Entries - Entry Type: Person - Starting with U

Umsted, Sidney Albert

aka: Sid Umsted
Sidney (Sid) Albert Umsted, known as the “Father of the Smackover Oil Field,” drilled the first well in the Smackover (Union County) area, introducing Arkansas’s largest oil discovery. In 1925, the Smackover field produced over 77 million barrels of oil and was the largest oil field in the nation at that time. Sid Umsted was born on November 22, 1876, in Houston County, Texas, to Caroline Pearson and Albert “Newt” Umsted, who had moved there from Chidester (Ouachita County). Umsted’s father abandoned the family while Sid was a child, and his mother moved back to Chidester to be near family members. When Umsted was eight, his mother married Harrison Bratton, and the family settled on a farm near Bernice, Louisiana. …

Underwood, Sheryl

Comedian and actress Sheryl P. Underwood has gained national recognition in comedy, television, politics, and philanthropy. She is a member of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. Sheryl Underwood was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) at St. Vincent Infirmary on October 28, 1963, to Cleo Underwood and Joyce Evelyn Underwood. She and her twin sister were premature and placed in an incubator shortly after birth; her twin died soon afterward. Underwood experienced domestic violence between her parents and spoke about it during her first episode as one of the hosts of The Talk, a CBS talk show, in 2011, revealing that she carries her twin’s birth certificate with her. Underwood has two other siblings: her brother Michael and her …

Upham, Daniel Phillips

Daniel Phillips Upham was an active Republican politician, businessman, plantation owner, and Arkansas State Militia commander following the Civil War. He is perhaps best remembered, and often vilified, for his part during Reconstruction as the leader of a successful militia campaign against the Ku Klux Klan in the Militia War from 1868 to 1869. D. P. Upham was born in Dudley, Massachusetts, on December 30, 1832, to Clarissa Phillips and Josiah Upham. His mother died less than a week later at age 29. His father remarried Betsy Larned in March 1836, and the couple had four sons. Upham received his education at Dudley’s public schools, and he married Massachusetts native Elizabeth (Lizzie) Nash on February 15, 1860. The couple eventually …

Utley, Joseph Simeon (J. S.)

J. S. Utley was an influential attorney and Democratic officeholder in the first half of the twentieth century. Joseph Simeon (J. S.) Utley was born on October 18, 1876, on a farm in Greenbrier (Faulkner County) to Francis David Utley and Amanda Melvina Snow Utley. He received his early education in the county’s rural schools, and beginning in 1894, he taught in the county schools. In 1897, he enrolled at Hendrix College in Conway (Faulkner County), from which he would receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1906. While he pursued his own education, he also served as the principal of the public school in Ashdown (Little River County) from 1902 to 1905. Following his graduation from Hendrix (to which …