Faulkner County Historical Society (FCHS)
The Faulkner County Historical Society (FCHS), sponsored by the Conway Chamber of Commerce, was organized on April 16, 1959, with forty-two charter members. The society’s purposes are “to discover, collect and preserve any material to establish or illustrate the history of our area and to make it available.”
The original officers for this group were George Hartje Jr. (president), Victor Hill (vice president), and Guy Murphy (secretary-treasurer). The first directors were Myrtle Charles, Joyce Herndon, and James Clayton. After the society’s founding, a contest was conducted to name the society’s journal. Combined suggestions by James Clayton and Guy W. Murphy, both long-time local historians, resulted in the title Faulkner Facts and Fiddlings.
As of 2010, the FCHS has published two major resources on local history. One is the 1986 edition of Faulkner County: Its Land and People (published by River Road Press) in observation of the Arkansas Sesquicentennial. The second is the 1987 publication of Faulkner County, Arkansas Census of Cemeteries as of December 31, 1987, which contains records of more than 100 cemeteries in the county. Faulkner Facts and Fiddlings is a bi-annual publication containing histories of places, objects, people, events, culture, customs, and literature. Articles are contributed by amateur and professional historians.
The first restoration project by the society was the Cadron Settlement marker that had originally been placed in 1936 near Gleason (Faulkner County) on the old U.S. Highway 64 by the Arkansas Centennial Commission. Found broken in pieces in 1957, the marker was brought to a local workman, J. A. Winebright, by Guy Murphy. Winebright welded, sandblasted, and painted the marker, and it was installed on the grounds of Cadron Settlement Park and dedicated in April 1959.
Since 1957, markers have been installed at former Hendrix College president John Hugh Reynolds’ birthplace at Enola (Faulkner County); Sevier’s Tavern on old Wire Road; the double-pen log cabin on the courthouse grounds, which is now overseen by the society and county museum; the site of Conway (Faulkner County) founding father Colonel Asa Peter Robinson’s land on College Avenue; the Cherokee Boundary Line; Lake Bennett in Woolly Hollow State Park; the Robert Young Memorial at Hendrix College; and the Toad Suck Tavern on the west side of the Arkansas River. The east side of the river holds markers for the Toad Suck Ferry Lock and Dam and the Toad Suck Ferry Towboat, which was made by Dave Ward, owner of the former Ward Bus Company and one of Conway’s first industrialists.
A massive effort went into the 1970s reconstruction of the Cadron Settlement Blockhouse of the early 1800s. Made of half-dovetailed cypress logs, it served early settlers as a trading post, residence, gathering place, and fort. This structure was burned by vandals in the 1990s, and the society initiated a second successful reconstruction.
The society now sponsors county museum activities, the annual Art in Architecture youth art competition with portrayals of local historic homes, and the Spirits of Cadron Halloween event. As a non-profit organization, the society utilizes fundraising and membership sales to complete these and other projects.
For additional information:
Faulkner County Historical Society. http://www.faulknerhistory.com/ (accessed October 25, 2010).
Faulkner County Historical Society. Faulkner County: Its Land and People. Conway, AR: Faulkner County Historical Society, 1986.
Vivian Lawson Hogue
Faulkner County Historical Society
Last Updated: 05/12/2014