Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Marker Program

Henry Merrell/Royston Factory Mill


City: Murfreesboro

County: Pike

Location: Pike County Courthouse Grounds

Sponsor: ACWSC, Pike Co. Arch & Hist Soc, Pike Co., AHC, DAH, Preserve America

GEO Coordinates

UTM-X: 436325
UTM-Y: 3769266
UTM Zone: 15

Latitude: 34.06218755
Longitude: -93.69000964

Marker Text

Royston Factory Mill

Henry Merrell built the Royston Factory Mill, Arkansass first textile factory, 3 miles north of Murfreesboro in 1856. The complex also held saw, grist and flour mills. After the Civil War began, the factory made cloth for the Confederacy and Maj. R.C. Wood and his Missouri cavalry were stationed there to guard it from Union patrols. In late 1863, the factory mill was ordered dismantled and moved to Grand Prairie, Texas. Several major parts were lost or damaged during the move, so Merrell was sent to England for spare parts. The war ended before his return.

Henry Merrell

Henry Merrell, known as the Industrial Missionary to the South, was born in Utica, N.Y., in 1816. He moved to Arkansas in 1856 and built an industrial complex in Pike Co. He helped draft an anti-secession resolution in 1860, but stayed with his adopted state when the war began. He was made a partisan captain to protect the mill in 1862, and in 1863 became a major of engineers. He tried to block the Arkansas River to protect Little Rock from capture, then retreated to southwest Arkansas with the army. Merrell died Jan. 19, 1883, and is buried in Camden.

No. 55

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission
Pike County Archives and History Society
Pike County
Arkansas Humanities Council
Department of Arkansas Heritage
Preserve America, National Park Service, Department of the Interior


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