Entries - Starting with L

Logoly State Park

Logoly State Park in southwestern Arkansas was the state’s first environmental education park. At Logoly, interpreters present workshops on ecological and environmental topics, and the park’s natural resources provide a living laboratory for students and nature lovers alike. The area surrounding Logoly State Park has been the scene of human activity since it was inhabited by Native Americans, whose artifacts have been found in the park. Because mature timber stands cover most of the park, the few artifacts found have been along the trails or water-washed areas. No detailed archaeological surveys have been done to locate any possible village sites. During the late 1800s, a collection of springs in an area called Magnesia Springs was used by the early settlers …

Lollar, John Sherman Jr.

Sherman Lollar was a major league baseball player who was considered one of the best catchers in baseball during the 1950s. However, despite being a seven-time All-Star, his accomplishments, including winning the American League Gold Glove award the first three years it was given, were sometimes overshadowed by other players, such as New York Yankee Yogi Berra. John Sherman Lollar Jr. was born on August 23, 1924, in Durham (Washington County) to John Lollar and Ruby Springfield Lollar. When he was three years old, the family moved to Fayetteville (Washington County), and his parents opened a grocery store. Lollar’s father died suddenly during surgery when Lollar was eight. His mother sold the grocery store and supported her young family by …

London (Pope County)

London has been a part of much history, ranging from the Dwight Mission and the Trail of Tears to the operation of nuclear power plants. The city’s population and business peaked at the height of the railroad industry in Arkansas. In the twenty-first century, London has become a bedroom community for the workers of Russellville (Pope County). The Arkansas River Valley was a corridor of transportation, both by land and by water, even before Arkansas statehood. The U.S. Congress authorized and funded several military roads in Arkansas Territory, including one that traveled along the river valley from Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Fort Smith (Sebastian County). The Dwight Mission was established along this route, not far from present-day London, in 1820 by …

Long III, Dallas Cutcher

Dallas Long, born in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), is an Olympic gold and bronze medalist who was consistently ranked as one of the top shot put competitors in the world. Dallas Crutcher LongIII was born on June 13, 1940, in Pine Bluff, the son of Dallas Long Jr. and Connie Long. Raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where his father practiced medicine, he played football and threw the shot put at North High School. As a high school senior in 1958, Long established a national high school record of 21.10 meters in the twelve-pound (5.44 kilograms) shot put, and tossed the sixteen-pound (7.26 kilograms) shot put 18.60 meters. At the Amateur Athletics Union (AAU) national track and field championships, he finished second to …

Long, Isaac Jasper

Isaac Jasper Long was a Presbyterian minister from South Carolina who helped found Arkansas College (now Lyon College) in Batesville (Independence County) and served as its first president. Isaac Long was on born February 23, 1834, in Anderson District, South Carolina, the son of Isaac and Lettie Hamilton Long. Orphaned at fourteen, he supported himself as a laborer and tutor. He obtained his education at Reverend James Leland Kennedy’s Thalian Academy in South Carolina. Under the sponsorship of Reverend David Humphreys, he was able to attend Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where he graduated in 1858. He remained at Danville to pursue his theological studies at Danville Seminary and also attended Columbia Seminary in South Carolina. On August 30, 1859, …

Longview, Skirmish at

aka: Skirmish at Easling's Farm
  Longview, situated in the northwest corner of Ashley County on the Saline River, was an important transportation hub for antebellum Arkansans. When the Civil War broke out, it became even more important due to both armies’ desperate need of transportation routes for military operations. River routes were especially important in Arkansas, which had only thirty-eight miles of railroad tracks at the start of the war, the fewest of any Confederate state. By 1864, Union forces had captured the northern two-thirds of Arkansas, and the bulk of the remaining Confederate troops in the state had retreated to camps near Camden (Ouachita County). A Confederate pontoon bridge built over the Saline River at Longview made the town a crucial link between Confederate forces in …

Lono (Hot Spring County)

Lono is an unincorporated community located in Hot Spring County at the intersection of Arkansas Highways 9 and 222. It is one mile east of Rolla (Hot Spring County) and about thirteen miles south of Malvern (Hot Spring County). The first settlers in the area arrived in the 1840s and began small-scale farming. Richard Jennett obtained eighty acres of land on July 10, 1848. Later that year, Arthur Yates and John Gray both obtained land. Yates appears in the 1850 census, living on eighty acres with his wife, Polly, and their nine children. In 1859, Yates obtained another eighty acres in the area. Gray also lived on his property with his wife, Minerva, and their nine children, according to the …

Lono Gymnasium

The Lono Gymnasium, built in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), is located at 11702 Highway 222 in the community of Lono (Hot Spring County), approximately twelve miles south of Malvern (Hot Spring County). The building was the gymnasium for the Lono School, and basketball was played for the first time in the new gym in 1939. It is comparable in style to other gymnasiums built by the WPA during the same time period in Arkansas. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 21, 2020. A school opened in Lono in the late nineteenth century. When the gymnasium was built in 1938 by the WPA, a Mr. Crow was the foreman for the job; …

Lonoke (Lonoke County)

The town of Lonoke is the only county seat in Arkansas that shares its name with the county it serves. It is located near the geographical center of the state, twenty-two miles east of Little Rock (Pulaski County) on the western edge of the Grand Prairie. Primarily supported by agriculture and aquaculture, Lonoke is a major source of the state’s rice, soybeans, and aquatic exports and serves as home for many businesses and the residents who are employed there. Civil War through Reconstruction In 1858, the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad was building its tracks through Brownsville, then the county seat of Prairie County, located three miles north of the future town of Lonoke. Five years later, during the Civil …

Lonoke Confederate Monument

The Lonoke Confederate Monument is located on the southwest lawn of the Lonoke County Courthouse. A six-foot-tall marble sculpture of a Confederate soldier tops a rectangular shaft mounted upon a large base. The monument was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 3, 1996. Its inclusion is based on Criterion A for statewide significance and Criterion F for commemorative properties. Most of the funding, $1,500, for construction of the monument was provided by the T. C. Hindman Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). The chapter secured an additional $500 from the Lonoke County Quorum Court. Dedication of the monument took place on October 20, 1910. Ceremonies began with Mayor Jack Gates leading a Little …

Lonoke County

The county and its seat of government having the same name distinguishes Lonoke County from other counties in the state. Lonoke received its name from a “lone oak” tree that George P. C. Rumbough used for a landmark while surveying for the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad. In 1873, the Arkansas legislature was forming and locating counties, and a petition was introduced to the legislature to form the county of Lonoke. Governor Elisha Baxter signed the act on April 16, 1873, creating Lonoke County from the parent counties Prairie and Pulaski. The existing territorial land is divided into three sections. The northern region, in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, consists of gently rolling hills and valleys; the towns of …

Lonoke County Courthouse

The Lonoke County Courthouse is located at 301 Center Street in downtown Lonoke (Lonoke County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the four-story building as architecturally and historically significant as an example of Classical architecture in Lonoke County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 8, 1982. The present courthouse, constructed in 1928, is the third built in Lonoke County. The first, a frame structure, was built in 1873 and stood until 1881, when a fire destroyed it. The second was built in 1885 and stood until county administrators razed it after completion of the current courthouse on an adjacent site. Architect H. Ray Burks of Little Rock (Pulaski County) designed the new courthouse with …

Lonoke County Lynching of 1910

On April 4, 1910, Frank Pride and Laura Mitchell were lynched near Keo (Lonoke County) for allegedly murdering Pride’s wife and Mitchell’s husband, Wiley. The lynch mob was composed entirely of African Americans, one of a number of such lynchings in Arkansas. According to historian Karlos Hill, such lynchings were the result of African Americans’ lack of faith in the white judicial system. The lynchings often occurred in close-knit plantation societies and were an attempt to enforce community morals. Most, as in this case, occurred in domestic situations. There is almost no information available on Frank Pride or Laura and Wiley Mitchell. Newspaper accounts indicate that Pride was fifty years old, and Laura Mitchell ten years younger. Frank Pride was …

Lonoke County Museum

The Lonoke County Museum is located in Lonoke (Lonoke County) in rural central Arkansas. The mission of the museum is to identify, collect, and preserve artifacts and records of Lonoke County and to educate the public. Local citizens formed a non-profit organization in 1998 to establish this permanent museum. The museum occupies the historic Scott Building, donated by the Bennett family in honor of J. O. (“Pete”) and Gertrude Bennett. The building—previously a residence, a doctor’s office, and a car dealership—is in the Lonoke Historic District. Roof repairs funded by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program revealed Spanish oak timbers, which date the building back to the early 1880s. The museum includes a genealogy center and exhibits depicting major events from …

Lonoke County Race War of 1897–1898

The situation in Lonoke County was dire for African Americans during the latter half of 1897 and early 1898. In June 1897, a black normal (teacher-training) school was ransacked and one of the teachers severely whipped. In September, that same teacher was found dead. In December, Oscar Simonton, an African-American merchant, was attacked and his store ransacked. In February the following year, notices were placed on the doors of black residents warning them to leave the county on pain of death. This was closely followed by the burning of black homes and schoolhouses. Trouble had flared up several times in the county dating all the way back to Reconstruction. Many of the reports on the 1898 events refer to a …

Lonsdale (Garland County)

Lonsdale of Garland County is located on Highway 88, seventeen miles northeast of Hot Springs (Garland County). Before the Civil War, families (including the Houpts, Warfords, and Rutherfords) began settling in the area that later became the town of Lonsdale. The Egbert Houpt home became a stage stop/relay station on the stage line that developed between Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Hot Springs. The town was organized circa 1900 and is named for its founder, John Gerdes Lonsdale Sr. (1872–1943), a nationally known Hot Springs banker. Orphaned at an early age, Lonsdale was raised by his uncle, Hot Springs businessman J. P. Mellard. Lonsdale, starting as a clerk in his uncle’s real estate business, became a bond and stock partner …

Looking for Shiloh [Book]

Looking for Shiloh (1968) was the last collection of poetry published by Edsel Ford before his death at the age of forty-one in 1970. Ford spent much of his childhood in northwestern Arkansas and majored in journalism at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). This collection was selected from more than 450 submitted manuscripts to receive the Devins Memorial Award and to be published by the University of Missouri Press. A second printing of the collection was made in 1970. By the late 1960s, Ford was a leading regional poet who was receiving significant national recognition. Ford had served as editor of the “Golden Country” poetry column in the Ozark Mountaineer since February 1958, served as media …

Lorch, Grace Lonegran

Grace Lorch, wife of Philander Smith College mathematics professor Lee Lorch, was a civil rights and labor rights activist. She is best known for lending aid to one of the Little Rock Nine during the Central High School desegregation crisis in 1957. Of Irish extraction, Grace Lonergan was born on September 26, 1903, to William and Delia Lonergan in Boston, Massachusetts. She and her brother Thomas grew up in a working-class household in which her father was a railroad worker and her mother was a homemaker. Grace Lonergan became a public school teacher at a young age. She was a member of the Boston Teachers’ Union and the Boston Central Labor Council. After she married Lee Lorch in December 1943, …

Lorch, Lee

Lee Lorch was a professor of mathematics at Philander Smith College in Little Rock (Pulaski County) during the second half of the 1950s. He and his wife, Grace Lorch, became involved in the black civil rights struggle in central Arkansas. As a lifelong leftwing activist, he also came to the attention of investigatory commissions at both the federal and state levels. Lee Lorch was born to Adolph Lorch and Florence Lorch in New York City on September 20, 1915. Lorch’s grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Germany (an old town in the Rhine River Valley is named Lorch). His mother was a school teacher until she married, and his father eventually became part owner of a small factory. Lorch had three …

Lost 40

The Lost 40 is a forty-acre tract of mature forest along Wolf Branch (a tributary of Moro Creek) in southeastern Calhoun County. Owned by PotlatchDeltic Corporation, the tract is known for its large trees, some more than 200 years old, and has variously been described as “primary,” “virgin,” and “old-growth.” It has been the site of several scientific studies conducted by the faculty and students of the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) School of Forestry and Natural Resources, and is protected by a forty-year cooperative management agreement between PotlatchDeltic and the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) signed in 1996. Lost Forty Brewing, a brewery based in Little Rock (Pulaski County), takes its name from the tract. Several natural communities …

Lost Cause Myth of the Confederacy

The Lost Cause myth consists of a set of ideas about the history of the South that developed following the American Civil War. These beliefs, which are largely considered by historians to be false, were advanced by contemporary Southerners as the so-called true story of the nature of the antebellum South, the reasons for Southern secession, and the character of the South’s people during the course of the war. The story comprised a defense of the South’s “peculiar institution” (slavery), secession, and the war. In Arkansas, the Lost Cause narrative developed with the emergence of various Confederate heritage organizations after the 1890s. These organizations worked to ensure that their interpretation was integrated into the accepted history of the state and …

Lost Corner (Pope County)

Lost Corner is a small community consisting of a few farms in Pope County northeast of Hector (Pope County) and near the Van Buren County line. It is located on a ridge between the south fork of the Little Red River to the east and the Illinois Bayou to the west. Little information about the early history of the community exists. At one point, the community was apparently called Old Diamond and then Okay. A school named Snowlick, after a nearby mountain, opened around 1897, and a new school building was constructed in the 1930s. However, the school consolidated with Alread (Van Buren County) in the 1940s. During the drought that hit Arkansas in the 1930s, the Red Cross began …

Lost Forty Brewing

Located in Little Rock (Pulaski County), the Lost Forty Brewery was founded in 2014 by John Beachboard, Scott McGehee, Albert Braunfisch, and Russ McDonough. The micro-brewery takes its name from a forty-acre forest in Calhoun County known by locals as the “Lost Forty.” The forest’s virgin hardwood and pine trees are owned by the Potlach Corporation. In 1996, the Potlatch Corporation and the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) entered a forty-year cooperative to conserve the forest. Lost Forty Brewery began raising funds for the initiative as well as other ANHC conservation and protection initiatives by forming a new non-profit, the Lost Forty Project Foundation, in partnership with the ANHC. In January 2014, Brewer, Beachboard, McDonough, and McGehee of the Yellow …

Lost Louisiana Mine

The Lost Louisiana Mine is an American legend about buried Spanish treasure that has been sought since the Victorian era, primarily in Arkansas’s Ouachita and Ozark mountains regions. The legend’s core narrative is that a Spanish expedition concealed a rich gold mine in the wilderness of Spain’s Luisiana colony (hence the name), and in returning to New Orleans, all but one of the party was killed by Indians. In the early twentieth century, variants of the legend attributed the treasure to either Freemasons or Sephardic Jews exiled from Spain who brought a fortune in gold and jewels with them, or a Catholic or Aztec trove brought from Spanish Mexico. Such Spanish treasure legends were once part of a deeply anti-Spanish …

Lost Prairie (Miller County)

The historical riverport community of Lost Prairie is located in modern-day Miller County, in an area along two oxbow lakes (First Old River and Second Old River) just off the Red River. The United States Geological Service’s designation for “Lost Prairie, Arkansas” places the community in an agriculture field near Red Chute creek, but historical documents and records describe the former community. Lost Prairie was recognized as the first permanent settlement in the area in 1816, established by Colonel Benjamin Milam on the Red River, where he opened a store and land office. Several years later, U.S. government engineers informed Milam that his land at Lost Prairie was in Arkansas Territory, not Texas, as he had believed. Milam, who served …

Lost Year

“The Lost Year” refers to the 1958–59 school year in Little Rock (Pulaski County), when all the city’s high schools were closed in an effort to block desegregation. One year after Governor Faubus used state troops to thwart federal court mandates for desegregation by the Little Rock Nine at Central High School, in September 1958, he invoked newly passed state laws to forestall further desegregation and closed Little Rock’s four high schools: Central High, Hall High, Little Rock Technical High (a white school), and Horace Mann (a black school). A total of 3,665 students, both black and white, were denied a free public education for an entire year which, increased racial tensions and further divided the community into opposing camps. …

Louann (Ouachita County)

Louann is a town on State Highway 7 in southern Ouachita County, a short distance north of the Ouachita River. Although it began to be settled late in the nineteenth century, it was incorporated in the midst of the oil industry boom of the 1920s. With the onset of the Depression, the oil industry lost its momentum in southern Arkansas, and Louann gradually dwindled in size. Quapaw from the north and Caddo from the west sometimes visited the Ouachita River valley. The river became a corridor for French explorers and trappers before the land became part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Gradually, the pine forests were removed, and cotton plantations were established. William Deason, John …

Loudermilk, William Murphy

In 1952, Jonesboro (Craighead County) resident William M. Loudermilk became the last Confederate veteran to die in Arkansas; he had been the last survivor to have served in a North Carolina unit. At the time of his death, he was one of the nation’s last nine surviving Confederate veterans. Being a native of North Carolina, he had served in a unit from his home state but moved to Jonesboro sometime in the late 1880s. He lived in northeastern Arkansas for over sixty years until his death in 1952. William Murphy Loudermilk was born near Murphy, North Carolina, in Cherokee County on October 27, 1847. He was the fifth of nine children born to Daniel Loudermilk and Nellie Thompson Loudermilk. Little …

Loughborough, Louisa Watkins

aka: Louise Loughborough
Louisa Watkins Wright Loughborough was a pioneer in the field of historic preservation in Arkansas. Inspired by her involvement in the Mount Vernon Ladies Association of the Union, she worked to beautify the Old State House and related grounds in Little Rock (Pulaski County) and subsequently founded the Arkansas Territorial Restoration (now the Historic Arkansas Museum), the first state-supported history museum in Arkansas. Louisa Loughborough was born Louisa Wright in Little Rock to Louisa Watkins and William Fulton Wright, a noted Confederate veteran. She could trace her family lineage through state leaders, such as Arkansas Supreme Court Justice George Claiborne Watkins and William Savin Fulton, Arkansas’s last territorial governor and, later, a United States senator. She was educated in Little …

Louisiana Purchase

In 1803, the United States government purchased over 800,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River from France in what would become the largest land acquisition in American history, also known as the Louisiana Purchase. Named “Louisiana” after the French “sun king,” Louis XIV, the territory comprised most of the present-day western United States, including Arkansas. The Louisiana Purchase allowed the U.S. government to open up lands in the west for settlement, secured its borders against foreign threat, and gave the right to deposit goods duty-free at port cities (mainly New Orleans). In Arkansas, the Louisiana Purchase signaled an end to French and Spanish dominance as Americans filtered into the area. Between 1686 and the 1790s, the French …

Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park

Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park conserves a rare headwater swamp, located on Little Cypress Creek, and a granite monument standing in the swamp’s interior. The monument marks the “initial point” established during an original survey of lands added to the United States as a result of the Louisiana Purchase. The monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1972, and on April 19, 1993, the National Park Service designated the point a National Historic Landmark. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 more than doubled the size of the United States and brought all the territory that would become Arkansas under U.S. ownership. In 1815, President James Madison ordered a survey to establish a system for distributing …

Louisiana Purchase Survey

The purchase of the vast Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 practically doubled the size of the United States, yet little of it was marked off by the American land survey method, which divides land into square tracts, an orderly prerequisite for land ownership in the nineteenth century. The survey of this vast, new American West began in what would later become the state of Arkansas and is commemorated at Louisiana Purchase State Park on U.S. Highway 49 between Brinkley (Monroe County) and Helena (Phillips County). Since Arkansas was first, the survey enabled early sale of land that contributed to Arkansas’s being the third state admitted into the Union west of the Mississippi River (after Louisiana and Missouri). The survey …

Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood, 1803 through 1860

A century of French and Spanish imperial control had little permanent effect on Arkansas, leaving it with fewer than 500 European-born inhabitants when it became part of the United States. The most significant change of the eighteenth century had been the decimation of the Quapaw Indian population, which ended the period only slightly more numerous than did the white settlers who had always been their friends and allies. Even after the Louisiana Purchase, change came slowly. Arkansas became a separate territory in 1819, but not until the 1830s did it begin to grow rapidly, a process that led to statehood in 1836. By that time, it was becoming a distinctly Southern state, the production of cotton and the ownership of …

Lovely County

Created and abolished because of treaties, Lovely County in Arkansas Territory existed for only a year. While hostilities played a part in the county’s creation, an 1828 change in the western boundary of Arkansas Territory led to its quick demise. Many Native American tribes inhabited the land that became Lovely County. The Osage hunted the hills and fished in the streams and rivers until 1808, when their claims were given up in the Treaty of Fort Clark. The Cherokee traded their land east of the Mississippi River for land in the west in 1809. President Thomas Jefferson offered the Cherokee the former Osage hunting ground in the area between the Arkansas and White rivers in exchange for their land in …

Lowe, Betty Ann

Betty Ann Lowe developed Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock (Pulaski County) into a nationally known, competitive hospital by acting as an advocate, enlisting the help of a famous family, procuring state funding, and adding new, innovative departments. In addition to being a prominent figure in Arkansas pediatrics, she became the first Arkansan to become a pediatric rheumatologist and gained widespread notice as the physician of Chelsea Clinton, President Bill Clinton’s daughter. Betty Lowe was born on March 23, 1934, in Grapevine, Texas, to John and Winnie Lowe; she had three siblings, including a sister Mary, who became a renowned chemist. Lowe’s family soon moved to Enola (Faulkner County), where she was raised. During her sixth-grade year, the Lowes moved …

Lowell (Benton County)

The city of Lowell, located in Benton County, was originally a small settlement known as Robinson’s Cross Roads, settled in the 1840s along what was later called Old Wire Road. The original settlement consisted of about thirty homesteaders. The post office was established in 1847, though it later closed and reopened under the name of Bloomington. The road was well traveled and worn with deep ruts, and it became treacherous after rain. Thus, Bloomington became commonly known as “Mudtown” after a rider for the Butterfield Overland Mail Company reportedly got his stagecoach trapped in deep mud there. In 1864, guerillas attacked a wagon train in Mudtown, but Union forces prevailed.Camp Benjamin, northeast of town at a site known as Cross …

Lower White River Museum State Park

The Lower White River Museum State Park is located in Des Arc (Prairie County), which is in the northeast corner of the central part of the state. The museum tells the story of the White River, specifically the Lower White River, and its dramatic and important role in Arkansas history. As pioneers and early settlers migrated west, the White River served as a primary transportation route, and that river travel expanded the settlement and economic opportunities in the region. The town of Des Arc, where the state park is located and which was the focus of the original museum, owes its very existence to the White River, as do many other old river towns that line its banks. Steamboats also …

Lowery, Henry (Lynching of)

The January 26, 1921, lynching of Henry Lowery stands out for its barbarism, as well as the national and international attention it received, happening at a time when the U.S. Congress was debating anti-lynching legislation. The brutal murder of Lowery was used in a national campaign to pass such legislation, though this proved unsuccessful. Henry Lowery was an African-American tenant farmer in Mississippi County. Lowery is reported to have disputed a matter of payment with a local planter named O. T. Craig, whose land was adjacent to that of Lee Wilson, owner of the largest cotton plantation in the South. On Christmas Day of 1920, Lowery, forty years old at the time, became intoxicated, according to reports, and decided to …

Loy Kirksey House

The Loy Kirksey House is a dogtrot house near the community of Fendley (Clark County). It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 3, 1992. Fendley was popular with residents of nearby communities who visited the chalybeate spring in the area. The Kirksey family resided near Fendley by 1880. William Kirksey was born in 1874 and moved to the property around 1895. A building was standing on the property, likely dating to before the Civil War. It is likely that Kirksey lived in this building before he added on to it to create the complete home. The same year that he moved to the property, Kirksey married Lee Arena Deaton. The couple had at least four …

Loyd, Robert

Robert Loyd—along with his husband, John Schenck—was an activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Arkansas, especially same-sex marriage. He was also a business owner and a veteran of the Vietnam War. Loyd and Schenck co-founded Conway’s Pride Parade and were plaintiffs in Wright v. Arkansas, a challenge to the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Ralph Robert Loyd, called Robert or Bobby, was born in Nuremberg, Germany, on September 24, 1949, to Inge and Troy Loyd. His mother had served in Germany’s regular army, and his father was an American soldier. Loyd’s father brought his wife and son to America when Loyd was three. They lived in Damascus (Van Buren and Faulkner counties). In 1968, at his …

Lucas, George Washington

George Washington Lucas was a young soldier in a Missouri cavalry regiment during the Civil War. He was awarded a Medal of Honor for killing an Arkansas militia general in Benton (Saline County) in 1864. George Washington Lucas was born in 1845 in Brown County, Illinois, to wealthy physician Daniel B. Lucas and his wife, Sarah Ann Lucas; he had five brothers and a sister. After the Civil War began, the eighteen-year-old private crossed the Mississippi River to enlist in Company C of the Third Missouri Cavalry (US) at Palmyra, Missouri, on February 21, 1862; his occupation was listed as farmer. Lucas was engaged in several scouting expeditions while the Third Missouri served in Arkansas, including one on July 25, …

Lucas, John Gray

John Gray Lucas’s life was representative of the broad changes that occurred in the patterns of race relations in Arkansas and the South during the latter half of the nineteenth century. From the end of the Civil War until the early 1890s, African Americans could obtain an education and then enter politics as independent, forthright champions of their race’s interests. After that point, as historian J. Morgan Kousser observed, “most blacks would have to emigrate to the North, choose other professions, or settle for the role of white-appointed race leader, with all constraints that role imposed on their statements and actions.” Lucas served in the Arkansas General Assembly and advocated for the rights of African Americans during his tenure in …

Lucey, John Michael

John Michael Lucey was an Irish Catholic former Confederate soldier who became a priest after the Civil War and took an interest in civil rights for African Americans. Speaking out against lynching and separate-coach laws and establishing the Colored Industrial Institute in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), Lucey was a progressive voice for African Americans in Arkansas. Lucey also promoted Arkansas as a home for Catholic immigrants, which made him a target of anti-Catholic sentiment. John Michael Lucey was born on September 29, 1843, in Troy, New York, to John and Brigid Lucey, both Irish immigrants. The Luceys also had two daughters and had lost another son in infancy. While living in Troy, the Luceys heard from a priest about an …

Luciano, Charles “Lucky”

aka: Salvatore Lucania
Charles “Lucky” Luciano was an Italian-American gangster who was said by the FBI to be the man who “organized” organized crime in the United States. In many ways, he was the model for the character Don Corleone in the popular book and movie, The Godfather (1972). He evaded arrest and survived attempted gangland assassinations only to meet his downfall in 1936 while vacationing in Hot Springs (Garland County). Luciano was born Salvatore Lucania on November 24, 1897, in Lercara Friddi, Sicily, the third of five children to Antonio Lucania and Rosalie Capporelli Lucania. His mother kept house, and his father worked in the sulfur mines as well as doing whatever work he could find in the poor hillside village near …

Lucie’s Place

Lucie’s Place of Little Rock (Pulaski County) is a nonprofit organization providing support for LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer) young adults experiencing homelessness in central Arkansas. Lucie’s Place aims to provide housing, resources, case management, and job skills training. Lucie’s Place is the only organization in Arkansas working to support young LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness. Lucie’s Place was founded by Penelope Poppers. After the death of her friend Lucie Marie Hamilton in 2009, Poppers wanted to start an organization to serve the LGBTQ+ community in honor of Hamilton, who was a mentor and advocate to many. In 2011, Poppers—along with Diedra Levi, Mike Lauro, and Karen Thompson (Hamilton’s mother)—planned community meetings, mostly at Boulevard Bread Company on South …

Luckinbill, Laurence

aka: Laurence George Luckinbill
Laurence George Luckinbill’s acting career extends through theater, television, and motion pictures. His career has ranged from soap operas to a Tony-nominated role in the play The Shadow Box (1977) and a co-starring role as Sybok in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989). Laurence Luckinbill was born in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) on November 21, 1934, to Laurence Benedict Luckinbill, a salesman for Oklahoma Tire and Supply Co., and Agnes Luckinbill. He graduated from St. Anne’s High School in Fort Smith and then attended Fort Smith Junior College (now the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith) before going to the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), graduating in 1955 with a degree in theater. After this, he …

Lum and Abner

From 1931 to 1955, the Lum and Abner radio show brought the town of Pine Ridge (Montgomery County), into the homes of millions of listeners across the country. During World War II, Armed Forces Radio took Lum and Abner around the world. Chester “Chet” Lauck and Findley Norris “Tuffy” Goff, two young comedians from Mena (Polk County), created the characters when they were invited to appear on a statewide flood relief broadcast over KTHS radio in Hot Springs (Garland County) on April 26, 1931. Seconds before being introduced, they created the names Lum Edwards (pronounced “Eddards”) for Lauck and Abner Peabody for Goff. The two old codgers (Lauck and Goff were actually in their late twenties) ran the Jot ‘Em …

Lum and Abner Museum and Jot ‘Em Down Store

The two buildings that make up the Lum and Abner Museum and Jot ‘Em Down Store are the A. A. McKinzie General Store built in 1904 and the J. R. (Dick) Huddleston General Merchandise Store built in 1912 after fire damaged the 1909 structure. They stand on what was in the early twentieth century a crooked dirt road in the unincorporated community of Pine Ridge (Montgomery County). From 1931 to 1955, the Lum and Abner radio show was on the air, set in the Jot ‘Em Down Store in fictional Pine Ridge. In 1936, at the instigation of Dick Huddleston, the citizens of Waters changed the community’s name to Pine Ridge in honor of Lum and Abner. In the twenty-first …

Lunenburg (Izard County)

The unincorporated community of Lunenburg, located on Rocky Bayou approximately four miles south of the Izard County seat of Melbourne, is one of the county’s earliest settlements. The earliest land claim record is that of Adam Walker in 1820. While many early settlers were attracted to the area by plentiful water and fertile land, much early growth can be attributed to a local Baptist organization. About 1833, the Rocky Bayou Baptist Association was established in the area, with a log church built shortly afterward. A second church was constructed in 1858. Many of the area churches trace their origins to the association. Other denominations also were soon established. By the mid-1840s, a sizeable settlement and business district, known as Rocky …

Lunenburg, Skirmish at

By the winter of 1863, much of Izard County was overrun by lawless bands of bushwhackers and guerrillas. Late that year, Union colonel Robert Livingston, commanding the First Nebraska Cavalry, was dispatched to Batesville (Independence County), having been commanded to bring some order to northern Arkansas. On January 19, Livingston dispatched a force of approximately forty-four troopers of the Fourth Arkansas Mounted Infantry Volunteers (US), led by Captain Taylor Baxter, to seek out and engage the Missouri cavalry of Colonel Thomas Freeman, which was known to be operating in the region. (Baxter was the brother of future governor Elisha Baxter.) The next day, Baxter’s force attacked Freeman’s forces camped in the Copper Valley near Lunenburg (Izard County). After a brief …