Entries - Starting with G

Grotto Salamander

aka: Eurycea spelaea
aka: Ghost Lizard
aka: Ozark Blind Salamander
The grotto salamander (Eurycea spelaea) is a species of lungless salamander in the Phylum Chordata, Subphylum Vertebrata, Class Amphibia, Order Caudata, and Family Plethodontidae. It was originally described as Typhlotriton spelaeus but is now considered a member of the genus Eurycea. It is endemic to wet caves, sinkholes, and karst regions beneath the Springfield and Salem Plateaus of the Ozark Mountains of 120 individual sites in northern Arkansas, 124 sites in southwestern Missouri, forty-three sites in northeastern Oklahoma, and one county (Cherokee) in extreme southeastern Kansas. Its natural habitats are freshwater springs, inland karsts, and caves. It is not listed by the federal government as endangered or threatened, but it is vulnerable to changes in groundwater quality and a reduction …

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 Grubbs. …

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 …

Gurley, Ottawa (O. W.)

Raised in Arkansas, Ottawa (O. W.) Gurley, whose first name appears in some sources as Ottaway, became one of the most prominent Black homesteaders and businessmen in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before leaving that state after the Tulsa Race Riot (also called the Tulsa Race Massacre) of 1921.  Ottawa Gurley was born on December 25, 1868, in Huntsville, Alabama, to John and Rosanna Gurley. His siblings included Calvin, General, John, Millie, and Pat. The family arrived in Arkansas around 1876. The 1880 U. S. Census shows the family living in Vaugine Township, Jefferson County, Arkansas. During this period, Branch Normal College (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff) began to educate students. Gurley completed courses in 1884 and was a student of Joseph Carter Corbin, a prominent educator in Arkansas.   Ottawa Gurley and Emma Evans married on January 25, 1888. The Arkansas Gazette …

Gustave B. Kleinschmidt House

The Gustave B. Kleinschmidt House, located at 621 East 16th Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County), is a one-and-a-half-story, wood-frame cottage designed in the Colonial Revival style, though it has Queen Anne–style massing. It was built in 1907 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 7, 2016. Gustave B. Kleinschmidt was born in Germany in 1866 and moved to the United States with his parents in 1880. Living first in New York, the family then moved to Morrilton (Conway County). Kleinschmidt moved to Little Rock four years later to live with two of his brothers. In early 1892, he married Elizabeth Jungblut; they had six sons. Kleinschmidt worked as a barkeeper at several Little Rock establishments …

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, William Alan (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 …