Entries - Starting with L

Lustron Houses

After World War II, an influx of returning veterans created housing shortages throughout the country. These shortages led to several housing experiments, including the Lustron Corporation’s efforts to use steel and enameled steel for residential construction of prefabricated homes. Several of the homes were shipped to Arkansas to be built, and one that remained in Little Rock (Pulaski County) until it was demolished in 2019 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Lustron was the brainchild of Swedish-born inventor and engineer Carl Strandlund, who met in Washington DC with Wilson Wyatt of the Veterans Emergency Housing Program in 1946. Once the plans for the Lustron house were developed, Strandlund commissioned architects Morris H. Beckman and Roy Burton Blass …

Lutherans

Lutherans have lived in Arkansas since the end of the eighteenth century, although the first Lutheran churches in the state were not built until the 1860s. There are not as many Lutherans in Arkansas as there are in the Great Lakes and northern Prairie states, but they are part of the blend of cultures and faiths of Arkansas. History of Lutheranism Lutherans are named for Martin Luther (1483–1546), an Augustinian friar and university professor who lived and worked in Wittenberg, Saxony (now part of Germany). Luther did not intend to create a new church, but rather to reform (or correct) the church of his time. In his teaching and preaching, Luther proclaimed the mottos “Grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone.” …

Luxora (Mississippi County)

Latitude and Longitude:        35º45’22″N 089º55’41″W Elevation:                                  246 feet Area:                                           0.85 square miles (2020 Census) Population:                               942 (2020 Census) Incorporation Date:                June 3, 1897 Historical Population per the U.S. Census: The city of Luxora is located in Mississippi County at the junction of U.S. Highway 61 and Arkansas State Highway 158, twelve miles south of Blytheville (Mississippi County) and five miles north of Osceola …

Lyle, Lewis Elton (Lew)

A native of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), Major General Lewis Elton Lyle of the U.S. Air Force began his military flying career as a B-17 bomber pilot in the European Theater during World War II. He flew more combat missions than any other lead pilot and was one of the war’s most decorated aviators. Lewis Lyle was born on June 22, 1916, to Lewis Eley Lyle and Nellie West Lyle in Pine Bluff; he had a younger sister. After graduating with honors from what is now Ouachita Baptist University in 1938, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry Reserve. He began active duty in December 1940 as an anti-tank company officer. In May 1941, he …

Lynching

Lynching was an extra-legal form of group violence, performed without judicial due process. Scholars enumerating cases of lynching consider only those cases in which an actual murder occurs, though some states had laws against the crime of “lynching in the second degree,” in which death did not result to the victim. Lynchings, especially in the American South, have typically been perpetrated on marginalized groups—predominately African Americans, but also Jews, immigrants, gays and lesbians, and labor movement members, often on the basis of allegations of criminal misdeed. In his 1999 dissertation on lynching, Richard Buckelew documented 318 lynchings in Arkansas, 231 of which were directed against black victims, but additional research since then has increased the number. According to the traditional …

Lynching Reports, Tropes Common to

While the details of Arkansas’s many lynchings (mostly of African Americans) differ widely, some common themes or tropes were used in the newspaper reports related to them. The most common of these were: 1) language employed to dehumanize the victims of lynching; 2) descriptions of the mob as quiet and orderly; 3) statements to the effect that the local African-American community approved of these acts of vigilantism; 4) reports of victims confessing to their crimes prior to being lynched; and 5) statements that perhaps exaggerate the efforts of law enforcement to prevent such violence. The propensity to demonize or dehumanize lynching victims was especially prominent if these people were accused of attacking a white woman or girl. In 1892, the …

Lynn (Lawrence County)

Lynn is a town on State Highway 25 in western Lawrence County. Although the area has long been settled, the population of Lynn has grown little. Osage from the north hunted and fished in northern Arkansas for many years until the Louisiana Purchase added the land to the United States. The Black River runs through the area where Lynn would be established. During territorial times, a military road known as the Southwest Trail connected Missouri to Fulton (Hempstead County), and this route reportedly ran through the area where Lynn is today. As a result, the land was soon claimed by settlers: Dempsey Trotman in 1820 and both John Kylor and John D. Williams in 1824. Lawrence County survived the Civil …

Lynwood Tourist Court Historic District

The Lynwood Tourist Court Historic District is a motel/apartment building and office located in Hot Springs (Garland County). Constructed in 1944, the property was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 11, 2004. The district is located at 857 Park Avenue and is one of a number of motels and tourist courts that were constructed in the area between the 1920s and 1950s. Travelers took advantage of newly constructed highways to visit the thermal springs and other tourist attractions in Hot Springs, prompting many related businesses to open in the area. The lower-cost options offered by these establishments made them popular with many travelers. The court was constructed as the Lynwood Tourist Court in 1944 and owned …

Lyon College

Lyon College was founded in Batesville (Independence County) in 1872 as Arkansas College. Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, it is the state’s oldest independent college still operating under its original charter. When Batesville lost to Fayetteville (Washington County) in the bid for the state university in November 1871, Reverend Isaac J. Long and other ministers in the Arkansas Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in the United States led the effort to establish a denominational college there. Located on the eastern edge of town, Arkansas College opened its doors in September 1872 with Long as president and only one other college-level faculty member. Typical of nineteenth-century denominational institutions, Arkansas College maintained a grammar school (which was phased out in the 1890s) …

Lyon, Aaron Woodruff

Aaron Woodruff Lyon was an early Arkansas settler and pioneer educator who founded the first academy to be chartered by the state of Arkansas and was instrumental in the development of Batesville in Independence County and Elizabeth in Jackson County. Aaron Lyon was born on July 11, 1797, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the son of Aaron and Joanna Hatfield Lyon. During the War of 1812, he served in Captain Altman’s Pennsylvania Militia. In 1824, he graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York. He entered Princeton Theological Seminary in 1825 and completed the full three-year curriculum. After completing his studies in 1828, his health forced him to move south. Lyon accompanied Major Edward Duval to Lower Township (Crawford County), where …

Lyon, Matthew

Matthew Lyon, a six-term congressman who represented first Vermont and later Kentucky, was an iconic figure in the early American republic. Always outspoken, he frequently found himself at the center of the early battles between the Federalist Party and his own Jeffersonian Republicans (a.k.a. the Democrat-Republican Party or Republican Party). After a tumultuous multifaceted career in Congress, Lyon spent his final years in Arkansas, where he had moved in 1820 after his appointment as U.S. factor to the Cherokee Nation in the Arkansas Territory. Matthew Lyon was born on July 14, 1749, in Ireland, not far from Dublin. His father, a political protestor, was killed when Lyon was a young boy. He received his early education in Dublin, where he …

Lyons, Eugene Aloysius (Gene)

Eugene Aloysius (Gene) Lyons is an award-winning author, columnist, and political commentator who lives in Arkansas and wrote a nationally syndicated column for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, among other publications. He is author of several books and co-author of The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton (2000), which was made into a documentary film in 2004. Gene Lyons was born on September 20, 1943, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to Eugene Aloysius Lyons Jr., an insurance clerk, and Helen Sheedy Lyons, a typist. For a time, Lyons’s father also ran a Dairy Queen. Lyons attended Chatham High School in New Jersey and graduated from Rutgers University, also in New Jersey, in 1965 with a degree …