Damascus is an incorporated town in northwestern Faulkner County, Arkansas, on the border with Van Buren County. The town is located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 65 and Arkansas Highway 285. The population of Damascus is 306.
Commerce and Industry
In 1911 W. E. Halbrook of Choctaw organized schools in Damascus under the "Halbrook School System." The Arkansas Department of Education took over running of Damascus schools in 1926.
The high plain in which Damascus sits was settled by William A. Hutto and son-in-law Alex A. Brown in 1874 from Mississippi. The original road serving Damascus was called the Old Clinton-Little Rock Road and passed through Gravestown four miles to the east. Early inhabitants survived by subsistence farming raising cattle and corn, wheat, and oats. Later they raised cash crops of cotton or raised sheep and sold wool.
In April 1887 a post office was established in the community and the town became known as Damascus after a biblical place name identified by William A. Hutto. Mail came originally from Pinnacle Springs, driven by a horsedrawn carriage operated by Mrs. Pinnacle Lee. After 1900 the mail came to Damascus from Bee Branch.
- T. M. Patterson
- A. A. Brown
- Howell Tindall
- ? Landers
- Admon Wilson
- J. W. Hensley
- Sadie D. Privett
- Ruth Lloyd
In the fall of 1890 a cotton gin was established in Damascus by Fletcher Hawkins. The first cotton bales were made using an R Press and later using a typical screw press. The last cotton gin in the area went out of business in 1948.
An African American community composed of Memphis-area families was established here in 1890. Almost all of them had left by 1917.
The first automobile reached the town in 1907. Local citizen William A. Brown purchased the first automobile in town, a Model T, in 1914 for the purpose of delivering mail.
Between 1933 and 1935 U.S. Highway 65 was surveyed and paved through the eastern part of town. The road brought new business to Damascus. A nearby CCC Camp almost doubled the size of the town. At the same time telephone wires were strung from Quitman to Damascus, bringing phone service to the town.
Damascus is located in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. The plateau upon which the town sits is cut through with streams, including Pine Mountain Creek, Batesville Creek, Cove Creek, and North Cadron Creek.
- William A. Brown, "Damascus," Faulkner Facts and Fiddlings 6.1 (Spring 1964): 5-16.