Entries - Starting with T

Tull (Grant County)

  Tull is a town in northwestern Grant County. Incorporated in 1966, Tull had already been an established community for more than 100 years. It is best known as the location of Old Folks’ Singing, an annual event that has been held every May since 1885. Tull is named for the John, Arch, and Abe Tull family, who made their homes in the area by 1841. Other early settlers include Henry Bennett, George Keesee, James Cox, Isma Kellum, Lott Williams, and Eli Lindsey, a pioneer in Arkansas Methodism. Charlie Jordan operated a horse-powered cotton gin in the area between 1836 and 1860. Ephraim Burrow operated a water-powered mill between 1845 and 1860. Jim Barnes had a tanning yard said to …

Tunica

aka: Tunican Indians
The Tunica were one of several Native American tribes situated in the Lower Mississippi River Valley during the French colonial period. As allies of the French colonial Louisiana government, the Tunica were involved in many of the turbulent events that took place between the start of the Louisiana colony and the Louisiana Purchase by the United States. As a result, their population was severely reduced in numbers during this century, and they moved their villages repeatedly, generally downstream, until settling near present-day Marksville, Louisiana, about 1790. Tribal traditions and early colonial historic reports do not give a clear picture of Tunica ancestral homelands and cultural traditions. There is evidence, however, to indicate that the Tunica resided, at least in part, …

Tupelo (Jackson County)

  Tupelo is an incorporated town located in the southern tip of Jackson County along a sandy ridge that runs along the edge of the White River bottoms from Augusta (Woodruff County) north to Jacksonport (Jackson County). Located about eighteen miles south of Newport (Jackson County), the town was at one time a station on the narrow gauge Batesville and Brinkley Railroad (B&B). The railroad allowed local crops, especially cotton and timber, to be shipped to market. Micajah B. McCoy came to the area from South Carolina in the early 1840s. Acquiring both land and influence, McCoy represented Jackson County in the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1844 and 1845, and his plantation was called “Tupelo.” McCoy obtained land patents granted under …

Turkey Creek (Stone County)

Turkey Creek is a valley of rugged, rocky soil, isolated in the hills. It is located at the intersection of Highway 9 and Brushy Creek Road, almost nine miles southwest of Mountain View, the seat of Stone County. Fox (Stone County) is five miles north-northwest, and Rushing (Stone County) is about four miles southwest. The community is named for the creek that flows nearby and joins Brushy Creek. The Turkey Creek pour-off, or waterfall, is a popular sight for visitors to the area. Settlers began subsistence farming along Turkey and Brushy creeks following the Civil War. The passage of the Homestead Act in 1862 encouraged a few hardy farmers to make claims along the Little Red River at Meadowcreek (Stone …

Turkey Trot Festival

Turkey Trot is an annual festival held in Yellville (Marion County) on the second weekend in October, all day Friday and Saturday. Like many Arkansas festivals, Turkey Trot was founded to draw attention to local natural resources as well as to provide community entertainment. However, it has also been a source of controversy due to the treatment of turkeys during the festival. The festival originated just before Thanksgiving in 1946, when Yellville’s American Legion post, with help from local businessmen and professionals, sponsored a National Turkey Calling Contest and Turkey Trot. The day’s activities were intended to be a wild turkey–conservation activity, calling attention to Arkansas’s dwindling turkey population, which by the mid-1940s had dropped to only 7,000, very few of …

Turnbo, Silas Claiborne

Silas Claiborne Turnbo was a former Confederate soldier who spent much of his life collecting reminiscences of life in the Ozark Mountains. These tales are preserved in several archival institutions and provide important primary source information on the region. Silas Turnbo was born on May 26, 1844, on Beaver Creek in Taney County, Missouri, one of eight children of the farming family of James C. Turnbo and Eliza Turnbo. By 1862, the family was living in Arkansas in Marion County, and the young Turnbo enlisted as a private in Company A, Twenty-Seventh Arkansas Infantry, in June 1862, at Yellville (Marion County). He rose to the rank of third sergeant in 1863 but resigned that rank on January 31, 1864, and …

Turner Bell, Debbye

aka: Debrah Lynn Turner
Debrah Lynn (Debbye) Turner Bell, who grew up in Jonesboro (Craighead County), was crowned Miss America 1990. After her reign as Miss America, she became a veterinarian, has appeared on national television, and is a motivational speaker on youth-related and Christian topics. “Debbye” Turner was born on September 19, 1965, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Gussie Turner and Frederick Turner Jr., who was stationed there in the military. As a child, she set her goal to become a veterinarian but recognized the financial challenges ahead, especially after her parents’ divorce. Living in Jonesboro with her sister, Suzette, and her mother, who became an academic counselor at Arkansas State University (ASU), Turner took a fast food job at age sixteen, moving later …

Turner, William (Lynching of)

Nineteen-year-old William Turner was lynched in Helena (Phillips County) on November 18, 1921, for allegedly attacking a young white girl. According to newspaper accounts, it was the first lynching in Helena. Early on the morning of November 18, Turner allegedly attacked a teenaged girl as she was walking to her job at the telephone exchange. He was arrested and placed in the jail, which adjoined the courthouse. According to the Arkansas Gazette, local citizens, in a state of “suppressed excitement,” began to gather near the courthouse during the afternoon. In an attempt to protect Turner from harm, two deputy sheriffs put him into a car shortly after dark to take him to jail in nearby Marianna (Lee County). They were …

Turney Wood Products, Inc.

In 1946, Claude H. Turney opened Turney Wood Products, Inc. (TWP) in Harrison (Boone County). It began operation in a garage, building furniture for the First Church of the Nazarene in Harrison. For more than twenty years, TWP used hardwood lumber—mainly red and white oak—from the surrounding Ozark Mountain forests to manufacture laminated church furniture, including pews, altars, pulpits, and lecterns. According to a 1965 company newsletter, “Operating in every timber activity from the forest to the finished product…this company has become the largest exclusive church furniture manufacturer in the western hemisphere.” The company closed in 1968. In the mid-1950s, TWP employed more than 100 workers. The company eventually grew to employ more than 300, with three plants for different phases …

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge near Eureka Springs (Carroll County) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing lifetime homes for abandoned, abused, and neglected big cats and other endangered wildlife. With over 450 acres and more than 120 exotic cats, the refuge is one of the largest big cat sanctuaries in North America licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The sanctuary is rated a “Must See” attraction by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and is one of the most popular destinations in the Eureka Springs area. Don Jackson, a former employee of the Dallas Zoo, along with his wife, Hilda, and their daughter, Tanya Smith, founded the refuge in 1992. After a friend acquired a lion cub and realized …

Turrell (Crittenden County)

  Turrell is an incorporated city located along Interstate 55 in northern Crittenden County, about five miles south of the border with neighboring Mississippi County. The town first coalesced in the 1880s around timber-cutting operations owned by Wisconsin native Fletcher E. Turrell, for whom the town is named. Turrell ran the Turrell-Lily Lumber Company, among other local business ventures, and also served as the first postmaster. Aided by the presence of a railroad constructed in 1883, other timber-related businesses thrived at Turrell throughout its history until the cleared forest acreage was utilized as farmland, as it is today. Well before the construction of the railroad, Native Americans once had an established village and built several mounds at what is now …

Tutt-Everett War

aka: King-Everett War
The Tutt-Everett War began as a struggle over political power in Marion County in the 1840s. Though centrally involving the Tutt and Everett families, the contest attracted many county residents to one side or the other. It spanned nearly a decade of increasingly violent confrontations, claiming the lives of up to fourteen people. The Arkansas legislature created Marion County in 1836. In its early politics, the Everetts and their supporters became identified with the Democratic Party, while the Tutts and their supporters were associated with the Whig Party. The two sides clashed repeatedly as they competed for electoral office and thus control of the county. Driving the conflict was the knowledge that if “their side” held political power, one could …

Twelfth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Twelfth Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in both the Western and Trans-Mississippi theaters during the American Civil War. Composed of companies and men primarily from Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Ouachita, and Sevier counties, the regiment was organized on July 27, 1861, in Arkadelphia (Clark County) by Congressman Edward Gantt. The troops elected Gantt as colonel, W. D. Cook as lieutenant colonel, and Thomas J. Reid as major. The regiment crossed the Mississippi River and garrisoned Columbus, Kentucky, during the Battle of Belmont in Missouri. Afterward, it transferred to New Madrid, Missouri, serving as garrison of Fort Thompson, along with the Eleventh Arkansas Infantry, operating as pickets in front of New Madrid. In March …

Twelfth Arkansas Infantry Battalion (CS)

aka: Rapley's Sharpshooters
The Twelfth Arkansas Infantry Battalion was a Confederate unit that served in both the Western and Trans-Mississippi Theaters during the American Civil War. The battalion consisted of men from across the state of Arkansas and selected from Colonel Thomas P. Dockery’s Arkansas infantry brigade. Its appointed field officer was Major William F. Rapley of Little Rock (Pulaski County). The battalion organized on June 11, 1862, at Priceville, Mississippi, in accordance with General Order No. 39, calling for the creation of a battalion of sharpshooters for each brigade in the Army of the West. Requirements insisted that it be made of “chosen men, able bodied, active, and good rifle shots and of tried courage.” These battalions were intended to become the …

Twelve Corners (Benton County)

The community of Twelve Corners, which contains one of the oldest established Baptist churches in Benton County, was pivotal to Arkansas’s history. Located three and a half miles northeast of Pea Ridge (Benton County), Twelve Corners was notable for its location on the Bentonville Detour, the former bypass from Telegraph Road in Missouri to the county seat. It was also located close to the Arkansas–Missouri state line, the Pea Ridge Plateau, and Elkhorn Tavern, which made it a significant area for a Confederate camp during the Battle of Pea Ridge. Settlement in the northwest corner of Arkansas Territory began around 1828. In 1842, some of the earliest homesteaders in the area formed the Benton County Baptist Society in an upper …

Twelve Oaks

The Twelve Oaks estate, located in a rural setting just south of Harrison (Boone County), is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which notes its local significance for its Craftsman- and Colonial Revival–style architecture. The house is one of the best examples of a Craftsman/Colonial Revival estate—and an unusually large example of the style—in the Harrison area. With the rise of the railroad industry in Harrison in the early twentieth century, a building boom hit the city. Among those who had worked on many high-profile buildings in Harrison was J. W. Bass, a steel contractor based in Detroit, Michigan. His J. W. Bass Erecting Company and Atlas Iron & Steel Company had offices in Detroit; Chicago, Illinois; and …

Twentieth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Twentieth Arkansas Infantry regiment was a unit that served in the Confederate army during the American Civil War. It saw service in both the Western Theater and in the Trans-Mississippi. The regiment was organized at DeValls Bluff (Prairie County) on April 9, 1862. It consisted of companies from Hempstead, Hot Spring, Perry, Pulaski, Bradley, and Lafayette counties. The first colonel of the regiment was George King of Pulaski County. The regiment was originally organized as the Twenty-Second Arkansas. Another unit also known as the Twenty-Second Arkansas fought at the Battle of Pea Ridge. Confederate forces in the state moved eastward after the Battle of Pea Ridge, and the unit joined this movement. Major General Earl Van Dorn ordered his …

Twenty-Eighth/Thirty-Sixth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Thirty-Sixth Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the Civil War. Although the unit was originally composed of volunteer cavalry companies, General Thomas Hindman ordered them dismounted and organized as the Second Trans-Mississippi Regiment on June 26, 1862. The Confederate War Department officially designated it as the Twenty-Eighth Arkansas Infantry. It was composed primarily of men from Conway, Prairie, Pulaski, Van Buren, and White counties, and the original field officers were Colonel Dandridge McRae, Lieutenant Colonel John Glenn, and Major William Hanna. The Twenty-Eighth spent the summer and fall drilling and training on Massard Prairie outside Fort Smith (Sebastian County) before moving north with Hindman’s army. McRae received promotion to brigadier general, …

Twenty-Fifth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

aka: Thirtieth Arkansas (CS)
The Twenty-Fifth Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that saw service during the Civil War. The unit was also known as the Thirtieth Arkansas for a time. The regiment began the war as the Eleventh Arkansas Infantry Battalion. Organized under the command of Colonel Charles Turnbull, the unit comprised six companies stationed in northern Arkansas in the spring of 1862. As Major General Earl Van Dorn moved across Arkansas after the Battle of Pea Ridge, he ordered the unit to join his forces and cross to the east bank of the Mississippi River. The battalion moved to Mississippi, and additional companies, including some from the Eighth Arkansas Infantry Battalion, joined the unit to bring it to full strength as …

Twenty-First Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Twenty-First Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in both the Western and Trans-Mississippi Theaters during the American Civil War. The regiment was organized on May 15, 1862, in Corinth, Mississippi, by the consolidation of four companies of the Fourteenth (McCarver’s) and six companies of the Seventeenth (Lemoyne’s) Arkansas Infantry regiments. It was composed of companies and men primarily from Conway, Izard, Johnson, Lawrence, Pope, Prairie, and Yell counties, and its appointed field officers were Colonel Jordan E. Cravens, Lieutenant Colonel William Matheny, and Major William Dowdle. The regiment, initially assigned to Brigadier General Albert Rust’s brigade, participated in the initial defense of the city of Corinth, Mississippi, in May before Confederate forces retreated farther south. Later …

Twenty-Fourth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Twenty-Fourth Arkansas Infantry was a Confederate unit that served in the Western and Trans-Mississippi Theaters during the American Civil War. The unit was primarily composed of men from Bradley, Calhoun, Columbia, Drew, Hempstead, Pike, Polk, Sevier, St. Francis, and Yell counties. It was organized on June 6, 1862, at Camp White Sulphur Springs in Jefferson County, and the original field officers of the regiment were Colonel E. E. Portlock, Lieutenant Colonel T. M Whittington, and Major William R. Hardy. Assigned to Robert Garland’s brigade in September 1862, the Twenty-Fourth and its sister regiments were responsible for defense of Fort Hindman at Arkansas Post to prevent any enemy invasion by land. Later, a portion of the Twenty-Fourth was ordered to …

Twenty-Second/Thirty-Fifth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Twenty-Second/Thirty-Fifth Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the American Civil War. Due to differing numbering system of the Arkansas Military Board and Confederate War Department, it was referred to by both designations at various times. The regiment was organized on July 11, 1862, near Fort Smith (Sebastian County), composed primarily of men from Benton, Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Pope, and Sebastian counties. It contained men from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Arkansas Infantries and Colonel Erasmus Irving Stirman’s First Battalion Arkansas Cavalry who did not accompany those regiments on their transfer to Mississippi. Additional companies were composed of men from the Fifteenth and Fifty-Eighth Arkansas Militias of Johnson and Pope counties seeking to …

Twenty-Seventh Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Twenty-Seventh Arkansas Infantry was a Confederate unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the American Civil War. The unit was composed of men primarily from Carroll, Izard, Fulton, Marion, and Searcy counties. The regiment organized in July 1862, when a number of mounted companies were dismounted and augmented with conscripts. Colonel James Shaler, a former Missouri State Guard officer, was appointed as colonel, with A. J. Magenis as lieutenant colonel and Beal Gaither as major. The Twenty-Seventh moved to Fort Smith (Sebastian County) in preparation for the planned attack on Union forces in northwestern Arkansas. Assigned to Colonel Robert Shaver’s Brigade, in Brigadier General Daniel Frost’s Division, the Twenty-Seventh did not join its sister regiments in their first …

Twenty-Sixth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Twenty-Sixth Arkansas Infantry was a Confederate unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the Civil War. The unit was primarily composed of men from Arkansas, Bradley, Dallas, Drew, Jefferson, Johnson, and Lafayette counties. The Twenty-Sixth first organized on June 14, 1862, as Morgan’s Arkansas Battalion, with Asa Morgan appointed lieutenant colonel and Fountain P. Yell as major. With organization of additional companies, it became a full regiment on July 23, 1862, at DeValls Bluff (Prairie County). Designated as the Third Trans-Mississippi Infantry Regiment by General Thomas Hindman, it was officially designated by the Confederate War Department as the Twenty-Sixth Arkansas Infantry. Asa Morgan was appointed colonel, with John C. Wright as lieutenant colonel and Yell as major. During …

Twenty-Third Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Twenty-Third Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in both the Western and Trans-Mississippi Theaters during the American Civil War. The regiment was organized on April 25, 1862, at Memphis, Tennessee, by the consolidation of Charles Adams’s and Simon Hughes’s infantry battalions and Mitchell Adair’s infantry company. It was composed of companies and men primarily from Clark, Craighead, Crittenden, Jackson, Phillips, Poinsett, and St. Francis counties, and its elected field officers were Colonel Charles W. Adams, Lieutenant Colonel Simon P. Hughes, and Major James F. Robinson. Reorganization of the regiment was undertaken on September 10, 1862, with Oliver P. Lyles appointed as colonel, Abraham Pennington as lieutenant colonel, and Erastus L. Black as major. The regiment was …

Twin Groves (Faulkner County)

  Twin Groves is a town in northern Faulkner County on Highway 65 between Greenbrier (Faulkner County) and Damascus (Van Buren and Faulkner counties). Twin Groves was formed in 1991 by the combination of two unincorporated communities, Solomon Grove and Zion Grove. Solomon (or Solomon’s) Grove was founded by a group of free African Americans from the Memphis, Tennessee, area before the Civil War. Solomon was the last name of one of those families. Apparently, the group remained at the location even after Act 151 of 1859 required all free blacks to leave the state or risk being sold into slavery. The national Homestead Act of 1862 allowed former slaves to own land, and after the Civil War ended, more …

Twitty, Conway

aka: Harold Lloyd Jenkins
A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Conway Twitty has sold over 50 million records. Twitty had anywhere from forty-one to fifty-three No. 1 singles on the country and rock charts, depending upon the industry source used. He recorded 110 albums. Harold Lloyd Jenkins was born on September 1, 1933, in Friars Point, Mississippi, and was named after the famous silent film actor, Harold Lloyd. Jenkins had an older brother and sister. He was given his first guitar at age four. The family moved to Helena (Phillips County)—now Helena-West Helena—when Jenkins was ten, and soon thereafter, he formed his first band, the Phillips County Ramblers. His father worked off and on as a Mississippi riverboat captain, though his …

Two Rivers Museum

The Two Rivers Museum, located on the corner of Constitution Avenue (Highway 71) and Main Street in Ashdown (Little River County), opened in 2005. The museum, which was created by the nonprofit Little River County Historical Society has a mission of preserving the history of the local community. The museum gets its name from the two major rivers that flow through Little River County: the Red River and Little River. The Two Rivers Museum is located in the Bishop building in the Ashdown Commercial Historic District. The building is a renovated hundred-year-old storefront that was once a pharmacy and, more recently, an antique store. The Bishop building, built in 1908, is a two-story brick structure with a flat roof and …

Tyler, T. Texas

aka: David Luke Myrick
T. Texas Tyler, the charismatic Arkansas native with a growling voice, initiated a distinctive country and western musical style that made him a success in the recording industry and on stage in the 1940s, 1950s, and into the 1960s. He pioneered a storytelling style in which the performer spoke some or all of the lyrics, later employed by other country stars such as “Red” Sovine, Jimmy Dean, “Whispering” Bill Anderson, and others. Tex Ritter, one of Tyler’s contemporaries, often referred to the influence Tyler’s style had on him. Tyler was born David Luke Myrick in Mena (Polk County) on June 20, 1916. His parents were James E. Myrick and Ida Bell Cagle Myrick. He was the youngest of three brothers. His …

Typhoid

Typhoid is among the earliest diseases reported in Arkansas and was a significant public health problem up through the early twentieth century. Though it became less common in the modern era, typhoid had a significant impact upon state health in times and places where poor sanitation was the norm. Typhoid, like cholera, is transmitted through the ingestion of food or water that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected individual; the spread of the disease is therefore greatly linked with a lack of proper sanitation. Victims experience high fevers, sweating, inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, and diarrhea. In most cases, the disease is not fatal, though fevers can last well over a month. Some individuals may become asymptomatic …

Tyronza (Poinsett County)

Tyronza is located on U.S. Highway 63, midway between Jonesboro (Craighead County) and Memphis, Tennessee, in southeastern Poinsett County. It is best known as the birthplace of the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union (STFU). Pre-European Exploration through European Exploration and SettlementThe town site was home to an earlier community existing at least as far back as AD 1300–1400. An 1884 archaeological survey conducted by the Smithsonian Institution’s Bureau of Ethnology reported that as many as forty-nine Native American mounds had existed in the immediate vicinity. At that time, only seventeen remained; most of the others were destroyed either by early settlers preparing the land for farming or by the crews who constructed the railroad bed in the early 1880s. The 1884 …

Tyronza River

The Tyronza River rises in Mississippi County and flows primarily southwest until it empties into the St. Francis River just north of Parkin (Cross County). It no longer resembles the stream that it was up until the early twentieth century, as it has been channelized, ditched, and had its meander loops cut-off. Before the formation of the levee and drainage districts in the late nineteenth century that rerouted and channelized existing streams, the Tyronza River arose out of a body of water called Carson Lake located southwest of Osceola (Mississippi County). From there, it flowed across low swampy land, a region the locals referred to as the “scatters of Tyronza,” into Tyronza Lake before narrowing down into the regular path …

Tyronza Water Tower

The Tyronza Water Tower, located northeast of the junction of Main and Oliver streets in Tyronza (Poinsett County), was constructed in 1935 and installed with assistance from the Public Works Administration (PWA), a New Deal public relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 20, 2007. As the United States struggled with the Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration enacted the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) to ease the effects of businesses closing. The act created an organization called the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (or Public Works Administration), which was established on June 16, 1933, to help finance federal construction projects and create jobs. The farming community of Tyronza …

Tyson Foods, Inc.

Founded in 1935 in Springdale (Washington County), Tyson Foods has emerged as one of Arkansas’s most prominent companies, employing more than 100,000 workers. By the end of the twentieth century, it had become one of the largest meat-processing companies in the world, with millions of customers in the United States and in more than eighty countries worldwide. Forbes magazine currently lists it as one of America’s 100 largest companies, and it continues to play a pivotal role in the state’s economy. Following the collapse of the fruit industry in northwest Arkansas in the late 1920s, many farmers turned to raising poultry as a source of income. The connection of Highway 71 to Midwest markets such as Kansas City, Missouri, allowed …

Tyson, Don

Donald John Tyson was president and CEO of Tyson Foods. By the close of the twentieth century, along with Walmart Inc. founder Sam Walton, Don Tyson was considered one of the pioneers of modern Arkansas economic history, as well as a giant in the global poultry business. At the time of his death in 2011, he was among the richest people in the world, with a personal net worth of $1 billion. Don Tyson was born on April 21, 1930, in Olathe, Kansas, to John Tyson, founder of Tyson Foods, Inc., and Mildred Ernst Tyson. His family resettled in northwest Arkansas in 1931, and Tyson grew up in Springdale (Washington County). He studied at Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri, …