The “Waldron War” took place during the Reconstruction period and was marked by violence. Armed conflict between warring factions broke out in Waldron, Scott County, in West Central Arkansas in the Summer of 1875. Murder and arson left the town in a state of lawlessness.
A trip down Highway 71 to the Abbott area of Pleasant Grove #2 Cemetery will pique your interest in this historical event. It is there you will find a headstone engraved: “JOHN L DAVENPORT ASSASSINATED by the Waldron Ring Feb. 6, 1878”
The assassination of the well-known Scott County man, John L. “Shabe” Davenport, occurred at the peak of the Waldron War. Years prior, Governors Garland and Miller had utilized the state militia forces to maintain peace. Lawlessness left the city in ashes and the government struggled to restore order.
Davenport was from the northern part of the county. After receiving news of his death, a mob gathered just north of Hon at Lookout Gap. The mob rode through Hon on its way to Waldron. However, the overflowing Poteau River caused them to turn back.
Civil unrest reigned in the area following Davenport’s death. In fact, it was years later before order was restored in the county.