Entries - Starting with G

Grand Gulf Affair

Grand Gulf Nuclear Generating Station is the name of a nuclear-powered electricity-generating station at Port Gibson on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River downstream from Vicksburg, Mississippi. Issues surrounding the financing of this station convulsed politics in Arkansas for the last two decades of the twentieth century. Between 1985, when the power station began producing electricity, and 2012, customers of Entergy Arkansas, Inc., and its predecessor, Arkansas Power and Light (AP&L), had to pay $4.5 billion—about $6,500 per customer—to operate the Mississippi plant and subsidize Louisiana ratepayers under the terms of old agreements among the four utilities in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana owned by Middle South Utilities, a holding company based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The prospect of Arkansas’s …

Grand Prairie

The Grand Prairie is a subregion of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain (commonly called the Delta) in eastern Arkansas that is known today as a major site of rice cultivation. Prairie County takes its name from this subregion. Located between the bottomlands of the White River and the Arkansas River, it was once a large, flat area of native grassland stretching across what are now Arkansas, Prairie, Lonoke, and Monroe counties, distinguished from the surrounding Delta land, which was largely swampy land dominated by bottomland hardwood. However, since the clear cutting of the Delta, the Grand Prairie is no longer as distinct a feature, though it remains agriculturally significant. Native Americans inhabited and hunted upon the Grand Prairie; the Museum of …

Grand Prairie Historical Society

The Grand Prairie Historical Society (GPHS) was founded in 1953 to preserve the Grand Prairie area’s rich abundant history and make others aware of this heritage. Among the founders were Reverend Lawrence Maus, J. E. Howard, John M. Henderson, Lillian C. Young, Ballard Deane, Dr. Harold V. Glenn, Garner Allen, Grover C. Carnes, and Arthur Macom. The group adopted a constitution stating the society’s purpose as promoting the history and historical records of the Grand Prairie, marking historical sites, encouraging tours, and informing the public of the society’s work. Publication of the Grand Prairie Historical Bulletin has played a major role in achieving the society’s objective of collecting and preserving data on the early history of Arkansas County and the …

Grand Prairie, Skirmish at

After the Battle of Pea Ridge, Major General Samuel Ryan Curtis led his troops across northern Arkansas and southern Missouri in an effort to capture Little Rock (Pulaski County). After failing to do so and taking refuge in Batesville (Independence County), Curtis led his troops down the White River in an effort to link up with supply transports near Clarendon (Monroe County). On July 6, 1862, a skirmish was fought by the relief column escorting those transports. The transports began to move toward Gen. Curtis on June 10 and, by June 17, were approaching St. Charles (Arkansas County), where they engaged the Confederate fortifications and the USS Mound City was struck. The expedition ultimately captured the position, but due to …

Grannis (Polk County)

  Grannis is located on U.S. Highway 71 in southern Polk County. Like many of the cities of southwestern Arkansas, Grannis began as a railroad depot and grew with the development of the timber industry, turning later to the fruit and poultry industries. The heavily wooded slopes of the Ouachita Mountains were uninviting to the cotton farmers who first settled the area, and no landowners appear in records of the Grannis vicinity prior to 1893. The oldest monument to any human presence in the region is a tombstone on a hilltop that is now the location of the Grannis cemetery. The name of the traveler buried there has been erased by weather, but the year 1881 is still legible on the monument. …

Grannis Vigil

On September 29, 1975, in the tiny town of Grannis (Polk County), a group of approximately twenty-five residents, most of them relatives, closed themselves off from the rest of the world to ready themselves for what they believed to be the soon-approaching return of Jesus Christ. Over a period of almost ten months, the vigil members left jobs, removed children from school, and gathered food and supplies in a single residence to await the end of the world. The ensuing vigil garnered local and national attention and even sparked debate relating to the separation of church and state and the right of religious expression. The vigil ended on July 16, 1976, when federal marshals acted on a court-ordered notice of …

Grant County

Grant County, located in central Arkansas, is best known for its timber industry. The county is saturated with logging operators who use modern techniques to harvest pine trees and hardwood saw logs. The logs are transported to the International Paper Company mill in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and to sawmills in Leola (Grant County), Benton (Saline County), and nearby towns. The county’s largest community celebration, Timberfest, is held each October in Sheridan, the county seat. Other cities in the county include Grapevine, Prattsville, Poyen, and Tull. Sheridan has attracted some large manufacturing plants in the past forty years. Pre-European Exploration through Early Statehood The common occurrence of prehistoric archaeological sites in Grant County testify to the early presence of Native …

Grant County Museum

The Grant County Museum in Sheridan (Grant County) aims to preserve the heritage of the county and to provide individual attention to both students and adults seeking information pertaining to local history. In 2002, the museum was awarded the Museum of the Year award by the Arkansas Museums Association. The Grant County Museum was established in 1963 by Prattsville High School history teacher Elwin Goolsby as a local history teaching project for his students. From 1963 until late 1970, the museum’s collections were housed in various classrooms provided by Prattsville (Grant County) and Sheridan schools. In 1970, the Sheridan Chamber of Commerce began looking for a permanent home for Goolsby’s rapidly expanding collections. This desire was sparked by the interest …

Grant, Daniel

Daniel R. Grant became a prominent educator in the second half of the twentieth century. Like his father, he served as president of what is now Ouachita Baptist University (OBU) in Arkadelphia (Clark County). Daniel Ross Grant was born on August 18, 1923, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to James R. Grant and Grace Sowers Grant. He received his early education in Arkadelphia, where his father, after a five-year stint as president of what is now Arkansas Tech University, began serving as president of Ouachita Baptist when Grant was nine years old. Grant graduated with honors from Arkadelphia High School in 1941; with a major in history, he graduated from Ouachita Baptist in 1945. He earned an MA from the …

Grapette International, Inc.

Grapette soda was developed by Benjamin Tyndle Fooks in Camden (Ouachita County) in 1939. Once one of the bestselling non-cola soft drinks in the United States, Grapette virtually disappeared from the marketplace for most of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s after being bought by a leading competitor. As the twenty-first century began, Grapette International in Malvern (Hot Spring County), the last remaining subsidiary of Fooks’s Grapette Company, re-acquired the Grapette and Orangette trademarks, reuniting the original flavors with the brand names. Currently Grapette, Orangette, and two other flavors made by Grapette International are distributed nationwide exclusively in Walmart Inc. stores as part of their store brand line of soft drinks. Fooks bought a soft-drink bottling plant in Camden in 1926 …

Grapevine

The Grapevine, published from 1970 to 1993, was a weekly newspaper based in Fayetteville (Washington County). It began as an off-campus University of Arkansas (UA) student publication and evolved into an alternative news source for the broader northwestern Arkansas community, with a focus on Fayetteville arts and culture, student life, and progressive politics. The paper officially began as a weekly published off campus by the Arkansas Student Free Press Association, beginning on March 18, 1970, although longtime Grapevine editor Peter Tooker suggested that it may have had its origins the previous year as an underground campus paper focused on Greek life and concerns at UA. The paper’s founder and editor in 1970 was Richard (Cid) Sutoris Jr.; while a student …

Gravel Hill (Saline County)

aka: Ralph Bunche Community (Saline County)
aka: Southside (Saline County)
aka: Jack Rhinehart Community (Saline County)
aka: Hardscramble (Saline County)
The community first called Gravel Hill is one of the oldest historically African-American neighborhoods in Saline County. Its roots were planted when the Rhinehart and Canady families from Bauxite (Saline County) moved there in 1894. Gravel Hill later changed its name to Southside Community, and then, in 2002, the community was renamed again, this time in honor of Ralph J. Bunche, the first African American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The community’s boundaries include Willow Street on the north, Hillside Drive on the south, Neeley Street on the east, and Market Street on the west. Additions that make-up the community include the Cloud, D. S. Moore, Gingles, Gravel Hill, Houston, South Hill, Stewart Heights, and Wilkerson. Notable residents …

Gravel Ridge (Pulaski County)

Gravel Ridge has been part of the city of Sherwood (Pulaski County) in northern Pulaski County since 2008. Before that time, Gravel Ridge was an unincorporated community surrounded by the cities of Sherwood, Jacksonville (Pulaski County), and North Little Rock (Pulaski County), as well as the unincorporated settlement of Gibson (Pulaski County) and the Little Rock Air Force Base. As its name suggests, Gravel Ridge is a section of high ground consisting largely of loose stones. The ridge is bounded by Bayou Meto on the north and Kellogg Creek on the south. Although silver, lead, and copper deposits have been found near Kellogg Creek in Gibson, no similar minerals have been unearthed in Gravel Ridge. Moreover, once development began in the middle …

Graves, Lawrence Preston

Lawrence Preston Graves served as the second auxiliary Roman Catholic bishop for the Diocese of Little Rock, which encompasses the state of Arkansas. Graves was also the second native Arkansan to be elevated to the Catholic hierarchy. Lawrence Graves was born on May 4, 1916, in Texarkana (Miller County); his parents, Louis Graves and Agnes Fant Graves, were local grocers. They had two sons and two daughters. Raised in St. Edward’s Church in his hometown, he attended all twelve grades in the local parish school and was a member of the first graduating high school class. At eighteen, Graves entered St. John’s Seminary in Little Rock (Pulaski County) and, two years later, Bishop John B. Morris sent him to the …

Graves, Levi (Lynching of)

A sixteen-year-old African-American boy named Levi Graves was lynched on August 24, 1888, in Sevier County for having allegedly molested and injured, the previous day, a five-year-old white girl. The girl was the daughter of Joseph A. Tally (whose name is also rendered J. F. Talley in some reports), a “highly respected farmer of the community.” According to the Arkansas Gazette, Graves was the “son of Peter Graves, a well-known and utterly worthless old negro living near Brownstown.” Census records show that, in 1880, Levi Graves, then eight years old, was living with his parents, Peter and Patsey Graves, in Mineral Springs (Howard County). He was one of ten children in the household. His parents were listed as farm laborers, …

Gravette (Benton County)

Gravette, located in Benton County, is a tight-knit community whose motto is “The Heart of Hometown America.” It was once referred to as the “Gate Community,” presumably in reference to its being a gateway to northwest Arkansas from Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. Highway 71, now running through Bella Vista (Benton County), once passed through Gravette. Gravette, at the intersection of State Highways 59 and 72, is a conservative community with a population calculated at 2,325 in the 2010 census. The town has nineteen churches, three of which are over 100 years old. Nebo (now referred to as Old Town) in Chalk Valley was the original settlement of the community. The settlement was platted in the 1870s by Joseph P. Covey, who …

Gravette Historical Museum

aka: Kindley House
The Gravette Historical Museum is housed in the historic two-story Kindley House located at 503 Charlotte Street in Gravette (Benton County). Founded in 1995, the museum houses a collection of artifacts documenting the history of the area, as well as detailing the life of one-time town resident and World War I air ace Field Kindley. The Kindley House—L-shaped and of Italianate design—was constructed sometime in the 1870s of brick manufactured on site. After having several occupants, it was purchased by Amos Eraster Kindley, who moved to the town in 1898 and assisted in establishing the Bank of Gravette. In about 1908, he and his wife, Mary, obtained custody of their nephew Field Eugene Kindley, whose mother had recently died. The …

Gray (Independence County)

Gray is a historical community in Barren Township that is somewhat an offshoot of Hickory Valley (Independence County). All that is left of the community today is Gray’s Chapel Cemetery located north of Sandtown Road on Arrowhead Lane between Highway 167 (North St. Louis Street) and Cold Creek Lane. Barnett Creek and Barnett Cemetery are close by, as is Basket Creek. The first white settlers in the area were members of the Barnett family of North Carolina. John Barnett and his two sons—Elijah Barnett and a brother who went by A. Barnett—were living in the Arkansas Territory by the early 1820s. The area was first known as Jefferson after President Thomas Jefferson, who had made the Louisiana Purchase possible. By …

Gray, Joseph Ray (Joe)

Joseph Ray Gray (commonly known as Joe or J. R. Gray) was a painter, illustrator, sculptor, and graphic designer who grew up in Dardanelle (Yell County). His lasting influence on the art of the Arkansas River Valley grew from his passion for the environment, which defined not only his seventy-five-year fine arts career but also the development of his distinctive and varied artistic styles. Gray designed and illustrated publications and advertising campaigns, as well as creating—to the delight of friends, family, and numerous fans—outspoken political cartoons. Born in Booneville (Logan County) on September 25, 1917, Joe Gray was the son of Armour Gray, who was a meat cutter and, later, a grocery store owner, and Cena Rea McCorkle Gray. Around …

Graysonia (Clark County)

Graysonia of Clark County was one of numerous mill towns that sprang up in southern Arkansas during the twentieth century as a result of Arkansas’s growing timber industry. At its peak, Graysonia had one of the largest mills in the South and a thriving community. Today, few visible remainders of the town exist. In 1902, William Grayson and Nelson McLeod became principal stockholders in Arkadelphia Lumber Company. The company moved to a site near the Antoine River in 1907 because there were not enough resources in the area to continue at their former location. The new town was named Graysonia, in honor of the company’s president. The mill at Graysonia became one of the South’s largest due to the high …

Great American Conference

The Great American Conference (GAC), created in 2010, is an athletic conference comprising institutions located in Arkansas and Oklahoma. The conference is associated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II, and the conference headquarters are in Russellville (Pope County). The Arkansas institutions that created the conference previously participated in the Gulf South Conference (GSC). These universities include Arkansas Tech University, Harding University, Henderson State University, Ouachita Baptist University, Southern Arkansas University, and the University of Arkansas at Monticello. These institutions also previously participated in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference. The GSC includes member institutions from Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi, but due to the large travel costs associated with conference play, the member universities in Arkansas began exploring the …

Great Balls of Fire!

Great Balls of Fire! is a 1989 motion picture loosely based on pioneering rock and roll star Jerry Lee Lewis. Several scenes of Great Balls of Fire! were filmed on location in the Arkansas towns of Marion (Crittenden County) and West Memphis (Crittenden County), with other filming taking place in nearby Memphis, Tennessee. It starred Dennis Quaid as Lewis, Winona Ryder as the thirteen-year-old cousin whom he married, and Alec Baldwin as another cousin, televangelist Jimmy Swaggart. The 108-minute film was based on a book by Myra Brown Lewis and was directed by Jim McBride. It follows Jerry Lee Lewis’s early career in 1956 through 1959 as he rose to stardom. A pivotal plot point is his controversial marriage to …

Great Lester Boggs, The

aka: Hootch Country Boys [Movie]
aka: The Hard Heads [Movie]
aka: Redneck Country [Movie]
The Great Lester Boggs is a ninety-four-minute feature film directed by Arkansas filmmaker Harry Thomason and shot on location around central Arkansas, particularly Beebe (White County). It was released in late 1974 by Thomason’s company, Centronics International, and carried a rating of PG. The film was later re-released to various areas of the United States under different titles, including The Hard Heads, Hootch Country Boys, and Redneck County. One of its promotional taglines was “Learn about life the hard way.” The plot, by writers Don McLemore and Harry Thomason, concerns a young man named Malcolm Vandiver who embarks on a cross-country motorcycle journey. When, as almost all reviews note, his trip “boggs” down in the fictional Mountain Glen (in the …

Great Migration

Between the 1920s and the 1970s, more than 14 million Americans left their rural homes in search of jobs and new opportunities. Known as the Great Migration, this exodus represents one of the largest internal resettlements in American history. Arkansas played a leading role in this development, as the state lost more people than any other; more than 1.2 million left during this period. In fact, Arkansas had witnessed steady population decline since the 1890s, and, according to U.S. census records, lost people in every decade of the twentieth century until 1970. Migration out of Arkansas was largely caused by two factors: the lack of high-paying jobs (which tended to drive out educated Arkansans) and the lack of available arable …

Great Passion Play

aka: Passion Play
The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs (Carroll County) is an outdoor drama depicting the last week in the life of Jesus Christ. There was a “soft” media opening on July 14, 1968, followed the next night with the first public performance. More than 7.5 million people from all over the world—an average of 100,000 a year—have attended this tourist attraction, the outdoor play with the largest attendance in the United States. The production includes animals, period costumes, a life-sized city street scene, numerous special effects, original music, state-of-the-art sound and lighting, and more than 200 cast members. The Great Passion Play is one of the Five Sacred Projects of the Elna M. Smith Foundation, created by Gerald L. K. Smith and …

Great River Road-Arkansas National Scenic Byway

The Great River Road-Arkansas National Scenic Byway is part of a ten-state driving route along both sides of the Mississippi River, from its headwaters at Lake Itasca in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. In Eastern Arkansas, the route travels through ten counties that are along the river or historically associated with the river. The route began in 1938 when the Mississippi River Parkway Planning Commission was formed through the urging of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. After more than ten years of discussion, a feasibility study was completed in 1951 by the Bureau of Public Roads (the predecessor of the Federal Highway Administration), and the National Park Service. The study recommended that, rather than constructing a …

Great Southern Hotel

The Great Southern Hotel, also known as the Rusher Hotel or Hotel Rusher, is a historic hotel building at 127 West Cedar Street near the town square in Brinkley (Monroe County), about seventy miles west of Memphis, Tennessee. Brinkley was an important railroad town in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The three-story brick building was constructed in 1915 to serve as Brinkley’s Union Station. Its main entrance originally faced the railway tracks but was reoriented to a street façade after the decline of the railroad. The Great Southern Hotel building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 18, 1986. The building is part of Brinkley’s Lick Skillet Railroad Work Station Historic District, which itself …

Great Southwestern Strike

At its height, the Great Southwestern Strike of 1886 shut down railway lines in five states (Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Texas, and Missouri), threatened to upset commerce nationally, and, with its promise of union recognition, attracted support from a wide spectrum of unskilled and semi-skilled railroaders. Instead of winning union recognition, the strikers met with a terrible defeat that divested hundreds of their jobs, confirmed the power of the state and federal governments to repress labor unrest on the railways, and dealt a severe blow to the Knights of Labor, the nation’s largest labor union. Defeat was not total, however; strikers’ grassroots, cross-racial activism on the railroads contributed to the broader Populist movement in Texas and Arkansas. The Great Southwestern Strike …

Greek Amphitheatre (Magnolia)

The Greek Amphitheatre, located at the junction of East Lane Drive, East University Street, and Crescent Drive at Southern Arkansas University (SAU) in Magnolia (Columbia County), was constructed between 1936 and 1938 with assistance from the National Youth Administration (NYA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 1, 2005. In 1936, the graduating class at the then two-year Magnolia A&M voted to help build an amphitheater on the campus as their memorial to the school. They acquired support from the NYA, with the federal agency providing labor and the college and the class of 1936 supplying an additional $200 and materials. The stage had progressed sufficiently to host a May …

Greek Food Festival

aka: International Greek Food Festival
The Greek Food Festival, which is organized by the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Little Rock (Pulaski County), is an annual three-day event that raises money for the church and for charities around Arkansas. In 2008, approximately 30,000 people attended to enjoy the food and entertainment. The Annunciation Greek Orthodox church was founded in 1913 and, a few years later, received an official church charter. By 1921, the members had their first building, at 15th and Center streets. For more than thirty years before they began the Greek Food Festival, members had a church pastry sale offering Greek food. The church moved to Napa Valley Drive in 1983 and began the first official Greek Food Festival that June. The one-day …

Greek Orthodox

The ancient Christian Greek Orthodox Church claims a founding by Jesus Christ and his apostles, as described in the Book of Acts in the Bible, along with a claim to an unbroken historical existence. Orthodox Christianity endeavors to lead all peoples of all nationalities toward a dynamic spiritual relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Arkansas has an estimated 2,000 Greek Orthodox Christians, out of a total 1.5 million in the United States and approximately 300 million worldwide. The teachings of Orthodoxy are described in the Nicene Creed, adopted in AD 325 by an ecumenical council: belief in one God, creator of all things, and his Son, Jesus Christ, who was crucified for the world’s salvation and …

Greeks

Though small in number compared to other immigrant groups, Greeks and Greek Americans in Arkansas have had a notable impact upon the state. From their beginnings as laborers, Greeks in Arkansas quickly became entrepreneurs and business owners, and many of the children and grandchildren of these original immigrants went on to business, academic, and medical careers. Many Greeks who come to Arkansas today are in the medical or research fields. Emblematic of the acceptance of Greeks by the state has been the popularity of the Greek Food Festival, one of the most well-attended culinary fetes in the state. Immigrants from Greece began arriving in Arkansas in the late nineteenth century. Most were single young males who left their homeland for …

Green (Lynching of)

On June 24, 1877, an African-American man identified only as Green was shot to death in Lonoke County after being arrested for his alleged participation in the murders of several members of the Eagle family in 1874. According to reports, a constable out searching for a suspect in an assault on a local woman came across Green and took him to the office of the justice of the peace, T. A. Beard. During the night, he was housed there under guard while authorities waited for a train to take him to Little Rock (Pulaski County). At 11:00 p.m. on the night of June 24, Green was sleeping on the floor of the office while Beard slept in a nearby room …

Green Cemetery (Ouachita County)

The Green Cemetery, located about two miles northwest of Stephens (Ouachita County), is a family cemetery holding eighteen known graves, with the earliest dating to 1853. Holding the remains of members of one of the early prominent families in the southern part of the state, the cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 5, 2017. The Green family, led by Simon and Esther Green, moved to Ouachita County around 1845 and settled near the community of Seminary (Ouachita County). Located about eighteen miles southwest of the county seat at Camden (Ouachita County), Seminary was a small farming village. The name of the settlement comes from an early school for female students that operated in the …

Green Forest (Carroll County)

  Green Forest, a second-class city in Carroll County, once aspired to be the county seat. Its checkered history includes a fraudulent gold mine and a popular reunion of Civil War veterans that turned into an annual community festival. The first known settler in the area was John Scott, described quaintly in the Goodspeed history of Carroll County as “a maker of sheep and cowbells.” Other settlers soon arrived in the area, which was then known as Scott’s Prairie. A Baptist church, built from logs, opened in 1854. The structure also served as a school. The next year, a post office was established, but it survived only a few months before closing. A Methodist church opened in 1857. In June 1861, a force of …

Green Forest Water Tower

The Green Forest Water Tower is located on Springfield Street in Green Forest (Carroll County). The metal water tower was built by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Works for the Public Works Administration (PWA) in 1937. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 22, 2007. The first settlers of European descent to move into what later became Green Forest arrived around 1836, and scattered development continued up to the advent of the Civil War. All of the buildings in the area were destroyed during the war, but by 1870 it was a bustling community featuring six stores, and by 1889 it had eleven stores and a combination flour/saw mill and cotton gin, and a Masonic …

Green Party (GPA)

The Green Party of Arkansas (GPA) began in 1996 when a group of Arkansans gathered for the purpose of adding Ralph Nader’s name to the ballot in Arkansas as the Green Party candidate for president. That goal was accomplished, and the group continued to have meetings and to expand its membership in various counties. By 2000, the Green Party had grown to have members in several counties, including Scott, Washington, Carroll, Pulaski, Boone, and Van Buren, although appeared mostly inactive by 2020. The platform of the GPA was adopted from the Green Party of the United States (GPUS) and is quite lengthy. The platform embraces what are generally considered “progressive” values, including non-violence, social and economic justice, feminism, and respect …

Green Ridge (Scott County)

Green Ridge is an unincorporated community located in east-central Scott County along Highway 248. Green Ridge was established in 1872 near Prairie Creek. Agriculture and religion have traditionally been important to Green Ridge’s culture and economy. Prior to European exploration, Green Ridge was a wilderness lush with native vegetation and numerous species of wildlife—including buffalo and elk, which no longer inhabit the area. Archaeological evidence from the Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods has been discovered along the Poteau River to the south. Additional archaeological evidence has indicated that the Caddo tribe had a strong presence along the Poteau River and other prominent waterways. Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto is credited with being the first European to explore the territory around …

Green, Al

Al Green is one of Arkansas’s best-known singers, with a career that has ranged from rhythm and blues (R&B) to pop to gospel and a combination. Green’s distinctive falsetto singing style continues to thrill fans old and young, and he remains an active soul singer from an era that also produced Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and Marvin Gaye. Al Greene (he later dropped the last “e”) was born on April 13, 1946, in Forrest City (St. Francis County) and grew up in a large family that sang gospel music. When his sharecropper father moved the family to Grand Rapids, Michigan, Green was only nine but sang with his siblings in the Green Brothers. When he began listening to the non-gospel …

Green, Benjamin William

Benjamin William Green was a soldier, planter, mill operator, real estate agent, and advocate for Confederate veterans. Raised in South Carolina, he fought in a Georgia unit during the Civil War. He moved to Arkansas after the war and later served as commander of the Arkansas Division of the United Confederate Veterans (UCV). Benjamin Green was born on September 7, 1846, in Darlington County, South Carolina, to Judge James Green and Sarah Ann Green. He was a descendant of John James, an officer of the American Revolution. Green’s father was a planter, who, according to the 1860 census, owned twenty slaves ranging from age three to eighty years of age. His father was too old to fight in the Civil …

Green, David Gordon

Director, writer, and producer David Gordon Green is a native Arkansan whose films have received many awards. Film critic Roger Ebert described him as “a director of tones, emotions, and moments of truth,” while New York Times film critic A. O. Scott has compared Green’s work with the writings of William Faulkner. Green’s films are generally coming-of-age tales set in small, rural Southern towns. Although born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on April 9, 1975, David Gordon Green was raised in Richardson, Texas, just outside of Dallas. He grew up as the son of medical school dean Gordon Green and Lamaze instructor Jeanne Green. At an early age, Green developed an admiration for nontraditional films such as Walkabout, Never Cry …

Green, Ernest Gideon

Ernest Gideon Green made history as the only senior of the Little Rock Nine, the nine African-American students who, in 1957, desegregated Central High School in Little Rock (Pulaski County). The world watched as they braved constant intimidation and threats from those who opposed desegregation of the formerly all-white high school. Green’s place in Arkansas’s civil rights history was solidified when he became the first African American to graduate from the previously all-white Central High School. Ernest Green was born in Little Rock on September 22, 1941, to Lothaire and Ernest Green Sr. Green has two siblings: one brother, Scott, and one sister, Treopia Washington An active member of the community from an early age, Green regularly attended church and …

Green, Marlon DeWitt

In 1963, Marlon DeWitt Green, an Arkansas-born African American and former U.S. Air Force pilot, broke the airline industry color barrier when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Continental Airlines had to comply with the State of Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws—there being no conflict with any federal statute—and required that the company hire him. He has been described as the “Jackie Robinson of the airline industry” for overcoming discrimination to become the first black pilot hired by a regularly scheduled commercial passenger airline. Marlon D. Green was born on June 6, 1929, in El Dorado (Union County) to McKinley Green, who was a domestic worker, and Lucy Longmyre Green, a homemaker. He had four siblings. Despite growing up economically disadvantaged, Green …

Green, Steve

In 1910, an Arkansas tenant farmer named Steve Green fled the state to Chicago, Illinois, after allegedly killing his employer, William Sidle (sometimes referred to as Seidel or Saddle), near Jericho (Crittenden County). He narrowly escaped extradition back to Arkansas after his case was taken up by prominent African Americans in Chicago, including Ida Wells-Barnett. There is no record of Steve Green in Arkansas census records. According to an article written by W. E. B. Du Bois in the November 10, 1910, issue of The Crisis, Green was born in Tennessee in 1862 and was totally uneducated. There was an African American named Steve Green living in Civil District 15 in Shelby County, Tennessee, in 1900. He was born in …

Greenback Party

Arkansas’s Greenback Party emerged in the political tumult of the post-Reconstruction era in the late 1870s, in part because of an agrarian reaction to the Republican-controlled federal government’s hard money policies. Despite some initial successes in state and local elections in the late 1870s and early 1880s, however, the Greenbacks were spent politically by 1884. They disbanded as their issues were largely co-opted by the Democrats or rendered moot by an improving national economy. Origins of the PartyAs a result of the economic recession that followed the Panic of 1873, the national Greenback Party organized in 1876 to address agrarian concerns over the Specie Resumption Act of 1875. The act was a deflationary Republican initiative to redeem federal bank notes …

Greenberg, Paul

Journalist Paul Greenberg of Little Rock (Pulaski County) was a nationally recognized syndicated columnist and author whose writing appeared in newspapers across the country. He was the longtime editor of the Pine Bluff Commercial’s editorial page and later served as editorial page editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Greenberg won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing and was later a Pulitzer finalist and Pulitzer jurist. Paul Greenberg was born on January 21, 1937, in Shreveport, Louisiana. His parents were Sarah Ackerman Greenberg and Ben Greenberg, owners of a second-hand shoe store and a series of small businesses on Texas Avenue in Shreveport. He had an older sister, Lillian, and an older brother, Irving. Living with his family above the family …

Greenbrier (Faulkner County)

Greenbrier is a small second-class city in Faulkner County twelve miles north of Conway (Faulkner County) on Highway 65. It is home to Woolly Hollow State Park and Lake Bennett. Louisiana Purchase through Early StatehoodRecorded white settlement of the area dates back to at least 1818, when four brothers named Wiley settled in the vicinity the East Fork of Cadron Creek about eight miles east of Greenbrier’s current location. In 1837, Jonathan Hardin, after whom Hardin Township is named, settled in the Cadron Valley area near the Wileys and eventually became an influential landowner. Other families who settled in the area included the Hubbards, who settled near the current site of Greenbrier’s public schools on Greenbrier Creek, and Henderson Moore, …

Greene County

  For many years, Greene County’s main attraction, Crowley’s Ridge, was isolated because of swamplands on three sides: the St. Francis River bottoms to the north and east, and the Cache and Black River lowlands on the west. But drainage of the swampland led to growth in the area and, in recent years, many industries have located to the county. Its county seat of Paragould has been labeled as the safest city in Arkansas by the Arkansas Crime and Information Center. Pre-European ExplorationBeginning about 18,000 years ago, the melt water from the Laurentide glacier that covered much of North America created a sluiceway that “washed out” much of the soft sedimentary soil of the old Gulf of Mexico in the …

Greene County Courthouse (1888)

The 1888 Greene County Courthouse, located at 306 W. Court Street in Paragould (Greene County), is a three-story rectangular structure. The building exhibits the Italianate style in the low-pitched, hipped roofline; the square cupola supporting a clock tower; widely overhanging eaves with decorative brackets; and tall, narrow windows. The exterior also features Georgian Revival accents shown in the pediments on each side. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 11, 1976. The restored building is no longer used as a courthouse, but it houses the Paragould Regional Chamber of Commerce and is open to visitors. Greene County has changed county seats three times. The first county seat was located at a town called Paris …

Greene County Museum

The Greene County Museum in Paragould (Greene County) opened in 2008. The museum consists of fourteen themed rooms that are filled with artifacts from the county’s past, including items relating to school history, military, sports, Native Americans, and railroads. One of the rooms is dedicated to Governor Junius Marion Futrell, in whose former home the museum is based. Establishing a museum to house Greene County’s historical artifacts was a longtime goal of the Greene County Historical and Genealogical Society. In 2004, the group decided to hold a public meeting to discuss the possibility of opening a museum. To raise awareness of the need for a county museum, society members made presentations to local clubs and organizations. Other methods used to …