Brief History of Mount Comfort Presbyterian Church

HOW THE LAND CAME ABOUT:

     In October of 1827, the Arkansas Assembly approved the formation of a county that was named after Major William Lovely.  William came to this part of Arkansas in 1816 and purchased this land from the Osage Indian tribe.  This land was formed into what was called Lovely County.  Lovely County was then later divided into two counties, now known as Benton and Washington Counties.
 
HOW THE SITE WAS FOUNDED:

     While in Tennessee, the Cunninghams were members of a small evangelical sect of the Presbyterian Church known as the "Cumberlands".  This church was called Mount Comfort and was located in Hickory Valley, a rural community of Hardeman County, Tennessee.  William Cunningham and his father-in-law, Solomon Tuttle, left Tennessee hoping to find a more prosperous life for their families.  Once they had made their decisions of where to homestead, William plowed and planted his crop, and built a log cabin and Solomon chose a site next to William's.  William then sent for his wife, Jane Tuttle Cunningham, and their three children to come and join them in Northwest Arkansas. By 1828, other settlers joined the Cunninghams for "brush arbor" services at what the Cunningham's named after their little church in Tennessee, Mount Comfort.  It is uncertain when the log church was built, but on August 30, 1830, the Presbytery of Arkansas met at Mount Comfort Campgrounds. That was the first "official" notice that the Mount Comfort Church actually was in existence.  Mount Comfort eventually joined with Presbyterian USA around 1908.  

THROUGH THE YEARS:
  • Community of Mount Comfort was actually started in 1828.
  • Far West Seminary was opened in a brick church at Mount Comfort about 1835 and chartered in 1844.  
  • Brick building to house the school burned before completion in 1845.
  • A new school was opened named Ozark Institute, from 1845-1857, closed during the Civil War, but reopened again in 1868 through 1872.
  • Mount Comfort Female Academy was operating for a brief time in 1849.
  • Mount Comfort became a military camp During the Civil War and the Company F of the 34th Arkansas Infrantry CSA was organized here in July 1862.
  • Mount Comfort was used as a military camp and hospital during the Civil War by both the north and the south.
  • Archaeological dig was conducted from 1991-1993 at Mount Comfort.
  • The present church at Mount Comfort was built in 1874, and active almost continuously during that time to the present.   
    FINAL RESTING PLACE OF ONE OF OUR FOUNDERS, SOLOMON TUTTLE: