Entries - Starting with S

St. Charles (Arkansas County)

St. Charles, a town in Arkansas County, is located on a bluff over the White River. The most destructive single shot in the Civil War was fired at St. Charles. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Pierre Pertuis, fur trader, arrived after purchasing a 1797 Spanish land grant. By 1839, Charles W. Belknap owned the site, known briefly as Belknap’s Bluff. He built an adobe house, one of only a few found on the Arkansas frontier. The house served as a hospital for both sides in the Civil War and was a longtime landmark. The name St. Charles first appears with Belknap’s appointment as postmaster in 1850. He platted the town and began selling lots. St. Charles flourished during the 1850s …

St. Charles Battle Monument

The St. Charles Battle Monument, located in the center of the intersection of Arkansas Street and Broadway in St. Charles (Arkansas County), is a commemorative monument erected in 1919 in honor of the casualties of the 1862 engagement at St. Charles. On June 17, 1862, a Union flotilla steamed up the White River to bring supplies to Major General Samuel R. Curtis’s Army of the Southwest, which was threatening Little Rock (Pulaski County) from eastern Arkansas. Confederate troops had sunk the gunboat CSS Maurepas and a pair of steamboats at St. Charles to block the river and placed cannon on shore to bombard any approaching vessels. The USS Mound City led the Union force. Around 10:00 a.m., a Confederate shell …

St. Charles Lynching of 1904

Over the course of four days in the first week of spring 1904, a succession of white mobs terrorized the black population of St. Charles (Arkansas County). They murdered thirteen black males in this town of about 500. Given the death toll, it was one of the deadliest lynchings in American history. The murderers were never identified in either public reports or eyewitness accounts, and the scant surviving evidence in newspapers and manuscripts lists only the victims, not the killers or their possible motives. On Monday, March 21, on the dock at the White River crossing in St. Charles, Jim Searcy, a white man, argued over a game of chance with a black man named Griffin, with whom he was …

St. Charles, Capture of

A bloodless engagement, the January 13, 1863, capture of St. Charles (Arkansas County) was part of a larger Federal movement up the White River after the capture of Fort Hindman earlier that month. St. Charles served as an important Confederate stronghold before its abandonment and subsequent capture. Located on high ground on the west bank of the White River, St. Charles is the first defensible location north of the junction of the White and the Arkansas rivers. Fortified by Confederate forces in June 1862, St. Charles was attacked by Federal forces the same month. While Union troops did take St. Charles, it was only after a substantial engagement that saw massive casualties among the Federal sailors in the expedition. With …

St. Charles, Engagement at

After the fall of Memphis, Tennessee, the Confederate navy was on the defense. Three Confederate war ships made their way up Arkansas’s White River to save themselves and also to defend the White River from invasion by the Union troops. Union major general Samuel R. Curtis and his Army of the Southwest advanced from Pea Ridge (Benton County) through the Ozark Mountains to Batesville (Independence County). Curtis later set up headquarters at Jacksonport (Jackson County), where the White and Black rivers converged. Confederate major general Thomas C. Hindman, the “Lion of the South,” was in charge of the defense of Arkansas. Hindman’s main objective was to slow the Union side’s movement so that the Confederates could prepare to defend Arkansas. …

St. Edward Catholic Church

St. Edward Catholic Church is part of the second Catholic parish to be established in Little Rock (Pulaski County) and is located on the east side of the city. It began to accommodate increased German settlement in Arkansas during the 1870s and 1880s. Its first building was dedicated in August 1885 as St. Edward Catholic Church in honor of the patron saint of Little Rock bishop Edward Fitzgerald. A new building was built in the early 1900s, and there have been several renovations over the years; it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. As more Hispanics moved to central Arkansas in the 1990s, St. Edward attracted these parishioners by giving sermons in Spanish. Growing oppression …

St. Elizabeth (Conway County)

St. Elizabeth in Conway County is a small unincorporated community located on State Highway 154, about eight miles south of Morrilton (Conway County) and near Oppelo (Conway County) in Martin Township. The farming community, originally settled by German Catholic immigrants, is bounded on the north by the Arkansas River. It was named in honor of a thirteenth-century Hungarian saint who, though born into royalty, committed her life to working with the poor and sick. The first white settlers to the area were members of the Bahr family, who established the community in 1874. The Joseph and Julia Hoyt family arrived about four years later. Within the next few years, other families moved to the area, attracted by the fertile farmland. …

St. Francis (Clay County)

The city of St. Francis in northeastern Arkansas was a prosperous community relying on the timber industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Since that time, it has remained a quiet community adjacent to the Missouri bootheel. North of St. Francis lies Chalk Bluff, the name of the white clay outcroppings that constitute the northern face of Crowley’s Ridge. A military road crossed the St. Francis River at this location, and a ferry served travelers using the road. Around 1840, the first permanent settlers arrived. They included Abraham, Jacob, David, and George Seitz, who raised horses and cattle, operated the ferry, and ran a small store to provision travelers. In 1850, a post office with the name of Chalk …

St. Francis County

St. Francis County in eastern Arkansas is divided north-south by Crowley’s Ridge, which forms the high ground upon which the county seat, Forrest City, was founded. The St. Francis and L’Anguille rivers further subdivide the county and provide the resources for the agricultural industries that have long been central to the county’s economy. Pre-European Exploration Plenty of evidence of prehistoric habitation of St. Francis County exists, including head pots. Clarence Bloomfield Moore conducted extensive excavations along the St. Francis River, including two Indian mound sites in St. Francis County, and later archaeologists have returned to some of these sites for further investigation. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The first permanent white settlers, along with their slaves, arrived in St. Francis …

St. Francis County Museum

The St. Francis County Museum in Forrest City (St. Francis County) is an initiative of the St. Francis County Cultural Foundation. It was established to preserve the history and heritage of the St. Francis County area. The museum’s scope includes agriculture, business, military history, genealogy, education, transportation, and prominent figures of the area. The St. Francis County Museum was originally located at 419 Front Street in Forrest City. It opened at this location in 1995 but quickly outgrew its environment. The members of the Rush family were contacted by Brad Beavers, a local attorney, to move the museum into their former residence, located in downtown Forrest City at 603 Front Street. The St. Francis County Museum bought the Rush-Gates Home …

St. Francis National Scenic Byway

The St. Francis Scenic Byway is a twenty-one-mile stretch of road wholly within the St. Francis National Forest linking Helena-West Helena (Phillips County) and Marianna (Lee County) and traversing the hilly southern portion of Crowley’s Ridge; it is designated a National Forest Scenic Byway. The route merges Arkansas Highway 44 and Forest Service Road 1900, combining nine miles of pavement and fourteen miles of well-tended gravel. Rambling across national forest lands, this corridor is included in both the Crowley’s Ridge Parkway and the Great River Road. The Federal Highway Administration oversees the National Scenic Byways Program, America’s Byways, yet the title “byway” may be bestowed by some 600 byway organizations, both government and private. The National Forest Service initiated its …

St. Francis River

The St. Francis River originates in the northeast corner of Iron County, Missouri, and flows for twenty-five miles through the St. Francois Mountains, where it is a clear, fast-flowing whitewater stream until it reaches the Mississippi Alluvial Plain north of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, at which point the river becomes a sluggish, silt-laden stream. The river there turns south and travels 207 miles, forming the boundary between the Missouri bootheel and northeast Arkansas and then coursing between Crowley’s Ridge and the Mississippi River. The mouth of the St. Francis where it flows into the Mississippi is in the St. Francis National Forest just north of Helena-West Helena (Phillips County). The St. Francis River valley has been the site of human habitation …

St. Francis Road, Skirmish at

This brief engagement in Phillips County occurred in relation to some of the earliest Federal operations against Vicksburg, Mississippi. Brigadier General Willis A. Gorman, commander of the District of Eastern Arkansas headquartered at Helena (Phillips County), reported that an unspecified unit of Texas cavalry had attacked a Federal outpost of pickets on the St. Francis Road near Helena on December 23, 1862. Casualties at the outpost included two Federal soldiers killed and sixteen wounded, with no report of Confederate losses. Federal cavalry vigorously pursued the Texans and forced them to scatter in order to make their final escape through a patch of woods. Although unidentified in the official reports, the attack may have been conducted by Captain Alfred Johnson’s Company …

St. James (Stone County)

St. James is a community on Highway 14 (East Main Street) between Batesville (Independence County) and Mountain View (Stone County). The White River is about two and a half miles west and can be reached by the Younger Access. Nearby Penters Bluff (Izard County) overlooks the river. St. James was first known as Shave Navel (a.k.a. Shaved Navel), though the origin of the name is unknown; it was later called Buck Horn (a.k.a. Buckhorn). How it received the name St. James is unclear, although a few residents have associated the name with the outlaw Jesse James. Buck Horn resident Walter Canard maintained that Jesse James had spent the night at his house when the outlaw was on his way to …

St. Joe (Searcy County)

St. Joe is a town in northwestern Searcy County, located on U.S. Highway 65. Like many similar communities in Arkansas, St. Joe has an Old Town that was settled before the arrival of the railroad and a New Town that was built nearer the railroad. During World War I, St. Joe was a shipping center for the region’s lead and zinc mines. Osage were traveling from the north to hunt and fish in the rugged Boston Mountains of northern Arkansas when the region became part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Eventually, treaties with the U.S. government moved the Osage farther west, and the land was opened for white settlement. The first settlers in the St. Joe vicinity were Bill …

St. Joe Historical Missouri and North Arkansas Depot and Museum

The St. Joe Historical Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad Depot and Museum, which is located in St. Joe (Searcy County), is a repository of railroad and local history. It also serves as an area tourist information center. The museum, which opened in May 2011, is housed in the 1902 Missouri and North Arkansas (M&NA) Railroad depot. When the M&NA ended area service in 1946, the depot closed after over forty-three years of operation. Over the next few years, the building was used as a church, to provide classrooms for the local school district, and as a feed store. Once the feed store went out of business, the vacant building began to deteriorate into a community eyesore. A movement to preserve …

St. John’s Episcopal Church (Camden)

St. John’s Episcopal Church, located in Camden (Ouachita County), was constructed in 1926. The building includes Gothic Revival details and is in the shape of a cross. Added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 24, 2017, the church continues to have an active congregation. The parish was organized on March 6, 1850. Early efforts to purchase a building in which to hold services proved difficult due to a lack of funds, but in 1871, the parish obtained a former school on Adams Street. By 1887, that building was in such poor condition that it was demolished, and a new building began to be constructed on the same site in 1888. Around the late 1910s, the parish purchased …

St. John’s Seminary

St. John’s Seminary opened in 1911 in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on Gaines Street as a wing of the Little Rock College for Boys. In its fifty-six-year run, the seminary produced hundreds of pastors, teachers, chaplains, and priests. The seminary was relocated to North Tyler Street in Little Rock’s Pulaski Heights neighborhood in 1916 but was closed in 1967 due to financial constraints and a shortage of trained faculty. Today, the campus is the home of the St. John Catholic Center, housing the administrative offices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Little Rock. St. John’s Seminary was started in September 1911 by Bishop John Baptist Morris, who decided the best way to obtain new priests was to open a seminary …

St. Johns’ College

St. Johns’ College in Little Rock (Pulaski County), a school created and run by Arkansas Freemasons, was the first institution of higher education chartered in Arkansas (though the third to open its doors). During its short life, it trained some of the most important future leaders in Arkansas. The vision of the people involved set the stage for Arkansas to provide a quality education for its citizens. Grand Master Elbert H. English, at the annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas in November 1850, announced the desire of state Masons to create a college for the purpose of educating Arkansas’s citizenry: “Several of the Grand Lodges of our sister states have led off in this noble cause by the …

St. Joseph Colony

St. Joseph Colony, covering land throughout Conway, Faulkner, and Pope counties, served Roman Catholics living along the Arkansas River Valley and the German-speaking Catholic immigrants who later settled these lands. Father Joseph Strub of the Holy Ghost Fathers, a Roman Catholic missionary society, founded the colony in 1878. St. Joseph Colony attracted immigrants to Arkansas until the middle of the 1880s, though the presence of the colony is still felt today. Chancellor Otto von Bismarck of Prussian-dominated Germany expelled Strub and other Holy Ghost Fathers in 1873 by means of his anti-Catholic policy, Kulturkampf. The Holy Ghost Fathers fled Germany and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, Strub learned of railroads offering land in Arkansas for settlement. Strub …

St. Joseph’s Home

aka: St. Joseph Center
St. Joseph’s Home sits on a summit overlooking North Little Rock (Pulaski County) and offers picturesque views of the Arkansas River and Pinnacle Mountain. Since 1910, the home has been a source of refuge for many Arkansans, children and elderly, as well as U.S. Army officers of World War I. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 4, 1976. Now called St. Joseph Center, it is home to a non-profit organization that offers urban farming opportunities. The Catholic Diocese of Little Rock, under the directive of Bishop John Baptist Morris, built St. Joseph’s Home. On July 1, 1907, Morris purchased a 720-acre farm, which at the time, was about four miles north of what is now …

St. Louis Southwestern Railway

aka: Cotton Belt
The St. Louis Southwestern Railway began in Tyler, Texas, in 1875. Construction began in Arkansas in 1881. When completed in 1883, the railroad ran diagonally across the state from Texarkana (Miller County) to St. Francis (Clay County). In 1930, the company operated 712 miles of track in Arkansas. The Cotton Belt, as it was better known, would reach its peak mileage in the state in the early 1930s. By the middle to late 1930s, the Great Depression and declining passenger revenue led the railroad to begin abandonment of many of its subsidiary companies and branch lines. Southern Pacific Railroad gained control of the Cotton Belt in 1932 in an effort to gain connections to eastern markets at St. Louis, Missouri, …

St. Louis–San Francisco Railway

aka: Frisco
The St. Louis–San Francisco Railway Co. (SLSF), better known as the Frisco, was organized in 1876 in Missouri. By 1881, the company consisted of a handful of lines concentrated in central and southern Missouri but reaching to Wichita, Kansas; Vinita, Oklahoma; and Fayetteville (Washington County), Arkansas. Although the Frisco never built into the heart of Arkansas, its feeder lines across northwestern and northeastern Arkansas connected communities with other lines across the state as well as the markets throughout the nation, allowing development of agricultural resources, industrial hubs, and resort communities on the periphery of the state. The Frisco was built on remnants of the older Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, acquiring right of way and trackage in Missouri and Indian Territory (present-day …

St. Mary’s Catholic Church (Helena-West Helena)

St. Mary’s Catholic Church is a Gothic Revival–style building along Columbia Street in Helena-West Helena (Phillips County), designed by renowned architect and designer Charles Eames and his architectural partner Robert Walsh. Charles Eames was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Washington University in St. Louis for a few years before opening an architecture firm with Charles Grey and Walter E. Pauley. After a solo trip to Mexico in 1933, Eames started a new firm with Walsh in St. Louis in 1934. During the 1930s, Eames and Robert Walsh worked on several projects in and around St. Louis as well as two Catholic churches in eastern Arkansas: one in Helena-West Helena and one in Paragould (Greene County). Eames …

St. Mary’s Catholic Church (Paragould)

St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Paragould (Greene County) is a brick-and-steel structure designed by renowned architect Charles Eames and his architectural partner Robert Walsh in 1935. Charles Eames was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended Washington University before opening an architecture firm with Charles Grey and Walter E. Pauley. After a solo trip to Mexico in 1933, Eames started a new firm with Robert Walsh in 1934. During the next few years, Eames and Walsh worked on several projects in and around St. Louis, as well as two Catholic churches in eastern Arkansas: one in what is now Helena-West Helena (Phillips County) and one in Paragould. Eames eventually gained an international reputation as an architect and …

St. Mary’s Church (Altus)

aka: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church (Altus)
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, more commonly known as St. Mary’s Church, was founded in Altus (Franklin County) in 1879. It has been located atop Pond Creek Mountain, better known as St. Mary’s Mountain, since its inception. The congregation was founded by and for immigrants from Germany and Switzerland. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71 and the Kulturkampf (religious persecution) of the 1870s in Germany drove many Catholics out of Europe and to the Altus region of Arkansas. As these new immigrants did not speak English, there was a conscious effort on the part of the Church to get a German-speaking priest in order to maintain these immigrants in the Catholic faith. After St. Mary’s became established, the fact …

St. Paul (Madison County)

St. Paul is a town in southern Madison County on the banks of the White River. Crossed by State Highways 16 and 23, St. Paul is just to the north of the Ozark National Forest and is near several high peaks of the Ozark Mountains. Osage hunted and fished in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas long before the first white settlers arrived. By 1834, fifteen settlers had already made their homes in the White River valley around St. Paul. A post office was established there in 1840. A Methodist church was also established around that time. The earliest land patent issued for the area was received by William Ake in 1848. He was joined by Fielden Salyer in 1860. …

St. Scholastica Monastery

St. Scholastica Monastery, a community of Catholic Benedictine sisters in Fort Smith (Sebastian County), has been a religious presence in the state of Arkansas since its founding in 1879. Their call is not to any specific work but rather to a life of seeking God through common and private prayer, work, leisure, and extending hospitality in service to the needs of the church and civic community. By living that call, they have impacted the lives of many in the state and beyond in education, healthcare, and social service. The sisters’ contribution includes having staffed three girls’ high schools for boarding and day students; conducting elementary schools; operating four hospitals in rural areas; and caring for children in an orphanage in …

St. Vincent Hot Springs

aka: St. Joseph's Mercy Health Center
aka: Mercy Hot Springs
aka: CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs
Founded as St. Joseph’s Infirmary, St. Vincent Hot Springs is the second-oldest hospital in Arkansas, serving the medical needs of Hot Springs (Garland County) and its surrounding communities since 1888. St. Vincent Hot Springs is a 282-bed, acute-care hospital located on Werner Street in Hot Springs. In the 1880s, the Reverend Patrick McGowan, who settled in Hot Springs after retiring, asked Hot Springs physician Dr. J. M. Keller to buy a suitable building and its surrounding property for a hospital. In 1888, Mother Aloysius Burke and Sister Mary Clare, two Sisters of Mercy, came to Hot Springs from Little Rock (Pulaski County) to prepare the thirty-bed hospital, St. Joseph’s Infirmary, for its grand opening. The hospital opened to Hot Spring residents …

St. Vincent Infirmary

aka: CHI St. Vincent
The Charity Hospital, founded in 1888, evolved into today’s St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center of Little Rock (Pulaski County). The Charity Hospital was Arkansas’s first Catholic hospital, and St. Vincent remains the state’s oldest continuously operating hospital. What became known as CHI St. Vincent Health System, an affiliate of Catholic Health Initiatives, continues to emphasize the healing mission of the Catholic Church through its focus on the values of reverence, integrity, compassion, and excellence. The 1882 will of Alexander Hager, a wealthy Little Rock resident, promised to provide funding for hospital service in Little Rock if God spared the city from the yellow fever outbreak that was tearing through the South. When the outbreak passed over Little Rock, Hager’s will …

Stackhouse, Houston

aka: Houston Goff
Houston Stackhouse never achieved much in the way of success, yet he was a pivotal figure on the southern blues scene from the 1930s through the 1960s, having worked with numerous significant blues musicians during that period, mentoring more than a few. He was a familiar figure in the small country juke joints, mainly in Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee, and was highly respected among his fellow musicians. He also achieved a measure of regional fame as a member of the King Biscuit Boys who played on station KFFA out of Helena, present-day Helena-West Helena (Phillips County). When he finally made his first recordings in 1967, he was still a working musician, taking jobs within a 150-mile radius of his home …

Staggs, Monica

Monica Staggs is an actress best known for her work as a stunt double in numerous films and television shows. Monica Ann Staggs was born on February 24, 1970, in Boulder, Colorado, to Nova Staggs and Thomas Staggs. She has one sister. Staggs spent most of her youth in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) and graduated from Sylvan Hills High School in 1988. She then did work in the drama and English departments at both the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, as well as attending the University of Central Arkansas in Conway (Faulkner County) for a time. Without completing a degree, in 1996, she took a job as a stand-in …

Stallcup, Mary

Mary Stallcup was the first woman to serve as attorney general of Arkansas, although her tenure was brief. She also served as general counsel and in top administrative roles at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway (Faulkner County). Before she was on staff at UCA, she served in various divisions at the state attorney general’s office. Mary Barbara Stallcup was born on June 21, 1954, in Omaha, Nebraska, as one of six children of Lieutenant Ed Stallcup and Helen Conroy Stallcup. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana College in Pineville in 1974, having majored in history, and earned a law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1979. Beyond her admission to the state …

Stamps (Lafayette County)

  Stamps was developed late in the nineteenth century as a lumber town situated on the railroad. The childhood home of Maya Angelou, Stamps was one of the more prosperous cities of southwestern Arkansas in the late twentieth century, although it has seen some decline in the twenty-first century. Prior to white settlement, southwestern Arkansas was home to the Caddo. Even after Lafayette County was established in 1827, only a few families claimed land in the area that would become Stamps. Last names of early settlers include Calhoun, Tatom, Norwood, Stamps, Vaughon, Lande, and Baker. The Stamps family built a small sawmill in the late 1860s, which was later acquired by the Bodcaw Lumber Company. The area did not begin to …

Stanford, Frank

aka: Francis Gildart Stanford
Francis Gildart Stanford was one of the most recognized and prolific emerging poets of his generation until his suicide at the age of twenty-nine. Though all but two of his books remain out of print, his poems, which pitch startling and often surreal imagery against stark Southern landscapes, have sustained Stanford’s reputation and influence among poets who knew him during his lifetime and have ushered in a resurgence of admirers among a new generation of poets. Frank Stanford was born on August 1, 1948, on the Mississippi side of the Delta, was orphaned, and then was adopted in 1949 by Dorothy Gildart, who was single and the first female manager in the Firestone Corporation. In 1950, Dorothy Gildart adopted a …

Stanley, Henry Morton

aka: John Rowlands
Sir Henry Morton Stanley, world-renowned explorer of the Belgian Congo, specifically the Congo River, and famous for finding medical missionary Dr. David Livingstone, lived in Arkansas for a few months in 1860–1861, working as a clerk in a country store at Cypress Bend on the Arkansas River near Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Stanley was born on January 28, 1841, in Denbigh, Wales, as John Rowlands. He was placed in the local workhouse at an early age by his grandparents and remained there until he absconded, made his way to Liverpool, and signed on as a cabin boy on an American ship bound for New Orleans, Louisiana. When he arrived in New Orleans in February 1859, he found work on the …

Star City (Lincoln County)

Star City is the county seat of Lincoln County and is the county’s largest city. It is a center for local agriculture as well as the site of many manufacturing enterprises. The Star City Commercial Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Also listed are the Lincoln County Courthouse and the Confederate Memorial located in Star City. At the time the county was organized in 1871, the county court commissioned John G. Simmons, William S. Stidham, and Francis Sawyer to select a location for the courthouse and to name the new town. The court accepted their recommendation on December 2, 1871, as the location was near the center of the county. For unknown reasons, they named …

Star City Commercial Historic District

The Star City Commercial Historic District in Star City (Lincoln County) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. The district features eleven contributing buildings and one monument. The 1926 Star City Confederate Monument on the town square was individually listed on the National Register in 1996. West Bradley Street borders the district on the south while South Jefferson Street provides the western border. The northern and eastern boundaries of the district are marked by the town square. The dominant architectural style is Twentieth-Century Commercial with some Classical Revival details. The brick and stucco structures are simple with minimal ornamentation. Star City was created by the Lincoln County court in 1871 and incorporated in 1876. The construction …

Star City Confederate Memorial

The Star City Confederate Memorial is a commemorative sculpture erected in Star City (Lincoln County) in 1926 by the Captain J. Martin Meroney Chapter No. 1831 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) to remember local men who had served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Though Lincoln County was not formed until 1871, portions of two Confederate infantry and two cavalry companies, as well as a company of Home Guards, were raised in the area that would later encompass the Reconstruction-era county. In the early twentieth century, the members of the Captain J. Martin Meroney Chapter No. 1831 of the UDC decided to emulate other chapters around Arkansas and erect a statue in memory of local Confederates. …

Starnes Spring (Independence County)

Isolated in the middle of a wooded area in Relief Township in Independence County, Starnes Spring lies between Floral (Independence County), which is four and a half miles to the south, and Concord (Cleburne County), about four miles to the west. At one time, there was a road that cut across to Jamestown Mountain from the spring, but it later closed. The water from the spring flows into nearby Caney Creek. Picturesque Bailey’s Falls (a.k.a. Bailey’s Pour Off) and an unusual geological rock formation called the Devil’s Tea Table (both currently restricted areas on private land) are within a few miles of Starnes Spring, as is Camp Tahkodah, a ten-acre Church of Christ camp on the banks of Salado Creek …

Starr, Belle

aka: Myra Maybelle Shirley
In the late 1800s, Belle Starr was known as a notorious female outlaw in America’s “Old West.” As a resident of Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, she came under the jurisdiction of Judge Isaac C. Parker in Fort Smith (Sebastian County). Her close friends included the legendary American outlaws Cole Younger and Frank and Jesse James. Her reputation as an outlaw, the novelty of being a woman outlaw, and her violent, mysterious death led to her being called “The Bandit Queen.” Belle Starr was born Myra Maybelle Shirley near Carthage, Missouri, on February 5, 1848. Her father was John R. Shirley, a farmer who later owned a local inn. Her mother, twenty years younger than her husband, was Elizabeth (Eliza) Hatfield …

Starr, Fred

Fred Starr was an educator, farmer, sometimes-politician, and writer who spent the second half of his life working in, observing, and writing about the Ozarks. He was best known for essays that were published in Arkansas and Oklahoma newspapers for more than thirty-five years. They were a mixture of Ozark folklore, often-funny stories of life in the hills, and his own homespun philosophy, told in unpretentious and conversational prose. Fred Starr was born in Waco, Georgia, on September 11, 1896, to William D. Starr, who was a farmer, and Alice Murphy Starr. He was the sixth of their nine children, with six brothers and two sisters, one of whom died soon after birth. He and his family moved to Oklahoma …

Starr, John Robert

John Robert Starr was a reporter, columnist, author, and educator who served as the managing editor of the Arkansas Democrat (and later the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) from 1978 to 1992. He is most known for his role in the newspaper war between the Arkansas Democrat and the Arkansas Gazette. John Starr was born on December 29, 1927, in Lake Village (Chicot County), the oldest of three children of John Phillip Starr and Thelma Russell Starr. The family lived in various locations in southeastern Arkansas, northern Louisiana, and Mississippi during Starr’s childhood. After Starr’s father died in 1932, Starr’s mother moved with the children to Lake Village and the family then moved to Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) when Starr was in the fourth …

State Association of Missionary Baptist Churches of Arkansas

aka: Arkansas State Baptist Association
The State Association of Missionary Baptist Churches of Arkansas (also known as the Arkansas State Baptist Association), an organization representing some 600 Landmark Missionary Baptist Churches in Arkansas, was formed as a result of a dispute that arose in the 1890s among Baptists across the South concerning the nature of the church and the role of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in local congregational affairs. Many Baptists, especially the followers the Landmark principles set down by James R. Graves and James M. Pendleton earlier in the century, came to see the convention system, with its expanding system of boards and commissions, as a threat to local church impendence. Led by clergymen such as William A. Clark and Ben M. Bogard, …

State of Arkansas v. Artoria Smith

aka: Arkansas v. Smith (2015)
State of Arkansas v. Artoria Smith is a decision of the Pulaski County Circuit Court written by Judge Herbert T. Wright Jr. and filed on January 20, 2015. The decision declared unconstitutional Arkansas’s failure-to-vacate statute—a statute that criminalizes failure to pay rent while remaining on the premises (an act that no other state criminalizes). Three other circuit courts in Arkansas followed suit in declaring the statute unconstitutional. The parties in Arkansas v. Smith stipulated to several facts. Smith and her landlord, Primo Novero, had a lease agreement in 2014. On July 9, 2014, Novero gave Smith ten days’ notice under Arkansas’s failure-to-vacate statute, claiming she had breached the lease. Under the statute, a tenant who remains on the premises more …

State of Arkansas v. Tee Davis

State of Arkansas v. Tee Davis was a criminal lawsuit in the Crittenden County Circuit Court in September 1943 that resulted in the conviction of African-American sharecropper and Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union (STFU) member Tee Davis for assault with intent to kill. Davis was at home in Edmondson (Crittenden County) on March 22 with his wife, Elizabeth, when an intruder began pounding on the door demanding that Davis come outside. Fearing for his safety, Davis armed himself with a shotgun and fired two blasts through the door. The intruder was later revealed to be Edmondson business owner and town marshal Harold E. Weaver. Two Crittenden County deputy sheriffs had enlisted Weaver to help them perform warrantless searches of sharecropper cabins …

State of Arkansaw, The

The ballad, or narrative folksong, usually titled “The State of Arkansaw” has been a principal exhibit in Arkansas’s recurrent laments about its disreputable image. It is a clear example of the expressive culture of the late nineteenth century that depicted Arkansas pejoratively. The story, which the ballad relates in first person, has its protagonist—known by several names, including “Sanford Barnes” and “John Johanna”—leave his home, most frequently “Buffalo town” or “Nobleville town,” to seek employment. He hears of job opportunities in Arkansas, sets out by railway, and arrives in an Arkansas community, variously identified as Fort Smith (Sebastian County), Van Buren (Crawford County), Little Rock (Pulaski County), or Hot Springs (Garland County). There he meets a “walking skeleton” who conducts …

State Parks Division

aka: State Parks
aka: Arkansas State Parks
The State Parks Division, which is part of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism, manages the state’s fifty-two state parks and promotes the state of Arkansas as a tourist destination for people around the country. Arkansas’s first state park, Petit Jean State Park, was established in 1923 after the passage of Act 276, which authorized the commissioner of state lands to accept land donations for state parks and reservations. However, the state did not have an agency overseeing the development of state parks until 1927, when the legislature, through Act 172, created the seven-member State Parks Commission “to select and acquire such areas of the State of Arkansas which, by reason of their natural features, scenic beauty and …

State Treasurer, Office of

aka: Office of Treasurer
The treasurer of Arkansas is the state’s financial officer and one of seven constitutional officers elected at large. Responsibilities of the treasurer, who is part of the executive branch of state government, include receiving and keeping monies collected by the state, managing and investing funds, and disbursing funds according to state law. In 1819, the territorial legislature created the position of treasurer, and the first to serve as territorial treasurer was James Scull. The constitution of 1836 established the position of state treasurer, though it was not a popularly elected position. Instead, the treasurer was selected by a vote of the Arkansas General Assembly. William E. Woodruff, publisher of the Arkansas Gazette, was the first to serve as state treasurer. …

State v. Buzzard

State v. Buzzard (1842) was a case in the first half of the nineteenth century involving the right of an individual to carry a concealed weapon. The case came two decades after an 1822 Kentucky case that struck down a state law that restricted concealed weapons—although the weapon at issue there was a sword concealed in a cane. Ultimately, given the facts in Buzzard, coupled with the language of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the case has come to be recognized as one of the earliest examinations of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. The case was heard by the original three members of the Arkansas Supreme Court—Chief Justice Daniel Ringo and Associate Justices Townsend Dickinson and …