Entries - Entry Type: Group - Starting with P

Panel of American Women

The Little Rock Panel of American Women was organized in 1963 by Sara Alderman Murphy. It was based on the national Panel of American Women that emerged in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1956, and it offered participants the opportunity to learn more about people of different races, religions, and cultures. In the aftermath of the 1957 school desegregation crisis in Little Rock (Pulaski County) and the continued efforts to desegregate schools across the state, the panel provided a structured forum for open discussion about racial and religious differences. The organization’s members traveled around Arkansas to speak. The panels consisted of five or six women—Jewish, Catholic, African American, white Protestant, and occasionally Asian American—and a moderator. Each woman spoke about her …

Pentecostal Church of God

The Arkansas District of the Pentecostal Church of God is, with 150 churches, the largest district within the denomination. The Pentecostal Church of God is also one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in Arkansas, exceeded only by the Assemblies of God, the Church of God in Christ, and the United Pentecostal Church. Several Arkansans have played prominent roles in the fellowship’s formation and continued leadership. Formation and AdvancementOn December 29 and 30, 1919, a small group of pastors, evangelists, and other individuals from across the United States and Canada met in Chicago, Illinois, in an attempt to unite their efforts for evangelism. Among those present for this meeting was Arkansan Eli Jackson DePriest, an evangelist from Black Rock (Lawrence County). …

Pentecostals

Pentecostalism is a “Spirit-driven,” renewalist movement within Protestant Christianity that began in the last part of the nineteenth century. Today, it is a fast-growing and influential religious tradition in Arkansas and worldwide. The term “Pentecostal” is derived from what is known as the Upper Room outpouring—the physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit as described in chapter two of the book of the Acts of the Apostles. The Holy Spirit is described there as descending upon the followers of Jesus Christ with the sound of wind, tongues of fire, and the ability to speak other languages. This outpouring is known as Pentecost in Greek (because it marks the fiftieth day after Pesach/Passover), “Feast of Weeks” in English (also known as “week …

Perry County Historical and Genealogical Society

The Perry County Historical and Genealogical Society was organized in December 1997 at the Max Milam Library in Perryville (Perry County) with only two people in attendance. Betty Burke was elected the first president and Jackie Paul Myers the first secretary and treasurer. Meeting times were set for the second Tuesday of each month, and with permission of the librarian, Jan Guffey, the organization met at the library. Six people attended the second meeting in January 1998: Betty Burke, Jackie Myers, Elise Hill, Leroy Williams, John Pennington, and Pearl Bowen Pennington, who was elected vice president. The goals of the society were: 1) to create and foster interest in genealogy; 2) to gather and preserve genealogical and historical data through library …

Petticoat Governments

“Petticoat government” is a phrase used to describe a local government—usually a town council and mayor—in which all of the members are female. In May 1920, the same year that the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted, giving women the right to vote, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, elected what is believed to have been the first all-woman municipal government in the world, taking the 1916 revolution in Umatilla, Oregon—an election that saw voters elect a female majority to their town council, as well as a female mayor—to the next level. Five years later in 1925, Arkansas voters in Winslow (Washington County) followed suit in an even more resounding fashion, as the increasingly popular resort town elected local newspaper publisher …

Pike County Archives and History Society

The Pike County Archives and History Society (PCAHS), located in Murfreesboro (Pike County) in southwestern Arkansas, houses research materials such as census records, manuscripts, maps, and photos. The PCAHS was established in 1986, developing out of the earlier Heritage Genealogy Club. According to its mission statement, the PCAHS “is dedicated to collecting and preserving the unique history of Arkansas and Pike County.” The first board of directors consisted of Marion W. (Dewayne) Gray, Linda Wilson, Jan McGalliard, and Bobbie Hendrix. Meetings were held at the library and municipal building (where archival materials were also stored) until the current location was secured in 2002. The archives house more than 500 Pike County record books dating from 1895, including early tax records, …

Planned Parenthood

Through education, advocacy, and direct services, Planned Parenthood seeks to ensure healthy sexuality, family health, and access to high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare. The topic of reproductive education and healthcare has long been a source for debate both nationally and in Arkansas. At the height of the Depression, Little Rock (Pulaski County) activist Hilda Cornish was convinced that the ability to limit family size could be crucial to a family’s financial survival. In February 1931, Cornish established the Little Rock Birth Control Clinic, the first such service in Arkansas. Services were provided at a minimal fee for any married woman whose family made less than $75 per month. Establishment of this clinic was met with public resistance; one woman wrote, …

Plum Bayou Culture

Plum Bayou culture was a people who built religious centers with a formal arrangement of earthen platforms or mounds that bordered a rectangular open area used for religious and social activities. The Toltec Mounds site in central Arkansas was the primary center. Plum Bayou culture, dating about AD 650 to 1050, was one of the first cultures to have such centers in Arkansas. Most of the Plum Bayou people lived in small villages and hunted, fished, gathered wild plant foods, and farmed. Villages were present primarily on the floodplains of the Arkansas and White rivers, but they were also in the adjacent uplands. Plum Bayou developed out of the earlier (300 BC to AD 650) Baytown culture, in which people …

Poe’s Battalion, Arkansas Cavalry (CS)

Poe’s Arkansas Cavalry Battalion was a Confederate cavalry unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Department, entirely in Arkansas, during the American Civil War. It participated in military engagements at Mount Elba, Easling’s Farm, Poison Spring, Marks’ Mills, and Hurricane Creek, as well as undertaking scouting and picketing duties in southern Arkansas. During Price’s Missouri Raid in 1864, it was one of the few cavalry units left behind to keep watch over Federal troops in Arkansas. The unit was organized in November 1863 by a former Saline County judge, Major James T. Poe of the Eleventh Arkansas Infantry. Poe had journeyed home from Louisiana to remove his family farther south from Saline County after the fall of Little Rock (Pulaski County) …

Poets Laureate of Arkansas

The position of Poet Laureate of Arkansas was established on October 10, 1923, by concurrent resolutions of both houses of the General Assembly. In Arkansas, as elsewhere, the title of poet laureate has sometimes been awarded on grounds not restricted to fame or literary eminence. The term “laureate” refers to the ancient custom of crowning a person with a wreath made from leaves of the laurel tree. In antiquity, military heroes, athletic champions, and winners in singing, music, and poetry contests typically received this honor. In modern times, monarchs, governing bodies, or other organizations have named poets laureate, often in recognition of a significant talent but sometimes for political or other reasons. John Dryden was the first poet laureate of …

Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas (PRA)

Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas (PRA), the state’s poetry society, was founded on February 5, 1931, by seven women “determined to learn the fundamental, technical rules of regular good, readable poetry.” Josie Frazee Cappleman, Laura Lewellyn, Bertha Meredith, Mae Lorraine Bass, Stella Payne Crow, Marguerite Lanier Kaufman, and Ruth Arnold Leveck met in members’ homes around a dining table, calling themselves Round Table Poets. The society’s current name was adopted on July 25, 1939. PRA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study of poetry and the encouragement of poets. The purpose of the organization is to foster and encourage poets in the art, to promote an appreciation of poetry in the community, and to secure a fuller recognition of the works …

Point of Grace

Point of Grace, which originated in Arkadelphia (Clark County) in 1990, is a female vocal trio—formerly a quartet—that sings contemporary Christian music. Three of the singers in Point of Grace—Denise Jones, Heather Floyd, and Terry Lang—were life-long friends from Norman, Oklahoma. They had sung together in their church choir and school musicals. The trio enrolled at Ouachita Baptist University (OBU) in Arkadelphia in 1988. While singing in the “Ouachitones,” an OBU-sponsored group, they met fellow student Shelley Phillips from North Little Rock (Pulaski County), and in 1991, they formed a quartet. Originally, the four named themselves Sayso from a biblical verse in Psalms: “Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so.” The quartet began singing at local churches, retreats, and other …

Poland Committee

aka: Select Committee to Inquire into Conditions of the Affairs in the State of Arkansas
The Poland Committee was a congressional committee established by the U.S. House of Representatives to investigate the situation in Arkansas in the aftermath of the Brooks-Baxter War of 1874. It was chaired by Representative Luke P. Poland of Vermont. The group’s findings were ultimately submitted by President Ulysses S. Grant to his attorney general, George H. Williams, for further action, but Congress overrode the administration’s response to the report. The subsequent resolution is generally seen as marking the end of Reconstruction in Arkansas. The Brooks-Baxter War had roots in the contested 1872 gubernatorial election. On the one side was Joseph Brooks, a “carpetbagger” and reputed radical leader who ran as the head of the Reform Republicans, the faction that supported …

Political Animals Club

The Political Animals Club of Little Rock (Pulaski County), an organization consisting of people interested in Arkansas politics, was formed by James L. “Skip” Rutherford in 1983. Rutherford, who has been dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service since 2006, had left the staff of U.S. Senator David Pryor shortly before the formation of the club and moved to the private sector to work for Mack McLarty, chief executive officer at Arkansas Louisiana Gas Co. (Arkla). Rutherford wanted there to be a place for those with a strong interest in politics to gather on an occasional basis and talk about what was going on in Arkansas. He wanted the group to hear from politicians, political consultants, and …

Political Equality League

The Progressive Era (circa 1890–1920) in Arkansas included efforts by citizens to win voting rights for women in the state and nation. Women’s clubs that were interested in civil rights, temperance, and social change gradually formed suffrage groups to push the Arkansas General Assembly toward state suffrage for women and toward approval of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that enfranchised women nationally. Many women who led such groups were outsiders who also had legal training or were lawyers. The Political Equality League (PEL), formed in 1911 in Little Rock (Pulaski County), is considered by historians to be a culminating group that worked with similar organizations, both state and national, for the next eight years to win suffrage for …

Pope County Historical Association

The Pope County Historical Association was established on October 10, 1948, as the Arkansas Valley Historical Society. The society has remained in almost continuous operation since its founding and publishes the Pope County Historical Association Quarterly. James S. Long was elected as the Arkansas Valley Historical Society’s first president. For approximately two years, the society held regular meetings, but interest had dropped by the fall of 1950, and meetings were suspended from August 1950 through April 1952. There was a reemergence of the society in 1952. In April 1954, it began the publication of the Arkansas Valley Historical Papers, a quarterly magazine highlighting local history and genealogical articles. In December 1966, the society changed its name to the Pope County …

Prehistoric Caddo

aka: Caddo, Prehistoric
Prehistoric Caddo culture developed as a regional variant of the Mississippian tradition in southwest Arkansas and in parts of Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas between AD 800 and 1100. The characteristics that archaeologists use to identify this prehistoric culture include pottery containers with new shapes and decorations, flat-topped mounds used as platforms for buildings, conical mounds erected over dismantled buildings that occasionally were used as burial sites, new burial practices, new settlement practices, and new subsistence practices. Parallels between some of these features and European descriptions of the historic Caddo who lived in the same large region in the 1600s and 1700s indicate that the prehistoric Caddo were ancestors of the modern Caddo Nation. In Arkansas, Caddo culture developed among local …

Preller, Hugo and Gayne

Hugo Arthur Preller (1865–1950) and Gayne Avey Preller (1874–1958) owned a floating portrait studio and traveled along the Mississippi River and White River from 1898 to 1950. They took photographs of Arkansans while living in different towns along the rivers. Hugo Preller was also a gunsmith, watchmaker, writer, and painter. Gayne Preller took most of the photos inside the studio, while her husband took the outdoor photos.  Hugo Arthur Preller was born in 1865 in Weimer, Germany. Gayne Laura Avey was born in 1874 in Kentucky. Hugo was sent to the United States in the late 1800s by his parents to escape the potential war environment. He arrived in America when he was seventeen years old and spoke only German. …

Presbyterians

American Presbyterians have always emphasized mission, evangelism, education, and reform, but disagreement over theology, governance, and reform resulted in the denomination splitting and parts reuniting several times. Currently, the largest group is the Presbyterian Church, USA (PCUSA), formed in 1983 when the “Southern” Presbyterian Church in the U.S. (PCUS) and the “Northern” United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (UPCUSA) reunited. (The union of the PCUSA and the United Presbyterian Church of North America in 1958 had created UPCUSA). Other Arkansas denominations include Cumberland Presbyterian Church (CPC) and the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). The Presbyterian Church is a connectional church. Individual congregations are connected to other congregations through three governing bodies: presbytery, synod, and the general assembly. Founders of Arkansas …

Presidential Candidates

Fourteen Arkansans or people closely associated with Arkansas have been candidates for president of the United States or have been considered contenders for the office. Some had short campaigns (or no campaign at all), while others have received significant national attention. Until 1968, Arkansans running for president generally represented minor parties with no hope of winning the general election. The campaign of Wilbur Mills in 1972 was the first to represent a serious chance at putting an Arkansan in the White House; hoping to be chosen on a later ballot at the Democratic convention, Mills continued his campaign until hours before the final vote. Following his success, other Arkansans entered the primaries of the two major parties and were taken …

Prisoners of War (Civil War)

Arkansas was the site of more than 700 military engagements during the Civil War. Soldiers from both sides were often captured by the enemy to become prisoners of war. Additionally, many Arkansas troops serving in other states were captured during the war. The first troops captured in Arkansas were members of Battery F, Second United States Artillery, in addition to other men stationed at the Little Rock Arsenal. Captain James Totten, opposed by volunteer militia companies from across the state and without orders from his superiors in Washington DC, surrendered the arsenal on February 8, 1861, to prevent bloodshed in the streets of Little Rock (Pulaski County). The troops at the arsenal were escorted by the Little Rock Capital Guards …

Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America (PFHUA)

Robert L. Hill of Drew County, along with physician V. E. Powell, incorporated the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America (PFHUA) in Winchester (Drew County) in 1918. Hill, an African American, referred to himself as a “U.S. Detective” because he had taken a St. Louis, Missouri, correspondence course in detective training, but some people identified him as a farmer or farm hand. According to the articles of the constitution of the PFHUA, the group’s objective was “to advance the interests of the Negro, morally and intellectually, and to make him a better citizen and a better farmer.” The organization had characteristics of a fraternal order, such as passwords, handshakes, and signs for members, and it also resembled a union. …

Public Works Administration

The U.S. Congress passed the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) on June 16, 1933, as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal to combat the effects of the Great Depression and the ensuing failures of businesses across the country. As part of the act, the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works—called the Public Works Administration (PWA) after 1935—was established on June 16, 1933, to provide grants and loans to finance public works projects that would help “promote and stabilize employment and purchasing power.” Across the country, the PWA funded some 34,000 projects between July 1933 and March 1939, expending $6 billion over the lifetime of the agency. President Herbert Hoover had sought to establish a public works division within …

Pulaski County Historical Society

Founded in the fall of 1951, the Pulaski County Historical Society (PCHS) is the second oldest county historical society in Arkansas. The PCHS’s founders were James H. Atkinson, a history teacher at Little Rock Junior College (now the University of Arkansas at Little Rock); Claude Rankin, state land commissioner; C. C. Allard, editor of the Arkansas Democrat’s magazine section; and Louise Porter, head of North Little Rock High School’s social science department. Membership increased rapidly due to publicity given the society by the local press. The society originally held its meetings in the Little Rock Public Library at 7th and Louisiana. After it was demolished in 1963, the society met at various places, including the new public library and the …

Pulaski County Medical Society

The Pulaski County Medical Society (PCMS), founded in 1866, is Arkansas’s largest and one of the state’s oldest county medical organizations for regular physicians (meaning those within the medical mainstream.) (Although sources identify the PCMS as the “first medical organization chartered by the state of Arkansas,” an earlier organization, known as the Crawford County Medical Society, was established in the early 1840s.) The PCMS supports physicians and promotes public health. In nineteenth-century America, regular physicians formed professional organizations to advocate for themselves. In 1866, a group of Little Rock (Pulaski County) physicians, including Philo Oliver Hooper and Roscoe G. Jennings, formed the Little Rock and Pulaski County Medical Society. The PCMS, whose members were required to be American Medical Association …

Pulaski Light Artillery Battery (CS)

aka: Totten Artillery Company
While Arkansas militia laws in the antebellum period authorized the formation of four militia companies of artillery, cavalry, infantry, and light infantry in each county, few such organizations existed. Pulaski County was an exception to this, and in the years before Arkansas’s secession, there were four volunteer militia units there, including the Totten Artillery, later renamed the Pulaski Light Artillery. While their service was brief compared to other Arkansas units during the Civil War, the men of the Pulaski Light Artillery played a pivotal role in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, Missouri, on August 10, 1861. On February 14, 1861, Captain William C. Woodruff composed a letter to Colonel Craven Payton of the Thirteenth Regiment, Arkansas State Militia, informing him …