Entries - Entry Type: Thing - Starting with T

Taborian Hall

Built at 800 W. Ninth Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County) between 1916 and 1918 by local African-American contractor Simeon Johnson, Taborian Hall is the last remaining original building on the Ninth Street “Line,” which was once the center for black businesses and culture in Little Rock. Originally known as Taborian Temple, the Classical structure was built for the Knights and Daughters of the Tabor, a black fraternal insurance organization. More than 1,500 fraternal members came to the grand opening in 1918. Also in 1918, the first floor informally became the Negro Soldiers Club for black soldiers stationed at Camp Pike (now Camp Joseph T. Robinson). Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Taborian Temple housed many black-owned businesses, including offices for Dr. J. V. …

Tales from the South

Tales from the South was a nationally recognized radio show. During its first year in 2005, shows were recorded in the studio of public radio station KUAR (FM 89.1) in Little Rock (Pulaski County). In 2005, Paula Martin Morell and her business partner and husband at the time, Jason Morell, opened the Starving Artist Café in the Argenta Arts District of North Little Rock (Pulaski County) and later began recording shows there. The café closed in 2014, and the show began recording at various venues in Little Rock and North Little Rock, as well as around Arkansas as part of a touring arts program, before ceasing production in 2016. On Tales from the South, amateur and professional writers read their own …

Tamales

Tamales are found on restaurant menus and at roadside stands throughout Arkansas and have been a vibrant foodways tradition in the state for generations. This ancient food with roots in Latin America has had a presence in Arkansas and other parts of the American South since at least the early twentieth century. The familiar ingredients (meat and meal) made tamales popular, as did the practicality of being able to take a warm and filling lunch into a cotton field. There are a handful of hypotheses to help explain how and when tamales crossed the southern border into the United States to become a popular food in the South. Some think there might be a Native American connection. Others opine that …

Tarantulas

Tarantulas are the largest spiders in Arkansas and are among the most recognizable. Tarantulas are relative newcomers to Arkansas, having arrived in the state about 8,000 years ago. At that time, the climate of North America was much warmer and drier than it is today. Because of higher temperatures and lower amounts of rainfall, habitats more typical of the southwestern United States and the Great Plains expanded eastward into Arkansas and Missouri. Along with drier habitats came many of the animals associated with them, such as tarantulas and scorpions. As the climate became cooler and wetter about 4,000 years ago, these species did not retreat west. Instead, they became isolated within suitable patches of open, dry habitat surrounded by increasing …

TCBY Enterprises, Inc.

During a nineteen-year period, TCBY Enterprises, Inc. grew from a single store in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to a 3,000-outlet franchise. Selling flavored frozen yogurt, TCBY was known around the world. Until 2004, the tallest building in Arkansas was known as the TCBY Tower and bore those four letters on its upper floors. Frank Hickingbotham, an Arkansas native, opened his first frozen yogurt store in 1981 in Little Rock. Prior to this, Hickingbotham had been a junior high school principal, an insurance salesman, and the owner of several other food businesses, which he sold before founding TCBY. Hickingbotham had become acquainted with frozen yogurt a few years earlier on a visit to Dallas, Texas, when he sampled some at a …

Telephone Exchange Building (Powhatan)

The Telephone Exchange Building is the oldest commercial building still standing in Powhatan (Lawrence County) in the twenty-first century and visually represents the commercial and civic characteristics of the town during the nineteenth century. The Powhatan Telephone Exchange Building is a one-story brick building that reflects Greek Revival architecture and design. The building was constructed between 1887 and 1888, placed in the heart of the thriving town where commerce, business, and social interaction took place. The Telephone Exchange Building is a rectangular structure with long, straight, flat sides. There are no windows on the south side, and the north side has two windows like those on the front of the building. The design style of the time called for buildings …

Temperate Basses

aka: Moronids
The temperate basses are freshwater, brackish water, and marine species belonging to the Order Perciformes and Family Moronidae. They are represented by two genera and six species—the North American and northern African Morone (four species) and European Dicentrarchus (two species). In North America, two popular freshwater game fish species, white bass (Morone chrysops) and yellow bass (M. mississippiensis), are native, whereas two others, the anadromous striped bass (M. saxatilis) and brackish water white perch (M. americana), have been successfully introduced into several U.S. states. In Arkansas, M. chrysops, M. mississippiensis, M. saxatilis and, rarely, M. americana are found in various watersheds. In addition, hybrid M. saxatilis × M. chrysops have been cultured and stocked in several Arkansas reservoirs. Morphologically, in …

Temple Meir Chayim

Temple Meir Chayim at 4th and Holly streets in McGehee (Desha County) was completed in 1947; it was designed in the Romanesque Revival style with Mission influence. The synagogue serves the Jewish community of southeastern Arkansas and is the only synagogue in McGehee. The first documented Jewish immigrant to Arkansas was Abraham Block, who started a general store in Washington (Hempstead County) by 1825. Although the population of Arkansas had experienced growth by 1840, there were still relatively few Jewish inhabitants. In the 1850s, many Jewish businesses were concentrated in the central, southern, and eastern areas of the state, but there were few places of worship. After the Civil War, the Jewish population of Arkansas reached 4,000. There was a synagogue …

Term Limits

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the American political scene was swept by a growing anti-incumbent fervor. Individually, incumbents at both the state and national level continued to win reelection in overwhelming numbers, but reformers sought to address the discontent by seeking legislation and constitutional amendments, usually through statewide referenda, that sought to impose strict term limits on office holders at both the state and congressional levels. Between 1990 and 1994, more than twenty states, including Arkansas, chose to impose limits on the length of time their representatives could serve in both the state legislature and in Congress. In a November 1992 referendum, the Arkansas electorate approved a measure that became Amendment 73 to the state constitution, which imposed …

Terror at Black Falls

Produced, written, directed, and edited by Robert C. Sarafian, Terror at Black Falls was filmed in Arkansas in Scotland (Van Buren County) in 1959 and released in 1962. The low-budget, black-and-white Western was barely of feature length. A DVD runs sixty-eight minutes, but the movie was probably originally longer. Various sources say the film was seventy, seventy-two, or seventy-six minutes. It was the first film directed by Sarafian and may have been intended as his calling card film in Hollywood, a sample to show studios his ability. The film’s loquacious narrator says that the movie tells “a true story” set “when Arkansas was part of the wild American frontier.” However, it was not based on a true story. Like another …

Texarkana Baptist Orphanage

The Texarkana Baptist Orphanage, founded in 1906 and chartered in 1907, is a charitable ministry of the churches of the State Association of Missionary Baptist Churches of Arkansas. During its almost a century of operation, it has assisted several thousand needy boys and girls. It is administered by a board of five directors appointed annually and is supported by offerings from Missionary Baptist churches of the American Baptist Association across the country. It also enjoys widespread support within the Texarkana (Miller County) business and professional community. Although children of Baptist parents are given first priority, the home is open to all “orphaned, dependent, and neglected” children. Originally, children who met these criteria were referred to the home by Arkansas Missionary …

Texarkana Moonlight Murders

An unidentified assailant often known as the Texarkana Phantom Killer committed a number of murders and assaults in Texarkana (Miller County, Arkansas, and Bowie County, Texas) through the spring of 1946. Five people were killed, and three were wounded. While there was one major suspect, he was never convicted of these crimes. The attacks served partially as the basis for a motion picture, The Town that Dreaded Sundown. On February 22, 1946, two young people, Jimmy Hollis and Mary Jeanne Larey, were parked on a secluded Bowie County road outside Texarkana. They were forced out of the car by an armed man, his face hidden by a burlap sack with two slits for eyes. The assailant beat Hollis with the …

Texarkana Regional Airport

aka: Texarkana Air Force Station
The Texarkana Regional Airport is located three miles northeast of Texarkana (Miller County). The airport is a mixed-used facility with the primary focus being general aviation; it also offers limited commercial aviation. In 2015, the total economic impact to the Texarkana area included 420 jobs and more than $32.5 million to the local economy. In 2015, there were sixty-eight aircraft based at the airport, and the airport conducted just under of 48,500 flight operations. The early history of the airport dates back to 1928 when the City of Texarkana acquired 190 acres of land from two local families, the Lathrop and Wheeler families. The following year, the first runways were constructed. Both were made of sod, with one measuring 3,500 …

That Bookstore in Blytheville

In the early 1970s, Mary Gay Shipley, then a schoolteacher, saw a void in her hometown and opened a paperback exchange store affiliated with a Memphis, Tennessee, group called The Book Rack. Ultimately, she found a space in a former jewelry store in downtown Blytheville (Mississippi County). The bookstore has remained at 316 W. Main Street since 1976. Though locals called it “that bookstore” for years, the store did not become officially known as That Bookstore in Blytheville until 1994. The store’s varied selections of fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature occupy over 2,400 square feet. That Bookstore in Blytheville specialized in Southern writers and books on Southern culture, with emphasis on the work of Arkansas writers. A champion of literacy, …

Theater

Although Arkansas was often considered wild and uncultured in its early history, the state has a consistent theatrical tradition of professional touring troupes, local companies, and community theater—all providing Arkansas theater-goers with entertainment from slapstick to the classics. The first recorded attempt at a permanent theater in the state was in Little Rock (Pulaski County) barely two years after statehood, when the capital city’s population was about 1,400. In July 1838, a meeting was organized to establish a theater. After unsuccessful attempts to sell shares for the construction of a permanent building, the first theatrical production recorded in Arkansas was mounted on December 3, 1838. It was presented in a downtown warehouse and was a comedy called The Young Widow. …

This Scorched Earth

This Scorched Earth is a 2018 work of historical fiction by William Gear set in the Arkansas Ozarks during the Civil War. While the Civil War has been fertile ground for historical fiction, novelists have rarely ventured west of the Mississippi River to the often-ignored Trans-Mississippi Theater. This Scorched Earth is an exception. Gear avoids the stereotypical image of Arkansas Ozarkers as benighted hillbillies. The story centers around the experiences of the Hancock family—mother, father, three sons, and one daughter—who live in the highlands of northwestern Arkansas not far from Elkhorn Tavern. The eldest son is a doctor, a recent graduate of medical school in Boston, Massachusetts. The middle son spent time as a student in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he …

Thomas R. McGuire House

The Thomas R. McGuire House at 114 Rice Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County), built in the Colonial Revival style, was rendered in hand-crafted or locally manufactured materials by Thomas R. McGuire, a master machinist with the Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad. It is the finest example of this particular architectural style in the turn-of-the-century Capitol View neighborhood and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 19, 1991. The house has been owned by the McGuire family ever since its construction. The house is a one-and-one-half story, cast-concrete block residence on a continuous poured-concrete foundation. It was built on a rectangular plan in a vernacular design with Colonial Revival details. The hipped roof and ridge of …

Ticks

Ticks belong to the phylum Arthropoda, class Arachnida, subclass Acari, suborder Parasitiformes, and order Ixodida (Metastigmata), which includes almost 900 recognized species. There are three families: Ixodidae, or the “hard” ticks (approximately 700 species); Argasidae, or the “soft” ticks (approximately 200 species); and Nuttalliellidae, containing only a single species, Nuttalliella namaqua, a tick found only in southern Africa. In Arkansas, nine genera and a total of nineteen species (three argasids and sixteen ixodids) are known. Another species, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus, has been extirpated from Arkansas. Ticks are a highly specialized group of obligate, bloodsucking, nonpermanent ectoparasitic arthropods of vertebrates (mostly on reptiles, birds, and mammals) and are distributed throughout the world. In addition to being irritating to hosts and causing …

Timber Industry

The timber industry in Arkansas developed in all directions after the Civil War. The abundant forests of the state made it possible over the years to produce lumber, kraft paper, fine paper, newsprint, chemicals, charcoal, and many other products. The industry’s development depended first upon the availability of abundant forests. From Little Rock (Pulaski County) in central Arkansas to the north, west, and south are forests and marketable timber. To the east is the Delta, where hardwood grows in the swamps and river bottoms. The Ozark Mountains in the north are home to a mix of slower-growing pine and hardwood. The Ouachita Mountains to the west abound in pine on the slopes and hardwood in the valleys. The rolling hills …

Times Dispatch (Walnut Ridge)

The weekly Walnut Ridge (Lawrence County) newspaper the Times Dispatch has been in continuous publication since 1910 when Dave A. Lindsey moved his newspaper operations from Pocahontas (Randolph County) to Walnut Ridge. The newspaper’s website gives this characterization of the paper: “The Times Dispatch has traditionally been a conservative, Democratic newspaper, with a mission to provide complete news coverage of Lawrence County and to serve as a crusader and primary supporter of Lawrence County and its businesses.” In 1913, Lindsey sold the paper to Walter Smith. Smith published the paper for approximately eight years before selling it to James L. Bland Sr. of Perry County and Austin Wilkerson, editor and publisher of the Newport Independent. By 1922, Bland was the …

Tinkle Pot

The Tinkle Pot is a novelty musical toilet created by Searcy (White County) drug store owner Frank Headlee, who also served as mayor of Searcy from 1951 to 1956. Essentially, it is a modified plastic commode for a child that plays music when the seat and lid are put down; when closed, the seat compresses a pin and lever that activate a music box inside the Tinkle Pot. In order to play, the music box must first be wound by hand. The Tinkle Pot itself weighs between one and two pounds, and it also features a handle on the back of the toilet for easy carrying. Headlee had the idea to manufacture the Tinkle Pot for sale in his drug …

Titan II ICBM Launch Complex Sites

Following the Soviet Union’s detonation of its first thermonuclear bomb in 1953, the United States began actively developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Resulting from this was the Titan II Missile program, a Cold War weapons system featuring fifty-four launch complexes in three states. Eighteen were in Arkansas, from which ICBMs carrying nine-megaton nuclear warheads could be launched to strike targets as far as 5,500 miles away. The sites of three Titan II Launch Complexes—373-5 near Center Hill in White County, 374-5 near Springhill in Faulkner County, and 374-7 near Southside in Van Buren County—are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Titan II program was part of the second generation of ICBMs, and missiles could be launched from …

Titan II Missiles

Following the Soviet Union’s detonation of its first thermonuclear bomb in 1953, the United States began actively developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The Titan II Missile program was a Cold War weapons system featuring fifty-four launch complexes in three states. Eighteen were in Arkansas, from which intercontinental ballistic missiles carrying nine-megaton nuclear warheads could be launched to strike targets as far as 5,500 miles away. Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) systems were part of a three-pronged nuclear weapon strategy that included manned bombers, land-based ICBMs, and sea-launched ballistic missiles. The ICBMs needed only thirty to thirty-five minutes to reach their targets, making them capable of first strikes on enemy territory. Their powerful warheads were designed to destroy enemy capabilities with …

Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act of 2000

After the establishment of the Master Settlement Agreement of 1998 between several major U.S. tobacco companies and four state governments (Texas, Florida, Minnesota, and Mississippi), the remaining forty-six states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories not party to the original legal action were allowed to join into benefits conferred by the agreement. The tobacco companies were mandated to pay damages approaching the sum of $10 billion over an indefinite time period to the states joining the agreement, as well as acknowledge publicly that tobacco companies targeted youth in marketing and sales of products. In addition, the companies were subjected to sponsorship, marketing, and sales restrictions on their product. The State of Arkansas, agreeing not to file further litigation …

Tom Sawyer, Detective

Tom Sawyer, Detective, a novella written by Mark Twain and published in 1896, was a parody of mystery stories, especially the Sherlock Holmes tales of Arthur Conan Doyle, which began to appear in 1887. Set in Arkansas, the novel was adapted into a movie in 1938. In the mid-1890s, Mark Twain, near bankruptcy after unwise investments, returned to his popular characters Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn to revive his fortunes. He wrote Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894), a parody of the travel adventures of Jules Verne, and began a novel to be titled Tom Sawyer among the Indians, which was never completed. Tom Sawyer, Detective (1896) had an unusual origin. While visiting Europe in late 1894, Twain had been told the …

Tomato Industry

The tomato industry has a long history in Arkansas and is particularly known in the northwestern and southeastern areas of the state. Tomatoes appeared early in the state’s history. During the 1830s, Albert Pike, who owned the Arkansas Advocate newspaper, made the tomato the centerpiece of his campaign to expand food choices for the state. However, tomatoes were not grown on a large scale until commercial canning plants became common in the state. The town of Yocum (Carroll County), for example, had a plant operating in the 1880s, and in subsequent decades, canneries and tomato sheds were built across the state. Tomatoes grown in the Ozark Mountains were packaged in a variety of ways, from whole tomatoes to catsup. During …

Tontitown Historical Museum

The Tontitown Historical Museum, located on Highway 412 in Tontitown (Washington County), preserves the Italian-American history of the local community. Tontitown was settled by Italians who had originally come to southeastern Arkansas in the 1890s to be tenant farmers but broke away and moved to northwestern Arkansas. The museum opened on August 10, 1986, and was dedicated on September 21, 1986. The museum receives some funding from the City of Tontitown and also operates from donations. The Tontitown Historical Museum is housed in the former Bastianelli home, built in 1910. Bastianelli family members were original settlers of Tontitown in 1898. Three sisters from the family were very active in Tontitown life. Rose Bastianelli was a teacher, Zelinda Bastianelli was postmistress, …

Topminnows

aka: Fundulids
aka: Killifishes
Topminnows belong to the Family Fundulidae, Order Cypriniformes, and Class Actinopterygii. This family also includes some North American killifishes. There are approximately forty-four to forty-six species that are found in the lowlands of North and Central America from southeastern Canada to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, including the Mississippi River drainage, and the islands of Bermuda and Cuba. Most (forty species) of topminnows belong to the genus Fundulus, and others are included in the genera Lucania (three species) and Leptolucania (a single species). The Family Fundulidae is a paraphyletic grouping of members of genera Fundulus and Lucania. There are six species of topminnows found in Arkansas. Topminnows occur in both freshwater and marine waters as well as brackish environments. They …

Tornadoes

Tornadoes—destructive, violently spinning vortices of air extending from high within severe thunderstorms to the surface of the earth—are more common in the United States than anywhere else on the planet. They are particularly prevalent in the area known as “Tornado Alley,” where the proper ingredients come together: a combination of warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico pulled northward by storm systems dragging strong continental cold air from Canada. While Arkansas is not normally included on maps of the infamous Tornado Alley, which is usually considered to stretch from north Texas northward through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska, the state has suffered many devastating tornado outbreaks. In January 1999, Arkansas recorded the most tornadoes on any individual January day in …

Town That Dreaded Sundown, The

The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a 1976 horror film by producer/director Charles B. Pierce. Based very loosely on true incidents that took place just after World War II around Texarkana (Miller County), it was one of the first movies in the “slasher” genre. The film starred 1971 Academy Award winner Ben Johnson along with television stars Andrew Prine and Dawn Wells. The movie, considered a cult classic, made a huge profit over production costs. It was remade in 2014. To form the basis of his fifth film, Pierce chose what were called the “Texarkana Moonlight Murders,” which took place throughout 1946 primarily in Texarkana, Texas, though he represents them as occurring on the Arkansas side of the city. A …

Trail of Tears

“Trail of Tears” has come to describe the journey of Native Americans forced to leave their ancestral homes in the Southeast and move to the new Indian Territory defined as “west of Arkansas,” in present-day Oklahoma. Through coerced or fraudulent treaties, Indians had been given the choice of submitting to state jurisdiction as individuals or moving west to preserve their sovereign tribal governments. The metaphoric trail is not one distinct road, but a web of routes and rivers traveled in the 1830s by organized tribal groups from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee. All of these trails passed through Arkansas. During the decade after passage of the federal Indian Removal Act in 1830, an estimated 60,000 Indians, African …

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

In 1987, Congress created the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail (TOTNHT): “a trail consisting of water routes and overland routes traveled by the Cherokee Nation during its removal from ancestral lands in the East to Oklahoma during 1838 and 1839.” The Arkansas portion of this trail originally consisted of two routes of fifty-nine and 337 miles, respfectively, but was expanded in 2009. The TOTNHT is overseen by the National Park Service (NPS), aided by other concerned groups such as the Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears Association, the latter headquartered in Little Rock (Pulaski County). In 1987, the TOTNHT consisted of roughly 2,200 miles but only two paths: a land or northern route (826 miles) and a water …

Trees

When European explorers first came to Arkansas in the sixteenth century, they found the vast majority of the state covered by some type of forest or woodland. In general, the upland areas of the state were covered by short-leaf pine/oak/hickory forests in areas underlain by acidic rocks (primarily sandstone and chert) and by oak/hickory forests in areas underlain by neutral to calcareous rocks (primarily limestone and dolomite). Lowland areas of eastern and southern Arkansas were covered primarily by bottomland hardwood forests, with bald-cypress/water-tupelo swamps in the wettest areas. The Gulf Coastal Plain of southern Arkansas was covered by a mix of forest types, with loblolly and/or short-leaf pine dominant in many areas. Within these general forest types were hundreds of …

Trematodes

aka: Flatworms
aka: Flukes
Trematodes (flukes) include parasitic flatworms belonging to the phylum Platyhelminthes, class Trematoda, and subclasses Aspidogastrea (two orders, four families) and Digenea (ten orders, more than seventy-two families). The class numbers between 18,000 and 24,000 species; they are found primarily in a variety of animals, including humans and other vertebrates. Modern phylogenetic analysis reveals that the worms of class Monogenoidea (monogenetic flukes) are no longer included within the Trematoda and are more closely related to tapeworms. The modern mobility of human beings, combined with the international transportation of animals and foodstuffs that can be infected, means that diagnoses can occur well outside the areas where trematode species are endemic. However, while trematodes do occur in Arkansas, they do not pose a …

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, located at 310 West 17th Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County), is a parish church and the seat of the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. From the arrival of the first bishop in 1839 until late 1884, the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas operated without a cathedral. On October 19, 1884, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral was formally established and held its first services. Designed in English Gothic Revival style, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral is a common-bond brick structure with the main section in the shape of a cruciform. The interior is primarily darkly stained pine, punctuated with numerous stained-glass windows and motifs representing the trinity, including …

Trinity Hospital

Opened in 1924, Trinity Hospital of Little Rock (Pulaski County) operated as a fee-for-service institution until 1931. That year, the physicians of Trinity implemented one of the early health maintenance organizations (HMOs)—a form of insurance in which member physicians provide medical care to voluntary subscribers for a fixed fee—in the United States. The former Trinity Hospital building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 18, 1998. Trinity’s five founding physicians—Mahlon Dickerson Ogden Sr., Orange King Judd, Augustine Mathias Zell, James Isaac Scarborough, and Robert Booth Moore—began practicing medicine together before establishing the hospital. By 1916, Ogden, Judd, and Zell, who were also faculty members at the Arkansas Medical School—now the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences …

Tripoli Mining

Tripoli is a microcrystalline form of quartz (SiO2) that is derived by the alteration of chert, chalcedony, or novaculite, or leaching of highly siliceous limestones. The removal of carbonate is essential to the formation of Arkansas tripoli. Tripoli is present in three general areas of Arkansas: northwestern Arkansas near Rogers (Benton County), in the Ouachita Mountains near Hot Springs (Garland County), and near Athens (Howard County). Tripoli has varied uses. Due to its inert nature and its fine-grained texture, tripoli has numerous applications, mainly as an abrasive in polishing, buffing, and burnishing compounds; in scouring soaps and powders; a filler or extender in plastics, rubber, and sealants like caulks and epoxy resins; and a pigment in paints. It also improves …

Tropical Cyclones

aka: Tropical Storms and Depressions
As defined by the National Hurricane Center, a tropical cyclone is a “rotating, organized system of clouds and thunderstorms that originates over tropical or subtropical waters and has a closed low-level circulation.” Types of tropical cyclones are classified in terms of wind speed: A tropical depression is a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 38 miles per hour (mph) or lower. A tropical storm is a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or higher. A major hurricane is tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph or higher. Given the landlocked, central location of the state of Arkansas, it may …

Trucking Industry

The trucking industry plays a significant role in Arkansas’s agricultural and industrial life. Trucks transport many Arkansas products through and out of the state, including poultry, lumber, sand and gravel, cotton, and farm produce. Trucks also bring necessities and luxuries into Arkansas. Businesses such as Walmart Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc. rely on the trucking industry for their survival. Although Arkansas’s location was a detriment to industrial development and the transportation that accompanied industry prior to World War II, several factors have made the state a leader in trucking since the middle of the twentieth century. Large agricultural establishments such as those of the Delta region of Arkansas were not viable in the hills of northwest Arkansas, which resulted in …

True Grit

“Here is what happened.” With those simple words, Mattie Ross of Dardanelle (Yell County) begins her reminiscence of the time she avenged her father’s murder with the help of a one-eyed deputy marshal and a dandy Texas Ranger. Set in western Arkansas and the Indian Territory of the 1870s, the novel True Grit, written by Arkansan Charles Portis, mixes this unlikely trio of personalities in a bestselling Western adventure. Published in 1968, True Grit was adapted into a movie and released the following year. The movie garnered veteran actor John Wayne the first and only Oscar of his career for his portrayal of Deputy Marshal Rooster Cogburn. In 2010, a second film adaptation of the novel, written and directed by …

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (also known as consumption) is a contagious, potentially fatal bacterial infection that mainly affects the lungs. It is caused by the tubercle bacillus (Mycobacterium tuberculosis), which was discovered by Robert Koch in 1882. By 1900, the disease was the second-leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by pneumonia. More than eighty percent of the U.S. population had been infected with the disease, although most people showed no symptoms. By the time a person showed symptoms, the disease was usually well advanced and had been spread to many others. The mortality rate for those with active infections was around eighty percent. In Arkansas, tuberculosis once affected one in sixty people and accounted for one out of every …

Tucker Telephone

The “Tucker Telephone” was a torture device invented in Arkansas and regularly used at the Tucker State Prison Farm (now the Tucker Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction) in Jefferson County. It was likely used on inmates until the 1970s. The Tucker Telephone consisted of an old-fashioned crank telephone wired in sequence with two batteries. Electrodes coming from it were attached to a prisoner’s big toe and genitals. The electrical components of the phone were modified so that cranking the telephone sent an electric shock through the prisoner’s body. The device was reputedly constructed in the 1960s by, depending upon the source, a former trusty in the prison, a prison superintendent, or an inmate doctor; it was administered as …

Tucker Unit

aka: Tucker Prison Farm
Tucker Unit, often referred to simply as Tucker or Tucker prison farm, is a 4,500-acre maximum security prison and working farm located in Tucker (Jefferson County), roughly twenty-five miles northeast of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). It is one of thirteen prison units in the Arkansas Department of Correction. Tucker Unit is not to be confused with the Maximum Security Unit, which was built in 1983 and is also located in Tucker. Tucker is the second-oldest prison in Arkansas (Cummins Unit is the oldest). Tucker was accredited by the American Correctional Association in 1983, but for many years, the prison had a tarnished reputation and was at the center of the prison scandals of the 1960s and subsequent reform efforts of …

Tuckerman Water Tower

The Tuckerman Water Tower, located on the south end of Front Street in Tuckerman (Jackson County), was constructed in 1935 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 May 22, 2007. As the United States struggled with the Great 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. The City of Tuckerman decided to …

Turney Wood Products, Inc.

In 1946, Claude H. Turney opened Turney Wood Products, Inc. (TWP) in Harrison (Boone County). It began operation in a garage, building furniture for the First Church of the Nazarene in Harrison. For more than twenty years, TWP used hardwood lumber—mainly red and white oak—from the surrounding Ozark Mountain forests to manufacture laminated church furniture, including pews, altars, pulpits, and lecterns. According to a 1965 company newsletter, “Operating in every timber activity from the forest to the finished product…this company has become the largest exclusive church furniture manufacturer in the western hemisphere.” The company closed in 1968. In the mid-1950s, TWP employed more than 100 workers. The company eventually grew to employ more than 300, with three plants for different phases …

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge near Eureka Springs (Carroll County) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing lifetime homes for abandoned, abused, and neglected big cats and other endangered wildlife. With over 450 acres and more than 120 exotic cats, the refuge is one of the largest big cat sanctuaries in North America licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The sanctuary is rated a “Must See” attraction by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and is one of the most popular destinations in the Eureka Springs area. Don Jackson, a former employee of the Dallas Zoo, along with his wife, Hilda, and their daughter, Tanya Smith, founded the refuge in 1992. After a friend acquired a lion cub and realized …

Twelve Oaks

The Twelve Oaks estate, located in a rural setting just south of Harrison (Boone County), is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which notes its local significance for its Craftsman- and Colonial Revival–style architecture. The house is one of the best examples of a Craftsman/Colonial Revival estate—and an unusually large example of the style—in the Harrison area. With the rise of the railroad industry in Harrison in the early twentieth century, a building boom hit the city. Among those who had worked on many high-profile buildings in Harrison was J. W. Bass, a steel contractor based in Detroit, Michigan. His J. W. Bass Erecting Company and Atlas Iron & Steel Company had offices in Detroit; Chicago, Illinois; and …

Two Rivers Museum

The Two Rivers Museum, located on the corner of Constitution Avenue (Highway 71) and Main Street in Ashdown (Little River County), opened in 2005. The museum, which was created by the nonprofit Little River County Historical Society has a mission of preserving the history of the local community. The museum gets its name from the two major rivers that flow through Little River County: the Red River and Little River. The Two Rivers Museum is located in the Bishop building in the Ashdown Commercial Historic District. The building is a renovated hundred-year-old storefront that was once a pharmacy and, more recently, an antique store. The Bishop building, built in 1908, is a two-story brick structure with a flat roof and …

Typhoid

Typhoid is among the earliest diseases reported in Arkansas and was a significant public health problem up through the early twentieth century. Though it became less common in the modern era, typhoid had a significant impact upon state health in times and places where poor sanitation was the norm. Typhoid, like cholera, is transmitted through the ingestion of food or water that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected individual; the spread of the disease is therefore greatly linked with a lack of proper sanitation. Victims experience high fevers, sweating, inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, and diarrhea. In most cases, the disease is not fatal, though fevers can last well over a month. Some individuals may become asymptomatic …

Tyronza Water Tower

The Tyronza Water Tower, located northeast of the junction of Main and Oliver streets in Tyronza (Poinsett County), was constructed in 1935 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 created an organization called the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (or Public Works Administration), which was established on June 16, 1933, to help finance federal construction projects and create jobs. The farming community of Tyronza …