R.A. Pickens & Son Company - - Pickens, Arkansas
The town/plantation of Pickens, Arkansas was founded by Reuben Adolphus Pickens I around 1881 at what was known as the Walnut Lake township about three miles south of Dumas, Arkansas. Mr. Reuben Adophus Pickens [born October 14, 1852--Died October 23, 1926 at the age of 74. His son, Burton Cecil Pickens then became the new owner and Manager of the R.A. Pickens & Company operations. This grand property was cleared of the vast timber whereas fields of row crops emerged and the holdings increased as the partnerships increased in the privately owned company. Upon the death of B. C. Pickens at the age of 52 in 1932 of appendicitus, his son, Reuben Adolphus Pickens II then acquired full control and ownership of the growing company and business primarily a mule powered sharecrop structured company that grew and expanded upon buying out smaller farms from local farmers around the Walnut Lake area. The town name was changed by the petition of the people to what is still known today as Pickens, Arkansas. R.A. Pickens as majority stockholder in the private firm, lead the company with many technological innovations that eventually phased out the mule and sharecropper system into a wage based mechanized model farming operation that peaked up to eighteen thousand acres of rich alluvial farmland in addition to a hereford cattle operation, Commissary/Store, and other capital improvements.
The railroad went through the center of the plantation with a narrow one lane highway that was constructed in 1920 that supplemented the movement of goods and services generated by the row crops and cattle investment. R. A. Pickens was born January 7, 1915 and died at his large home he designed and constructed in 1948. He died on April 10, 1991 of a suspicious circumstances involving his care and custody the last thirty hours of his life; however; the Arkansas Supreme Court settled the dispute between the three surviving offspring of R.A. Pickens and the Freddie Black family. The Pickens operations have downsized numerically the number of hired workers over the last couple of decades in particular due to governmental mandates, mechanization, chemical and herbicide influence, and other factors. This vast plantation continues to be managed under the leadership of Reuben Andrew Pickens, son of the late R.A. Pickens II. Andrew, as he is called, currently has two farm managers, Greg Hillis, manager of the Berry Place farm, and Wilburn place farms. The other Manager is Mike Brown, manager of the Holmes Farm and Lake Farm divisions. The Company is a successful partnership of individuals or groups of shareholders that co-own and manage the overall operations of the firm. Andrew Pickens has two sons that are involved in the partnership and currently are employed at the R.A. Pickens & Son Company. What a great legacy that has been passed down generation to generation since the 1800's since the founding of the large farming operation of R.A. Pickens & Son Company