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Francis Marion Cecil, with his wife Rhoda Lebow Cecil and thirteen children, owned and farmed the land in southern Polk County where Vandervoort now stands. Jan DeGeoijen was a Dutch coffee merchant who was involved in financing the construction of the railroad. There was another town in Arkansas called Jansen, however, and mail between the two towns was constantly being mixed up.
Arthur Stilwell, founder and builder of the railroad, named towns along the line after investors, co-workers, himself, and family members.
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Stilwell and his crew purposely missed established towns while laying out the railroad, as their money came from land speculation, not rail traffic. For this reason, and because Vandervoort had a naturally marshy area adjacent to the planned route, the railroad built a large pond with a spillway, to be used by the steam trains.
Vandervoort was also a good half-way point for the trains to take on water. Cotton was the cash crop for many people, and there was also timber work and sawmilling. InHighway 71 was builtbypassing Vandervoort and going directly from the nearby town of Cove Polk County south to the town of Hatton Polk County.
Since then, the town of Vandervoort has steadily declined, and the population was down to 87 in Leni Wignall Affholter taught the first subscription school classes inwhich were held in the upper story of the Pine Knot Hotel. The community organized the first public school in a frame building inwith W. Fail as the first teacher. Inthe old frame school building was replaced by a stone building that was built with rocks from the Cossatot River.
Kittie L. Hughes was in the first graduating class inand she went on to teach forty-five years, the last twenty-eight of them at the Vandervoort School. In the school year, students were enrolled in the school at Vandervoort. The Methodist church was in use for more than years, but sinceit has been used only for weddings and funerals.
Today, State Highway passes through Vandervoort and is a major artery for tourists who wish to visit Cossatot River State Park Natural Arealocated eight miles east of town. Two nature trails begin at the Cossatot River Bridge area. Timber remains a major industry in the Vandervoort area.
In the surrounding area, many families still operate chicken, hog, and cattle farms. There are numerous retired people. Every Fourth of July for more than years, Vandervoort has had a three-day picnic on the grounds donated to the town by Francis Cecil in People come from miles around to visit, watch the games, dance, and see the fireworks. For additional information: Toon, Leon, and Troy Williams, eds. Polk County History Book.
Dallas: Curtis Media, Inc. Honor or memorial gifts are an everlasting way to pay tribute to someone who has touched your life. When a tribute gift is given the honoree will receive a letter acknowledging your generosity and a bookplate will be placed in a book.
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Census: — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 98 87 Vandervoort was a key stop for the Kansas City, Pittsburg, and Gulf Railroad later the Kansas City Southern. Type Place. Related Media Vandervoort School. Vandervoort Methodist Church.
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Vandervoort Post Office. Vandervoort: Downtown. Vandervoort: Hotel. Polk County Map. to the CALS catalog! Track your borrowing. Rate and review titles you borrow and share your opinions on them.
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