Entries - Entry Type: Thing - Starting with M

Memphis-Arkansas Memorial Bridge

The Memphis-Arkansas Memorial Bridge on Interstate Highway 55 connects Arkansas with Tennessee at Memphis. Since its opening on the morning of December 17, 1949, the span has served as a vital link for automotive traffic to cross the Mississippi River. When the Frisco Bridge was built for railroads in 1892, automobile traffic was not a factor. The Harahan Bridge, the second bridge linking Arkansas and Tennessee, opened in the summer of 1916. Due to increasing numbers of automobiles on both sides of the river, carriageways were hung off both sides of the Harahan in 1917. These provided a single lane for traffic on either side of the bridge. Although Arkansas cars could cross the Mississippi River at Memphis beginning in …

Memphis-Arkansas Speedway

During a four-year span in the 1950s, the Memphis-Arkansas Speedway located near Lehi (Crittenden County) was the longest racetrack and one of the fastest racetracks on the NASCAR circuit. Only Darlington Speedway in South Carolina and the beach course in Daytona, Florida, saw speeds exceeding the Arkansas speedway’s. In the twenty-first century, approximately a third of premier NASCAR races are run on 1.5 mile, oval tracks; the Memphis-Arkansas Speedway was the first of this kind of track. The paper clip–shaped track, one and half miles in length, was made up of 550-foot-radius, high-banked turns, connected by 2,500-foot straights. “I remember going there a long time ago. We raced there in the summer and I went with Daddy,” said seven-time NASCAR …

Mena National Guard Armory

The Mena National Guard Armory at 619 DeQueen Street in Mena (Polk County) is a single-story, Art Deco–style, fieldstone-clad structure built in 1930. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 5, 1991. Citizen-soldier militias have had a constant presence in the United States since the colonial era, but it was not until Congress passed the Dick Act—sponsored by Senator Charles W. F. Dick, chairman of the Committee on the Militia—in 1903 that the National Guard became an official partner in the nation’s armed services, receiving federal support for training, equipment, and pay. Arkansas’s state militia was organized into the Arkansas National Guard as a result of the Dick Act. Seventeen armories—including the Marianna National Guard …

Menifee High School Gymnasium

The Menifee High School Gymnasium, located on the northwestern corner of North Park and East Mustang streets in Menifee (Conway County), was built in 1938 with assistance from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 6, 2002. Schools for African Americans in the Menifee area were available since at least 1919, and when the Great Depression struck these students were centered in East Side School District No. 5’s Conway County Training School, located on five acres about a mile south of Menifee. In 1938, the district succeeded in getting WPA funding to construct a gymnasium for the complex. Construction started in the spring of 1938, …

Mental Health

Prior to the opening of the Arkansas Lunatic Asylum (now the Arkansas State Hospital) in 1883, mentally ill Arkansans were cared for by their families or housed in jails, prisons, or poor farms. Since 1883, the Arkansas State Hospital (ASH) has been responsible for the treatment of thousands of Arkansans with a wide range of psychiatric diagnoses such as depression and schizophrenia. In the 1950s, the hospital’s census peaked at 5,086 patients. Since that time, the deinstitutionalization movement and advances in psychotropic medications have resulted in dramatically lower inpatient numbers. The current (as of 2010) ASH capacity of 234 beds represents a deinstitutionalization rate of 97.5% for the state. Most patients are admitted through a screening process conducted by the …

Merci Train

aka: Gratitude Train
aka: Train de Reconnaissance
Also known as the “Thank You” Train, the Merci Train was the response of the people of France to food shipments sent by Arkansas and other American states to post–World War II western Europe. In 1947, radio commentator and syndicated columnist Drew Pearson launched the effort to send food to Europe. Local efforts were organized through the Chamber of Commerce of North Little Rock (Pulaski County). Thanks to rice growers and farmers throughout the state, three and a half train boxcar loads of rice and half a boxcar load of wheat were collected, plus one boxcar load of canned goods gathered by Lions Clubs in northwestern Arkansas. These five boxcars of food were shipped, free of charge, by Rock Island …

Mercury [Steamboat]

The Mercury was a sternwheel river packet that struck a snag in the White River on March 13, 1867, and sank, killing several people, as well as more than 200 mules being transported on the vessel. The Mercury was a 184-ton sternwheel paddleboat built in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, in 1862. The steamboat was used as a troop transport and supply vessel during the Civil War, being chartered the majority of the time between July 1863 through the cessation of hostilities in 1865. The vessel was beached and then sunk near St. Louis in May 1865 after colliding with another steamer, the Hard Times. The Mercury’s cargo of wounded soldiers was successfully transferred to the Hard Times after the accident; the vessel …

Mercury Mining

Mercury, which was first mined in Arkansas in 1931, is in most rock types in trace amounts, generally occurring at higher levels in shale and clay-rich sediments and organic materials like coal than in sandstone, limestone, or dolostone. Although mercury was widely used in the past for several applications, the market for products containing mercury steadily declined in the 1980s because it was recognized to be toxic. It still has important uses, however, in the chemical and electrical industries as well as in dental applications and measuring and control devices. The mercury-bearing district in southwest Arkansas occupies an area six miles wide by thirty miles long, extending from eastern Howard County through Pike County and into western Clark County. Surface …

Meteorites

Meteorites are fragments of rock or metal that fall from space. Except for a few that have come from the moon or Mars, meteorites represent fragments of small non-planetary bodies within the solar system, such as the objects that make up the asteroid belt. Most meteorites are remnants from the formation of the solar system that have drifted in orbits between the primary planets for over 4.5 billion years. Meteorites are some of the most scientifically significant materials on earth. Sample return missions to find and recover these objects from their orbits in space are, in most cases, prohibitively expensive or impossible. It is extraordinarily good fortune for scientists when a new meteorite falls to earth, since each one offers …

Miami [Steamboat]

The Miami was a steamboat destroyed by fire on the Arkansas River in 1866 with a loss of as many as 200 passengers and crewmen. The Miami was a 175-ton sternwheel packet built in 1863 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The vessel initially operated between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Louisville, Kentucky, on the Ohio River but was sent to Memphis, Tennessee, in August 1865 to make runs between that town and Little Rock (Pulaski County). Captain E. A. Levy was in command when the steamboat left Memphis at 9:00 p.m. on January 27, 1866, with a full load of cargo and as many as 300 passengers, including Gen. Ashley’s Band, an African-American musical group from Little Rock, and ninety-five men of Company E …

Midwives

Midwives have filled a clear, important role in Arkansas history by caring for populations of women who were medically underserved. Their role was almost supplanted by physicians in the early twentieth century, but they remain a viable option for women seeking an alternative model of birth care. Midwives in the hill country of Arkansas were well-respected members of the community who performed their duties as a service to their neighbors. Most were older women whose own children were grown and who had learned their trade from another midwife. They carried a midwife’s book and bag with them to assist during complicated deliveries when no doctor was available. Midwives were very knowledgeable on the subject of childbirth and the many uses …

Mike Meyer Disfarmer Gravesite

Mike Disfarmer was a Heber Springs (Cleburne County) mid-twentieth-century portrait photographer whose work gained fame and popularity some years after his death. His Cleburne County gravesite was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 21, 2009. Disfarmer is believed to have been born in Indiana in the early 1880s and to have moved to Stuttgart (Arkansas County) at an early age. After his father’s death, he and his mother then moved to Heber Springs. By 1926, he had built his own photography studio, where he lived and worked, earning a simple living for over forty years by photographing rural people for a few cents a sitting. Many believe that he changed his fame from Mike Meyer to …

Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel

aka: Cooper Chapel
The Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel, commonly called the Cooper Chapel, is a non-denominational chapel in Bella Vista (Benton County) designed by architects E. Fay Jones, who also designed Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs (Carroll County), and Maurice Jennings, Jones’s business partner for twenty-five years. John Cooper Sr. built three retirement/recreation villages in Arkansas from the 1950s to the 1970s, including Bella Vista Village in northwestern Arkansas, which he opened in 1965. His wife, Mildred Borum Cooper, was his partner throughout these and other ventures. She, too, was successful in business, serving as postmistress in West Memphis (Crittenden County) and Cherokee Village (Sharp and Fulton counties) and owning gift shops in Cherokee Village and Bella Vista. She was also active …

Military Land Grants

aka: Military Bounty Warrants
The system of granting free land in the public domain to men who served the United States during military conflicts—or, in the case of their death, to their heirs—was implemented in 1788. Following the Revolutionary War, this system of issuing military bounty warrants served as a way for the cash-poor United States to use large tracts of land to meet its obligations to soldiers. Warrants for Revolutionary War service were issued under acts of 1788, 1803, and 1806. The first series of warrants for the War of 1812 were issued under acts of 1811, 1812, and 1814. Some of the land set aside for these warrants was located in what would become Arkansas. Before any warrants could be issued, the …

Mill Boy [Steamboat]

The Mill Boy was a small commercial steamboat that served as a portable grist mill and was later put in the service of the Union army during the Civil War. The Mill Boy was an eighty-six-ton sidewheel paddle boat constructed on the Monongahela River in 1857 at Chambersburg, Ohio, by Captain Josiah Cornwall, who equipped the vessel as a floating grist mill and general store. The Mill Boy was initially powered by horses pacing on treadmills attached to the sidewheels, but in 1860 a boiler and small engine were added. Cornwall sold the vessel to other investors at about the time the Civil War began. On December 17, 1862, the Mill Boy, then under the command of Captain L. C. …

Miller County Courthouse

The Miller County Courthouse, dedicated in 1939, is located at 400 Laurel Street in downtown Texarkana (Miller County) in an area with a number of residences. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the four-story building as architecturally and historically significant for its standing as a visible result of the New Deal and as an impressive example of Art Deco architecture in Miller County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 29, 1998. On September 19, 1938, Miller County determined that the courthouse built in 1888 was no longer capable of housing county business. The county needed a new, modern courthouse, as Texarkana had grown substantially since the late nineteenth century. In addition, the U.S. District …

Millipedes

There have been around 7,000 species of millipedes (sometimes spelled millipeds) described scientifically, with a projected estimate of possibly 80,000 total species occurring around the globe. Around 900 species have been described from the United States and Canada. However, the family Parajulidae, the largest group from North America, has not been studied thoroughly, suggesting that numerous more species exist in North America. Arkansas has a diverse array of millipede species. Some of them are fairly common, while others are rare. Millipedes—their name meaning “thousand feet”—make up a group of invertebrates (lacking a backbone) in the phylum Arthropoda. Within the Arthropoda phylum, millipedes belong in the subphylum Myriapoda, which includes four classes: Chilopoda (centipedes), Diplopoda (millipedes), Paurapoda (paurapods), and Sumphyla (symphylans). …

Millwood Dam and Lake

Millwood Dam, which impounds Millwood Lake on the Little River, was constructed between 1961 and 1966 at a cost of $46.1 million as part of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) project to control flooding on the lower Red River, into which the Little River empties near the town of Fulton (Hempstead County). The lake created by the dam spills across the borders of four counties—Sevier, Little River, Howard, and Hempstead—and provides a variety of recreational opportunities for southwestern Arkansas. The 3.3-mile-long, earthen Millwood Dam is the longest of its kind in Arkansas. Millwood Dam, located east of Ashdown (Little River County), was made possible by the federal Flood Control Act of 1946, though opposition within the state and …

Minari

Filmed in Oklahoma but set in Arkansas, the 2020 movie Minari tells the story of a Korean family who moved from California to the rural Ozarks due to the father’s hopes of establishing himself as a farmer of Korean vegetables. The movie, based upon the family experiences of writer/director Lee Isaac Chung, himself an Arkansas native, received near universal praise from critics and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The movie opens with the Yi family—father Jacob (Steven Yeun), mother Monica (Yeri Han), daughter Anne (Noel Kate Cho), and son David (Alan S. Kim)—moving into a mobile home situated on a patch of farmland in northwestern Arkansas. The exact location is not specified, but it is mentioned …

Mineral Springs Waterworks

The Mineral Springs Waterworks, located south of the junction of West Runnels and South Hall streets in Mineral Springs (Howard 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 May 29, 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. Mineral Springs …

Mining

Mining is defined as the extraction of valuable minerals or stone (mineral resources) from the earth, usually from an ore body, vein, or bed. Materials mined in Arkansas include base metals, iron, vanadium, coal, diamonds, crushed and dimension stone, barite, tripoli, quartz crystal, gypsum, chalk, and bauxite. Mineral resources are non-renewable, unlike agricultural products or factory-produced materials. Mining in a wider sense includes extraction of any non-renewable resource, including petroleum, natural gas, bromine brine, or even water. These resources are recovered by extractive methods that differ from those of normal surface or underground “hard rock” mining methods. Early settlers in the Arkansas Territory used several local mineral commodities. These included galena (lead ore), hematite and goethite (brown iron ores), saline …

Minnesota Monument

The Minnesota Monument, located in Little Rock (Pulaski County) and dedicated to the Civil War soldiers of Minnesota who died in Arkansas, was the first monument erected in Arkansas whose commissioning came from a government outside the state of Arkansas. The monument, also known as “Taps,” is located in the Little Rock National Cemetery at 2523 Springer Boulevard. During the Civil War, several Minnesota regiments saw service in Arkansas, the Third Minnesota Infantry being one of the first regiments to enter the fallen capital city of Little Rock in 1863. Approximately 162 of those Minnesota soldiers died while serving in Arkansas. Of those, thirty-six are buried in the Little Rock National Cemetery. In 1913, the Minnesota state legislature established the …

Minstrel Shows

Popular during the nineteenth century, the minstrel show was one of the earliest forms of theatrical entertainment in the United States. The elements of the genre were developed during the 1820s and 1830s, and the first show fully dedicated to minstrelsy was staged in 1843 by the Virginia Minstrels. Early performances were given by white performers who used burnt cork to blacken their faces in order to represent different black characters. The white performers also drew heavily on the music produced by African Americans, and in particular plantation slaves in the South. The banjo, an instrument with origins in West Africa, and the “bones”—pairs of bones or wood that were struck against one another—quickly became part of the standard minstrel …

Minute Man

Minute Man of America was a pioneering fast-food chain founded by Little Rock (Pulaski County) native Wesley T. (Wes) Hall (1915–2002). At the height of its operation during the 1960s and 1970s, Minute Man had fifty-seven locations—some franchised, some company-owned—in Arkansas and seven surrounding states. By 2018, the only Minute Man location in operation was in El Dorado (Union County). A location in Jacksonville (Pulaski County) opened in 2020, and a food truck began operating in downtown Little Rock in 2021. The first Minute Man restaurant opened at 407 Broadway in Little Rock on May 26, 1948, as a coffee shop with twenty-four-hour service. Hall had three partners at the time: Oliver Harper, Walter Oathout, and Alton Barnett. In 1956, …

Miriam [Steamboat]

The Miriam was a steamboat chartered by a carnival company. It was wrecked by a tornado on the Mississippi River on April 26, 1908; fourteen people died in the disaster. The Miriam, working a six-month contract with the Wright Carnival Company, left Helena (Phillips County) under its owner, Captain W. A. Jones of Newport (Jackson County), at about 1:30 p.m. on April 26, 1908, heading north on the Mississippi. When the boat was about five miles north of the mouth of the St. Francis River, Jones spotted a tornado approaching and turned the Miriam toward the Arkansas shore at full speed to seek shelter. The tornado struck while the steamboat was still in the middle of the river and tore …

Missionary Baptist College

In the decade before the Great Depression, Missionary Baptist College opened its doors in Sheridan (Grant County). This small denominational educational institution brought the advantages of higher education to what was then a rural area, and though it operated only briefly, it exerted profound influence upon Missionary Baptist education in the state. The churches of the State Association of Missionary Baptist Churches of Arkansas, organized in 1902, have long maintained a commitment to Christian education, especially the training of student ministers. Three years after its founding, the association took over the operation of Buckner College at Witcherville (Sebastian County) in western Arkansas. However, its location far from the center of the Landmark Baptist movement in the state hindered its support, …

Missionary Baptist Seminary

The Missionary Baptist Seminary and Institute serves as the oldest educational institution among Missionary Baptists in the state of Arkansas. The school fulfills the role of training pastors in the Bible and the foundational principles of pastoral work. The Missionary Baptist Seminary and Institute was started on April 1, 1934, when Antioch Baptist Church, located at 22nd and Brown streets in Little Rock (Pulaski County), passed a motion during a regular business meeting to start the school. The Great Depression led to the closing of the Missionary Baptist College of Sheridan (Grant County), and the new seminary was started in response. Conceived by pastor Benjamin Marcus Bogard and two other men, J. Louis Guthrie of Oklahoma and Conrad Nathan Glover, …

Mississippi County Community College Solar Power Experiment

In 1976, the Department of Energy and the Solar Energy Research Institute were allotted funds for a Total Energy Solar Photovoltaic Conversion System that would be the largest of its kind in the world. The location chosen for the project was Mississippi County Community College (MCCC), now Arkansas Northeastern College (ANC), in Blytheville (Mississippi County). The project design included the installation of solar panels, as well as additional funding for the college facility. The main purpose of the project was to build an energy-efficient structure and harness solar power from the panels in order to coordinate, monitor, and manage energy production. With the United States facing an energy crisis in the mid-1970s, President Jimmy Carter created a comprehensive energy plan …

Mississippi County Courthouse, Chickasawba District

The Mississippi County Courthouse serving as the seat of justice for the northern part of the county is located at 200 Walnut Street in downtown Blytheville (Mississippi County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the four-story building as architecturally and historically significant for its local standing in Mississippi County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 6, 1996. After the city of Blytheville was incorporated in 1892, city leaders sought new economic stimulus in the form of transportation. Mississippi County was already an agricultural hub, with cotton as its main product. The Mississippi River, just eight miles away from Blytheville, provided farmers with fertile soil and natural flooding. Lumber was also a major industry when …

Mississippi County Courthouse, Osceola District

The Mississippi County Courthouse serving as the seat of justice for the southern part of Mississippi County is the central feature of a courthouse square bordered by Hale, Walnut, Johnson, and Poplar streets in downtown Osceola (Mississippi County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the three-story building as architecturally and historically significant as a prime example of the Classical style in Mississippi County. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 13, 1978. The Mississippi County Courthouse—Chickasawba District, located in the other county seat in Blytheville and opened in 1921, serves the northern part of the county. As Osceola experienced an economic boom due to railroad traffic, lumber, and agriculture production around the beginning of the …

Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is the largest and most important river in North America. This great river, often referred to as the “Mighty Mississippi,” originates as a small brook flowing out of Lake Itasca in Minnesota and, 2,340 miles later, empties into the Gulf of Mexico. It is truly one of the nation’s most important assets. Covering forty-one percent of the forty-eight contiguous United States, its watershed stretches across the heart of the nation. This vast river system, which includes several large tributaries, drains 1,260,000 square miles, making it the largest drainage basin in terms of area in North America and the third largest in the world. Significance to Arkansas The Mississippi River is a dominant physical feature of many states …

Mississippi, Ouachita and Red River Railroad

The Mississippi, Ouachita and Red River Railroad Company (MO&RR) was the first railroad to begin construction in Arkansas. Chartered in 1852 by John Dockery of Columbia County, the railroad began at Eunice (Chicot County), south of Arkansas City (Desha County), in 1854. At the onset of the Civil War, the railroad was incomplete, extending approximately seven miles south and west from the Mississippi River. Completion of construction and actual operation of the railroad did not occur until well after the Civil War. The road never made a profit and was merged with the Little Rock, Pine Bluff and New Orleans Railroad in 1873. The first articles of incorporation for the MO&RR were filed with the State of Arkansas by John …

Missouri and North Arkansas Depot (Leslie)

The Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad (M&NA) depot in Leslie (Searcy County) is a passenger and freight train station that was constructed circa 1925 in the Plain Traditional style. The single-story stone masonry structure, located at the southwest end of Walnut Street, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 11, 1992. The town of Leslie, situated in the northern Arkansas Ozark Mountains on a tributary of the Middle Fork of the Little Red River, was an isolated and remote community during much of the nineteenth century. In 1902, its population was about fifty people. However, in 1903, the potential of Leslie’s natural resources convinced the M&NA to extend its line from Harrison (Boone County) to the …

Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad (M&NA)

The Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad (M&NA) was a regional carrier that, at its peak, stretched from Joplin, Missouri, to Helena (Phillips County). The railroad was plagued with weather-induced disasters, periods of labor unrest, questionable decisions by absentee managers and owners, unforgiving topography, economic conditions, fires, and bad luck. After the completion of the line, it existed for only four decades. The M&NA was the victim of a territory that could not produce sufficient revenue to support it. It had tough competition from the Missouri Pacific’s two routes through the region and their stronger traffic connections. The railroad was also constructed in a less-than-substantial fashion, which led to its many washouts, floods, and infrastructure failures. The railroad began as a …

Missouri Bootheel

While most of Arkansas’s boundary with Missouri runs along the line of latitude thirty-six degrees, thirty minutes north, in the extreme northeast corner, the border between states extends downward along the St. Francis River to thirty-six degrees north, where it then runs east to the Mississippi River. A straight line boundary, as was originally envisioned, would have added some 980 square miles, or 627,000 acres, to the state of Arkansas. Instead, Missouri gained a “bootheel.” Culturally and economically, the region has much more in common with Arkansas than with the rest of Missouri. “Arkansas in denial” is how area residents explain their anomalous condition. Carl Bailey (1894–1948), the thirty-first governor of Arkansas and a native of Bernie, Missouri, was one …

Missouri Pacific Depot (Arkadelphia)

The Missouri Pacific Depot located in Arkadelphia (Clark County) is an active train station that was constructed in the Mediterranean style in 1917. Added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 11, 1992, it is located on South Fifth Street. The first settlers arrived in the Arkadelphia area, located along the Ouachita River, around 1808, and it was incorporated in 1857. In 1873, river transportation was replaced by rail when the Cairo and Fulton connected the city with Little Rock (Pulaski County). This line was acquired by the Missouri Pacific in 1917, and the company constructed a number of new depots to serve communities along the tracks, including in Gurdon (Clark County). The Arkadelphia depot was constructed south …

Missouri Pacific Depot (Gurdon)

The Missouri Pacific Depot in Gurdon (Clark County) was constructed in 1917. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 11, 1992, and is located on North First Street. While the area around the depot is still used by the Union Pacific Railroad in the twenty-first century, the former train station is used only for storage. Gurdon was founded in 1880 along the Cairo and Fulton Railroad. The town was founded at the junction of several railroad lines that led to Little Rock (Pulaski County), Texarkana (Miller County), Glenwood (Pike County), and Camden (Ouachita County). The timber resources surrounding the community and the town’s importance as a transportation hub led to a growing population in the …

Missouri Pacific Depot (Malvern)

The Missouri Pacific Depot is an operating train depot located at 200 East First Street in Malvern (Hot Spring County). The Mediterranean-style building was constructed around 1917 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 11, 1992. By 2018, it was serving as a depot for Amtrak’s Texas Eagle. Malvern was created as a stop for the Cairo and Fulton Railroad in 1873. The settlement quickly grew and incorporated in 1876 and, two years later, became the county seat, replacing nearby Rockport (Hot Spring County). The railroad played an important role in the growth of the city, as the two major products from the area—brick and timber—were shipped across the country from the station. A second …

Mites

Mites are small arthropods (Phylum Arthropoda) belonging to the Class Arachnida (Subclass Acari) with two or three Superorders as follows: Acariformes (or Actinotrichida), Parasitiformes (or Anactinotrichida), and Opilioacariformes. There are four Orders, Mesostigmata, Prostigmata, Orbatida, and Astigmata. Among the more well-known mites are ticks (Ixodida). There are an estimated 48,200 species of described mites. The phylogeny of the Acari is still debatable, and several different taxonomic schemes have been proposed for their classification. The diversity of the Acari is extraordinary, and its fossil history goes back to at least the early Devonian Period (about 419 million years ago). Mites are very common in Arkansas, with chiggers being a particular pest of humans during warmer months. Historically, references to mites/chiggers go …

Moles

The mammalian family Talpidae includes seventeen genera and forty-two species of moles worldwide in the order Eulipotyphla. Of these, there are four genera and seven species in North America alone. Moles are found in most parts of North America, Asia, and Europe. The family contains all the true moles, and some of their close relatives—including desmans, but these are not normally called “moles” and belong to the subfamily Talpinae. Those species called “shrew moles” denote an intermediate form between the moles and their shrew ancestors. There are three subfamilies of moles, including the Scalopinae (New World moles) with five genera, Talpinae (Old World, desmans, and shrew moles) with nine genera, and Uropsilinae (Asian shrew-like moles) with a single genus. The …

Molluscs

aka: Mollusks
The phylum Mollusca is a major invertebrate group known commonly as “molluscs” (sometimes spelled “mollusks”), which includes about 85,000 living species (although this number varies), with another 60,000 to 100,000 additional fossil species. This phylum is ranked second only to the Phylum Arthropoda in number of living species. Included within the diverse phylum are snails, slugs, cowries, squids, clams, mussels, limpets, oysters, scallops, octopi, cuttlefish, and a myriad of additional groups such as the little-known chitons, monoplacophorans, and tusk shells. Malacology is the scientific study of molluscs, and a specialist who studies them is known as a malacologist. Two classes of molluscs inhabit Arkansas: the Gastropoda and the Bivalvia. Approximately eighty-five species of bivalves are known from the state, while …

Monette Water Tower

The Monette Water Tower, located at the corner of Arkansas Highway 139 and Texie Avenue in Monette (Craighead County), was built in 1936 with the assistance of the Public Works Administration (PWA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 24, 2008. 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. Monette was founded in 1898 …

Monogeneans

The class Monogenoidea is a fairly large group of parasitic flatworms belonging to the phylum Platyhelminthes. Monogeneans are generally found on bony fishes in freshwater and marine habitats. Although some are endoparasites in the urinary bladder and eyes, most monogeneans are ectoparasites that attach to their host’s skin or gills by a special posteriorly positioned attachment organ called a haptor. The class contains about nine orders, fifty families, and 4,000–5,000 species. The genus Dactylogyrus is one of the largest genera, with nearly 1,000 species. Some taxonomists divide the Monogenoidea into two or three subclasses based on the complexity of their haptor. Those in the subclass Monopisthocotylea have one main part to the haptor, often with hooks or a large attachment …

Monroe County Courthouse

The Monroe County Courthouse is located at 123 Madison Street in downtown Clarendon (Monroe County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the three-story building as architecturally and historically significant as one of Arkansas’s most prominent courthouses and its sole example of the Italian Renaissance Revival style in Monroe County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 14, 1976. The Monroe County Courthouse stands on the same site as the previous four courthouses stood, including one that Union armies dissembled during the Civil War and another that burned down on New Year’s Day in 1895. Charles L. Thompson, a prolific architect from Little Rock (Pulaski County) who is credited for renowned structures across the state, designed …

Monte Ne Railway

Monte Ne (Benton County) resort promoter William “Coin” Harvey built the five-mile standard gauge Monte Ne Railway to link the new resort to the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway (Frisco) main line at Lowell (Benton County). Frisco surveyors laid out the route, and Frisco workers assisted in track construction prior to the June 19, 1902, opening. (Harvey’s fellow “free silver” proponent William Jennings Bryan spoke at the grand opening, but the event was sparsely attended due to heavy rain and a charge to hear the speaker.) The Monte Ne Railway used poor quality fifty-six-pound rail purchased from the Frisco, which, like other big railroads, sold worn-out main line and side track to smaller companies. The Monte Ne Railway shared the depot at Lowell …

Montgomery County Courthouse

The Montgomery County Courthouse is located on Highway 270 in Mount Ida (Montgomery County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as architecturally and historically significant for its local standing in Montgomery County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 27, 1976. The courthouse’s style is often described as Arkansas Adamesque. Designed by Clyde Ferrel and built in 1923, the Montgomery County Courthouse is constructed of random-patterned native stone. The structure’s restrained Classical elements are reminiscent of courthouses across Arkansas, including pilasters and a stone arch over the principal entrance. The ceiling of the courtroom is made of pressed tin that has been painted white. As county demands grew, Montgomery County built an …

Monticello Confederate Monument

The Monticello Confederate Monument is a commemorative sculpture erected in 1915 on the grounds of the Drew County Courthouse by the W. F. Slemons Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) to commemorate local men who had served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. It was later moved to Oakland Cemetery. As was the case in many Arkansas cities, the W. F. Slemons Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, based in Monticello (Drew County), decided around the beginning of the twentieth century to raise a monument on the courthouse grounds to honor county residents who had fought for the Confederacy. The Slemons Chapter was named for William Ferguson Slemons, a Monticello lawyer and politician …

Monticello Post Office (Historic)

The 1937 Monticello Post Office in Monticello (Drew County) is a one-story, brick-masonry structure designed in a restrained interpretation of the Art Deco style of architecture and featuring a sculpture 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. Construction began on the Monticello Post Office in early 1937, with the Advance Monticellonian reporting on January 28 that “work on the new post office began in earnest last Monday morning.” The blond-brick structure “will be of the same material and color as the [adjacent] Municipal Building, and …

Monument to Confederate Women

With the rise of memorial groups in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, commemorating the sacrifice of those who fought in the Civil War became a major theme of popular remembrance. Recognizing women’s sacrifices during the war was a large part of this. On May 1, 1913, Little Rock (Pulaski County) became home to the South’s second monument to the women of the Confederacy (the first being erected in South Carolina the previous year). The monument is cast in bronze upon a marble, concrete, and granite base. It depicts a woman seated, a young boy to her right holding a military-style drum, and a young girl to her left, all bidding farewell to a standing husband and father departing …

Moon Trees

During the United States Bicentennial Celebration in 1976, sapling trees that had been grown from germinated seeds that had orbited the moon during the Apollo 14 mission were planted across the nation. Four of those saplings, commonly known as moon trees, were planted in Arkansas. In January 1971, Apollo 14, one of six NASA missions to land on the moon, was launched. During each mission, the astronaut were each allowed to carry a small amount of personal belongings, which could include items such as books, condiments, and holiday decorations. Among the possessions of Astronaut Stuart Roosa was a small metal canister about the size of a soft-drink can containing several hundred tree seeds. Roosa, pilot of Apollo 14 command module …