Entries - Starting with L

L’Anguille Ferry, Skirmish at

On August 3, 1862, a skirmish took place at L’Anguille Ferry, just north of Marianna (Lee County). The skirmish was in direct response to a Union victory at the Action at Hill’s Plantation, which took place July 7. The Confederate victory at L’Anguille Ferry resulted in Union troops in eastern Arkansas remaining near the Mississippi River until the following year. One of the regiments so affected by the Action at Hill’s Plantation in Woodruff County was that of Colonel William H. Parsons of Texas. He planned to avenge his loss to the Union at Hill’s Plantation. With the blessing of General Thomas C. Hindman, he went searching for a target. The First Wisconsin Cavalry, under the command of Colonel Edward …

L’Anguille River

The L’Anguille River arises west of Harrisburg (Poinsett County) from the confluence of several creeks and agricultural ditches and flows south, always on the western side of Crowley’s Ridge until it nears Marianna (Lee County), where it cuts east across the ridge and empties into the St. Francis River. In the twenty-first century, the L’Anguille River was designated an impaired watershed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to excessive siltation and pollution from agricultural runoff. The area around the L’Anguille River has been the site of human habitation as far back as 10,000 BC. Among the many sites of prehistoric habitation along the river basin is the Lace site, a Dalton Period site located in Poinsett County. In fact, …

La Harpe, Jean-Baptiste Bénard de

Jean-Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe was a French officer, trader, and explorer. He was the first European explorer to record the existence of a large rocky bluff on the north bank of the Arkansas River. This major outcrop of rock is just upstream from a smaller rock, where it was possible to ford the river. It was at this location that the settlement of Little Rock (Pulaski County) subsequently developed. Jean-Baptiste de La Harpe was the second son of Pierre Besnard, Seigneur de la Harpe, and Jeanne le Breton. He was christened on February 4, 1683, in St. Malo, France, one of the couple’s twelve surviving children. His father’s family had lived in the area for nearly a century and …

La Salle, René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de

In 1682, French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle journeyed down the Mississippi River in search of a water route to the Gulf of Mexico. Stopping in present-day Arkansas County at the current site of Arkansas Post National Memorial, La Salle erected a cross to designate the region “Louisiana” in honor of Louis XIV, king of France. He was one of the first European explorers to make alliances with the Native Americans of Arkansas and the first to try to establish a permanent settlement in Arkansas through his friend and fellow explorer, Henri de Tonti. La Salle was born in Rouen, France, on November 21, 1643. His parents, Catherine Gesset and Jean Cavlier, were wealthy merchants. Educated at the …

LaBeef, Sleepy

aka: Thomas Paulsley LaBeff
Sleepy LaBeef is a rockabilly musician who has been performing in the United States, Canada, and Europe for more than fifty years. He has shared the stage with a long list of greats, including Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Kenny Rogers, and Glen Campbell. Sometimes called the Human Jukebox, he is said to be able to play as many as 6,000 songs. Sleepy LaBeef was born Thomas Paulsley LaBeff (the family name was originally LaBoeuf) in the oil-boom town of Smackover (Union County) on July 20, 1935, the youngest of ten children. His family owned a farm, raising livestock and growing cotton and watermelons, before selling the land to be drilled for oil. He got the nickname “Sleepy” in the first …

Labor Day Bombings of 1959

The Labor Day bombings in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1959 represented the last gasp of opposition to the desegregation of the capital city’s Central High School. Coming almost two years to the day after the Little Rock Nine’s first attempt to attend Central High, the coordinated set of explosions evinced a stark and violent reminder of the continuing racial tensions in Arkansas’s capital. The damage was limited, however, and the effort was arguably more symbolic than substantive. At the same time, the bombings highlighted the fact that, while the determined effort to resist the integration of Central High had finally been overcome—with the historic high school having opened its doors for the 1959–60 school year to a student body …

Labor Movement

Soon after Arkansas’s 1836 admission to the Union, wage workers in the state began uniting for their mutual economic and political benefit. Throughout the nineteenth century, these associations—commonly called trade unions—tended to be short lived and unstable, reflecting the dominance of agriculture in Arkansas’s economy. But in the twentieth century, as industry began gaining a toehold in the state, the labor movement began improving the lives of wage workers through collective bargaining and by securing passage of legislation in the interest of all workers. Although weak when compared with their counterparts in more industrialized states, Arkansas’s trade unions were at the forefront of every significant wave of reform in the state during the twentieth century—the Progressive Era, the New Deal, …

Lacewell, Larry Wayne

Larry Wayne Lacewell, the former football coach and athletic director at Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro (Craighead County), took his teams to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I-AA playoffs for four straight years, to two Southland Conference championships, and to the 1986 Division I-AA National Championship game. In 1992, he began work as a scout for the Dallas Cowboys professional National Football League (NFL) team. Lacewell is the only coach in the nation to have led college teams to back-to-back championships and been a part of back-to-back NFL Super Bowl wins. Larry Lacewell was born on February 12, 1937, in Fordyce (Dallas County) to Arvel and Eloise Lacewell. He was the second of four children. He attended …

Laconia Circle Levee

The Laconia Circle Levee is situated in the southeast corner of Mississippi Township in Desha County. The levee’s circular construction is so unique that Believe it or Not, a syndicated newspaper publication for the unusual, featured the levee in one of its 1970s publications. The levee encircled Laconia Circle, which consisted of 18,000 acres of Delta land located in Desha County, for protection against potential flooding from the Mississippi and White rivers. It was the first levee in the Arkansas Delta to be affected by the Flood of 1927. Before the Civil War, fourteen plantation homes were protected by the levee. The levee and the township were named after the Laconia Landing, one of the most active steamboat landings on …

LaCrosse (Izard County)

The community of LaCrosse in the twenty-first century is practically a ghost town, with only a few occupied houses remaining. This is a striking contrast to earlier decades, when it was a bustling small town, with the LaCrosse Collegiate Institute having a statewide reputation. Located in rolling prairie land, that area of Izard County was first settled in 1845 by three brothers: William Frederick Watkins, James Davis Watkins, and Dr. Owen Thomas Watkins, a graduate of the Medical College at Louisville, Kentucky. The brothers were natives of Tennessee. Land patent records reveal their far-reaching land acquisitions, which extended into Fulton, Sharp, and Independence counties. Their farming ventures included cotton, cattle, blooded horses, hogs, and cotton ginning. Dr. Owen Watkins’s practice extended …

LaCrosse Collegiate Institute

The LaCrosse Collegiate Institute was established in 1868 by Michael Shelby Kennard, under the name LaCrosse Male and Female Academy, in the community of LaCrosse (Izard County), which then boasted of five businesses, three churches, a Masonic hall, two physicians, and one druggist. A year later, Kennard changed the name of the school to the LaCrosse Collegiate Institute, which better described the curriculum offered to students. His son, writing in 1917, said that an average of 100 or more boarding students attended the institute yearly. According to an article in the Sharp County Record newspaper, the institute educated more than 3,000 young men and women, both local and boarding students, during its existence. A native of Sumter County, Alabama, and …

Lacy, Thomas J.

Thomas J. Lacy was a leader of the Arkansas legal community in the early days of statehood. One of the original members of the Supreme Court of Arkansas, he served for nine years before ill health forced him to step down in 1845. Thomas J. Lacy was born around 1806 in Rockingham County in North Carolina. The son of Batie Cocke Lacy and Elizabeth Overton Lacy, he was educated at what became the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, reportedly graduating at the top of his class in 1825. Following graduation, he read law in the Springfield, Kentucky, office of John Pope, an ally of Andrew Jackson who would later serve as territorial governor in Arkansas. From Kentucky, Lacy …

Ladd, Alan

aka: Alan Walbridge Ladd Jr.
Alan Walbridge Ladd Jr., a native of Hot Springs (Garland County), was a movie actor who rose from poverty and starred in forty-seven films, mostly in the 1940s and 1950s. He often portrayed a solitary hero with a conscience and is best known for his title role in the classic western Shane (1953). He is the father of actress Alana Ladd, actor/producer David Ladd, and producer Alan Ladd Jr., former president of 20th Century Fox and currently president of The Ladd Company. Alan Ladd was born on September 3, 1913, to the American-born Alan Ladd Sr., a freelance accountant who traveled frequently, and the petite Selina Rowley Ladd (stage name Ina Raleigh), who was born in County Durham, England, in …

Lady Baxter

Lady Baxter is a Civil War–era sixty-four-pounder siege gun that was used by forces loyal to Elisha Baxter in the Brooks-Baxter War, his 1874 altercation with Joseph Brooks over the governorship of Arkansas during Reconstruction. The cannon is on display on the grounds of the Old State House Museum in Little Rock (Pulaski County). During the Civil War, the siege gun that would become known as Lady Baxter was part of the armaments of the CSS Pontchartrain, one of two Confederate gunboats that plied Arkansas’s waters. Along with most of the Pontchartrain’s other heavy weapons, the gun was removed from the vessel to provide cannon for Fort Hindman, the major earthwork guarding the Confederate garrison at Arkansas Post. A Union …

Lafayette County

  Lafayette County has always been important to the history of Arkansas, but it was particularly so from its first four decades as a territory through the Civil War. This was partly because one of its residents, James Sevier Conway, was the state’s first governor, but his neighbors, family, and friends, as well as the fertility of its soil, have also continued to contribute to the state’s development. European Exploration and Settlement Before the arrival of Europeans, the area’s inhabitants were mostly of the Caddo tribe. The last Caddo village on the Great Bend of the Red River was abandoned around 1778, twenty-five years before the Louisiana Purchase added this land to the United States, though the Caddo continued to …

Lafayette County Courthouse

The Lafayette County Courthouse is an early 1940s-era Art Deco building built with funds from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It is known as the first Art Deco building in Lafayette County, though its style also heavily incorporates WPA Moderne. The Lafayette County Courthouse is located at 1 Courthouse Square in Lewisville (Lafayette County). The current Lafayette County Courthouse is the fourth courthouse to be built in Lewisville. Several years after the first courthouse was constructed, the railroad was built south of the town. The city of Lewisville began to build southward toward the railroad, and a second courthouse was constructed in the newer part of town in 1890. Fourteen years later, another courthouse was built to replace it. Finally, from …

Lafayette Hotel

aka: Lafayette Building
The Lafayette Hotel in downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County) opened in 1925 and was one of the state’s best-known hotels until its closure in 1973. Now known as the Lafayette Building, it houses offices and condominiums. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 30, 1982. Little Rock was experiencing solid growth during the 1920s, and an entity known as the Little Rock Hotel Co. decided to capitalize on that growth with a new hotel. A. D. Gates of St. Louis, Missouri, was the company president, and John Boyle of Little Rock was the vice president. The ten-story structure, which has a full basement, was designed by St. Louis architect George Barnett. The Lafayette opened on …

Lafe (Greene County)

Lafe is a town situated on Crowley’s Ridge in northern Greene County. Much like similar communities on the Grand Prairie farther south, Lafe was founded by German-American settlers, and the community has remained centered around the Lutheran church. No settlers had made a home in the area that was to become Lafe before German immigrant Herman Toelkin arrived in 1886. Toelkin had previously settled in Franklin County, Missouri, and his family was still there when he arrived in Greene County by train. Toelkin took a job with the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad, harvesting trees and making railroad ties. When he had saved forty dollars from his earnings, he bought forty acres of land, constructed a log cabin, and …

Lafferty, John

John Lafferty was, according to several sources, the first known white settler of record in Izard County and an eyewitness to the effects of the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811–1812 along the White River. John Lafferty was born in Donegal, Ireland, in 1759. His parents’ names are unknown. Lafferty grew up in Rutherford County, North Carolina. Lafferty signed the papers of the First Council of Safety of the Revolutionary Party in South Carolina in November 1775 and enlisted in a volunteer company of militia under Captain William Fullwood during the American Revolutionary War. For his service, he recived a land grand of 1,000 acres in the Camden District of South Carolina. At some point, Lafferty married Sarah Lindsey, who was …

LaGrange (Lee County)

  LaGrange is a town in southern Lee County, between Marianna (Lee County) and Helena-West Helena (Phillips County). It is near the St. Francis National Forest’s lands that include the southern portion of Crowley’s Ridge. LaGrange appears to be one of the earliest settlements in the area; its French name translates as “the farm.” Settlers were already present when the first government land grant was given to Jonathan Howell in 1820. New Hope Baptist Church was founded at LaGrange in 1848, and a Methodist church also was built before the Civil War. A U.S. post office was established in 1852. At this time, LaGrange was in Phillips County, as Lee County was not created until 1873. By the time of the Civil …

Lake Catherine State Park

Lake Catherine State Park in southwest Arkansas provides access to fishing, water sports, and lakeside recreation while conserving natural features representative of the Ouachita Mountains, such as waterfalls, mountain streams, and rock outcroppings. Three stone-and-wood cabins, a former concessions building, and a bridge located within the park are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as examples of the rustic architecture style used by the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which built the park. In August 1935, Harvey Couch, founder of the Arkansas Power and Light Company, donated to the state 2,048 acres of his land along the shore of Lake Catherine. The 1,940-acre lake had been created by Remmel Dam, the state’s first major hydroelectric project, in 1924. …

Lake Catherine State Park Prisoner of War Structures

Construction of what are now known as the Lake Catherine State Park Prisoner of War Structures was started by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the late 1930s and completed by German prisoners of war in 1945. Located at Lake Catherine State Park at 1200 Catherine Park Road in Hot Spring County, these structures—a 210-foot-long, nine-foot-tall stone retaining wall and an outdoor stone oven—were listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 24, 2017. Lake Catherine was created when Remmel Dam was completed on the Ouachita River in December 1924. In 1935, Arkansas Power and Light founder Harvey C. Couch donated more than 2,000 acres of land surrounding Lake Catherine to the State Parks Commission. Two years later, …

Lake Charles State Park

When Lake Charles State Park was constructed in the 1960s, it was the first of its kind and size in the nation. It is located in the foothills of the Ozarks near the Black River in Lawrence County and is a very popular family recreation area in northeast Arkansas. Lake Charles was originally planned as a watershed/flood protection project near the Black River in Lawrence County. In 1956, the Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors sponsored an application under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program. When the application was submitted, the sponsors were thinking only of watershed protection on the uplands and flood prevention on the bottomlands. However, before an intensive …

Lake Chicot

Lake Chicot in Chicot County is both the largest oxbow lake in North America and the largest natural lake in the state of Arkansas, running almost twenty-two miles in a C-shaped curve one mile wide and covering 5,000 acres. The city of Lake Village (Chicot County) is situated along its western shore, while Lake Chicot State Park lies on its northern shore. The lake has been at the center of history and culture in Chicot County, serving as the site of a Civil War engagement and as a focal point for local plantation agriculture. Charles Lindbergh conducted his first night flight ever over Lake Chicot in 1923. Geologists estimate that Lake Chicot likely separated from the Mississippi River several centuries …

Lake Chicot State Park

Lake Chicot State Park, located near Arkansas’s southeastern corner, provides recreational access to Arkansas’s largest natural lake, Lake Chicot, a twenty-mile-long oxbow created by the Mississippi River hundreds of years ago. Activities at the lake and its environs include fishing and bird watching. Early in the twentieth century, the pure waters of the lake were used untreated by the city of Lake Village (Chicot County). The area became popular for its fishing, boating, and other recreational activities. The forests surrounding the lake served as a rich habitat for wildlife. The lake was polluted by a flood in 1916 and, beginning in 1920, work on the Mississippi River levee polluted it even more. Dredging, increased cultivation around the lake, and the …

Lake City (Craighead County)

Lake City is located in eastern Craighead County near the St. Francis River, in the northeast corner of the state. Along with Jonesboro (Craighead County) in the western side of the county, Lake City acts as one of two county seats, serving the Eastern District of Craighead County. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Nineteenth-century records indicate that a settlement was established at the approximate location of Lake City in the late 1830s. Situated on the St. Francis River at the site of a former Native American camp, it was originally called “Old Town.” A trader and trapper named Jesse Morgan was probably the first white man to settle at the current location of the town. The 1848 field notes of …

Lake Conway

aka: Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
Lake Conway, located three miles south of Conway (Faulkner County) on Interstate 40, is the largest lake ever constructed by a state wildlife agency and the first lake constructed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC). It is one of the state’s most popular fishing spots due to its size, central location, and large populations of bass, catfish, crappie, bluegill, and redear. As early as 1900, Conway residents wanted a fishing lake close to town. In 1940, Dr. James H. Flanagin Sr., a local dentist and a member of the Faulkner County chapter of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation (AWF), was asked by William D. Cole, president of the Conway Chamber of Commerce, to research the feasibility of constructing a …

Lake Dardanelle State Park

Lake Dardanelle State Park is a popular camping and fishing destination located on the shores of a 34,300-acre man-made reservoir on the Arkansas River near the cities of Russellville (Pope County) and Dardanelle (Yell County). The park combines outdoor recreational opportunities with state-of-the-art facilities, exhibits, and technology. In 1964, construction was completed on the Dardanelle Dam, located near the river crossing between Dardanelle and Russellville. Lake Dardanelle was created in 1965. Construction on the lock and powerhouse was completed in 1969. The dam, built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was part of the McClellan-Kerr navigation project that made the Arkansas River navigable to commercial vessels. At the urging of Russellville civic leaders, the Arkansas Publicity and Parks Commission …

Lake Dick

The area of Lake Dick, a U-shaped oxbow lake in Jefferson County, was the site of a New Deal program in agriculture during the first administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The experiment involved the “resettlement” of struggling urban and farm families. How the lake got its name has been a source of speculation. Located one mile west of Arkansas Highway 88 and four miles south of Altheimer (Jefferson County), Lake Dick was at one time the site of farmsteads for some eighty white families who had been moved into the area. In 1936, the Resettlement Administration—later to be made a part of the Farm Security Administration—acquired 3,453 acres of farmland in Jefferson County with the twin goals of establishing …

Lake Fort Smith State Park

Although it first became a state park in 1967, making it Arkansas’s twenty-third state park, the opening of Lake Fort Smith State Park in the spring of 2008 in a new location with entirely new facilities made it the newest of Arkansas’s state parks. At the park’s official dedication on June 19, 2008, park officials and local leaders celebrated the site that overlooks Lake Fort Smith and that in many ways reproduces the environment of the earlier park. The park was originally developed in the late 1930s as a city recreational park when Crawford County, along with the City of Fort Smith (Sebastian County) decided to utilize Lake Fort Smith as a tourism destination, called the Mountainburg Recreational Facility, as well …

Lake Frierson State Park

Lake Frierson State Park provides a variety of recreational activities on the shores of 335-acre Lake Frierson, which fronts the western slopes of picturesque Crowley’s Ridge in northeast Arkansas. Constructed in the 1970s by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, Lake Frierson is one of ten reservoirs—not all of them state parks—along Crowley’s Ridge managed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism has a lease agreement with the Game and Fish Commission for the park’s 114 acres. The lake was named for Charles Frierson, a Jonesboro (Craighead County) attorney who played a major role in securing the property. Funding for Lake Frierson State Park came from legislative appropriations in 1975, and construction started in …

Lake Nixon

Lake Nixon is a 232-acre tract in southwestern Little Rock (Pulaski County) that includes a thirty-four-acre lake. It is owned and operated as a day camp/recreation facility by Second Baptist Church in downtown Little Rock. The camp has its roots in a landmark 1969 Supreme Court decision. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 5, 2017. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned segregation in public places and employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, or national origin, proprietors nationwide began trying to circumvent the law by creating segregated private clubs, particularly in recreational settings. Whites could join those clubs by paying a nominal fee, while African Americans were excluded. Oscar …

Lake Ouachita State Park

Lake Ouachita State Park lies within the Ouachita Mountains in west central Arkansas. Bordering Arkansas’s largest man-made lake and the Ouachita National Forest, the park offers camping, swimming, fishing, and many other outdoor opportunities, and it preserves the historic site of Three Sisters Springs. In 1875, homesteader John McFadden claimed that three springs on his property about twelve miles north of Hot Springs (Garland County) possessed healing properties. The springs’ collective name, “Three Sisters,” was reputedly derived from the fact McFadden had three daughters. In 1907, W.M. Cecil and his partners bought the property. Cecil later bought out his partners and began developing McFadden’s Three Sisters Springs Resort. By the mid-1930s, its facilities included cottages, a springhouse, and a bottling …

Lake Poinsett State Park

Arkansas’s twentieth state park, Lake Poinsett, is a fisherman’s haven located off Arkansas Highway 163 in Harrisburg (Poinsett County) in northeast Arkansas. It is one of four state parks located along Crowley’s Ridge in eastern Arkansas. In the 1950s, several residents in the Harrisburg area started volunteer efforts to have a recreational lake built in the county. Spearheaded by a local Rotary Club committee chaired by Richard D. Woods, the planners envisioned a place to fish, picnic, and camp, but it became clear they did not have the funds to construct the type of multi-purpose facility they wanted. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission expressed interest in damming Distress Creek to create a lake, but only when funds became available. …

Lake View (Phillips County)

  Lake View is one of two cities in Arkansas (and one of three incorporated communities in Arkansas) where African Americans make up more than ninety percent of the population. Established during the Great Depression as part of a rural resettlement program, Lake View is best known for its part in reshaping education funding in Arkansas through court cases in the 1990s. When Phillips County was established in 1820, its southern portion was dominated by swamplands and hardwood forests. Near Old Town Lake, an oxbow lake that had once been part of the Mississippi River, some small plantations were established, although they were less prosperous than the region’s larger cotton plantations. After the Civil War, freed slaves continued to work on the …

Lake View School District No. 25 v. Huckabee

The court case Lake View School District No. 25 v. Huckabee examined the structure for the funding of Arkansas schools in a grueling, fifteen-year process. This case led to the subsequent overhaul of public school funding with the aim to be more fair and exact and to benefit all Arkansas students equally. In 1992, the school district of Lake View (Phillips County) first brought its case against the State of Arkansas, claiming that the funding system for the public schools violated both the state’s constitution and the U.S. Constitution because it was inequitable and inadequate. At that time, schools received funding from three levels of government: local, state, and federal. Because some local governments had more tax money available for …

Lake Village (Chicot County)

Lake Village is located in the extreme southeastern part of the state in Chicot County. While Lake Village is the smallest incorporated town, by square miles, in the county, it has served as the county seat since 1857. The hub of commercial activity for Chicot County, Lake Village prides itself on its rich agricultural background. European Exploration and Settlement While Lake Village was not incorporated as a town until 1898, the history of the area starts much earlier, beginning with the arrival of the Spanish in 1541. One local story claims that Hernando de Soto and his men came upon a friendly Native American tribe ruled by Chief Chicot, who had their village on the banks of the Mississippi River …

Lake Village Confederate Monument

The Lake Village Confederate Monument is a commemorative sculpture erected in 1910 by the Jacob McConnell Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) of Lake Village (Chicot County) and the George K. Cracraft UDC Chapter from Eudora (Chicot County) in honor of local men who had served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Chicot County provided three companies for Confederate service during the Civil War. Among the soldiers who served in them were Captain Jacob McConnell, who fought with the Chicot Rangers (Company A, First Arkansas Mounted Rifles) and was killed in action in the fighting at Chickamauga, Georgia, on September 20, 1863, and Captain George K. Cracraft of Company G, Twenty-Third Arkansas Infantry, who was …

Lake Village Post Office

The Lake Village Post Office at 206 South Cokley Street in Lake Village (Chicot County) is a one-story, brick-masonry structure designed in the Colonial Revival style of architecture. It features a mural financed through the U.S. Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture (later renamed the Section of Fine Arts), a Depression-era stimulus project that promoted public art. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1998. In August 1937, Congress passed an appropriation bill providing a $23 million lump sum for construction of public buildings. Included in the allocation was $75,000 for a new post office for Lake Village, the seat of Chicot County. Though details of construction could not be located, the building …

Lake Winona

aka: Alum Fork Reservoir
Lake Winona is a manmade lake located thirty-five miles west of Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the Ouachita National Forest near the community of Paron (Saline County). Winona has a surface area of 1,240 acres and a watershed of forty-three square miles. In 1968, Lake Winona, Lake Sylvia, and Bear Creek Lake became part of the 174,782-acre Winona Wildlife Management Area overseen by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The land is owned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Green Bay Packaging, Inc. Lake Winona supplies thirty-five percent of the area’s fresh drinking water in the twenty-first century. Before Lake Winona was built, the land was home to the Saline County community of Walnut Bottom. In addition to subsistence …

Lake, Paul

Paul Lake is a poet, novelist, and professor residing in Russellville (Pope County). He received the Porter Prize, one of the most prestigious literary awards offered in Arkansas, in recognition of his poetry. Paul Lake was born on August 1, 1951, in Baltimore, Maryland. His mother, Barbara Hull Lake, was a fifth-grade teacher, and his father, Paul Saunders Lake, was a manager and salesman for Metropolitan Life. He had three siblings: James, Stephen, and Melody. Lake lived in a row house on Giddings Avenue as a child in Baltimore. When he was in the second grade, Lake and his family moved to rural Harford County, where he attended elementary school and junior high school. After graduating from Edgewood High School, …

Lakeport Plantation

The Lakeport Plantation house in Chicot County is Arkansas’s grandest remaining example of antebellum Greek Revival architecture. The plantation was established around 1831 by Joel Johnson, the scion of a large and prestigious Kentucky family. Johnson had sold his house and grist mill in Scott County, Kentucky, and set off for Chicot County. He purchased a tract of land southeast of Old River Lake (present-day Lake Chicot) just above a large oxbow curve in the river called American Bend. The plantation he developed there was named Lakeport after a nearby steamboat landing. For the next fifteen years, Johnson expanded his holdings in land and slaves and brought more land under cultivation. The soil produced abundantly, and slave-based plantation agriculture became …

Lakes

The state of Arkansas has more than 600,000 acres of lakes. A lake is a body of water surrounded by land, usually fed and drained by one or more rivers or streams. Large lakes are called seas, while small lakes are called ponds, but no consensus has been reached about the exact size a body of water needs to be in order to receive a certain name. By convention, larger lakes are named with the word “lake” first—such as Lake Ouachita—while smaller lakes are named with the word “lake” last—such as Cove Lake—but again no firm rule has been reached, and some bodies are known by both versions—such as Lake Nimrod, also called Nimrod Lake. Lakes occur in basins, or …

Lakeview (Baxter County)

Lakeview of Baxter County is one of several cities that came into being as a result of Bull Shoals dam, which was constructed on the White River in northern Arkansas beginning in 1947 and impounds Bull Shoals Lake. Situated on Highway 178 on the southern shore of the lake, Lakeview is adjacent to the Bull Shoals-White River State Park, which, directly and indirectly, provides many of the jobs held by citizens of Lakeview. The earliest settlers in the region were William J. Trimble and his family. Trimble acquired land patents from the land office in Batesville (Independence County) in 1856 and in 1860. Later relatives (whether sons or nephews is unclear) James I. Trimble, John N. Trimble, and William H. …

Laman v. McCord

aka: W. F. Laman, et al. v. Robert S. McCord, et al.
W. F. Laman, et al. v. Robert S. McCord, et al. was a 1968 decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court that established the framework for interpreting the state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in ways that favored public access to meetings and government papers. The lawsuit leading to the decision of the Supreme Court was filed only weeks after the Arkansas General Assembly enacted the FOIA. The law gave the public and the media the right to examine and copy public records and to be present whenever governmental bodies met. The unanimous opinion used unusually strong language in condemning a violation of the new act at a closed meeting of the city council of North Little Rock (Pulaski County) and …

Laman, William Fewell “Casey”

William Fewell “Casey” Laman exerted a vigorous—albeit dictatorial—style of leadership during his sixteen-and-a-half-year reign as mayor of North Little Rock (Pulaski County). Serving four terms from 1958 through 1972, and the balance of an unfilled mayoral term from 1979 through 1980, he modernized one of the state’s most populous cities by directing millions of federal, state, and local dollars for housing, education, recreation, and infrastructure. Casey Laman was born on October 20, 1913, on a farm north of Jacksonville (Pulaski County) to James Newton Laman and Anna Fewell Laman; he had two siblings. His father was a machinist-helper for the Missouri Pacific Railway Company and later opened a furniture store and served as an alderman in North Little Rock, where …

Lamar (Johnson County)

  Lamar is a second-class city in the Arkansas River Valley and the Interstate 40 corridor. Located a few miles east of Clarksville (Johnson County), Lamar is notable for its schools and for being the home of two acting governors of Arkansas. The region that would become Lamar first entered recorded history during the Trail of Tears, when Lieutenant Joseph Whipple Harris led a party of 125 Cherokee across Arkansas to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). Harris led the group on a trail that passed through Johnson County, camping on a ridge near the present site of Lamar on May 2, 1834. Later parties traveling to Indian Territory followed the same route. A segment of road believed to be the route used …

Lamar Porter Athletic Field

The Lamar Porter Athletic Field has a regulation baseball field featuring a steel-beam-supported, poured-concrete grandstand built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It stands in its original location as the earliest site associated with the Boys’ Club in Little Rock (Pulaski County). It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 6, 1990. The Boys’ Club movement started in 1860 with the founding of the Dashaway Boys’ Club, which provided supervised after-school activities and leadership training for disadvantaged boys in Hartford, Connecticut. Such clubs are nonsectarian in control, leadership, and membership, and are typically located in or near densely populated areas. Membership fees are kept low so that no child will be turned away from lack of …

Lamartine (Columbia County)

Lamartine was a small community founded in present-day northwest Columbia County sometime before 1840. Some sources credit it as being the county’s oldest community. During the Civil War, Thomas Pleasant Dockery, son of one of the earliest settlers, rose to the rank of Confederate Brigadier General. Long before white settlers, the area was home to large numbers of Caddo. Due to the Caddo movement and trade, the area was crossed by a number of trails. These trails and eventually roads, including a military road constructed in the 1830s by the federal government, made movement by white settlers into the area easier. These roads also connected the area to the Ouachita and Red rivers. By the 1840s, a white settlement began …

Lamb, Theodore Lafayette

Theodore Lafayette Lamb was a key participant in the Little Rock Central High School desegregation crisis in 1958–59. He was also a prominent civil rights and labor attorney from 1967 until his death. Ted Lamb was born on April 11, 1927 in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Foster Lamb and Theodosia Braswell Lamb. His father was a butcher by trade and moved his family to Arkansas in the early 1930s; the family settled on a farm near Bryant (Saline County). Lamb was educated in the Little Rock (Pulaski County) schools. He was president of the student council at Little Rock High School, now Central High School in 1944. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was posted to …