Entry Type: Person - Starting with E

Eagle, James Philip

James Philip Eagle served as governor during one of the most turbulent times in Arkansas’s history. Elected under a cloud of election fraud and faced with a divided Democratic Party, he presided over a General Assembly bent on enacting a series of “Jim Crow” laws to segregate Arkansas society along racial lines. By the time Eagle left office, the dominance of the Democratic Party had been restored, but Arkansans were more racially divided than at any time since the days of slavery. James Eagle was born on August 10, 1837, in Maury County, Tennessee, the son of James and Charity Swaim Eagle. The family, of German descent, immigrated to the United States from Switzerland. In November 1839, Eagle’s father, a …

Eakin, Jno

aka: John Rogers Eakin
Jno Rogers (John) Eakin, an editor, jurist, champion of women’s rights, and viniculturalist, made notable accomplishments in all four fields. During the Civil War, he edited the Washington Telegraph, making it the state’s only newspaper to remain in operation throughout the war. As a jurist, he served as chancellor from 1874 to 1878 and then as an associate justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court until his death in 1885. His vigorous repudiation of the common law’s entrenched hostility to women was reflected first in his work as chancellor and carried over into his well-crafted, but dissenting, opinions on the Supreme Court. His essay on grape culture was one of the earliest agricultural publications in the state. John Eakin was born …

Earle, Fontaine Richard

Fontaine Richard Earle was a major in the Thirty-fourth Arkansas Infantry (CSA) from Cane Hill (Washington County). He fought in a number of Civil War battles in the Trans-Mississippi Theater and later served northwest Arkansas as a legislator (1866–1867), minister, teacher, administrator, and author. Fontaine R. Earle was born on January 9, 1831, in Pond River, Kentucky. His parents, Samuel Baylis Earle and Jane Woodson Earle, were farmers in Pond River; he had eight siblings. Earle received bachelor’s degrees in arts and divinity from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1858. He moved to Boonsboro (now Cane Hill) in 1859 to become president of Cane Hill College and a Cumberland Presbyterian minister. During the Civil War, he became engaged to …

Earle, Josiah Francis

Josiah Francis Earle was a landowner in eastern Arkansas who served in the Civil War as a Confederate officer. The town of Earle (Crittenden County) is named for him. Born on September 15, 1828, in Camden County, North Carolina, Earle was the second child of Josiah Earle and Nancy Lamb Earle. His father owned a number of trade ships operating in the Atlantic between the United States and the West Indies. At least one source lists Earle as serving during the Mexican War, although it is not clear if he actually participated in the conflict. He moved to Arkansas as a young man, settling in Crittenden County. He appeared on an 1850 listing of residents in Proctor Township, Crittenden County, …

Eastham, Alan, Jr.

Alan Eastham Jr. was a career Foreign Service officer. Over the course of thirty-five years, he held posts in countries all over the globe, establishing a special expertise and serving his longest stints in countries on the African continent. Upon his retirement from the Foreign Service, he returned to Arkansas and became a member of the faculty at his alma mater, Hendrix College. Alan Eastham Jr. was born on October 16, 1951, in Dumas (Desha County). He received his early education in the local schools and spent much of his time at the local public library. In 1973, he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Hendrix College in Conway (Faulkner County). He later earned a law degree from Georgetown …

Eaves, Thomas Cary Duncan

Thomas Cary Duncan Eaves taught in the English Department at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) for thirty-seven years, ultimately being named a UA University Professor. Along with fellow UA professor Ben Drew Kimpel, Eaves wrote the definitive biography of eighteenth-century novelist Samuel Richardson; they also published numerous articles on Richardson and the works of twentieth-century poet Ezra Pound. Highly regarded as a scholar, Eaves was also renowned for the liveliness of his lectures and was a favorite among students in his department. Born in Union, South Carolina, on October 11, 1918, Duncan Eaves (who published under the name T. C. Duncan Eaves) was the only child of Donald Matheson Eaves and Louisa Duncan Eaves. He attended …

Eberle, Edward Walter

Edward Walter Eberle was a U.S. Navy officer who grew up in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) before beginning a forty-seven-year career that saw him develop several innovations and rise to some of the highest naval posts. Two naval ships, the USS Eberle and the USS Admiral E. W. Eberle, have been named in his honor. Edward Walter Eberle was born on August 17, 1864, in Denton, Texas, to Joseph Eberle and Mary Stemler Eberle, who fled Fort Smith when Union troops threatened to capture the town in 1863. They returned to Fort Smith after the war, and young Edward attended school there before being appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in September 1881. After graduating, he served on the USS …

Eckford, Elizabeth Ann

Elizabeth Ann Eckford made history as a member of the Little Rock Nine, the nine African-American students who desegregated Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The image of fifteen-year-old Eckford, walking alone through a screaming mob in front of Central High School, propelled the crisis into the nation’s living rooms and brought international attention to Little Rock (Pulaski County). Elizabeth Eckford was born on October 4, 1941, to Oscar and Birdie Eckford, and is one of six children. Her father worked nights as a dining car maintenance worker for the Missouri Pacific Railroad’s Little Rock station. Her mother taught at the segregated state school for blind and deaf children, instructing them in how to wash and iron for themselves. …

Edwards, Daniel Richmond

Daniel Richmond Edwards, a native Texan, received the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War I. He also claimed a wide range of other adventures before moving to Arkansas and becoming a Lake Ouachita fishing guide. In its entry on Edwards, the Texas State Cemetery website states: “The events of Medal of Honor recipient Daniel Edwards’ life, from birth to death, are unclear. He was prone to embellishment, a trait most likely enhanced by his celebrity, and records from the time he lived are often incomplete, making many of his claims impossible to disprove and many true events difficult to confirm.” Daniel Richmond Edwards was born on April 9, 1897, in Mooreville, Texas, to Jefferson Dudley Edwards and …

Edwards, John

John Edwards was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Initially declared the victor in the election of 1870, he represented the Third District of Arkansas for most of the Forty-Second Congress, serving from 1871 until 1872. John Edwards was born on October 24, 1815, in Louisville, Kentucky, to John Edwards and Nancy Geiger Edwards. He received his early education in the Louisville schools, but he eventually moved to Indiana, reportedly in order to leave a slave state. He studied the law and was admitted to the state bar. In 1848, he was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives, where he served one term. Edwards moved to California and was soon elected an alcalde, a type of …

Eells, Paul Irving

Paul Irving Eells was a radio and television broadcaster for University of Arkansas (UA) Razorback sports from 1978 until his death in 2006. Throughout his career, he became an iconic “voice of the Razorbacks.” Paul Eells was born in Iowa City, Iowa, on September 24, 1935 to Norval and Shirley Eells. He grew up in Mechanicsville, Iowa, graduating from the University of Iowa (UI) in 1959. He had a baseball scholarship to UI but decided that sports broadcasting was his real interest. Soon, he was working in radio and television in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, beginning with coverage of high-school sports and then as a radio play-by-play announcer for UI basketball and football. From Iowa, Eells moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where …

Eichenbaum, Howard Samuel

Howard Samuel Eichenbaum Sr. was a practicing architect in Little Rock (Pulaski County) until his death. Eichenbaum’s importance to Arkansas may be found in his eclectic experimentation with architecture to express modernity fused with regional tradition, and in his advancement of—and advocacy for—architects in Arkansas. Howard S. Eichenbaum was born in Little Rock on April 26, 1904, the son of Ephraim Eichenbaum and Sadie Cohn Eichenbaum. He was educated in Little Rock’s public schools and earned his degree in architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1924 (there was no professional program in architecture in Arkansas until 1946). He married Helen Marion Levin; they had three sons. In 1930, Eichenbaum partnered with Frank Erhart to found Erhart and …

Eisele, Garnett Thomas (Tom)

Garnett Thomas (Tom) Eisele was a lawyer, veteran of the U.S. military, and judge. Serving for forty-one years as a federal district judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Eisele—a lifelong Republican—was on the bench during a time of dramatic change in Arkansas legal history. Eisele gained a reputation for fairness and probity in a period when Arkansas was emerging from Jim Crow–era discriminatory practices concerning race, law enforcement, and the justice system. Tom Eisele was born in Hot Springs (Garland County) on November 3, 1923, to Arkansas native Mary Eisele and Missouri native Garnett Eisele, who was a druggist. His grandfather, Will Martin, was a lawyer. In Hot Springs, Eisele enjoyed the benefits of a middle-class upbringing. He attended …

Elam, Lloyd Charles

Lloyd C. Elam was a groundbreaking psychiatrist and college administrator who founded the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, and later served as that college’s president. He was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1997. Lloyd Charles Elam was born on October 27, 1928, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Harry Elam and Ruth Davis Elam. Elam was baptized at age seven at Christ Temple Church of Christ (Holiness) USA in Little Rock; he was active in Sunday school, becoming superintendent of the Sunday school at age seventeen. He attended Stephens Elementary School, then Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, where he graduated at the age of fifteen in 1944. Elam …

Elder, Jim

aka: James Albert Elder
James Albert (Jim) Elder was a sports announcer and analyst whose dry style and encyclopedic knowledge of baseball, football, and golf amassed a huge following the last thirty-five years of the twentieth century. Elder was sports director for KARN (earlier KARK) radio for most of those years, and he did the play-by-play broadcasts of the Arkansas Travelers professional baseball team for thirty-three years. Jim Elder was born on July 25, 1924, in Altoona, Pennsylvania, to Albert Elder, a construction worker, and Dorothy Moore Elder, who, following a divorce, worked at a bank to support her only child and her songwriting. When Elder was small, they moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he became an ardent fan of the Philadelphia Athletics major …

Elders, Joycelyn

aka: Minnie Lee Jones
Joycelyn Elders was director of the Arkansas Department of Health and the U.S. surgeon general in the administration of President Bill Clinton. Her controversial opinions led to her resignation after just over a year as surgeon general. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2016. Joycelyn Elders was born Minnie Lee Jones on August 13, 1933, in Schaal (Howard County). She took the name Joycelyn while attending college. The eldest of Curtis and Haller Jones’s eight children, she spent much of her childhood working in cotton fields. From an early age, Jones showed considerable academic ability, and in 1949, she earned a scholarship to Philander Smith College …

Elgin, Suzette Haden

aka: Patricia Ann Wilkins
Patricia Ann Wilkins was a linguist, feminist, and science fiction writer from the Missouri Ozarks who adopted northwestern Arkansas as her home after retiring from teaching in the 1980s. While living in Huntsville (Madison County), she wrote her cult classic Native Tongue novels and her widely acclaimed Ozark Trilogy under the name Suzette Haden Elgin. Patricia Ann Wilkins was born on November 18, 1936, in northeastern Missouri. Her father, Gaylord Lloyd, was a lawyer, and her mother, Hazel Wilkins, was a teacher. Wilkins had spinal polio as a child, as she related in her personal blog in the early 2000s, and refused to go through with a major surgery to treat it using bones from her hips. Instead, she opted …

Ellender, Bennie

Former Tulane University quarterback Bennie Ellender served as head football coach for Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro (Craighead County) from 1963 through 1970, amassing one of the most successful winning records in the school’s history. Bennie Ellender Jr. was born on March 2, 1925, in Sulphur, Louisiana, to Bennie Ellender Sr. and Alice Gray Ellender. He attended Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he was quarterback, running back, and safety for the football team in 1943–44. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, returning to college at Tulane, where he again played on the football team in 1946 and 1947. In 1949, he married Bette Howard; they had no children. Ellender began his career at …

Ellington, Alice Sankey

Alice Sankey Ellington was a leader in the women’s suffrage movement in Arkansas, an officer of the Southern States Woman Suffrage Association, a war worker during World War I, and a frequent campaigner for suffrage across the country. She oversaw several changes in the statewide organizations that she ran, ultimately leading Arkansas women to gain the right to vote in primary elections in 1917 and win full suffrage in 1919. Alice Sankey was born in Salem, Missouri, on December 14, 1880, to Margaret Virginia Williams Sankey and William Johnson Sankey, a prospector and worker on the St. Louis, Salem and Little Rock Railroad. The second of four children, she was active in Salem’s society as a member of youth social …

Elliott, James Thomas

James Thomas Elliott was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Second District of Arkansas in the Fortieth Congress, serving briefly in 1869. James T. Elliott was born in Columbus, Georgia, on April 22, 1823. He received his education in the local common schools and then studied law. Admitted to the bar in 1854, Elliott began a private practice in Camden (Ouachita County). In 1858, Elliott was named president of the Mississippi, Ouachita and Red River Railroad, which was embroiled in a number of legal battles. Elliott was unable to achieve a solution, however, and the railroad’s general status remained unresolved as the Civil War approached. Elliott was reported to have opposed secession during the …