Legislative Branch -- Representatives

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Alford, Thomas Dale

Thomas Dale Alford was a prominent Arkansas ophthalmologist, Episcopalian, radio announcer, civic leader, and politician remembered largely as a leader of opposition to federally mandated desegregation during the crisis at Central High School in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Alford’s role as a leading segregationist came first through his seat on the Little Rock School Board and then as the “Segregation Sticker Candidate” who upset incumbent Democratic U.S. Representative Brooks Hays after a notorious ten-day write-in campaign in the 1958 election for the Fifth Congressional District of Arkansas. Dale Alford was born near Murfreesboro (Pike County) on January 28, 1916, the son of T. H. Alford and Ida Womack Alford, both of whom were itinerant school teachers. His father ultimately became …

Anthony, Beryl Franklin, Jr.

Beryl Franklin Anthony Jr. is a long-time Arkansas public servant and an alumnus of the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). He served as a U.S. Representative from 1979 to 1993. Beryl Franklin Anthony Jr. was born in El Dorado (Union County) on February 21, 1938, the son of Beryl Franklin Anthony Sr. and Oma Lee Roark Anthony. The Anthonys had founded the Anthony Forest Products Company, with Anthony Sr. as chairman. Anthony attended the Union County public schools; he graduated from El Dorado High School in 1956, and he earned BS and BA degrees from UA in 1961. He was also a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. In 1963, he earned a Juris Doctorate from the …

Bates, James Woodson

James Woodson Bates was an early Arkansas settler who was elected as the first Arkansas territorial representative to the U.S. Congress. After leaving that office, he went on to help develop Arkansas’s legal system as a judge and lawyer. Batesville (Independence County) was named after him in 1824. James Bates was born on August 25, 1788, in Belmont, Virginia, to Thomas F. Bates and Caroline Woodson Bates. Little is known of his early life, but he attended Yale College (now Yale University). He eventually graduated from Princeton College (now Princeton University) in 1807 and began practicing law in Virginia. In 1816, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where his brother Frederick Bates had been appointed territorial secretary. In 1819, he, …

Berry, Robert Marion

Robert Marion Berry represented Arkansas’s First Congressional District as a Democrat for seven terms. First elected to the 105th Congress, he served from January 1997 until January 2011. Marion Berry was born in Stuttgart (Arkansas County) on August 27, 1942. The son of a rice farmer and his wife, he had two brothers. He was educated in local schools before graduating from DeWitt High School in DeWitt (Arkansas County). Berry went on to the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), where he earned a BS in pharmacy in 1965. He settled in Gillett (Arkansas County) and became a licensed pharmacist and a farmer who grew rice and soybeans. He soon became involved in local politics, winning a seat …

Bethune, Edwin Ruthvin (Ed), Jr.

Edwin Ruthvin (Ed) Bethune Jr., a lawyer and lobbyist in Washington DC, served as a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1979 to 1985 from the Second Congressional District of Arkansas. Ed Bethune was born on December 19, 1935, in Pocahontas (Randolph County) to Edwin Bethune Sr. and Delta Lewallen Bethune. He has one sister. Although he grew up in Pocahontas, Bethune spent one year in Little Rock (Pulaski County), attending Little Rock High School (later called Central High); Bethune graduated from Pocahontas High School in 1953. He attended one semester at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) and followed that with four years in the U.S. Marine Corps (1954–1957), during which time he …

Boles, Thomas

Thomas Boles was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Third District of Arkansas in the Fortieth, Forty-First, and Forty-Second Congresses from 1868 to 1871 and then again from 1872 to 1873. Thomas Boles was born on July 16, 1837, near Clarksville (Johnson County) to John Boles and Mary May Boles. One of eleven children, he was educated in the local common schools and was a teacher for a few years before becoming sheriff of Yell County in 1858. The following year, he was appointed deputy clerk of the Yell County circuit court, a position that motivated him to study law. Admitted to the Arkansas bar in 1860, he started a practice in Danville (Yell …

Boozman, John

Businessman and rancher John Boozman became a leading Republican officeholder in the early part of the twenty-first century. First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2001, he was later elected to the Senate and became, in 2015, the state’s senior U.S. senator. John Boozman was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on December 10, 1950, to Fay Winford Boozman Jr. and Marie Nichols Boozman. Fay Boozman was a U.S. Air Force master sergeant, and the family moved frequently when John was young. Boozman spent his high school years in Arkansas, graduating from Northside High School in Fort Smith (Sebastian County). Boozman played football for the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), which he attended from 1969 to 1972. …

Brundidge, Stephen, Jr.

Stephen Brundidge Jr. was a prosecuting attorney, a member of the Democratic State Central Committee, and a six-term U.S. Representative for the Sixth and Second Congressional districts. Born on January 1, 1857, in Searcy (White County), Brundidge was the fourth child of Stephen and Minerva Brundidge, who moved to Searcy from Mississippi in 1853. His father was a contractor who built the first brick buildings in Searcy, including the main section of the present White County Courthouse, built in 1869. Brundidge graduated with honors from the Searcy Male and Female Academy. He then read law in the offices of William R. Coody and Dandridge McRae and was admitted to the bar in 1879. He first practiced law in Jacksonport (Jackson …

Carroll, David Williamson

David Williamson Carroll, who was one of the eleven men who represented the state in the Confederate Congress, was the first Roman Catholic to represent Arkansas in a national legislative body. He was one of the three members of the eleven-member Arkansas delegation who owned no slaves. David Williamson Carroll was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 11, 1816, the eldest child of William Carroll and Henrietta Maria Williamson. He was the scion of a prominent Catholic family. His great-grandfather Daniel Carroll (1730–1796) participated in the Constitutional Convention of 1787, being one of the three members of the Maryland delegation to sign the document. Daniel Carroll was the older brother of John Carroll (1735–1815), the first Catholic bishop and archbishop …

Cate, William Henderson

  William Henderson (W. H.) Cate was a lawyer, a judge, and a Democratic politician who served in the state legislature from 1871 to 1874 and in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1889 to 1890 and from 1891 to 1893. Charges of election fraud in the 1888 election resulted in federal hearings that saw him ousted from his congressional seat in 1890. W. H. Cate, born on November 11, 1839, near Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was one of two surviving children born to Noah Cate, who was a Baptist minister, and his wife Margaret M. (Henderson) Cate. Raised in Tennessee’s Hawkins and Sullivan counties, he attended the common schools and academies in Abingdon, Virginia, and Rogersville, Tennessee. In 1857, he graduated from the University of …

Cravens, Jordan Edgar

Jordan Edgar Cravens was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Third District of Arkansas in the Forty-Fifth, Forty-Sixth, and Forty-Seventh Congresses from 1877 until 1883. Jordan E. Cravens was born on November 7, 1830, in Fredericktown, Missouri, to Nehemiah Cravens and Sophia Thompson Cravens. He was one of three sons. Seeking new opportunity, the Cravens family moved to Arkansas the year after his birth. Cravens received his early education in the local common schools, but he graduated from the Presbyterian-supported Cane Hill College in Washington County in 1850. Following graduation, he studied the law and was admitted to the state bar in 1854, opening a practice in Clarksville (Johnson County). Cravens then entered the …

Cravens, William Ben

William Ben Cravens was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He had two separate and distinct periods of service in Congress, first representing the Fourth District of Arkansas in the Sixtieth, Sixty-First, and Sixty-Second Congresses, serving from 1907 to 1913, and then after two decades away, he returned to Congress, again representing the Fourth District, in the Seventy-Third through the Seventy-Sixth Congresses, serving from March 1933 until his death in early 1939. Ben Cravens was born on January 17, 1872, in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) to William Murphy Cravens and Mary Eloise Rutherford Cravens. He attended the local schools before continuing his studies at Louisville Military Academy in Kentucky and then at Staunton Military Academy in Virginia. …

Cravens, William Fadjo

William Fadjo Cravens was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Fourth District of Arkansas in the Seventy-Sixth through the Eightieth Congresses, serving from 1939 to 1949. Fadjo Cravens was born in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) on February 15, 1899, to William Ben Cravens and Caroline Dyal Cravens. Cravens got his early education in the local public schools before attending the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) and the University of Pittsburgh. His education was interrupted while he served as a seaman in the U.S. Navy during World War I. Upon his return from the service, he earned his law degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, in 1920. Cravens was …

Davis, Danny K.

Danny K. Davis is an Arkansas-born politician who has represented the Seventh District of Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives for almost two decades. First elected in 1996 to the 105th Congress, he began his congressional service in 1997. In 2014, Davis was reelected to the 114th Congress, beginning his tenth term in January 2015. Davis was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1998. Daniel K. Davis was born in Parkdale (Ashley County) on September 6, 1941, to Hezekiah Davis and Mazzie Davis. He received his early education in the local schools before graduating from Savage High School in 1957. After earning his BA in history from Arkansas AM&N College (now the University of Arkansas at …

Dickey, Jay Woodson, Jr.

Jay Woodson Dickey Jr. was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Fourth District of Arkansas in the 103rd through the 106th Congresses, serving from 1993 to 2001. Jay W. Dickey Jr. was born in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) on December 14, 1939, to Jay W. Dickey and Margaret Dickey. He graduated from Pine Bluff High School in 1957, before attending Hendrix College in Conway (Faulkner County) for a brief time. He transferred to the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1961. Continuing his studies at UA, Dickey earned a law degree in 1963. After being admitted to the state bar, he entered into private practice in …

Driver, William “Judge”

William Joshua “Judge” Driver of Mississippi County served as a member of the Arkansas legislature (1897–1899), as circuit judge in the Second Judicial District (1911–1918), and as U.S. representative from Arkansas’s First Congressional District (1921–1939). During his tenure in Washington DC, Driver served as president of the powerful National Rivers and Harbors Congress for many years and became chairman of that group’s board of directors in 1940. Driver used his position in the National Rivers and Harbors Congress to influence federal flood control legislation that greatly benefited Arkansas in the early twentieth century. William Driver was born near Osceola (Mississippi County) on March 2, 1873, the second of John B. Driver and Margaret Ann Bowen Driver’s eight children. His father …

Dunn, Poindexter

Poindexter Dunn was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the First District of Arkansas in the Forty-Sixth through the Fiftieth Congresses, serving from 1879 to 1889. Poindexter Dunn was born on November 3, 1834, near Raleigh, North Carolina, to Grey Dunn and Lydia Baucum Dunn. He and his family moved to Limestone County, Alabama, in 1837. After receiving his early education in local common schools, he graduated from Jackson College in Columbia, Tennessee, in 1854. He studied law for a time before moving to St. Francis County in Arkansas in 1856 and then won election to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1858. He also grew cotton until 1861, when the Civil War broke out. …

Edwards, John

John Edwards was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Initially declared the victor in the election of 1870, he represented the Third District of Arkansas for most of the Forty-Second Congress, serving from 1871 until 1872. John Edwards was born on October 24, 1815, in Louisville, Kentucky, to John Edwards and Nancy Geiger Edwards. He received his early education in the Louisville schools, but he eventually moved to Indiana, reportedly in order to leave a slave state. He studied the law and was admitted to the state bar. In 1848, he was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives, where he served one term. Edwards moved to California and was soon elected an alcalde, a type of …

Elliott, James Thomas

James Thomas Elliott was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Second District of Arkansas in the Fortieth Congress, serving briefly in 1869. James T. Elliott was born in Columbus, Georgia, on April 22, 1823. He received his education in the local common schools and then studied law. Admitted to the bar in 1854, Elliott began a private practice in Camden (Ouachita County). In 1858, Elliott was named president of the Mississippi, Ouachita and Red River Railroad, which was embroiled in a number of legal battles. Elliott was unable to achieve a solution, however, and the railroad’s general status remained unresolved as the Civil War approached. Elliott was reported to have opposed secession during the …

Ellis, Clyde Taylor

Clyde Taylor Ellis was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a pioneer in the nation’s rural electrification movement. He served as the first general manager of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), which was formed to help promote and protect the interests of the rural electrification program, a New Deal program created in 1935. Clyde Ellis was born on December 21, 1908, to Cecil O. Ellis and Minerva Taylor Ellis on a farm near Garfield (Benton County). He was the oldest of nine children. He attended the rural Ruddick School (also known as Ozark No. 15), then attended two years of high school at Garfield High and two years at University High in Fayetteville (Washington County). …

Featherstone, Lewis Porter

Lewis Porter (L. P.) Featherstone was an Agricultural Wheel leader and a politician who served in the state legislature in 1887 and in the U.S. Congress from 1890 to 1891. His electoral defeat in 1888 resulted in federal hearings that highlighted the extent of election fraud in Arkansas and saw him seated in Congress in 1890. L. P. Featherstone, the eldest son of Lewis H. Featherstone and Elizabeth (Porter) Featherstone, was born on July 28, 1851, in Oxford, Mississippi. By 1860, his father, a landowning farmer, had resettled near Memphis, Tennessee, and his family eventually included five more sons. Educated in the local schools, Featherstone attended Cumberland University law school in Lebanon, Tennessee, before failing eyesight forced him to abandon …

Floyd, John Charles

John Charles Floyd was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Third District of Arkansas in the Fifty-Ninth through the Sixty-Third Congresses, serving from 1905 to 1915. John Charles Floyd was born on April 14, 1858, in Sparta, Tennessee, to John Wesley Floyd and Eliza Jane Snodgrass Floyd. Floyd spent his early years in Tennessee while his father served in the Confederate army. After the Civil War, the family moved to Arkansas, settling near Bentonville (Benton County) in 1869. There, Floyd received his early education, attending the local common school and the high school. He continued his education at Arkansas Industrial University in Fayetteville (Washington County), which later became the University of Arkansas, from which …

Fuller, Claude Albert

Claude Albert Fuller was a noteworthy lawyer, city clerk, state legislator, prosecuting attorney, mayor, and congressman. As mayor, he made many improvements to his city, and as a Democratic congressman, he was a force for improving the lives of those he represented. Among other accomplishments, he was involved with the Social Security Bill and the lakes of northwest Arkansas. Claude Fuller was born on January 20, 1876, in Springhill, Whiteside County, Illinois, to Wilmont P. and Maria (Ocobock) Fuller. He had a brother and a sister, Harvey and Maude. Fuller’s father, of English ancestry, was a farmer, carpenter, and small contractor. His Pennsylvania Dutch mother was a devout Baptist and insisted the entire family accompany her to Sunday school and …

Gathings, Ezekiel Candler “Took”

Ezekiel Candler “Took” Gathings represented Arkansas’s First Congressional District for thirty years (1939–1969). Throughout this period, he championed the interests of the neo-plantation elite who dominated politics and society in that region and was one of a powerful bloc of conservative Southern Democrats who frequently fought against social reform legislation introduced by more liberal members of their party. “Took” Gathings was born the youngest of eight children of Melville W. Gathings and Virgie Garner Gathings on November 10, 1903, in Prairie, Mississippi. As an infant, his parents referred to him as “Sugar,” which his two-year-old brother pronounced “Tooker”; hence, the nickname that eventually supplanted his given name. His family later moved to Earle (Crittenden County), where he graduated from high …

Gause, Lucien Coatsworth

Lucien Coatsworth Gause was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the First District of Arkansas in the Forty-Fourth and Forty-Fifth Congresses, serving from 1875 to 1879. Lucien C. Gause was born near Wilmington, North Carolina, on December 25, 1836, to Samuel Sidney Gause and Elizabeth Ann Gause. The family, which included another son, moved to Lauderdale County, Tennessee, where Gause received his earliest education, studying with a private tutor. After graduating from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, he studied law at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. After graduating from Cumberland, he was admitted to the bar and began to practice law in Arkansas at Jacksonport (Jackson County) in 1859. Gause was reputedly an excellent …

Glover, D. D.

aka: David Delano Glover
David Delano “D. D.” Glover served in the Arkansas legislature (1909–1911), as prosecuting attorney of Arkansas’s Seventh Judicial Circuit (1913–1917), and as a Democratic representative to the U.S. Congress from Arkansas’s Sixth Congressional District (1929–1935). During Glover’s tenure in the Arkansas legislature, he chaired the Capitol Commission that oversaw the troubled completion of the Arkansas State Capitol building. D. D. Glover, the second of William H. Glover and Margaret Crowson Glover’s seven children, was born on January 18, 1868, in Prattsville (Grant County), where his parents owned a family farm. He attended schools in Prattsville and Sheridan (Grant County) and graduated from Sheridan High School in 1886. On December 24, 1891, Glover married Roberta Theodosia Quinn, whose father, Thomas W. …

Goodwin, William Shields

William Shields Goodwin was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Seventh District of Arkansas in the Sixty-Second through the Sixty-Sixth Congresses, serving from 1911 to 1921. William Shields Goodwin was born on May 2, 1866, in Warren (Bradley County) to Thomas Morrison Goodwin and Esther Shields Goodwin. He was educated in the local public schools before attending Farmers’ Academy in Duluth, Georgia; Cooledge’s Preparatory School; and Moore’s Business College in Atlanta. He also studied at both the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) and the University of Mississippi. He also studied the law and was admitted to the Arkansas bar in 1894, after which he opened a practice in Warren. He soon …

Greenwood, Alfred Burton

Alfred Burton Greenwood was an early settler in Benton County who served in local, state, and national public offices for twenty years. During his career, he served as state representative, prosecuting attorney, circuit judge, U.S. congressman, and tax collector for the Confederacy. A. B. Greenwood, born in Franklin County, Georgia, on July 11, 1811, was the eldest of five children born to Hugh B. Greenwood, a carpenter and cabinetmaker, and Elizabeth Ingram Greenwood. Greenwood was educated in Lawrenceville and Athens, Georgia, where he studied the classics, and he graduated from the University of Georgia. At the age of eighteen, he began the study of law with William Izzard. Admitted to the bar at Monroe, Georgia, in 1832, Greenwood relocated to …

Gunter, Thomas Montague

Thomas Montague Gunter was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. From 1874 to 1883, he represented first the Third District of Arkansas and then later, due to redistricting, the Fourth District. His service began in the Forty-Third Congress and extended through the Forty-Seventh Congress. Thomas M. Gunter was born on September 18, 1826, near McMinnville, Tennessee. The son of John Gunter and Lavina Thomason Gunter, he pursued classical studies and graduated from Irving College in Tennessee in 1850. After graduation, he taught school for a year in Alabama. With his earnings, he began to study law, a course he continued when he moved to Arkansas in 1852. There, he began to work and study under a relative, …

Hammerschmidt, John Paul

In 1966, John Paul Hammerschmidt, a native of Harrison (Boone County), became the first Republican elected to Congress from Arkansas since Reconstruction. He served Arkansas’s Third District for twenty-six years in Congress. His ability to relate to and serve the home population through effective casework management is perhaps his most lasting legacy. John Paul Hammerschmidt was born on May 4, 1922, in Harrison to Arthur Paul and Junie M. Hammerschmidt. Hammerschmidt was the fourth of five children. Both sets of grandparents migrated to Boone County in the early years of the twentieth century and were of German descent. His paternal grandfather began the Hammerschmidt Lumber Co., which his father and later Hammerschmidt himself managed. Hammerschmidt’s family settled in a modest …

Harris, Oren

Oren Harris served as prosecuting attorney of Arkansas’s Thirteenth Judicial Circuit (1937–1940) and in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the Fourth Congressional District from 1941 to 1953 and, following redistricting, the Seventh Congressional District from 1953 to 1966. Harris resigned his congressional seat in February 1966 after President Lyndon Johnson appointed him U.S. district judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas. Although Harris took senior status with the court in 1976, he fulfilled his promise to work until “he couldn’t put his socks on” and carried a full docket of cases for two additional decades. Oren Harris was born on a farm in Belton (Hempstead County) on December 20, 1903, to Homer Harris and Bettie Bullock Harris, …

Hays, Lawrence Brooks

Lawrence Brooks Hays was a twentieth-century political, civic, and religious leader in Arkansas. He was one of the most influential members of the state’s congressional delegation after World War II and one of the few laymen to serve as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention. While he often referred to himself as a politician, his wife thought the label that best described him was “Arkansas social worker.” Brooks Hays was born on August 9, 1898, in London (Pope County) at the base of the Ozark Plateau. His father, Steele Hays, was a schoolteacher who later became a prominent lawyer, and his mother, Sallie Butler Hays, was also a schoolteacher. Brooks grew up in Russellville, the seat of Pope County, …

Hill, Samuel Billingsley

Samuel Billingsley Hill was an Arkansas-born politician who represented the state of Washington in Congress for over a decade. An expert on taxation and an influential member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Hill left the House in 1936 to accept a presidential appointment to the United States Board of Tax Appeals (now the Tax Court of the United States), where he served for approximately seventeen years. Samuel B. Hill was born on April 2, 1875, in Franklin (Izard County). One of eight children born to Margaret Billingsley Hill and William Hill, he received his early education in the area’s common schools before attending the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). He graduated from the university’s law …

Hinds, James

James M. Hinds was an Arkansas politician during the Reconstruction era. He served as a representative to the Arkansas Constitutional Convention of 1868 and to the U.S. Congress upon Arkansas’s readmission to the Union after the Civil War. During his four months as representative, Hinds helped introduce a bill for the sale of what is now Hot Springs National Park, aided in establishing agricultural colleges, and promoted the interests of black soldiers. Upon the passage of the Reconstruction Acts, Hinds advocated the measures on a state level, as well as taught enfranchised African-American men about their newly acquired rights as citizens. His assassination by a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) member was deemed politically motivated. He is one of the six …

Hodges, Asa

Asa Hodges was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives. He represented the First District of Arkansas in the Forty-Third Congress, serving from 1873 to 1875. Asa Hodges was born on January 22, 1822, near Moulton, Alabama, to William Hodges and Jeanette Daugherty Hodges. He and his family later moved to Marion (Crittenden County). After receiving his early education in local schools, he graduated from LaGrange College in LaGrange, Missouri, in 1848. Hodges also studied law and was admitted to the Alabama state bar in 1848. He then began to practice law, working first in the offices of L. P. Walker in Florence, Alabama, and later forming a legal partnership with Thomas M. Peters, who would later …

Hutchinson, Asa

aka: William Asa Hutchinson
William Asa Hutchinson first gained national attention as the youngest district attorney in the nation in 1982. He went on to represent the Third District of Arkansas in Congress as a Republican from 1997 to 2001, resigning his post on August 6, 2001, to become the director of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Hutchinson left the DEA to become the Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security at the Department of Homeland Security, a post he held from 2003 to 2005. In 2005, Hutchinson began actively campaigning for the governorship of Arkansas but lost the race to Mike Beebe in November 2006. However, he was elected governor eight years later in 2014 and reelected in 2018. Asa Hutchinson was born on …

Hutchinson, Young Timothy (Tim)

Tim Hutchinson represented the State of Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 1997 and the U.S. Senate from 1997 to 2003. Young Timothy (Tim) Hutchinson was born on August 11, 1949, in Bentonville (Benton County) to John Malcolm Hutchinson Sr. and Coral Hutchinson; he has five siblings. His father was a grocer, farmer, and eventually mayor of Sulphur Springs (Benton County). Hutchinson attended public schools in Bentonville and Gravette (Benton County). He graduated with a BA from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, and received an MA in political science from the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1990. Hutchinson married his first wife, Donna Jean King, in 1970; they had three …

Hynes, William Joseph

William Joseph Hynes was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was the at-large representative from Arkansas in the Forty-Third Congress, serving from 1873 to 1875. William J. Hynes was born on March 31, 1843, in County Clare, Ireland. He was the son of Thomas Hynes and Catherine O’Shea Hynes. His father died in 1848, and Hynes’s mother brought the family to the United States five years later, settling first in Springfield, Massachusetts. It was in Massachusetts where Hynes received his early education, a program of study that included training in printing. He worked first in newspaper publishing but turned to law. He apprenticed in the office of a local Springfield attorney and then moved south, being …

Jacoway, Henderson Madison

Henderson Madison Jacoway was an Arkansas politician who represented the state’s Fifth District in Congress for six terms. First elected to the Sixty-Second Congress, he served from March 4, 1911, until March 3, 1923. Henderson Jacoway was born in Dardanelle (Yell County) on November 7, 1870, to William Dodge Jacoway and Elizabeth D. Parks Jacoway. Jacoway attended the local common schools before graduating from Dardanelle High School in 1887. He went on to Winchester Normal College in Winchester, Tennessee, earning his degree in 1892. He then entered Vanderbilt University’s law department, where he completed his degree in 1898, graduating as valedictorian. He was admitted to the bar the same year and started a private practice in Dardanelle. In 1893, Congress …

Johnson, Robert Ward

Robert Ward Johnson was an Arkansas political leader who represented the state in both chambers of the U.S. Congress and as a congressman and senator in the Confederate Congress. Born in Scott County, Kentucky, to Benjamin and Matilda Williams Johnson, he belonged to a powerful political family, as two of his uncles represented Kentucky in the U.S. House of Representatives, and another uncle, Richard Mentor Johnson, eventually became vice president of the United States. His father was appointed Superior Judge for Arkansas Territory in 1821, and President Andrew Jackson later appointed him in 1836 as the first Federal District Judge for the new state of Arkansas. One of his daughters married Ambrose H. Sevier, head of the state Democratic Party …

Jones, James Kimbrough

James Kimbrough Jones served as a U.S. senator from Arkansas for three full terms after first serving two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. During his twenty-two years in Washington DC, he became a prominent leader in the Democratic Party and a national advocate for lower tariffs and for the use of silver to back American currency. James Kimbrough Jones was born on September 29, 1839, in Marshall County, Mississippi, to Nat Jones and Caroline Jane Jones (whose maiden name was also Jones, although she was not related to Nat Jones). Jones had a younger brother who died in childhood, and his mother died when he was six. His father remarried after moving to Dallas County, Arkansas. Two daughters …

Kitchens, Wade Hampton

Wade Hampton Kitchens was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Fourth District of Arkansas in the Seventy-fifth and Seventy-sixth Congresses from 1937 to 1941. Wade Hampton Kitchens was born on December 26, 1878, on a farm near Falcon (Nevada County) to James Monroe Kitchens and Margret Sherrill Kitchens. He had eleven siblings. His formal education included the area’s local common schools, Southern Academy, and then the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), which he attended from 1895 to 1898. With no academic legal education available at the university or anywhere within the state, Kitchens left UA and continued his formal studies at the law department of Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, from …

Lincoln, Blanche Lambert

Blanche Meyers Lambert Lincoln was a United States senator whose career was marked by firsts and by a desire for bipartisanship. She was the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Arkansas since Hattie W. Caraway in 1932, the youngest woman elected to the Senate, and was mentioned as a possible running mate for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in the 2004 election. Blanche Meyers Lambert was born on September 30, 1960, in Helena (Phillips County), hailing from a seventh-generation Arkansas farm family that grew rice, wheat, soybeans, and cotton. Her parents were Jordan Lambert Jr., a farmer, and Martha Kelly Lambert, a homemaker. She attended Helena public schools, and her first elective office was president of the Helena Central …

Lyon, Matthew

Matthew Lyon, a six-term congressman who represented first Vermont and later Kentucky, was an iconic figure in the early American republic. Always outspoken, he frequently found himself at the center of the early battles between the Federalist Party and his own Jeffersonian Republicans (a.k.a. the Democrat-Republican Party or Republican Party). After a tumultuous multifaceted career in Congress, Lyon spent his final years in Arkansas, where he had moved in 1820 after his appointment as U.S. factor to the Cherokee Nation in the Arkansas Territory. Matthew Lyon was born on July 14, 1749, in Ireland, not far from Dublin. His father, a political protestor, was killed when Lyon was a young boy. He received his early education in Dublin, where he …

Macon, Robert Bruce

Robert Bruce Macon was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the First District of Arkansas in the Fifty-Eighth through the Sixty-Second Congresses, serving from 1903 to 1913. Robert Macon was born on July 6, 1859, near Trenton (Phillips County) to Robert Bruce Macon and Mary Jane Macon. Orphaned at the age of nine, he received his early education in the local public schools and at home, and he first supported himself through a variety of agricultural activities. However, farming in the post-Reconstruction South was particularly difficult work, and Macon eventually turned to politics and the study of law. Before entering the legal profession, Macon served as a state lawmaker, occupying a seat in the Arkansas …

McCulloch, Philip Doddridge, Jr.

Philip Doddridge McCulloch Jr. was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the First District of Arkansas from 1893 to 1903, beginning in the Fifty-Third Congress and extending through the Fifty-Seventh Congress. Philip McCulloch Jr. was born on June 23, 1851, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to Philip D. McCulloch, who was a doctor, and Lucy Burrus McCulloch. When he was three years old, McCulloch’s family moved to Trenton, Tennessee. He received most of his early education in the area’s private schools before attending Andrew College in Trenton. He studied law and after being admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1872, he opened a practice in Trenton. In early 1874, McCulloch moved to Marianna (Lee County) and began …

Mills, Wilbur Daigh

Wilbur Daigh Mills served in the U.S. House of Representatives from January 1939 to January 1977, becoming one of the top three longest serving Arkansas officials. Mills is known for his role as architect for Medicare, interstate highways, Social Security, tax reform, and many other policies. He was also the longest continuously serving chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, becoming a member of the committee in 1942, becoming chairman in 1958, stepping down as chairman in 1975, and retiring from the committee and Congress in 1977. When anyone in Washington DC spoke of “Mr. Chairman,” everyone understood that the reference was to Mills. Wilbur Mills was born May 24, 1909, in Kensett (White County) to Ardra Pickens Mills, …

Neill, Robert

Robert Neill, son of an early Batesville (Independence County) tanner, went on to become commander of the fifth military district in Arkansas after Reconstruction, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the first chairman of the Arkansas Railroad Commission. Robert Neill was born near Desha (Independence County) on November 12, 1838. His parents were Henry Neill and Dorcas Stark Neill; he had five siblings. His father was a tanner by trade and had arrived in nearby Batesville in 1832; he was also prominent in local politics, having served in the state legislature as a county supervisor and as county judge. Neill received his education in the local schools, and in 1859, he went to Ohio to take a …

Newton, Thomas Willoughby

Thomas Willoughby Newton was a Whig member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the First District of Arkansas in the Twenty-Ninth Congress, serving briefly in 1847. Newton County is named after him. Thomas W. Newton was born in Alexandria, Virginia, on January 18, 1804, to William Newton and Jane Stewart Newton. He received his early education in the local schools before moving to Arkansas in 1820. He settled in Little Rock (Pulaski County), where he became involved in the government, serving as the Secretary of the Council in the Territorial Legislature in 1823, 1825, 1827, and 1828. He also served as the local postmaster in 1824 as well as the clerk of courts of Pulaski County from 1825 …