Entries - Starting with G

Greenville (Clark County)

The town of Greenville served as the Clark County seat from 1830 to 1842. The only physical remnants of Greenville’s existence are some foundation logs from a grist, saw, and cotton gin mill, which are visible beneath the water’s surface in Terre Noir Creek. A historical marker one mile west of Hollywood (Clark County) describes the location of Greenville as “1 & ½ miles south of this point.” The site sat on the Southwest Trail (later called the Military Road), and Greenville was one of the earliest towns in Clark County. The origin of Greenville’s name is unknown, though a store operated by Green Hughes in 1824 was in existence before it became the county seat. The town became Clark …

Greenway (Clay County)

Greenway is a city on U.S. Highway 49 in Clay County, three miles south of Piggott (Clay County). Built as a stop on the St. Louis and Texas Railroad, Greenway is one of the small agricultural centers of the Mississippi Delta region. Frequently flooded by the Mississippi River and shaken by the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811–1812, northeastern Arkansas remained sparsely settled until after the Civil War. The region consisted largely of swampland and hardwood forests, although a Military Road had been built across the region to link Missouri to Texas. Elihu and William Davis built a log cabin around 1837 in what would become the west side of Greenway, and a few other farming families also arrived and began …

Greenway, John Campbell

John Campbell Greenway was well known for his developments in the mining industry and was also one of a handful of soldiers with Arkansas connections to serve with Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, First Volunteer Cavalry, in the Spanish-American War. John Greenway was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on July 6, 1872, to Dr. Gilbert Christian Greenway and Alice White Greenway. He had four brothers and one sister. When he was a young child, his family moved to Hot Springs (Garland County). He lived there long enough to complete grade school in the city’s public school system. At that time, his family moved to Alexandria, Virginia. He continued his education, graduating from Alexandria’s Episcopal High School. He then attended Andover Academy in …

Greenwood (Sebastian County)

Greenwood was founded in 1851, when its location was selected for the first county seat of Sebastian County. Greenwood grew slowly, but it attained some importance as a business center by 1860. Finally, with the advent of World War II and the establishment of Camp Chaffee, Greenwood’s population and business district grew again to help Greenwood become a flourishing city of western Arkansas. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood In January 1851, Sebastian County commissioners met to discuss the building of a new town on the banks of the Vache Grasse Creek. In March, the commissioners met and named the new town Greenwood in honor of Judge Burton Greenwood. Greenwood was also named as the seat for Sebastian County, but in …

Greenwood Gymnasium

aka: Old Rock Gym
The Greenwood Gymnasium, at 300 East Gary Street in Greenwood (Sebastian County), is a sturdy stone structure built between 1937 and 1939 with assistance from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 15, 2011. The first school classes taught in the southern Sebastian County area where the town of Greenwood would be established began in 1870 in a one-room log building. Some classes were available by subscription at the Buckner College near Greenwood in the late 1870s and early 1880s, but students receiving a public education were assigned to Pleasant Ridge School District No. 12, which was based in Palestine. Greenwood’s population swelled with the …

Greenwood, Alfred Burton

Alfred Burton Greenwood was an early settler in Benton County who served in local, state, and national public offices for twenty years. During his career, he served as state representative, prosecuting attorney, circuit judge, U.S. congressman, and tax collector for the Confederacy. A. B. Greenwood, born in Franklin County, Georgia, on July 11, 1811, was the eldest of five children born to Hugh B. Greenwood, a carpenter and cabinetmaker, and Elizabeth Ingram Greenwood. Greenwood was educated in Lawrenceville and Athens, Georgia, where he studied the classics, and he graduated from the University of Georgia. At the age of eighteen, he began the study of law with William Izzard. Admitted to the bar at Monroe, Georgia, in 1832, Greenwood relocated to …

Greenwood, L. C.

L. C. Greenwood was professional football player who starred as a defensive lineman at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) and played thirteen years in the National Football League (NFL), leading the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowls in the 1970s. Born on August 8, 1946, in Canton, Mississippi, L. C. Henderson Greenwood was one of nine children. He started playing football at Rogers High School in Canton in order to avoid after-school chores.After graduating from high school in 1966, Greenwood received both academic and athletic scholarship offers. He turned down an offer to study pharmacy at Clarke College in Atlanta, Georgia, for the opportunity to play football in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) at Agricultural, Mechanical, and Normal …

Greer, Stuart

Stuart Greer is a popular character actor from El Dorado (Union County) with more than forty film and television credits to his name. His career began in 1994; in 2016, he suffered a stroke at the age of fifty-six. His first role was in a single episode of the British miniseries Crocodile Shoes; in 2016, he played the character Roman in AMC’s hit horror series The Walking Dead. Greer’s notable movies include I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), The Reaping (2007) with Hillary Swank, Homefront (2013) with Jason Statham, and American Ultra (2015). Stuart Greer was born on December 2, 1959, in El Dorado, and he lived there until he was eight years old. Greer graduated from Benton …

Greer, William Ezra

William Ezra Greer was a minister and civil rights and social activist in Arkansas in the 1960s and 1970s. Ezra Greer was born in Illinois around 1925, but a lack of documentation makes it impossible to identify his exact date of birth. Not much is known about his early life, but early on he became a minister with the Church of God in Christ. He became particularly active in the Church of God in Christ’s department of evangelism and directed the public relations efforts of the church. Greer also served as a “national evangelist” for the church and conducted revivals around the country. He appears to have been assigned to Alabama; settling in Birmingham in the early 1950s, he served …

Greers Ferry (Cleburne County)

Greers Ferry, established and incorporated in 1968, quickly grew to become the second-largest city in Cleburne County. Named for the dam and lake that were constructed between 1959 and 1964, the community was created by some of the displaced citizens of older towns and settlements of the area. It exists in the twenty-first century primarily as a center of tourist activity. Thomas C. Stark was the first settler to arrive in the area, establishing his homestead in the 1850s. Jess Pillam operated a store for settlers in the area, and, eventually, four tiny farming communities arose in the wooded area along the Little Red River in Cleburne County. Evening Shade, Post Oak, and Lone Pine each had one-room schoolhouses, and …

Greers Ferry Dam and Lake

Greers Ferry Dam on the Little Red River, approximately three miles north of Heber Springs (Cleburne County), is a concrete dam built between 1959 and 1962. The dam’s primary function is flood control, but it also serves as a hydroelectric power plant. Greers Ferry Lake, created as a result of the dam, is a popular recreational destination. The flow of the Little Red River was uncontrolled during the first half of the twentieth century, resulting in almost yearly flooding downstream; high water levels in the Little Red River could compound flooding problems further downstream along the White River. In 1938, Congress passed the Flood Control Act, which authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build dams on most of …

Greeson, Martin White

Martin White Greeson was an attorney and civic activist who spent most of his adult life advocating for the construction of a dam on the Little Missouri River. He believed that such a structure was critical both to flood prevention and economic development. While he did not live to see his dream come to fruition, the dam was completed not long after his death. The resulting Lake Greeson was named in his honor. Martin W. Greeson was born on November 7, 1866, in Clinton (Van Buren County). He was one of two children of Hartwell and Louisa Greeson, and he had two half-sisters from his father’s previous marriage. He received his early education in the local schools, and he himself …

Gregg, Lafayette

One of the most enigmatic, if relatively unknown, figures in Arkansas history is Judge Lafayette Gregg. Gregg was a member of one of the pioneering families in northwest Arkansas and was involved in one way or another in nearly every major historical event in Arkansas history that happened during his lifetime. Although most remembered as an instrumental figure in the location of Arkansas Industrial University—later the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County)—in northwest Arkansas, he was also a banker, lawyer, state representative, Civil War veteran, and Arkansas Supreme Court justice. At the time of his death, Gregg was in service to Arkansas helping prepare the state’s exhibition for the 1893 World’s Fair. Lafayette Gregg was born on February …

Gregory, Dick (Arrest of)

In February 1964, African-American satirist Dick Gregory was jailed in the Jefferson County Jail in Pine Bluff for attempting to eat at a segregated restaurant. Gregory, an internationally celebrated entertainer who rose to prominence in the 1960s, was also actively engaged in the civil rights movement. He was arrested a number of times in demonstrations and protests, although his arrest in Arkansas has been much less publicized. The events leading to Gregory’s arrest began on Sunday night, February 16, 1964, when he was in Pine Bluff talking to members of the Pine Bluff Movement, a local organization affiliated with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). SNCC had established a foothold in Arkansas in October 1962 when it sent white civil …

Grey, William Henry

William Henry Grey emerged as a leader of African Americans in Arkansas after he settled in Helena (Phillips County) in 1865. Never a slave himself, he was a tireless fighter for the rights of freedmen. His involvement in politics included being a Republican member of the 1868 state constitutional convention and a member of the Arkansas General Assembly, as well as serving as the Commissioner of Immigration and State Lands. In 1872, he became the first African American to address a national nominating convention, seconding the nomination of Republican presidential candidate Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. He was also the first Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge (Colored) of Free and Accepted Masons of Arkansas, established in 1873 from the merger …

Grice, Geleve

Capturing some of the most powerful aspects of African-American life from the mundane to the sublime, Geleve Grice established himself as Arkansas’s most prolific photographer for more than six decades. From his studio in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), Grice produced thousands of photographs over the years for a variety of special occasions, including weddings, funerals, and school graduations. Although some of his more high profile photographs were featured in national publications, the heart of Grice’s work highlighted the common people and events of southeast Arkansas. Geleve Grice was born on January 16, 1922, in Tamo (Jefferson County), a small farming town located fifteen miles from Pine Bluff. At the age of thirteen, Grice moved with his parents, Toy and Lillie, …

Grider Army Air Field

Grider Army Air Field was a World War II Army Air Corps training facility located in Jefferson County. Named posthumously in honor of World War I pilot John McGavock Grider of Osceola (Mississippi County), it opened on March 22, 1941. Today, the field survives as southeast Arkansas’s first modern municipal airport, encompassing 850 acres. It is located nearly six miles southeast of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), off Highway 65 South and north of U.S. Highway 425. Construction on the airfield was set in motion in late November 1940, as voters had approved a $200,000 bond issue and city officials garnered a $107,320 grant from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA). Several factors led to the genesis of southeast …

Grider, John McGavock

Mississippi County native John McGavock Grider was one of a small number of U.S. pilots who served with the British Royal Air Force in World War I. Shot down in 1918, he is best known for an airfield named in his honor and the postwar publication of a version of his diary by a comrade who initially made no mention of Grider as the author of the account. John McGavock Grider, the only son of William H. Grider and Sue Grider, was born on May 18, 1892, at Sans Souci plantation near the community of Grider (Mississippi County). As a young man, he followed in his father’s footsteps as a farmer. On March 29, 1909, he married Marguerite Samuels, with …

Gridiron

The Gridiron Show is a satirical musical production that makes good-natured fun of prominent people in politics, business, the judiciary, and the legal profession. It is presented biennially in Little Rock (Pulaski County) by Gridiron Productions, Inc., a nonprofit corporation composed of lawyers and others associated with the legal profession. All cast members are either lawyers or connected to the legal profession by employment, family ties, or friendship, and all are unpaid. The director, choreographer, musical director, and band are paid professionals. The script is written by a group called the Clandestine Committee. The Gridiron Show was first presented in 1916 by members of what was then the Little Rock Bar Association at a Gridiron luncheon. The luncheon was held …

Griffin Auto Company Building

The Griffin Auto Company building was considered the finest car dealership building in the city of El Dorado (Union County) when it opened in 1928. The building exemplifies the architectural transition from the traditional storefront showrooms to super service stations. The Murphy Arts District (MAD) purchased the Griffin building in 2012, restoring and converting it into a farm-to-table restaurant and music venue. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 25, 2001, and included in the El Dorado Commercial Historic District on August 21, 2003, the Griffin Auto Company Building is located at 117 E. Locust, two blocks from El Dorado’s courthouse square. Its boxy, symmetrical massing was originally divided into three sections: a filling station, a showroom, …

Griffithville (White County)

  Griffithville is a town in southeastern White County. It is located at the intersection of State Highways 11 and 385. The first settler in the area that became Griffithville is recorded in census records only as C. Brewer. He owned about 1,500 acres, most of which was forested, but he cultivated about 100 acres and owned about 100 slaves. About a dozen families came from Tennessee in the 1850s to clear land and farm near Brewer’s land. Ten men from the area enlisted at Searcy (White County) in the Confederate army during the Civil War; all ten returned home at the end of the war. The first school was built in the area around 1867. The teacher was Joshua …

Griggs, Mildred Barnes

Mildred Barnes Griggs served as professor and dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and is a nationally recognized leader in the field of home economics. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2015. Mildred Barnes was born in Marianna (Lee County) on March 11, 1942. After graduating from Robert R. Moton High School in Marianna, she studied at Arkansas AM&N College in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County)—which is now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB)—graduating in May 1963 with a degree in education. She earned graduate degrees, including a doctorate, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1967 and 1970. After joining the faculty in 1970, she …

Grisham, John

John Grisham is an internationally known bestselling author of legal thrillers and of one fictionalized account of his childhood in Arkansas, A Painted House. Many of his books have been made into popular Hollywood movies. John Grisham was born in Jonesboro (Craighead County) on February 8, 1955, to John Grisham and Wanda Skidmore Grisham. At the time, his parents were helping the extended family on the cotton farm near Black Oak (Craighead County). When Grisham was four years old, the family began following his father’s construction jobs, including spending three years in Parkin (Cross County), before eventually settling in Southaven, Mississippi, though he and his four siblings came to the Black Oak farm to spend the summers with their grandparents. …

Griswold, Nathaniel Robadeau (Nat)

The Reverend Nathaniel R. Griswold worked toward greater education, tolerance, and spiritual understanding in Arkansas for more than four decades. He was a Methodist minister, professor of religion, community organizer, and leader of regional efforts at racial reconciliation and integration as the executive director of the Arkansas Council on Human Relations (ACHR). Nathaniel Robadeau Griswold was born on March 15, 1901, in rural Columbia County into the farming family of R. W. Griswold and Clara Griswold. He had three brothers and one sister. After attending public school, he went on to Henderson-Brown College in Arkadelphia (Clark County) before attending Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, where he received a BD and an MA. He continued graduate studies at the Teacher’s College …

Gross, Tabbs

Tabbs Gross was a former slave who, as a lawyer and newspaper publisher, played an active role in Arkansas politics during Reconstruction. A political gadfly, he worked hard to secure greater influence within the Republican Party for the newly freed and enfranchised African-American population. Tabbs Gross was born a slave in Kentucky in 1820. Purchasing his freedom prior to the Civil War, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he aided slaves using the Underground Railroad, both there and in New England. He also served in Cincinnati’s Black Brigade during the war. After the war, Gross continued his efforts on behalf of the former slaves, serving as the head of a local “Committee to Get Homes for Refugees.” He soon decided …

Group, The

The Group, Inc., is an intentional community (or commune) that was established at two locations in rural Arkansas before relocating to Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the mid-1970s. In Little Rock, they established a number of successful businesses, including the Internet service provider Aristotle, Inc. In 1964, a group of high school students from Odessa, Texas, formed a musical group named after their leader, Dixon Bowles. They grew in popularity, practicing and playing around Texas. Later, in Hollywood, they met with Dan Blocker, the actor who played Hoss in the television show Bonanza. In 1966, Blocker, who was originally from Odessa and knew of the group, let them use his name. Living in Hollywood, the Dan Blocker Singers became popular …

Grubbs (Jackson County)

  The city of Grubbs is in eastern Jackson County, near the Cache River. Founded as an agricultural center, the city—with the help of the railroad—became a lumber town for a time. In the twenty-first century, the focus of Grubbs is again agricultural. A Church of Christ congregation was established in eastern Jackson County in 1877. The congregation was first known as Robinson’s Chapel. Citizens of the area appealed to the county government to create Grubbs Township, and the county did so in 1884. The name of the township and the developing community came from farmer and politician James C. Grubbs, whose home was used as the first voting precinct of the township. A post office, established in 1888, was also named for …

Guedetonguay

aka: Guedelonguay
aka: Quedetongue
Guedetonguay was a Quapaw Indian leader in the mid-eighteenth century who was the most important contact between the Quapaw and French colonial officials in Louisiana. In 1752, the Quapaw lived along the lower Arkansas River near the Mississippi River. Their population had been greatly reduced, mainly through disease, since the arrival of French settlers in Louisiana. They were still considered important allies of French colonial authorities in New Orleans, however, even though they were able to muster only about 150 men to serve in military engagements and war parties. Guedetonguay was made medal chief of the Quapaw in 1752 by Paul Augustin Le Pelletier de La Houssaye, who was then commander of Arkansas Post (Arkansas County). He became the principal …

Guion (Izard County)

Guion, located on the east bank of the White River in Izard County, was home to some of the area’s first settlers and was once a center of area trade. Established as a river landing, the small town is home to the state’s largest underground industrial sand mines. Around 1810, Don Wilson and his three sons settled near Rocky Bayou, a small stream that ran into the White River near the present town. The banks of the White River were deemed suitable for a landing, and the area soon began to develop, with one of the area’s first post offices located nearby. The landing was originally called Wild Haws Landing, named for a type of bush that grew in abundance. …

Gulley, Louis Corneil

Louis Corneil Gulley was a civil servant and avid collector whose efforts helped the Arkansas History Commission (now the Arkansas State Archives) amass significant collections of territorial and early state documents, as well as artifacts of World War I. Born in Jacksonport (Jackson County) on April 1, 1871, Louis C. Gulley was the eldest of eleven children of Ransom and Louanna Gulley. Gulley’s father was a prominent public figure in late nineteenth-century Arkansas. In 1898, he graduated with a law degree from Arkansas Industrial University in Fayetteville (Washington County), now the University of Arkansas (UA). He served briefly as boys’ supervisor at the Arkansas School for the Blind in 1899. That same year, Gulley opened a bookstore with a partner …

Gulley, Ransom

Ransom Gulley was an educator, lawyer, entrepreneur, and politician who lived much of his life in Independence and Izard counties. Ransom Gulley was born on a farm near Raleigh, North Carolina, on January 24, 1839, one of at least seven children of John G. Gulley and Mary Gulley. Gulley was educated at home by a private tutor. In 1860, he studied law in Tennessee. In January 1862, Gulley enlisted in the Confederate army at Pocahontas (Randolph County), joining the Seventh Arkansas Infantry Battalion, Company C, also called Desha’s Battalion. When the battalion reorganized as the Eighth Arkansas Infantry in May 1862, Gulley was discharged. According to his service record, he reenlisted in March 1863 at Fort Caswell in North Carolina …

Gum Springs (Clark County)

Gum Springs is located five miles south-southwest of the Clark County seat of Arkadelphia. It is thought to have received its name due to a spring located near a gum tree on the original plot of land. In the mid-twentieth century, the town rose from a farming community to become an industrial center in Clark County. Today, Gum Springs has dwindled to a small rural town, as have many of the neighboring towns. Little is known about the origins of the town, other than the fact that the Clark County poor farm was established near the eventual town site in 1887, and a post office was established in February 1889 under the direction of postmaster Henry Gerrell. In the early …

Gunn, Paul Irving “Pappy”

Paul Irvin “Pappy” Gunn was a Quitman (Cleburne and Faulkner counties) native whose innovative alterations to aircraft to increase their firepower played a significant role in the American victory in the Pacific during World War II. Paul Gunn was born on October 18, 1899, in Quitman, one of six children of blacksmith Nathaniel Hezekiah Gunn and Laura Litton Gunn. As a teenager, he became interested in airplanes after he read about the fighter pilots serving in Europe. He registered for the World War I draft on September 12, 1918. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in the waning days of the war and served as an aviation mechanist’s mate, learning the technical skills he would later use in World War …

Gunter, James Houston (Jim), Jr.

Lawyer and politician James Houston Gunter Jr. was a prosecutor and judge for thirty-six years in the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century, spending the final eight years of his public career as a justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court. He retired after one term on the Supreme Court and returned to a private law practice and cattle farming. James Gunter was born on March 8, 1943, in Atlanta, Texas, the oldest of four children of James H. Gunter Sr. and Helen Marie Long Gunter. His father went into the U.S. Army when Gunter was an infant, and he and his mother lived with his grandmother until World War II ended. The family lived in Arkansas on the farm …

Gunter, Thomas Montague

Thomas Montague Gunter was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. From 1874 to 1883, he represented first the Third District of Arkansas and then later, due to redistricting, the Fourth District. His service began in the Forty-Third Congress and extended through the Forty-Seventh Congress. Thomas M. Gunter was born on September 18, 1826, near McMinnville, Tennessee. The son of John Gunter and Lavina Thomason Gunter, he pursued classical studies and graduated from Irving College in Tennessee in 1850. After graduation, he taught school for a year in Alabama. With his earnings, he began to study law, a course he continued when he moved to Arkansas in 1852. There, he began to work and study under a relative, …

Gurdon (Clark County)

Gurdon is a second-class city located in southern Clark County. Incorporated in 1880, Gurdon has served as an important railroad stop and center for the timber industry in southern Arkansas. The first settlers arrived in the area around 1819. Captain Robert Tate, his siblings, and other family members were the first group to travel up the Ouachita River and arrive in the area. Each purchased several hundred acres of land from the government land office located in Washington (Hempstead County). This initial purchase included the land where Gurdon now stands. The population grew slowly, and in 1836, Meriwether Lewis Randolph, grandson of Thomas Jefferson, arrived in the area. He bought several thousand acres of land near the present-day location of …

Gurdon Jail

The Gurdon Jail is a small structure located in the former timber boom town of Gurdon (Clark County). It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 24, 1989. It stands derelict in the twenty-first century. Gurdon was incorporated in 1880. The timber town was founded on the Cairo and Fulton Railroad, and the addition of another line to Camden (Ouachita County) and a third to Montgomery County in 1906 brought hundreds to the community. The growing population attracted numerous businesses to the town, as well as crime. While major criminals were transported to Arkadelphia (Clark County), locals arrested for petty offenses often remained in their community, creating the need for a jail in Gurdon. The Gurdon …

Gurdon Light

The Gurdon Light is a mysterious floating light above the railroad tracks near Gurdon (Clark County), which was first sighted during the 1930s. Many theories and stories exist to explain the light, including one which connects it the 1931 murder of William McClain, a railroad worker. The popular local legend drew national attention in December 1994, when NBC’s Unsolved Mysteries television show documented the phenomenon. Gurdon is located approximately eighty-five miles south of Little Rock (Pulaski County) on Interstate 30, just east of the Interstate on Highway 67. The light appears along a stretch of railroad tracks outside of the town. Some people believe the light originates from the reflection of headlights of cars off of Interstate 30. However, the …

Guthridge, Amis Robert

Amis Robert Guthridge was a Little Rock (Pulaski County) attorney and businessman best known for his role in organizing resistance to school desegregation in Hoxie (Lawrence County) in 1955 and at Little Rock Central High in 1957. Though he first gained national notoriety as the lead spokesman for these anti-integration campaigns, Guthridge’s activist career began in the late 1940s when he held prominent positions in the “Dixiecrat” Party and the anti-union Arkansas Free Enterprise Association. Indeed, Guthridge’s passion for rolling back what he saw as the “socialistic” takeover unleashed by the New Deal was equal to and integral to his passion for maintaining racial segregation. Amis Guthridge was born in Hot Springs (Garland County) in 1908 to Arthur and Myrtle …

Guy (Faulkner County)

Guy was founded by T. J. Rowlett in 1848. Rowlett settled near Cadron Creek, approximately fourteen miles north of Conway (Faulkner County). Originally a small settlement consisting of just one family, Guy grew steadily over the years. The rural city relies primarily on agriculture and local businesses for its livelihood. Civil War through Reconstruction In 1865, the Martin and Gentry families joined Rowlett’s settlement, quickly followed by Jacob Hartwick. These three families were a part of a post–Civil War influx of families into the area. As people began to relocate after the war, many moved into Faulkner County, including to what is now Guy, because the area had not suffered as much damage from the war as other areas. As …

Guy High School Gymnasium

The Guy High School Gymnasium, located in the Guy-Perkins School District complex at 492 Highway 25 in Guy (Faulkner County), is a single-story, rectangular building constructed around 1937 with assistance from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 10, 1992. School consolidation in Faulkner County in 1929–30 led to the creation of the Guy-Perkins School District No. 34 when the Guy, Rowlette, Perkins, Chinquapin, and Hendrickson districts, all in Faulkner County, were merged. The consolidated district decided to pursue funding for a new gymnasium at its Guy complex through President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. The district’s application to the WPA was successful, and a card …

Guy Home Economics Building

The Guy Home Economics Building, located in the Guy-Perkins School District complex at 492 Highway 25 in Guy (Faulkner County), is a single-story, Craftsman-style building constructed around 1936 with assistance from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 10, 1992. School consolidation in Faulkner County in 1929–30 led to the creation of the Guy-Perkins School District No. 34 when the Guy, Rowlett, Perkins, Chinquapin, and Hendrickson districts, all in Faulkner County, were merged. The fledgling district decided to pursue funding through President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal for a building to house its home economics program at its Guy complex. The district’s 1935 application to the …

Guy v. Daniel

aka: Abby Guy v. William Daniel
Abby Guy v. William Daniel was a freedom suit and racial identity case brought before the Arkansas Supreme Court in January 1861. The case originated in the Ashley County Circuit Court in July 1855 when Abby Guy sued William Daniel, whom she said wrongfully held her and her children in slavery. According to Guy, she and her family were free white people. After a jury decided in favor of Guy, Daniel appealed the case to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which, in the end, declined to overturn the lower court’s verdict. Guy and her children were freed. Racial identity trials, in which the outcome rested on whether or not one party was white, were not unusual in the South. Guy v. …

Gwaltney, Francis Irby

Francis Irby Gwaltney prospered as an author in the 1950s, writing some of the most significant novels dealing with the South. He was a scholar, a professor, and a longtime friend of Norman Mailer, with whom he conducted an extensive correspondence after meeting him in the army during the Luzon Campaign in the Philippine Islands sometime after 1944. Gwaltney’s most famous work, The Day the Century Ended, is regarded as a courageous account of the social conditions in the South and one that captures the spirit of Arkansas in particular. Francis Gwaltney was born on September 9, 1921, in Traskwood (Saline County), thirteen miles south of Benton (Saline County). His father, a physician, died in February 1923. His mother, Mary …

Gwatney, Bill

Bill Gwatney was an Arkansas business and political leader who served in the Arkansas Senate for a decade and was later appointed chair of the state Democratic Party. His 2008 murder at Democratic Party headquarters made national and international headlines. William Alan Gwatney was born on August 26, 1959, to Harold and Syble Gwatney in Jacksonville (Pulaski County), where his father owned the city’s first Chevrolet dealership. After graduating from Jacksonville High School in 1977, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). Following graduation, he joined the family business of operating three car dealerships in Pulaski County, and he ultimately served as CEO of Gwatney Chevrolet in Jacksonville. He …

Gypsum Mining

Gypsum is a mineral (CaSO4·2H2O) that occurs in nature as both a mineral and, when in massive form, a rock. Massive deposits are present as sedimentary beds of varying thickness in the subsurface within the Trinity Group in southwest Arkansas. Gypsum beds dip gently to the south, being part of the Early Cretaceous Gulf Coast series of sedimentary deposits. The gypsum-bearing De Queen limestone member of the Trinity Group is exposed in a narrow belt extending from the Little Missouri River in Pike County westward through Howard and Sevier counties, and dips gently to the south. The thickest single gypsum bed (at twelve feet) is at Plaster Bluff (Pike County). A significant operation near Briar (Howard County) mines five beds …