Entry Category: Education - Starting with C

Chowning, Ann

Ann Chowning was a highly regarded ethnographer particularly well known for her linguistic work, which featured extensive field work in four different Austronesian speaking societies in western Melanesia. She spent most of her adult life in Australia. Martha Ann Chowning was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on April 18, 1929, to Martha Chowning and Frank Chowning, who was a well-respected Little Rock attorney and an internationally renowned expert on orchids. Chowning attended Little Rock Central High School, graduating in 1946. Pursuing her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she majored in Spanish. However, she also took a large number of anthropology courses, and after her 1950 graduation with a degree in Spanish, she enrolled in …

Christ Church Parochial and Industrial School

Christ Church Parochial and Industrial School was a private school for African-American children operated in Forrest City (St. Francis County) by the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas from 1923 until 1968. It was closely related to Christ Church Mission, an African-American congregation founded in 1921. The mission and school were founded by the Right Reverend Edward T. Demby, the African-American suffragan (assistant) bishop for “Colored Work” in the Diocese of Arkansas and in the southwestern province of the national Episcopal Church. Bishop Demby sought to build a thriving African-American ministry in eastern Arkansas and also saw the need for quality education in academic and vocational skills for the black children of Forrest City and the surrounding county. He requested and received …

Clark, Alida Clawson

Alida Clawson Clark, an Indiana Quaker who co-founded Southland College, arrived in Arkansas with her husband, Calvin, in April 1864 on a wartime mission to provide material and spiritual comfort to former slaves while war raged in the rest of the state. After supervising a temporary orphanage and school for black children in Union-occupied Helena (Phillips County), the Clarks moved their charges and school to a rural site near Helena, establishing what became Southland College (later Southland Institute), the first academy of higher education for African Americans west of the Mississippi River. She also founded Southland Monthly Meeting, the first predominantly black Friends Meeting for Worship in more than two centuries of Quaker history. Alida Clawson was born February 9, …

Clark, Calvin

Calvin Clark was a prominent Quaker leader and educator in post–Civil War Arkansas. With his wife, Alida Clark, he founded Southland College in Helena (Phillips County), the first institution of higher education for African Americans west of the Mississippi River. Calvin Clark was born in Wayne County, Indiana, on July 21, 1820, one of five children born to John Clark and Anna Price Clark. Clark received his early education in the local schools of Wayne and Morgan counties in Indiana. His mother died when he was about twelve; his father, who remarried, died when Clark was fifteen. Clark went to live with his uncle in Monrovia, and after getting additional formal schooling, at age eighteen, he began teaching in Richmond, …

Clarke’s Academy

Clarke’s Academy was a private school that operated between 1867 and 1905 in Berryville (Carroll County). The school earned a reputation for the quality of its work, the accomplishments of many of its alumni, and the integrity and dedication of its founder, Isaac A. Clarke. Isaac Asbury Clarke was born on March 22, 1837, in Overton County, Tennessee. In 1844, after the death of his father in 1841, his mother moved to Carroll County, Arkansas. Clarke attended Berryville Academy and then Cane Hill College in Washington County. After teaching school for a time, he entered the University of Missouri. Following a visit home in 1861, he was advised that it was dangerous for him to go north again. He enlisted …

Clarksville High School Building No. 1

The Clarksville High School Home Economics Building in Clarksville (Johnson County) was a one-story Craftsman-style brick building designed and constructed in 1936–37 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal public relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 10, 1992. In late August 1936, the Clarksville school board decided to take advantage of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs and seek funding for additional buildings to bolster the offerings on its high school campus. Clarksville’s Herald Democrat reported on August 27 that “projects were worked out and submitted to the Works Progress Administration for a Smith-Hughes building and a home economics cottage, a gymnasium and repair of all school buildings in the …

Cold Springs School

aka: Hepsey School
The Cold Springs School, located in Cold Spring Hollow within the Buffalo National River area in Marion County, is a single-story, Craftsman-style building constructed around 1935 with assistance from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 20, 1992. Located in a remote area along the Buffalo River in Marion County, the community of Hepsey (Marion County) received a post office in 1896, though it was discontinued in 1924. It is not known when the first school was built in the area, but one was in place by 1926 when an eighteen-year-old high school student, Erma Pierce, from Bruno (Marion County) taught there during the summer. …

Cold Water School

The Cold Water School, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located in the former village of McPhearson (Baxter County) and was one of the earliest schools in Baxter County. The first building was constructed in the late 1880s, as population growth had necessitated a school. The second building, which still stands in the twenty-first century, was built between 1920 and 1926. This one-room schoolhouse was used as a school, church, and community center. The Cold Water School is the oldest and only surviving structure in McPhearson and is located twenty-five miles south of Mountain Home (Baxter County). As early as 1829, the Arkansas Territorial Legislature passed laws concerning public schools. The first laws allowed the …

College Station Freedom School

While the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education marked the end of legally sanctioned school segregation, the implementation of the mandate was slow in coming. The College Station Freedom School was a short-lived effort in 1970 that shined a spotlight on the challenges that school officials and families, Black and white, faced in making the promise of Brown real. While Brown signified a legal end to school segregation, the southern response was anything but supportive, and no state offered a higher profile example of that approach, as well as the potential fallout, than Arkansas with the crisis at Central High School in the fall of 1957. The process of desegregation remained slow, and it was …

Colored Industrial Institute

The Colored Industrial Institute in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) was one of the first Catholic-supported schools for African-American children in Arkansas. The school was established by Father John Michael Lucey, a white Confederate veteran, who was considered progressive for speaking out against lynching and protesting efforts to pass separate coach legislation. Planning for the school began in May 1889. Lucey approached leading citizens of Jefferson County to fill the school’s board of directors. This integrated board included wealthy black Pine Bluff citizens, including Ferdinand (Ferd) Havis and Wiley Jones. Jones was also one of three members of the school’s executive committee and served as secretary. The other two executive committee members were Pine Bluff mayor J. W. Bocage and Reverend …

Committee to Retain Our Segregated Schools (CROSS)

Formed in 1959 to bolster the segregationist cause in the aftermath of the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock (Pulaski County), the Committee to Retain Our Segregated Schools (CROSS) represented one of the many political pressure groups active in the city during the late 1950s. During the so-called Lost Year of 1958–59, Little Rock’s public schools were closed by Governor Orval Faubus, foreshadowing a subtler assault on integrationists and moderates within the school system. The Arkansas General Assembly Extraordinary Session of 1958 subsequently passed Act 10, requiring teachers to sign affidavits listing their membership in all organizations. Act 115 passed by the Regular Session of 1959 called for the dismissal of any teacher who was a member of …

Commonwealth College

Arkansas’s most famous attempt at radical labor education was the accidental by-product of natural beauty, cheap land, and desperation. Commonwealth College was established in 1923 at Newllano Cooperative Colony near Leesville, Louisiana. Its founders were Kate Richards O’Hare, her husband Frank, and William E. Zeuch, all socialists and lifelong adherents of the principles established by Eugene V. Debs. Drawing on their mutual experience at Ruskin College in Florida, where they had been impressed with the possibility of higher education combined with cooperative community, the O’Hares and Zeuch decided to create a college specifically aimed at the leadership of what they designated as a new social class, the industrial worker. As an established cooperative community, Newllano appeared to be the ideal …

Conger, John William

John William Conger served as president of five colleges, including three in Arkansas: Searcy College, Central College (now Central Baptist College), and Ouachita College (now Ouachita Baptist University). John Conger was born on February 20, 1857, in Jackson, Tennessee, the seventh of ten children born to Philander Drew Whitehill Conger and Eliza Jane Chambers Conger. His father was an architect and a general contractor and served several terms as mayor of Jackson. His great-grandfather, James B. Conger, invented the turbine water wheel and contributed to Scientific American magazine. Conger earned an AB in 1878 and an AM degree in mental sciences in 1885 from Southwest Baptist University (now Union University in Tennessee). He became president at the Odd Fellows College …

Connelly, Mary

Mary Connelly was an early educator in southern Arkansas. Operating a school first in Camden (Ouachita County) and later in Arkadelphia (Clark County), she helped establish the latter city’s reputation as an educational center. Mary Connelly was born to the Reverend Henry Connelly and Jane Johnson Connelly in Newburgh, New York; her exact date of birth is unknown. The oldest of eleven children, she graduated from the Presbyterian-affiliated Washington Female Seminary in Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1855. Connelly worked in Camden during the Civil War as a teacher. At the outbreak of the war, she was teaching at a private school in the town and was unable to secure transportation home to New York. She remained in Camden for the duration …

Consolidated White River Academy

The Consolidated White River Academy arose in the late 1800s when several African-American church groups in the Brinkley (Monroe County) area wanted to create an academy offering African-American students the opportunity for a full high school education, rather than the mere tenth-grade education available to them in the area. The goal was to provide a top-notch Christian education in a boarding school environment following a modified version of Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute. The educational opportunities and convenient residential facilities attracted students from across the state and nation for over fifty years. The district academy project originated during the late nineteenth century with black Baptist churches in the Brinkley area. These churches worked to establish a high school, the original name of …

Cook, Doris Marie

Doris Marie Cook achieved many firsts in accounting, accounting education, and business in Arkansas. Cook was the first woman to receive the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation in the state, the first woman to be hold the rank of university professor at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), the first female member of the Arkansas Society of CPAs, the first woman to serve on and become president of the National Council for the Beta Alpha Psi academic honor organization, and the first woman to hold an endowed lectureship chair at UA. Doris Cook was born in Fayetteville on June 11, 1924. She was the second of two children born to Ira Cook and Mettie Dorman Cook. Cook …

Corbin, Joseph Carter

Joseph Carter Corbin, journalist, served as Arkansas state superintendent of public instruction during Reconstruction and was the founder and president of the first African-American institution of higher education in Arkansas. Joseph C. Corbin was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, on March 26, 1833, the eldest son of free black parents, William and Susan Corbin. He had eleven siblings. He attended school during the winter months, a common practice at the time. In 1848, Corbin traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, to assist Reverend Henry A. Adams as a teacher. He taught school for some years and then attended Ohio University at Athens. He graduated with a BA in art in 1853 and an MA in art in 1856. An honorary doctoral degree was …

Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas (CCCUA)

Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas (CCCUA) offers technical certifications and associate’s degrees, collaborating with other colleges and universities to offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees on its campuses at De Queen (Sevier County), Nashville (Howard County), and Ashdown (Little River County). It also offers four associate’s degree programs completely online. In the 1970s, many Arkansas counties benefited from legislation of the Arkansas General Assembly allowing the establishment of two-year colleges, then called junior colleges. CCCUA was established in 1975 as Cossatot Vocational-Technical School, with a service area that included Sevier and Little River counties and shared Howard and Pike counties with what are now the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope (UACCH) and Rich Mountain Community College …

Cotton Plant Academy

Cotton Plant Academy, located in Cotton Plant (Woodruff County), was a co-educational boarding school operated by the Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen. This board, part of the “Northern” Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), was responsible for founding schools for African Americans across the South after the Civil War. The first Presbyterian schools for freed slaves in the South opened in the 1860s, but the board did not open schools in Arkansas until the 1880s, when a new presbytery had been established in the state and numbers of African Americans from the eastern states were resettling there. The Cotton Plant Academy started out in the old Jerry Clark home during the 1880s. Later, it was located in a small church near the …

Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library

The Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library (CCJPL) serves the people of northeastern Arkansas, with a main facility in downtown Jonesboro (Craighead County). It also has branches in the Craighead County towns of Brookland, Caraway, Lake City, and Monette along with a cooperative agreement with the neighboring Poinsett County library system. Established in 1917, the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library was incorporated in 1941. Over the years, it moved to several different locations in downtown Jonesboro, with its current building opening in 1964. Since that time, several additions have expanded the library structure, including a 1978 addition to accommodate facilities for patrons with visual impairments and physical disabilities. In 1978, the library’s popular Arkansas Genealogy Room was created. It holds an …

Crescent College and Conservatory

The Crescent College and Conservatory for Young Women operated out of the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs (Carroll County). It was opened on September 23, 1908, and operated from September through June, with the summer months being devoted to hotel operations. The college remained open until 1924, when it was forced to close due to lack of funding. It reopened as Crescent Junior College in 1930 and remained open until 1934. Founded by the Eureka Springs Investment Company, specifically A. S. Maddox and J. H. Phillips, Crescent College was established as an exclusive boarding school for young women.  Maddox had previously operated a successful female seminary, known as Maddox Seminary, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) and was seeking a new …

Crowley’s Ridge College (CRC)

Crowley’s Ridge College (CRC) in Paragould (Greene County) is a co-educational liberal arts college providing a balanced course of study. Until it became a four-year institution in 2008, it was the only two-year college in the nation affiliated with the Churches of Christ. Crowley’s Ridge College opened its doors on July 6, 1964, as a Christian junior college. CRC’s founder, Dr. Emmett Floyd Smith Jr., had a strong desire to bring college-level Christian education to northeast Arkansas. Eleven years earlier, in 1953, Smith had established a Christian secondary school, Crowley’s Ridge Academy, and found that there was support for other Christian endeavors such as the Children’s Homes of Paragould and Crowley’s Ridge College. Governor Orval Faubus helped turn the first …

Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute

The Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute (CRTI) was a technical college in Forrest City (St. Francis County) that provided skilled workers for local industries. It operated from 1967 to 2017, when it was merged with the nearby East Arkansas Community College (EACC). In 1966, the CRTI building on Newcastle Road was approved for construction by the State Board of Vocational Education; the building site was donated by the Forrest City Chamber of Commerce. Before it was completed, however, CRTI operated one welding class started by the Manpower Development and Training Act program with approval from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, which provided $90,860 to finance the thirty-two-week program, covering both student costs and the salary for two instructors. This …