118 E. Dickson St., Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701 info@washcohistoricalsociety.org (479) 521-2970

Carter’s Store

The Carter’s Store post office was established 1 July, 1875. Deane Carter places it in s8, T14N, R29W but a hand drawn map by Frank M. McConnell puts the location in s34, T15N, R29W. The latter location is believed to be correct as information in the Shiloh Museum Washington County History book mentions moving Dr. John Carter’s office from old Carter’s Store on Middle Fork of White River. The first location would place it a few miles west of the Middle Fork.

Dr. Carter's Store, moved to the grounds of Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale.
Dr. Carter’s Store, moved to the grounds of Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale.

The Carter’s Store post office was later called Carter Store in 1892, Carter in 1900 and finally Hicks in 1930 before it was closed in 1953. A Hicks family lived in the Carter house and presumably provided the later name. Mrs. Hicks was sister to Mrs. John Carter.

Dr. George W. and Nancy Carter came to Washington County with their family in 1851 and he practiced medicine until his death in 1875. Their son, Dr. John Calhoun Carter, was probably born in 1828 while his parents were living in Tennessee. He came to Washington County in 1851 and, as did many others from this area, went to California for the Gold Rush. Dr. John Carter did not enlist during the Civil War, persuaded by his neighbors that he was needed as doctor in the area. Like many others, he was harassed by bushwhackers and is said to have been close to being hanged at one time. He lived in Fayetteville for some time during the War. Dr. John was married to Hala Minerva Jones.

After the Civil War Dr. John Carter acquired considerable land in the Middle Fork valley and opened a store and his doctor’s office. His office was built above a spring house which was on the east bank of the Middle Fork, and across the road from his store. The spring house building was moved and reconstructed at Shiloh Museum in Springdale.

Two other sons of Dr. George W. Carter were also doctors. Dr. Jourdain “Jerd” Hasty Carter was the ninth child of George W. and Nancy Carter. Dr. George Washington Carter was the only child of Dr. George W. and his second wife, Nancy Arnold and was born in 1852 near Durham. He learned his medicine from his father and brothers. His son, Dilford, also became a doctor but apparently took the state medical exam, for which he reported his father’s help was most useful to him.

Velda Brotherton says there may have been a store there before Dr. Carter’s but the first post office was called Carter’s Store. There was also at least a blacksmith shop operated by Ben Johnson.

Washington County Postmasters and Postoffices 1829-1976, by Deane G. Carter, publ. by Washington County Historical Society.
“The Doctors Carter of Washington County, Arkansas,” by Marian Carter Ledgerwood, Flashback, July 1965.
Washington County History, by Shiloh Museum, 1989.
“Middle Fork Valley,” by Frank M. McConnell, Flashback, August 1961.
Flashback, Winter 2003.
The Boston Mountains Lost in the Ozarks, by Velda Brotherton.