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Severely cold weather visited Clark County many decades ago. The years of 1918 and 1899 included some of the lowest temperatures on record. It was so cold that the Ouachita River froze here in Arkadelphia! Photographs from 1918 illustrate that some area residents seized the rare opportunity to walk across the river.

Interestingly, the Southern Standard newspaper had relatively little to say about the extreme temperatures. On January 17, 1918, the paper did, however, recall 1899 as the year of the “big freeze” and characterized current conditions as being the “coldest weather during past week we have had here for eighteen years.” The article’s headline read, “Mother Earth Has Blanket of Snow:”



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