, six moved their families to Arkansas (highlighted in green). These six children moved to Arkansas after they were married and had children. All of the children shown in the figure were born in South Carolina, but most, if not all, moved to Arkansas.

The only really certain dates for these moves was for Andrew Jackson Boyd, who moved in 1867. It is likely that James and Charles moved together as there are land purchases made by them in 1859 and 1860. And we know that Jennie, Charles and John were all in Arkansas for the 1860 Federal Census. John may have moved at the same times as Charles, but no record of land purchase has been located. James, who appears to have purchased land in Arkansas in 1859, was still in South Carolina with his family for the 1860 census. It may have been that Charles and James went to Arkansas ahead of the move in order to buy land as each bought several tracks of land. James bought 200 acres in June 1859 and another 80 acres in July. Charles two parcels, one of 40 acres and another of 160 acres also in June 1859 and another parcel of 40 acres in March of 1860. The dates of these land purchases do not necessarily indicate when the families arrived in Arkansas. Recording of land purchases often occurred as much as several years after the actual purchase of the land. Since many of the children were adults by the time that their family moved, it cannot be stated with certainty that four of the daughters moved. They are two daughters of Andrew Jackson Boyd, Mary Jane and Agnes, and two daughters of James Boyd, Isabella and Sarah. All four of these daughters were still in South Carolina in 1860 and I haven't been able to track them beyond 1860. It is probable that the two daughters of Andrew Jackson either died in South Carolina or moved to Arkansas as they would have been 7 and 14 years old at the time of the move. However, since the exact date that James moved is unknown, it could be that his two daughters, Isabella and Sarah, were married in South Carolina before their family moved to Arkansas and therefore may have remained in South Carolina.

alex and martha boyd moved
Children of Alexanda and Martha Boyd that moved west

There were two other families of Boyds that moved to Arkansas. William Boyd, the son of Alexander Boyd and Elizabeth Allen moved to Alabama around 1849 or 1850. This William Boyd was a first cousin of the Boyds shown in the Figure and the only one of his siblings to have left South Carolina. William married Jeanette W. Miller and they had 11 children, 9 of which were born in South Carolina. They moved to Union, in Greene County Alabama where William was a merchant. William died on 10 April 1858 and his family later moved to Arkansas where the other Boyds were. Abraham White Boyd, the son of Robert Watson Boyd and grandson of Alexander Boyd and Betsy Allen also moved to Arkansas before 1868. He married Jane Elizabeth [surname was probably Reid] and they had 5 children, all born in Arkansas.

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