Entry Type: Event - Starting with T

Talbot’s Ferry, Skirmish at

aka: Skirmish at Talbert's Ferry
The Skirmish at Talbot’s Ferry (also known as Talbert’s Ferry) in Marion County was one of many skirmishes associated with General Samuel Curtis’s campaign in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas in 1862. The fighting was concentrated around a Confederate saltpeter manufactory located along the White River at Talbot’s Ferry near Yellville (Marion County). On April 19, 1862, a detachment under the command of Captain James T. Drummond of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry crossed the White River near Yellville with intentions of locating and destroying the Confederate saltpeter manufactory located eight miles south of Little North Fork—now part of Bull Shoals Lake—on the south side of the river. During his patrol, Captain Drummond captured three men thought to be Confederate pickets placed …

Tate Plantation Strike of 1886

In 1886, the Knights of Labor engaged in two strikes in Arkansas. The first of these strikes, the Great Southwestern Strike, involved railroad workers from Texas to Illinois. It began in March and ended in failure by May. The second strike occurred in July at the Tate Plantation in Young Township of Pulaski County, nine miles south of Little Rock (Pulaski County) on the Arkansas River. While this strike also proved unsuccessful, and much briefer, it remains significant because all of the strikers were African Americans, and it foretold efforts at black farm labor activism that would continue in Arkansas well into the twentieth century. Formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1869, the Knights of Labor spread across the nation during …

Taylor Sisters (Lynching of)

Two African-American women known only as the Taylor sisters were killed on Sunday, March 17, 1907, in McKamie (Lafayette County) while they were detained on charges of murderous assault against Ella Roton and her married daughter, Nora Ogelsby. According to some counts, there were only eight women ever lynched in Arkansas, all of them African American, and so this case constitutes a quarter of all such murders in the state. According to the Arkansas Gazette, the two sisters were aged twenty and fifteen. The likeliest pair of women in the area are sisters Suffronia and Lela Taylor, born in 1885 and 1890, respectively. They appear on the 1900 census, living in Steele Township, but not thereafter. The Roton family (the …

Taylor, Luther (Execution of)

Luther B. Taylor was hanged at Corning (Clay County) on April 21, 1882, for a murder he claimed was committed by another man. Luther B. Taylor was born in Clay County around 1858, the son of “industrious and respectable” parents. He was of medium height and had “dark blue eyes and an intelligent countenance” but, by the early 1880s, “had been regarded as a dangerous character” who had been involved in Reconstruction-era violence in southern Missouri, where “he was credited with having killed as many men as the most ferocious partisan.” On December 29, 1881, Taylor left the Iron Mountain Railroad depot at Nellville (Clay County) with Riley Black and William Mullholland. As they were walking home, Taylor reportedly pulled …

Taylor, Zachary (Leadership of Fort Smith)

Prior to becoming the twelfth president of the United States, Colonel Zachary Taylor commanded the military at Fort Smith (Sebastian County) from 1841 until 1844. Taylor frequently clashed with local Arkansans who sought to preserve their access to the soldiers stationed at the fort who bought their whiskey and other goods. Most notably, locals resisted Taylor’s desires to cease the construction of the fort at Fort Smith as well as abandon nearby Fort Wayne in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). On May 1, 1841, Taylor was promoted from his military position in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to lead the Second Military Department at Fort Gibson (in present-day Oklahoma near the Arkansas border) and Fort Smith. Taylor’s promotion was opposed by locals who were …

Taylor’s Creek and Mount Vernon, Skirmishes at

aka: Skirmish at Crowley's Ridge
Returning from his ill-fated attack on Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in April 1863, John S. Marmaduke scattered his Confederate forces from Wittsburg (Cross County) to Marianna (Lee County) in Arkansas, with Archibald Dobbins at Hughes’ Ferry. Hearing of Marmaduke’s return, Federal commanders at Helena (Phillips County) ordered Colonel Powell Clayton to take approximately 1,000 cavalry and three pieces of artillery to stop the Confederates from reestablishing in eastern Arkansas by destroying all food supplies and forage. If Confederates were denied this support system of food, shelter, and slaves, the Federal army could maintain superiority in eastern Arkansas and the Mississippi River to Helena, thus enhancing Ulysses S. Grant’s campaign to take Vicksburg, Mississippi. Clayton’s second goal was to determine if Sterling …

Templeton, George (Lynching of)

Even when they appeared in several newspapers across the United States, some accounts were of lynching so brief that it is difficult to uncover details or even confirm the events. Such was the case with the lynching of George Templeton in Hempstead County on October 26, 1885. The first of several papers to report the lynching was apparently the New York Times. In an article published on October 28, the Times reported that “six disguised men rode up to the residence of a colored man named George Templeton, in Hempstead County, called him out and shot him down.” Templeton, described as “a quiet, peaceable colored citizen,” died instantly. According to reports, “The affair has produced considerable excitement.” The following day, …

Terre Noire Creek, Skirmish at

aka: Skirmish at Antoine
aka: Skirmish at Wolf Creek
The Skirmish at Wolf Creek, one of the engagements fought during the Camden Expedition, was fought one mile east of the Terre Noire Creek along a defile near the town of Antoine (Pike County). A Confederate detachment attacked a Union supply train of more than 200 wagons traveling toward Camden (Ouachita County) and guarded by the Twenty-ninth Iowa, as well as the Fiftieth Indiana and Ninth Wisconsin regiments. The skirmish was one of the earlier engagements associated with General Frederick Steele’s attempt to push south through Arkansas. The Twenty-ninth Iowa was assigned as the rear guard of the main supply regiment with the Fiftieth Indiana as support. While moving across a defile caused by the Terre Noire Creek, the rear …

Texarkana Race Riot of 1880

In late May 1880, racial unrest often described as the Texarkana Race Riot erupted in Texarkana (Miller County). Some newspapers, including the Arkansas Gazette, compared the event to the 1874 Brooks-Baxter War in Little Rock (Pulaski County), which centered around the contested gubernatorial election between Joseph Brooks and Elisha Baxter. According to newspaper reports, the trouble started as a land dispute between an African-American man identified only as Dr. Cromwell and a white railroad worker named Conner. According to the 1880 census, railway employee James Conner was living in Miller County with his wife, Sarah, and three small children. The census was taken in June that year, and at the time there was an African-American man named Robert Cromwell, a …

Texas Tick Fever Eradication

aka: Tick Eradication
aka: Dipping Vats
From 1907 to circa 1943, Arkansas was a participant in the federal tick eradication program for the prevention of Texas tick fever among the state’s cattle herds. Arkansas’s climate and traditional agricultural practices among stockmen in the early twentieth century were perfect for the spread and sustenance of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus (also known as the cattle tick), one-host arachnids that completed their life cycle on a single animal. These ticks would acquire protozoan parasites by ingesting the blood of an animal infected with pathogens that destroyed red blood cells. After the engorged tick dropped off the host and laid eggs, the newly hatched ticks would pass the pathogens on by attaching to another host, thus conveying parasitic blood diseases babesiosis …

Thomas, Wade (Lynching of)

On December 26, 1920, a gambler and petty thief named Wade Thomas was lynched in Jonesboro (Craighead County) for the alleged shooting of Elmer “Snookums” Ragland, a white police officer. Thomas, also known as “Boll Weevil,” was a Jonesboro native but had recently returned from “up North.” According to the Arkansas Gazette, he was known as a “‘bad’ and impudent negro,” who had formerly served time in the Arkansas penitentiary for highway robbery. According to Jonesboro historian Lee A. Dew, Thomas made his living by playing craps and engaging in petty thievery. Dew recounts that Ragland had arrived in Jonesboro from Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) not long before he was killed. The Gazette reported that he was an “efficient and …

Thompson, Alex (Lynching of)

On April 23, 1903, a young African-American man named Alex Thompson was hanged in Gurdon (Clark County) for allegedly attacking a local doctor (named Cuffman) with a knife. There is no record of a man named Alex Thompson living in Clark County during this period. The 1900 census, however, does list a doctor named Cuffman who was living there. He is listed in the census as George A. Cuffman, but subsequent marriage and census records indicate that he was probably John Henry Cuffman. At the time of the census, he was thirty-six, single, and living in a boarding house. Later that year, on June 28, he married Mary Euella Littlejohn in Gurdon. The Arkansas Gazette reported that trouble had been …

Thompson, William B. “Buck” (Execution of)

William B. “Buck” Thompson was hanged on December 17, 1875, in Lewisburg (Conway County) for the fatal wounding of Rebecca Stover, a local widow. The 1870 federal census shows John B. Stover, a wealthy farmer, living at Perry County’s Bentley Township south of Lewisburg with wife Mary and five children, including seventeen-year-old Thomas. Mary Stover died in 1872, and John Stover apparently married a woman named Rebecca. John Stover died in May 1875, and his sons-in-law, including John R. Snapp, were made executors of his estate. In a letter to the Arkansas Gazette, someone identified as A. W. R. wrote that “it appears that Stover was married to a woman unlawfully and the heirs were anxious to get her off …

Thornton, Flanigan (Lynching of)

On April 19, 1893, an African-American man named Flanigan (sometimes referred to as Flannagan or Flannigan) Thornton was hanged in Morrilton (Conway County) for allegedly murdering constable Charles Pate. While there are no records for Flanigan Thornton in Arkansas, he may have been the ten-year-old living with his parents Hyram and Chasity Thornton in Desoto County, Mississippi, in 1880 and working as a farm hand; this would have made him twenty-three at the time of the lynching. Charles Pate was born in White County, Arkansas, but by 1891, when he married Alice Phelps, he was living in Conway County. According to newspaper accounts, the alleged murder happened on April 4 near Menifee (Conway County) station, about fifteen miles from Morrilton. …

Thurairajah v. City of Fort Smith

In Thurairajah v. City of Fort Smith, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit found that police lacked probable cause to arrest Eric Roshaun Thurairajah for disorderly conduct after he drove by a traffic stop and yelled, “F**k you!” to an officer on the side of the road, because the shout constituted protected political speech. Thurairajah was one of a line of cases in federal and state appellate courts in Arkansas and elsewhere in which the judiciary used a minor incident, such as uttering offensive words or brushing the American flag during a protest, to hold that an arrest merely for offensive conduct violated a person’s First Amendment rights. In 2015, Arkansas State Trooper Lagarian Cross was performing …

Timberfest

Timberfest is held the first weekend of October every year on the courthouse square in Sheridan (Grant County). Timberfest celebrates Sheridan and Grant County’s long involvement with the timber industry and is sponsored by the Grant County Chamber of Commerce. The idea for Timberfest began in 1982 when the Grant County Chamber of Commerce board of directors decided to combine the Blue Mountain Bluegrass Festival and the Merchants Fair into one festival. The first Timberfest was held in 1984 on the courthouse square in Sheridan. Since then, it has grown into a very large event. Around 1995, a lumberjack competition was added to the Timberfest activities. The funds raised by Timberfest are used for scholarships that are awarded to Grant …

Times-N-Traditions Festival

In the 1930s, Newark (Independence County) hosted Old Home Week, said to have been one of the state’s largest summer festivals. After several years, it was replaced by a three-day annual picnic known as the Old Settlers Reunion, which had ceased by the late twentieth century. In 1995, local business leaders initiated plans to develop a new festival, the Times-N-Traditions Festival (TNT). The festival, which is sponsored by the Newark Area Chamber of Commerce, began in 1995 as a Friday and Saturday event. While the previous festivals were held in downtown Newark, the TNT is held at the Newark City Park. Low attendance and competition with local Friday-night high school football resulted in a Saturday-only event. However, in 2014, a …

Titan II Missile Accident (1965)

Titan II ICBM Launch Complex 373-4 near Searcy (White County) was the site of an accident on August 9, 1965, in which fifty-three workers were killed—the largest loss of life ever suffered in a U.S. nuclear weapons facility. Titan II ICBM Launch Complex 373-4 was one of eighteen Arkansas launch complexes operated by the 308th Strategic Missile Squadron headquartered at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville (Pulaski County). Construction of Launch Complex 373-4 had commenced on January 3, 1961, and was finished on July 31, 1962—the first of the 308th’s sites to be completed and the first to go on alert (meaning that it was fully operational and ready to respond) on May 16, 1963. After it had …

Titan II Missile Explosion (1980)

The Titan II Launch Complex 374-7 in Southside (Van Buren County), just north of Damascus (Van Buren and Faulkner counties), became the site of the most highly publicized disaster in the history of the Titan II missile program when its missile exploded within the launch duct on September 19, 1980. An Air Force airman was killed, and the complex was destroyed. The Titan II Missile Launch Complex 374-7 Site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on February 18, 2000. Complex 374-7 had already been the site of one significant accident on January 27, 1978, when an oxidizer leak sent a cloud of toxic fumes 3,000 feet long, 300 feet wide, and 100 feet high drifting across U.S. Highway …

Toad Suck Daze

Toad Suck Daze is an annual spring festival in Conway (Faulkner County) that features arts and crafts vendors, live music, a variety of foods, and toad races for children. It is held on the streets of downtown Conway, where more than 150,000 people attend the three-day event. No admission is charged, and proceeds of the festival support Faulkner County residents attending colleges located in the county. While the festival is now one of the largest and most unique in Arkansas, it began as an idea John Ward had in 1982. Ward—managing editor of the Log Cabin Democrat, Conway’s local newspaper—wanted to raise the spirits of local residents experiencing the hard times of a recession and high interest rates. He thought …

Toll (Lynching of)

The only documented lynching recorded in Saline County occurred on October 23, 1854, when a slave known only as “Toll” was murdered by a mob. He was hanged on a hill near the Saline County Courthouse in Benton. Recent scholarship has argued that the Toll lynching was not a spontaneous event but was instead an organized act of vengeance. The man known as Toll—spelled “Tol” in the Arkansas Gazette—was a slave owned by Scottish-born Samuel McMorrin, who, at the time, was living in Fourche Township in Pulaski County. Reportedly, in 1853, Toll sneaked up on and shot two white men, Jessup McHenry and John Douglas, who were deer hunting about fifteen miles outside of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Toll was …

Tontitown Grape Festival

The Tontitown Grape Festival is held each year in August as a celebration of the Italian heritage of Tontitown (Washington County). Featuring spaghetti dinners, carnival rides, arts and crafts booths, live music, and the crowning of Queen Concordia, the three-day festival is believed to be the longest-running annual community celebration in Arkansas. Tontitown was founded in 1898 by a group of Italian Catholic immigrants led by their priest, Father Pietro Bandini. At the end of June 1898, Tontitown settlers—who had cleared land and planted gardens, orchards, and vineyards—held a thanksgiving picnic in observance of the Feast of St. Peter, Father Bandini’s patron saint. The celebration was observed annually by Catholic families in Tontitown, and after a few years, an invitation …