When Arkansas was admitted to the Union as the 25th state on June 15, 1836, James Sevier Conway (1796-1855) took office as Arkansas’s first governor. This 11-acre historic site preserves Conway’s final resting place, where a biographical marker details the life of Governor Conway is featured in the park. The cemetery was the family plot located at the former Conway home site, a large cotton plantation named Walnut Hill. There are no campsites or visitor services available at this state historic site.
James Sevier Conway (1796-1855), surveyor, planter, prominent and influencial citizen of pioneer Arkansas, took office as Arkansas’s first governor when Arkansas was admitted to the Union as the 25th state on June 15, 1836. Dedicated to his memory, this 11.5-acre state historic site preserves Governor Conway’s final resting place, the one-half acre family plot at what was once his cotton plantation. The cemetery lies just south of the former site of the Conway plantation home called Walnut Hill.
Born in Tennessee, Conway came to Arkansas from St. Louis in 1829 as a surveyor. He settled on the Long Prairie west of the present town of Bradley. Conway surveyed the boundary between Arkansas and the Choctaw Nation that is today the western line of the state that stretches from Fort Smith south to the Red River. He also assisted with the survey of the Arkansas-Louisiana boundary. In 1832, President Andrew Jackson appointed Conway as surveyor of the Territory of Arkansas.
In 1836, Conway became the Democratic nominee for governor of the new state of Arkansas. He was elected by a substantial majority and for the following four years presided over the fledgling government of this sparsely-settled frontier commonwealth. Poor health and a troubled state economy caused Conway to decline a second four-year term. In 1848, he returned to his plantation where he continued to be active in civic affairs until his death in 1855.
A biographical marker detailing the life of Governor Conway is featured in the park.
Conway Cemetery State Park Arkansas
33°06’07.1″N 93°41’00.9″W, Bradley, AR 71826, United States
Open all year, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
There is no fee for entry to an Arkansas state park, although tour fees are charged for access to some facilities. Arkansas state park pass is $10. A wide variety of activities can be enjoyed at no cost in the parks including hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, launching a boat, and participating in most of the interpretive programs.
Suggested Equipment for Conway Cemetery State Park Arkansas:
The following activities within the park should be done with utmost caution. Make sure that you have the proper protective gear and equipment necessary to make your adventures safe and accident-free. We advise you to read the TIPS underneath each activity to serve as a guide on what you may need to bring in order to enjoy your stay fully.