Saturday, January 13, 2007
Lafferty, The Birthplace of the County
Lafferty was once called Anderson but was renamed to honor John Lafferty and his wife, Sarah Lindsey Lafferty. John had originally come to Izard County (Izard County at the time included Stone County) around 1802 by way of his flatboat trade . He made a homestead claim but gave it up to travel back to Tennessee for his family. When he returned with his family in 1810, they built a cabin on the bank of White River across from the mouth of Lafferty Creek and set up a trading post. A number of families came with the Laffertys to the area as a "Family Alliance". Lafferty was wounded while fighting the British during the War of 1812 and returned to his place on White River only to die there from wounds he had sustained at the Battle of New Orleans the following year. The log Cabin he built remained across the White River from the mouth of Lafferty Creek for decades. Somewhere near the site of the cabin (unknown to history) he lies buried still. Once the Treaty of 1817 between the United States and the Cherokee had been signed, Sarah Lafferty was served notice and eventually moved across the river some ways upstream on Lafferty Creek.
Anderson began growing into a town around 1882. In 1883, Captain Ransom Luther, also a veteran of the War of 1812, moved to the area and along with his brother-in-law, set up a gristmill upstream
from the site shown in the top photo above. He later sold his interest in that mill and moved downstream to build a mill of his own in 1889. The mill dam above was eventually built. Pictured to the right is an image of the mill as it looked in 1921.