by Dib Ingram and W.E. Bailey
The early Enola area was known as Fredrick’s Lick, named in reference to a natural salt lick located near Cadron Creek.
The earliest settlers in the area were four brothers named Wyler who lived in a small hut on the East Cadron. The men supposedly came to the area after fleeing the Battle of Bunker Hill. The men were hunters and became landowners as well.
One of the principal founders of Enola was Jonathan Hardin who came to the area in 1837. He established his farm on top of a hill a half a mile west of Fredrick’s Lick. Hardin, a wealthy and influential man, owned about 3,000 acres of land and approximately 15 slaves. Among Hardin’s properties were a coal mine and a blacksmith shop.
Hardin’s large two-story house served as an inn and a tavern. The house was strategically located at the crossroads of the Lewisburg-Searcy, Des Arc-Springfield and Little Rock-Clinton roads. Folktales theorize that Hardin buried his fortune beneath a large tree near his homeplace.
In the late 1840’s, a log building was erected at Siloam Springs, which was to be the location of the Mount Zion Baptist Church and the schoolhouse. One of the church activities was a Masonic lodge, known as Enola Lodge No. 124. Shortly after the Civil War the communities of Enola and Mount Vernon began to grow on each side of Siloam Springs. When the log schoolhouse needed repair, both groups decided to relocate. The Mount Zion Church settled temporarily in a log house on Matthews Hill, about a mile from Enola. A year later, the church sold the house materials to Mount Vernon and bought a lot closer to Enola.
The early settlers’ days were filled with activities and never-ending tasks. There were crops to plant, barns and houses to build and land to clear. Housewives spun cloth, quilted, cooked, made clothes, and tended to children. The church offered such activities as singing schools, singing conventions, and inspirational sessions. There were also log-rollings and house-raisings to bring community members closer together.
Pioneers were generally hardy, robust individuals willing to battle the elements to protect their homestead. One such pioneer was “Granny” Smith, who was about six feet tall, muscular and, had a fully developed temper. Before coming to Arkansas, Granny had hauled cross ties and helped to build the first railroad in Georgia. After the death of her husband, Granny moved to Enola with her large family.
George Washington Dalton came to the area with his parents in 1851. His mother died soon after the family arrived in Enola. He attended school for one year before joining the Union Army at age 15. Dalton taught himself how to read and spent much of his leisure time brushing up on his new hobby. After his discharge, he returned to Enola with two friends, Steve Lamar and Tom Harper, who both settled in Enola. Dalton later became a teacher, ordained minister, writer, and farmer.
Dalton reportedly was one of the first farmers in the area to rotate his crops, terrace his land, prune and spray his orchard and construct concrete cellars for fruit and vegetable storage. He also was one of the first to have a radio and electric ice box. In his attempt to “keep up with the times,” Dalton learned to drive at the age of 70.
One of the first professional doctors to live in the areas was Dr. Anthony Hinkle. After attending medical school in Louisville, Kentucky, Hinkle moved to a farm two miles northeast of Enola. In 1860, Hinkle moved to Black Fork Creek, east of Greenbrier. His son, Dr. Bill Hinkle, later served as a representative, a Conway County Clerk and Union Army captain in the Civil War.