Clear Creek Water Mill

AttractionsHighway MarkerHistory

The water-powered grist mill was in operation on Clear Creek as early as 1819 by white settlers in old Miller County Arkansas Territory. The new mill was built in 1837 by Choctaw Joel Kemp. A later owner replaced the crude undershot wheel with a turbine-type wheel, which also powered the cotton gin. John Prince acquired the mill site in 1909, updated the machinery and replaced the log dam with concrete. He drilled two artesian wells and supplied water to town of Valiant for many years. The adjacent swimming pool was a favorite recreational facility. The mill ceased operation around 1944 and the swimming pool closed in 1962. Remnants of the mill remain. Tradition holds that two black slaves, Wallace and Minerva Willis, first gave voice to renowned Negro spiritual songs such as Swing Low, Sweet Chariot on a nearby Plantation.

Directory locations are approximate