Entries - Starting with P

Pig Trail Scenic Byway

The “Pig Trail” is the name of a winding, mountainous byway between Fayetteville (Washington County) and Ozark (Franklin County), one used for decades by students from the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville and sports fans. A driver following the route travels on State Highway 16 southeast from Fayetteville just past Greasy Creek in Madison County to a junction called Brashears Switch, then turns right on the southbound State Highway 23 to Ozark and the intersection with U.S. Highway 64—some fifty-two miles. The Pig Trail Scenic Byway is a nineteen-mile stretch of this road located in the heart of the Boston Mountains, running through Ozark National Forest and over the Mulberry River. Today’s traveler is more likely to use the …

Piggott (Clay County)

Piggott, a thriving agricultural town in northeast Arkansas, has several claims to fame that have left their mark on the community. Among them are its relationship with American writer Ernest Hemingway, its selection as a site for filming the classic movie A Face in the Crowd, and its reputation as a “marrying mecca.” Established in 1882, the town had its origins in 1873, when Dr. James A. Piggott and some of his pioneering neighbors from Dow, Illinois, settled near the current town site. While Piggott was respected as a doctor, he endeared himself even more to his neighbors by successfully petitioning for a post office for the remote settlement. In those days, the area was dense forest broken only by …

Piggott National Guard Armory

The Piggott National Guard Armory at 775 East Main Street in Piggott (Clay County) was built in 1956 and reflects the “Type ‘Z-Z’ one unit” design developed by the Wittenberg, Delony & Davidson architectural firm of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Citizen-soldier militias have had a constant presence in the United States since the colonial era, but it was not until Congress passed the Militia Act of 1903—also known as the Dick Act for sponsor Senator Charles W. F. Dick, chairman of the Committee on the Militia—that the National Guard became an official partner in the nation’s armed services, receiving federal support for training, equipment, and wages. Arkansas’s state militia was organized into the Arkansas National Guard as a result of …

Piggott Post Office

The Piggott Post Office at 119 North Third Street in Piggott (Clay County) is a one-story, brick-masonry building constructed in 1937–38 and featuring a mural created through the U.S. Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture (later renamed the Section of Fine Arts), a Depression-era stimulus project that promoted public art. The post office was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1998. Little documentation exists regarding the building of the Piggott Post Office, but by the time construction on the new Piggott Post Office was three-quarters complete on November 1, 1937, the Section decided to seek permission to commission a mural for the building. According to a December 17, 1937, memo from the Section to …

Pike City (Pike County)

Pike City is in the southwest corner of Pike County approximately four miles northeast of Murfreesboro (Pike County). It is on Highway 379, a short stretch of road between Highways 26 and 27. It was originally a timber town, but little remains of the community. The town, like the county, was named for explorer Zebulon Pike. Pike City was founded in 1896 as a timber town, and settlers soon streamed in to work in the timber industry, as well as farm the land. Soon, a railroad was built from Okolona (Clark County) to Pike City. A road was built soon afterward. The Grayson-McLeod Lumber Company of St. Louis, Missouri, opened a large lumber mill, and houses and stores were built. …

Pike County

Pike County sports a greater geological diversity that any other part of the United States. It is also home to the Crater of Diamonds State Park, an ancient volcanic crater and the eighth largest diamond deposit in the world. This is the only site where the public can search and keep what they find. Pre-European Exploration through Early European Exploration About 100 million years ago, during the Mid-Cretaceous period, the Gulf of Mexico extended to the middle of Pike County. The southern half of the county was under water. A volcanic explosion occurred during this period, leaving a crater of about eighty acres in area. The turbulent rotations of the earth caused diamonds to be pushed up to the surface …

Pike County Archives and History Society

The Pike County Archives and History Society (PCAHS), located in Murfreesboro (Pike County) in southwestern Arkansas, houses research materials such as census records, manuscripts, maps, and photos. The PCAHS was established in 1986, developing out of the earlier Heritage Genealogy Club. According to its mission statement, the PCAHS “is dedicated to collecting and preserving the unique history of Arkansas and Pike County.” The first board of directors consisted of Marion W. (Dewayne) Gray, Linda Wilson, Jan McGalliard, and Bobbie Hendrix. Meetings were held at the library and municipal building (where archival materials were also stored) until the current location was secured in 2002. The archives house more than 500 Pike County record books dating from 1895, including early tax records, …

Pike County Courthouse

The Pike County Courthouse is located on Courthouse Square in the heart of downtown Murfreesboro (Pike County). It is situated along Highway 27 and is at the crossroads of the city. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the three-story building as architecturally and historically significant as the finest example of an Art Deco structure in Pike County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 16, 1986. The current Pike County Courthouse is the fourth to stand on the site. According to a historical marker on the courthouse lawn, the first was a log structure. It was built in 1836, the year of Arkansas’s admittance into statehood, and served county affairs until a fire destroyed it …

Pike-Fletcher-Terry House

aka: Arkansas Arts Center Terry House Community Gallery
The Pike-Fletcher-Terry House, located at 411 East 7th Street in the MacArthur Park Historic District of Little Rock (Pulaski County), has been widely recognized as an architectural landmark since its construction in 1840. It has housed several prominent Arkansas families and served as a school and museum. It also was the meeting place for the Women’s Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools (WEC) during the aftermath of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Although the house was remodeled several times, it retains much of its original Greek Revival character. The Pike-Fletcher-Terry house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 21, 1972. The builder of the house, Albert Pike, came to Arkansas from New …

Pike-Roane Duel

aka: Roane-Pike Duel
The Pike-Roane Duel was fought in 1847 between Albert Pike and John Selden Roane. Albert Pike was originally a Bostonian who left the Northeast to explore the West and eventually ended up in Arkansas on an expedition. He decided to stay, practicing law and becoming a prominent Arkansan. John Selden Roane, born in Tennessee, moved to Arkansas to study law and eventually was elected governor. Both Pike and Roane fought in the Mexican War in the 1840s. Pike was so disappointed with the Arkansas regiment’s performance in the Battle of Buena Vista (including events leading to the battlefield death of former Arkansas governor and congressman Archibald Yell) that he wrote a letter on March 8, 1847, to the editor of …

Pike, Albert

Albert Pike was a lawyer who played a major role in the development of the early courts of Arkansas and played an active role in the state’s politics prior to the Civil War. He also was a central figure in the development of Masonry in the state and later became a national leader of that organization. During the Civil War, he commanded the Confederacy’s Indian Territory, raising troops there and exercising field command in one battle. He also was a talented poet and writer. Albert Pike was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 29, 1809. He was one of the six children of Benjamin Pike, a cobbler, and Sarah Andrews. He attended public schools in Byfield, Newburyport, and Framingham, Massachusetts. …

Pike, Annie Zachary

Annie Zachary Pike is a farmer and community activist from Phillips County who became the first African-American appointee to a state board and was later appointed to a variety of federal organizations by President Richard M. Nixon. Annie Ruth Davidson was born on May 12, 1931, in Big Creek in Phillips County to Mississippi-born farmer Cedel Davidson and native Arkansan Carrie Washington Davidson. She was first educated at Trenton Elementary School in Trenton (Phillips County). Later, she attended the Consolidated White River Academy (CWRA), a co-educational boarding school founded in Monroe County by black Baptists in 1893. While at CWRA in the mid-to-late 1940s, Davidson was class secretary and president. She also played baseball and basketball and was a member …

Pike, Edward M.

Edward M. Pike was a sergeant in the Thirty-Third Illinois Infantry Regiment who received the Medal of Honor for rescuing an imperiled cannon during the 1862 Action at Hill’s Plantation in Arkansas. Edward M. Pike was born on July 1, 1838, at Raymond, Maine, the son of wealthy farmer Harrison N. Pike and Susan A. Pike. He was the oldest of their five sons and two daughters. By 1860, the family had moved to Bloomington, Illinois. After the Civil War began, Pike served in the Union army, as did several of his brothers. Twenty-four-year-old student Pike enlisted as an orderly sergeant in Company A of the Thirty-Third Illinois Infantry Regiment on August 21, 1861, at Bloomington. The Thirty-Third Illinois served …

Pilgrim, Cicero Osco

Cicero Osco Pilgrim was a self-taught African-American sculptor whose works express a highly personal and often humorous vision, showing little influence from African or European traditions. They have been collected by the Faulkner County Museum, numerous Conway families, and Hendrix College, where eleven items are on permanent display in the library. Cicero Pilgrim was born on December 4, 1927, into a black community near Wooster (Faulkner County). His mother was Beulah Wilson Walker Pilgrim; his father’s surname was Pilgrim, but his Christian name is unknown. Pilgrim’s education ceased after the third grade. On June 21, 1953, he married Lee Ethel McCray; they had eight children. On a small farm near his birthplace, he and his family raised farm animals, gardened, …

Pillow-Thompson House

aka: Jerome Bonaparte Pillow House
The Pillow-Thompson House is a Queen Anne–style house in Helena-West Helena (Phillips County). Constructed in 1896 by Jerome Bonaparte Pillow, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 7, 1973. It is also known as the Jerome Bonaparte Pillow House. Designed by George Barber, the house is the only Victorian home in the state with full-wood construction with the exception of the fireplaces and foundation. The house faces south and has two stories with several towers, turrets, and dormer windows. The house is very ornate with an irregular shape. The front of the house has a veranda that extends around the east side of the home with another small porch located on the west side of …

Pillstrom Tongs

Pillstrom Tongs were invented by Lawrence G. Pillstrom MD for the safe capture of snakes for scientific research. The company eventually began shipping these unique, safe herpetological tools all over the world. They are used by zoos, animal control agencies, specialty animal handlers, collectors, and others. The company expanded upon the line of original snake tongs and modified them to be used for hunting frogs, pruning trees, cooking outdoors, picking up aluminum cans, and more. In 1953, as a young student at what is now the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock (Pulaski County), Pillstrom began some early studies and medical research of snake venom and its effects. As a key part of his doctoral work, …

Pindall (Searcy County)

Named for the acting governor of Arkansas at the time, X. O. Pindall, the town of Pindall arose along the St. Louis and North Arkansas Railroad (later the Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad) early in the twentieth century. Pindall is in the northwestern corner of Searcy County about halfway between Marshall (Searcy County) and Harrison (Boone County) on U.S. Highway 65. When European exploration and settlement began in what would become the state of Arkansas, the northern hills of the future state were claimed as hunting and fishing land by the Osage, who lived to the north. Even after treaties removed the Osage from the land, white settlers were slow to come to the rugged hills of the Ozark Mountains. …

Pindall, Xenophon Overton

Xenaphon Overton Pindall—attorney, Mason, civic leader, Democrat, and legislator—served as acting governor of Arkansas from May 14, 1907, until January 11, 1909. Rising to the position through an improbable series of circumstances, Pindall focused on the administrative detail of the office and used the power of appointment to shape the policies of state government. X. O. Pindall was born on August 21, 1873, in Monroe County, Missouri, to Colonel Lebbeus A. and Elnorah Snell Pindall. His father was an attorney and later served in the Arkansas legislature. His mother was from a prominent Missouri family. He had three brothers, two of whom died in infancy and one who died at the age of sixteen. During the Civil War, Pindall’s father …

Pine Bluff (Jefferson County)

Like Jefferson County, Pine Bluff is a historical offspring of Arkansas Post (Arkansas County)—the first European foothold in Arkansas, founded in 1686 by the French and built near the mouth of the Arkansas River. The city thrived during the last part of the nineteenth century due to its status as a cotton center and river port. The city was hit hard, however, by flooding, drought, and economic depression in the early twentieth century, although World War II proved to be an economic boon to the city, which opened a munitions arsenal during the war. Despite possessing a rich history and being home to a university, the city was in decline by the beginning of the twenty-first century, facing population loss …

Pine Bluff Arsenal

The Pine Bluff Arsenal was established on November 2, 1941, eight miles northeast of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Built on 14,944 acres and named the Chemical Warfare Arsenal (changed to Pine Bluff Arsenal in 1942), the facility produced millions of magnesium and thermite incendiary munitions for World War II and experimented with microbiological pathogens for potential germ warfare. During the war years, the arsenal employed 10,000 civilians and was an operational base to 350 military personnel. It long served as a repository for World War II stockpiles of aging chemical warfare agents and now includes hundreds of operational and production facilities, primarily for white and red phosphorus munitions and smoke munitions. As World War II raged in Europe, and to …

Pine Bluff Confederate Monument

The Pine Bluff Confederate Monument is a commemorative sculpture erected in 1910 on the grounds of Pine Bluff High School by the David O. Dodd Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) to commemorate a young spy and the area men who had served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. It was later moved to the grounds of the Jefferson County Courthouse. In 1907, the David O. Dodd Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy—named for a young spy hanged in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1864—decided to join other chapters around the state in sponsoring a monument to honor the local men who had fought in the Confederate army. The Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) …

Pine Bluff Expedition (February 26–28, 1865)

aka: Skirmish at McMilley's Farm
  Following the fall of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) to Union forces in October 1863, Union commanders at the Pine Bluff garrison began expeditions aimed at scouting and securing areas around the city to remove remaining Confederate forces. Ordered to command an expeditionary force to scout the area north of the Arkansas River between Pine Bluff and a farm near the Wabbaseka (Jefferson County) area, Captain George Suesberry moved a force of sixty men from Pine Bluff to that area. During the movement, there was a brief engagement with Confederate forces. Late in the evening of February 26, 1865, Capt. Suesberry moved his force of sixty men across the Arkansas River to the northern bank with the intent to continue …

Pine Bluff Expedition (January 15–18, 1865)

  Ordered to lead an expedition to repair downed telegraph lines from the Union-held city of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), Lieutenant Charles Temple of Company M, Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry, moved his Union forces along the roads and farms around Pine Bluff from January 15 to January 18, 1865, returning to the Thirteenth Illinois Headquarters in Pine Bluff. During the expedition, there was no hostile contact with Confederate forces. On Sunday, January 15, 1865, Lt. Temple, along with an escort of thirty soldiers from the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry and a telegraph repair crew, began a movement along the Little Rock Road to repair telegraph lines that had been cut. The party advanced some twelve miles, at which point it discovered a …

Pine Bluff Film Festival

The Pine Bluff Film Festival was inaugurated in 1994 by local residents who wanted to honor the legacy of the silent film era and help revitalize downtown Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Since that time, the annual event screened silent classics (often accompanied by a symphony orchestra), hosted world-famous guest stars, expanded to two theaters, implemented a silent film competition, and encouraged film and theater restoration. It was hosted each year by two world-renowned cultural experts from New York who were with the festival since its inception. The festival was recognized internationally as one of the oldest silent film festivals in the United States and the only one that regularly presented silent films with full orchestral accompaniment. The festival originated with …

Pine Bluff Lynchings of 1892

On February 14, 1892, John Kelley (sometimes spelled Kelly) was lynched in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) for the murder of W. T. McAdams. At the time, Pine Bluff was the second-largest city in Arkansas. The black population in Jefferson County was seventy-three percent, and there were a number of prominent African-American landowners and merchants. The city boasted a black newspaper, as well as the state’s only college for African Americans, Branch Normal School (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff). According to the Arkansas Gazette, on the night of February 9, John Kelley and several accomplices allegedly murdered W. T. McAdams, an agent for the Obest Brewing Company and a highly respected Pine Bluff citizen. At 10:30 p.m., McAdams …

Pine Bluff National Guard Armory

The Pine Bluff National Guard Armory at 623 West Second Avenue in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) is a single-story, Art Deco–style structure built in 1931–1932. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 16, 2001. Citizen-soldier militias have had a constant presence in the United States since the colonial era, but it was not until Congress passed the Dick Act—sponsored by Senator Charles W. F. Dick, chairman of the Committee on the Militia—in 1903 that the National Guard became an official partner in the nation’s armed services, receiving federal support for training, equipment, and pay. Arkansas’s state militia was organized into the Arkansas National Guard as a result of the Dick Act. Seventeen armories—including the Mena …

Pine Bluff Street Historic District

The Pine Bluff Street Historic District is a residential area located in Malvern (Hot Spring County). The western edge of the district is the intersection of Pine Bluff Street and Gloster Court and concludes at 728 Pine Bluff Street, located between South Banks and McNeal streets. The district contains buildings on both the north and south sides of the street with the exception of a two-block section between Overman and Banks streets. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 16, 1999. At the time of the nomination, thirty-five buildings were included in the district, with twenty contributing structures. Two buildings that are individually listed on the National Register are included in the district: the …

Pine Bluff to DeValls Bluff, Scout from

aka: Skirmish at Pine Bluff (February 11, 1865)
The scouting expedition in February 1865 between Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and DeValls Bluff (Prairie County) was typical of many such operations carried out by the Union army during the duration of the war. Facing minor organized resistance, the Federal troopers easily defeated the small guerrilla bands opposing them. Skirmishes such as this were typical in the last days of the Civil War in Arkansas. Captain John Norris of the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry received orders to depart Pine Bluff on February 9 and proceed to DeValls Bluff. Accompanying the captain were seventy-five men, as well as a number of horses deemed unfit for active service. Although the area between the two Union posts was regularly patrolled by Confederate and guerrilla …

Pine Bluff Weekly Herald

Established in 1900 by Jesse Chisholm (J. C.) Duke, the Pine Bluff Weekly Herald was an African-American newspaper published in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). During its short run, the Herald published on Saturdays and featured local, state, national, and international news, as well as entertainment and advertising. To date, no records have surfaced to document how long the paper circulated, and only one issue, published on January 27, 1900, has been archived. However, some information is available about editor J. C. Duke. Born a slave in Alabama in 1853, Duke began his career in the newspaper business by serving as editor of the Montgomery Herald until he was chased out of the state because of his bold and controversial editorial …

Pine Bluff, Action at

The Action at Pine Bluff was fought on October 25, 1863, when Brigadier General John Sappington Marmaduke’s Confederate cavalry division attacked the small Union garrison under Colonel Powell Clayton that had occupied Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) following the capture of Little Rock (Pulaski County) on September 10, 1863. The purpose was to return the strategic initiative to the Confederacy. Marmaduke led a force of some 2,000 Rebels out of Princeton (Dallas County) on October 24 to assault the 1,200 to 1,500 Union troopers of the Fifth Kansas Cavalry and the First Indiana Cavalry, which were posted at Pine Bluff with their six artillery pieces. Marmaduke planned for Colonel Robert C. Newton’s division to approach Pine Bluff from the southeast while …

Pine Bluff, Affair near

  The Federal army expended considerable energy in maintaining control of Jefferson County and the surrounding area after the occupation of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) in late 1863. By 1865, patrols to discourage guerrilla bands who routinely created havoc were dispatched on a regular basis. These patrols, such as the one dispatched on March 4, 1865, were often on a mission to repair vital telegraph lines. At noon on March 4, thirty troopers of the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry under the command of Captain John H. Norris left Pine Bluff with orders to repair the area telegraph lines. After being hampered by high water, they discovered that the telegraph wires were intact. Earlier, Norris had received information that Confederate guerrillas were …

Pine Bluff, Seizure of U.S. Subsistence Stores at

The capture of Federal army supplies at Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) marked one of the first military actions in the state during the Civil War. Occurring before Arkansas officially left the Union, this seizure of supplies was not an operation of the Confederate army but rather of volunteer troops. With the secession of South Carolina in late 1860 and other Southern states in early 1861, Arkansas called a secession convention to determine if the state would follow. The Little Rock Arsenal was seized by volunteer forces in February 1861, before the convention could meet. After the convention convened in March, the first session ended with a vote to remain in the Union and a proposal to send the question to …

Pine Bluff, Skirmish at (January 9, 1865)

aka: Pine Bluff Expedition (January 7–9, 1865)
Federal outposts across Arkansas continued, in early 1865, to send out regular patrols to ascertain the movements and intentions of the enemy in an effort to keep organized resistance to a minimum. This engagement took place on January 9, 1865, during a Federal effort to capture a number of mules held by Confederate forces near Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). On January 7, Captain John Toppass of the Seventh Missouri Cavalry (US) received orders from his superiors to launch a scouting expedition to capture mules held nearby by the enemy. Organizing a group of 150 men, including fifty troopers from the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry and 100 from the Seventh Missouri, the patrol departed from Pine Bluff at 7:00 p.m. the same …

Pine Bluff, Skirmish at (July 22, 1864)

With the return of the Union forces to Little Rock (Pulaski County) after the Camden Expedition, Confederate forces took the initiative in southern Arkansas. While Federal units held Little Rock, Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), and other settlements along the Arkansas, White, and Mississippi rivers, Confederate units operated with ease between these settlements. Confederate forces took advantage of the relative isolation of Federal outposts to operate unchecked in the countryside between occupied cities. Union commanders responded by sending out patrols to disrupt Confederate organizational efforts. The Ninth Kansas Cavalry served in the District of the Frontier until July 2, 1864, when the unit received orders transferring it to Little Rock. The Kansans did not make a positive impression on their new …

Pine Bluff, Skirmish at (July 30, 1864)

By the summer of 1864, Federal forces held Little Rock (Pulaski County), Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), and several other posts along the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers. While most Confederate forces in the state were concentrated south of the Arkansas River, small units operated behind Union lines in an effort to disrupt and harass Federal occupiers. This skirmish is typical of the type of action fought during this period of the war in the state. Communication between Union commanders in Little Rock and the garrison at Pine Bluff relied on a telegraph line stretching between the two cities. On July 29, 1864, Second Lieutenant James Teale of the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry led forty men from Pine Bluff to repair the telegraph …

Pine Bluff, Skirmish at (June 17, 1864)

aka: Skirmish at Monticello Road (June 17, 1864)
A brief encounter between forces near Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), this skirmish is typical of the majority of fighting in the state. Two patrols from opposing forces brushed against one another in an effort to gain intelligence, leading to a short fight. Colonel Powell Clayton of the Fifth Kansas Cavalry commanded the Union post of Pine Bluff and regularly sent out patrols to gather information about Confederate movements in the area. Three patrols returned to Pine Bluff on June 16, 1864, one of which reported a Confederate cavalry brigade camped near “Connersville” (probably Cornersville in Lincoln County) and enemy pickets watching the road to Monticello (Drew County). These were the only Confederate forces reportedly in the area. One of the …

Pine Ridge (Montgomery County)

Pine Ridge of Montgomery County was originally the community of Waters. The name was changed in 1936 in honor of Lum and Abner, a popular radio show set in a fictional town of Pine Ridge, which was largely based on the people and characteristics of Waters. Henry M. Waters, a local businessman who also operated a sawmill and a gin, established a post office in his small store in 1886 and named the farming and logging community Waters. From the 1880s to the early 1900s, the town’s school and church operated in the same building. In 1904, A. A. McKinzie built a general store. In 1909, James Richard (Dick) Huddleston built the Huddleston General Store, which housed the post office …

Pine Ridge Community Cemetery

There are over 500 graves in the Pine Ridge Community Cemetery (originally Waters Cemetery) on Old Waters Highway in Pine Ridge (Montgomery County). Pine Ridge is between Oden (Montgomery County) and Cherry Hill (Polk County), one and a half miles east of the Montgomery-Polk county line on Arkansas Highway 88. The cemetery remains active in the twenty-first century. Most early settlers in the area were southern farmers and their families, traveling west by wagon train (farm wagons) throughout the 1800s. The valleys and streams fulfilled their needs, and so they stayed, as many descendants continued to do. The Ouachita National Forest constitutes over seventy percent of Montgomery County, so there is little industry other than farming, forestry, and tourism. The …

Pinehill Paper Mill Fire of 1899

When a thick bundle of letters, written in the early 1900s, came to light during a house renovation near Waldron (Scott County), city officials expressed dismay. State and county archives had long since reached capacity as the number of these discoveries mounted. Rather than serving as a valuable historical resource, the new-found bale was seen for what it was: evidence of hoarding, brought about by a lifestyle-altering fire that occurred in 1899. According to historians, in much the same way Civil War–era deprivations prompted families to reuse the salt-saturated soil in their smokehouses, after 1899 scrap paper was repurposed for a new, highly personal use. These precious pages, bundled together, were often secreted inside walls until needed in the family’s …

Pineville (Izard County)

Pineville, a small town located in northwest Izard County, was once a center of commerce and trade for area residents. Though most area residents farmed the land or raised cattle, timber harvesting also played a role in the growth of the settlement. Early settlers such as James, William, and Allen Whitfield were attracted to the White River valley for its rich farm land. By the 1830s, the military road that intersected with the road leading to Jacksonport (Jackson County) connected the area to the White and Black rivers, important trade routes. Robert Calvin Matthews, who settled in the area by 1860, was a major influence in the development of the settlement. He built the area’s first house and, in 1861, …

Pinnacle Mountain State Park

Pinnacle Mountain State Park is located in central Arkansas near the northeast corner of the Ouachita Mountains. The park’s namesake is the first prominent cone-shaped mountain encountered by early westward travelers as they emerged from the alluvial plains of east Arkansas. Its cone-like appearance has long beckoned travelers and residents alike to ascend its peak for breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Rising 756 feet from the adjacent flood plains, Pinnacle’s rocky peak reaches an elevation of 1,011 feet above sea level. The cone-shaped peak was first mentioned in the book A Journal of Travels into the Arkansas Territory During the Year 1819, written by naturalist Thomas Nuttall. During the colonial and early American periods, the mountain was …

Pippen, Scottie Maurice

Scottie Pippen is one of the most talented and successful athletes from the state of Arkansas. An essential member of the championship Chicago Bulls basketball team from the 1990s, Pippen was in 1996 named one of the “50 Greatest Players in NBA History.” During his seventeen seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA), he participated in the play-offs in all but his last season, was named to the NBA All-Star team seven times, and won six NBA championships, all with the Bulls; Pippen also has won gold medals with two Olympic basketball teams. Scottie Maurice Pippen was born on September 25, 1965, in Hamburg (Ashley County) to Preston and Ethel Pippen, the youngest of their twelve children. Pippen’s father worked …

Pirate Perch

The pirate perch (Aphredoderus sayanus) belongs to the order Aphredoderiformes (or by some sources, Percopsiformes) and family Aphredoderidae. There are two subspecies, A. s. sayanus and A. s. gibbosus. It is the only living member of the family and ranges from the Atlantic and Gulf slopes from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and New York south to the Gulf of Mexico and west to the Brazos River drainage, Texas. In Arkansas, A. sayanus occurs throughout the Coastal Plain physiographic region extending westward into the central areas of the state. It is quite rare in the Ozark uplands, and there are no records from the northwestern part of the state. The Aphredoderidae contains one fossil genus, Trichophanes, with possibly two of three valid …

Pisgah (Pike County)

Pisgah is a community located in Pike County about four miles south of Delight (Pike County) and four miles east of Billstown (Pike County). The first settlers to the area included Green Oldham, who obtained a federal land patent for about 200 acres of land in 1859 and 1860. Other early land owners included Andrew Stelle and John Harris, who arrived in the area around the same time, obtaining parcels of farmland. The name of the community came from the Bible and was chosen by early settlers who viewed the area as a promised land. A number of local men served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Many served in the Nineteenth Arkansas Infantry Regiment and were captured …

Pitman’s Ferry, Skirmish at

On October 27, 1862, Union Colonel William Dewey surprised Confederate Colonel John Q. Burbridge’s Brigade at Pitman’s Ferry (Randolph County). Dewey’s rapid combined-arms attack temporarily won control of the ferry and allowed for the reconnoitering of the Pocahontas (Randolph County) area. This was the last major Civil War engagement in Randolph County. The location of Pitman’s Ferry on the Current River made it an important possession for the antagonists in Arkansas. Settled by William Hix about 1803, the location served as the key entry point from Missouri on the Southwest Trail (also called the Military Road, Congress Road, or the Natchitoches Trace) into northeast Arkansas. Purchased by Dr. Peyton Robinson Pitman before Arkansas statehood, Pitman’s Ferry had a strategic importance …

Pittman, Jennie Carr

Jennie Carr Pittman was one of Arkansas’s most prominent and influential figures in the campaign to secure the prohibition of alcohol in the United States. A major force in the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), the nation’s largest temperance organization, she played a substantive role—at both the state and national level—in the group’s ultimately successful effort to help enact the Eighteenth Amendment. Jennie Carr was born on December 26, 1858 (some sources have it as 1856), in Fredonia—later called Biscoe (Prairie County)—to Charles Turner Carr and his second wife, Susan Wesley Capehart Carr. Not much is known about her youth. While she was christened Mildred Jane, she later went by the name Jennie Mildred Carr until her marriage. On her …

Pittman, Margaret

Margaret Pittman was known worldwide for her pioneering research into the microbiology and immunology of infectious diseases. Her work in developing a vaccine for whooping cough remains the scientific basis (with later improvements) for protecting the children of Arkansas and the world from this potentially deadly disease. Margaret Pittman was born near Prairie Grove (Washington County) on January 20, 1901, to James Pittman, a country doctor, and Virginia Alice McCormick. In 1909, the family moved to the village of Cincinnati (Washington County), where Margaret and her sister sometimes helped with administering anesthesia and vaccinating patients in their father’s practice. After his early death, Virginia Pittman took her children—Margaret, Mary Helen, and James—to Conway (Faulkner County), where she did dressmaking and …

Pittman, Montgomery

Montgomery Pittman was a television writer, director, and actor noted for writing the movie Come Next Spring set in a fictional version of Cushman (Independence County) in the 1920s. Other credits include writing and directing episodes of The Twilight Zone, Maverick, and 77 Sunset Strip. According to his California death certificate, Social Security records, and other official documents, Montgomery Cherlez Pittman was born in Louisiana on March 1, 1917; however, his World War II draft card gives his date of birth as March 1, 1920, and place of birth as specifically New Orleans. His parents’ names are often given as John Griffin Pittman and Mary Belle Thompson, but he is not listed as a member of their household in the …

Pittman, Samuel Pinckney

Samuel Pinckney Pittman came to prominence in northwestern Arkansas as a Confederate veteran, civic leader, Washington County official, memoir writer, and advocate for agricultural and educational interests. Born to James and Mary Pittman on June 27, 1836, ten miles southwest of Fayetteville (Washington County) in what is now Prairie Grove Township, Samuel Pinckney Pittman grew up on the family farm. He received an education at Ozark Institute in Mount Comfort (Washington County). After his father’s death in 1847, Pittman continued to farm and raise livestock. In 1858, Pittman married Sarah Boone. They had a son named William in 1859; he died of typhoid fever at the age of eighteen. Their daughter, Mary was born in 1866; she died in 1904. …

Pitts, Elijah Eugene

Elijah Eugene Pitts was a football player who grew up in Mayflower (Faulkner County), played at Philander Smith College, and starred for the Green Bay Packers in the first Super Bowl. He was one of the early black stars of the National Football League (NFL) from the segregated South and had a long career as a player and a professional coach. Elijah Pitts was born on February 3, 1938, one of two sons of Samuel and Gertha Pitts, who were sharecroppers on land near Mayflower. Since there was no nearby school for African Americans, he attended the Pine Street School in Conway (Faulkner County), which black children from Conway and surrounding communities attended before the schools were integrated in 1968. …