Harold Virgil Glenn
Dr. Harold Virgil Glenn was an osteopathic physician in Stuttgart (Arkansas County) whose decades-long efforts in historic preservation and civic leadership made a lasting impact on the region and the state.
Harold V. Glenn was born on June 1, 1900, near Allendale, Missouri, the son of Frank Howard Glenn and Naomi Showalter Glenn. His family relocated in 1904 to Stuttgart, where his father had responded to a call for more doctors in the area by setting up an osteopathic practice. Glenn served in the U.S. Army at the end of World War I.
Glenn’s father graduated in 1904 from the American School of Osteopathy (ASO)—later renamed A. T. Still University—in Kirksville, Missouri, having studied under the founder of osteopathy, A. T. Still. Glenn’s brother Howard graduated from ASO in 1921, and Glenn graduated in 1922. Glenn established a family practice in Stuttgart with his father.
Glenn married Ila Garnette Wells of Kirksville on September 2, 1922. They had one child, Beverly Jeanne.
Over the years, Glenn held every office in his American Legion post and rose to district commander and state vice-commander. In 1936, he and two other Legionnaires founded the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest; the contest is part of the Wings Over the Prairie Festival, which celebrates duck season in Arkansas.
Glenn served on the Arkansas State Park Commission from 1937 to 1941. He was a Stuttgart alderman from 1937 to 1947 and mayor from 1950 to 1953. As mayor, he advocated for and enacted a mosquito control program, in addition to the upgrading of city streets and sewers and—during this time of racial segregation—the building of a city park to better serve Black residents. He called a special census in 1953, which earned the city a large increase in turnback funds.
In the state political arena, Glenn worked for water rights legislation to protect rice farming interests, an expansion of rice research, the establishment of a state school for children with intellectual disabilities, and progressive legislation giving towns greater tax resources for services. He was chairman of the Arkansas County Democratic Central Committee from 1948 to 1954 and was on the Arkansas Municipal League Executive Committee from 1951 to 1953.
Glenn served on the Arkansas County Quorum Court and, in this capacity, helped establish Arkansas Post County Museum in 1960; it became part of the state parks system in 1997. He was a charter member and vice chairman of the Arkansas Landmarks Society in the 1960s. As early as the 1930s, he was a leading advocate for the elevation of Arkansas Post State Park to National Memorial status. Due to the lobbying of Arkansas’s congressional delegation in the postwar era, this result was achieved in 1960.
In 1953, Glenn cofounded Grand Prairie Historical Society and served as its president and director. He was an Arkansas Historical Association director (1956–1958, 1961–1965) and also served as the association’s president from 1962 to 1963. He was a leading participant in the state’s Civil War Centennial Commission programs of 1961–1965 and served as his county commission’s president.
Professionally, Glenn was one of two osteopaths reelected president of the state association. He served on the state board of examiners from 1952 to 1965 and was a member of the House of Delegates of the American Osteopathic Association in the 1950 and 1960s.
Glenn died on August 28, 1965, of cancer and is buried at Lone Tree Cemetery in Stuttgart.
For additional information:
“Contest Originators.” Stuttgart Daily Leader, November 27, 1953, p. 1.
“Council Okehs Land Purchase for Negro Park.” Stuttgart Daily Leader & Arkansawyer, June 24, 1952, pp. 1, 6.
“Dr. Glenn Heads AHS; Johnson Vice-President.” Stuttgart Daily Leader, May 9, 1962, pp.1, 4.
“Dr. Glenn Honored by Osteopaths.” Arkansas Gazette, May 18, 1947, p. 3A.
“Dr. H. V. Glenn, Ex-Mayor, Dies.” Stuttgart Daily Leader, August 30, 1965, pp. 1, 2.
Ferguson, John L. Arkansas Lives: The Opportunity Land Who’s Who. Hopkinsville, KY: Historical Record Association, 1965.
“Historical Landmark Inventory Planned.” Arkansas Democrat, November 25, 1961.
Mosenthin, H. Glenn. “‘He Who Quacks Best Will Be Champion’: Early Years of the Duck Calling Contest.” Grand Prairie Historical Bulletin 64 (October 2021): 2–15.
———. “Transfer of Deed to Arkansas Post, 1964,” Grand Prairie Historical Bulletin 57 (April 2014): 55–60.
“Osteopaths Elect.” Arkansas Democrat, May 1, 1951, p. 2.
“Osteopaths’ Group Told of Progress.” Arkansas Democrat, June 3, 1948, p. 8.
“Stuttgart Will Have Seven-Bed Hospital.” Stuttgart Arkansawyer, October 14, 1922, p. 1.
Wright, Mary Louise. “Mary’s Musings.” Stuttgart Daily Leader, March 6, 1965, p.
H. Glenn Mosenthin
Grand Prairie Historical Society
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