This panoramic print of Van Buren, Arkansas was drawn by Henry Wellge and published by Beck & Pauli Lith. Co. in 1888. Van Buren was established along the banks of the Arkansas River as a fueling station for the many steamboats utilizing the river and a landing for ferries. Van Buren was named county seat of Crawford County in 1820 as the county was formed.
During the American Civil War county records were moved south across the river to Fort Smith as Van Buren was engaged in warfare. Following the war much rebuilding was undertaken in Van Buren.
In 1876, the Little Rock & Fort Smith Railroad reached Van Buren, with those continuing on to Fort Smith having to cross the Arkansas waters by barge.
The map published in 1888 includes labeled streets, buildings and railroad route. Riverboat activity is portrayed in the foreground. It lists the following Van Buren societies:
• A. F. & A. M.
• R. A. M.
• O. E. S.
• I. O. O. F.
• K. P.
• U. R. K. P.
• A. O. U. W.
• A. L. of H.
• Y. M. C. A.
Features references to the following locations:
Crawford County Court House.
R. R. Land Office, Col. J. M. Weaver.
Wood Bros. & Southmays, General Merchandise.
Miller & Jones, Lumber Yard, Planing Mill and Box Factory. Office, Main St.
C. Covey, Dealer in Pianos, Organs and Sewing Machines. Main St.
J. S. Dunham, Proprietor, Van Buren Press.
Lillard, Ogden & Co., Real Estate. Main St.
D. Dickson, Surveyor & Real Estate.
W. A. Briscoe, Groceries and Provisions.
W. T. Merrill, Meat Market.
Van Buren Canning Co., W. H. H. Shibley, President.
H. C. Pernot, Livery Stable.
C. J. Smets, Express Office.
Jesse Turner, Lawyer.
Van Buren Planing Mill.
Huckleberry & Jay, Lawyers.
St. Charles Hotel.
Mrs. Alex Lacy, Milliner.
Barns Planing Mill.
Berkley Neal, Lawyer.