Entries - Starting with D

Dudley, Robert Hamilton (Bob)

Robert Hamilton Dudley—who followed a lineage of lawyers, politicians, and judges—was a longtime trial judge and justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. He retired in 1996. Robert H. (Bob) Dudley was born on November 18, 1933, in Jonesboro (Craighead County), the son of Denver Layton Dudley, who was a lawyer, and Helen Paslay Dudley, a schoolteacher and clinical psychologist. An older brother died as an infant. Dudley’s family had a long history in Arkansas. After fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War, Dudley’s great-grandfather left Kentucky and settled in northeastern Arkansas at Piggott (Clay County). Dudley’s grandfather, Robert H. Dudley, was elected treasurer of Clay County in 1900, to the Arkansas House of Representatives for a single term in …

Dueling

Dueling was a popular means of settling disputes among the well-bred, higher-class population on the Arkansas frontier, and though it was considered part of the code of honor for a Southern gentleman, its popularity added to Arkansas’s reputation for violence that remained until well after the Civil War. An insult, real or imagined, likely would bring a challenge from the injured party. Duels traditionally took place at dawn to avoid interruptions, and the two parties usually met somewhere just outside the territory to get around the laws against dueling that were passed as early as the 1820s. Friends would accompany the combatants, acting as “seconds,” to see that things were carried out fairly. Seconds had to be of equal social …

Duggar Family

aka: 19 and Counting [Television Show]
aka: Counting On [Television Show]
The Duggars are an Arkansas family who became famous on the TLC network show 19 Kids and Counting. The family is known for its strict adherence to the Baptist faith and conservative values, which include restrictions against any birth control methods. However, the Duggars have been criticized by those who believe that such large families are not healthy for children and those who oppose their anti-contraceptive activism. On May 22, 2015, TLC announced that they were pulling all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting after Josh Duggar, the eldest child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, admitted publicly that he had engaged in acts of child molestation as a teenager; the show was officially canceled later that year. However, certain …

Duke, Charles Sumner

A trailblazing African-American architect and engineer, Charles Sumner Duke not only designed unique public structures, but he also fought for housing rights and educational opportunities for African Americans. His powerful legacy continues in the buildings he designed, as well as in the organization he formed to facilitate the development of engineering and technological skills in youth of color. Charles Sumner Duke was born in Selma, Alabama, on July 21, 1879. His father, Jesse Duke, was the editorial writer and publisher for a local newspaper, The Herald. His mother, Willie Black Duke, was from a family of established businessmen. It was a financially secure family, allowing Duke and his siblings to take advantage of opportunities that many others in the black …

Dumas (Desha County)

Dumas of Desha County is in the Arkansas Delta, west of the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers. Dumas has long been a business and agricultural asset to the state of Arkansas and is a welcome oasis to travelers through the delta region. Reconstruction through Early Twentieth Century In 1870, William B. Dumas, a planter, merchant, and railroad surveyor of French descent, migrated to the area and bought acres of farmland from the Abercrombie Holmes family, which had bought it from the state. The settlement eventually was named for this early planter. The town continued to develop, primarily as a result of the extension of the Missouri Pacific Valley Line Railroad, which not only made possible an influx of settlers from other …

Dumas (Lynching of)

On August 5, 1874, an African-American man, identified only as Dumas in newspaper reports, was killed in Greenwood (Sebastian County). His killing was in response to his alleged “murderous assault” on Jacob Greiner and then his escape from jail after his arrest. According to the Weekly New Era of Fort Smith (Sebastian County), several weeks earlier Dumas had allegedly assaulted Greiner in an effort to rob his store. He was arrested and housed in a “stout log-house or pen” with a murderer named Walls or Wall. According to the Era, the prisoners were accessed by a stairway or ladder that ran through a hole with an iron door; it was by this means that food was delivered. On August 12, 1874, …

Dumas, Ernest Clifton (Ernie)

Ernie Dumas was the dean of the Arkansas political press corps for most of the second half of the twentieth century. His days as a journalist extended back to high school, when he worked for the El Dorado Daily News, and he was later an associate editor and a reporter for the Arkansas Gazette and a columnist for the Arkansas Times.  Ernest Clifton Dumas was born on December 13, 1937, in El Dorado (Union County), the younger of two sons born to Joseph Clifton Dumas and Berta Canady Dumas. His mother was an educator who stopped teaching when she got married, but she taught Dumas to read before he started school and later taught his son as well. Dumas grew up in El Dorado and graduated from El Dorado High School in 1955.  At the start of his …

Dumas, Henry

Henry Dumas was a critically acclaimed author of poetry and fiction who captured, in some of his finest work, many of his childhood experiences as an African American living in southern Arkansas. Henry Dumas was born on July 20, 1934, in Sweet Home (Pulaski County), sometimes called Sweetwater, and he continued to live there until he moved with his family to Harlem when he was ten years old. Almost no information about Dumas’s childhood is available, yet his life in the deep South and the desolate conditions confronting black Southerners in that era are insightfully depicted in several of his writings, including his widely admired short story, “Goodbye, Sweetwater.” Dumas graduated from Harlem’s Commerce High School in 1953 and then …

DuMond, Wayne Eugene

aka: Wayne Dumond Affair
Wayne Eugene DuMond was a serial rapist and killer whose crimes and efforts to gain his freedom from prison vexed the political careers of three Arkansas governors: Bill Clinton, Jim Guy Tucker, and Mike Huckabee. Suspecting that DuMond might have been framed for the rape of a Forrest City (St. Francis County) woman because DuMond’s accuser was a distant cousin of Clinton, who was by then president of the United States, Governor Huckabee arranged his parole to Missouri in 1999. DuMond was convicted soon thereafter of the rape and murder of a Missouri woman and was suspected of raping and killing another woman. When Huckabee ran for president in 2007–08, DuMond’s parole and subsequent crimes became a major detriment because …

Duncan, Virginia Maud Dunlap

Virginia Maud Dunlap Duncan was the second woman in Arkansas to secure a registration as a pharmacist. As a young businesswoman and editor of a newspaper, she ran for mayor of Winslow (Washington County) with an all-woman slate for city council. This “petticoat government” was elected to two consecutive terms and gained national attention during its time in office. Maud Dunlap was born on October 22, 1873, in Fayetteville (Washington County) to Dudley Clinton and Catherine Hewitt Dunlap. Her mother died when Dunlap was an infant. She and her brother, Rufus, went to live with her uncle Albert Dunlap and his wife, Virginia, in Fort Smith (Sebastian County). Other foster parents raised Dunlap’s sister and other two brothers. Dunlap’s foster …

Dunn, Charles DeWitt

Charles DeWitt Dunn served as the president of Henderson State University from 1986 until 2008, making him the longest-serving president in the institution’s history. Charles Dunn was born on December 2, 1945, to Charles E. Dunn and Lucille Dunn in Magnolia (Columbia County). The Dunn family operated a restaurant in McNeil (Columbia County), where Charles graduated from high school in 1963. Attending Southern State College (now Southern Arkansas University), Dunn earned an undergraduate degree in political science in 1967. He earned a graduate degree in government at the University of North Texas in 1970 and a doctoral degree in political science at Southern Illinois University in 1973. Dunn married Donna Jane Parsons in 1966, and the couple had two daughters …

Dunn, Poindexter

Poindexter Dunn was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the First District of Arkansas in the Forty-Sixth through the Fiftieth Congresses, serving from 1879 to 1889. Poindexter Dunn was born on November 3, 1834, near Raleigh, North Carolina, to Grey Dunn and Lydia Baucum Dunn. He and his family moved to Limestone County, Alabama, in 1837. After receiving his early education in local common schools, he graduated from Jackson College in Columbia, Tennessee, in 1854. He studied law for a time before moving to St. Francis County in Arkansas in 1856 and then won election to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1858. He also grew cotton until 1861, when the Civil War broke out. …

Dunn, Ronnie Gene

With a slew of chart-topping singles to his credit as half of the duo Brooks & Dunn, Ronnie Gene Dunn established himself as a member of the most award-winning duo in country music. Though Arkansas is not considered his home state, he has earned a spot in its musical history. Ronnie Dunn was born on June 1, 1953, in Coleman, Texas, to Jesse Eugene Dunn and Gladys Inez Thurmon Dunn. His father was a musician who also worked in the oil fields and drove trucks; his mother was a devout Baptist who, in the 1960s, lived in El Dorado (Union County) and worked as a bookkeeper at the First National Bank and then as a telephone operator at Warner Brown …

Dunnington (Independence County)

The historic community of Dunnington of Independence County was located on Highway 14, about two miles east-southeast of Oil Trough (Independence County). It was about five miles south across the White River bridge from Newark (Independence County) and approximately eight and a half miles from Newport (Jackson County). Being close to the White River, floods were common, at times even devastating. Dunnington was in a two-mile radius of Hulsey Bend (Independence County), Elmo (Independence County), Macks (Jackson County), Meadow Lake (Independence County), and Oil Trough. As early as 1800, French frontiersmen were in the White River bottoms hunting bears and smaller game animals, including deer. Traffic in bear oil was lucrative and proved to be an incentive for settlement, and …

Dunnington, John William

John William Dunnington was a Confederate naval and infantry officer during the Civil War. After serving in the U.S. Navy early in his career, he joined the Confederate navy. He served for approximately nine months in Arkansas and took part in the Engagement at St. Charles and Battle of Arkansas Post. Dunnington was rare in that he held the rank of officer in both the Confederate army and navy during the war and served both east and west of the Mississippi River. John W. Dunnington was born on May 18, 1833, in Christian County, Kentucky, to Francis Dunnington (1798–1835) and Elizabeth Cobey Dunnington (1799–1848), both of whom were natives of Maryland. Dunnington’s brother, Francis C. Dunnington, served on Nathan Bedford …

Dusenbury, Emma Hays

Emma Hays Dusenbury was an outstanding traditional singer; her work is represented by some 116 songs in the nation’s leading folksong archive at the Library of Congress. Emma Hays was born on January 9, 1862, probably in Habersham County or Rabun County, Georgia, to William Jasper Hays and Mary Jane Pitts. She came to Arkansas with her parents and four siblings in 1872, staying first in Crittenden County but eventually settling in Baxter County, near Gassville. Sometime after 1880, she married Ernest Dusenbury, who was from Illinois. Two years later, they had a daughter. In about 1894 or 1895, she suffered a serious illness that left her blind. Before settling near Mena (Polk County) in about 1907, Dusenbury lived an itinerant life; …

DuVal, Elias Rector

In the late nineteenth century, physician Elias Rector DuVal (sometimes rendered Duval) was a leader in the drive to modernize medicine in Arkansas. In the 1870s, he cofounded the Arkansas State Medical Association (ASMA) and the Arkansas Medical Society (AMS). E. R. DuVal was born on August 13, 1836, in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) to William DuVal, who was a trader, and his wife, Harriet Tabitha Doddridge DuVal. The family included three sisters and two brothers. In 1835, DuVal’s sister Catherine DuVal married Elias Rector. Rector was a U.S. marshal for the Western District of Arkansas and Indian Territory and later served as superintendent of Indian Affairs. Educated in the local schools, DuVal graduated from Arkansas College in Fayetteville (Washington …

Duvall, Leland Blaine

Leland Blaine Duvall was a writer and editor who wrote columns, editorials, and historical articles for the Arkansas Gazette for forty years after World War II. Self-educated and reared on a hardscrabble Ozark Mountain farm, Duvall was an itinerant farm laborer until World War II. His voluminous correspondence from training camps and the war front with family members, friends, and his future wife impelled him to college and a writing career. His commentary on agriculture and economics for the Arkansas Gazette attracted a wide following and won numerous awards. Leland Duvall was born on June 19, 1911, the eldest of four sons of Omer Duvall and Esther Singleton Duvall. His father was a sharecropper, but he acquired forty acres in …

Duwali

aka: Bowl
aka: Bowles
Duwali, also known as The Bowl or Bowles due to the Quapaw meaning of his name, was leader of a group of Cherokee who lived briefly in Arkansas early in the territorial period, from about 1812 to 1818. His life story illustrates the fate of thousands of Native Americans from tribes and nations east of the Mississippi River who moved west to get away from economic and political turmoil long before the official Indian Removal events of the 1830s. These early groups had a significant impact on early territorial residents and on the Caddo, the Osage, and the Quapaw who lived, hunted, and claimed territorial rights in Arkansas when Euro-American settlers first arrived. Duwali was born about 1756 in the …

Dwight Mission

Dwight Mission near Russellville (Pope County) was the first formal Protestant effort directed at the education and conversion of Native Americans in Arkansas and was one of the first Protestant missions established west of the Mississippi. The mission was established in 1820 and operated in Arkansas until 1829. The mission had been requested by Western Cherokee Principal Chief Tahlonteskee in 1818, when he visited Brainerd Mission in Georgia, sponsored by the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions (ABCFM), a Presbyterian organization. The Western Cherokee was a diverse group whose previous generation had migrated into Arkansas while fleeing troubles in the Cherokee homeland at the southern end of the Appalachians, and some of the members thought it useful for their …

Dye, “Aunt Caroline”

aka: Caroline Tracy Dye
Caroline Tracy Dye, better known as “Aunt Caroline,” was a highly respected seer whose name was recognized in Arkansas and the Mid-South in the early years of the twentieth century. The fact that she was an uneducated African American made her popularity at the time all the more unusual. Caroline Tracy’s parents’ names are unknown, and there has been an abundance of conflicting information through the years about her date of birth and early life. A 1918 obituary described her as being eighteen years of age at the start of the Civil War, which would put her born around 1843; however, the 1880 census records age as twenty-seven, which would put her birth year at 1843. Her tombstone records her …

Dyer (Crawford County)

  Dyer is a second-class city in Crawford County. It lies on Highway 64 west of Mulberry (Crawford County) and east of Alma (Crawford County); Interstate 40 crosses over the northern end of Dyer. Dyer is most known for being the headquarters for Tony and Susan Alamo, whose religious foundation owned several buildings and businesses in the city beginning in 1975. Highway 64 follows the path of the East-West Military Road, which was authorized by Congress in 1825 and largely completed by 1828, linking Little Rock (Pulaski County) with Fort Gibson in what is now Oklahoma. In the 1840s, Joel Dyer acquired a farm adjacent to the road and began offering water and a rest stop to the west-bound wagon …

Dyess (Mississippi County)

aka: Dyess Colony Resettlement Area
One of the most famous “resettlement colonies” for impoverished farmers during the Great Depression was in Dyess (Mississippi County). The Dyess Colony became one of the most well known because one of its early residents was singer Johnny Cash. National attention focused on Arkansas when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited the community in 1936. Although smaller now and no longer a government project, Dyess still attracts tourists to northeast Arkansas. While the Roaring Twenties had a euphoric effect on much of the nation, the agricultural economy of Arkansas did not share in the prosperity. By the end of the 1920s, one disaster after another devastated the small independent farmers of the state. The Flood of 1927 was followed by drought. …

Dyess, William Reynolds

William Reynolds Dyess was a politician and government official who headed the Arkansas operations for two New Deal agencies: the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The cooperative farming community known as Dyess (Mississippi County) was named in his honor following his death in a plane crash. William Reynolds Dyess was born in July 1894—the exact date is unknown—near Waynesville, Mississippi, to William Henry Dyess and Martina (Mattie) Eudora Bass Dyess. He had a brother and a sister. He initially worked as both a contractor and a farmer in Mississippi before moving to Arkansas in 1926 to take a job as the superintendent of construction for a company doing levee work on the Mississippi and …