Entries - Starting with M

Mabelvale (Pulaski County)

Mabelvale is a neighborhood in the southern part of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Beginning as a nineteenth-century railroad town, the community gradually grew along with Little Rock. It was annexed in the 1970s after considering incorporation as an independent city in the 1960s. Mabelvale is located in the transportation corridor that today includes the Union Pacific Railroad and Interstate 30. Shortly after the establishment of Little Rock as the territorial capital, farmers and investors began purchasing land in the Mabelvale area. Purchasers included Allen Martin, Thomas Blair, and future governor James Sevier Conway. The military road known as the Southwest Trail improved transportation through the area in the 1830s. Surveyors for the Cairo and Fulton Railroad assessed the trail in …

Maberry (Woodruff County)

The town of Maberry in Woodruff County was founded around 1842 by early settlers George and Elizabeth Maberry and by Richard and Rachel Jones, who settled in the area before surveys were completed and bought land when land sales began. The town, located six miles west of Cotton Plant (Woodruff County), stood along the banks of the Cache River in a grove of century-old walnut and oak trees and was the center of many social events. George Maberry established a boat landing and conducted a trade up and down the river. The town began to grow rapidly soon after it was founded. It had a post office, sawmill, cotton gin, and a still. It also had a furnishing store, planning mill, and …

MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History

The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History opened on May 19, 2001, in the Little Rock Arsenal building, located in MacArthur Park in Little Rock (Pulaski County). It contains an eclectic mix of exhibits, mostly relating to the role of Arkansas and Arkansans in various wars of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Little Rock Arsenal building was erected in 1840 and was once part of a major military installation just south of downtown Little Rock. Although accounts vary, many biographers of General Douglas MacArthur say that he was born in this building on January 26, 1880. (Others say he was born in one of the nearby dwellings called Officers’ Row, which is no longer standing.) The property was given …

MacArthur Park

The thirty-six-acre MacArthur Park is the oldest municipal park in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Located at 9th Street and McAlmont Street across the street from the St. Edward Catholic Church and just west of Interstate 30, it includes the Arkansas Arts Center and the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. The park and its surrounding area have been designated the MacArthur Park Historic District. In many ways, the park preserves the history of the city of Little Rock and the state of Arkansas, as well as providing recreational opportunities for citizens of Little Rock and visitors to the city. The first known use of the land that would become MacArthur Park was as a horse racetrack in the 1830s. In 1836, …

MacArthur Park Historic District

The MacArthur Park Historic District contains one of the oldest neighborhoods in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Centered on MacArthur Park, the district contains approximately fifty blocks. The district is bounded by East Capitol Avenue, South Scott Street, East 15th Street, and Interstate 30. Numerous properties within the district are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The district contains properties in the Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Colonial Revival, and Craftsman styles, among others.   The area in the district was first settled in the 1830s with construction of the Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal beginning in 1838. Located on the edge of the city, the arsenal was constructed on the former site of a …

MacArthur, Douglas

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, one of the six men to attain that rank, was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County). MacArthur Park and the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History in Little Rock bear his name. Douglas MacArthur was born in the Tower Building of the Little Rock Barracks (previously the Little Rock Arsenal) on January 26, 1880, the third son of Captain Arthur MacArthur and his wife, Mary Pinkney Hardy. Arthur MacArthur had served in the Wisconsin Twenty-fourth Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War and was stationed at the Little Rock Barracks. The MacArthurs remained in Arkansas only six months before the captain was reassigned to New Mexico. Before departing Little Rock, Douglas MacArthur was baptized …

MacKrell, James “Uncle Mac”

James “Uncle Mac” MacKrell made a name for himself in Arkansas, first through radio and then through politics. Known as “Uncle Mac” to his adolescent radio audience and as a radio evangelical to others, he is perhaps most remembered for his two campaigns for governor of Arkansas, in 1948 and in 1970. James MacKrell was born in Houston, Texas, on August 8, 1902. He lived in Texas until 1929, and there he attended primary and secondary schools as well as Southern Methodist University in Dallas. After moving to Arkansas in 1929, MacKrell began his career in radio in Fayetteville (Washington County). In 1930, he moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County) and accepted a job at KLRA. In 1934, MacKrell began …

Macks (Jackson County)

The community of Macks lies in western Jackson County near the Independence County line, approximately halfway between Oil Trough (Independence County) and Newport (Jackson County) in the Oil Trough Bottoms on Highway 14. Young Gering Milton Mack Sr. was born in Wayne County, Tennessee, in 1838. In 1854, at age sixteen, he moved to Arkansas with his family. His father, Aquilla Wilson Mack, settled the family on 280 acres located in Section 12, Township 13, between Batesville (Independence County) and Moorefield (Independence County), along Blue Creek. This property is still known as Mack Farm and is owned by Mack family descendants. In July 1861, Young Mack enlisted in the Confederate army in Jacksonport (Jackson County), becoming a captain in Company …

Macon, Robert Bruce

Robert Bruce Macon was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the First District of Arkansas in the Fifty-Eighth through the Sixty-Second Congresses, serving from 1903 to 1913. Robert Macon was born on July 6, 1859, near Trenton (Phillips County) to Robert Bruce Macon and Mary Jane Macon. Orphaned at the age of nine, he received his early education in the local public schools and at home, and he first supported himself through a variety of agricultural activities. However, farming in the post-Reconstruction South was particularly difficult work, and Macon eventually turned to politics and the study of law. Before entering the legal profession, Macon served as a state lawmaker, occupying a seat in the Arkansas …

Madden, Ed

Ed Madden is a poet, activist, and educator who has written, co-written, and edited numerous books and anthologies. His poem “Sacrifice” was selected for the Best New Poets 2007 anthology. In 2015, he was named the first poet laureate of Columbia, South Carolina. Ed Madden was born on September 13, 1963. Originally from Newport (Jackson County), Madden grew up on a rice farm. His family was devoutly Christian. Madden studied English and French at Harding University in Searcy (White County) and graduated with a BA in 1985. He received a BS in biblical studies from the Institute for Christian Studies in Austin, Texas, in 1992; an MA from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin in 1989, and a PhD …

Madden, Owen Vincent

Owen Vincent “Owney” Madden was a gangster and underworld boss in New York City in the 1920s who retired to Hot Springs (Garland County) in the 1930s. Though his role in Arkansas politics and history will forever remain enigmatic, he was a powerful figure (from about 1935 until his death) during the heyday of illegal gambling in Hot Springs and an emblem of the bad old days of machine politics. Owney Madden was born on December 18, 1891, in Leeds, England, to Irish parents, Francis and Mary Madden. He spent his early childhood in Wigan and Liverpool, where Francis worked in textile mill sweatshops until his death in 1902. Mary then took her family, including Madden and perhaps two siblings, …

Maddox, Ode Lee

Ode Lee Maddox was a long-serving and influential member of the Arkansas General Assembly as well as a dedicated career educator. By combining his passion for education with his well-developed political skills, he played a central role in the development of the Arkansas public education system. Ode Lee Maddox was born on October 2, 1912 in Oden (Montgomery County). He was the youngest of four children of Hugh Maddox and Alice Edwards Maddox. He received his early education at Caney Elementary, an experience he believed so central to his future accomplishments that he often said that his most important educational experience had been at the “University of Caney.” He graduated from Oden High School in 1932. On October 6, 1934, …

Madhubuti, Haki R.

aka: Donald Luther Lee
Haki R. Madhubuti is a renowned African-American writer, poet, and educator. The author of twenty-four books, he became a major contributor to the black literary tradition beginning in the mid-1960s. He has received the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, as well as an American Book Award, and his books have sold over three million copies. A proponent of independent black institutions, Madhubuti is the founder, publisher, and chairman of the board of Third World Press, the oldest continually operating independent black publisher in the United States. Haki Madhubuti was born Donald Luther Lee on February 23, 1942, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) and raised in Detroit, Michigan; he has one sister. His father, …

Madison (St. Francis County)

Madison, named for President James Madison, is located on the western bank of the St. Francis River at the foot of Crowley’s Ridge in eastern Arkansas. Reconstructing the history of Madison is difficult because multiple floods and fires destroyed local records of this once bustling river town. Madison, which was mostly an agricultural community by the twentieth century, was home to the first African-American millionaire in Arkansas, Scott Bond. Louisiana Purchase through Early StatehoodIn the early 1800s, Madison was a busy shipping point for steamboats and ferries. It flourished because of its location on the St. Francis River, which at the time was large enough to accommodate riverboats. Some of the larger steamboats had ballrooms and orchestras, and when the …

Madison County

  Madison County is a beautiful and still largely unspoiled part of the Ozarks. Forests mostly of hardwood trees cover about two-thirds of the county. Rolling hills overlook clear rivers, and open fields and valleys make up the rest of the terrain. Madison County was home to two Arkansas governors: Issac Murphy and Orval E. Faubus. Pre-European ExplorationArchaeologists have found evidence of human habitation in Madison County spanning the last 10,000 years. Mark R. Harrington, who did research in the area in the 1920s, wrote of “Ozark Bluff Dwellers,” but more recent research has reshaped historians’ views of these cultures. Early inhabitants lived along river and creek bottoms, in upland sites overlooking hollows, and in temporary shelters. Some of the …

Madison County Courthouse

The Madison County Courthouse, built in 1939, is located at 1 Main Street in downtown Huntsville (Madison County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the three-story building as architecturally and historically significant as a visible result of the New Deal and as an example of Art Deco architecture in Madison County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 9, 1992. The 1905 Madison County Courthouse sustained roof damage in the 1930s that totaled $600. This, along with the fact that the building was no longer adequate to house county affairs, prompted administrators to seek a new courthouse. At that time, the Great Depression had devastated local government budgets, leaving no money for a public works …

Madison County Genealogical and Historical Society

The Madison County Genealogical and Historical Society (MCGHS) was organized in July 1981 by eight Madison County residents with the goal of establishing an organization to gather, preserve, and disseminate the history of Madison County. In 1982, the MCGHS began publication of a quarterly magazine titled The Madison County Musings. The Musings has been in continuous publication since that time, beginning small but growing to over fifty-five pages of historical and genealogical data and photographs. Articles found in The Madison County Musings contain school history, cemetery enumerations, marriage records, information on historical landmarks, homesteaded land information, historical and Civil War stories, and genealogical information. By the end of 1981, the society’s membership stood at eighty-five people. Membership in the society …

Madison, Skirmish at

By 1865, large-scale organized Confederate resistance had collapsed in much of the state. Federal patrols from Helena (Phillips County) and other occupied cities continued to find and destroy bands of the enemy when possible. This skirmish was part of such a patrol. On February 8, 1865, Brigadier General Napoleon Buford dispatched a scouting party of men under the command of Lieutenant Colonel John Crebs. Numbering 175, the party departed Helena and moved to the northwest in an effort to find and engage any enemy forces in the area. During the course of the expedition, the Union troops encountered Confederate resistance on a regular basis. Crebs estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 enemy soldiers operated in eastern Arkansas at the time, …

Magazine (Logan County)

  The city of Magazine is named for the tallest mountain of Arkansas, Mount Magazine, as it is located about seven miles west of that peak, at the intersection of State Highways 10 and 109. Established shortly after the end of the Civil War, Magazine was once a significant stop on the Rock Island Railroad and continues to flourish in the twenty-first century. Eli D. Hooper, a merchant from Illinois, moved to Arkansas in 1867 and chose the site of the present-day city of Magazine to establish a store around 1870. By 1883, the Arkansas Gazette was describing Magazine as a city of 200 residents with five successful stores and a Methodist Episcopal church then under construction. The newspaper correspondent noted that …

Magie, Futha Cone

Futha Cone Magie helped pioneer community journalism in Arkansas during a period when most newspapers were family owned. He also furthered the interest of tourism in the state through his service on the Arkansas Parks and Tourism Commission. Cone Magie was born on October 12, 1924, in England (Lonoke County) to Albert Hugh Magie and Rose Beauchamp Magie. His father was an army barber in World War I, and both his parents operated a grocery store on Main Street in England as well as farmed. He was the third of five sons. Magie’s newspaper career began at age eight as a carrier for the Arkansas Gazette. He also milked cows and delivered bread to earn money. Magie was editor of …

Magness (Independence County)

The community of Magness is located on Highway 69 roughly between Batesville (Independence County) and Newport (Jackson County). Magness started out around 1882 as a depot for the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad (a.k.a. Iron Mountain). A community emerged along the tracks by the depot, and the citizens decided to name it Magness in honor of Colonel Morgan Magness and his son, William Denton Magness, early settlers to the area who were instrumental in securing the right-of-way for the railroad. Colonel Morgan Magness and his family lived on Miller’s Creek northwest of Batesville, having moved from Tennessee in 1812, the year the Missouri Territory (of which present-day Arkansas was a part) was carved out of the Louisiana Territory. …

Magnet Cove (Hot Spring County)

Located on Arkansas Highway 51 approximately twelve miles southeast of Hot Springs (Garland County), Magnet Cove of Hot Spring County has been a mecca for mineralogists, geologists, and rock hounds. Until recently, the available data indicated that there were more distinct minerals found in the five-square-mile radius of the cove than were found anywhere else on the planet; a small location in Russia is now believed to be comparable to Magnet Cove’s mineral deposits, many of which are microscopic. General features and the external appearance suggest that “the cove” is an ancient volcanic crater. However, the current general consensus of opinion is that it was formed of intrusive (below the ground) igneous rock. Minerals formed in thin veins as a …

Magnolia (Columbia County)

Magnolia is the county seat of Columbia County and home of Southern Arkansas University (SAU). It is also an important industrial center in southern Arkansas as a locus of the oil and bromine industries. Early Statehood through the Civil War In March 1853, after Columbia County was created, the first county court met at a store in a low, swampy place called Frog Level. Three commissioners were appointed to locate the geographical center of the county for purposes of establishing a county seat. However, the geographical center ended up being in the bottoms of Big Creek, even lower than Frog Level, and so the site for the county seat was moved one mile to the east. On June 21, 1853, …

Magnolia Manor

Magnolia Manor is a historic home located in Arkadelphia (Clark County). Constructed by John B. McDaniel between 1854 and 1857, the house contains both Greek Revival and Italianate design elements. When the house was constructed, it was several miles from Arkadelphia, but the city grew to encompass the home. The name of the home comes from the massive magnolia tree in the yard that was planted by McDaniel shortly after the home was constructed. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 27, 1972. John B. McDaniel was born on May 5, 1811, in Marlboro County, South Carolina. He married Mary Ann Thomas on June 14, 1836, and the couple eventually had five children. McDaniel …

Maguiretown (Washington County)

The historic community referred to as Maguiretown or Maguire’s Store was established in the 1840s and existed until the early twentieth century near present-day Elkins (Washington County). In 1836, Owen Maguire purchased land in Richland Township at the site of a ford crossing the White River. Prior to 1840, he built a one and a half–story single-pen log house fronting on the Huntsville Road. The general store, a log school that doubled as a church, and the blacksmith shop he established at this site were referred to as Maguire’s Store. Thomas Towler manufactured plug tobacco here in the 1840s and 1850s. After Maguire’s death in 1846, his sons, Green and Hosea, were proprietors of the store. On October 8, 1853, …

Mahony, Joseph Kirby “Jodie”

Joseph Kirby Mahony II, who was known by the nickname “Jodie,” was a lawyer and politician who spent nearly forty years in public life, all of them in the Arkansas General Assembly. He was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives at El Dorado (Union County) in 1970 and served twenty-eight years there and another eight in the Senate, rarely drawing an opponent in sixteen elections. When the state’s term-limit law barred him from running again in 2006, he returned to help House speakers and education interests. Seven governors, from Dale Bumpers to Mike Beebe, drew on Mahony’s talents, but he refused to be the floor leader for any of them, because it would restrict the range of his work. …

Majestic Hotel

The Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs (Garland County) was known as one of the most famous hotels in the South. For more than a century, the five-acre complex anchored the intersection of the main thoroughfares, Park and Central avenues, at the north end of Bathhouse Row in historic downtown Hot Springs. After numerous sales and a disastrous fire in February 2014, the fate of the Majestic property was uncertain. In 2016, it was decided that it would be demolished. Originally named the Avenue Hotel, the Majestic was built in 1882 on the site of the old Hiram Whittington House. The Avenue Hotel was notable for its amenities such as streetcar service to transport guests to and from the bath houses …

Major League Spring Training in Hot Springs

In the early days of baseball, major league baseball teams conducted spring training, but it was limited. Since all of the teams were located in the north and northeastern part of the country, it was difficult for them to train outside during February and March. Due to the cold weather, many teams used gymnasiums or other inside areas for training. In 1886, Albert Goodwill (A. G.) Spalding, president of the Chicago White Stockings of the National League, decided to train in a warmer climate. Thus, Hot Springs (Garland County) became one of the first spring training locations south of the Mason-Dixon Line for major league teams. On the front page of the maiden issue of the Sporting News, March 17, …

Makemie College

Makemie College, a Presbyterian institution chartered by the Arkansas General Assembly on January 7, 1853, was named for the Reverend Francis Makemie, considered by many to be the father of American Presbyterianism. The “Act to Incorporate Makemic [sic] College” is remarkably vague. It notes that the institution will be under the control of the Synod of Arkansas and allows trustees Samuel J. Baird, Thomas W. Newton, Joshua F. Green, Edwin R. McGuire, D. C. Montgomery, and William L. McGuire to locate the college “at such point within this State as they may select,” and to “establish in it departments for instruction in the arts and sciences, and any of the learned professions.” The trustees, who had yet to hold their …

Malaria

Malaria is a serious infectious disease caused by a single-celled parasite known as a plasmodium, which is generally spread through mosquito bites. This disease caused incalculable suffering for thousands of Arkansans and other Southerners through the early twentieth century. Symptoms of malaria include high fever, chills, profuse sweating, malaise, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms can appear within a week of initial infection but can vary with the different types of parasites. Complications can include anemia, liver failure, kidney failure, and breathing problems. Patients can suffer relapses years after the initial infection. If untreated, malaria can cause death. Along with pellagra and hookworm, malaria was one of three diseases whose symptoms contributed to the false stereotype of Southerners as …

Malaria Control Projects in Southeast Arkansas

Two malaria control demonstration projects in southeast Arkansas during the Progressive Era showed not only that the disease could be controlled, but also that control was economically feasible. The project in Crossett (Ashley County) targeted mosquito breeding sites, while the one in the Lake Village (Chicot County) area studied protection by mechanical means. Both were noteworthy successes, though local governments often failed to follow up on those successes. Malaria control was a logical extension of hookworm eradication projects sponsored by the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission for the Eradication of Hookworm Disease. In 1915, Dr. Wickliffe Rose, who headed the commission, said that “malaria was responsible for more sickness and death than all other diseases combined.” The disease sapped the vitality of …

Malco Theatre (Hot Springs)

The Malco Theatre, located at 817 Central Avenue in Hot Springs (Garland County), was built on a site that has housed vaudeville shows, silent movies, modern films, and specialty productions. The Malco, which was frequented by Bill Clinton as a boy, has played host to the prestigious Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute (HSDFI). The Art Deco building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 21, 2010. The Malco is currently home to the Maxwell Blade Theatre of Magic & Comedy. The economy of Hot Springs depended on lodging, dining, and entertainment to support its burgeoning tourism industry. In the late 1800s, Hot Springs attracted visitors from around the country to “take the waters.” After their therapeutic …

Maledon, George

While much of his life is shrouded in legend, according to a number of sources, George Maledon was the most prolific executioner in the United States in the last third of the nineteenth century. Working as the hangman for the famed Judge Isaac Parker for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas in Fort Smith (Sebastian County), he reportedly performed as many as eighty-one executions, although more recent historical accounts put the number at closer to fifty. George Maledon was born in Germany on June 10, 1830. He immigrated with his parents, about whom little is known, to the United States, settling in the Detroit, Michigan, area, where they joined the small German Catholic community that had …

Malham, Michael James (Mike)

Mike Malham was an all-star football player at Arkansas State University (ASU) in the 1970s. After a short career in professional football, he became a high school football coach. By the time of his retirement in 2019, he was the second-winningest coach in Arkansas high school football history. Michael James Malham was born to Michael Joseph Malham and Betty Ruth Atcley Malham on March 2, 1953, in Little Rock (Pulaski County). He has two sisters. Both of his parents were educators, with his father also pursuing a career as a coach. Malham graduated from Little Rock’s McClellan High School in 1971. Coached by his father, he played linebacker, receiver, and occasionally quarterback on his high school football team. Malham was …

Mallet Expeditions

French-Canadian brothers Pierre (1704–1751?) and Paul Mallet (1706?–1753?) participated in three expeditions into North America’s interior that were designed to establish trade between French Louisiana and Santa Fe, New Mexico. The brothers traveled the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains, and their return journeys to New Orleans led them through Arkansas, stimulating interest in the possibility of Spanish trade through the continent’s interior via Arkansas Post (Arkansas County). Originally from Montreal, the Mallets lived as traders in the Illinois country after 1734 before beginning their first expedition (1739–1741). Spurred on by contemporary belief that Santa Fe lay eight days from the headwaters of the Missouri River, the brothers ventured west. Accompanied by seven men, they traveled up the Missouri before beginning …

Malnutrition

Social, environmental, and political forces have influenced—and often hindered—Arkansans’ access to nutritious food. From outright hunger to nutrient-specific deficiencies like pellagra, malnutrition contributed to stereotypes about “lazy southerners” Through much of the state’s history. The American Mercury’s 1954 description of Arkansas as a land of “malnutrition, mental disability, hookworm, [and] hogs” did little to refute this stereotype. Although nutrition interventions focused heavily on the Delta area by the conclusion of the twentieth century, Arkansas as a whole received the dubious distinction as having the fifth-highest rate of food hardship in the nation of all states in 2012, according to the Food Research and Action Center. Historical BackgroundSome of the earliest evidence of malnutrition in what is now Arkansas can be traced …

Malpass, Charles (Lynching of)

On September 27, 1911, a white man named Charles Malpass Sr. was lynched in Desha County following a shootout in which his sons murdered two police officers. According to newspaper accounts, Charles Malpass was a descendent of early French settlers at Arkansas Post. In 1850, the Malpass family was living in nearby Red Fork Township. Farmer Rubin Malpass was living with his wife, Rebecca, and five children, including four-year-old Charles. The family was still in the area in 1860, but by this time there were eight children, among them sixteen-year-old Charles. According to the Arkansas Gazette, Charles began living with a mulatto woman named Bettie West in 1868. West had resources of her own, having inherited several thousand dollars when …

Malvern (Hot Spring County)

Established in the 1870s as a railway station, Malvern benefited greatly when it became the seat of Hot Spring County just a few years following the city’s incorporation. A diversity of agricultural and mineral resources in the region provided the foundation for Malvern’s long-term economic development, with brick production eventually playing a truly significant role. As a result of that critical industry, the city has come to be known as the “Brick Capital of the World.” Reconstruction through the Gilded Age The Cairo and Fulton Railroad line established Malvern as a station in 1873. Tradition holds that the hilly terrain reminded one railway official of his native Virginia near Malvern Hill, and at his urging, the company gave the name …

Malvern Brickfest

The Malvern Brickfest commemorates the importance of bricks to the history of the city of Malvern (Hot Spring County). Abundant clay in the vicinity makes it a prime location for brick production, and, since 1887, the industry has played a leading role in the area’s economic development. Beginning in 1981, Malvern has recognized and celebrated that fact with a community festival each summer. In 1980, three brick companies were manufacturing in the city and nearby Perla (Hot Spring County), with Acme Brick Company having just upgraded its operation by opening a new plant in Malvern. At that time, the Malvern/Hot Spring County Chamber of Commerce declared the city to be the “Brick Capital of the World,” and, the following year, …

Malvern Rosenwald School

The Malvern Rosenwald School was constructed in 1929 with support from the Julius Rosenwald Fund. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 28, 2005. After serving as a school for many years, the building was used for various community programs. The Julius Rosenwald Fund offered financial support to projects to construct buildings for the education of African Americans across the South. State records indicate that the fund aided in the building of a total of 389 school buildings (schools, shops, and teachers’ homes) in forty-five counties in Arkansas. (A total of 4,977 schools, 217 teachers’ homes, and 163 shop buildings were built in fifteen states across the South with the assistance of more than $4.3 …

Mammals

Arkansas’s assemblage of mammals contains both domesticated and wild species, as well as humans. The agriculture and pet industries within Arkansas are enhanced by domesticated mammals. Wild mammals can be grouped into two categories: game (species with hunting seasons) and non-game (species without hunting seasons). All mammals are classified into the class Mammalia. Mammals—along with birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles—belong to a large group known as the vertebrates (animals possessing a backbone). Mammals share common features with each other, including being homeothermic (constant internal body temperature), having hair, having mammary glands (milk-producing structures in females), and being able to give live birth. Some mammals found outside of Arkansas, such as dolphins and whales (order Cetacea), have very small amounts of …

Mammoth Spring

Mammoth Spring is the largest spring in the state of Arkansas, the second largest in the Ozark Mountains region, and the seventh largest in the United States. This National Natural Landmark is located within the boundaries of Mammoth Spring State Park. Approximately 497 feet from the Missouri state line in north-central Arkansas, it is within sight of U.S. Highway 63 and the city of Mammoth Spring (Fulton County). Though the spring has always been known as “big” or “mammoth,” the first known settlers in the 1820s created a small village called “Head of the River,” which would later be renamed Mammoth Spring. Water flows from the spring at an average rate of 9.78 million gallons per hour, with a constant …

Mammoth Spring (Fulton County)

Located at the head of the Spring River on the Arkansas-Missouri border, the city of Mammoth Spring (Fulton County) has always depended upon the large, naturally flowing spring of the same name for its existence. The town started as a railroad stop, bringing visitors and much needed goods to Fulton County during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Mammoth Spring residents also harnessed the strong current of the Spring River to bring electricity and industrialization to the Ozark foothills. Although the factories are gone and the train depot is now a museum, Mammoth Spring continues to attract new citizens and tourists. Pre-European Exploration through the Civil War Despite the attempts of modern researchers to dive into the waters, little has …

Mammoth Spring State Park

Mammoth Spring State Park preserves the state’s largest natural spring—and one of the largest in the world. Approximately nine million gallons of water flow through the spring hourly. The spectacular stream of cold water is the chief source of the Spring River, a fishing and canoeing stream that is popular year-round because of its dependable flow. The park also preserves a fully restored nineteenth-century railroad depot. Native Americans, particularly the Osage, inhabited the Mammoth Spring area for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans; unfortunately there are few archaeological sites in the area. Recorded local history dates to the early 1800s, when settlers called the spring “Head of the River.” In 1850, geologist David Dale Owen examined the spring …

Man Outside

Directed and co-written by Mark Stouffer, brother of Arkansas-born documentary filmmaker Marty Stouffer, Man Outside (1987) is a modestly budgeted independent romance-thriller made and set in rural Arkansas. In an effective opening sequence, Arkansas-born lawyer Jack (played by Robert Logan) speeds his expensive sports car recklessly across Mississippi and Arkansas, finally crashing and abandoning the vehicle in the Ozarks woods. Remorseful that his wife had died in a house fire while he was out drinking, Jack becomes a hermit—with enough funds to afford a house much nicer on the inside than the outside. He is friendly only with a few subsistence farmers, although college professor Grace (Kathleen Quinlan) makes some progress befriending the recluse. After a local boy disappears, Jack …

Manganese Mining

The mining of manganese ore was a very important economic activity in Arkansas between 1849 and 1959. The region around Batesville (Independence County)—including about 100 square miles located in northwestern Independence County, southeastern Izard County, and northeastern Stone County—has produced more than ninety-eight percent of the manganese ore shipped from Arkansas. A second area including portions of Polk and Montgomery counties also contains manganese ores. The first commercial exploitation of manganese was by Colonel Matthew Martin. Between 1848 and 1850, Martin purchased large tracts of land containing the ore, and, between 1850 and 1852, he shipped small quantities of manganese from Penter’s Bluff (Izard County) on the White River to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and even Liverpool, England, where it …

Mangrum, Jim Dandy

James Leslie “Jim Dandy” Mangrum is the flamboyant frontman for the southern rock group Black Oak Arkansas, which reached its height of fame in the 1970s, charting ten albums and a hit single. According to author Ron Hall, “Jim Mangrum claims to be the first long-haired rock ’n’ roller in Arkansas, and he may well have been.” His often raunchy onstage antics and froggy, raspy voice have been cited as an influence on rock stars such as David Lee Roth and Axl Rose. After health problems and many incarnations of the band, Mangrum continues to record and perform with a group called Jim Dandy’s Black Oak Arkansas. James Leslie Mangrum was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan, on March 30, 1948, …

Manila (Mississippi County)

In many ways, Manila is like other small towns of northeast Arkansas. During the 1950s, such towns were vital to the development of the area and provided essential goods and services to farmers and their families, but the mechanization of agriculture led people to migrate to urban areas. In that respect, Manila has not experienced the population decrease of its Mississippi County contemporaries, primarily because “white flight” from the nearby towns of Blytheville and Osceola has led people to relocate to Manila. John U. Needham came to the Manila area in 1868 to establish a permanent camp for his grazing stock. He selected the highest, driest spot of the land that was once a part of the “Great Swamp.” Manila …

Manila Depot Museum and Main Street Historical Museum

The Manila Depot Museum is housed in the old train depot located at the corner of Baltimore Avenue and North Dewey Street in Manila (Mississippi County). The depot was built around 1910 after the original depot was destroyed by fire following a lightning strike. The museum was established in 2001. In 2014, it expanded into another building, which became known as the Main Street Historical Museum. The mission of both museums is to preserve, display, maintain, and interpret Manila’s rich heritage through artifacts, photos, newspapers, personal mementos, and oral histories. The museum seeks to promote education and awareness of the extensive diversity of the area by preserving and promoting collections that reflect the history of the people of Manila. The …

Mankins, Peter “Old Pete”

Peter “Old Pete” Mankins Jr. was an early settler and county official in Washington County, as well as a Confederate guerrilla leader whose command operated in northwestern Arkansas during the Civil War. Peter Mankins Jr. was born in Floyd County, Kentucky, on August 1, 1813, the third of five children of Peter Mankins and Rachel Bracken Mankins. In 1833, he migrated to Sulphur City (Washington County), where his father owned property. A short, stocky man, Mankins (or “Uncle Pete” as his relatives and friends called him) developed a local reputation for considerable physical strength, which he displayed during threshing season by single-handedly lifting two-hundred-pound sacks of wheat. Mankins married Amanda Narcissus Mills in 1836, and they had ten children (one …