Entries - Starting with I

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings [Book and Movie]

Detailing her childhood in Stamps (Lafayette County), as well as in St. Louis, and San Francisco, Maya Angelou’s autobiographical novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was first published in 1970 by Random House and nominated for a National Book Award. It was the first of a series of eight autobiographical novels that cemented her place as one of the great voices of African-American literature. The title of the book comes from the poem “Sympathy” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, which describes perseverance in the face of oppression. The book chronicles the racism Maya, a young incarnation of Angelou, encountered in the segregated town of Stamps and other places she lived, along with the sexual abuse she faced at the …

I-30 Speedway

The I-30 Speedway is a high-banked, quarter-mile, red clay, oval auto racing track located in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on Interstate 30 near the border with Saline County. As the heart of central Arkansas auto racing, the I-30 Speedway hosts Weekly Racing Series Events on Saturday nights from the second week in March through the last week in October, with special events held throughout the season. The track is open for sprint, mini-sprint, stock, modified, and other forms of dirt track racing. Events include races affiliated with the American Sprint Car Series (ASCS), Southern United Professional Racing (SUPR), and the Mid-South Racing Association (MSRA). The track’s signature event, the Short Track Nationals for Sprint Cars in October, pays $15,000 to …

I. F. Anderson Farms

aka: I. F. Anderson Minnow Farms
aka: Anderson Minnow Farm
aka: Anderson’s Minnow Farm
I. F. Anderson’s Farms, Inc., is located just west of Lonoke (Lonoke County). The farm includes about 322 kilometers (200 miles) of levees that impound 3,400 acres of ponds accessed via a “checkerboard” pattern of levee roads. It boasts as the world’s largest minnow (baitfish) farm, providing a bounty of golden shiners (Notemigonus crysoleucus). As the premier fish farm in the nation, it produces over one billion shiners each year. The I. F. (Fay) Anderson family initially dug and stocked its first farm ponds in Lonoke in 1949. James Neal Anderson and his son Jamie Anderson are fourth-generation owners. The 11,000-square-foot hatchery facility is capable of producing over one billion fry per season and can accommodate five million pounds of …

I’m from Arkansas

With a screenplay by Marcy Klauber and Joseph Carole (based on a story by Klauber), director Lew Landers attempted to blend romance, rustic Ozark comedy, and country music into the 1944 film I’m from Arkansas. Unfortunately, some of the Arkansas characters are portrayed as ignorant hillbillies, and the numerous musical numbers tend to muddle the story line. The plot centers upon Esmeralda, a sow, who has excited the tiny town of Pitchfork, Arkansas, by giving birth to yet another massive litter of piglets. The news quickly spreads and draws a number of visitors to the town for myriad reasons. Bob Hamlin (Bruce Bennett), a citizen of Pitchfork who has become a country music star on the radio, takes his orchestra—including …

IC Corporation

aka: Inc. Ward Transportation Services
IC Corporation, formerly Ward Transportation Services, Inc., is a school bus manufacturer that started up in Conway (Faulkner County). In 2008, the company had a sixty-two-percent share of the North American school bus market. The company has often been technologically innovative and, in 1936, was the first to produce a steel-bodied school bus. IC Corporation also offers hybrid technology in its buses. IC Corporation was founded in 1933 by blacksmith David H. Ward as Ward Body Works, a company that originally made school bus bodies from wood. The name was later changed to Ward School Bus Manufacturing, Inc., a subsidiary of Ward Industries, Inc., and then to Ward Bus Company. In 1968, the company was handed over to Ward’s son …

Ida (Cleburne County)

Ida of Cleburne County is on Highway 25 (Heber Springs Road) about three miles south-southeast of Drasco (Cleburne County) and about four miles north-northeast of Tumbling Shoals (Cleburne County). Its proximity to Heber Springs (Cleburne County) and Greers Ferry Lake results in a great deal of tourism-related traffic for the unincorporated community. The Osage once lived in the area, with part of their territory now under Greers Ferry Lake. The Old Cherokee Boundary Line goes by Ida, running diagonally from Wolf Bayou (Cleburne County) across the lake. The Treaty of the Cherokee Agency of 1817 created the definition for the line. General William Rector, along with commissioners appointed by the Cherokee, conducted the original survey. Because of concerns of white …

Iggers, Georg

Georg Iggers was a historian and social activist whose long career included teaching at Philander Smith College in the 1950s. Iggers, a German native, left Philander Smith in 1957 and eventually settled at the University of Buffalo, where he spent his subsequent four-decade career. Georg Iggers was born in Hamburg, Germany, on December 7, 1926. He and his Jewish family fled Germany and the Nazis in the fall of 1938. They originally landed in New York City and relocated to Richmond, Virginia, in early 1939. Iggers earned a bachelor’s degree in romance languages from the University of Richmond at the age of seventeen, before going on to earn both a master’s in Germanics and a PhD in history from the …

Illinois River

Flowing through the Ozark borderlands of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas, the Illinois River is fed by 1,660 square miles of drainage area and serves as the primary tributary for the largest lake in eastern Oklahoma, Tenkiller Ferry Reservoir. The Illinois has historically represented an area of significant economic importance and ecological convergence between the hilly Ozarks and the southern plains. The watershed of the Illinois River comprises five counties in Oklahoma and Arkansas, providing more than 100 miles of recreational opportunities. The Illinois River system consists of the Illinois and its tributaries, Flint and Baron Fork creeks, both of which are major tourist destinations for the south-central United States and provide a substantial portion of tourism income for the …

Imboden (Lawrence County)

Imboden, a small town located in the northwest corner of Lawrence County, was founded in the early 1880s on a prominent rise overlooking the Spring River. Though a number of settlers lived in the area by the 1820s, the town, which became a local trade center, did not exist until the construction of the railroad in 1883. By the 1820s, the Military Road crossed the Spring River near the present town, attracting new settlers. There is evidence that a few houses and a store existed prior to the coming of the railroad. One of those early settlers was Benjamin Imboden, who moved his family to the area in 1828. Imboden acquired considerable property, eventually owning the largest amount of land …

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and School

The Immaculate Heart of Mary campus in the Marche (Pulaski County) community of North Little Rock (Pulaski County) has undergone several stages of growth since it was established to serve the area’s Catholics in 1878. The first Polish settlers arrived to the area via train from Chicago, Illinois, in 1877 and began forming a distinctly Polish community. Their first project after establishing rudimentary houses was building a small parish, which was overseen by the Reverend Anthony Jaworski. He and Father Joseph Strub selected eighty acres around Marche and purchased the tract for one dollar on behalf of the Holy Ghost Fathers in Morrilton (Conway County). The land they chose was centered on a hill in an otherwise low-lying area. The …

Immigration

The peopling of Arkansas has taken place since prehistoric times, beginning with the migration of early Native Americans thousands of years ago. Europeans began to settle the area shortly after the arrival of the early explorers, such as Hernando de Soto, Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, and René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. Settlement took place largely as a result of gradual migrations into the state. Each new group helped define the cultural characteristics of Arkansas. White Immigration, 1820 to 1880Immigration into Arkansas between 1820 and 1880 was part of the general westward movement, a larger migratory process taking place in America. Some of the main reasons white people migrated to Arkansas were to seek adventure, to join family and …

Incoming Kingdom Missionary Unit

One of Arkansas’s quirkiest religious groups, the Incoming Kingdom Missionary Unit, located at Gilbert (Searcy County), was founded shortly after World War I. A Midwestern clergyman, the Reverend John Adams Battenfield (1876–1952), taught that the world would end “shortly” amid “a great world-wide war between Catholics and Protestants.”Therefore, the faithful, those who heeded Rev. Battenfield’s message, needed to prepare for this impending event by fleeing their present communities and establishing themselves in completely self-sufficient communities, or “Kingdom Units,” in scattered remote mountain areas across the nation. From here, they would emerge after the holocaust and establish the Millennial Kingdom of God. In each community, all property was to be communally owned, government was to be in the hands of the …

Independence County

Independence County, one of the “mother counties” of Arkansas, originally contained all or part of fifteen modern counties of Arkansas. The county’s history is tied closely to its strategic location—it sits astride the White River where it flows from the Ozark upland into the Mississippi Alluvial Plain; the river bisects the modern county from west to east, and the original Southwest Trail crossed it from northeast to southwest along the Ozark escarpment. Independence County was a dominant cultural force in Arkansas from its beginning through the nineteenth century. Pre-European Exploration The White River, which lies between the Arkansas and Missouri Rivers, is one of two major drainages of the Ozarks region. That crucial geographic trait made the Independence County area, …

Independence County Historical Society

The Independence County Historical Society was founded in June 1959 by a small group of people interested in researching, preserving, and telling the history of Independence County, its seat Batesville, and the other small communities in the area. There had been an earlier attempt at organizing, led by John Quincy Wolf Jr., but the society got its real start after A. C. McGinnis, John P. Morrow Jr., and Paul Wayland, all of Batesville, attended the Arkansas Historical Association annual meeting in Monticello (Drew County) in 1959. There, James Harris Atkinson, then chairman of the Arkansas History Commission (now called the Arkansas State Archives), told them the way to start a county society was for three interested citizens to get together, declare …

Independence Steam Electric Station

The Independence Steam Electric Station (ISES) is a coal-fired electric-energy-generating plant consisting of two units nameplate-rated at 850 megawatts (MW). Located near Newark (Independence County), the units—constructed by Arkansas Power and Light Company (AP&L, now Entergy Arkansas)—were launched into service in 1983 and 1984 following vigorous litigation before the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) in 1978. The ISES plant burns Powder River Basin low-sulfur coal transported to Arkansas from the Antelope Coal Mine in Wyoming by rail in cars owned by Entergy. ISES—originally proposed by AP&L, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), and City Water and Light (CWL) of Jonesboro (Craighead County), and now also co-owned or leased by several other Arkansas municipal utilities—operates in coordination with other generating plants within …

Indian Bay (Monroe County)

Indian Bay is an unincorporated community in southern Monroe County. Located on a lake of the same name, Indian Bay lies within the White River National Wildlife Refuge. The area of Indian Bay has long been inhabited, as is shown by nine Native American mounds nearby, the largest of which covers more than an acre. Artifacts found in the area are thought to be 1,300 to 1,700 years old, but the site is not open to the public. According to official records, the settlement that became Indian Bay was surveyed around 1825, at which time the community was called Warsaw. John Diana was the first landowner in Indian Bay. He was joined by Moses Price, Joseph Mitchell, A. Berdu, Major Dukes, and …

Indian Mounds

Indian Mounds were constructed by deliberately heaping soil, rock, or other materials (such as ash, shell, and the remains of burned buildings) onto natural land surfaces. In Arkansas and elsewhere in eastern North America, Native Americans built earthen mounds for ritual or burial purposes or as the location for important structures, but mound-building ceased shortly after European contact due to changes in religious and other cultural practices. Mississippian people in eastern Arkansas were using mounds when Spanish explorers arrived in 1541, and the Caddo in the Red River valley were still using mounds during the winter of 1691–92, when explorers from Mexico visited them. Most of the thousands of mounds built in Arkansas have been destroyed by modern development and …

Indian Removal

The evolving U.S. policy of Indian Removal shaped Arkansas geographically, economically, and ethnically. Federal removal treaties with the Choctaw in 1825 and the Arkansas Cherokee in 1828 established the state’s western boundary. Throughout the territorial period (1819–1836), Arkansas politicians were obsessed with removing Indians from the land within its shrinking borders, even the few destitute Quapaw for whom the state had been named. Yet, a cash-poor frontier economy profited enormously from government contracts when Southeast tribal groups were transported across Arkansas throughout the 1830s, along routes later collectively labeled “the Trail of Tears.” Still, the state’s political leaders complained loudly that the presence of sovereign tribes in neighboring Indian Territory stifled development in Arkansas and, especially after the United States expanded …

Indian Soldiers (Civil War)

As states began to secede from the Union and form the Confederacy, the Native American tribal nations in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) closely watched the growing conflict. In January 1861, Arkansas’s governor, Henry M. Rector, wrote Cherokee chief John Ross, asking the Cherokee Nation to support the Confederacy. Rector felt that if the Cherokee supported the Confederacy, then the rest of the tribal nations would follow. Ross replied to Rector that the Cherokee would remain neutral. All the Indian nations expressed desires to remain neutral, but soon they were forced to review their decisions and choose sides in the Civil War. Their decisions brought them to fighting on Arkansas soil, sometimes on different sides of the conflict. Albert Pike was …

Indochinese Resettlement Program

aka: Operation New Life
In 1975, the state of Arkansas was tapped by the federal government to be one of four main entry points for Indochinese refugees. The presence and availability of the facilities at Fort Chaffee, located adjacent to Fort Smith (Sebastian County), made it an ideal location for processing tens of thousands of Indochinese seeking refuge from their war-torn country. When the United States evacuated its remaining personnel from Vietnam in the spring of 1975, it left in its wake a wide segment of the Indochinese population who had assisted the American military and political effort. Without the American presence, they were left vulnerable to retaliation by the North Vietnamese government. Many fled in the days and weeks leading up to the …

Industrial Sand Mining

Industrial sand is a term normally applied to high-purity silica sand products with closely controlled sizing. Industrial sand is a more precisely sized and shape-graded product than common sand used as aggregates in construction materials, such as concrete and asphalt. Typically, sand is composed predominantly of quartz (SiO2), and, in the case of industrial sand, the shape, size, and composition of the grains are important to determining suitable uses for the product. Sizing of industrial sand is typically done by screening and air sorting of a dried product. The term “sand,” as used by geologists, generally refers to individual grains that range in particle size from 0.00246 to 0.0787 inch (0.0625–2.0 millimeter) in diameter. This grain size ranges from just …

Information Galore

aka: Infogo
Information Galore, Inc., (a.k.a. Infogo) of El Dorado (Union County) was the first commercial Internet service provider (ISP) in Arkansas. Although the company was short-lived, it had a notable impact upon economic and educational initiatives in southern Arkansas, as well as parts of Texas and Louisiana. Infogo was founded by six individuals. John Gray was a world-famous geologist who was appointed to serve on the Arkansas Geological Commission (now Arkansas Geological Survey) several times by Governor Bill Clinton and who did work for the United Nations. Gray, along with Watt McKinney, Leon Wood, William L. (Billy) Cook, and Robert McKinney each invested $5,000. Joe Brazeal was a board member of ARKnet, the state’s educational computer network, and provided technical expertise …

Initiatives and Referenda

Arkansas’s adoption of key elements of “direct democracy” (specifically, a statewide initiative and referendum process) stands out in the South. The fact that Arkansas adds another policymaking body—the voters of the state acting at the ballot box on measures placed on the ballot through their own petition signatures—to the typical representative system of democracy continues to shape the political rules of the game in Arkansas a century after the process’s creation. It also reflects the legacies of the Progressive and Populist political movements in the state. Proponents of direct democracy—the initiative, referendum, and recall—argued that taking total decision-making power away from legislative bodies could lessen the influence of special interests, reduce corruption in politics generally, and more fully empower rank-and-file …

Insects

Insects account for over half of all species described thus far worldwide, and they are the dominant form of life in terrestrial environments. It is estimated that 35,000 to 40,000 species of insects live in Arkansas, including around 10,000 species of beetles, around 9,000 species of flies, nearly 8,000 species of bees and wasps, and around 5,000 species of moths and butterflies. The remainder make up small orders such as the bristletails, mayflies, dragonflies and damselflies, cockroaches, mantids, termites, stoneflies, grasshoppers and crickets, earwigs, stick insects, book and bark lice, chewing and sucking lice, and true bugs and lacewings and their relatives. It is still not uncommon to find species in Arkansas that are unnamed and new to the scientific …

Instructional Microcomputer Project for Arkansas Classrooms (IMPAC)

The Instructional Microcomputer Project for Arkansas Classrooms (IMPAC) was an innovative program that helped make emerging microcomputer technologies a key component of education in Arkansas. Influential across the nation, IMPAC was cited for excellence by Electronic Learning, Instructor Magazine, Pro Education, Information Week, the National Governors Association, the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, Nelson B. Heller & Associates, and the Southwest Education Development Laboratory. A number of Arkansas educators made significant efforts in laying a foundation for the use of microcomputers in instruction, as well as providing for technical support and workshops for teachers and school administrators, K–12. New technologies of the 1980s included networking microcomputers, the progression toward online resources, computer-assisted instruction and multimedia, and instructional management software for …

Interfaith Arkansas

Interfaith Arkansas is an ecumenical and interfaith organization bringing together several religious groups for programming in two major areas: unity/relationships and mission/service. The following faith traditions make up the membership of the organization: Christian, Jewish, Baha’i, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, and Unitarian. Within each faith tradition, various expressions and denominations are represented. Interfaith Arkansas is rooted in the international and national ecumenical movements that developed after World War II. The World Council of Churches began in 1948 in Amsterdam with 147 churches from around the world involved in its formation. Its early roots were in the lay movements of the nineteenth century and the 1910 Edinburgh world missionary conference. The National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States, …

Interstate 630

Interstate 630 is an eight-mile-long east-west expressway running through the center of Little Rock (Pulaski County), connecting Interstates 30 (to the east) and 430 (to the west). It was constructed during a two-decade period beginning in the 1960s and is blamed for significant social alterations in the state’s capital city. The interstate originated with Little Rock city planner John Nolen’s work in the 1930s envisioning a cross-city expressway in Arkansas’s largest city. As the city’s population began moving to the west in the 1950s, interest grew in a highway that would provide easy access between the jobs and shopping based downtown and the homes to the city’s west. In 1958, Metroplan (the metropolitan area’s planning organization) released a tentative plan …

Interstate Orphanage

aka: Ouachita Children’s Center
aka: Interstate Orphans’ Home
aka: Hot Springs Children's Home
aka: Hot Springs Orphans' Home
The Interstate Orphans’ Home—today known as the Ouachita Children’s Center—is located at 339 Charteroak Street in Hot Springs (Garland County). It was the first institution in Hot Springs to care for orphans and other destitute children. The Craftsman-style brick structure was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Interstate Orphanage in 1982 and is attributed to noted Arkansas architect Charles L. Thompson. Throughout its history, the nonprofit facility has been called the Interstate Orphans’ Home, Hot Springs Orphans’ Home, Hot Springs Children’s Home, and Ouachita Children’s Center. In 1910, a home located at 322 Morrison in Hot Springs was organized to care for the area’s needy children. By 1918, a large, white wood-frame house was acquired for …

IQ Zoo

Founded in 1955, the IQ Zoo of Hot Springs (Garland County) allowed visitors to view animals in their natural habitats and watch them perform trained behaviors that showcased the psychological concept known as operant conditioning. The zoo, at 380 Whittington Avenue, became a destination for tourists seeking entertainment but also attracted the attention of companies such as General Mills and Walt Disney Enterprises, which were eager to market the animal performances. The IQ Zoo is the first known attraction of this type, though other tourist attractions have been based on the IQ Zoo model. IQ Zoo founders Keller Breland and Marian Breland met while working under renowned psychologist B. F. Skinner in the early 1940s. During World War II, the Brelands …

Irish

Irish migration to Arkansas took place throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in three distinct settlements. Over the years, Irish residents of Arkansas have made their mark on the state, exemplified in organizations such as the Irish Cultural Society of Arkansas. About fifteen percent of Arkansans claim Irish or Scotch-Irish ancestry. The first wave of Irish immigration concerned the Scotch-Irish (sometimes called Scots-Irish), who were descendants of eighteenth-century Ulster Protestant immigrants. The term Scotch-Irish acknowledges the seventeenth-century mass Scottish migration to Ireland’s northernmost province, Ulster—a migration that left indelible marks on the culture, including stark differences in religion and nationalistic attitudes that distinguished the Protestant, pro-British “Scotch-Irish” from their Catholic, Gaelic, and generally anti-British neighbors. Scotch-Irish immigrants to the United …

Irish Cultural Society of Arkansas

The Irish Cultural Society of Arkansas (ICSA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public-service organization based in Little Rock (Pulaski County). It was founded in 1996 to develop and enhance local interest in the culture of Ireland and its people, familiarize the general public with the culture of the Irish people and the richness of their contribution to America, reacquaint Arkansans of Irish descent with their culture and ethnic history, and publicize the presence of an active Irish community in the Little Rock area. During the 1980s, as the result of a surplus of women in the nursing profession in Ireland, many Irish women immigrated to the United States and settled in Arkansas, which faced a shortage of qualified nurses at the …

Ish, George William Stanley

George William Stanley Ish was a prominent black physician in Little Rock (Pulaski County) who cared for citizens of the capital city and inspired members of both races. He graduated from Harvard Medical School and was instrumental in founding both United Friends Hospital and the J. E. Bush Memorial Hospital, primary centers for the medical care of black patients. He was also largely responsible for the inception of the McRae Memorial Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Alexander (Pulaski and Saline counties), the state’s separate black sanatorium. Physicians of both races held him in high regard, and he was a staff member at predominantly white hospitals in Little Rock. G. W. S. Ish was born in Little Rock on October 28, 1883, in …

Island 37

aka: Andy Crum (Lynching of)
aka: Bert Springs (Lynching of)
Island 37 is a stretch of land that is in the legal possession of the State of Tennessee but is physically joined to Arkansas. Because competing claims of jurisdiction left it in something of a legal void, Island 37 became, in the early twentieth century, an outpost for bootleggers and other criminals. Police action taken against those criminals resulted in one of the many U.S. Supreme Court cases regarding ongoing boundary disputes between Arkansas and Tennessee. The Mississippi River is a dynamic waterway, often cutting new channels and thus either forming islands or causing former islands to merge with the eastern or western banks. The legal principle of avulsion holds that land cut off by the river from one state …

It’s Alive!

Larry Buchanan was a producer and director of very low-budget films, with titles such as Zontar, the Thing from Venus (1966) and Mars Needs Women (1967). In his autobiography, Buchanan cheerfully called himself a “schlockmeister.” In the late 1960s, Buchanan formed Azalea Pictures to make cheap films for American Independent Television, the TV arm of American Independent Pictures (AIP), which specialized in low-budget B movies (though not as cheap as Buchanan’s) made by Roger Corman and others. Buchanan recalled that his instructions from AIP were: “We want cheap color pictures, we want half-assed names in them, we want them 80 minutes long and we want them tomorrow.” By “half-assed names,” AIP meant actors whose names would be familiar to audiences …

Italians

Few people associate Arkansas with Italian immigration to America, assuming immigrants settled only in the urban Northeast. Yet many communities throughout the United States have a significant proportion of Italian Americans. Lured by work and regional ties, immigrants gravitated to places they could find work, whether in garment factories, coal mines, farms, fisheries, the canning industry, or lumber mills. They sought out established settlements of their village compatriots, or paesani. Certainly in the peak immigration years (1880–1910), the American South—including Arkansas—attracted its share of Italian immigrants. According to the National Italian American Foundation, the 2000 Census reports that just 1.3 percent (36,674 people) of the state’s population was of Italian-American descent; while the Arkansas numbers are not overwhelming, Italian Americans …

Ives, Kevin, and Don Henry (Murder of)

The apparent murder in Saline County in 1987 of seventeen-year-old Kevin Ives and sixteen-year-old Don Henry has spurred ongoing controversy, including conspiracy theories tying their deaths to a drug-smuggling scandal. The case was the subject of journalist Mara Leveritt’s award-winning book The Boys on the Tracks. On Sunday, August 23, 1987, at around 4:00 a.m., the bodies of the two boys were spotted by the crew of a Union Pacific locomotive near Crooked Creek trestle in Alexander (Pulaski and Saline counties). The bodies were lying between the tracks, wrapped in a pale green tarp; there was a gun nearby. The train was unable to avoid running over the bodies. The train’s crew immediately reported the incident to railroad officials and …

Ivey, Helen Booker

Helen Booker Ivey was a longtime teacher and principal in Little Rock (Pulaski County) public schools. The Colored Branch of the Little Rock Public Library was renamed in her honor in 1951. The branch library continued to operate and serve as a community meeting place throughout the 1960s. Helen Booker Ivey was the daughter of Dr. Joseph A. Booker and Mary Jane Caver Booker; her father was the first president of Arkansas Baptist College and a leader in Arkansas’s African-American community. Her date of birth is uncertain: the 1900 census states that she was born in December 1896, while the 1930 census places her age as thirty-two, indicating an 1898 birth; her gravestone has a 1901 birthdate. She attended Arkansas …

Ivory-billed Woodpeckers

aka: Campephilus principalis
Long believed to be extinct, the ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis) was rediscovered in the Big Woods of east Arkansas in 2004. More than sixty years after the last confirmed sighting in the United States, a research team announced on April 28, 2005, that at least one male ivory-bill survived in the vast bottomland swamp forest. Published in the journal Science, the findings included multiple sightings of the elusive woodpecker and frame-by-frame analyses of brief video footage. The evidence was gathered during an intensive year-long search in the Cache River and White River National Wildlife Refuges in eastern Arkansas, involving more than fifty experts and field biologists working as part of the Big Woods Conservation Partnership, led by the Cornell Laboratory …

Ivy, Dan

Dan Ivy was a high-profile attorney and political gadfly in Arkansas in the latter part of the twentieth and the early part of the twenty-first century known for his creative print and television advertisements for his law practice. In his all-black outfit—black shirt, black pants, and signature misshapen black felt cowboy hat—Ivy was a larger-than-life personality, skilled at self-promotion. Danny Chris Ivy was born on November 15, 1952, in Newport (Jackson County) to Daniel Ivy and Minnie Bell Hickman Ivy, who were devout members of the Assembly of God. He had to end his formal education while still in elementary school in order to help feed his family. When he was a child, he had a speech impediment that he …

Izard County

  In the nineteenth century, Izard County served as a gateway to settlement across northern Arkansas and was the parent county of seven other counties. Later, Izard County’s virgin yellow pine forests provided lumber to other parts of the state. Today, the county houses a state prison and is a tourist and retirement destination. Izard County has not changed a great deal since the settlers first arrived. Then and now, oak and pine forests cover much of the southern Ozarks hills. The county’s highest elevations are in the Boswell and Sylamore area. These include Brandenburg Mountain (1,099 feet), Thompson Mountain (1,124 feet), and Pilot Knob (1,123 feet). The county has sixty-eight named streams, all of which flow eventually into the …

Izard County Courthouse

The Izard County Courthouse is located off Highway 69. It joins adjacent streets of Lunen, Court, and Spring to form Courthouse Square in Melbourne (Izard County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as architecturally and historically significant for its Art Deco style and association with a New Deal program, the National Youth Administration (NYA). The National Park Service added it to the National Register of Historic Places on September 30, 1993. This was not the first structure in Melbourne to house county business. After the county seat moved in 1875 from Mount Olive (Izard County) to Melbourne, the county used a large barn until a two-story structure was erected in 1878 on the present site. A fire …

Izard County Historical and Genealogical Society

Discussions concerning the formation of a historical society for Izard County began in the summer of 1969 after interested individuals Margaret Ghelfi, Audrey Brooks, and Helen Lindley began to promote such a group to preserve the history of the local area. An organizational meeting was held at the Trimble Campground Church in Dolph (Izard County) on the last Sunday in November, with about thirty-three people in attendance. A second organizational meeting was held in Melbourne (Izard County), where the Izard County Historical Society was formed. Its major goal was publishing a quarterly magazine, and the first issue of the Izard County Historian was published in January 1970 with Helen Lindley as editor. Eighty-three charter members elected Tom Simpson president. Quarterly …

Izard, George

George Izard, scholar, soldier, and army major general, served as Arkansas’s second territorial governor from March 4, 1825, until his death on November 22, 1828. Finding government in Arkansas disorganized and ineffective, Izard began the task of organizing territorial government into a more effective and efficient institution. Izard County is named for him. George Izard was born on October 21, 1776, to Ralph Izard and Alice DeLancey Izard near London, England. His father, a native of South Carolina, transacted personal and diplomatic business in Europe and later served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and as U.S. senator from South Carolina. Izard’s mother was of a prominent colonial New York family. Izard had eight sisters and four brothers. Because …