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Situated in southeastern Ripley County, the city of Naylor was known as Barfield when it was first settled by the Lewis K. and Sarah Barfield family sometime prior to 1859. The settlement did not become a town until after the Iron Mountain branch of the Missouri Pacific Railroad extended its tracks through the area in 1882, continuing on to Doniphan. That same year, Jasper McKinney opened a sawmill and a stave mill, Edward Punch opened a store the following year, and the town was laid out, as well as a post office established. In the late 1880s, the Horton Land and Lumber Company made its headquarters in Naylor, building a large sawmill south of the railroad tracks, and a tram railroad was built into the forested area surrounding the town for the purpose of hauling logs to the mill. Because of a problem with freight being misrouted to Barfield, Arkansas, mill officials recommended the town’s name be changed to Naylor, for William A. Naylor, a former Union Army captain who was the county’s land surveyor. Due to resistance to this name change, it was not officially changed until 1910, although the post office was renamed in 1892. Naylor began to decline when the availability of local timber began to diminish in the late 1800s, and the mill burned in 1896. However, the Frisco Railroad constructed a line that intersected the Missouri Pacific line, making Naylor a railroad crossing. The town became a fourth-class city in 1905. Surrounding communities include Gamburg, Hemenway, Neelyville, Oxly, and Taft.



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