The Rhea, as it was originally known, was considered one of the classic hotels of the time and took four years to construct (1904 – 1908). Complete with steam heat, running water and a bath in every room, the two-story property offered lodging upstairs and store fronts below. The Rhea took up most of the 100 block of West Main Street in Walnut Ridge, before it was all but destroyed by fire on November 16, 1914.
The portion of the original hotel left standing was renovated between 1915 to 1916 and the downstairs, originally called “Mose Place,” was opened for a second time as Cooper Drugs. At that time the upstairs was used as an office area for a doctor, dentist and a dental lab. Many decades later the upstairs was again remodeled and used as apartment rentals, with a drug store still located on the ground floor.
In 2012, owners of the Snapp Family LLC purchased the property and started an extensive renovation, to turn the three upstairs and one downstairs unit into historic suites, resembling the design of the original Rhea of the early 1900s. With all new electrical and plumbing systems throughout the property, new windows and modern amenities like flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi and electric fireplaces.
Apparently, archives of the Walnut Ridge newspaper were destroyed by termites and fire some years ago, but articles from some of the newspapers of nearby towns were collected and published. This story of the feud has been re-constructed from those sources, with numerous mysteries still remaining.
John A. Rhea was born in Greene County on September 30, 1854, he came to Lawrence County when he was twelve years old. John received […]
Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” was born to Thomas and Mahala Cooper on January 14, 1861 in Lawrence County. She married John A . Rhea on July […]
Mose Cooper was born in 1870 to Thomas and Mahala Cooper. Mose was the younger brother of Lizzie Cooper Rhea Burel. Mose married Silla Garvett […]
In the 1920s, Warner Drug Store in Hoxie always had a piano in the back for jam sessions and singing. A combo of local talent developed into a fine orchestra. Emerson Richardson on the piano; Dr. Glover Clay, clarinet and violin; Dick Payne, trumpet and trombone; Lucian Warner, saxophone; Earl Thomas, drums; and Conley Groves, banjo.
J.K. Sexton came to Walnut Ridge in 1878 from Virginia at the age of 24. He was employed by the A.W. Smith Drug Store for eight years. In 1886, he opened Sexton’s Drug Store.
One Thousand Year Old Jar and Tales of Prehistoric Giants in Walnut Ridge.
By folding bed, which closed up when he slept.
The Hoxie story, now fifty-six years old, is a historical reflection of decision making that touched the lives of 21 African American students, their families, and community, and is considered the most successfully story of diversity in the State of Arkansas. Although many often think of Central High School, the Little Rock 9, as the first school to encounter resistance to integration plans in the State, two years prior to that crisis, there was Hoxie!