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Arkansas Historical Marker Program Highlights Local History and Heritage

November 10, 2020 Visit Arkansas No Comments Email Email

A new historical marker is now in Emmet for the Ephesus Cemetery announced the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism Secretary Stacy Hurst. This is the latest implementation of the Division of Arkansas Heritage’s program to assist communities in the placement of historical markers.

The Ephesus Cemetery, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2009, was established for the members and families of the Ephesus Primitive Baptist Church.

“This historical marker tells the story of people who lived in Emmet before it was even platted as a railroad town,” said Hurst. “The oldest marked burial is from 1876 so this is an important piece of history that cannot be forgotten.”

Thirteen years before Emmet became an official train stop, 10 acres of land were deeded for a church and school to be built at this location. The original church building next to the cemetery was demolished and rebuilt in the 1940s. Burials in this location include early church pastor Benjamin Luke Landers, WWI veteran Benjamin Young Landers, confederate veteran W.T. Byrd, and many early settlers from the surrounding area.

Benjamin Luke Landers’ granddaughter, Jessie Landers Avery, asked her daughter and son-in-law, Gene and Frances Ross, if they would take care of the cemetery after her death in 1974. They thought it appropriate to obtain this marker as a tribute to the families of those deceased. Mayor Dale Booker and the City of Emmet were instrumental in the marker’s installation.

Fifteen markers have been placed since the program was introduced in 2018. To participate in the program, markers must commemorate a historic person, place, or event, and significance must have been attained at least 50 years ago. Markers must be sponsored by civic groups and organizations, such as chambers of commerce, historical societies, or individuals partnering with these organizations.

The cost of the markers will be split 50/50 between the Division of Arkansas Heritage and the sponsoring organization. The total costs are $2,050 for a one-sided marker or $2,150 for a two-sided marker, with a one-time maintenance fee of $200. A designated historical marker program review committee has final approval on marker eligibility and text, and all markers are manufactured by a vendor selected by the Division of Arkansas Heritage.

A detailed description of the program and the application process is available on the Division of Arkansas Heritage website at or by calling Program Coordinator Stephanie Haught Wade at (501) 324-9150.

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