When timber-companies in the end of the 1800's started looking south for forests a young lumber man, E.W. Gates, saw his chances to earn some money. He managed to get one of his relatives, C.W. Gates, and two investors from Iowa, Dr. J.W. Watzek and E.S. Crossett, to buy 47,000 acres of land in Southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana. Gates built a small town with a sawmill, a church, a school and a store. The town was owned and run by the Crossett Lumber Company and became City of Crossett. Since a lot of the people in Southern Arkansas were farmers they just wanted to get rid of the trees and there was a lot of timber to get a hold of, cheap.
The lumber industry went splendid and reached its peak in about 1925, when it started to decline as it could not keep up with the competition of western states. Many mills closed down to move west, others tried to hang in, but eventually had to close during the great depression. To be able to stay in Crossett the lumber company started an experiment where they tried to plant new pine forests. This was something new, the attitude earlier had just been to cut all the trees down and then move on to new land. Today, the experiment forest of Crossett is used as an outdoor classroom for school-classes and scientist.