Entries - Entry Category: Business and Economics - Starting with H

Hagerty, Thomas J.

Thomas J. Hagerty was a Roman Catholic priest and social activist. He was originally involved in the Socialist Party of America (SPA), an association that included some early interactions with the active Arkansas chapter of the party. However, he eventually left the socialists and embraced the revolutionary syndicalism of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), an organization he helped to establish. Thomas Hagerty was born in 1862, but there is little information about his life prior to his ordination in Chicago, Illinois, in 1895. While there were rumors that he was a socialist prior to his ordination, his politics became problematic for the church soon after he entered the priesthood. He was transferred to the Archdiocese of Dallas, Texas, …

Hampton, Sybil Jordan

Sybil Jordan Hampton has served as a higher education administrator, leader in philanthropy, and political advisor during her career. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2005. Sybil Jordan was born on September 1, 1944, in Springfield, Missouri, to Leslie W. Jordan and Lorraine H. Jordan. Her mother was a longtime educator, and her father was a World War II veteran who worked for the U.S. Postal Service. Jordan grew up in Little Rock (Pulaski County) under the Jim Crow system of racial segregation, drinking from “colored” water fountains and attending segregated schools. After the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decision ruling that racial segregation in public education was unconstitutional, Little Rock …

Harding, Dexter

Dexter Harding was one of the early citizens of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and owned the first sawmill in town, providing lumber for the homes and businesses from 1850 to 1860. In the 1980s, his pioneer home was converted to a tourist bureau because it was the oldest house in town. He was a brother to Chester Harding, a well-known artist who painted a picture of Daniel Webster and the only painting done from life of Daniel Boone. Dexter Harding was born on July 8, 1796, in Massachusetts. He was the sixth of fourteen children born to Abiel and Olive Smith Harding. When he was ten years old, the family moved to Madison County, New York. They grew up poor. …

Harps Food Stores Inc.

Harps Food Stores Inc. is a regional chain of employee-owned grocery stores based in Springdale (Washington and Benton counties). The corporation has grown to eighty stores in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri since its founding in 1930. Founder Harvard Harp had spent years picking produce in California before returning home to Arkansas. In 1930, during the Great Depression, he took his $500 life savings (approximately $7,100 in 2015 dollars) and with his wife, Floy, opened Harps (or Harp’s) Cash Grocery in Springdale. The store slowly became popular in the community. The store was a family business. All four of Harvard and Floy Harp’s children (Donald, Reland, Gerald, and Judy Harp) worked at the store as they grew up. After Donald Harp’s …

Harris, Carey Allen

Carey Allen Harris played vital, though scandal-plagued, roles in the history of early Arkansas banking and Indian Removal between 1837 and 1842. Carey Allen Harris was born in Williamson County, Tennessee, on September 23, 1806. His parents were Edith Perrin Harris of Virginia and Andrew Harris of Rowan, North Carolina. Much like William Woodruff, founder and editor of the Arkansas Gazette, Harris began his professional life as a printer and newspaper owner in Tennessee, when Harris and Abram P. Maury founded the Nashville Republican in 1824. (Harris went on to marry Maury’s daughter, Martha, and they had four children.) In 1826, Harris and Maury sold the paper to state printers Allan A. Hall and John Fitzgerald. In 1830, Congress passed …

Harrison Railroad Riot

aka: Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad Strike
The Harrison Railroad Riot was an outbreak of anti-union violence in the town of Harrison (Boone County), supported in part by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), as well as the city government and local business interests. The riot was in response to a two-year strike along the Missouri and North Arkansas (M&NA) railroad and ended in the lynching of a man accused of harboring militant strikers, along with the forced exodus of most strikers north into Missouri. The St. Louis and North Arkansas Railroad was chartered on May 17, 1899, and extended into Harrison in 1901; tracks were soon laid connecting other Ozark towns such as Leslie (Searcy County) and Heber Springs (Cleburne County) and went farther southeast to Helena …

Harrison, Marcus LaRue

Marcus LaRue Harrison organized the First Arkansas Cavalry Regiment (Union) and served as its colonel during the Civil War. After the war, he had a hand in a number of Reconstruction projects, including the reestablishment of Arkansas’s postal service, politics, and railroad promotion. The city of Harrison (Boone County) was named for him. M. LaRue Harrison was born on April 1, 1830, in Groton, New York, the son of Marcus Harrison, a Presbyterian minister and anti-slavery activist, and Lydia House. Because his father had to move often, Harrison’s childhood was spent in various locations in New York, Michigan, and Illinois. By 1850, he had settled in Nashville, Illinois, and married Rebecca Axley, the first of his three wives. The couple …

Hartz, Jacob, Sr.

Jacob Hartz Sr. was a pioneer in the soybean industry. His vision of the use of the soybean plant as a rotation crop in the nitrogen-depleted cotton and rice fields of Arkansas County led to the growth of a soybean industry that today is a $500 million cash crop in Arkansas, where 3.2 million acres are grown annually. Jacob Hartz was born to German immigrants George and Susanna Hartz in Racine, Wisconsin, on April 4, 1888. He was the third of eight children. After completing six years of formal education, his first work experience was as a clerk in a general store. In 1909, he married Mary Isabelle Smith, with whom he had eight children, and became an Arkansas sales …

Harvey, “Coin”

aka: William Hope Harvey
William Hope “Coin” Harvey founded both the resort of Monte Ne (Benton County) and the Ozark Trails Association, establishing him as a pioneer in the promotion of Arkansas tourism. Harvey was also the 1932 Liberty Party nominee for the president of the United States. Coin Harvey was born on August 16, 1851, on a farm near Buffalo, Virginia (now West Virginia), to Robert Trigg and Anna Hope Harvey. He attended the country schools and Buffalo Academy in 1865–67, and then briefly taught school. While teaching, he studied law and briefly attended Marshall College in Cabell County, West Virginia, in 1867. In 1870, he was admitted to the bar. Harvey began his law career in West Virginia but soon moved on …

Havis, Ferd

aka: Ferdinand Havis
Ferdinand Havis was born a slave but became an alderman, state representative, assessor, and county clerk, and was called the “Colored Millionaire” of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Ferd Havis was born in Desha County on November 15, 1846, the son of John Havis, a white farmer, and a slave mother. In 1859, Havis’s father moved his operations to Jefferson County. Havis received a little common school education and learned the barbering trade. Later, he owned a profitable barbershop on West Court Street in Pine Bluff. The shop later moved to Barraque Street. Havis married three times. His first wife, Dilsa, died childless in 1870. His second wife, Geneva, died on August 4, 1886; they had one child, Ferda. He married …

Heartsill, Willie Blount Wright (W. B. W.)

During the 1880s and 1890s, Willie Blount Wright Heartsill (whose first name was pronounced “Wylie” and who was better known as W. B. W. Heartsill) played an active role in the farmer and labor movements in Arkansas. By the early 1890s, he had assumed a position of leadership in both movements, becoming the head of the Knights of Labor in the state and running for Congress as a Populist candidate in 1892. He later served in the Arkansas General Assembly. W. B. W. Heartsill was born in Louisville, Tennessee, on September 14, 1840, to Hiram Heartsill and Amanda Wright Heartsill. He married three times and was the father of seven children. During the Civil War, Heartsill was in the Confederate …

Heifer International

Headquartered in Little Rock (Pulaski County), Heifer International is a non-profit organization whose mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth. Since its founding in 1944, Heifer International has, through gifts of livestock and training, assisted eight and a half million families in more than 125 countries and thirty-eight U.S. states, including Arkansas. Heifer International was founded by Dan West, an Indiana farmer and peacemaker. As a relief worker in an effort organized by three peace churches—the Society of Friends (Quakers), the Mennonites, and the Brethren—during the Spanish Civil War, West doled out cups of powdered milk to children displaced by the war. Each day, he saw the same faces in …

Henderson, Charles Christopher

Charles Christopher Henderson was a businessman and philanthropist in southern Arkansas long associated with Arkadelphia Methodist College, which in 1904 was renamed Henderson College in honor of Henderson’s service on the board of trustees and his financial support. The school’s former campus operates as Henderson State University in the twenty-first century. Henderson’s 1906 Queen Anne–style home in Arkadelphia (Clark County) was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, listed as the Captain Charles Christopher Henderson House. Charles Henderson was born in Scott County on March 17, 1850, the third of eight children of John Henderson and Margaret Mahalia Reed Henderson. The family lived in both Scott and Sebastian counties during his childhood. Henderson was fourteen years old …

Hicks, Ed

Ed Hicks was one of twelve African-American men accused of murder following the Elaine Massacre of 1919. After brief trials, the so-called Elaine Twelve—six who became known as the Moore defendants (including Ed Hicks and his brother Frank) and six who became known as the Ware defendants—were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. The appeal of his and others’ sentences led to the U.S. Supreme Court case of Moore v. Dempsey. Ultimately, the Ware defendants were freed by the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1923; after numerous legal efforts, the Moore defendants were released in 1925. Ed Hicks was born on December 23, 1873, in Dublin County, North Carolina, to Lucy Hicks. Hicks and his wife, Mattie Hicks, married …

Hill, Robert Lee

Robert Lee Hill was an African-American leader who was forced to flee Arkansas during the bloody Elaine Massacre of 1919. He spent the rest of his life in Topeka, Kansas, repairing freight cars for the Santa Fe Railway. Robert Hill was born in Dermott (Chicot County), the son of Robert L. Hill Jr. and Elizabeth Griffin Hill. He was born on June 8, but the exact year of his birth is inconsistently reported in official records, ranging from 1892 on his World War I draft registration card to 1898 on his Kansas death certificate. Hill married Hattie Alexander in 1916. In 1917, Hill was working at the Valley Planting Company in Winchester (Drew County). Hill was a grand counsellor, with …

Hornibrook House

aka: Empress of Little Rock
The Hornibrook House, constructed in 1888, is one of the finest examples of ornate Victorian architecture in the state. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 30, 1974. In 1867, James H. Hornibrook and his wife, Margaret McCulley Hornibrook, moved from Toronto, Canada, to Little Rock (Pulaski County). Upon his arrival in Little Rock, Hornibrook entered a partnership with Miles Q. Townsend in a liquor sales and saloon business that flourished for twenty-two years. After Hornibrook’s financial success, he wished to build a home for his family that was worthy of his accomplishments. The lavish home took approximately seven years to construct. It was completed in 1888 at a reported cost of $20,000. Designed by …

Horseshoe Bend (Izard County)

Horseshoe Bend is the only city in Arkansas that includes land from three counties within its city limits. The bulk of the retirement and resort community lies in Izard County—in fact, it is the largest city in Izard County, with a population of 2,184 as of the 2010 census—but parts of Horseshoe Bend extend into Sharp and Fulton counties as well. The Strawberry River runs ninety miles through the forested hills of northern Arkansas. About half the river has been designated part of the Arkansas Natural and Scenic Rivers System. Prior to 1960, no single bend of the river was called “Horseshoe Bend.” The descriptive name was used to identify several parts of the winding stream. At the time of …

Horton, Zilphia Mae Johnson

Zilphia Mae Johnson Horton was an influential educator, folklorist, musician, and social justice activist who collected, adapted, performed, and promoted the use of folksongs and hymns in the labor and civil rights movements, notably “We Shall Not Be Moved” and “We Shall Overcome.” These two, respectively, became labor and civil rights movement anthems. She served as the first cultural director of the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee—the precursor of today’s Highlander Research and Education Center, founded by her husband Myles Horton—until her untimely death in 1956. Zilphia Johnson was born in Paris (Logan County) on April 14, 1910, the second child of Robert Guy Johnson, a coal mine superintendent, and Ora Ermon Howard Johnson, a schoolteacher. She was the eldest of …

Hotel Pines

The Hotel Pines, located at the northwest corner of Main Street and West 5th Avenue in downtown Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), was conceived and built to attract more business to the section of Main Street that lies to the south of the city’s railroad tracks. As such, it provides a glimpse at one effort to alter a city’s main business and shopping area in the early twentieth century. This classically designed hotel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 10, 1979. Since the area north of the tracks was a thriving commercial area, the city’s Main Street property owners believed that the presence of a modern hotel would lure business south of the tracks. Many of …

Houser, Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte Houser was a prominent African-American physician, owner of the Black Diamond Drug Store, and investor in Helena (Phillips County) from 1901 to 1920. He came to Helena from Charlotte, North Carolina, as the Arkansas Delta’s population and opportunities grew, but returned to the place of his birth following the Elaine Massacre. N. B. Houser was born near Gastonia, in Gaston County, North Carolina, on February 14, 1869. He was the son of William H. Houser, a well-to-do brick mason and contractor, and Fannie Houser, a housekeeper and mother. The youngest of six siblings, Houser attended public schools in Charlotte and worked as a farm hand on his father’s farm until the age of fourteen, when he began to …

Huddleston, John Wesley

John Wesley Huddleston is best known as a struggling farmer who found two diamonds on the surface of his field near Murfreesboro (Pike County) in August 1906 and made himself and his state famous. Soon after the discovery, he was recognized as the first person outside South Africa to find diamonds at an original volcanic source. In the process, he also became the controversial subject of numerous folk tales. A native of Pike County, John Huddleston was born in 1862 to David Fielding Huddleston and America White Huddleston. He had seven siblings before his mother’s death in the early 1870s and gained three step-sisters after his father’s remarriage to Francis Carey. In 1886, Huddleston wed Sarah A. Keys, the mother …

Humphreys’ Dairy Farm

Humphreys’ Dairy Farm started in 1911 in Hot Springs (Garland County) with two cows and several acres. As the farm and family grew, so did the importance of the dairy farm to Hot Springs and surrounding towns. As an early adopter of homogenization and pasteurization, the dairy led in innovations that transformed the dairy industry. Humphreys’ Dairy Farm, which closed in the 1990s, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. Harris Humphreys founded Humphreys’ Dairy Farm in 1911. He was born in Arkadelphia (Clark County) in 1878 and attended Ouachita College (now Ouachita Baptist University). After moving to Hot Springs in 1909, he began buying land and clearing it for farming. The extant farmhouse was built …

Hunt, Johnnie Bryan “J. B.”

One of the most successful entrepreneurs in Arkansas history, Johnnie Bryan “J. B.” Hunt rose from humble beginnings to found one of America’s largest trucking firms, J. B. Hunt Transport Services. Today, his company is one of the largest employers in the state, with nearly 15,000 employees and a fleet of 9,688 trucks. The firm is consistently listed among Forbes magazine’s largest corporations. The son of sharecroppers, J. B. Hunt was born on February 28, 1927, in rural Cleburne County. He left school after the seventh grade to work at his uncle’s sawmill and eventually found other work picking cotton and selling lumber. In 1952, he married Johnelle DeBusk, and the couple went on to have two children. A year after their marriage, …

Hussman, Walter E., Jr.

Walter E. Hussman Jr., who is best known in Arkansas as the publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is a third-generation newspaperman whose family acquired a chain of newspapers stretching from Tennessee to Missouri. As publisher of the Arkansas Democrat, Hussman went head to head with the larger Arkansas Gazette and won the so-called Little Rock (Pulaski County) newspaper war in October 1991. He purchased the assets of the Gazette from the Gannett Corp. and began publishing the Democrat-Gazette. Walter Edward Hussman Jr. was born in Texarkana (Miller County) on January 5, 1947, to Walter E. Hussman Sr. and Betty Palmer Hussman and raised in Camden (Ouachita County) with his two older sisters. His parents moved to Camden in 1949 when …

Hutto, Terrell Don

Terrell Don Hutto was head of the Arkansas Department of Correction from 1971 to 1976, serving under Governor Dale Bumpers and later Governor David Pryor. Hutto arrived in Arkansas not long after the landmark Holt v. Sarver decision, which declared the entire state prison system unconstitutional. Hutto faced some controversy during his tenure, but he was largely successful in modernizing the state’s penitentiary and bringing it into compliance with federal prison standards. Hutto later worked as an administrator in the Virginia prison system and was one of the founders of the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). T. Don Hutto was born on June 8, 1935, in Sinton, Texas, to Terrell Sanford Hutto and Winnie Elvenia Cusler Hutto. Hutto’s father, who …

Hydroelectricity

Hydroelectric power is the electricity generated by the gravitational force of falling or flowing water through a turbine connected to a power generator. The three major types of hydropower facilities include reservoirs (high dams), in-stream (low dams), and pumped-storage. The most common type is the high dam, which creates significant reservoirs behind the dam (e.g., Hoover Dam). In 1882, the world’s first hydroelectric power station, located in Appleton, Wisconsin, produced 12.5 kilowatts of electrical power. Also in the early 1880s, a similar facility opened in New York City. Since these early facilities, hydroelectric power from the nation’s waterways has proliferated. Hydroelectric development in Arkansas can generally be grouped into three time periods—1924–1930; 1944–1973; and 1988–1999—and under three sponsoring agencies: Arkansas …

Hyten, Charles Dean

Charles Dean “Bullet” Hyten was a master potter and the originator of the famous Niloak Pottery. Although he was not the first pottery maker in Saline County, his patented swirl technique and use of locally sourced clay gave his pottery a unique look. Because Hyten’s pottery-making process was a trade secret, his creations became valuable historic artifacts. Charles Hyten was born in Benton (Saline County) on March 14, 1877, to John F. Hyten and Hattie E. Brown Hyten. His father, a potter by trade, had moved the family to Benton around 1876. There, he opened a pottery business and continued working until his death in 1881 following an illness. Hattie Hyten, widowed with four children, married Frank Woosley, who had …