Entries - Starting with L

Lee, Haeng Ung

Haeng Ung Lee was the founder of the American Taekwondo Association (which later became ATA Martial Arts), headquartered in Little Rock (Pulaski County). ATA has over 300,000 members worldwide, making it the largest organization in North America dedicated to the discipline of taekwondo. Haeng Ung Lee was born on July 20, 1936, in Manchuria in northeastern China. Little is known about his early life, but shortly after World War II, he and his family moved to Korea. He began training in the martial arts in 1953. Lee progressed rapidly, earning his first-degree black belt only a year later. Upon graduating from high school in 1956, Lee joined the Republic of Korea Army, serving as a martial arts instructor for military …

Lee, Hubert L.

Hubert L. Lee, who lived in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) as a child, was a soldier in the U.S. Army who received a Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in battle during the Korean War. Hubert L. Lee was born in Arburg, Missouri, on February 2, 1915, the son of railroad fireman Charles Lee and Beulah Lee. Five years later, they were living in North Little Rock’s Ward 4. The family later moved to Leland, Mississippi, and it was there that Lee was inducted into the U.S. Army during World War II. He served with distinction, winning a Bronze Star and Silver Star for heroism in fighting in North Africa and Italy. Lee remained in the army and …

Lee, Lorelei

The fictional character of Lorelei Lee, who calls herself the “little girl from Little Rock,” was created by writer Anita Loos (1889–1981). Lorelei first appeared as a character in short stories, followed by the bestselling novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, several successful Broadway shows, and a hit movie. The Lorelei Lee character is closely identified with her fictitious home of Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the state of Arkansas. After emerging in a series of short sketches published in Harper’s Bazaar during the early 1920s, what became known as the “Lorelei” stories were so popular that they tripled the magazine’s circulation. After Loos was encouraged by friends in the publishing business to adapt the stories into a book, her bestselling comedic …

Leeches

Leeches are segmented worms belonging to the Phylum Annelida, Class Clitellata, Subclass Hirudinida. Leech classification is primarily based on the presence or absence of setae (bristles) and the morphology of the mouth, proboscis (feeding organ), jaws, and suckers. Leeches are thought to have evolved from certain oligochaete worms; however, the systematics and taxonomy of leeches are in need of review. Twenty-two species within five families (Erpobdellidae, Glossiphoniidae, Haemopidae, Hirudinidae, Piscicolidae) have been reported from northern Arkansas, but, as of 2018, there are no summaries of leeches from the southern part of the state. Leeches are bilaterally symmetrical, with thick muscular bodies. Usually, they are dorsoventrally flattened and segmented. Some leeches are long and worm-like (ranging in size from about seven …

Leflar, Robert Allen

Robert Allen Leflar was one of Arkansas’s most renowned legal scholars, a champion of racial equality, longtime dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville (Washington County), and president of two state constitutional conventions. Robert Leflar was born on March 22, 1901, in Siloam Springs (Benton County), the son of Lewis D. Leflar—who was a drayman, former deputy U.S. marshal in “Hanging Judge” Isaac Parker’s court, and former Alma (Crawford County) town marshal—and Viva Mae Pilkenton of Siloam Springs. The oldest of eight children, Leflar later said that his mother, a high school graduate, was the chief influence on him and his siblings getting an education. Leflar worked his way through the University of Arkansas (UA), beginning …

Legend of Boggy Creek, The

The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) was the first in a series of three Boggy Creek films loosely based on a legendary monster of southwest Arkansas. It was directed by Charles Pierce of Texarkana (Miller County) and written by Earl E. Smith. The film, shot as a faux documentary-style drama, centers on the real town of Fouke (Miller County). Since the 1940s, many sightings of a creature known as the “Fouke Monster” have been reported. The film presents an interesting portrait of Southern swamp culture in the 1970s by juxtaposing interviews with local citizens, ranging from a police officer to hunters, talking about their experiences with the creature with dramatic recreations of some of these purported encounters. According to witnesses, …

LeMaster, Carolyn Gray

Carolyn Gray LeMaster was the leading chronicler of Jewish life in Arkansas, through books, articles, and lectures, especially her book A Corner of the Tapestry: A History of the Jewish Experience in Arkansas, 1820s–1990s. Carolyn Gray was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on December 17, 1927, to Elisha Columbus Gray, who was a railroad engineer and brakeman, and Erma White Gray, a homemaker. She left high school after the tenth grade to help support her family and care for her widowed mother. She married Robert W. LeMaster, a hospital executive in Little Rock. They had four children. After the children were grown, LeMaster enrolled in 1975 at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), where she graduated magna …

Lemke, Walter John

Walter John Lemke established the department of journalism at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1928 and served as the head of the department until his retirement in 1959. The university named the department the Walter J. Lemke Department of Journalism in his honor in 1988. In addition, he founded several historical and journalistic organizations. Walter Lemke was born on January 6, 1891, in Wausau, Wisconsin, to Carl Lemke and Ulrika Block Lemke. Lemke attended the University of Wisconsin and the University of Indiana. He received his AB degree from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, which is near Cleveland, in 1911. The college later awarded him an honorary doctor of letters degree in 1962. He earned …

Lenox (Clark County)

Lenox (sometimes spelled Lennox) was a small community in Clark County, located about four miles northeast of Fendley (Clark County), near DeGray Lake. The origin of the community’s name is unknown—while a Lenox family did reside in Clark County at the beginning of the twentieth century, they did not reside near the community. The earliest settlers in the area arrived in 1860 when Benjamin Easley obtained 280 acres of land from the Federal Land Patent Office. Boley Matlock obtained eighty acres in the area the same year. After the Civil War, more families slowly moved into the area. Asa Holcomb and his family arrived in 1871. In 1913, his grandson obtained forty acres of land in the Lenox area. John …

Lenski, Lois

Lois Lenski wrote and illustrated children’s books throughout her career of more than fifty years. She visited parts of Mississippi County while researching her three books about Arkansas children: Cotton in My Sack, Houseboat Girl, and We Live by the River. Lois Lenski was born the fourth of five children in Springfield, Ohio, on October 14, 1893. Her father, Richard, was a Prussian immigrant and a Lutheran clergyman; her mother, Marietta, was a schoolteacher. Lenski attended grade school in Anna, Ohio, and rode a train each day to Sidney, Ohio, to attend high school. After graduating from Ohio State University in 1915 with a BS in education and a teaching certificate, Lenski studied at the Arts Students League in New …

Leola (Grant County)

  Formerly known as Sandy Springs, the town of Leola in Grant County was formed early in the twentieth century as a timber town served by the Rock Island Railroad. Although it struggled during the years of the Depression, Leola was revitalized in the middle of the twentieth century and remains a producer of timber in the twenty-first century. Among the earliest white settlers in the area were John Guest, Thomas Toler, William Dyer, and Mary Dyer, who established land claims between 1843 and 1857. Most of the residents were farmers, benefiting from the rich land along the Saline River, which flooded in some years, providing a short-term inconvenience but also enriching the farmland with fresh deposits of rich soil. The …

Lepanto (Poinsett County)

A product of the timber industry and the railroads, the city of Lepanto grew through the twentieth century from a western-style logging community into an agricultural center for Poinsett County. Today, the city is most famous for its annual Terrapin Derby and for its appearance in the movie A Painted House. Civil War through the Gilded Age Lepanto is located within the sunken lands of northeast Arkansas. Prior to the construction of levees and drainage ditches, it was merely a high spot in the cane-break swamp, though the area was also heavily forested. The first known settler in the area was George Nichols, who moved to Arkansas from Dunklin County, Missouri, around 1858. More settlers came into the area in …

Lepanto Terrapin Derby

The Lepanto Terrapin Derby is a festival that has been held in Lepanto (Poinsett County) every year since 1930. It occurs on the first Saturday in October on Main Street. The Terrapin Derby was the creation of the Willie Lamb Post 26 of the American Legion, which designed it as a fundraiser for its various community projects. It was originally called the Annual American Legion Turtle Derby. Turtle racers were charged an entry fee, and the top three finishers shared in a cash prize. The turtles raced down a sixty-foot course toward a finish line that was lined with slices of watermelon. Delta residents, desperate for a diversion of any kind during the Great Depression, gathered their entrants and flocked …

Leslie (Searcy County)

Leslie is situated in southeastern Searcy County amid the rugged Boston Mountains region of the Ozark Plateau. It was once a booming railroad and lumber city and one of the centers of industry in the Ozark region of Arkansas. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The city was originally named Wiley’s Cove. According to some sources, this was in honor of Chief Wiley, said to be a Cherokee resident of Searcy County; however, it likely derived its name from one of the numerous whites named Wiley, Wilie, or Wily who were squatting in northern and central Arkansas in the early nineteenth century. The first post office in the county was established in 1842. In the 1850s, settlers Henry Begley and his …

Lester (Ouachita County)

Lester (Ouachita County) is an unincorporated community located about six miles northwest of Camden (Ouachita County) and about seven miles southeast of Chidester (Ouachita County). It is also about four miles west of the Ouachita River. The community is also known as Lester Junction. The Gee family owned land throughout Ouachita County before the Civil War, including two plots of at least eighty acres east of Lester, although they resided in Camden. They were the largest landowners in the area. Early settlers in the area included Calvin Warren, who obtained 120 acres as part of a federal land patent in 1882. Robert Lester obtained eighty acres in 1888. A post office opened in the community in 1881 and operated until …

Lester, Julius

Julius Lester, who spent considerable time in Arkansas as a child, was an author, musician, photographer, and civil-rights activist. A longtime educator, he was recognized by numerous organizations and institutions for his artistic and literary efforts. Julius Lester was born on January 27, 1939, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Woodie Daniel Lester, who was a Methodist minister, and Julia Smith Lester. Lester spent his earliest years in Kansas City, Kansas, living there from 1941 to 1954. He moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1954 but spent most summers on the Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) farm of his grandmother, who was the daughter of a former slave and a German Jew. Her father had immigrated to the United States and settled in …

Lester, Ketty

Ketty Lester is a singer and actress best known for her chart-topping single “Love Letters,” as well as her appearance in the cult classic film Blacula (1972). Lester was a regular on the daytime drama Days of Our Lives and was especially known for her long-running role on the TV series Little House on the Prairie. Ketty Lester was born Revoyda Frierson in Hope (Hempstead County) on August 16, 1934. She was one of fifteen children born to a farm family. Her interest and talent for music led to her singing at church and in school choirs. She won a scholarship to San Francisco City College in California, where she studied music. In San Francisco, she began singing professionally at …

Letona (White County)

  Letona is a town in White County, nearly ten miles north of Searcy (White County) on Highway 310. First rising to prosperity as a stop on the Missouri and North Arkansas (M&NA) Railroad, Letona became a center of the timber industry and of agriculture, primarily fruit. The first white settlers in White County, John and Nancy Magness, arrived in the area of what would become Letona in 1815. The area remained sparsely settled, with some farms separated by large wooded areas, throughout the nineteenth century. A Civil War skirmish, known as the Skirmish at Big Indian Creek, was fought in the area on May 27, 1862. Company A of the Thirty-second Arkansas Infantry (CS) attacked a forage train that was …

Letzig, Margaret Heller Himstedt

Margaret Heller Himstedt Letzig was the first Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) officer from Arkansas during World War II. She served from 1942 to 1943, achieving the rank of first lieutenant. Margaret Himstedt was born on November 4, 1898, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Henry Himstedt and Margaret Hickey Himstedt. Her father was the co-owner of Pfeifer-Himstedt Plumbing and Heating Company. Himstedt was educated in Little Rock’s public schools and graduated from Little Rock High School in 1915. She attended Trinity College in Washington DC, where she received BA degrees in English and chemistry. She later received a master’s degree in social work from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Himstedt worked as a medical social worker at St. …

Levees and Drainage Districts

Reclaiming the swamp and overflow lands in the Mississippi River Delta required draining those lands and building levees to mitigate the inevitable floods that periodically occurred. Without drainage, the land was useless for farming. Early residents realized that once the land was cleared of the timber and drained, the rich alluvial soil would be productive for a variety of crops, especially cotton. Initially, early settlers had attempted to build makeshift barriers to halt the powerful flood waters, but these attempts were ultimately useless. Although the line of levees along the Mississippi River expanded during the nineteenth century, the water always found a weak spot and inundated the region. In 1879, Congress created the Mississippi River Commission to establish a unified flood …

Levi Hospital

aka: Leo N. Levi Hospital
Levi Hospital in Hot Springs (Garland County) is a nonprofit hospital that offers mental and physical therapy. Its mission is to provide specialty care for the residents of Hot Springs and surrounding communities, serving patients without regard to race, religion, creed, national origin, gender, age, disability, or economic means. It has a history of providing services to people regardless of their ability to pay. Levi Hospital is the only healthcare provider in Garland County that provides inpatient adult psychiatric services as well as rehabilitation therapy in the thermal waters of Hot Springs National Park. It also offers a certified athletic trainers program for area schools in which trained healthcare professionals are present at athletic practices and games to help prevent …

Levi Wilcoxon Demonstration Forest

The Levi Wilcoxon Demonstration Forest (LWDF) is located about three miles south of Hamburg (Ashley County) along U.S. Highway 425. Currently owned by Plum Creek Timber Company, the LWDF is a remnant of the old-growth pine forest that once covered much of southern Arkansas. The LWDF is notable for the dimensions of the loblolly and shortleaf pines still found within its boundaries—most of the pines in this roughly ninety-acre stand are between 100 and 200 years old and over 100 feet tall. For example, the “Morris Pine” is a loblolly fifty-six inches in diameter, 117 feet tall, and estimated to be at least 300 years old. The national champion shortleaf is also found in the LWDF and measures thirty-six inches …

Levon Helm Boyhood Home

The Levon Helm Boyhood Home in Marvell (Phillips County) is the preserved home in which musician Mark Lavon “Levon” Helm spent several years of his childhood. It was listed on the Arkansas Register of Historic Places on August 1, 2018. Levon Helm was born on May 26, 1940, in Elaine (Phillips County). He grew up in and around the town of Marvell, living and working on his family’s cotton farm in the small community of Turkey Scratch (Phillips County). Helm developed a lasting love for music during his childhood and achieved fame with the Band, serving as drummer, songwriter, and vocalist. He could also play the guitar and mandolin. He won two Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock …

Levy (Pulaski County)

Levy, which is now a part of North Little Rock (Pulaski County), was named for a prominent Jewish merchant. The community originated as a campground for farmers and drovers traveling the Fort Smith (Sebastian County) road to markets in Little Rock (Pulaski County). In 1892, Levy founder Ernest Stanley opened a general store near the campground north of Argenta. A settlement of industrious working-class people emerged with the opening of Camp Pike in 1917. War preparations at Camp Joseph T. Robinson in 1940 further fueled Levy’s growth, and the Levy Day political rally put it on the map in the 1950s. A municipality from 1917 to 1946, Levy has retained its identity into the twenty-first century. Today, a growing Latino population, plus …

Lewis, David Levering

David Levering Lewis is a Pulitzer Prize–winning American historian best known for his works on the African-American experience in the twentieth century. He has written biographies of two of the most important figures in the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. and W. E. B. Du Bois, as well as a reader on the Harlem Renaissance. In 1999, Lewis was awarded a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.” David Lewis was born on May 25, 1936, in Little Rock (Pulaski County), the son of John H. Lewis, an educator and principal of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, and Urnestine (Bell) Lewis, who taught high school math. Lewis attended parochial school in Little Rock and then continued his education in Ohio and …

Lewis, Henry Jackson

Henry Jackson Lewis, who was born into slavery, has been called the first black political cartoonist. His drawings appeared in publications across the nation. H. J. Lewis was born in Water Valley, Mississippi, in 1837 or 1838. As a child, he fell into a fire, maiming his left hand and blinding his left eye. Nothing further is known about his youth, but by 1872, he was living in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), where he worked as a laborer in the mid- to late 1870s. By 1879, he was selling drawings of city and Arkansas River scenes to the national publication Harper’s Weekly, and he later sold similar drawings to Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. On October 25, 1882, a Pine Bluff …

Lewis, Kristin Allison

Opera singer Kristin Lewis of Little Rock (Pulaski County) is recognized for her richly hued voice capable of subtle emotional inflection. Based in Vienna, Austria, since 2005, Lewis has established herself in the opera houses of Europe as a lirico-spinto soprano specializing in Verdi’s heroines. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2019. Kristin Lewis was born in Little Rock in 1975 to the Reverend Bettye Lewis and Dr. Raphael Lewis. Lewis credits her mother as one of her earliest musical influences, as Rev. Lewis played organ for church and encouraged Kristin in her musical pursuits. After graduating from high school, Lewis followed her older sister, Tamara Lewis, to the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway (Faulkner …

Lewis, Mary Sybil Kidd

Mary Sybil Kidd Lewis was possibly the most publicized singer of the 1920s. Using her childhood training, she climbed her way to grand opera, gaining stage experience through vaudeville and operetta. Her career included radio performances and recordings with His Master’s Voice (HMV), Victor, and RCA. Mary Kidd was born on January 29, 1897, in Hot Springs (Garland County) to Charles and Hattie Kidd. Her father died about the time her brother was born two years later. Her impoverished mother moved with the children to Dallas, Texas. After the children lived in a series of foster homes, her brother was sent to Chicago, Illinois, to live with relatives. Her mother remarried but was unable to care for her children, and …

Lewis, Paul Tyrone

Paul Tyrone Lewis was an American artist who is remembered for the realism of his landscape paintings. In a career that spanned six decades beginning in the 1950s, Lewis created compositions that were skillfully executed and sought after throughout the United States and internationally. Tyrone Lewis, as he was known, was born on November 29, 1938, in Mena (Polk County) to Paul Goodwin Lewis and Wynogene Hubbard Lewis. He had one sister. Lewis’s parents met during the Great Depression while Paul was employed on a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) project near Mena. Wynogene’s family had migrated to that area from Fort Worth, Texas, where her father, Hans Heron Hubbard, was a well-known and respected artist in the 1920s. Painting was …

Lewis, Sanford (Lynching of)

At midnight on March 23, 1912, a mob hanged Sanford Lewis from a trolley pole in Fort Smith (Sebastian County). He had been suspected of shooting Deputy Constable Andy Carr, who sustained a fatal wound above the eye. Although the Arkansas Gazette refers to this as the first lynching in Sebastian County, it was actually the first lynching of an African American there. The murder of a white man named James Murray in the county on December 6, 1897, was described in many media outlets as a lynching. Deputy Constable Andy Carr was probably the Andy Care [sic] listed on the census as living in Ward 4 in Fort Smith in 1910. Living with him were his wife, Della, and …

Lewisburg (Conway County)

Lewisburg is a former town in Conway County. It was a vibrant community from 1831 until 1883, when it ceased being the county seat of Conway County, replaced by Morrilton. An important town on the Arkansas River, Lewisburg played a significant role in the Civil War. But following the war, the town was bypassed by the railroad, which favored the development of Morrilton. Lewisburg was founded as a trading post and steamboat landing along the Arkansas River in 1825 by Stephen D. Lewis—hence the name Lewisburg. (Some later sources also credit Lewis’s father, General William Lewis, although he died in January 1825.) The town was a stagecoach stop between Pottsville (Pope County) and Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and played a …

Lewisburg, Skirmish at

Lewisburg (Conway County), a thriving town in the 1860s, was the site of a significant occupation force of Union troops during the Civil War. Located about fifty miles west of Little Rock (Pulaski County), it was the first and most significant river port along the way to Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and Indian Territory. Federal troops under the command of General Frederick Steele raised the U.S. flag there on September 28, 1863, and remained there as an occupation force until August 1865. As Conway County had divided interests and loyalties, two Union companies were raised there soon after the Rebels abandoned their relatively unprotected positions in late 1863. These units were assigned to the newly formed Third Arkansas Regimental Cavalry …

Lewisville (Lafayette County)

Lewisville is the county seat of Lafayette County. Settled about the time that Arkansas became a state, but relocated by the building of railroads half a century later, Lewisville has weathered the storms of history with relative calm. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Lafayette County consisted of land claimed by the Caddo until a treaty of 1835 moved them west to what was then northern Mexico and Indian Territory (now Texas and Oklahoma). Settlers of European origin quickly arrived in the newly opened land. One of them, Lewis Barnes Fort, bought land on July 6, 1836, on the site where Lewisville would later be built. Records indicate that Fort and his family came to Arkansas from Virginia. The settlement came …

Lexa (Phillips County)

Lexa is a town in northern Phillips County, about halfway between Helena-West Helena (Phillips County) and Marianna (Lee County). Created as a result of the railroad, Lexa grew rapidly in the twentieth century before dwindling again around the onset of the Great Depression. The town of Lexa is surrounded by rich farmland, regularly supplied with new soil from the overflow of the Mississippi River. Plantations were established at the site of Lexa before the Civil War, one by Charles Royal Coolidge and another by John T. Jones, who was also a circuit court judge. After the war, the Society of Friends (or Quakers) established a school for African Americans in Helena, moving it two years later to a location about …

LGBTQ+ Movement

The social movement in Arkansas in support of rights for LGBTQ+ people (an umbrella term that covers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and more; LGBT was also used in the past) has historically been represented by such legal organizations as Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Lambda Legal, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). However, recent years have seen an increasing organization of LGBTQ+ people in Arkansas, primarily in the emergence of student groups at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) and other institutions of higher education. Legal Issues and Context The first reference to homosexuality in the bound index to the now-defunct Arkansas Gazette is from October 1973, four years after the Stonewall Riots …

Liberator, The

The Liberator was an anti-Catholic weekly newspaper published in Magnolia (Columbia County) from 1912 to 1915. It is representative of a type of journalism that railed against Catholicism in the early 1900s and was particularly strong in the South and the Midwest. Populist politician Tom Watson of Georgia had launched a new wave of anti-Catholic journalism in 1910 with his Watson’s Jeffersonian Magazine, but the largest anti-Catholic paper was The Menace, published in Aurora, in the Missouri Ozarks, approximately forty miles north of the Arkansas line. Founded in 1911, The Menace had 1.5 million subscriptions by 1915, making it one of the most widely circulated publications in the country. The Liberator was a smaller regional paper, similar to other anti-Catholic …

Liberty School Cafeteria

The Liberty School Cafeteria, located on Highway 36 in Hamlet (Faulkner County), is a single-story, novelty-sided building erected in 1928 to serve as a school building for the Liberty Special School District. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 10, 1992. School consolidation in Faulkner County in 1927 combined the Sunny Gap, Jeffries, Hamlet, Friendship, and Saltillo districts to form the Liberty School District in what is today the community of Hamlet. A new school was built in 1928 to provide classrooms for grades 1–9. While the National Register nomination says the building was erected in 1935 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief program, the wood-frame building listed on the National …

Libraries

Libraries serve an important role in offering Arkansas’s citizens access to information and resources. Various types of libraries exist in Arkansas, including public libraries open to all citizens, school libraries that serve primary and secondary schools, academic libraries that support colleges and universities, and special libraries that fill unique roles. The earliest libraries in what became Arkansas were private collections of books owned by French and Spanish settlers in the Arkansas Post area. Due to the difficulty of bringing books from Europe, these collections typically consisted of only a small number of volumes. After the purchase of the Louisiana Territory by the United States, the area that would become Arkansas began to attract more settlers. As additional people moved into …

Lice

Lice belong to the Phylum Arthropoda, Class Insecta, Order Phthiraptera, with four suborders: Anoplura (sucking lice), occurring on mammals exclusively; Rhynchophthirina, parasites of elephants and warthogs; Ischnocera, which are mostly avian lice, though one family parasitizes mammals; and Amblycera, a primitive suborder of chewing lice, widespread on birds but also infesting South American and Australasian mammals. The chewing lice (suborders Rhynchophthirina, Ischnocera, and Amblycera) were previously combined in the order Mallophaga, which did not reflect natural grouping. There are nearly 5,000 described species of lice, with about 4,000 being parasitic on birds and 800 on mammals, within about twenty-six families of described species of phthriapterans. Many mammal species can be infested by sucking lice, including seals and walruses. These “marine …

Lichens

aka: Reindeer Moss
aka: Iceland Moss
A lichen is a composite organism that is the result of a simple photosynthesizing organism (green algae or cyanobacteria/blue-green algae) living among filaments (hyphae) of multiple fungi species in a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship. Although lichens had been recognized as organisms for many years, it was not until 1867, when Swiss botanist Simon Schwendener (1829‒1919) proposed his dual theory of lichens, that the true nature of the lichen association began to emerge. The green algae or cyanobacteria benefit by being protected from the environment by the filaments of the fungi, which also gather moisture and nutrients from the environment, and (usually) provide an anchor to it, whereas the fungi benefit from the carbohydrates produced by the green algae or cyanobacteria …

Lick Creek Expedition

aka: Helena Expedition (March 6–10, 1863)
aka: Big Creek Expedition
  The Lick Creek Expedition was an attempt to find Confederate forces located around Big and Lick creeks in Phillips County. On March 6, 1863, Brigadier General Benjamin M. Prentiss in Helena (Phillips County) dispatched 500 men from the Fifth Kansas Cavalry under the command of Major Samuel Walker. After searching for Confederate forces for two days, Walker reported back to Prentiss early on March 8 that they could not find any Confederates in the area. Walker took a different approach and advised Major Edward F. Winslow of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry to cross Big Creek while he moved across another area of the creek. Both Maj. Walker and Maj. Winslow encountered small Confederate forces; Winslow killed one Confederate, destroyed their …

Lick Creek, Skirmish at

With the capture of Helena (Phillips County) on the Mississippi River, Federal forces had a tenuous foothold in Arkansas. Deep in enemy territory, the Union troops were forced to constantly patrol against the threat of a Confederate attack on the city. When Federal units did leave the city, they were likely to draw the attention of enemy forces and be attacked. Colonel Powell Clayton of the Fifth Kansas Cavalry led an expedition from Helena on January 11, 1863, in the direction of the White River. On January 12, Lieutenant James Bradford, commanding twenty-five men of the Second Wisconsin Cavalry, left on a mission to deliver a number of dispatches back to Helena from the expedition. Leaving the expedition near Big …

Lieutenant Governor, Office of

The office of lieutenant governor did not exist in territorial Arkansas or in the Arkansas constitution of 1836. Instead, the office was first added in 1864 with the Unionist government led by Governor Isaac Murphy. Governors and lieutenant governors (along with several other statewide offices) were to be elected by the voters of the state to four-year terms. The Reconstruction-era constitution of 1868 also included the office of lieutenant governor. The two principal tasks of the lieutenant governor are to preside over the Arkansas Senate and to replace the governor should the governor die in office or resign (as several governors have resigned to assume other elected offices, most often United States senator). On the first occasion when this provision …

LifeQuest of Arkansas

LifeQuest is a program for active seniors sponsored and supported by twenty Little Rock (Pulaski County) interfaith congregations and hosted by Second Presbyterian Church, all as part of their mission to serve the needs of all of their parishioners. The basic LifeQuest format is a series of eight weekly sessions in hour-long units held all day on Wednesdays and on Thursday mornings. A standard LifeQuest year contains three eight-week terms and one four-week summer term, with breaks in between. A typical week’s sessions will cover dozens of topics, with attendees choosing among them. While many of the units are traditional lectures, with visual aids, others focus on activities such as painting with watercolors, drawing, oil painting, learning foreign languages, playing …

Lightfoot, Claude M.

Claude Lightfoot was an Arkansas-born Communist who became involved in politics after moving to Chicago, Illinois. A frequent candidate for public office in Chicago from the 1930s to the 1950s, Lightfoot represents the impact of the Great Migration out of Arkansas and both the possibilities and limitations of black liberation in northern cities. Claude M. Lightfoot was born on January 19, 1910, in Lake Village (Chicot County). His grandmother, who separated from her husband, acquired a farm of her own and raised her twelve children to adulthood. Shortly after Lightfoot’s birth, his parents moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County), where his father worked for a railroad company and his mother as a domestic worker, while young Claude stayed with his …

Lightfoot, G. P. F. (Lynching of)

In December 1892, African-American Baptist minister G. P. F. Lightfoot, referred to in most accounts as “Preacher Lightfoot,” was murdered by a group of African Americans in Jackson County in retaliation for taking their money and promising them nonexistent passage to Liberia. Interest in immigrating to Africa started early in the United States. The Back-to-Africa movement dates back to 1816, when the American Colonization Society (ACS) was established to help free blacks resettle in Africa. The Republic of Liberia was established in 1847 and was recognized by the U.S. government in 1864. Following the Civil War, many newly freed Arkansas slaves became interested in the movement, especially those in majority-black counties in the Arkansas Delta. The Liberian Exodus Arkansas Colony …

Lighton, Will

aka: William Rheem Lighton
In 1908, writer William Rheem (Will) Lighton bought land in Fayetteville (Washington County), named it Happy Hollow Farm, and used “scientific agriculture” ideas to turn it into a successful farm. Even more successful was an article, “The Story of an Arkansas Farm,” which was published in the Saturday Evening Post on January 22, 1910. The article resulted in a stream of curious visitors. By the time it was expanded into a book, Happy Hollow Farm (1914), it had attracted more than 200 back-to-the-land settlers to Fayetteville. Will Lighton was born on July 13, 1866, in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, the son of William and Lydia Rheem Lighton. He married Laura McMaken on April 8, 1890, in Atchison, Kansas, set up their …

Lile, James Buel

James Buel “The Arkansas Knifesmith” Lile is one of the most accomplished and famous custom knife makers in American history. He carved his first fixed-blade knife from wood at the age of eight, and by age eleven, he was grinding old files into fixed-blade knives. James Lile was born on August 22, 1933, in Russellville (Pope County) to Leona and Buel Lile. His father was a coal miner who later worked for Arkla after the mines closed, and his mother was a housewife who also worked twenty years at the Local International Shoe factory. In 1952, at the age of nineteen, Lile met and worked for Winthrop Rockefeller welding bull pens being built at the Mountain Top Ranch on Petit …

Limedale (Independence County)

Limedale is located on Limedale Road just before it connects to the north with Highway 69 (a.k.a. North Central Avenue). Limedale is approximately five miles northwest of Batesville, the county seat for Independence County, and about six miles southeast of Cushman (Independence County). Limedale is near Dry Run Creek (a.k.a. Spring Creek). Though the land around Cushman and Bethesda (Independence County) was noted for its white limestone rocks, the first mining company of importance to exploit this resource was located at Denieville (Independence County), which today is a ghost town. Denieville was named for the Denie Lime Company and was located on Spring Creek on what is today Limedale Road. The Arkansas Lime Company began in Ruddells (Izard County) in …

Limestone Valley, Skirmish at

A small skirmish between Arkansas Federals and Confederate-leaning guerrillas in the rugged Ozark Mountains, this engagement was part of an effort to keep Confederate forces both from attacking Union units and from terrorizing the local population. This engagement is typical of the type of fighting at this point of the war between Union forces and irregular units. On April 14, 1864, Colonel John Phelps of the Second Arkansas Cavalry (US) ordered Major James Melton to take 110 men and move against a guerrilla force nearby under the command of a man known as Sissell (quite likely John Cecil). Melton and his men departed the next day. Captain John Bailey and his company were ordered to work with Melton’s unit in …