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Friday, Sep. 30, 2016
Lost (or at least mostly forgotten) town rediscoveredPosted Saturday, June 30, 2007, at 3:30 PM
I didn't even know Jonesboro existed, much less that it once was the seat of Saline County.
Now I do, thanks to the Patsy Gregg Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Saline County Historical Society.
The DAR chapter commissioned a plaque back in 1929 to mark the place where the county court was held from 1831 to 1839 in what is now Napton but was known as Jonesboro at the time.
The plaque itself is unremarkable, but like most artifacts it helps ground the abstractions of history, lending them a stronger sense of reality. It's one thing to say there once was a place called Jonesboro that was the county seat long ago, it's another to know the outlines of the story AND be able to see and touch a 78-year-old little chunk of metal that marked the spot.
Of course, the plaque is sort of a secondary artifact, reference to rather than a witness to the life of Jonesboro. But until somebody discovers another artifact maybe chunk of metal, part of the stove that kept officials warm as conducted the county's business; or a mug used to refresh them during their labors; or a scrap of paper noting some bit of financial matter the plaque will serve nicely as our link to Jonesboro.
Napton of today is a sleepy little village, but when it was Jonesboro, when it was the center of county government business, I imagine it may have bustled at least a bit more. I'd like to know more about it. Was it bigger? What businesses thrived? Who were the characters that gave the place character?
Does anyone know?
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Eric Crump is a former editor of The Marshall Democrat-News. He lives elsewhere now but still loves Marshall and Saline County. He's trying to catch up on all the stories he should have written while he was on staff.
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