Entries - Starting with N

Norman Town Square

The Norman Town Square is located in the center of the small town of Norman (Montgomery County). Constructed between 1935 and 1940, the park includes a large green space and a small library. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 25, 1993. Incorporated in 1910, Norman was known as Womble until 1925, being called such in honor of Walter Womble, a land speculator who was the first citizen and postmaster of the settlement. The town grew due to its location near two large lumber mills and the Gurdon and Fort Smith Railroad. The name was changed to Norman in 1925 to honor a benefactor of the Caddo Valley Academy, a local school. The town square …

Norman, Will (Lynching of)

On June 19, 1913, twenty-one-year-old Will Norman was lynched in Hot Springs (Garland County) for the alleged assault and murder of Garland Huff, the daughter of Judge C. Floyd Huff. In 1910, C. Floyd Huff was living in Hot Springs with his wife, Octavia, and four children: William (thirteen years old), Garland (eleven), C. Floyd Jr. (ten), and Robert E. C. (six). According to some reports, Will Norman had been employed by the Huffs for about two years prior to 1913. Little other information is available regarding him. According to newspaper reports, on June 19, Norman dragged Garland Huff into a closet. When she resisted his advances, he beat her, crushing her skull in five places. He then locked her …

Norphlet (Union County)

  The city of Norphlet, like nearby Smackover (Union County) and El Dorado (Union County), rose to prominence due to the oil industry. The city is home to one of the most notorious disasters in Arkansas’s history of oil drilling. More recently, however, it has become a bedroom community to El Dorado, the county seat. The forested hills of Union County were thinly populated until after the Civil War and Reconstruction. The railroad industry, combined with the timber industry, brought new life to the area. The St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway built a line running from Gurdon (Clark County) through El Dorado that was completed in January 1891. Norphlet was one of several depots created along the railway. The timber industry …

Norrell, Catherine Dorris

Catherine Dorris Norrell was the wife of Congressman William Frank Norrell and succeeded him in Congress, becoming the third woman in Arkansas history to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Catherine Dorris was born in Camden (Ouachita County) on March 30, 1901, to Baptist preacher Franklin Dorris and Rose Whitehead Dorris. The family moved from congregation to congregation in Texas, Tennessee, and Arkansas, and Dorris attended public schools in all of those states, finishing high school in Monticello (Drew County). She attended Ouachita Baptist College (now Ouachita Baptist University) in Arkadelphia (Clark County) as well as the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), becoming an accomplished organist and pianist. Afterward, she taught in the public schools of …

Norrell, William Frank

Congressman William Frank Norrell served southern Arkansas and the entire state during an important time in the region’s economic and social development. He was the first World War I veteran to be elected to Congress from Arkansas. William F. Norrell was born in Milo, a small community in Ashley County, on August 29, 1896. His parents were farmers John H. Norrell and Elvie Richardson Norrell. He attended the local public schools and pursued higher education at the Fourth District State Agricultural School of Monticello (Drew County)—now the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM)—as well as at the College of the Ozarks (now the University of the Ozarks) at Clarksville (Johnson County) and at what is now the University of Arkansas at Little …

Norris, Walter

Walter Norris created an amalgamation of jazz improvisation with classical music in a style that no other pianist has duplicated. His varied career includes eight years as a pianist, musical director, and entertainment manager for New York’s Playboy Club. In addition, he authored noted books on the piano. Walter Norris was born on December 27, 1931, in Little Rock (Pulaski County). His father, Lucian Norris, was an accountant for the Federal Reserve Bank. Walter Norris began studying classical piano at the age of five, was playing “boogie woogie” by eight, and was playing in local bands by twelve. After graduation from Central High School, he began playing with Mose Allison on a southern tour. From 1950 to 1952, he served in the U.S. …

Norristown (Pope County)

Norristown briefly served as the county seat of Pope County and was an important stop along the Arkansas River between Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Fort Smith (Sebastian County). It was located across the river from Dardanelle (Yell County) but no longer exists. Norristown was first settled in the late 1820s by Samuel Norris and quickly became a main shipping point, with area cotton loaded up on boats for shipment downriver and eventually to New Orleans, Louisiana. Norristown was designated the county seat in the early 1830s, though no courthouse was ever built there, and served as such until the 1840 creation of Yell County from part of Pope County necessitated the movement of the seat to Dover (Pope County), …

Norristown Cemetery

The Norristown Cemetery is the last remnant of Norristown, an early settlement in Pope County. The earliest dated marker in the cemetery is from 1853 and the most recent from 1934. The cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 14, 1995. Norristown was designated the county seat in the early 1830s and served as such until the 1840 creation of Yell County from part of Pope County necessitated the movement of the seat to Dover (Pope County), a more central location. The town experienced two military engagements during the Civil War, the first on May 19, 1864, and the second on September 6, 1864. The town suffered a decline in population after construction of the …

Norristown, Skirmish at (May 19, 1864)

A brief engagement, this skirmish was part of Brigadier General Joseph Shelby’s expedition across much of Arkansas in the summer of 1864. While trying to cross the Arkansas River near present-day Russellville (Pope County), Shelby’s men were attacked by a Federal patrol tasked with shadowing the Confederates. Ultimately inconclusive, this skirmish was one of many between Shelby’s Confederate forces and Union troops during the expedition. In early May 1864, Shelby and his brigade were ordered to move from southwestern Arkansas to northern and eastern Arkansas in an effort to prevent Federal forces from utilizing the White River and the Little Rock and DeValls Bluff Railroad to supply the Union-occupied capital city. Crossing the Ouachita River at Rockport (Hot Spring County), …

Norristown, Skirmish at (September 6, 1864)

One of the earliest engagements between Confederate and Union forces during Major General Sterling Price’s 1864 raid into Missouri, this skirmish would ultimately prove to be bloodless. In the late summer of 1864, Price was ordered by Lieutenant General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of the Confederate Department of the Trans-Mississippi, to prepare for an invasion of Missouri. The expedition would be used to gain new recruits and supplies, as well as to lower the morale of the civilian population across the north. Based in southern and southwestern Arkansas, the Confederate troops taking part in the raid began to move northward in August 1864. The Confederate offensive operations were delayed for several days as munitions and other supplies were gathered, and …

North Arkansas College (Northark)

North Arkansas College (Northark), a public two-year college created in 1974 and located in Harrison (Boone County), serves the citizens of Boone, Carroll, Marion, Searcy, Newton, and Madison counties. Originally known North Arkansas Community College, Northark was created to offer the first two years of most baccalaureate degree programs at an affordable price in response to community needs. It added technical certificates and degree majors with its merger in 1993 with Twin Lakes Vocational-Technical School, also located in Harrison, and is now a comprehensive community college. Northark has three campuses in Harrison. Under the leadership of founding president Dr. Bill Baker, Northark grew steadily. Dr. Jeffery R. Olson was selected on March 2, 2001, as the second president of Northark. …

North Fork River

North Fork River drains an area of about 1,830 square miles in Missouri and Arkansas and is about 110 miles long. Its headwaters begin in Wright County, Missouri, near the town of Mountain Grove. From there, it flows generally south through Douglas and Ozark counties, Missouri. About the last half of its length is in Baxter County, Arkansas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers impounded the North Fork with the construction of Norfork Dam near the town of Norfork (Baxter County). Norfork Dam was the first of several Corps of Engineers flood control and hydropower dams on the White River and its tributaries. Variant names for the river have included Big or Great North Fork of White River, North Fork …

North Little Rock (Pulaski County)

aka: Argenta (Pulaski County)
North Little Rock is the state’s sixth-largest city (as of 2010), though once the second largest, with historical ties to the transportation industry and the military. Before railroad companies spurred the growth of a town of mills, stockyards, and small businesses in the last three decades of the nineteenth century, the floodnorth-prone north side of the Arkansas River across from Little Rock (Pulaski County) had few residents. But starting in the 1820s, its ferry and riverboat terminals prospered at a junction of roads on routes between St. Louis, Missouri, or Memphis, Tennessee, and Texas or Oklahoma. The military continues to have an economically viable relationship with central Arkansas, with Fort Logan H. Roots atop Big Rock Mountain since 1897; Camp …

North Little Rock Municipal Airport

The North Little Rock Municipal Airport, owned by the City of North Little Rock (Pulaski County), is located four miles north of that city’s business district. The airport is an officially designated general aviation reliever airport, meaning that the overwhelming majority of usage for the airport comes from general aviation, not commercial flights. In 2015, the total economic impact of the airport was estimated at 138 jobs and just under $16 million provided to the local economy. In 1949, 570 acres of land were acquired for construction of the airport, which would have two runways. The airport was officially opened in September 1960. Some portions of the airport had already been in use, including a runway. In honor of the …

North Little Rock Six

The North Little Rock Six were six African-American students who attempted to desegregate North Little Rock High School on September 9, 1957. Two years earlier, the North Little Rock School Board voted to begin integrating classes at the twelfth-grade level; however, after Arkansas governor Orval E. Faubus publicly stated opposition to the integration of Little Rock Central High School and summoned the Arkansas National Guard to the school on September 2, 1957, the directors of the North Little Rock School Board put a halt to their integration plan. Seven seniors from the all-black Scipio Jones High School initially registered to attend North Little Rock High for the 1957–58 school year, but only six students attempted to enroll. They were Richard …

Northeast Arkansas League

The Class D Northeast Arkansas League was established in July 1909 after the Arkansas State League folded. Two of its franchises, Newport (Jackson County) and Jonesboro (Craighead County), joined baseball clubs from Marianna (Lee County) and Paragould (Greene County) to form the league. It was sanctioned by the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL), the administrative agency of minor league baseball from 1901 to the present. After a successful inaugural season, violence and fiscal woes marred the 1910 and 1911 seasons. At the conclusion of the 1910 season, the Caruthersville, Missouri, and Paragould franchises were separated by only a half game in the standings. The league championship rested on the outcome of a five-game series between the two teams. …

Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives (NEARA)

The Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives (NEARA) is one of two regional branches of the Arkansas State Archives (previously called the Arkansas History Commission). Located in Powhatan Historic State Park in Lawrence County, NEARA serves a sixteen-county area, including Baxter, Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Fulton, Greene, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Mississippi, Poinsett, Randolph, Sharp, and Stone counties. The facility was established to collect, preserve, and make available resources related to this region of northeast Arkansas and its people. Nearly all the original records, and many of the microfilm and published records, originated from these counties, making NEARA a key resource for research about the area. NEARA was created as a collaborative effort between Arkansas State Parks, the Arkansas State Archives, and the …

Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company

The Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company was a sawmill that produced lumber and barrel staves on the banks of the St. Francis River just north of the town of Parkin (Cross County). The Northern Ohio sawmill was located on the Parkin Mound Site that is now Parkin Archeological State Park. The Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company operated throughout the first half of the twentieth century, from 1902 until its closure by 1946. The only historic building associated with the sawmill that is still standing is the rehabilitated one-room Northern Ohio School. The property that became the Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company was first owned by Beaufort Neely in 1820. The original survey journal descriptions of the area …

Northern Ohio School

Until the mid-twentieth century, the majority of Arkansas children were taught in one-room schoolhouses, most of which were located in rural areas. Many of these schools have been destroyed, but several remain. The Northern Ohio School, a one-room schoolhouse for rural African-American students, is the only remaining one-room African-American schoolhouse in Parkin (Cross County). As a result of the expanding lumber industry, the population of Parkin grew in the first decade of the twentieth century; the town was incorporated in 1912. The primary employers were local sawmills, one of which was the Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company. It formed in 1906 as an amalgamation of smaller sawmills: the Parkin Cooperage Company and the Northern Ohio Company. The gathering of …

Northern Snakehead

aka: Channa argus
aka: Snakehead
The northern snakehead (Channa argus) is a modern bony fish belonging to the family Channidae. It is native to China, eastern Russia, and parts of the Korean peninsula. The fish was discovered in Arkansas in 2008, leading to attempts to eradicate it. The northern snakehead has an elongate body, with long dorsal and anal fins, and a truncated tail. Coloration is dark tan to brown with darker spots laterally, extending above and below the midline. The jaws have sharp, pointed teeth. The fish can reach a size of one meter and weigh as much as eight kilograms. The northern snakehead breathes with gills but also possesses a suprabranchial organ, which consists of chambers filled with folded tissue that allow atmospheric …

NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC)

NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) is a comprehensive public two-year college serving the citizens of Benton and Washington counties, as well as the surrounding region. Established in 1989, the college has grown rapidly to become the second-largest community college in the state. The college’s main campus is in Bentonville (Benton County), with educational centers located throughout the two-county area. The college offers four associate’s degrees (Associate of Arts, Associate of Arts in Teaching, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science) and a wide variety of workforce training programs, technical certificates, and adult education classes. NWACC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. NWACC was created after a special election on August 15, 1989, in …

Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA)

Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, or XNA after its International Air Transportation Association (IATA) code, is located in Highfill (Benton County) and is roughly equidistant from Bentonville (Benton County), Fayetteville (Washington County), Rogers (Benton County), Siloam Springs (Benton County), and Springdale (Washington County). It is a mixed-use airport with both commercial and private airplanes. It has the second-largest amount of scheduled commercial service in the state of Arkansas and, in 2007, served more than 1.2 million passengers. Local business leaders including Sam Walton, founder of Walmart Inc., and several local and state elected officials joined together to push for a new airport. Due to the rapid growth in population and business (especially the continued expansion of Walmart Inc.), Drake Field, located …

Northwest Arkansas Writers

Northwest Arkansas Writers Workshop of the Springdale (Washington County) and Fayetteville (Washington County) area is dedicated to helping aspiring writers learn their craft and succeed in their chosen field of writing. It welcomes writers from all genres of fiction and nonfiction. The group got its start in 1986 when Dusty Richards, Velda Brotherton, Judy Ballard, and Charlie Pierson began meeting in each other’s homes once a week to learn more about the craft of writing. They gathered and shared information, and others joined. There has never been a membership fee, and no officers are elected. Every year, the group takes up a collection to sponsor a writing contest at the Ozark Creative Writers Conference in Eureka Springs (Carroll County) and …

Norvell (Crittenden County)

  Norvell was an incorporated town in western Crittenden County located just southeast of the Tyronza River, about one mile east of the Cross County line. In 1862, Dr. James Throgmorton arrived in what would become Norvell. In later years, he described the landscape as “a dense forest inhabited by bears, wolves and panthers,” adding that “it remained so until 1888.” The raw wilderness with abundant virgin timber invited settlement and commercial growth during the timber boom that swept Arkansas following the Civil War. This growth gave rise to Norvell and its larger neighbor Earle (Crittenden County), which were settled simultaneously and shared many of the same business and civic leaders. Population in the area was sparse until the 1880s, when …

Norwood, Charles M.

Charles M. Norwood ran for governor in Arkansas in 1888 as the candidate of the Union Labor Party (ULP). Although he lost, he came closer to victory than any other challenger to the gubernatorial candidate of the Democratic Party in Arkansas between 1874 and 1964. Furthermore, recent historical studies have suggested that Norwood would have won his gubernatorial bid had the election not been marred by fraud and violence. Charles M. Norwood was born on February 29, 1840, in Giles County, Tennessee, to Josiah M. Norwood and Sarah A. Norwood, who moved their family to Arkansas around 1847. Norwood’s father became the treasurer of Lafayette County, and Norwood attended private schools in Columbia County. In 1861, Norwood enlisted in the …

Notrebe, Frederick

Frederick Notrebe was a prominent merchant, planter, and land speculator at Arkansas Post (Arkansas County). One of the wealthiest men in territorial and antebellum Arkansas, he operated a trading house, dealing mostly in furs and peltries. As one of the first cotton factors at Arkansas Post, he was instrumental in establishing cotton as a staple crop in territorial Arkansas. He is credited with founding the town of Napoleon (Desha County) at the mouth of the Arkansas River in the 1820s. He was also an early supporter of the State Bank branch at Arkansas Post, providing the lot on which it was built. Frederick Notrebe was born in 1780 (exact date not known) in France. Nothing is known about his parents …

Novaculite

Novaculite is a hard, dense, white-to-grayish-black sedimentary rock, composed of microcrystalline quartz. It is translucent on its thin, sharp edges and usually breaks with a smooth conchoidal (shell-like) fracture. The word “novaculite” is derived from a Latin word meaning “razor stone.” Novaculite is found in the Ouachita Mountains in formations that are highly resistant to erosion. These formations range from about 250 to 900 feet in thickness. There are two categories of Arkansas novaculite classified by the abrasives industry. The “Washita” stone has the dull luster of unglazed porcelain. It is more porous and less dense than the “Arkansas” stone, which is extremely fine-grained with a waxy luster. There has been recent interest in the fine-grained novaculite as a lapidary …

Nunn, Walter Harris

Walter H. Nunn was a respected teacher, scholar, and author whose books on Arkansas politics were well regarded and widely read. He was also one of the leading authorities on the Arkansas constitution and, in the 1970s, founded Rose Publishing Company, which was for a time the sole press devoted to Arkansas-related material. In addition, Nunn was a local organizer dedicated to the creation and maintenance of inclusive neighborhoods. Walter Harris Nunn was born in Monticello (Drew County) on February 17, 1942. His parents were Wallace Nunn, who worked as a cashier at a local cotton mill, and Ilene Wicker Nunn, a homemaker. He grew up in Crossett (Ashley County), where he attended the local schools. He earned a BA …

Nuttall, Thomas

Thomas Nuttall, a preeminent and far-ranging field naturalist, participated in the early scientific exploration of Arkansas and is remembered both for identifying a number of the state’s plants and for his description of early Arkansas life. His notes on people living in the territory—both Native Americans and American settlers—have provided valuable information for historians and researchers ever since they were first published in 1821. Thomas Nuttall was born to James Nuttall and Margaret Hardacre Nuttall on January 5, 1786, in Long Preston, Yorkshire, England. He was the oldest of three siblings; he had two sisters, Susan (Susannah) and Elizabeth. He never married and had no children. After attending the village school, Nuttall worked as a journeyman printer for his uncle …

NYA Camp Bethune

aka: Camp Bethune
National Youth Administration (NYA) Camp Bethune was part of a New Deal program that provided opportunities for literacy and critical advantages for young black women from across the state of Arkansas during the Great Depression. Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical, and Normal (AM&N) College in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), incorporated the camp site. The camp marked the network of regional and national political activism among African Americans who negotiated community and citizenship in the first half of the twentieth century. The Federal Emergency Relief Appropriation (FERA) Act created the NYA in 1935. The agency funded part-time work for students between the ages of sixteen to twenty-five, as well as worked to promote public …