Entries - Entry Category: Arts - Starting with M

Monroe County Courthouse

The Monroe County Courthouse is located at 123 Madison Street in downtown Clarendon (Monroe County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the three-story building as architecturally and historically significant as one of Arkansas’s most prominent courthouses and its sole example of the Italian Renaissance Revival style in Monroe County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 14, 1976. The Monroe County Courthouse stands on the same site as the previous four courthouses stood, including one that Union armies dissembled during the Civil War and another that burned down on New Year’s Day in 1895. Charles L. Thompson, a prolific architect from Little Rock (Pulaski County) who is credited for renowned structures across the state, designed …

Montana, Patsy

aka: Ruby Blevins
Patsy Montana was a pioneering female country music singer whose signature song, “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” was the first record by a female country artist to sell a million copies. Patsy Montana was born Ruby Blevins on October 30, 1908, near Hot Springs (Garland County). She was the eleventh child and only daughter of farmer Augustus Blevins and his wife, Victoria. By the 1920 census, the family was living in Hempstead County. Raised on church songs, fiddle music, and the music of country star Jimmie Rodgers, Blevins headed to Los Angeles with her brother and sister-in-law in 1930; hoping to catch the public’s eye, she changed the spelling of her first name to Rubye. She studied violin …

Montgomery County Courthouse

The Montgomery County Courthouse is located on Highway 270 in Mount Ida (Montgomery County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as architecturally and historically significant for its local standing in Montgomery County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 27, 1976. The courthouse’s style is often described as Arkansas Adamesque. Designed by Clyde Ferrel and built in 1923, the Montgomery County Courthouse is constructed of random-patterned native stone. The structure’s restrained Classical elements are reminiscent of courthouses across Arkansas, including pilasters and a stone arch over the principal entrance. The ceiling of the courtroom is made of pressed tin that has been painted white. As county demands grew, Montgomery County built an …

Montgomery, Bonnie

Bonnie Montgomery is a singer, songwriter, and musician from Arkansas. A classically trained singer and pianist, she has made a name for herself in the field of country music, releasing several full-length albums and touring and performing with nationally known acts. Musician Dale Watson called her a “sophisticated badass who was born to sing,” while Counterpunch praised her “white trash arias, soaked in alcohol and sex.” Montgomery herself says music “connects us all” and is a “beautiful, spiritual thing.” Bonnie Jill Montgomery was born on August 18, 1979, in Searcy (White County) to Vani Quattlebaum Montgomery and Little Rock (Pulaski County) native Marcus Montgomery. Her father was a farmer and owner of a trucking company. Her mother became the owner …

Monticello Post Office (Historic)

The 1937 Monticello Post Office in Monticello (Drew County) is a one-story, brick-masonry structure designed in a restrained interpretation of the Art Deco style of architecture and featuring a sculpture created through the U.S. Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture (later renamed the Section of Fine Arts), a Depression-era stimulus project that promoted public art. The post office was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1998. Construction began on the Monticello Post Office in early 1937, with the Advance Monticellonian reporting on January 28 that “work on the new post office began in earnest last Monday morning.” The blond-brick structure “will be of the same material and color as the [adjacent] Municipal Building, and …

Monument to Confederate Women

With the rise of memorial groups in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, commemorating the sacrifice of those who fought in the Civil War became a major theme of popular remembrance. Recognizing women’s sacrifices during the war was a large part of this. On May 1, 1913, Little Rock (Pulaski County) became home to the South’s second monument to the women of the Confederacy (the first being erected in South Carolina the previous year). The monument is cast in bronze upon a marble, concrete, and granite base. It depicts a woman seated, a young boy to her right holding a military-style drum, and a young girl to her left, all bidding farewell to a standing husband and father departing …

Moore-Jacobs House

The Moore-Jacobs House, constructed around 1870, is located in Clarendon (Monroe County). Author Margaret Moore Jacobs lived in the home for much of her life, referring to it as her “Dear Little House.” The entire complex including the house and grounds consists of four adjoining lots. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 29, 1983. The house was constructed by John Wesley Moore (grandfather of Margaret Moore Jacobs), who gave the house to Margaret and her new husband John B. (Jake) Jacobs after their marriage in the late 1920s. In 1931, the house was moved across the street to its present location, and an addition was built on the rear of the building at the …

Moore, Justin Cole

Justin Moore is a popular country music singer and performer from the small town of Poyen (Grant County). In 2009, his Arkansas-inspired song “Small Town U.S.A.” became his first breakthrough hit, landing at number one that year on the country charts. His self-titled 2009 album went gold, as did its follow-up Outlaws Like Me in 2011. In 2014, Moore was named Best New Artist by the Academy of Country Music. Justin Cole Moore was born on March 30, 1984, in Poyen to Tommy Ray Moore and Charlene Webb Moore. He has no siblings. Moore’s father worked for the local post office, and during his childhood, his parents owned a small restaurant. Moore worked most of his youth on his grandparents’ …

Moorman, Charlotte

aka: Madeline Charlotte Moorman Garside
Charlotte Moorman was a cellist, avant-garde performance artist, and founder of the New York Avant Garde Festival. Madeline Charlotte Moorman was born on November 18, 1933, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to J. R. and Vernan Moorman; her father was a sales manager. Moorman began playing the cello at the age of ten, going on to perform with local symphonies while enrolled at Central High School. A member of the National Honor Society and a Central High debutante group called the Southernaires, Moorman graduated in 1951 and attended Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, on a music scholarship. After receiving a BA in 1955, Moorman earned a master’s degree in 1957, studying under illustrious concert cellist Horace Britt at the University …

Moran, Bill, Jr.

aka: William F. Moran Jr.
William F. Moran Jr. was the father of both the American Bladesmith movement and the modern forging of Damascus steel. Moran rediscovered the ancient process of making Damascus steel (layered steel) and incorporated this steel into his knives. Named in his honor, the unique Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing was located on the grounds of Historic Washington State Park before relocating to Texarkana, Texas, in 2019. Moran’s legacy added to the historic fabric of Arkansas’s knife heritage and helped preserve the timeless art of knife making. Knives made by Moran are now some of the most valuable in modern handmade custom knives. Bill Moran was born on May 1, 1925, to Margaret Reid Moran and William Francis Moran Sr., who …

Morrilton Post Office

The 1936 Morrilton Post Office at 117 North Division Street in Morrilton (Conway County) is a one-story, brick-masonry structure on a continuous brick foundation. The building is designed in a simplified treatment of the Art Deco style of architecture. It features a mural financed through the U.S. Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture (later renamed the Section of Fine Arts), a Depression-era stimulus project that promoted public art. The post office was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1998. On January 16, 1936, the Morrilton Democrat reported that Morrilton was included in a group of seven new post offices to be built in Arkansas. The article said that it would be one story with …

Morris House (White County)

aka: Conley-Siler Residence
The pre–Civil War Morris House is one of the oldest surviving rural houses in White County. Constructed along the Military Road in 1860, the house served as a stopover station for many visitors traveling through the state during the early nineteenth century. In the late 1840s, Henry Patrick Morris, one of four brothers who left Virginia for Arkansas, settled on a farm just north of Searcy (White County) with his wife, Sarah Howerton Morris. In 1860, Henry and Sarah Morris made a contract with the builder John Ransom for a house to be built on the farm at the cost of $200. They built the house about halfway between the developing towns of Searcy and Batesville (Independence County) on a …

Morrison Plantation Smokehouse

The Morrison Plantation Smokehouse, the last remnant of the Morrison Plantation, is a stone structure that was constructed around 1854 near the communities of Saginaw and Midway in Hot Spring County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 28, 1977. Daniel Morrison moved to Hot Spring County around 1838 and began purchasing land along the Ouachita River near the future settlement of Midway. Born around 1810 in Georgia, he owned thousands of acres by 1850, including an island in the Ouachita River called Watermelon (or Water Mellon) Island. In addition to several hundred acres located on both sides of the Ouachita in Hot Spring County, Morrison also owned more than a thousand acres in nearby …

Morrison Twin Brothers String Band

The Morrison Twin Brothers String Band consisted of twin brothers and fiddlers Abbie Sherman Morrison and Absie Sherdon (or Sheridan) Morrison of Campbell (Searcy County). The Morrisons became part of the folk revival in Mountain View (Stone County) and played music with Jimmy Driftwood in the 1950s and early 1960s. Abbie and Absie Morrison were born on November 12, 1876 (media sources say November 11, but the Morrison family Bible has November 12) in Campbell to Lewis Calvin “Trip” Morrison and the first of his three wives, Rebecca Jane Denton. Trip fought in both the Confederate and Union armies, but his heart was with the Union. He earned the name Trip, according to family lore, from his many “trips” home …

Mosley, Lawrence Leo “Snub”

Lawrence Leo “Snub” Mosley was a jazz trombonist, composer, and band leader originally from Little Rock (Pulaski County). Nicknamed “Snub,” Mosley had a career that spanned more than fifty years, which included stints in the 1930s with Claude Hopkins, Fats Waller, and Louis Armstrong. Mosley is probably best remembered today as creator of his own unique instrument—the slide saxophone—which combined an upright saxophone and mouthpiece with a trombone mouthpiece and slide.  Snub Mosley was born on December 29, 1905, in Little Rock. Encouraged by his grandfather, he took an interest in the trombone and played in the band at M. W. Gibbs High School in Little Rock. His tendency to improvise on sheet music and (as Mosley put it) “swing” drew …

Mount Ida Cities Service Filling Station

The Mount Ida Cities Service Filling Station at 204 Whittington Street in downtown Mount Ida (Montgomery County) was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 19, 2001. It was used as a location to sell gasoline for more than forty years, closing in 1966. By the mid-1920s, enough automobiles were present in Montgomery County to support a filling station. The station was likely constructed in 1925, as the value of the lot significantly increased that year. The station operated as an independent institution until 1929, when it was leased by Louisiana Oil Refining Company. This company was part of a family of Cities Service companies, which gave the station its name. Cities Service later became known as …

Mount Sequoyah Cottages

Located in Fayetteville (Washington County), the Mount Sequoyah Cottages are two wood-frame cottages constructed in the early 1940s, according to property tax records. Located next to one another on Mount Sequoyah at 808 and 810 East Skyline Drive, the cottages were added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 16, 2012. The land on which the cottages stand was donated to the Western Methodist Assembly by the city of Fayetteville in 1922. The Methodists wished to create a retreat for members located in the south-central United States, as the nearest existing facility was in North Carolina. The land, accompanied by a $35,000 donation from the city, allowed the Methodists to create a retreat atop the mountain. Before the …

Mountainaire Hotel Historic District

The Mountainaire Hotel Historic District consists of two Art Moderne buildings constructed in 1947 as a hotel along Park Avenue in Hot Springs (Garland County). The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 11, 2004, but is abandoned and dilapidated. The thermal waters in Hot Springs attracted travelers to the city for decades before a quality road system was installed linking the area to other settlements. With the paving of what is now Arkansas Highway 5 between Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Hot Springs in 1925, tourists could more easily visit the springs to seek relief for medical problems. When the highway entered Hot Springs, it became Park Avenue, and a number of businesses catering …

Music and Musicians

Arkansas has long been among the most significant contributors to the nation’s musical foundation, serving as fertile ground for the development of multiple genres as well as being native home to some of the best-known and influential musicians, singers, songwriters, and songs that the world has known. Much of this is due to the state’s geography—both its diverse landscape and populace and its proximity to key musical hubs and regions in the nation. Pre-European Exploration through the Nineteenth Century “From the first, music mattered. You can even see it in what the archaeologists find…fragments of cane flutes and whistles older than Columbus,” wrote Robert Cochran in his history of Arkansas music, Our Own Sweet Sounds: A Celebration of Popular Music …

Myers, Amina Claudine

Arkansas native Amina Claudine Myers is a noted pianist, singer, educator, recording artist, and composer who gained prominence in Chicago, Illinois, and New York City beginning in the 1970s. She has had a long career in jazz, choral/orchestral music, and theater, and is a member of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame. Amina Claudine Myers was born on March 21, 1942, in Blackwell (Conway County). She was raised by her great-aunt, Emma Thomas, and by her uncle, who gave her music lessons early in her life. She studied classical piano at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Morrilton (Conway County). She moved to Dallas, Texas, in 1949 and kept studying piano. She played for …