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Dyess History | Dyess, Arkansas

Dyess History

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Dyess Colony was founded in 1934.  The town was named after W. R. Dyess, the first WPA (Works Progress Administrator) in Arkansas.

A house in the old Dyess ColonyA family in Dyess Colony

Dyess started out as an agricultural cooperative project as part of the Roosevelt administration's Depression-era New Deal projects.  The goal of the administration was to give poor farm families a chance to make a fresh start with homes and land that they could work towards owning.

 Shopping in a Dyess Colony store.

Dyess Colony consisted of 15,144 acres located in the southern portion of Mississippi County, Arkansas.  The town grew to a couple thousand residents and stayed within that range for a couple of decades.  The businesses and public services were cooperatively owned and operated by the community.  The original community included a school, hospital, cotton gin, and various service facilities.