Bellefonte, AR

Service Date: 1901

Station Number 131

Depot 18 x 58

Bellefonte was established before the Civil War, and at the time of the war was the largest community in the area. It was a major rival for the county seat of Boone County, but lost out to Harrison in 1869. It was "just over the hill" from Harrison, and lost some population to Harrison after losing the county seat selection.

Bellefonte was at the bottom of the 1.75% grade up to Ozier Summit, after which the grade was downhill into Harrison. On the railroad south side of Bellefonte it followed Huzzah Creek on a lower grade until crossing it and turning geographic east uphill, passing under US Highway 62 on another of the 1.75% grades to Cecil Summit. The grade along Huzzah Creek, although uphill, was not as steep and gave the enginemen a run at the grade beyond the creek.

Bellefonte was the first town reached by the Leslie extension of the St. Louis and Arkansas Railroad as it began to build south. The railroad arrived in Bellefonte in 1901 shortly after construction on the extension began. Its depot still stands today as a dwelling, with a rock facing and a small addition to one side. There was a 27-car siding at Bellefonte on the geographic north side of the main line. The depot was on the south side of the main. Bellefonte businesses included a leather factory, flour mill, and cotton gin. The railroad supplied a cotton loading platform, which was removed in 1926.

Bellefonte depot with a crowd assembled. The depot was the place in town that one could witness the comings and goings of people to and from the outside world and was the site of the express office and telegraph office. The building still stands today, but the rails were remove after the 1949 abandonment of the M&A.