Entry Category: Historic Preservation - Starting with R

Roundtop Filling Station

The Roundtop Filling Station in Sherwood (Pulaski County), which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1936 by the Pierce Oil Company. Pierce Oil was one of the “baby Standards” formed after the U.S. government ordered the breakup of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company in 1911. Pierce operated gasoline stations in Arkansas, southern Missouri, western Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and Mexico. In 1936, Pierce Oil contracted with the Justin Matthews Company to construct a uniquely shaped gasoline station along U.S. Highway 67. With its mushroom-shaped roof and arched windows and doors, the Roundtop is anexample of the Mimetic/Programmatic architecture style common in smaller oil company station designs from the 1920s through the 1960s.It is believed …

Rowland-Lenz House

The Rowland-Lenz House, located northeast of Benton (Saline County) on Highway 5, was listed on the National Register of Historic Properties on February 11, 2004. Originally built as a two-story dog-trot log house, its late nineteenth-century modifications make it an interesting example of Swiss/German-influenced construction applied over an existing log home. The house, built in 1838 by Thomas Rowland with slave labor, was occupied by the Rowland family until 1848. At that time, the house was rented by John Nelson and purchased by him in 1850. The Nelson family occupied the home from 1848 to 1873, when it was purchased by former Confederate colonel and circuit judge Jabez M. Smith upon Nelson’s death. Smith rented the home to his brother, …

Royal Theatre

The Royal Theatre on South Market Street in downtown Benton (Saline County) dates back to the early 1920s, making it one of the oldest theaters of its kind in the state. Although it no longer shows Hollywood films, the Royal remains a beloved landmark for the people of Saline County. It has been owned by a local family, a corporation, a celebrity, and, finally, a group of locals who took their name, the Royal Players, from the theater’s marquee. What is now the Royal Theatre began its life when Wallace Kauffman, a native of Princeton (Dallas County), moved to Benton in 1917. Kauffman, who had worked at a similar establishment in Fordyce (Dallas County), started working for Alice Wooten, owner …

Rucker House

The Rucker House in Bauxite (Saline County) is one of only two standing structures that date back to Bauxite’s early history as a company town, the other being the 1926 Bauxite Community Hall, which now houses the Bauxite Historical Museum. The Rucker House was built in 1903 by employees of what was then called the Pittsburgh Reduction Company and later became Alcoa for plant superintendent William Armour Rucker. Rucker and his family occupied the home until 1938. Since 1986, the Rucker House has been owned by the Bauxite Historical Association and Museum. The Rucker House, which was listed on the National Register on June 16, 1988, serves as a residence for the museum’s caretaker. William Armour Rucker was born on …

Rumph House

The Rumph House is a Craftsman-style home located in Camden (Ouachita County). Constructed in 1874 with Victorian details, the house was extensively remodeled in 1925. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 25, 2003. The house and accompanying four acres are also located in the Washington Street Historic District. The early details of the house are unknown. Dr. Junius Bragg lived in the home with his family in the late nineteenth century. In 1899, his daughter, Helen Bragg Gaughan, married in the home. Early in the twentieth century, Bragg sold the home to Samuel and Mary Green. In 1904, the Greens sold the home to Garland Rumph, the son of Dr. John Benjamin Rumph and …

Russell Jail

The Russell Jail, located off Elm Street in Russell (White County), is a one-story, reinforced concrete structure built around 1935 with apparent assistance from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief agency. The Russell Jail was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 23, 1992. The small railroad and farming community of Russell was apparently in need of a jail during the Great Depression and turned to the WPA, one of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies, for funding around 1935, though no record of the project exists in WPA project files at the Arkansas State Archives. The Russell Jail is one-room building constructed of steel rod–reinforced cast concrete, including a concrete roof and foundation. …

Russell, Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis Russell Jr. was an author, editor of several newsletters, political and public relations advisor and consultant, political activist, and founder of the Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas. He was also nationally recognized as a leader in the preservation of state and national Civil War battlefields. Jerry Russell Jr. was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on July 21, 1933, to Jerry Lewis Russell Sr. and Frances Marion Lieb Russell. In 1958, Russell graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) and then co-edited the two-volume Who’s Who in Arkansas (1959). From 1958 to 1961, he edited The Heights Land Weekly Visitor (Little Rock). However, Russell was soon deeply involved in local …

Russellville Public Library

aka: Heritage Hall
The Russellville Public Library, located at 114 East 3rd Street in Russellville (Pope County), is Colonial Revival–style brick-veneer building constructed in 1936–1937 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 November 20, 2000. Russellville’s efforts to create a public library began in 1885 when the Excelsior Club, a men’s civic group, raised money to acquire a small collection of books that could be checked out for five cents per book per week, with additional books purchased through the proceeds. This campaign was augmented in 1889 when A. E. Lee, Russellville’s school superintendent, bought books for the high school and added these to the collection. …