Entries - Starting with M

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 …

Mann, George Richard

George Richard Mann, an architect educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was hired to design the Arkansas Capitol in 1899. He moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County) and developed a highly respected practice, taking on projects that included many of the largest and most significant buildings constructed in Arkansas in the first thirty years of the twentieth century. When he died in 1939, Mann was considered by some the “dean of Arkansas architects.” George Mann was born in Syracuse, Indiana, on July 2, 1856. He was the son of Richard F. and Elizabeth Defreese Mann. His father was in the milling business but was killed as a soldier in the Civil War. When not in school, Mann worked …

Mann, Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson Mann Sr. served as the fifty-third mayor of Little Rock (Pulaski County) during a tumultuous two-year term that included the 1957 desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. Woodrow Mann was born in Little Rock on November 13, 1916, to Fred Mann and Ruby Pritchard Mann. In 1934, he graduated from Little Rock High School. Growing up, he delivered ice for his father’s business and played baseball. He attended the University of Illinois on a music scholarship. While there, he played trombone in the First Regimental Band and was a member of business organizations. Also while in college, he met his future wife, Beverly Burnett, whom he married in 1938. They had two sons. Following graduation in 1938, …

Manning, Henry Grady

Henry Grady Manning was a leader in Arkansas’s hotel industry. The company he founded, Southwest Hotels Inc., continued his work after his death. Several incarnations of Manning’s legacy hotels still exist in the twenty-first century. Manning’s properties included the Albert Pike Hotel, Grady Manning Hotel, and Lafayette Hotel, all in Little Rock (Pulaski County), as well as the Arlington Hotel, Majestic Hotel, and Hot Springs Country Club, all in Hot Springs (Garland County). Manning made many charitable and civic contributions to Arkansas and was a member of the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce. Grady Manning was born on March 14, 1892, in rural Scott County. His parents were Dr. Henry Manning and Virginia …

Mansfield (Sebastian and Scott Counties)

Mansfield is located in west-central Arkansas, twenty-five miles south of Fort Smith (Sebastian County) on U.S. Highway 71 and ten miles east of the Oklahoma state line. A portion of the city lies in Scott County. Mansfield is an economic and educational center serving the region between Greenwood (Sebastian County) and Waldron (Scott County). Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Mansfield represents the combining of two local communities on the Sebastian/Scott county line: Coop Prairie and Chocoville. Overlooking a small valley south of the county line and north of the Poteau Mountain range, Coop Prairie was formed in 1849 on land given by Martin T. Taylor, a settler from Tennessee. A trading post, the Coop Prairie Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and Coop …

Manuel, Dean

Dean Manuel played piano for several noteworthy bands of the mid-twentieth century, on the West Coast and in Nashville, Tennessee. Most notably, he played with Jim Reeves and the Blue Boys. Manuel died in a plane crash with Jim Reeves after leaving Independence County, where he had been helping Reeves with a land purchase. Dockie Dean Manuel was born in Cleveland (Conway County), where his family was working, on January 1, 1934. His parents were Dockie Dickson “Doffie” Manuel, who was a noted fiddle player, and Josephine Clementine (Josie) Burks; he was the youngest of four children and grew up in Jamestown (Independence County). Dean Manuel learned piano on his own at an early age and devoted much of his …

Mapes, Doris Genevieve Williamson

Doris Genevieve Williamson Mapes became one of Arkansas’s leading mid-twentieth-century artists. Adept in a variety of paint media, she was best known as a watercolorist who used bold, bright colors with strong patterns and abstract designs. Mapes’s style was described as imaginative realism. Memphis’s Commercial Appeal art critic Guy Northrop wrote that Mapes had a loose and airy flair. “There is a freshness to her world,” Northrop said, “and an expression of joy.” Doris Williamson was born on June 25, 1920, in Russellville (Pope County), the only child of Floyd Henry Williamson, who was a farmer, and Ruby Harvill Williamson. Her interest in art began at an early age with her father’s regular purchase of the Denver Post at the local …

Maple-Leaf Oak

aka: Quercus acerifolia
Maple-leaf oak (Quercus acerifolia) is a rare tree species commonly agreed to occur at just four sites in the world, all of which are in Arkansas. All of these sites are open, rocky woodlands on sandstone or novaculite substrate and are located at the tops of high-elevation ridges in the Arkansas Valley and Ouachita Mountains: Magazine Mountain in Logan County, Porter Mountain in Polk County, Pryor Mountain in Montgomery County, and Sugarloaf Mountain in Sebastian County. The growth form of maple-leaf oak ranges from short, stunted multi-trunked shrubs to single-trunked trees up to fifty feet tall. It is most easily distinguished by its upper leaves, which are commonly as wide or wider than they are long, with three to five …

Marcella (Stone County)

Marcella is located on Highway 14 about halfway between Batesville (Independence County) and Mountain View (Stone County). Marcella lies across the White River from the historic community of O’Neal (Independence County). The community of Marcella has its origins in a settlement called Hess Town, one of the first settlements in the Missouri Territory. Samuel and Sarah Hess married in 1810 in Kentucky (some sources say Tennessee). Following the birth of their first child, they traversed the wilderness trails to the White River bottoms near Polk (a.k.a. Poke) Bayou in 1812, in the newly created Missouri Territory. They were among the first to settle across the White River in an area eventually called Hess Town. Only a few scattered members of …

March Against Fear (1969)

aka: Walk Against Fear (1969)
For four days between August 20 and 24, 1969, Lance Watson (alias Sweet Willie Wine), leader of Memphis, Tennessee, black power group the Invaders, led what he called a walk against fear across eastern Arkansas. The walk became an iconic episode in the state’s civil rights history and the stuff of local folklore. The protest inspired an award-winning long-form poem by Arkansas native C. D. Wright, One with Others [a little book of her days], in 2010, a testimony to how long the episode has lingered in the collective memory. Born and raised in Memphis, Watson joined the U.S. Army at seventeen. After receiving a discharge, he fell into a life of crime, which led to two stretches in jail. …

Marche (Pulaski County)

Marche, a community located in Pulaski County twelve miles north of Little Rock (Pulaski County), was settled by Polish immigrants wishing to escape the struggles of life in the northern United States. The settlement of Marche is one of the most successful efforts to resettle immigrants in Arkansas history. In 1872, Judge Liberty Bartlett attempted to establish a town in the area now known as Marche. The town of Bartlett never took hold, and the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad gained control of the area and renamed it Warren Station. The railroad company attempted to turn Warren Station into a recreation center for the people of Little Rock. By 1877, however, this project had failed, and the railroad land …

Marcusben, Dora G. B.

Dora B. G. Marcusben was the pseudonym under which Missionary Baptist leader and Ku Klux Klan member Benjamin Marcus Bogard wrote romantic works of fiction for nearly forty years. The works survive today not as great examples of literature but rather are important because of the insight they provide into the hidden dimensions of a man who wielded a great deal of influence in Arkansas’s political and religious circles. The first known story that appeared under the name of Dora B. G. Marcusben was “Planter Sawyer’s Secret,” published in the April 1, 1888, issue of the Fulton, Kentucky, periodical Madame’s Boudoir. At the time, Bogard was a student at Kentucky’s Georgetown College, a fact that led historians and literary critics …

Marianna (Lee County)

Marianna, the county seat of Lee County, is situated along the L’Anguille River in eastern Arkansas. It has long been primarily an agricultural community, a center especially for cotton production, and also has a history that highlights many of the troubles of the Arkansas Delta region, both in economy and in race relations. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Marianna was founded as the village of Walnut Ridge in 1848 by Colonel Walter H. Otey. Its name was changed to Marianna four years later, and, by 1858, the city was relocated three miles downstream on higher ground and where the L’Anguille River was navigable throughout the year. Steamboats connected the young city to important Mississippi River ports such as Memphis, Tennessee, …

Marianna and LaGrange, Skirmishes at

  Part of a three-day expedition from Helena (Phillips County) to Moro (Lee County), the skirmishes at Marianna (Lee County) and LaGrange (Lee County) primarily consisted of several guerrilla-style attacks from Confederate forces on a Union detachment moving southeast from Moro toward Marianna. The two opposing forces eventually clashed in a more conventional engagement at La Grange south of Marianna later in the day. On the morning of November 8, 1862, a detachment of Second Brigade, Second Division, Army of the Southwest—consisting of detachments from the Third and Fourth Iowa Cavalry and Ninth Illinois Cavalry—began a march southeast from Moro toward Marianna, on orders from Union brigade commander Colonel William Vandever. Shortly after its departure, the detachment came under attack from a …

Marianna National Guard Armory

The Marianna National Guard Armory, built in 1929, is an Art Deco–style building constructed as part of a statewide armory building program to house National Guard companies based in Lee County. Citizen-soldier militias have had a constant presence in the United States since the colonial era, but it was not until Congress passed the Militia Act of 1903—also known as the Dick Act for sponsor Senator Charles W. F. Dick, chairman of the Committee on the Militia—that the National Guard became an official partner in the nation’s armed services, receiving federal support for training, equipment, and wages. Arkansas’s state militia was organized into the Arkansas National Guard as a result of the Dick Act. The Marianna National Guard Armory was …

Marianna Waterworks

The Marianna Waterworks, located at 252 U.S. Highway 79 in Marianna (Lee County), is a water distribution complex constructed in 1936–37 with the assistance of the Public Works Administration (PWA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 24, 2007. As the United States struggled with the Great Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration enacted the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) to ease the effects of businesses closing. The act included an organization called the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (or Public Works Administration), which was created on June 16, 1933, to help finance federal construction projects and create jobs. Like many other Arkansas communities, Marianna had …

Marie (Mississippi County)

Named for the youngest daughter of Robert E. Lee Wilson, Marie is one of several towns founded by Lee Wilson & Company early in the twentieth century. It is located on State Highway 14 about two miles east of Interstate 55. Periodically flooded by the Mississippi River, eastern Mississippi County was long a wooded swampland unattractive to early settlers of the state. Late in the nineteenth century, Lee Wilson began investing in this unwanted land, seeing its potential for production of wealth, first in timber and then in cotton. After funding a railroad, Wilson began harvesting the timber with his own lumber company. Clearing the land of trees, he exposed rich soil that had been frequently replenished by Mississippi River floods. …

Marine Corps Legacy Museum

The Marine Corps Legacy Museum (MCLM) officially opened on November 10, 2001 (November 10 being the birthday of the United States Marine Corps). The MCLM is the country’s only private, historically comprehensive Marine Corps museum. It is sponsored by the Association for the Preservation of U.S. Marine Corps History, Inc., an educational non-profit corporation chartered in Arkansas in 1998. The museum, located on the town square in Harrison (Boone County), is the culmination of ten years of planning and effort by the father and son founders, Captain D. A. Millis and Gunnery Sergeant D. A. Millis II, both retired marines. They and their families serve as volunteer officers of the corporation and the museum; there are no salaried staff members. …

Marinoni, Rosa Zagnoni

Rosa Zagnoni Marinoni was poet laureate of Arkansas from 1953 to 1970. A prolific poet herself, she worked to promote a greater appreciation of poetry, to establish an annual Poetry Day in Arkansas, and to encourage poets in her own time and place. Rosa Zagnoni was born in Bologna, Italy, on January 5, 1888, and came to the United States with her parents in 1898. They lived in Brooklyn, New York. Her father, Antero Zagnoni, was a journalist and drama critic. Her mother, Maria Marzocchi, was a poet and artist, and her uncle, Federico Marzocchi, was also a poet. She married Antonio Marinoni in Brooklyn on July 30, 1908, and moved to Fayetteville (Washington County), where her husband was on …

Marion (Crittenden County)

Marion is located in eastern Crittenden County, along the Mississippi River. Marion became the county seat in 1825 thanks largely to better accessibility than the original county seat of Greenock, combined with a donation of land by the Talbott family for the purpose of building a courthouse. The fourth Crittenden County Courthouse, completed in 1911, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Pre-European Exploration through European Exploration and Settlement Marion’s history can be traced back to its settlement by Native American tribes, including the Quapaw. Spanish exploration of the region occurred in the 1500s, and Spanish land grants in the area that is now Marion were later granted to Francis Gragen and Justo Mecham. Fort Esperanza, established in …

Marion County

Marion County is located in north-central Arkansas on the Missouri border, within the Ozark Mountain range. The White River, the Buffalo River, Crooked Creek, and the Little North Fork of White River are the county’s principal streams. The county’s topography ranges from Kings Prairie in the southwestern portion of the county to the mountainous regions in the north. Chief agricultural products through the years have included cotton, tomatoes, and beef and dairy cattle. Lumber, including pine, cedar, and hardwoods, has also been exported from Marion County. Pre-European Exploration through European Exploration and Settlement Spear point finds indicate that early humans hunted animals native to the Ozark Plateau, including what is now Marion County, as early as 12,000 years ago, although …

Marion County Courthouse

The Marion County Courthouse is located in downtown Yellville (Marion County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as architecturally and historically significant as an example of a Queen Anne-style building with Art Deco influences. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 19, 1994. Even with all its contributions to Arkansas history, Marion County has been unlucky in keeping a courthouse. Since the Civil War, four courthouses have burned down. Union soldiers burned the first one, and additional courthouses burned down in 1887, 1899, and 1943. The fourth courthouse, set afire by an arsonist in 1943, had stood as an impressive representation of the Queen Anne and Romanesque styles. Law enforcement determined that …

Marion Hotel

aka: Hotel Marion
The Marion Hotel (also known as the Hotel Marion) in downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County) was one of the most famous businesses in Arkansas for much of the twentieth century. Construction began on the hotel in 1905. The Marion was the tallest structure in the state from when it opened in 1907 until 1911. The hotel closed in early 1980 and was demolished to make way for the Excelsior Hotel (which later became the Peabody and then the Marriott) and the Statehouse Convention Center. The Marion Hotel was built by Herman Kahn, who moved to Little Rock from Frankfurt, Germany, in 1870. (Kahn’s great-grandson, Jimmy Moses, has been the driving force behind many of the developments in downtown Little Rock …

Marion Lynching of 1910

On March 18, 1910, two African-American men, Robert (Bob) Austin and Charles Richardson, were lynched in Marion (Crittenden County) for allegedly assisting in a jailbreak. The victims were taken from jail by a mob and hanged in front of the Crittenden County Courthouse. There is very little known about the two victims. At the time of the 1900 census, Bob Austin was living in Jasper Township with his stepfather, Bennie Ross, and his mother, Henriette. Bennie was a farmer who was renting his farm, and nineteen-year-old Bob was a farm laborer. The men could neither read nor write, although Henriette could do both. Census records provide no information about Charles Richardson. According to the Arkansas Gazette, a jailbreak occurred on …

Marisa N. Pavan, et al. v. Nathaniel Smith

aka: Pavan v. Smith
Pavan v. Smith (2017) was a U.S. Supreme Court decision that clarified the legal parenting rights for the non-biological partner in a same-sex marriage. Rather than hearing oral arguments on the matter, the Court summarily rejected the decision of the Arkansas State Supreme Court denying a wife of a mother the opportunity to be listed as a parent on the couple’s child’s birth certificate, a privilege that was presumptively granted to husbands under Arkansas law. In 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state laws that barred same-sex marriage violated the Due Process and Equal Protections Clauses of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. Following that victory for marriage equality advocates, the Arkansas State Supreme Court acted …

Marked Tree (Poinsett County)

Marked Tree is a small town in Poinsett County in the northeastern part of Arkansas. It is possibly the only town in the world with the name Marked Tree. It is also unique because it is located between two rivers, the St. Francis River and the Little River, which, in some places, are only a quarter of a mile away from each other yet flow in opposite directions. Marked Tree is perhaps best known for the Marked Tree Lock and Siphons, just a few miles out of the city limits, which were constructed for flood control and are on the National Register of Historic Places. Post Reconstruction through the Gilded Age Poinsett County was formed on February 28, 1838, but …

Marked Tree Siphons

Constructed in 1939 by the Memphis District Corps of Engineers for Drainage District Number Seven of Poinsett County, the Marked Tree Siphons were an integral part of the St. Francis River Basin Flood Control Project. The siphons were also a unique application of an engineering structure of their type, designed to lift the flow of the St. Francis River over an earthen levee and deposit it in the river channel on the other side of the levee. In 1917, Drainage District Number Seven of Poinsett County was authorized by the Arkansas General Assembly. The St. Francis River meandered from north to south through the district, which encompassed most of the county east of Crowley’s Ridge, and carried a considerable traffic …

Markle, John Lawrence

John Lawrence Markle was the perpetrator of a headline-grabbing crime in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in November 1987. The son of Academy Award–winning actress Mercedes McCambridge, Markle murdered his wife and two daughters before taking his own life on November 16, 1987. John Markle was born on December 25, 1941, in Hollywood, California, to Mercedes McCambridge and William Fifield. McCambridge was a radio actress who eventually moved into films, and Fifield was a writer. They divorced in 1946, and when McCambridge remarried in 1950, her second husband, film and television director Fletcher Markle, adopted the boy. John Markle was eight when his mother, who would become known to a later generation through her role as the voice of the demon …

Marks’ Mills State Park

Location: Cleveland County Size: 6.2 acres Marks Mills’ State Park, in Cleveland County on the old Camden-Pine Bluff Road, commemorates a Civil War action that was part of the Camden Expedition of General Frederick Steele. The park contains interpretive exhibits and a picnic area. The park is named for John H. Marks, who in 1834 constructed a sawmill and flour mill at this location. The mills were still operating during the Civil War, making them landmarks for both Union and Confederate troops. In March 1864, General Steele led approximately 14,000 soldiers out of Little Rock (Pulaski County) to join in the Union army’s Red River Campaign. The goal of this campaign was to join General Nathaniel Banks’s troops in northern …

Marks’ Mills, Action at

The Action at Marks’ Mills took place on April 25, 1864, when Confederate troops ambushed a Union supply train, capturing all the wagons and artillery and most of the troops. Confederate soldiers were accused of massacring African Americans at this battle. After the April 18 defeat at the Engagement at Poison Spring, Union forces under the command of Major General Frederick Steele continued to hold Camden (Ouachita County) while Confederate Major General Sterling Price maintained pressure on Steele from the countryside. With supplies dwindling, the acquisition of rations became important to the Union troops. The arrival of provisions from Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) on April 20 convinced Steele that more materials could be obtained there. Three days later, he dispatched …

Markwell, Lulu Alice Boyers

Lulu Markwell was the first Imperial Commander for the national Women of the Ku Klux Klan (WKKK) organization and president of the Arkansas chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). Lulu Alice Boyers was born in Corydon, Indiana, on October 1, 1865. She was the only daughter of Benjamin Boyers, who was a carpenter, and his wife, Phoebe Mathes Boyers, who was a housekeeper. Boyers attended Corydon public schools before enrolling in Bryant & Stratton Business College in Louisville, Kentucky (now Sullivan University). The nationwide chain of colleges was prominent during the era, with alumni such as Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller. After she graduated, Boyers’s professional career began in Little Rock (Pulaski County), including four years in …

Marlsgate and the Dortch Plantation

Marlsgate sits at the center of the Dortch plantation, located near Scott (Pulaski and Lonoke counties). Marlsgate occupies the site of an earlier plantation house and faces Bearskin Lake, one of the many small lakes formed by the changing course of the nearby Arkansas River. Marlsgate was designed by noted Arkansas architect Charles L. Thompson and was completed in 1904. Together, the house and outbuildings represent plantation life in the mid-South during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. While serving as the primary residence for three generations of the Dortch family, Marlsgate was also the headquarters for farming operations of the Dortch plantation. Under the stewardship of William Dortch, approximately 100 tenant families lived on the Dortch plantation. By the …

Marmaduke (Greene County)

Marmaduke played a big role in the history of Greene County. A booming lumber, cotton, and railroad town in its early heyday, Marmaduke is located twelve miles northeast of Paragould, the county seat, in the northeast corner of Greene County. Civil War through Reconstruction One theory holds that the town was named for Confederate General John Sappington Marmaduke. Marmaduke was said to have established a camp for his soldiers near the site of the present town. After crossing the St. Francis River at Chalk Bluff (Clay County) in 1863, Marmaduke and his troops marched south into Greene County to find a place to camp. They occupied the site for several weeks, and the general used it as his headquarters while …

Marmaduke-Walker Duel

aka: Walker-Marmaduke Duel
The Marmaduke-Walker Duel was fought during the Civil War between Confederate brigadier generals John Sappington Marmaduke and Lucius Marshall (Marsh) Walker. Marmaduke was originally from Missouri and was the son of a former governor. Walker was originally from Kentucky and nephew of President James K. Polk. Both graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. They made their way to Arkansas during the war; Marmaduke was stationed there, while Walker was granted a transfer to Arkansas due to trouble with superiors. Disagreement arose between the two in the summer of 1863 over military actions at Helena (Phillips County) and Little Rock (Pulaski County), where Walker failed to carry out operations as planned and exposed Marmaduke and his men to enemy troops. …

Marmaduke, John Sappington

Missouri native John Sappington Marmaduke was a Confederate general who saw action in several Arkansas Civil War campaigns. While he was a capable cavalry leader, he is probably best known for killing fellow general Lucius M. Walker in an 1863 duel concerning disputes about Walker’s actions at the Battle of Helena and the Action at Bayou Meto in 1863. A Greene County town is named in his honor. John S. Marmaduke was born on March 14, 1833, approximately five miles west of Arrow Rock, Missouri. He was the fourth of ten children born to Lavinia Sappington Marmaduke and Miles Meridith Marmaduke. His father was a successful businessman and politician who held several county offices, was elected lieutenant governor of Missouri …

Marquette Hotel

aka: Riviera Hotel
The Marquette Hotel is located at 719 Central Avenue in downtown Hot Springs (Garland County), near the Hot Springs Convention Center. The building was constructed in the Chicago School style of architecture by the prominent Arkansas firm of Thompson, Sanders and Ginocchio. The Marquette Hotel thrived in conjunction with Hot Springs’ greatest period of popularity as a resort destination in the early 1930s through the late 1940s. On October 8, 1976, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places under the name Riviera Hotel. The five-story Marquette Hotel was built on the site of a previous Marquette Hotel (which had been constructed in 1901 as the Navarre Hotel, renamed the Marquette Hotel in 1910, and expanded in …

Marquette-Joliet Expedition

In 1673, Father Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit missionary, and Louis Joliet, a fur trader, undertook an expedition to explore the unsettled territory in North America from the Great Lakes region to the Gulf of Mexico for the colonial power of France. Leaving with several men in two bark canoes, Marquette and Joliet entered the Mississippi River and arrived in present-day Arkansas in June 1673. They were considered the first Europeans to come into contact with the Indians of east Arkansas since Hernando de Soto’s expedition in the 1540s. The goal given Marquette, Joliet, and their men was to document, for French and Canadian officials, an area that had been largely unknown until the late seventeenth century. Both explorers were from …

Marr’s Creek Bridge

The Marr’s Creek Bridge is a reinforced concrete bridge with an open spandrel arch. It was built to carry U.S. Highways 62 and 67, as well as South Bettis Street, over Marr’s Creek in Pocahontas (Randolph County) near its confluence with Black River, although the bridge is no longer an active part of Highway 67. The Marr’s Creek Bridge was an important component of New Deal recovery programs in Arkansas and was constructed in 1934 as one of the Public Works Administration (PWA) projects in Arkansas. The construction of Highway 67 and its subsequent bridges, including the 135-foot-long Marr’s Creek Bridge, was a part of a larger modernization campaign to rebuild Highway 67 into Pocahontas. This campaign created jobs within …

Marshall (Searcy County)

Marshall is the county seat and market town for poor and rural Searcy County, which contains 23,372 acres of the Buffalo National River and its surrounding lands, and 31,286 acres of the Ozark National Forest. Its only sustained industry has been timber processing. Beyond that, it is dependant upon cattle and the tourism brought in by the Buffalo National River. Mostly destroyed during the Civil War, Marshall grew slowly during the nineteenth century. The Missouri & North Arkansas Railroad sped Marshall’s growth from 1905 to 1910, but the post–World War I slump hit Searcy County’s and Marshall’s industries hard. Between spurts of economic activity and a series of celebrations, such as the Strawberry Festival from the late 1940s to mid-1980s …

Marshall House (Little Rock)

The Marshall House is located on 2009 South Arch Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County). It was built in 1908 for Joseph C. Marshall, a lawyer and the secretary of the Little Rock and Hot Springs Electric Railroad Co. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 due to its architectural significance, having been designed by notable Arkansas architect Charles L. Thompson. The wood-frame house has two stories. The exterior of the 4,000-square-foot home has French doors on either side of the main entryway. Each French door has sidelights, is lined with dentil molding, and is topped with arched fanlights. The Doric-style pillars and hip roof add character to the home. These are typical characteristics …

Marshall, Fred Calvin

Fred Calvin Marshall was a jazz musician, inventor, sculptor, and educator best known as the bassist in the Vince Guaraldi Trio, which recorded the soundtrack for the Charlie Brown Christmas television special. He began his musical career in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the 1950s, later moving to Kansas City, Missouri, and California, where he became active in the thriving San Francisco musical scene in the 1960s. Fred Marshall was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on October 4, 1938, to Calvin Abel Marshall and Helen Howard Marshall, although he was raised in Little Rock. His mother was an artist and an art teacher at Arkansas Polytechnic College (now Arkansas Tech University) in Russellville (Pope County). His mother’s artistic creativity was an inspiration for …

Marshallese

aka: Marshall Islanders
Marshallese have been migrating from their remote and beautiful North Pacific archipelago to the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas since the 1980s to earn money, educate their children, and seek medical care. The second-largest U.S. continental population of Marshallese is concentrated in Springdale (Washington and Benton Counties). Historical Background on the Marshall Islands The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) comprises twenty-nine shallow atolls—rings of coral reef—and five islands arrayed over the eastern Ratak (Sunrise) and western Ralik (Sunset) chains. The nation encompasses 750,000 square miles of ocean just north of the equator. According to the RMI government, the national population is estimated at 55,000 as of 2013. The nation is burdened by deep poverty, disease, and the enduring effects of …

Martin, Mahlon Adrian

Mahlon Adrian Martin was the first African-American city manager in Arkansas. He was later the chief fiscal administrator for Governor Bill Clinton and president of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. As director of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration in Clinton’s second administration, Martin held the highest state government office ever achieved in Arkansas by an African American. Mahlon Martin was born on July 19, 1945, the son of George Weldon Martin, a postal worker, and Georgietta Rowan Martin, who worked for many years at a Little Rock (Pulaski County) department store. He had two brothers and a sister. He graduated in 1963 from the all-black Horace Mann High School. Martin wanted to be a professional baseball player and received …

Martin, Mark Anthony

Mark Martin is the only driver from Arkansas competing in the top circuit of the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). He ranks tenth on the all-time win list and sixth on the all-time pole position list. In 2017, he was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Mark Anthony Martin was born on January 9, 1959, in Batesville (Independence County) to Julian Martin and Jackie Estes Martin. Martin’s father was a truck driver who started a successful Batesville-based trucking company, Julian Martin, Inc., in 1960. As a hobby, Julian also sponsored a race team that competed on the numerous small local race tracks. Martin’s father instilled a passion for driving in him when he was very young. Before …

Martin, Paula Marie

Paula Martin is a writer and educator best known for her work as the host and producer of the radio show Tales from the South. Paula Marie Martin was born on October 9, 1967, in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Her family moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County) when she was twelve, and she has lived there periodically throughout her life. She graduated from Little Rock’s Parkview High School. In the late 1980s, Martin and schoolmate Jason Morell, who had begun dating after graduation, sold all their belongings and moved to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, where they began working in a restaurant. The couple married and had three children. As they pursued their dream of opening a restaurant, they traveled and …

Martin, Roberta Evelyn

aka: Roberta Evelyn Winston Martin Austin
Roberta Evelyn Winston Martin Austin was one of the most significant figures during gospel music’s golden age (1945–1960). A performer and publisher, she reached iconic status in Chicago, Illinois, where she influenced numerous artists (such as Alex Bradford, James Cleveland, and Albertina Walker) and had an impact on an entire industry with her innovation and business acumen. Roberta Evelyn Winston was born in Helena (Phillips County) on February 12, 1907, one of six children of William and Anna Winston, proprietors of a general store. She began studying piano at age six. Her family relocated to Cairo, Illinois, before she was ten, after arriving in Chicago in 1917, Winston played for various church functions, working with Thomas A. Dorsey, the “Father …

Martineau, John Ellis

John Ellis Martineau, governor of Arkansas from 1927 to 1928, reflected the emergence of a new style of political leadership in the state. Nominally a Democrat, his administration continued the progressive positions of his predecessors, beginning with George W. Donaghey’s election in 1909. He helped to launch the Arkansas highway system with an innovative change in the source of funding, and he successfully led the relief effort following the disastrous Mississippi River Flood of 1927. His career also advanced a new and more conciliatory position on race relations with his role in the Elaine Massacre and his stance on the 1927 lynching of John Carter in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Overall, his actions as a politician and judge earned him …