Entries - Entry Category: Local - Starting with S

Sager, Simon

Simon Sager and his family are believed to have been the first white settlers in Hico (now Siloam Springs in Benton County)—part of a massive influx of skilled German immigrants into the United States and northwest Arkansas that began in the 1830s. Simon Sager was born in 1802 in Wurttemberg, Germany. He married Wilhemina Charlotte Meyers of Baden, Germany, around 1825. The couple had eleven children. Sager followed his father in working as a cabinetmaker and builder. In 1836, Sager, his wife and five children, two brothers, and a cousin left Prussia, a large state in northern Germany, because of economic hardship and the political climate of the country. They arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, on January 1, 1837, and, from …

Sanders, Amy

Amy Sanders was a longtime city clerk for the City of Sherwood (Pulaski County), which named its new Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) branch library in her honor in 1989. A new library building that opened in Sherwood in 2018 retained the name. Amy Sanders was born on August 4, 1924, in Prescott (Nevada County), the child of William Hayes Barnes and Allie Mae Dye Barnes. She married Reo Dale Sanders in Texarkana (Miller County) in 1944, and the couple had two children. They were married for more than sixty-three years, until his death on June 7, 2007. Sanders went to work for the City of Sherwood in the early 1970s and, in April 1973, was appointed to replace a …

Satterfield, John Vines (J. V.)

John Vines Satterfield Jr. was elected mayor of Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1939 and oversaw, during his one term, substantial improvement in the city’s critical financial condition. He served in the Army at the Pentagon during World War II. He was later appointed the state director of the Federal Housing Administration and then was elected president of the Peoples National Bank. J. V. Satterfield Jr. was born on May 14, 1902, in Marion (Crittenden County), the oldest of six children of Dr. John Vines Satterfield and Mary Lena Marshall Satterfield. In 1904, they moved to nearby Earle (Crittenden County), where Satterfield grew up. In high school, he played baseball, was captain of the undefeated football team, and worked in …

Schexnayder, Charlotte Tillar

Journalist and state politician Charlotte Tillar Schexnayder co-owned the Dumas Clarion newspaper in Dumas (Desha County) with her husband for more than four decades and served in the Arkansas House of Representatives for fourteen years. She was the first woman appointed to the Arkansas Board of Pardons and Parole, and she was the first female president of the Dumas Chamber of Commerce. She was also president of several associations for professional journalists, including the Arkansas Press Women, the Arkansas Press Association, the National Federation of Press Women, and the National Newspaper Association. Charlotte Tillar was born on December 25, 1923, in Tillar (Drew and Desha counties) to Jewell Stephen Tillar and Bertha Terry Tillar. The family moved to McGehee (Desha County) in …

Scott, Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus Scott was appointed to the Arkansas Supreme Court after the resignation of Williamson Simpson Oldham Sr. in 1848. He was elected to the position in 1850 and reelected in 1858. He served on the Arkansas Supreme Court until his death in 1859, the longest tenure of any justice in the antebellum period. Christopher C. Scott was born in Scottsburg, Virginia, on April 22, 1807. He was the son of General John Baytop Scott, who was a prominent lawyer and Revolutionary War soldier, and Martha “Patsy” Thompson, an accomplished daughter of a wealthy planter. John Baytop Scott was friends with many of the nation’s founding fathers, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. He was a graduate of …

Seiz, Bill

aka: William Augustav Seiz
William Augustav (Bill) Seiz was one of the most active and visible leaders in Hot Springs (Garland County) from the 1920s through the 1980s. Seiz was at the forefront of the industrial development, city planning, and other civic endeavors. Bill Seiz was born on June 19, 1902, in St. Louis, Missouri. His father, William Gustov, was a sign painter in St. Louis. Seiz was the oldest son of the seven children in his family. The Seiz family moved to Hot Springs in 1908, where the elder Seiz established Seiz Sign Company. Seiz excelled in the Hot Springs public schools through the eighth grade, when his father took him out of school to begin work. The family was extremely poor, and …

Semmes, Samuel Spencer

Samuel Semmes was a Civil War veteran, lawyer, and businessman in Mississippi County in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He served one term as the county judge. Samuel Spencer Semmes, the son of Raphael Semmes and Ann Elizabeth Spencer Semmes, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on March 4, 1838. His father, who was later the famed raider of the Confederate CSS Alabama, had moved to Ohio in 1834, marrying Ann in 1837. Semmes was the oldest of their six children. In about 1848, after serving in the Mexican War, Semmes’s father moved his family to near Mobile, Alabama, where Semmes spent his youth. By the early 1850s, he was attending the Jesuit school Spring Hill College in Mobile, …

Shackelford, Lottie Lee Holt

Lottie Lee Holt Shackelford is a prominent African-American political leader who became the first female mayor of Little Rock (Pulaski County) and commanded leadership roles in the national Democratic Party for three decades. She was an Arkansas delegate to every Democratic National Convention from 1980 through 2012, often as a so-called superdelegate, and was chosen to be an automatic superdelegate for the 2016 convention. In addition, she was the longest-serving national vice chair in the Democratic Party’s history. She is a member of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. Lottie Lee Holt was born on April 30, 1941, in Little Rock, one of four children—with two sisters and a brother—of Curtis Holt Sr. and Bernice Linzy Holt. Her father was …

Sharp, Ephraim

Ephraim Sharp, for whom Sharp County was named, was an early pioneer in Arkansas. He also served in the state legislature during the fifteenth and seventeenth sessions of the Arkansas General Assembly. Ephraim Sharp was born on July 30, 1815, in Hamilton County, Ohio, the ninth of ten children born to farmers John Sharp and Elizabeth Elston Sharp. His mother died when he was three. When he was twelve years old, his father moved the family from Ohio to Decatur County, Indiana. On October 29, 1833, Sharp married his first wife, Margaret Stevens; they had five children. In 1837, Sharp and his younger brother, William, moved their families to Arkansas. They settled as farmers in Sugar Loaf Township, near the …

Shaver, James Levesque Jr.

James L. Shaver Jr. became an influential figure in the Arkansas House of Representatives in the second half of the twentieth century. Over the course of almost four decades in the Arkansas House, he played an important role in shaping policy in numerous areas. James Levesque Shaver Jr. was born on November 23, 1927, in Wynne (Cross County). The son of one-time lieutenant governor James Levesque “Bex” Shaver and Louise Davis Shaver, he grew up in Wynne and received his early education there, graduating from the local high school. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After he received an honorable discharge in February 1946, he attended the University of Arkansas School of Law, receiving a JD in 1951. Shaver married …

Smith, Gerald Lyman Kenneth

Gerald Lyman Kenneth Smith was a minister and political agitator who built a series of “Sacred Projects,” tourist attractions with a religious theme, in Eureka Springs (Carroll County) beginning in the 1960s. He attained prominence first in the 1930s as an organizer for Louisiana political boss Huey P. Long but was known more for far-right activism, particularly for anti-Semitic and fascist causes. Gerald L. K. Smith was born on February 7, 1898, on a farm in Pardeeville, Wisconsin, to Lyman Z. Smith and Sarah Smith. He had one sister. He was descended from three generations of Disciples of Christ ministers, earned a degree in biblical studies from Valparaiso University in Indiana in 1918, and became a minister himself, serving churches …

Smith, Lindsley Farrar Armstrong

Lindsley Smith was a state representative from Fayetteville (Washington County) in the 85th, 86th, and 87th Arkansas General Assemblies, serving from 2005 to 2010. Lindsley Farrar Armstrong was born on September 8, 1963, in Birmingham, Alabama, to Jewel Dean Ott, who was a homemaker and secretary, and Lewis Munn Armstrong, a civil engineer. She attended public schools in Birmingham and graduated from Woodlawn High School in 1981. She received an AA in business administration from Jefferson State Community College in 1984. While living in Birmingham, she sang in the choir at Stockham Memorial Methodist Church, was active in community theater, and played clarinet in the Birmingham Civic Orchestra. She received a speech and debate scholarship to the University of West …

Smith, Morgan

Morgan Smith—a physician, administrator, and legislator—was a leader in the drive to improve public health and medical education in Arkansas. Following his service as dean of the Arkansas Medical School, now the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), from 1912 to 1927, he represented Pulaski County as a Democrat in the state House of Representatives from 1928 to 1934. Born on March 8, 1868, in El Dorado (Union County), Morgan Smith was the second son of James Monroe Smith, who was a planter and merchant, and Mary Josephine Morgan Smith. He had two brothers and one sister. His father, who formerly served in various county offices, was a state senator and a representative from Union County. Educated in the …

Smith, Ray Sammons, Jr.

Ray Sammons Smith Jr. was a lawyer and politician from Hot Springs (Garland County) who spent twenty-eight years as a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives and rose to be speaker of the House and majority leader, despite a political bent that often put him at odds with the prevailing political sentiments of the state and his own community. For example, when the legislature and Governor Orval E. Faubus began to enact legislation early in 1957 to deter or limit school integration, Smith was often one of the few votes in either house against any of the bills. When the legislature in August 1958, shortly before school opening, passed a bill written by Attorney General Bruce Bennett and supported …

Smith, Stephen Austin

Stephen Smith is a professor, author, and politician. He taught communication at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) from 1982 to 2015, after which he was named Professor Emeritus of Communication. He also served two terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives, from 1971 to 1974. Stephen Austin Smith was born on May 15, 1949, in Fayetteville to Austin Clell Smith, who was a country doctor, and Margaret Lucille King, a homemaker and business owner. His family had a long tradition of public service. Charlie King, his great-grandfather, served three terms as Madison County judge, and his grandfather, Albert King, served three terms as Madison County treasurer, while his father and his younger sister, Nancy, were members …

Sprick, Dan Travis

Dan T. Sprick was a prominent political figure in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the middle of the twentieth century. He served a single term as mayor of Little Rock before spending a decade in the Arkansas Senate. Daniel Travis Sprick was born on May 19, 1902, in Little Rock. Little is known about his early years before he entered the military to serve in World War I. After the war, he built a company that constructed the first trunk sewer line around Little Rock. He later founded the Donnafill Corp. Turning from business to politics, Sprick served three terms on the Little Rock City Council, from 1935 to 1941. During his time on the council, Sprick was the only …

Stovall, Bill H. III

Bill H. Stovall III was a leader of the Arkansas House of Representatives in the early part of the twenty-first century. After term limits restricted his time in office, he served on the staff of the House Speaker for almost a decade. Bill H. Stovall III was born on February 21, 1960, in Blytheville (Mississippi County) to Bill H. Stovall Jr. and Vivian Lee Stovall. He earned an Associate of Arts degree from Pulaski Technical College, a BA in political science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and a Master of Liberal Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Stovall later settled in Quitman (Cleburne and Faulkner counties). In 1992, he won the first of …