Entry Type: Group - Starting with I

Incoming Kingdom Missionary Unit

One of Arkansas’s quirkiest religious groups, the Incoming Kingdom Missionary Unit, located at Gilbert (Searcy County), was founded shortly after World War I. A Midwestern clergyman, the Reverend John Adams Battenfield (1876–1952), taught that the world would end “shortly” amid “a great world-wide war between Catholics and Protestants.”Therefore, the faithful, those who heeded Rev. Battenfield’s message, needed to prepare for this impending event by fleeing their present communities and establishing themselves in completely self-sufficient communities, or “Kingdom Units,” in scattered remote mountain areas across the nation. From here, they would emerge after the holocaust and establish the Millennial Kingdom of God. In each community, all property was to be communally owned, government was to be in the hands of the …

Independence County Historical Society

The Independence County Historical Society was founded in June 1959 by a small group of people interested in researching, preserving, and telling the history of Independence County, its seat Batesville, and the other small communities in the area. There had been an earlier attempt at organizing, led by John Quincy Wolf Jr., but the society got its real start after A. C. McGinnis, John P. Morrow Jr., and Paul Wayland, all of Batesville, attended the Arkansas Historical Association annual meeting in Monticello (Drew County) in 1959. There, James Harris Atkinson, then chairman of the Arkansas History Commission (now called the Arkansas State Archives), told them the way to start a county society was for three interested citizens to get together, declare …

Interfaith Arkansas

Interfaith Arkansas is an ecumenical and interfaith organization bringing together several religious groups for programming in two major areas: unity/relationships and mission/service. The following faith traditions make up the membership of the organization: Christian, Jewish, Baha’i, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, and Unitarian. Within each faith tradition, various expressions and denominations are represented. Interfaith Arkansas is rooted in the international and national ecumenical movements that developed after World War II. The World Council of Churches began in 1948 in Amsterdam with 147 churches from around the world involved in its formation. Its early roots were in the lay movements of the nineteenth century and the 1910 Edinburgh world missionary conference. The National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States, …

Irish

Irish migration to Arkansas took place throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in three distinct settlements. Over the years, Irish residents of Arkansas have made their mark on the state, exemplified in organizations such as the Irish Cultural Society of Arkansas. About fifteen percent of Arkansans claim Irish or Scotch-Irish ancestry. The first wave of Irish immigration concerned the Scotch-Irish (sometimes called Scots-Irish), who were descendants of eighteenth-century Ulster Protestant immigrants. The term Scotch-Irish acknowledges the seventeenth-century mass Scottish migration to Ireland’s northernmost province, Ulster—a migration that left indelible marks on the culture, including stark differences in religion and nationalistic attitudes that distinguished the Protestant, pro-British “Scotch-Irish” from their Catholic, Gaelic, and generally anti-British neighbors. Scotch-Irish immigrants to the United …

Irish Cultural Society of Arkansas

The Irish Cultural Society of Arkansas (ICSA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public-service organization based in Little Rock (Pulaski County). It was founded in 1996 to develop and enhance local interest in the culture of Ireland and its people, familiarize the general public with the culture of the Irish people and the richness of their contribution to America, reacquaint Arkansans of Irish descent with their culture and ethnic history, and publicize the presence of an active Irish community in the Little Rock area. During the 1980s, as the result of a surplus of women in the nursing profession in Ireland, many Irish women immigrated to the United States and settled in Arkansas, which faced a shortage of qualified nurses at the …

Italians

Few people associate Arkansas with Italian immigration to America, assuming immigrants settled only in the urban Northeast. Yet many communities throughout the United States have a significant proportion of Italian Americans. Lured by work and regional ties, immigrants gravitated to places they could find work, whether in garment factories, coal mines, farms, fisheries, the canning industry, or lumber mills. They sought out established settlements of their village compatriots, or paesani. Certainly in the peak immigration years (1880–1910), the American South—including Arkansas—attracted its share of Italian immigrants. According to the National Italian American Foundation, the 2000 Census reports that just 1.3 percent (36,674 people) of the state’s population was of Italian-American descent; while the Arkansas numbers are not overwhelming, Italian Americans …

Izard County Historical and Genealogical Society

Discussions concerning the formation of a historical society for Izard County began in the summer of 1969 after interested individuals Margaret Ghelfi, Audrey Brooks, and Helen Lindley began to promote such a group to preserve the history of the local area. An organizational meeting was held at the Trimble Campground Church in Dolph (Izard County) on the last Sunday in November, with about thirty-three people in attendance. A second organizational meeting was held in Melbourne (Izard County), where the Izard County Historical Society was formed. Its major goal was publishing a quarterly magazine, and the first issue of the Izard County Historian was published in January 1970 with Helen Lindley as editor. Eighty-three charter members elected Tom Simpson president. Quarterly …