Entries - Entry Category: State - Starting with L

Laney, Benjamin Travis, Jr.

Benjamin Travis Laney Jr. served two terms as governor of Arkansas. His most notable achievement was the state’s 1945 Revenue Stabilization Law, which prohibited deficit spending. Though he once said, “I am not a politician,” his conservative views put him in the spotlight at a time when the Democratic Party was becoming more liberal. Although he opposed desegregation, the University of Arkansas School of Law became the South’s first all-white public institution to admit black students during his tenure. Ben Laney was born on November 25, 1896, in Jones Chapel (Ouachita County), the son of Benjamin Travis Laney and Martha Ellen Saxon. He was one of eleven children, and his father was a farmer. He entered Hendrix College in Conway …

Lieutenant Governor, Office of

The office of lieutenant governor did not exist in territorial Arkansas or in the Arkansas constitution of 1836. Instead, the office was first added in 1864 with the Unionist government led by Governor Isaac Murphy. Governors and lieutenant governors (along with several other statewide offices) were to be elected by the voters of the state to four-year terms. The Reconstruction-era constitution of 1868 also included the office of lieutenant governor. The two principal tasks of the lieutenant governor are to preside over the Arkansas Senate and to replace the governor should the governor die in office or resign (as several governors have resigned to assume other elected offices, most often United States senator). On the first occasion when this provision …

Little, John Sebastian

John Sebastian Little was active in Arkansas Democratic Party politics for thirty years, holding the positions of prosecuting attorney, judge, congressman, and finally being elected governor in 1906. Persistent health problems ended his gubernatorial term very early, prompting accelerated efforts to provide the state with an elected lieutenant governor. Born in Jenny Lind (Sebastian County), on March 15, 1851, Little was reputedly the first male child born in the newly created Sebastian County. Known was “Bass” Little, he was the son of Jesse and Elizabeth Tatum Little, pioneer settlers in western Arkansas. He grew up on the family’s farm and attended local schools. In 1871–72, he spent a single term at Cane Hill College in Washington County. For the next …