Welcome to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas

This Day in Arkansas History

November 30, 1898

Swiss-German Catholic priest and missionary Father Eugene John Weibel wrote to the Vienna, Austria–based Leopoldine Society, reporting that when he had first arrived in Pocahontas (Randolph County), less than twenty years before, only eighteen Catholics lived in the town, and there was no other priest for 150 miles. In those twenty years, he had built fifteen churches and chapels, seven schools, and five convents. Seven priests and sixty sisters served an area he once covered alone. While Weibel maintained that he hated to beg, he also reported that when a small child in Paragould (Greene County) swallowed a coin, a child nearby spontaneously exclaimed, “Call Father Weibel. He can get money out of anyone.”

Learn more about Eugene John Weibel

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About the Encyclopedia

The CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas is a free, authoritative source of information about the rich history, geography, and culture of Arkansas. It is updated regularly to ensure the people of Arkansas have an accurate and accessible resource to explore our heritage. We invite you to browse our text entries and media galleries to learn more about the people, places, events, legends, and lore of the 25th state. We are continually adding new entries, photographs, maps, videos, and audio files, so check back frequently to see what’s new.

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Our overview page covers everything you would want to know about our beautiful state, including state symbols, demographics and more!

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