First Family: The HECTORS
William Hector and his family moved to Mississippi County from Missouri in 1837. Born in Virginia in 1791, William lived on his farm, in the area that is now called Roseland, until his death in 1865. His son, Sam Hector, also owned land in the Roseland area, along with several pieces of property north of Pemiscott Bayou, directly above what is now Dell. Goodspeed speaks of Sam in his BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF NORTHEASTERN ARKANSAS:
"Let it be
remembered that this region of country abounds in lakes, and that, on the
map attached to Part II, of the Historical Collections of Louisiana, drawn
and printed at an early period during the last century, Big Lake, on the
borders of Mississippi County, Ark., and Dunklin County, Mo., are marked
as the extreme northern limit of De Soto's expedition; thus the reader
will have some solid reasons to believe that the movements of De Soto in
1541, in this county, have been properly traced. The country in and around
Big Lake, or Mich-i-gam-ias, its Indian name, in the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries, still bears upon its surface traces of a wide but now extinct
population; and precisely such a ditch as described by the Portuguese narrator
can now be traced near the home of Mr. Sam Hector, of Big Lake.
Sam Hector, a truthful, upright citizen of Big Lake, who is proud of his Indian blood, lived in 1833 at an Indian village called Chil-i-ta-caw, the site of Kennett, Dunklin County, Mo., not far from Big Lake.
When he settled on this lake in 1837 the Indians occupied the country, chief among whom was Corn Meal, John East, Moonshine, John Big Knife and Chuck-a-lee. The latter killed an Indian named Keshottee on an island in Little River, still known as Keshottee's Island. He thinks the Indians gave the name to the Bayou now called Tyronza. Corn Meal told Mr. Hector there had been an Indian town on his (Mr. Hector's) place, and several along the banks of Little River. Where these villages were said to have been located he has often seen apple and peach trees growing in the woods."
Descendants of William Hector remained a part of Dell Community history well into the 20th century. In 1901, Hector Township was established from part of Chickasawba Township, honoring this pioneer family.