Today Walnut Ridge Police Chief Chris Kirksey was in Little Rock honoring fallen Walnut Ridge Marshal J.P. Biggers who was killed in the line of duty in the fall of 1912. Chief Kirksey told those in attendance the story surrounding the death.
In 1912 a resident named Dock Driver had alledgedly been in a heated altercation with his wife. The Mayor of Walnut Ridge J.F. Medaris was contacted by Driver’s wife Laura who demanded a warrant be sworn out for her husbands arrest. Driver was a well known resident and the Mayor reluctantly agreed and had the warrant written. The warrant was then delivered to the Walnut Ridge Marshal J.P. Biggers who was patrolling with his wife and daughter accompanying him. The Mayor instructed the Marshal to summon his deputies and arrest the suspect, upon instructing the deputies the marshal was told that Driver was spotted in the Barber Shop located on Main Street. Driver was said to be intoxicated and in a foul mood.
The deputies were new to the job and were not carrying weapons, Dock Driver was approached as he exited the Barber Shop and notified of the warrant for his arrest. As the suspect was being searched he drew a 44 caliber revolver and shot Marshal Biggers in the abdomen, killing the officer.
Dock was taken into custody, he was held over for trial in Newport due to the intense emotion surrounding the killing in Walnut Ridge. Dock Driver was tried, convicted and hung for the crime in January 1913 in the attic of the Lawrence County Courthouse.
Roses were laid at the Fallen Officers Memorial today by Chief Kirksey in honor of the fallen Walnut Ridge Marshal next to J.P. Biggers inscription on the memorial.
Welcome to the official City of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas website. If you are a lifelong resident, looking for business opportunities, or just visiting our town we hope you will find the information you need within these pages.
Walnut Ridge has a population of close to 5000 residents and is located in the northeast quarter of Arkansas. Approximately half of an hour drive West of Jonesboro, an hour and a half drive north west of Memphis, Tennessee and a two hour drive north of the state capitol in Little Rock. Walnut Ridge is not only the largest city in Lawrence County but also the county seat.
Walnut Ridge has three major highways running through its city limits; Highway 67, Highway 63 and Highway 412. Highway 67 was named Rock and Roll Highway 67 in 2009. In the 1950’s many famous musicians played along this stretch of highway like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Lee Riley and Sonny Burgess.
Two major railways run through the city of Walnut Ridge. Union Pacific runs north and south, Burlington Northern runs east and west. These railways intersect one mile south of our downtown area. Union Pacific runs directly through the city. In addition to these thoroughfares, we can also boast of a major airport capable of handling large air craft, the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport.
Local citizens can take pride in our town’s strong rural character. Walnut Ridge has always maintained a large agricultural industry . Rice, soybeans, wheat and corn are the major crops grown in this area. Residents can enjoy the rural charm of a farming community with its winding roads and fields farmed for generations.
Our city has affordable housing, friendly people, and a great public educational system serving elementary, middle, and high schools. We are fortunate to have a four year college located nearby . Williams Baptist College is next to the airport and the industrial park. Walnut Ridge also has the luxury of being within close driving distance to Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and Black River Technical College in Pocahontas.
You will find a variety of recreational activities located within our city limits. A large park with sporting fields, swimming pools, an archery range, basketball and tennis courts, fishing ponds and a vast walking track.
Along with our parks, Walnut Ridge is fortunate to be located in “the” major water fowl flyway in the United States – the Mississippi Delta Flyway. Walnut Ridge’s water fowl hunting is known nationwide. Several water fowl outfitters await sportsmen every fall. There is an abundance of rivers, lakes, creeks and streams for fishing and swimming nearby. As you can see, Walnut Ridge has a lot to offer. Come to visit. See for yourself. We would love to have you call Walnut Ridge…HOME!