Entries - Entry Category: Local - Starting with R

Remmel, Harmon Liveright

Harmon Liveright Remmel succeeded Powell Clayton as leader of Arkansas’s Republican Party in 1913. His tenure was plagued by an ongoing dispute between Lily White and African-American Republicans. His role in the movement remains a topic of debate among historians. Harmon Remmel was born on January 15, 1852, in Stratford, New York, to German immigrants Gottlieb Remmel and Henrietta Bever. Gottlieb Remmel was a tanner and a staunch Republican. Harmon Remmel, who had four brothers and two sisters, attended Fairfield Seminary in Fairfield, New York. He taught school for a year, and in 1871, he and his brother Augustus Caleb (A. C.) Remmel entered the lumber business in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 1874, he returned to New York, and in …

Remmel, Pratt

Pratt Cates Remmel was a longtime Republican activist who served as mayor of Little Rock (Pulaski County) for two terms in the 1950s. The first Republican to serve in that office since Reconstruction, he was also the Republican Party’s nominee for governor in 1954. Pratt C. Remmel was born on October 26, 1915, in Little Rock, one of five children of Augustus Caleb and Ellen Lucy Remmel. His father died when he was five, and his mother raised the children by herself. Remmel graduated from Little Rock High School in 1933 and then attended the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where he received a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1937. Returning to Little Rock, Remmel became involved in local politics. …

Rice, Wilfred R. “Bud”

W. R. “Bud” Rice was a member of the Arkansas General Assembly for almost twenty years from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. A Waldron (Scott County) native, Rice was a successful businessman whose work in the legislature was just one element of a life spent in public service. Wilfred R. Rice was born in Waldron on October 8, 1924, to the farming family of Worth Rice and Med Jones Rice. Growing up in Waldron, Rice helped his father on the farm. He was educated in the local schools, and wanting to fly, he joined the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1942. He served until the end of World War II, although he appeared to have shared little about his experiences. …

Ricks, Earl Thornton

Major General Earl Thornton Ricks served as chief of the Air Force Division, National Guard Bureau, in Washington DC and as mayor of Hot Springs (Garland County), helping end Leo McLaughlin’s political domination there. The Ricks National Guard Armory in Little Rock (Pulaski County) was named for him to commemorate his career, which spanned the most significant years of early aviation history. Earl Ricks was born on July 9, 1908, in West Point, Mississippi, the only child of Nancy Jordan and Earl Paul Ricks, an ice plant owner/manager. The family moved to Stamps (Lafayette County) in about 1916. After high school graduation at Stamps, Ricks followed his lifelong interest in flying at Parks Air College in St. Louis, Missouri. After …

Robinson, Hester Buck

Hester Buck Robinson was one of the largest landowners in Prairie County when she died. Her husband once remarked to a friend that she had a “financial brain” and had made more money since they married than he ever made. Hester Buck was born in January of 1896, probably in Wattensas Township, near DeValls Bluff (Prairie County), to William Buck, a farmer, and his wife, Celia. Her father’s older brother, Thomas, had a grocery store at DeValls Bluff. She taught school for a time before her marriage to Elias Brooks (E. B.) Robinson on June 22, 1921. Her grandfather, Silas Buck, owned land a few miles above DeValls Bluff at a point on the west bank of White River that …

Ross, Jane

Jane Ross was a prominent businesswoman and philanthropist in Clark County. She served in the Women’s Army Corps of the Army Air Force during World War II. Ross owned a photography studio in Arkadelphia (Clark County) and operated her family’s timber enterprise. She also received several awards and honors during her lifetime. Jane Ross was born in Arkadelphia on December 23, 1920, to Hugh Thomas Ross and Esther Clark Ross. She had one sister. She grew up in Arkadelphia and graduated from Arkadelphia High School in May 1938. Ross graduated from Henderson State Teachers College (now Henderson State University,) with a BA in May of 1942. Ross worked as a Navy photographer in Washington DC for six months in 1943. …

Rottaken, Herbert H.

Herbert H. Rottaken was a larger-than-life presence in post–Civil War Little Rock (Pulaski County). A Union army officer during the Civil War, he moved to Little Rock in 1868 and, six years later, was a colonel in Governor Elisha Baxter’s militia during the Brooks-Baxter War. Afterward, he served as Pulaski County sheriff, chief of the city’s volunteer fire department, county assessor, and two-term city alderman. An ardent sportsman and renowned marksman, he was, the Arkansas Gazette declared, “as great a Nimrod as ever was.” In his eclectic business career, Rottaken was a successful planter, developer, inventor, and investor, often dealing in highly speculative ventures as well as conventional ones. Herbert Rottaken was born in Elberfeld, in what is now Germany, …

Russ, Otis Stanley

Otis Stanley Russ was an Arkansas state senator from 1975 through 2000. He began serving before term limits were imposed and became the third-ranking senator in seniority. During his legislative career, he served as chairman of the Joint Budget Committee, vice chairman of the Insurance and Commerce Committee, vice chairman of the Education Commission of the States, member of the Efficiency Committee, member of the Joint Committee on Energy, member of the Joint Legislative Facilities, and member of the Education Committee. Stanley Russ was born on August 31, 1930, in Conway (Faulkner County) to O. S. Russ and Gene Browne Russ. He was the youngest of three children. Russ attended the Training School on the campus of Arkansas State Teachers …

Rutherford, James

James Rutherford fought at the Battle of Shiloh during the Civil War. He later became a political leader in Independence County, serving in the Arkansas General Assembly. James Rutherford was born on July 7, 1825, in Rutherfordton, Rutherford County, North Carolina, to Walter Blythe Rutherford Sr. and Sarah McTyre Rutherford; he was the fourth of nine children. His father had migrated from Jedburgh, Scotland, in the winter of 1815 to Rutherford County, which was named after other members of the family who lived there before the American Revolution. In February 1849, Rutherford traveled to Independence County in Arkansas for his father to collect a $3,000 debt from a man named Dillingham; this was money owed to his uncle Jimmie Rutherford. …