Around 1840, a traveler riding through what is now Woodruff County stopped at a cabin in the woods to ask directions. A woman who gave her name as Jennie came to the door surrounded by children of every size. Later, the traveler jokingly said he had asked his way at Jennie's Colony, referring to the multitude of children. The name stuck and for many years after, the area was known as "Jennie's Colony."
Or so the story goes. Other sources assure us Jennie's Colony was named for Jennie Edmonds, an early settler of Woodruff County. Still others confidently state that Jennie's Colony got its name from Jennie Barnes, whose husband first settled there. Whatever the true story of Jennie's Colony may be, it is a fact that a part of the Colony later became the site of the town of McCrory.
It all began when Cyrus G. McCrory came to Arkansas from Tennessee in 1860 and bought several hundred acres of "Swamp Land" property. At his death in 1869, his son Cyrus Wade McCrory became administrator of his estate. When the Missouri Pacific railroad began negotiations to run tracks through the McCrory farm lands, Wade McCrory donated the site for the depot and fifteen acres of right-of-way to the railroad company.
The town of McCrory was plated, and Wade McCrory sold hundreds of plots to settlers. Comfortable homes were built. Stores and businesses sprang up along Edmonds Avenue, the main street of the newly laid out town. A post office was authorized. A fine Methodist Church was built. And in the upstairs of the church, on Christmas Eve, 1889, fifty-five citizens signed an incorporation petition. Woodruff County Court granted the petition on January 30, 1890, and the town of McCrory was born.