Entry Type: Thing - Starting with P

P. D. Burton House

The 1916 Craftsman-style P. D. Burton House, located at 305 Chestnut Street in Lewisville (Lafayette County), was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. The home exhibits the bulk of its original detailing on the exterior and interior. A rear bedroom addition is the only alteration to the house. Percy Duffield (P. D.) Burton arrived in Lewisville, a major timber town, with his father, Major John Benjamin Burton, after the Civil War. Percy attended college in Fayetteville (Washington County) and then became a contract tie-purchaser with the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railway, commonly called the Cotton Belt, which had constructed lines in the area beginning in 1882. Percy and his brother John began purchasing land around Lewisville …

Paddlefish

aka: Spoonbill Catfish
Paddlefish belong to the family Polyodontidae and order Acipensiformes. There are six known species—four are extinct (three from western North America, one from China) and known only from fossil remains, while two extant species include the paddlefish (Polyodon spathula), which is native to the Mississippi River basin in the United States, and the gigantic critically endangered Chinese paddlefish (Psephurus gladius) endemic to the Yangtze River Basin in China, where they lived primarily in the broad-surfaced main stem rivers and shoal zones along the East China Sea. Paddlefish are basal Chondrostean ray-finned fish; they are archaic and have been referred to as “primitive fish” because they have evolved with few unique morphological changes since the earliest fossil records of the late …

Painted House, A

A Painted House is a book which takes place in Arkansas and was written by bestselling author John Grisham. It was based on his childhood in Arkansas, and when the book was made into a television movie, it was filmed in Arkansas. Born in Jonesboro (Craighead County) on February 8, 1955, and raised in northeast Arkansas near Black Oak (Craighead County), Grisham created an evocative portrait of the time and place of his childhood in A Painted House. Set in 1952 Arkansas, it is a departure from his usual legal thriller style, with Grisham writing, “There is not a single lawyer, dead or alive, in this story. Nor are there judges, trials, courtrooms, conspiracies or nagging social issues.” In 2000, …

Palace Theatre

The Palace Theatre is the oldest building of its kind in Saline County and one of three original movie theaters in Benton (Saline County). It was erected in 1919 at 224 West South Street for a reported cost of $60,000. Originally, the Palace was owned by C. H. (Charley) Womack and was hailed as “The Show Place of the South” by the Benton Courier in 1920. It was listed on the Arkansas Register of Historic Places in 2014. After World War I, three silent movie theaters were built in Benton: Alice Wooten’s Independent Motion Pictures (IMP) Theater, now the Royal Theatre on South Market Street; the Victory Theatre at 104 West South Street, now a barbershop; and finally the Palace. …

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996) is a documentary filmed for HBO (but later released into theaters) by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky dealing with the 1994 trials of three teenagers charged with murdering and mutilating three eight-year-old boys in 1993. The defendants became known as the West Memphis Three because the murders happened in West Memphis (Crittenden County). The directors spent ten months interviewing those involved with the case. The documentary brought to light inadequacies in the local judicial system and led many to believe that the defendants had been wrongly accused and prosecuted. The film won a Primetime Emmy and was followed by two sequels: Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000) and Paradise Lost 3: …

Paragould Meteorite

Two, possibly three, huge rocks from outer space put the Arkansas town of Paragould (Greene County) into the history and science books early in 1930. What is now known as the Paragould Meteorite was, at that time, the largest meteorite to ever have been seen falling and then recovered. A belt of rocks known as the asteroid belt, left over from the formation of the solar system, orbits the sun mainly between the orbits of planets Mars and Jupiter. Due to the gravity of nearby Jupiter, some of these rocks can stray inward and cross Earth’s orbit, even striking it. At 4:08 a.m. on February 17, 1930, the orbit of one of these rocks crossed Earth’s orbit, and two fields …

Paragould War Memorial

The Paragould War Memorial is a Statue of Liberty replica raised at the Greene County Courthouse in 1924 to honor the men of the county who had served and died in World War I. According to American Legion records, 476 Greene County men served in the U.S. military during World War I, and forty men died while in service. In the 1920s, the people of the county decided to honor them with a memorial at the Greene County Courthouse in Paragould. A public effort raised $2,000 to pay for the monument. They chose a Statue of Liberty replica copyrighted by Chicago, Illinois, sculptor John Paulding as the centerpiece of their memorial, perhaps eschewing the sculptor’s doughboy-style Over the Top design …

Parasitic Crustaceans

The Subphylum Crustacea (Phylum Arthropoda) represents a diverse group of animals with members within several classes and orders, including the Amphipoda, Branchiura, Cirripedia, Copepoda, Isopoda, and Tantulocarida. (The Pentastomida, composed of parasites, are sometimes included in this subphylum and sometimes considered a separate phylum.) There are two classes with parasites: the Maxillopoda and Malacostraca. The majority of crustaceans are aquatic, living in either marine environments or fresh water, but a few groups have adapted to a terrestrial existence, such as some species of crabs and woodlice. Most crustaceans move about independently and live a free existence, although some are parasitic (about 30,000 named species) and live attached as ectoparasites to their hosts, including fish, sea, and whale lice, as well …

Paris Post Office

The Paris Post Office in Paris (Logan 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. Built in 1938, the post office 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 Paris, the seat of the eastern district of Logan County. A month later, Postmaster General James A. Farley and …

Park Hotel

The Park Hotel is a seven-story hotel located at 211 Fountain Street in downtown Hot Springs (Garland County) near Bathhouse Row. Built by the renowned architectural firm of Thompson, Sanders and Ginocchio, the hotel and restaurant in its lobby are still in operation in the twenty-first century. The Park Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 22, 1982. The tan brick building is located at the upper entrance to the Hot Springs National Park Grand Promenade, which is a brick pathway through the wooded hills behind Bathhouse Row. The Park Hotel is about a block northeast of the dining, entertainment, and shopping establishments of the Central Avenue Historic District. The Park Hotel was completed in …

Park-O-Meter

Park-O-Meter is a parking meter production company headquartered in Russellville (Pope County). The predecessor company to the current Park-O-Meter, Inc. (or POM) was co-founded by Carl Magee, designer of the world’s first parking meter. Carl Magee was an attorney and newspaper editor who joined the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce traffic committee in 1933 and, shortly thereafter, was charged with lessening the escalating traffic congestion in the city’s downtown. Local merchants complained that their sales were hurt by low traffic turnover, since parking spaces adjacent to downtown businesses were occupied by the same cars all day. Magee conceived the idea of a coin-operated timer that could be used to increase traffic turnover in busy commercial thoroughfares, and he sponsored a …

Parks School House

The Parks School House is located north of Highway 28 in Parks, an unincorporated community in Scott County. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 6, 2002. L. K. Robertson sold the property on which the school house is situated to the Parks School District No. 39 on February 17, 1931. A temporary wooden school house was constructed on the site until it was removed for the present building to be built in 1940. Unemployment was at an all-time high for the Parks area and most of Arkansas at the time, and the Great Depression and Dust Bowl had forced farmers and their families to leave Arkansas. However, word spread about the Work Progress Administration …

Pass the Ammo

A satire of greedy televangelists, Pass the Ammo (1988) was made in Eureka Springs (Carroll County). It opens with a helicopter shot of the giant Christ of the Ozarks statue. This is followed by a television sermon by the Reverend Ray Porter (Tim Curry), who asks, “Why be afraid of nuclear war? Welcome it! For it is part of God’s prophecy.” The congregation in Porter’s megachurch and his TV audience listen raptly and, when he gets to his key point (“Today’s goal—$1 million for Jesus!”), they burst into an enthusiastic rendition of “Give Me That Old-Time Religion.” As contributions pour in from thousands of low-income donors, Porter sings ecstatically, “Lay your money down for Jesus! You owe your life to …

Passenger Pigeons

aka: Ectopistes migratorius
The passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) was a North American bird species in the order Columbiformes (pigeons and doves) that became extinct in the early twentieth century. The fate of the passenger pigeon serves as a graphic lesson in the misuse of natural resources, as the species went from an almost indescribable abundance to extinction in only a few decades. The decline came primarily as a result of relentless persecution of its breeding colonies by market hunters, largely for meat, with no (or ineffectual) regulation that might have maintained a stable population. The passenger pigeon had the same general body shape as the common and familiar mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) but was larger and somewhat more colorful, with areas of slate-blue …

Peach Industry

Peaches are grown throughout the state of Arkansas with the highest concentrations being in central Arkansas  (Pope and Faulkner counties), western Arkansas (Johnson and Franklin counties), southwest Arkansas (Howard and Clark counties), northern Arkansas (Boone, Benton, and Washington counties), and Crowley’s Ridge in eastern Arkansas (Cross and St. Francis counties). Peaches are most successfully produced on light, sandy soils with at least thirty-six inches of soil depth. Orchards are usually placed on locations with raised elevations to avoid or lessen the impact of incidents of low temperature such as frosts. Peaches were introduced as a crop in Arkansas after the Civil War, as were many other fruits and vegetables, during the New South Diversification movement in agriculture. This movement was …

Peake High School

Peake High School served the African-American community in Arkadelphia (Clark County) for decades. Partially funded by the Rosenwald Fund, the building was constructed in 1928 and eventually became part of the Peake Elementary School campus. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 19, 2005. The first school built for African Americans in Arkadelphia opened in 1891. While educational opportunities for black children had existed in the community since 1869, the Sloan School on West Main was the first purpose-built public educational building. Arkadelphia Baptist Academy and the Bethel Institute (later Shorter College) also operated in the city during this period. The need for a newer building increased as the population of Arkadelphia grew, and the …

Peeler Bend Canoe

The Peeler Bend Canoe is an extremely rare and well-preserved relic of Arkansas’s Native American heritage. Found by chance in 1999, the canoe is believed to have been made by members of the Caddo tribe. Radiocarbon dating places the canoe’s creation sometime between AD 1160 and 1300. After spending several years at the Historic Arkansas Museum (HAM) in Little Rock (Pulaski County), the Peeler Bend Canoe was placed on display in Riverside Park in Benton (Saline County). The canoe has been loaned to the City of Benton by the Department of Arkansas Heritage for exhibition until March 15, 2020. In August 1999, Benton resident Charles Greene was fishing in the Saline River near the Peeler Bend access located just outside …

Pellagra

Pellagra is a form of malnutrition caused by a severe deficiency of niacin (also known as nicotinic acid or vitamin B3) in the diet. The disease affected thousands of Arkansans and other Southerners in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Symptoms of pellagra can include lack of energy, outbreaks of red splotches on the skin, diarrhea, and—in extreme cases—depression, dementia, and even death. Pellagra is not contagious, and the condition can be reversed. The lethargic appearance of pellagra victims was also a symptom of two other diseases widely found in the South at the time, hookworm and malaria. These three contributed to the false stereotype of Southerners at this time as lazy. Pellagra was first recognized as a disease in 1762 …