Entries - Starting with C

Cunningham, Charles E.

During the 1870s and 1880s, Little Rock (Pulaski County) resident Charles E. Cunningham played a leading role in farmers’ organizations and in third-party politics both in Arkansas and at the national level. His political career included third-party nominations for a seat in U.S. House of Representatives, the governor’s office, and the vice presidency. Although he failed to win election to any of these offices, he nevertheless played an important role in building the Union Labor Party in Arkansas, which may well have wrested control of the state government away from the Democratic Party during the late 1880s and early 1890s had Democrats not resorted to election fraud and violence to maintain their power. Charles E. Cunningham was born on July …

Cunningham, Charles Franklin

Charles Franklin Cunningham Sr. was instrumental in the creation and leadership of the Central Arkansas Development Council (CADC) and served as its executive director for thirty-seven years. In 1981, he became the first African-American mayor of Benton (Saline County). As mayor, Cunningham presided over Benton’s change from a city-manger system to a mayor-council form of government, which cut short his term in office. From 2003 to his death in 2017, he served as alderman for Benton’s Ward 2, which encompasses much of Benton’s Southside, including the communities of Christy Acres and the historic Ralph Bunche Community. Charles F. Cunningham was born on January 17, 1933, in South Pittsburg in Marion County, Tennessee, to Floyd S. Cunningham and Georgia Anna Cunningham. …

Curia (Independence County)

The historic community of Curia (pronounced Curie) was located near Curia Creek, a tributary of the Black River, east of Highway 25 between Saffell (Lawrence County) and Cord (Independence County). The remains of this community, like Hazel Grove (Independence County), are on private land with restricted public access. It was located in Barren Township. Curia Lake is a popular fishing spot noted for its perch and crappie. The place name of Curia (a.k.a. Bayou Cura, Bayou Cure, and Cura Creek) is mentioned in a written description of the boundaries of the new Independence County on October 23, 1820, which included, “All that portion of the county of Lawrence bounded as follows, to wit: Beginning at a point in Big Black …

Curran Hall

aka: Little Rock Visitor Information Center
aka: Walters-Curran-Bell House
Curran Hall, sometimes known as the Walters-Curran-Bell House, stands at 615 East Capitol Avenue in the MacArthur Park Historic District and is one of the few remaining antebellum landmark properties in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Dating back to 1842, the house was constructed during the city’s first building boom, which reached its peak around 1842 and faded out with the depression of 1843. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 1, 1976. According to widely accepted tradition, Curran Hall was constructed in the Greek Revival style by noted Greek Revival architect Gideon Shryock, who designed the Kentucky State Capitol as well as the Old State House, making this house of particular significance. The original one-story …

Current River

The Current River crosses into Arkansas from Missouri at the border between Randolph and Clay counties and flows for approximately forty miles before merging with the Black River near Pocahontas (Randolph County). The river was the site of four Civil War skirmishes at Pitman’s Ferry in Randolph County. This is a well-known river for canoeing and was made a part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, a national park located in southern Missouri, in 1964. The Current River arises in the Ozark Mountains from the confluence of Montauk Spring and Pigeon Creek in Dent County, Missouri. Numerous other springs pour into the river as it progresses through Missouri, thus giving it a fairly constant flow of water throughout the year; …

Curtis (Clark County)

Curtis is an unincorporated community located along State Highway 67, nine miles south-southwest of the Clark County seat of Arkadelphia. Originally used as a refueling stop for trains along the Iron Mountain Railroad, it became a timber community heavily dependent on the surrounding forests. During the mid-1900s, the community became home to a successful semi-professional baseball team. Today, like many of its neighbors, the community has dwindled due to the decline in the area’s timber industry. The community was established in the 1870s, largely due to promotional brochures distributed by the railroad, advertising the area and encouraging people to settle there. It was originally established as a fuel chute along the Iron Mountain Railroad. At first, the fuel chute only …

Curtis, Dorris Lafferty

Dorris Lafferty Curtis was a nationally recognized folk art painter, author, and songwriter. Compared to folk art painter Grandma Moses (who started painting at age seventy-five) by herself and others, Curtis began painting at age sixty-five just before she retired from teaching. She produced hundreds of paintings, many of which are on display at the Torreyson Library at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway (Faulkner County). Dorris Lafferty was born on March 4, 1908, in Rogers County, Oklahoma, near Foyil, to Roy Lafferty, a farmer, and Nan Lafferty. She was the third of four children. She grew up on the family farm, and much of her folk art is based on memories of her early years. Her mother …

Curtis, Samuel Ryan

Samuel Ryan Curtis was the Union general responsible for the victory at the Battle of Pea Ridge, the capture of Helena (Phillips County), and the repulse of Price’s 1864 invasion of Missouri and Kansas. Samuel Curtis was born on a farm in Clinton County, New York, on February 3, 1805, to Zarah and Phalley Yale Curtis prior to the family’s move to Licking County, Ohio. He married Belinda Buckingham in 1831. The couple had six children. A West Point graduate (1831), Curtis resigned his commission in June 1832. During his civilian life, Curtis served as an engineer for the Muskingum River and the Des Moines River improvement projects, the National Road, and the city of St. Louis, Missouri. Admitted to …

Curtiss, Edwin

Edwin Curtiss, a nonprofessional field man who excavated archaeological sites and collected antiquities, is credited by Arkansas archaeologists with making the first scientific archaeological excavation in their state. In 1879 and 1880, Curtiss and his associates spent eighty-six days excavating at ancient Native American village sites along the St. Francis River in northeast Arkansas, where he collected nearly 1,000 pottery vessels and hundreds of other specimens for Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnography. Edwin Curtiss was born on January 27, 1830, in North Lansing, New York. Originally a tailor by trade, Curtiss served in the Union army during the Civil War, subsequently moving with his family to Tennessee. After the war, Curtiss worked as an independent contractor …

Cushman (Independence County)

Cushman, established in 1886 as the result of an accident, was an important shipping and trade center for the next seventy-two years. The center of the tremendously valuable manganese mining industry, Cushman also served as a shipping point for businesses and farmers in northern Independence County and most of Izard County. William Einstein of St. Louis established a mining operation on what is now known as Polk Southard Mine, near what is now Sandtown Road, in about 1866. At the time, this was just a wild wooded area. In 1885, the Keystone Mining Company, an Andrew Carnegie company, began operations on Southard Hill. Shortly thereafter, the St. Louis Mining Company came to the area and began operations near Polk Southard. …

Cypress Creek, Skirmish at (December 1, 1864)

The December 1, 1864, Skirmish at Cypress Creek was one of many military events of the Civil War to occur within the Arkansas River Valley, exemplifying both the contentious nature of the Union’s occupation of the area around the Arkansas River and the ongoing role of guerrilla fighting. The only known surviving document is a report by Colonel Abraham H. Ryan of the Third Arkansas Cavalry. According to this report, Captain Marvin C. Gates of Company C, Third Arkansas Cavalry, along with two men in the advance, came upon five of the enemy near Cypress Creek in Perry County, nine miles from Lewisburg (Conway County), where the report was composed. Capt. Gates charged and was killed. None of the enemy …

Cypress Creek, Skirmish at (May 13, 1864)

  This action was the first engagement between Federal and Confederate forces during Brigadier General Joseph O. Shelby’s movement into northern and eastern Arkansas during the summer of 1864. Near the Arkansas River, Federal forces worked to determine the strength of Confederate forces and keep them from crossing the river if possible. After the conclusion of the Camden Expedition in early May 1864, Federal forces remained in several fortified cities across the state, while Confederate forces held southern Arkansas. Seeing an opportunity to operate more freely in central and northern Arkansas, Confederate commanders ordered units of cavalry to move across the state and determine Union strength, among other tasks. Shelby led his brigade of Missouri cavalry from southern Arkansas in …

Cyprinids

The Cyprinidae is a diverse family of mainly freshwater fishes belonging to the ostariophysian order Cypriniformes, collectively called cyprinids. They include carps, true minnows, and their relatives. The Cyprinidae is the largest and most diverse fish family and, in general, the largest vertebrate animal family, with about 3,160 species, of which only 1,270 are extant, divided into about 376 genera. The family occurs in Africa, Eurasia, and North America (northern Canada to southern Mexico). Only two species of cyprinids occur in true marine waters, daces (Tribolodon brandtii and T. sachalinensis) from eastern Asia, and a few stray into brackish water only very rarely. More than sixty-two species of cyprinids are known from Arkansas, which represents almost a third of the …