Entries - Entry Type: Thing - Starting with L

L. C. and Daisy Bates Museum

Daisy Lee Gatson Bates and her husband, Lucious Christopher Bates, lived at 1207 W. 28th Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County) during the desegregation of Central High School in 1957–58. They had purchased the land and built the house in 1955 while they were publishing the Arkansas State Press newspaper and while she was the president of the Arkansas chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The Bates House is not far from Central High School, and the home served as a safe place for the Little Rock Nine, the first black students to attend Central, to prepare for school and to return to afterward. Both Martin Luther King Jr. and Thurgood Marshall visited the …

L’Anguille River

The L’Anguille River arises west of Harrisburg (Poinsett County) from the confluence of several creeks and agricultural ditches and flows south, always on the western side of Crowley’s Ridge until it nears Marianna (Lee County), where it cuts east across the ridge and empties into the St. Francis River. In the twenty-first century, the L’Anguille River was designated an impaired watershed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to excessive siltation and pollution from agricultural runoff. The area around the L’Anguille River has been the site of human habitation as far back as 10,000 BC. Among the many sites of prehistoric habitation along the river basin is the Lace site, a Dalton Period site located in Poinsett County. In fact, …

Labor Movement

Soon after Arkansas’s 1836 admission to the Union, wage workers in the state began uniting for their mutual economic and political benefit. Throughout the nineteenth century, these associations—commonly called trade unions—tended to be short lived and unstable, reflecting the dominance of agriculture in Arkansas’s economy. But in the twentieth century, as industry began gaining a toehold in the state, the labor movement began improving the lives of wage workers through collective bargaining and by securing passage of legislation in the interest of all workers. Although weak when compared with their counterparts in more industrialized states, Arkansas’s trade unions were at the forefront of every significant wave of reform in the state during the twentieth century—the Progressive Era, the New Deal, …

Laconia Circle Levee

The Laconia Circle Levee is situated in the southeast corner of Mississippi Township in Desha County. The levee’s circular construction is so unique that Believe it or Not, a syndicated newspaper publication for the unusual, featured the levee in one of its 1970s publications. The levee encircled Laconia Circle, which consisted of 18,000 acres of Delta land located in Desha County, for protection against potential flooding from the Mississippi and White rivers. It was the first levee in the Arkansas Delta to be affected by the Flood of 1927. Before the Civil War, fourteen plantation homes were protected by the levee. The levee and the township were named after the Laconia Landing, one of the most active steamboat landings on …

Lady Baxter

Lady Baxter is a Civil War–era sixty-four-pounder siege gun that was used by forces loyal to Elisha Baxter in the Brooks-Baxter War, his 1874 altercation with Joseph Brooks over the governorship of Arkansas during Reconstruction. The cannon is on display on the grounds of the Old State House Museum in Little Rock (Pulaski County). During the Civil War, the siege gun that would become known as Lady Baxter was part of the armaments of the CSS Pontchartrain, one of two Confederate gunboats that plied Arkansas’s waters. Along with most of the Pontchartrain’s other heavy weapons, the gun was removed from the vessel to provide cannon for Fort Hindman, the major earthwork guarding the Confederate garrison at Arkansas Post. A Union …

Lafayette County Courthouse

The Lafayette County Courthouse is an early 1940s-era Art Deco building built with funds from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It is known as the first Art Deco building in Lafayette County, though its style also heavily incorporates WPA Moderne. The Lafayette County Courthouse is located at 1 Courthouse Square in Lewisville (Lafayette County). The current Lafayette County Courthouse is the fourth courthouse to be built in Lewisville. Several years after the first courthouse was constructed, the railroad was built south of the town. The city of Lewisville began to build southward toward the railroad, and a second courthouse was constructed in the newer part of town in 1890. Fourteen years later, another courthouse was built to replace it. Finally, from …

Lafayette Hotel

aka: Lafayette Building
The Lafayette Hotel in downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County) opened in 1925 and was one of the state’s best-known hotels until its closure in 1973. Now known as the Lafayette Building, it houses offices and condominiums. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 30, 1982. Little Rock was experiencing solid growth during the 1920s, and an entity known as the Little Rock Hotel Co. decided to capitalize on that growth with a new hotel. A. D. Gates of St. Louis, Missouri, was the company president, and John Boyle of Little Rock was the vice president. The ten-story structure, which has a full basement, was designed by St. Louis architect George Barnett. The Lafayette opened on …

Lake Catherine State Park Prisoner of War Structures

Construction of what are now known as the Lake Catherine State Park Prisoner of War Structures was started by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the late 1930s and completed by German prisoners of war in 1945. Located at Lake Catherine State Park at 1200 Catherine Park Road in Hot Spring County, these structures—a 210-foot-long, nine-foot-tall stone retaining wall and an outdoor stone oven—were listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 24, 2017. Lake Catherine was created when Remmel Dam was completed on the Ouachita River in December 1924. In 1935, Arkansas Power and Light founder Harvey C. Couch donated more than 2,000 acres of land surrounding Lake Catherine to the State Parks Commission. Two years later, …

Lake Chicot

Lake Chicot in Chicot County is both the largest oxbow lake in North America and the largest natural lake in the state of Arkansas, running almost twenty-two miles in a C-shaped curve one mile wide and covering 5,000 acres. The city of Lake Village (Chicot County) is situated along its western shore, while Lake Chicot State Park lies on its northern shore. The lake has been at the center of history and culture in Chicot County, serving as the site of a Civil War engagement and as a focal point for local plantation agriculture. Charles Lindbergh conducted his first night flight ever over Lake Chicot in 1923. Geologists estimate that Lake Chicot likely separated from the Mississippi River several centuries …

Lake Nixon

Lake Nixon is a 232-acre tract in southwestern Little Rock (Pulaski County) that includes a thirty-four-acre lake. It is owned and operated as a day camp/recreation facility by Second Baptist Church in downtown Little Rock. The camp has its roots in a landmark 1969 Supreme Court decision. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 5, 2017. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned segregation in public places and employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, or national origin, proprietors nationwide began trying to circumvent the law by creating segregated private clubs, particularly in recreational settings. Whites could join those clubs by paying a nominal fee, while African Americans were excluded. Oscar …

Lake Norrell

Lake Norrell is a 280-acre manmade lake in Alexander (Pulaski and Saline counties). Construction of the lake began in 1953 by what later became Benton Utilities as a backup water source for the City of Benton (Saline County) in response to a water shortage at the time. Lake Norrell was named after U.S. Representative William Frank Norrell (1896–1961). Declared complete on April 1, 1954, the lake holds a reported 2.5 billion gallons of water and has a twelve-mile shoreline. Located approximately seventeen miles from Benton, Lake Norrell is stocked with fish by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) and is used mainly for boating, fishing, scuba diving, and picnicking. By the summer of 1952, the Saline River was running …

Lake Village Confederate Monument

The Lake Village Confederate Monument is a commemorative sculpture erected in 1910 by the Jacob McConnell Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) of Lake Village (Chicot County) and the George K. Cracraft UDC Chapter from Eudora (Chicot County) in honor of local men who had served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Chicot County provided three companies for Confederate service during the Civil War. Among the soldiers who served in them were Captain Jacob McConnell, who fought with the Chicot Rangers (Company A, First Arkansas Mounted Rifles) and was killed in action in the fighting at Chickamauga, Georgia, on September 20, 1863, and Captain George K. Cracraft of Company G, Twenty-Third Arkansas Infantry, who was …

Lake Village Post Office

The Lake Village Post Office at 206 South Cokley Street in Lake Village (Chicot County) is a one-story, brick-masonry structure designed in the Colonial Revival style of architecture. It features a mural financed through the U.S. Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture (later renamed the Section of Fine Arts), a Depression-era stimulus project that promoted public art. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1998. In August 1937, Congress passed an appropriation bill providing a $23 million lump sum for construction of public buildings. Included in the allocation was $75,000 for a new post office for Lake Village, the seat of Chicot County. Though details of construction could not be located, the building …

Lake Winona

aka: Alum Fork Reservoir
Lake Winona is a manmade lake located thirty-five miles west of Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the Ouachita National Forest near the community of Paron (Saline County). Winona has a surface area of 1,240 acres and a watershed of forty-three square miles. In 1968, Lake Winona, Lake Sylvia, and Bear Creek Lake became part of the 174,782-acre Winona Wildlife Management Area overseen by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The land is owned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Green Bay Packaging, Inc. Lake Winona supplies thirty-five percent of the area’s fresh drinking water in the twenty-first century. Before Lake Winona was built, the land was home to the Saline County community of Walnut Bottom. In addition to subsistence …

Lakes

The state of Arkansas has more than 600,000 acres of lakes. A lake is a body of water surrounded by land, usually fed and drained by one or more rivers or streams. Large lakes are called seas, while small lakes are called ponds, but no consensus has been reached about the exact size a body of water needs to be in order to receive a certain name. By convention, larger lakes are named with the word “lake” first—such as Lake Ouachita—while smaller lakes are named with the word “lake” last—such as Cove Lake—but again no firm rule has been reached, and some bodies are known by both versions—such as Lake Nimrod, also called Nimrod Lake. Lakes occur in basins, or …

Lamar Porter Athletic Field

The Lamar Porter Athletic Field has a regulation baseball field featuring a steel-beam-supported, poured-concrete grandstand built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It stands in its original location as the earliest site associated with the Boys’ Club in Little Rock (Pulaski County). It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 6, 1990. The Boys’ Club movement started in 1860 with the founding of the Dashaway Boys’ Club, which provided supervised after-school activities and leadership training for disadvantaged boys in Hartford, Connecticut. Such clubs are nonsectarian in control, leadership, and membership, and are typically located in or near densely populated areas. Membership fees are kept low so that no child will be turned away from lack of …

Lampreys

aka: Jawless Fishes
Lampreys are primitive jawless fishes in the Family Petromyzontidae, Order Petromyzontiformes, Class Petromyzontida, and Superclass Cyclostomata. The common name “lamprey” is almost certainly derived from the Latin lampetra, which likely means “stone licker” (lambere “to lick” + petra “stone”). They are also sometimes called lamprey eels, although they are not eels. Instead, lampreys are the direct descendants of the first armored jawless fishes or ostracoderms, which first appeared over 400 million years ago during the Silurian and Devonian periods. Today, there are only two remaining groups of jawless fishes: the lampreys and the hagfishes (Order Myxiniformes, Class Myxini). Hagfishes, which resemble lampreys, are the sister taxon of lampreys based on DNA evidence. There are about forty-two living lamprey species in …

Landlord-Tenant Laws

Landlord-tenant law is divided into two types: residential and commercial. Because commercial landlord-tenant law is governed mostly by the law of contracts, this discussion is restricted in scope to residential landlord-tenant law. Landlord-tenant relations are regulated generally by state law as opposed to federal, although a few relevant federal laws, most notably the Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968), preempt any conflicting state law. Public and Section 8 housing is also regulated mostly by federal law. About half of the states have enacted the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act, which was adopted by the Uniform Law Commission in 1972. Since then, the uniform law was repeatedly introduced in Arkansas to no avail, but in …

Large Standing Figure: Knife Edge

aka: Standing Knife [Sculpture]
The sculpture Large Standing Figure: Knife Edge by the world-renowned British sculptor Henry Moore (1898–1986) stands in the courtyard of Union National Plaza on Capitol Avenue in the heart of downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County). This work was cast in bronze in 1976 and was purchased by Little Rock’s Metrocentre Commission, which placed it, in 1978, at Main Street and Capitol Avenue as the centerpiece of the Metrocentre downtown pedestrian mall project. It is considered among the state’s most noteworthy public sculptures based on its composition, which gives the sense of upward movement if not the suggestion of flight. In February 2018, it was announced that the sculpture would be moved into the Arkansas Arts Center upon the completion of …

Lassis Inn

Lassis Inn is a catfish restaurant located at 518 East 27th Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County), founded in about 1905 by Joe and Molassis Watson. Its first known advertising listing was in the Arkansas Gazette in 1931. Originally, Joe Watson sold sandwiches out of the back of the Watson home, and when he later added catfish to the menu, sales rapidly increased. Eventually constructing a separate building for their food business, the Watsons relocated the building in 1931 to its current location, moving it a short distance once in the 1960s to accommodate the construction of Interstate 30 near Roosevelt Road. They had apparently intended to call the establishment the Watson Inn but decided on the derivative of Molassis …

Lavacaberry

The Lavacaberry is a hybrid variety of berry that takes its name from the town of Lavaca (Sebastian County), where it was planted extensively in the 1940s. The introduction of the berry to the town helped reinvigorate the local economy at a time when the effects of the Depression were still being felt. In 1937, the Lavaca School District hired Idus H. Fielder as a vocational instructor. In his eagerness to help local growers, Fielder met Ed Girard, a local farmer, to discuss the plight of the farmers. After listening to Girard and others, Fielder remembered a berry from the farm of R. E. Hallett in McRae (White County). The berry was known as a “California Red Raspberry,” and Hallett …

Lawrence County Courthouse

The Lawrence County Courthouse is located in Walnut Ridge (Lawrence County), within the city’s commercial district on Main Street. The building, completed in 1966, stands as one of the newer county seats of justice in Arkansas, with its cohorts erected largely at the end of the nineteenth century or during the New Deal era of the 1930s. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program considers this mid-century building in the New Formalism style as architecturally and historically significant to Lawrence County’s legal history. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 28, 2015. In 1870, the Arkansas General Assembly split Lawrence County into two judicial districts to accommodate residents traveling long distances for county business. Legislators designated Walnut …

Lead and Zinc Mining

The history of lead and zinc mining in Arkansas is linked because ores of these two metals often occur together. Lead and zinc in Arkansas occur principally along the upper White River and its tributaries in Baxter, Boone, Independence, Lawrence, Marion, Newton, Searcy, Sharp, and Stone counties. Other locations include the Kellogg Mine in Pulaski County and the Ouachita Mountain mineral belt. Lead (Pb) is a soft, highly dense metal recognized for its low melting point and superb resistance to corrosion. Galena (PbS), containing about eighty-six percent lead, is the only lead mineral of commercial importance in Arkansas. Silver is sometimes found as an impurity that, in larger concentrations, can be extracted as a byproduct. Lead was once used to …

Lee County Courthouse

The Lee County Courthouse is located on 15 East Chestnut Street, overlooking downtown Marianna (Lee County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as architecturally and historically significant, as it stands as a visible result of the New Deal policies of the 1930s and the best example of the Classical Revival style in the county. The National Park Service added it to the National Register of Historic Places on September 7, 1995. Marianna grew in both size and wealth after the establishment of Lee County in 1873, largely due to the rich agricultural land in the Arkansas Delta and commercial access to the Mississippi River. By the mid-1930s, Lee County needed a larger courthouse than the two-story brick …

Lee Wilson & Company

Lee Wilson & Company, a diversified agribusiness headquartered in Wilson (Mississippi County), was founded by Robert E. Lee Wilson in 1885 and remained family owned and operated for approximately 125 years. Robert E. Lee Wilson was born in 1865 in Mississippi County but moved with his mother to Memphis, Tennessee, at the age of seven after the sudden death of his father. He was orphaned at the age of thirteen when his mother died in a yellow fever epidemic; he was sent to live with an uncle. While attending school in Covington, Tennessee, he was introduced to land surveying and, through this, developed an eye for land. Wilson returned to Arkansas at the age of fifteen and worked as a …

Leeches

Leeches are segmented worms belonging to the Phylum Annelida, Class Clitellata, Subclass Hirudinida. Leech classification is primarily based on the presence or absence of setae (bristles) and the morphology of the mouth, proboscis (feeding organ), jaws, and suckers. Leeches are thought to have evolved from certain oligochaete worms; however, the systematics and taxonomy of leeches are in need of review. Twenty-two species within five families (Erpobdellidae, Glossiphoniidae, Haemopidae, Hirudinidae, Piscicolidae) have been reported from northern Arkansas, but, as of 2018, there are no summaries of leeches from the southern part of the state. Leeches are bilaterally symmetrical, with thick muscular bodies. Usually, they are dorsoventrally flattened and segmented. Some leeches are long and worm-like (ranging in size from about seven …

Legend of Boggy Creek, The

The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) was the first in a series of three Boggy Creek films loosely based on a legendary monster of southwest Arkansas. It was directed by Charles Pierce of Texarkana (Miller County) and written by Earl E. Smith. The film, shot as a faux documentary-style drama, centers on the real town of Fouke (Miller County). Since the 1940s, many sightings of a creature known as the “Fouke Monster” have been reported. The film presents an interesting portrait of Southern swamp culture in the 1970s by juxtaposing interviews with local citizens, ranging from a police officer to hunters, talking about their experiences with the creature with dramatic recreations of some of these purported encounters. According to witnesses, …

Levees and Drainage Districts

Reclaiming the swamp and overflow lands in the Mississippi River Delta required draining those lands and building levees to mitigate the inevitable floods that periodically occurred. Without drainage, the land was useless for farming. Early residents realized that once the land was cleared of the timber and drained, the rich alluvial soil would be productive for a variety of crops, especially cotton. Initially, early settlers had attempted to build makeshift barriers to halt the powerful flood waters, but these attempts were ultimately useless. Although the line of levees along the Mississippi River expanded during the nineteenth century, the water always found a weak spot and inundated the region. In 1879, Congress created the Mississippi River Commission to establish a unified flood …

Levi Hospital

aka: Leo N. Levi Hospital
Levi Hospital in Hot Springs (Garland County) is a nonprofit hospital that offers mental and physical therapy. Its mission is to provide specialty care for the residents of Hot Springs and surrounding communities, serving patients without regard to race, religion, creed, national origin, gender, age, disability, or economic means. It has a history of providing services to people regardless of their ability to pay. Levi Hospital is the only healthcare provider in Garland County that provides inpatient adult psychiatric services as well as rehabilitation therapy in the thermal waters of Hot Springs National Park. It also offers a certified athletic trainers program for area schools in which trained healthcare professionals are present at athletic practices and games to help prevent …

Liberator, The

The Liberator was an anti-Catholic weekly newspaper published in Magnolia (Columbia County) from 1912 to 1915. It is representative of a type of journalism that railed against Catholicism in the early 1900s and was particularly strong in the South and the Midwest. Populist politician Tom Watson of Georgia had launched a new wave of anti-Catholic journalism in 1910 with his Watson’s Jeffersonian Magazine, but the largest anti-Catholic paper was The Menace, published in Aurora, in the Missouri Ozarks, approximately forty miles north of the Arkansas line. Founded in 1911, The Menace had 1.5 million subscriptions by 1915, making it one of the most widely circulated publications in the country. The Liberator was a smaller regional paper, similar to other anti-Catholic …

Lice

Lice belong to the Phylum Arthropoda, Class Insecta, Order Phthiraptera, with four suborders: Anoplura (sucking lice), occurring on mammals exclusively; Rhynchophthirina, parasites of elephants and warthogs; Ischnocera, which are mostly avian lice, though one family parasitizes mammals; and Amblycera, a primitive suborder of chewing lice, widespread on birds but also infesting South American and Australasian mammals. The chewing lice (suborders Rhynchophthirina, Ischnocera, and Amblycera) were previously combined in the order Mallophaga, which did not reflect natural grouping. There are nearly 5,000 described species of lice, with about 4,000 being parasitic on birds and 800 on mammals, within about twenty-six families of described species of phthriapterans. Many mammal species can be infested by sucking lice, including seals and walruses. These “marine …

Lieutenant Governor, Office of

The office of lieutenant governor did not exist in territorial Arkansas or in the Arkansas constitution of 1836. Instead, the office was first added in 1864 with the Unionist government led by Governor Isaac Murphy. Governors and lieutenant governors (along with several other statewide offices) were to be elected by the voters of the state to four-year terms. The Reconstruction-era constitution of 1868 also included the office of lieutenant governor. The two principal tasks of the lieutenant governor are to preside over the Arkansas Senate and to replace the governor should the governor die in office or resign (as several governors have resigned to assume other elected offices, most often United States senator). On the first occasion when this provision …

LifeQuest of Arkansas

LifeQuest is a program for active seniors sponsored and supported by twenty Little Rock (Pulaski County) interfaith congregations and hosted by Second Presbyterian Church, all as part of their mission to serve the needs of all of their parishioners. The basic LifeQuest format is a series of eight weekly sessions in hour-long units held all day on Wednesdays and on Thursday mornings. A standard LifeQuest year contains three eight-week terms and one four-week summer term, with breaks in between. A typical week’s sessions will cover dozens of topics, with attendees choosing among them. While many of the units are traditional lectures, with visual aids, others focus on activities such as painting with watercolors, drawing, oil painting, learning foreign languages, playing …

Lincoln County Courthouse

The Lincoln County Courthouse is located on 300 Drew Street, south of downtown Star City (Lincoln County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as architecturally and historically significant as the sole example of the Art Deco style in Star City and perhaps all of Lincoln County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 7, 1994. Before the construction of the standing courthouse, Lincoln County used a two-story brick building built in 1911. It was large, with its clock tower being its most distinctive feature. It was centered in downtown Star City, just a couple of city blocks away from its replacement, and it remained standing until 1962. Today, that site is a …

Lincoln High School (Star City)

Lincoln High School was a school for African Americans located on the northwestern side of Star City (Lincoln County) at 507 Pine Street. The school, which took its name from the county, was established in 1949 following the consolidation of black schools in the communities of Cornerville, Cole Spur, Star City, Bright Star, Sneed, Richardson, Bethlehem, Mount Olive, Saint Olive, and Sweet Home. None of these schools went beyond the eighth grade, leaving a large segment of Lincoln County’s African-American students with no local high school to attend. Charles R. Teeter was the superintendent, and Ruth Teal was hired as Lincoln’s first principal. In the first school year of Lincoln’s existence (1949–50), only grades one through nine were offered. Each …

Lion Oil Company

Lion Oil is an El Dorado (Union County) corporation that refines and produces oil, gasoline, and other oil-based products. Its products include not only fuels and asphalt but industrial solvents and oil-based roofing products. Lion is a major employer in southern Arkansas, with more than 500 employees. When the oil boom began in southern Arkansas in 1920, Colonel Thomas Harry Barton, a Texas native, came to El Dorado and began investing in the emerging industry, organizing the El Dorado Natural Gas Co. In 1922, he took over a small refinery in El Dorado that became the Lion Oil and Refining Co. Initially, the refinery produced 2,000 barrels per day and employed twenty-five people. Reportedly, Barton decided to call the company …

Little Missouri River Bridge

aka: Nachitoch Bluff Bridge
The Little Missouri River Bridge, also known as the Nachitoch Bluff Bridge, is a through-truss bridge located north of the Interstate 30 crossing of the Little Missouri River, connecting Clark and Nevada counties. Beirne (Clark County) and Gurdon (Clark County) are the two closest communities to the bridge. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 9, 1990, and is depicted on a mural in Prescott (Nevada County) at the intersection of Main and First streets. It closed to traffic in the mid-1990s. Details about the construction of the bridge are scarce. Documentation suggests that it was constructed in 1908 by the Morava Construction Company. The main span of the bridge measures 185 feet and was …

Little Red River

The Little Red River runs through north-central Arkansas, arising from several different forks in the Ozark Mountains. Major towns situated along the course of the river are Clinton (Van Buren County), Fairfield Bay (Van Buren County), Heber Springs (Cleburne County), and Searcy (White County), though the river also flows north of the old settlement of Georgetown (White County), where it empties into the White River. The Little Red River is dammed just east of Heber Springs, creating the reservoir of Greers Ferry Lake, which is a major regional tourist destination. The Little Red River passes through three different natural divisions of Arkansas: the Ozark Mountains, the Arkansas River Valley, and the Mississippi Alluvial Plain (the Delta). The forks of the …

Little River (Southwestern Arkansas)

The Little River rises in the Ouachita Mountains of southeastern Oklahoma, from which point it cuts west and then south before turning in a southeasterly direction and eventually entering Arkansas between Sevier and Little River counties. The river flows through Arkansas for ninety-two of its total 220 miles before emptying into the Red River near Fulton (Hempstead County). The Little River—not to be confused with a waterway of the same name in northeastern Arkansas—is impounded at Millwood Dam; the resulting reservoir, Millwood Lake, spreads across the corners of four southwestern Arkansas counties. The Little River has been the site of human habitation since approximately 10,000 BC. In historic times, the Caddo Indians controlled the region of southwestern Arkansas that covers …

Little River County Courthouse

The Little River County Courthouse is located on Main Street in the heart of Ashdown (Little River County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as architecturally and historically significant as one of the most impressive county courthouses in Arkansas and as the most prominent structure in Little River County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 26, 1976. After voters moved Little River’s county seat from Rocky Comfort (Little River County) to Ashdown in 1906, the administration of Judge J. B. Arnett oversaw the construction of a new courthouse that began the following year. The county hired architect Sidney Stewart to design the building with the mission to solidify Ashdown’s claim as …

Little Rock [Geological Formation]

aka: Point of Rocks
The Little Rock is the rock outcropping on the Arkansas River used as a navigation point during the early exploration of what would become the state of Arkansas. The town of Little Rock (Pulaski County) was established near this point. Sometimes called the Point of Rocks, it is the first rock on the Arkansas River as one ascends from the Mississippi. This is where the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains first touch the river, creating a natural plateau above the floodplain. The rock is sandstone deposited originally in a deep marine environment 320–300 million years ago, a part of what geologists call the Jackfork Formation. Jean-Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe, one of the earliest European explorers in the region, observed …

Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad

The Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Fort Smith (Sebastian County) railroad span was organized in November 1853 as the Little Rock and Fort Smith Branch of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad Company. In 1859, while it was still a company only on paper, the Arkansas General Assembly passed a proposed act allowing the Little Rock and Fort Smith Branch to merge with the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad, forming the Central Pacific Railroad. This merger never happened, but it clearly shows the manipulation of railroad markets in Arkansas. The start of the Civil War in 1861 postponed plans for the proposed Little Rock and Fort Smith Branch. Following the war, in 1866, Congress gave the State of Arkansas ten alternating …

Little Rock City Hall

Little Rock City Hall is located on the northwestern corner of West Markham and Broadway in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Designed by noted architect Charles L. Thompson, it has been the seat of government for the state’s largest municipality since 1908. Interestingly, the Arkansas Gazette heavily opposed the building’s construction, even suing the city to stop it. The old Little Rock City Hall, constructed in 1867, was located at 120–122 Markham Street, the current location of the Statehouse Convention Center. Twenty years after its construction, the old city hall was in ruins, and calls for a new city hall were voiced. Arkansas Gazette editors wrote at the time, “It is to be noticed too, that our worthy council have not …

Little Rock Confederate Memorial

The Little Rock Confederate Memorial at Oakland-Fraternal Cemetery is a memorial shaft erected in 1914 on the burial site of 900 Confederate soldiers who died of disease while stationed in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Five months after the dedication of the Monument to Confederate Women at the Arkansas State Capitol, the Memorial Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) announced plans to mark the burial site of hundreds of Confederate soldiers adjacent to the Little Rock National Cemetery. The Arkansas Gazette reported on October 26, 1913, that the UDC chapter “is erecting a monument…in the southeast portion of Oakland cemetery….A stone coping encloses the plot of ground, where are buried 900 soldiers, most of whom died in St. …

Little Rock Debates on Evolution (1966)

The “Great Evolution Debate,” as it was billed, was held in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on June 28–29, 1966, following a decision by Judge Murray O. Reed on May 27, 1966, which declared that Arkansas’s 1928 law banning the teaching of evolution in Arkansas’s public schools was unconstitutional. A case challenging the right of a state to outlaw the teaching of evolution in public schools had been filed in the Pulaski County Chancery Court, with Little Rock Central High School biology teacher Susan Epperson as the point person. The case was heard in April 1966, leading to the decision by Judge Reed in May. Professor James D. Bales of Harding College (now Harding University) in Searcy (White County) led the …

Little Rock Free Press

aka: Arkansas Free Press
The Little Rock Free Press was an alternative newspaper based in Little Rock (Pulaski County). It began publication on April 20, 1993, and twelve years later, the Freep, as it was commonly called, became the Arkansas Free Press. The Little Rock Free Press covered everything from daily news to controversial topics such as prostitution, homosexuality, night life, drug culture, and Little Rock’s independent music scene. Often incurring the wrath of religious groups and politicians, the Freep was said by its editor to be “provocative Arkansas history with a twist.” In 1993, Little Rock’s previous alternative newspaper, Spectrum Weekly, ceased publication. It had been printed in Russellville (Pope County) but faced opposition from the printer and others after it began running …

Little Rock Picric Acid Plant

Arkansans supported the American effort in World War I in many ways. Some served in the armed forces, while others worked to grow and conserve food and make clothing and bandages for the troops. Many worked in a number of war industries, including a munitions plant built outside of Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1918, tasked with manufacturing a high explosive—a rapid and destructive chemical explosive—known as picric acid. Picric acid (trinitrophenol) is made of phenol and several acid compounds that, when combined under proper conditions, form a honey-like substance that can be loaded into artillery shells. It is stable enough to survive the shock of being fired from a cannon, but, when detonated by a fuse, is very destructive. …

Little Rock Port Authority

aka: Port of Little Rock
The Port of Little Rock, part of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, is operated by the Little Rock Port Authority (LRPA). The LRPA oversees the port, which provides intermodal transportation services to connect U.S. markets to the deep-water ports of the Gulf of Mexico. The port encompasses an industrial park located along the banks of the Arkansas River, approximately seven miles from downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County); the 2,600-acre industrial park has more than forty businesses. The Port of Little Rock operates two river terminals (a river port and a slackwater harbor) and a short-line railroad, as well as Foreign Trade Zone 14. (Foreign-trade zones are designated locations in the United States in which companies are able to delay …

Little Rock to Cantonment Gibson Road

The Little Rock to Cantonment Gibson Road was constructed between 1825 and 1828 to connect Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Fort Smith (Sebastian County) to the military post at Cantonment Gibson in the Indian Territory (modern-day Oklahoma). The road was used extensively during the forced removal of Native Americans from the southeastern United States to the Indian Territory during the 1830s. On March 3, 1825, Congress approved a bill to establish a road from Little Rock to the Indian Territory, continuing the Memphis to Little Rock Road between the Mississippi River and Little Rock that was authorized a year before. In addition to the $10,000 funding, Congress appointed Arkansas pioneers Benjamin Moore of Crawford County, Morgan Magness of Independence County, …

Lockesburg Waterworks

The Lockesburg Waterworks, located at the corner of Hickory and Azalea streets in Lockesburg (Sevier County), was constructed in 1936 and installed with assistance from the Public Works Administration (PWA), a New Deal public relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 20, 2007. As the United States struggled with the Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration enacted the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) to ease the effects of businesses closing. The act included an organization called the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (or Public Works Administration), which was created on June 16, 1933, to help finance federal construction projects and create jobs. Lockesburg had a population of 747 citizens …