Antoine, Arkansas

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Antoine is a town in Pike County, Arkansas, United States, along the Antoine River. The population was 156 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

Antoine is located at 34°2′10″N 93°25′18″W / 34.03611°N 93.42167°W / 34.03611; -93.42167 (34.036183, -93.421787)[1]. It is located on hills immediately west of the Antoine River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.3 km² (0.5 mi²), all land.

Elevation is 300 feet (91 m) above sea level.

History

The town of Antoine began as a stopping point on the old Southwest Trail to Texas in the early 19th century. It was named for a French trapper who was found dead at his camp beside the road (on the site of the present town cemetery). The only identification found on the man was his first name, "Antoine". He was buried on the hill by the river, and the gravesite became a landmark for travellers. Eventually, the name was given to the river and to the town that grew up beside it. Antoine's grave is located somewhere within the bounds of the town cemetery, although the marker has disappeared over time. There are also two Bois-D'Arc marker-trees of the Southwest Trail that remain alive within the town, both located on what is now Main Street/Arkansas Highway 29.

The town suffered little damage during the Civil War, remaining in Confederate hands until 1865. In the late 1860s and early 1870s, a major new railroad line was established through Southwest Arkansas. This event was of major importance to Antoine, since the new route was established about 20 miles (32 km) southeast of the former main artery of commerce (the Southwest Trail), and thereby bypassed Antoine. Because of this, businesses and settlers began to abandon towns along the old route, and the town began a slow decline from which it ultimately never recovered.

In the 1890s and early 20th century, there was a logging and railroad boom in the area that lasted up through the Depression years. During this time, railroad connections were established with Gurdon to the south and Amity to the north, and with Delight to the west. The historic railroad trestle over the Antoine River was built in 1908 and remains in use today.

During the Depression and afterwards, Antoine experienced a slow but steady decline in population.

Today, the main activities include logging, ranching, truck farming, and tourism. Most residents work in the nearby cities of Arkadelphia, Hope, or Nashville.

Demographics

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 156 people, 64 households, and 44 families residing in the town. The population density was 118.1/km² (305.3/mi²). There were 74 housing units at an average density of 56.0/km² (144.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.59% White, 5.77% Black or African American, and 0.64% from two or more races. 0.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

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