Entry Type: Thing - Starting with J

J. B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc.

J. B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., based in Lowell (Benton County), is Arkansas’s largest trucking company and one of the largest transportation logistics providers in North America, acting as the agent for the companies whose goods they are shipping. This Arkansas-based company employs 14,667 people and operates 9,688 tractors and 24,576 trailers, with annual revenues exceeding $3.7 billion. Company founder Johnnie Bryan Hunt was born in 1927 in rural Cleburne County and left school after the seventh grade to work in his uncle’s sawmill. He spent his early adult life working jobs that ranged from picking cotton to selling lumber to driving a truck and eventually to serving in the Army. After returning from the Army in 1947, Hunt’s first business venture …

J. H. Miller

The stern-wheel steamer J. H. Miller joined the Union navy’s Mississippi River Squadron and served under charter on the Mississippi River and its tributaries during the Civil War, including expeditions on the White River. The capture and destruction of the J. H. Miller illustrates the ongoing battle for control of significant interior rivers in the Trans-Mississippi Department, almost a year after Union forces took control of Little Rock (Pulaski County). In February 1864, the J. H. Miller, displacing 130 tons, began chartered service on the Mississippi River and its tributaries. According to Captain Stephen R. Harrington of the Fifth Kansas Cavalry, reporting from camp thirty miles from Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) on the north bank of the Arkansas River, an …

J. R. Poisson v. Etienne d’Avril

J. R. Poisson v. Etienne d’Avril is a purported opinion of the Arkansas Supreme Court that was published as an April Fool’s Day joke by Associate Justice George Rose Smith on April 1, 1968. In the opinion, he declares that a fictional Arkansas statute (the “Omnibus Repealer”) abrogates all statutory law in Arkansas but does not affect the common law. George Rose Smith was known for his wry sense of humor. He was a grandson of Uriah Rose, the founder of the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock (Pulaski County), and served as a partner in the firm until his election to the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1948. He holds the record as the longest-serving justice in the history of …

Jack Tar Hotel and Bathhouse

aka: Garland Tower
The Jack Tar Hotel and Bathhouse is a historic hotel built in the International style located on Oriole Street in Hot Springs (Garland County). The building was constructed in 1950 and added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 21, 2006. Hot Springs was a popular resort location in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries due to the supposed medicinal properties of the numerous springs located in the area. The growing use of the automobile in the early twentieth century led more visitors to the city, and numerous businesses were created to support this rise in tourism. Park Avenue served as a major thoroughfare into the city from the north, and many restaurants and motels opened along …

Jackson County Courthouse

The Jackson County Courthouse, built in 1892, is located on 208 Main Street in downtown Newport (Jackson County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the three-story building as architecturally and historically significant as a fine example of a preserved Victorian-era building in the county and as one of the oldest courthouses in the state. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 18, 1976. When construction of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad came through in 1873, the previously impoverished river town of Newport found itself in an economic boom, with a new flow of people and commerce arriving from across the country. The railroad also replaced the river as the way to move goods and people. …

James A. Dibrell House

The James A. Dibrell House at 1400 Spring Street at Daisy Bates Drive in Little Rock (Pulaski County) was constructed in 1892. It is part of the twenty-four-block Governor’s Mansion Historic District, a residential neighborhood built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries located in the Quapaw Quarter (an area loosely encompassing the boundaries of historic Little Rock). The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 13, 1978. The home was constructed by real estate agent H. A. Bowman as a speculation for Dr. James A. Dibrell, who became an early president and dean of the Medical Department of the University of Arkansas (now the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences). Upon graduating from …

James C. Tappan House

aka: Tappan-Pillow House
The James C. Tappan House, with a present-day address of 717 Poplar Street, in Helena-West Helena (Phillips County) was completed in 1859 by James C. Tappan, a highly regarded Confederate general and successful attorney and politician. Tappan purchased the house in 1858 while it was still under construction, and he directed its completion. It was built on a high brick foundation on a hill overlooking the Mississippi River and the levee. At the time of its construction, it was the only home for a radius of several city blocks. Originally enclosed by a picket fence, the home was the focal point of a compound that included a kitchen building, a smokehouse, slave quarters, and other outbuildings. The two-story house is …

James E. M. Barkman House

The James E. M. Barkman House, constructed in Arkadelphia (Clark County) in about 1860, is an example of a transitional Greek and Gothic Revival–style house. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, the building is now owned by Henderson State University. James Barkman was the son of Jacob Barkman and Rebecca Davis Barkman, who settled along the Caddo River in 1811. One of the earliest settlers in what became Clark County, Jacob Barkman owned a variety of businesses and worked as a planter. James Barkman was born in 1819 and followed his father into farming. The younger Barkman was successful and quickly accumulated wealth. In the 1860 census, the family of James Barkman included his wife, Harriet; …

James Phillip Smith House

The house at 510 West Sevier Street in Benton (Saline County) was built for the family of businessman James Phillip Smith circa 1885. Like the Gann House on South Market Street, the Smith House was built in the Queen Anne style. However, the Smith house has a two-story symmetrical front façade with a wood-frame structure; ornamental siding elements; double-hung windows; and a gabled, asphalt shingle–clad roof. The Smith family lived in the home until 1943. The Smith House was purchased by Joe Tollet in 2017, who, along with Brandon Sutton, began a complete restoration of the house. The Smith House was added to the Arkansas Register of Historic Places on December 5, 2018. James Phillip Smith was born in DeKalb …

Jazz Music

  With New Orleans, Louisiana, and Kansas City, Missouri, emerging as the booming urban epicenters of jazz music and inevitably spilling this music and culture across interstate lines, Arkansas began to see a number of touring “territory bands” sprout up around the state in the late 1910s and early 1920s. Some of the first included Sterling Todd’s Rose City Orchestra; the Quinn Band out of Fort Smith (Sebastian County); and the Synco Six out of Helena (Phillips County), led by banjo player Gene Crooke. All three bands were at some point joined by Arkansas’s first major jazz musician, pianist Alphonso E. “Phonnie” Trent. Trent played with the Rose City Orchestra and the Quinn Band during his teenage years before eventually …

Jeffress/Phillips Music Company

The Jeffress/Phillips Music Company, located in Crossett (Ashley County), is one of the five remaining seven-shape gospel publishing companies in the United States and is the sole seven-shape gospel publisher in the state of Arkansas. While known best as a rural tradition, shape notes, sometimes referred to as character or patent notes, are visual cues that act as points of reference, creating a unique notational style composed of geometric figures. This teaching mechanism led to the development of a rich and varied canon of American folk hymnody notated and practiced in shape notes, of which seven-shape gospel music comprises one specific tradition. Successor to the Jeffress Music Company, Jeffress/Phillips Music is a family-run operation. William Nolin Jeffress, founder of the …

Jegley v. Picado

Larry Jegley v. Elena Picado, et al. was a 2002 decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court that struck down Arkansas’s sodomy law, which criminalized homosexual behavior. It was the first time that the Supreme Court removed a legal prohibition against homosexual relationships, and the decision was cited many times the next dozen years by state and federal courts in several states that invalidated such laws. Sodomy laws preceded American independence. The colonies criminalized homosexual acts, which were often death-penalty offenses. Sodomy was a felony in every state until 1962, when states began to liberalize the laws. In 1975, Arkansas attorney general Jim Guy Tucker submitted a lengthy bill to the Arkansas General Assembly that overhauled and recodified the state’s criminal laws. The …

Jess Norman Post 166 American Legion Hut

The Jess Norman Post 166 American Legion Hut, the best example in Augusta (Woodruff County) of a vernacular log meeting hall, was constructed in 1934 through local efforts with the assistance of the Depression-era Civil Works Administration (CWA). The post was named for Jess Norman, the first man from Augusta to be killed during World War I. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 14, 2001. On January 5, 1933, the Augusta Advocate announced that the Jess Norman Post planned to construct a hut on the banks of the White River for “a minimum amount of money” and with “all labor…contributed by the Legionnaires.” The Legionnaires planned a boxing match as a fundraising event. …

Jim Crow Laws

Jim Crow laws were statutes passed in most of the Southern states between the 1880s and 1960s that separated the races and created a segregated society. Exactly why these laws were implemented at this time is unclear, although scholars believe that they may have been a response to the breakdown of traditional barriers between black and white people in the post-Reconstruction era. This breakdown was made possible by expansion of the South’s railroads, development of urban areas and industrial workplaces, and the progress African Americans made economically during this period. Whatever the reason for the timing of their passage, these laws reflected prevalent anti-black racism and the views of contemporary whites, who asserted that African Americans represented an inferior and …

John D. Perry

The side-wheel steamer John D. Perry joined the Union navy’s Mississippi River Squadron, serving under charter on the Mississippi River and its tributaries, including expeditions on the White River during the ongoing battle for control of significant interior rivers in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Built by the Howard Shipyard of Jeffersonville, Indiana, in 1858 and initially home-ported at Louisville, Kentucky, the John D. Perry displaced 382 tons. Its exact date of transfer to Federal service is not known, but John S. Nanson owned and piloted it as a river transport in Missouri in the late 1850s. In the first month of the Civil War, Confederate sympathizers briefly used the Perry in an unsuccessful attempt to transport ammunition southward down the Mississippi …

John F. Weinmann House

Located in the Central High School Neighborhood Historic District in Little Rock (Pulaski County), the John F. Weinmann House was built in 1917. The house was designed in the Tudor Revival style with Craftsman influences. It expands the boundary of the Central High School Neighborhood Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. The district was amended in 1997 and 2004 to include contiguous historic development on the east side of the present district, which comprised the Wright Avenue Neighborhood Association. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 4, 2012, as part of the second boundary increase of the Central High district. The 160-acre parcel of land on …

Johnson County Courthouse

The Johnson County Courthouse, built in the 1930s, is located on the corner of Fulton and Main streets in downtown Clarksville (Johnson County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the three-story building as architecturally and historically significant as a courthouse built in the Depression era and for its impressive elegance. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 14, 1991. In 1934, the Great Depression had its grip on the United States, and northwestern Arkansas was not immune. The wave of public works construction brought about by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal provided jobs for many Americans, with new federal appropriations bringing wages and stabilizing unemployment. The people of Johnson County took advantage …

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner, a nationally known eatery in Marianna (Lee County), is perhaps the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Arkansas, as well as perhaps the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the South owned by a black family. In addition, it is the state’s first recipient of the James Beard Award, which many in the food community consider one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a chef or restaurant. Jones Bar-B-Q Diner has drawn barbecue enthusiasts from around the world while maintaining its important position in this rural Arkansas community. No one is sure when the restaurant first opened, but multiple generations of the Jones family have manned the pits. Some version of the diner has been serving …

Jones Truck Lines

Jones Truck Lines was a catalyst for change and growth in Springdale (Washington County). Established in 1918 by businessman Harvey Jones, the company made Springdale a regional center for the transportation of goods. In 1918, Harvey Jones began hauling dry freight for individuals and businesses. Originally, he hauled hardware and groceries from Springdale to Rogers (Benton County) and Fayetteville (Washington County) with two mules and a wagon. Local business owners quickly discovered that they could place an order one day and have it delivered the next. Jones sold his mules and wagon in 1919 and bought his first truck. When the Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad (M&NA) went on strike in 1920, Jones began hauling freight between Seligman, Missouri, and …

Jonesboro Baptist College

Jonesboro Baptist College was a Christian junior college located in Jonesboro (Craighead County) from 1924 to 1934; after Woodland College, this was the second attempt at establishing a Baptist college in Jonesboro. Ten of the ninety-two acres of the campus were located in the Jonesboro city limits. The college was founded as part of an ongoing Baptist commitment to education. Arkansas Baptists had previously opened multiple schools in the state such as Judson University at Judsonia (White County), Shiloh Institute at Springdale (Washington and Benton counties), Red River Academy near Arkadelphia (Clark County), Ouachita Baptist College (now Ouachita Baptist University—OBU) in Arkadelphia, and Buckner College in Witcherville (Sebastian County). Of these early Baptist educational efforts, only what is now OBU, …

Jonesboro Municipal Airport

The Jonesboro Municipal Airport is located three miles east of the Jonesboro (Craighead County) central business district in the northeastern part of Arkansas. It is a mixed-use airport, with the overwhelming majority of usage coming from general aviation. In 2015, it provided 284 jobs in the Jonesboro area and had a local economic impact of over $40 million. In January 1934, the Civil Works Administration (CWA) granted $13,000 to the city of Jonesboro to build an airport near the community of Nettleton (Craighead County). Originally covering 190 acres, the airport was little more than a dirt runway by 1935, due to disputes over the leasing of the land. The board of City Water and Light voted in April 1935 to …

Jonesboro, Lake City and Eastern Railroad

The Jonesboro, Lake City and Eastern Railroad (JLC&E) was chartered in 1897 and operated in northeastern Arkansas until being sold to the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway Co. (SLSF), better known as the Frisco, in 1925. The company provided a vital service to the people of the region for over twenty-five years and was crucial to the area’s development. Although there were several railroad lines in northeastern Arkansas by the 1880s, they had not ventured into the sunken lands created by the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811–1812. However, the expanding timber business demanded a better way to transport its product to sawmills. In the East Bottoms of northeastern Arkansas before 1895, the logs were conveyed by oxen pulling broad-wheeled wagons along …

Judiciary, State

The judiciary of Arkansas comprises men and women in government who exercise or have exercised various forms of judicial power of the state and territory of Arkansas. The purpose of the judiciary is to decide cases and controversies between parties that come before it. Judicial power has best been defined by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. in the case of Prentiss v. Atlantic Coast Line as that power which “declares and enforces liabilities as they stand on present or past facts and under existing laws.” Judicial power is distinguished from legislative power in that the latter looks forward and tries to remedy problems growing out of changing societal conditions. The Arkansas Supreme Court has adopted the Prentiss definition of “judicial …

Judson University

Judson University was a short-lived institution of higher education in Prospect Bluff—present-day Judsonia (White County). The institution stimulated the migration of Northern families to the area, thereby significantly increasing the population and refining the social atmosphere of this typical, mid-nineteenth-century river town. Judson University began as the dream of Professor Martin R. Forey of Chicago, Illinois. Forey was a professor at Chicago University and had established Chowan Female Institute in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. He believed it was his calling to establish Christian schools and, in 1869, traveled to Arkansas to found a Baptist college in the South. His first stop in Prairie County was met with hostility, but he received a lukewarm welcome in White County. Forey returned to Chicago …