South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society
Newton House Museum Mayhaw Festival Family Fun Live Music El Dorado Arkansas Mayhaw Jelly SAHPS Office

Welcome to South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society

The South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society is a 501-c-3 not-for-profit located in El Dorado, Arkansas. The Historical Preservation Society's principal property is the beautiful Newton House Museum. Located on Jackson Street, this historic Greek Revival home has authentic décor that reflects its antebellum construction (circa 1849). As the only antebellum home open to the public in El Dorado, it offers a glimpse into the rich history of southern Arkansas. This museum is a great family attraction and one of the special places to visit while in El Dorado.

The Historical Preservation Society also has recently added 1,100 sq ft of exhibition space in our administration building that features rotating exhibits from our permanent collections as well as traveling exhibits through the year.

Newton House Museum South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society Fun Family Events in El Dorado AR Become a member See online exhibits contact SAHPS Video and audio photo gallery Sanborn Map 1924

Book Release E V E N T - Hosted by South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society


 You are invited to a BOOK SIGNING for the new book... 

Cherokee Plantation" - On The Cane River” written by Co-Authors Tom Whitehead of Natchitoches, LA. and Diny Nolan Landen (Theodosia Nolan’s oldest grandchild).

 Tom and Diny will give a short talk and be available to sign books for you.  Come and enjoy some refreshments.

      Early pioneers to this area came in at Alabama Landing on Ouachita River near New London and Oakland, La. Mr. Robert Calvert Murphy moved there in 1846. In 1865 he married Martha Williams Gulley, who moved to Union Parish from Alabama with her father James HAYWOOD Gulley. On November 2, 1870 Charles Haywood Murphy,(Sr.) was born, the third of their twelve children.

      In 1890 Robert Calvert Murphy left Oakland/Cherry Ridge and moved to Cane River Country in Natchitoches, Louisiana, saying ”As hard as I work, I’m going to get better land to farm.”  He purchased Cherokee Plantation on Cane River, made it their home and was a recognized cotton farmer for forty years.

     Charles Haywood Murphy stayed in Oakland to wind up his father’s business and in 1895 moved to Farmerville where he became a tax collector and sheriff.  In 1904 he was called to manage the businesses of his deceased relative John Fletcher Sample, who had J. F. Sample Co in El Dorado and other business interests.

     In 1907 while operating the Citizens Bank C. H. Murphy purchased the Loutre Shingle Co and grew it’s land and timber holdings. He continued his interest in banking and bought several small banks throughout the area.    He became interested in the process of  searching for oil and followed the latest scientific developments in seismography.  

     In 1915 C. H. Murphy married Bertie Wilson. They had four children; Theodosia, Charles Haywood Murphy, Jr, Polly and Bertie.  In 1921 on a cold January day the Busey well blew in and a few months later the immense Smackover oil field was discovered and life changed in Union County forever.   In 1925 they built their new home at 900 N. Madison, El Dorado.

~~~ now you see why the new downtown hotel is named “Haywood!”   

December 11, 2019 / 3:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. / Newton House Museum / 510 North Jackson                      

We thank you for being a part of South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society!

See you Wednesday!


2019 Directors:  Diane Alderson, Jim Andrews, Aubra Anthony, Teresa Botner, Bill Campbell, Courtney Crotty, Vince Dawson, Bonnie Haynie, Cindy Langston, Candi Mattocks, Patrick Nolan, LaQuita Rainey, Adenia Riley Robbins, Ken Van Hook, Bob Watson, Sr.

News & Press


Get a glimpse of Christmas’s past as Penelope Newton (Haley Phillips) welcomes you to her home during El Dorado’s Downtown Christmas Open...Read more


ON MOONLIGHT BAY at the GALLERY OF HISTORY The South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society, located at 412 E. Faulkner in El Dorado, Arkansas...Read more


New Night Showing - THURSDAY October 24, 2019 - 6:30 p.m. Free Admission / Free Concessions. The South Arkansas Historical Preservation...Read more

Silver Screen Series

The Mississippi Gambler is a 1953 American TechnicolorWesternadventure film directed by Rudolph Maté. The film was nominated for an Oscar for...Read more

Silver Screen Series - SIN TOWN

TUESDAY NIGHT! Silver Screen Series presents....  SIN TOWN The South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society, located at 412 E. Faulkner in...Read more