Entries - Entry Type: Thing - Starting with N

Nannie Gresham Biscoe House

The Nannie Gresham Biscoe House is a Queen Anne–style home located in Arkadelphia (Clark County). Constructed in 1901, the home is notable for passing from mothers to daughters, all of them educators, since its construction. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 21, 2004. Nancy “Nannie” Caroline Gresham was born in 1847 in Walton County, Georgia. She married John Basil Biscoe in 1871, and the couple had three sons and a daughter. John died in 1883 when the family was residing in Forrest, Mississippi. Nannie moved that year with her children and her adopted nephew to Arkadelphia to live near her brother and his family. In 1886, Ouachita Baptist College (now Ouachita Baptist University) began …

Narrow Gauge Railroads

Arkansas was home to nine narrow gauge railroads that offered freight and passenger service to the public. The three-foot gauge was most common; a pair of 3½’ gauge railroads later converted to the yard-wide gauge. Arkansas’s narrow gauge mileage peaked at more than 550 miles in the mid-1880s but declined rapidly thereafter. Narrow gauge railroads required less capital because they used narrower right-of-way and followed the terrain closely to minimize the cost of moving earth for cuts and fills. Passenger and freight cars were smaller, lighter, and supposedly more efficient than standard gauge equipment. Narrow gauge steam engines required lighter track and less-expensive bridges. The disadvantage of narrow gauge was a lack of easy freight interchange with the standard gauge …

Narrows Dam

aka: Lake Greeson
Narrows Dam is located six miles north of Murfreesboro (Pike County). Authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1941, it was constructed on the Little Missouri River as a project for flood control and hydroelectric power. The Little Missouri River flows through the Ouachita Mountains and enters Pike County at its northwest upper corner, dropping 1,035 feet before it runs into Lake Greeson. Before the dam was constructed, heavy rains in the mountains often caused the area around Murfreesboro to become flooded, causing damage to houses and resulting in loss of livestock and farm crops. Martin White Greeson, the owner of the Murfreesboro-Nashville Southwest Railroad, urged the development of the watershed in order to control the water of the Little …

Nashville Post Office

The Nashville Post Office in Nashville (Howard County) is a single-story, brick-masonry structure designed in a restrained interpretation of the Art Deco style of architecture and featuring a mural created 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. The post office was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1998. On June 26, 1936, the Nashville News reported that the Howard County seat of Nashville was selected as the site of a new U.S. Post Office facility under a $60 million federal emergency construction program. Site proposals were requested four days later, and on September 18, the News reported …

Nashville Sauropod Trackway

The Nashville sauropod trackway, which may be the largest dinosaur trackway in the world, was located near Nashville (Howard County). The most unusual thing about the Nashville trackway is its size, but it also represented, for over twenty-five years, the only evidence of sauropods in Arkansas other than bone fragments found nearby. This discovery has greatly informed the scientific study of sauropods and other dinosaur trackways. A trackway is a path of preserved footprints left by dinosaurs. There are between 5,000 and 10,000 assorted tracks on the Nashville trackway, most of which have been identified as having been made by sauropods. Some species of sauropods are the diplodocus and the titansaur. Sauropods had long necks and long tails and walked on all …

National Education Program

The National Education Program (NEP) was founded by Harding College (now Harding University) president George S. Benson to disseminate his ideas on Americanism. These included three fundamental principles: belief in God, belief in the U.S. Constitution, and belief in the free-enterprise system. Sources disagree about the date the NEP was founded, citing 1936, 1941, and 1948. The NEP wedded fundamentalist Christian religion with free-enterprise economic thought, which became foundational to the conservative movement that gained prominence with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. A native Oklahoman and a member of the Church of Christ, Benson completed his bachelor’s degree at Harding College and afterward served as principal of its high school division. In 1925, he and his wife, Sallie …

National Fish Hatcheries

Thirty-five states are home to a total of seventy national fish hatcheries (NFHs). Arkansas is home to three: Mammoth Spring, Norfork, and Greers Ferry. Arkansas’s role in the federal fish hatchery system—designed to conserve, protect, and enhance the fish population nationwide for the benefit of all Americans—is key. Arkansas is the systems leader in trout production, has the single Gulf Coast striped bass facility in the world, and engages universities in collaborative research efforts. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in the Department of the Interior administers the world’s largest fish hatchery system, comprising not only hatcheries, but also Fish Health Centers and Fish Technology Centers. Federal fish hatcheries trace their formation to a joint resolution of the …

Native American Pottery

Indians in Arkansas began making pottery containers about 2,500 years ago, during the Woodland Period, and they continued this craft until their handmade containers were replaced by industrial counterparts made in metal, glass, and clay in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Broken pieces of Indian pottery, called sherds or potsherds, are among the most common artifacts remaining at abandoned settlements, and they provide a wide range of information today about the cultural traditions of the people who made them. Complete pottery vessels display both sophisticated craftsmanship and the complex aesthetics of their makers. Southeastern Indian pottery-making began in the area of eastern Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida about 4,000 years ago and spread gradually from there to cultures across eastern …

Natural Gas

The earliest natural gas find is reported to have been in Scott County in 1887 during an effort to develop a commercial water well. The second recorded gas well was drilled two years later (also in Scott County) by an oil driller, Harry Kelly, to a depth of 1,600 feet. This was recognized as the first recorded effort to find oil in Arkansas, though “only gas was present.” No other efforts to find oil or gas were reported until 1901–1902, when the Mansfield Pool was developed by Choctaw Oil and Gas Company. While no oil was found, this effort did provide large amounts of gas, with some wells producing as much as 5 million cubic feet of gas per day. …

Neal v. Still

Neal v. Still was a case decided by the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1970 that addressed issues of free speech and free expression. After thoughtful deliberations, the Arkansas Supreme Court held that the statute under which the alleged violators, Joe and Barbara Neal, were arrested and charged was unconstitutionally vague and violated the free speech rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The case had its roots in the February 21, 1969, arrest of Joe Neal and his wife, Barbara Wink Neal, on the campus of Henderson State College (now Henderson State University) in Arkadelphia (Clark County). The couple, who were distributing information at the college’s Student Union Building, was charged with violating Act 17 of 1958, which prohibited creating a …

Nematodes

aka: Roundworms
The phylum Nematoda includes three classes (Anoplea, Chromodorea, and Rhabditida), sixteen to twenty orders, and about 27,000 described species (and possibly up to one million) of mostly dioecious, elongate, bilaterally symmetrical pseudocoelomate worms. They can be found in abundance in nearly every habitat on Earth, with a diverse array of species existing in both marine and terrestrial habitats. Most are free-living, with less than half considered to be parasitic. Nevertheless, many species threaten the health of plants and animals (including humans) on a global scale. Nematodes are variable in size from less than one millimeter to more than one meter in length. They have been in existence for an estimated one billion years, having evolved from simple animals some 400 …

Nematomorpha

aka: Horsehair Worms
aka: Hairworms
Horsehair worms belong to the phylum Nematomorpha and are typically obligate parasites of terrestrial arthropods (e.g., beetles, crickets, cockroaches, locusts, grasshoppers, and mantids). As adults, however, they are free-living in aquatic environments. These worms are sometimes found in coiled clusters termed “Gordian knots” from the intricate legendary knot of Greek mythology. Another myth is related to the common name given these worms, “hairworms” or “horsehair worms,” originating from the idea that horse hairs that fell into water became worms. This belief was not disproved scientifically until American anatomist and paleontologist Joseph Leidy (1823–1891) noted in 1870 that horse hairs placed in water for many months did not come to life. The first published report of a horsehair worm from Arkansas …

Nemertea

aka: Ribbon Worms
The phylum Nemertea is an invertebrate phylum that contains over 1,000 species within 250 genera of mostly marine organisms known variously as ribbon, proboscis, or nemertean worms. Only a few taxa inhabit freshwater, and there are several terrestrial species. Most are free living; however, a few are known to be parasitic. The name means one of “Nereis” (unerring one), which refers to the unerring aim of the proboscis. Ribbon worms are unique in having an eversible muscular proboscis that is used for grasping prey. It lies free inside of a cavity above the alimentary canal known as the rhynchocoel. This muscular tube can be swiftly thrust out to catch prey items. This phylum is also occasionally called the Rhynchocoela, which …

Nevada County Courthouse

The Nevada County Courthouse is located in downtown Prescott (Nevada County). Constructed in 1964, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 24, 2018. Nevada County was organized on March 20, 1871, from portions of Hempstead, Columbia, and Ouachita counties. The county court convened for the first time at Mount Moriah Methodist Church on May 8, 1871. No incorporated towns existed in the county. The following year, Rosston was named as the county seat by a governor-appointed commission, and in 1877, the voters of the county selected Prescott as the county seat. When the county seat moved to Prescott, a two-story building on East First Street served as the courthouse. Three permanent purpose-built courthouses have served …

Nevada County Depot and Museum

The Nevada County Depot and Museum, founded in 1976, is the only museum in Nevada County. Located in the 1912 Iron Mountain Railroad Depot in downtown Prescott (Nevada County), it is a non-profit organization that preserves and promotes the history of Nevada County. In 1968, passenger service from the Prescott Depot was suspended by the successor to the Iron Mountain Railroad, the Missouri Pacific Railroad. The City of Prescott purchased the building and its adjoining parking lots from the Missouri Pacific in 1970 for one dollar. Over the next two years, the building was used for a variety of purposes, but the noise of passing trains soon forced the city simply to use the depot for storage. During the 1972 …

New Deal

In many ways, Arkansas experienced the hardship of the Great Depression of the 1930s even before the stock market crash of 1929. In the 1920s, it led the nation in per capita indebtedness. As an agricultural state, Arkansans was affected by low crop prices, which left people unable to pay taxes. Schools and roads deteriorated. Without funding for road construction, some towns found themselves isolated and cut off from the rest of the state. Arkansas also suffered as it alternated between both drought and floods—the Flood of 1927, followed by the Drought of 1930–1931 and the Flood of 1937. Banks failed, wiping out savings and ready cash. Many Arkansans lost their land, being forced to become tenant farmers. Others could …

New Home Church and School

New Home Church sits on Peach Orchard Road just south of Bella Vista (Benton County), on 1.7 acres now within the city limits of Bentonville (Benton County). A school was also once located on the property. Benton County real estate records list the church property being transferred on November 21, 1896, from someone named Peterson to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the church was built shortly thereafter. At some point, the church came to be called the New Home United Methodist Church. As described in the application for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, which was granted on January 28, 1988, the modest frame church building is a gabled rectangle, three window bays in length, entered by a …

New Madrid Fault

The New Madrid Fault, also called the New Madrid seismic zone, is actually a series of faults, or fractures, at a weak spot in the earth’s crust called the Reelfoot Rift. It lies deep in the earth and cannot be seen from the surface. The fault line runs roughly 150 miles from Arkansas into Missouri and Illinois. In 1811–1812, it was responsible for the most violent series of earthquakes in the history of the continental United States (though there have been larger individual earthquakes). Scientists predict that another large earthquake is due which could inflict great damage to Arkansas as well as up to half the nation. The New Madrid seismic zone runs roughly northeast from Marked Tree (Poinsett County). …

Newspapers during the Civil War

When the Civil War began in 1861, Arkansas was still basically a frontier state, with thirty to forty small newspapers; only about ten remained by 1862. By the end of the war in 1865, only one of those newspapers, the Washington Telegraph in Hempstead County, had published throughout the conflict. The Arkansas State Gazette suspended publication in 1863 but restarted in May 1865. Arkansas’s newspapers were weeklies with small staffs—primarily just editors and printers. The papers were highly partisan, poorly documented, and had little fresh news from the outside world. The papers got much of their outside news through exchanges, in which editors mailed free copies of their papers to each other. The editors then selected news items from these …

Newton County Courthouse

The Newton County Courthouse is located at 100 Court Street in downtown Jasper (Newton County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as architecturally and historically significant for its local standing in Newton County and as a visible result of the New Deal programs active during the Great Depression. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 1, 1994. The present Newton County Courthouse is the fourth to govern county affairs. The first was a log cabin, burned by Union soldiers during the Reconstruction period in 1866. Newton County replaced it with a brick-and-mortar structure in 1873, contracting Robbie Hobbs to build it. It stood until 1902, when it was demolished for a modern …

Newton House Museum

The Newton House Museum in El Dorado (Union County) was the home of John and Penelope Newton, early settlers of Union County. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 6, 1974. For many years, the home was referred to as the Rainey-Newton House, due to a misconception that El Dorado city founder Matthew Rainey had built the home. However, extensive research by one of John Newton’s descendants proved that Rainey sold city property to the Newtons, but the Newtons were the actual builders of the house. The Newton House was built circa 1849 in the Greek Revival style popular in the antebellum era. The house features many characteristics of Greek Revival vernacular architecture, including simplified …

Niloak Pottery

Niloak is a popular American art pottery that was created in Benton (Saline County) from 1909 until 1946 by the Eagle Pottery Company. Niloak is best known for its unique Mission-swirl design, but the company in later years produced two other lines, Hywood Art Pottery and the Hywood by Niloak. The name “Niloak” is the word “kaolin” spelled backward. Kaolin is a type of fine-grade clay found near Benton and used in production. Niloak was the creation of Benton native Charles Dean “Bullet” Hyten and an Ohio potter named Arthur Dovey. Hyten grew up in the business, taking over his stepfather’s Benton pottery in partnership with his brothers, Paul and Lee, in 1895. The Hyten Brothers Pottery produced jugs, crocks, …

Norman Library

The Norman Library has been known as the smallest public library in the state. Located in the town square of Norman (Montgomery County), the single-story structure constructed of brick has been used as a library and for other purposes since its construction. According to the Department of Arkansas Heritage, it once held the Guinness Book of World Records title as the smallest free-standing public library in the country. Norman was founded in 1907 along the Gurdon and Fort Smith Railroad. The town quickly grew to support several lumber mills. Originally named Womble, the name was changed in 1925. After most of the timber surrounding the community was harvested, the economy and population declined. Many residents moved to other towns to …

Norman Town Square

The Norman Town Square is located in the center of the small town of Norman (Montgomery County). Constructed between 1935 and 1940, the park includes a large green space and a small library. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 25, 1993. Incorporated in 1910, Norman was known as Womble until 1925, being called such in honor of Walter Womble, a land speculator who was the first citizen and postmaster of the settlement. The town grew due to its location near two large lumber mills and the Gurdon and Fort Smith Railroad. The name was changed to Norman in 1925 to honor a benefactor of the Caddo Valley Academy, a local school. The town square …

Norristown Cemetery

The Norristown Cemetery is the last remnant of Norristown, an early settlement in Pope County. The earliest dated marker in the cemetery is from 1853 and the most recent from 1934. The cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 14, 1995. Norristown was designated the county seat in the early 1830s and served as such until the 1840 creation of Yell County from part of Pope County necessitated the movement of the seat to Dover (Pope County), a more central location. The town experienced two military engagements during the Civil War, the first on May 19, 1864, and the second on September 6, 1864. The town suffered a decline in population after construction of the …

North Little Rock Municipal Airport

The North Little Rock Municipal Airport, owned by the City of North Little Rock (Pulaski County), is located four miles north of that city’s business district. The airport is an officially designated general aviation reliever airport, meaning that the overwhelming majority of usage for the airport comes from general aviation, not commercial flights. In 2015, the total economic impact of the airport was estimated at 138 jobs and just under $16 million provided to the local economy. In 1949, 570 acres of land were acquired for construction of the airport, which would have two runways. The airport was officially opened in September 1960. Some portions of the airport had already been in use, including a runway. In honor of the …

Northeast Arkansas League

The Class D Northeast Arkansas League was established in July 1909 after the Arkansas State League folded. Two of its franchises, Newport (Jackson County) and Jonesboro (Craighead County), joined baseball clubs from Marianna (Lee County) and Paragould (Greene County) to form the league. It was sanctioned by the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL), the administrative agency of minor league baseball from 1901 to the present. After a successful inaugural season, violence and fiscal woes marred the 1910 and 1911 seasons. At the conclusion of the 1910 season, the Caruthersville, Missouri, and Paragould franchises were separated by only a half game in the standings. The league championship rested on the outcome of a five-game series between the two teams. …

Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives (NEARA)

The Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives (NEARA) is one of two regional branches of the Arkansas State Archives (previously called the Arkansas History Commission). Located in Powhatan Historic State Park in Lawrence County, NEARA serves a sixteen-county area, including Baxter, Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Fulton, Greene, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Mississippi, Poinsett, Randolph, Sharp, and Stone counties. The facility was established to collect, preserve, and make available resources related to this region of northeast Arkansas and its people. Nearly all the original records, and many of the microfilm and published records, originated from these counties, making NEARA a key resource for research about the area. NEARA was created as a collaborative effort between Arkansas State Parks, the Arkansas State Archives, and the …

Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company

The Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company was a sawmill that produced lumber and barrel staves on the banks of the St. Francis River just north of the town of Parkin (Cross County). The Northern Ohio sawmill was located on the Parkin Mound Site that is now Parkin Archeological State Park. The Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company operated throughout the first half of the twentieth century, from 1902 until its closure by 1946. The only historic building associated with the sawmill that is still standing is the rehabilitated one-room Northern Ohio School. The property that became the Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company was first owned by Beaufort Neely in 1820. The original survey journal descriptions of the area …

Northern Ohio School

Until the mid-twentieth century, the majority of Arkansas children were taught in one-room schoolhouses, most of which were located in rural areas. Many of these schools have been destroyed, but several remain. The Northern Ohio School, a one-room schoolhouse for rural African-American students, is the only remaining one-room African-American schoolhouse in Parkin (Cross County). As a result of the expanding lumber industry, the population of Parkin grew in the first decade of the twentieth century; the town was incorporated in 1912. The primary employers were local sawmills, one of which was the Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company. It formed in 1906 as an amalgamation of smaller sawmills: the Parkin Cooperage Company and the Northern Ohio Company. The gathering of …

Northern Snakehead

aka: Channa argus
aka: Snakehead
The northern snakehead (Channa argus) is a modern bony fish belonging to the family Channidae. It is native to China, eastern Russia, and parts of the Korean peninsula. The fish was discovered in Arkansas in 2008, leading to attempts to eradicate it. The northern snakehead has an elongate body, with long dorsal and anal fins, and a truncated tail. Coloration is dark tan to brown with darker spots laterally, extending above and below the midline. The jaws have sharp, pointed teeth. The fish can reach a size of one meter and weigh as much as eight kilograms. The northern snakehead breathes with gills but also possesses a suprabranchial organ, which consists of chambers filled with folded tissue that allow atmospheric …

NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC)

NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) is a comprehensive public two-year college serving the citizens of Benton and Washington counties, as well as the surrounding region. Established in 1989, the college has grown rapidly to become the second-largest community college in the state. The college’s main campus is in Bentonville (Benton County), with educational centers located throughout the two-county area. The college offers four associate’s degrees (Associate of Arts, Associate of Arts in Teaching, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science) and a wide variety of workforce training programs, technical certificates, and adult education classes. NWACC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. NWACC was created after a special election on August 15, 1989, in …

Novaculite

Novaculite is a hard, dense, white-to-grayish-black sedimentary rock, composed of microcrystalline quartz. It is translucent on its thin, sharp edges and usually breaks with a smooth conchoidal (shell-like) fracture. The word “novaculite” is derived from a Latin word meaning “razor stone.” Novaculite is found in the Ouachita Mountains in formations that are highly resistant to erosion. These formations range from about 250 to 900 feet in thickness. There are two categories of Arkansas novaculite classified by the abrasives industry. The “Washita” stone has the dull luster of unglazed porcelain. It is more porous and less dense than the “Arkansas” stone, which is extremely fine-grained with a waxy luster. There has been recent interest in the fine-grained novaculite as a lapidary …

NYA Camp Bethune

aka: Camp Bethune
National Youth Administration (NYA) Camp Bethune was part of a New Deal program that provided opportunities for literacy and critical advantages for young black women from across the state of Arkansas during the Great Depression. Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical, and Normal (AM&N) College in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), incorporated the camp site. The camp marked the network of regional and national political activism among African Americans who negotiated community and citizenship in the first half of the twentieth century. The Federal Emergency Relief Appropriation (FERA) Act created the NYA in 1935. The agency funded part-time work for students between the ages of sixteen to twenty-five, as well as worked to promote public …