Pulaski Leaders

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Entries - Entry Category: Pulaski Leaders - Starting with C

Catterson, Robert Francis

Robert Francis Catterson was an officer in the Union army during the Civil War. Ending the war as a brigadier general, he led militia units in Arkansas after the adoption of the 1868 constitution. He also fought in the Brooks-Baxter War and served as the mayor of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Robert Catterson was born on March 22, 1835, in Beech Grove, Indiana, the son of Patrick and Sarah Catterson. His father died about five years after his birth, and Catterson was raised by his mother alongside his five siblings. He attended local schools and then Adrian College in Michigan and Cincinnati Medical College. Upon the completion of his studies, he opened a medical practice in Rockville, Indiana. Catterson joined …

Chambers, Erle Rutherford

Erle Rutherford Chambers was a pioneering woman in Arkansas in the early part of the twentieth century. In addition to being the first woman to graduate from the Law Department of the University of Arkansas, she was also the first to be elected to the Arkansas General Assembly. Erle Rutherford Chambers was born in 1875 in Tennessee to Thomas Chambers and Henrietta Davidson Chambers. She had one younger sister. Little is known about her youth or when she came to Arkansas, but she worked as a teacher before moving into law. Chambers had become interested in the law as a secretary in the Little Rock (Pulaski County) firm of Moore, Smith and Trieber. She began her legal studies while still …

Comer, James A.

James Comer was a prominent Little Rock (Pulaski County) lawyer and Republican Party leader in the early 1900s who became, in the 1920s, Arkansas’s head of the reorganized Ku Klux Klan (KKK). James A. Comer was born on September 18, 1866, in East St. Louis, Illinois, to John F. Comer and Hester Perry Comer. He graduated from what became Valparaiso University in Indiana. On June 1, 1893, he married Elma Coble of Delphi, Indiana, and the couple had two sons, James Omer Comer and Eben Darwin Comer. Soon after their marriage, the couple moved to Little Rock, where Comer managed the Union Pacific Tea Company. He was admitted to the Arkansas bar in 1897. Thereafter, he practiced law and co-owned …