Greenwood, Arkansas is a small town about 9 miles south and east of Fort Smith in west-central Arkansas. At last official count, there were a little over 9,000 people living here.
There is a ‘square’ that makes up most of ‘downtown’ that brings back happy memories of visiting my grandmother for two weeks in the summers in Nevada, Missouri. I felt all grown up, getting to stay there by myself, walk to the shops and the library by myself and be thoroughly spoiled. My grandmother was phenomenal, taking sole care of my grandfather who was bedridden from Multiple Sclerosis. She seemed to look forward to the visits of her grandchildren, one at a time each summer, doing all sorts of wonderful, special things we would remember vividly the rest of our lives. When my husband showed me Greenwood, planning to take a job in Fort Smith, I fell in love with it immediately.
The court house used to be in the center of the square. One time it was destroyed by fire. It was again destroyed in 1969 when a tornado leveled the town and killed many. The clock tower is all that remained in the center of the square. Recently, a local businessman built a new copper-looking roof for the clock tower. It really looks wonderful, shining in the sun as you enter the square from any direction. (The court house is now across the street to the south from what is now called, “Memorial Park.”)
Several years ago funds were gathered and grants won in order to turn what was a nice little park into “Memorial Park” – honoring our veterans. If you look carefully, you can see plaques that have been set in concrete up and down both sides of the concrete paths in the park. These were purchased by the families of the veterans to honor their family member for their service to our country. There are more plaques in the park each year. Flags are put out on all appropriate holidays – a sight to see! What you cannot see in this picture are statues commemorating each of the services around the base of the clock tower. Nice benches were added and some lights, and hanging baskets of flowers, and a nice wrought iron fence around the street side of the park. There is a gazebo on one end, surrounded by knockout rose bushes, where people sing and play instruments from time to time.
This is the center of our town. A town proud of the people who made our country great, who served to keep our people free.