Entries - Entry Type: Thing - Starting with P

Pocahontas Post Office (Historic)

The historic Pocahontas Post Office is a one-story, brick-masonry building built between 1936 and 1937. Located a few blocks away from the historic downtown square of Pocahontas (Randolph County), this building served as the post office for the area until 1986, when post office operations moved to new facilities. The old post office was built in the Art Deco style, which was a common form of architecture for Works Progress Administration (WPA) post offices at that time. This style of architecture is represented by vertical pilasters and brick segments with stylized ornamental decorations within the pilasters. Pocahontas got its first post office after the town was voted the Randolph County seat in 1835. By 1936, that original post office building …

Poesia

Poesia was a literary quarterly of poetry, commentary, and poetry reviews with an emphasis on previously unpublished poets—principally from northwest Arkansas, though submissions were accepted statewide and nationally as well. The commentary frequently focused on current issues concerning literary arts in Arkansas and the nation, such as the developing commercial trends in publishing and the politics of poetry and art. The journal also featured foreign poets, with their poetry published in English as well in the poet’s native language. Poets from Russia, Romania, Brazil, Italy, Canada, Slovenia, Jordan, and Israel were published in Poesia. Poesia was established in 2003 by Delta House Publishing Company, Indian Bay Press of Fayetteville (Washington County), founded by William R. Mayo, its publisher and editor. …

Poinsett County Courthouse

The Poinsett County Courthouse—built in 1918—is located on Courthouse Square, a section of Harrisburg (Poinsett County) that features the city’s historic commercial district and a green space with a wooden gazebo. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as architecturally and historically significant for its Classical Revival style and for its standing as the most impressive building in Poinsett County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 3, 1989. The county’s first courthouse was located at Bolivar in 1839, the first county seat. A historical marker on the grounds tells how Benjamin Harris Sr., for whom Harrisburg was named, donated the land to the county to build a new courthouse when the seat …

Polk County Courthouse

The Polk County Courthouse is located at the foot of Rich Mountain, on the corner of Church and De Queen avenues in downtown Mena (Polk County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the four-story building, built in 1939, as architecturally and historically significant for its Art Deco style and its stature as one of the most impressive structures in Polk County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 20, 1992. The Polk County Courthouse is a standing result of New Deal policies as a product of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which appropriated $110,000 for its construction. Architectural firm Haralson & Mott of Fort Smith (Sebastian County) designed it in the Art Deco style, which …

Poll Tax

A poll tax is a uniform per capita tax levied upon a specified class of people often made a requirement for the right to vote. In Arkansas, use of a poll tax was as old as the state itself. Arkansas’s first state constitution, adopted in 1836, authorized the imposition of a poll tax to be used for county purposes, and a subsequent state statute authorized county courts to collect a poll tax not to exceed one dollar per year from every free male inhabitant between the ages of twenty-one and sixty. Provisions similar to that in the 1836 constitution were included in the subsequent Confederate state constitution of 1861 and Unionist state constitution of 1864 (the Confederate constitution allowed the …

Poorhouses

aka: Poor Farms
The use of the poorhouse came to the United States during the nineteenth century and was based on a model used in England during the Industrial Revolution. A poorhouse was meant to be a place to which people could be sent if they were not able to support themselves financially. It was believed that these institutions would be a cheaper alternative to the “outdoor relief” (relief requested from a community) that a community sometimes provided. Although this may not have been the case, the poorhouse was a significant institution in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, providing relief to the poor prior to the establishment of welfare systems. The aiding of a pauper by another person in the community was …

Populist Movement

aka: People's Party
During the last three decades of the nineteenth century, American farmers faced a variety of economic problems including rising business costs, a scarcity of credit, and falling crop prices. Frustrated farmers formed organizations to address such problems and ultimately turned to independent or third-party politics. These efforts coalesced in the 1890s with the founding of the People’s (or Populist) Party, which drew most of its support in the West and the South. In Arkansas, the third-party movement actually peaked between 1888 and 1890 under the guise of the Union Labor Party (ULP), which lasted fewer years than the Populist Party but won more support, unlike in other states. Origins of the Populist MovementThe organized farmers’ movement in Arkansas began in …

Porter Prize

aka: Porter Fund Literary Prize
The Porter Fund, established in 1984, is a not-for-profit unincorporated association founded in honor of Dr. Ben Kimpel, who was chairman of the English department at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). It supports the written arts in the state of Arkansas, specifically by awarding an annual prize, which has been designated as the “Porter Prize,” to an Arkansas writer. (At Kimpel’s request, the prize was named in memory of his mother, Gladys Crane Kimpel Porter.) The prize is funded strictly with private donations and is presented annually at an awards ceremony to an Arkansas writer who has accomplished a substantial and impressive body of work that merits enhanced recognition. Its prize, $2,000, makes it one of the …

Post Familie Vineyards and Winery

Post Familie Vineyards and Winery is located on state Highway 186 in the town of Altus (Franklin County), on the old farm of Professor Joseph Bachman, a noted creator of new grape varieties. Post Familie Winery has its origins in the immigration into the area of German and Swiss Catholics in the 1880s—which made Altus one of the leading wine communities in the state by the turn of the century—and is today one of the 100 largest wineries in the nation. The great-grandfather of this branch of the Post family was Jacob Post, who made wine along with his wife, Anna. Originally, the family made wine from wild grapes as well as other fruits and berries before acquiring grape cuttings …

Post Office Art

Arkansas has nineteen Depression-era works of art created for U.S. post office buildings. Two are sculpture bas-reliefs, and seventeen are paintings. In addition, another painting was destroyed in a post office fire, and one was never installed and was lost during World War II. The art was part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and was created to reflect life in the United States at the time and to honor hard work. During a time of national economic crisis and with the specter of World War II on the horizon, images of strong workers, productive farmers, and determined pioneers were intended by Roosevelt to reassure and motivate Americans. The goal was to remind Americans of their history at a time …

Post-bellum Black Codes

aka: Black Codes
Immediately after the Civil War, Southern states passed onerous laws to maintain their legal control and economic power over African Americans in response to the 1865 passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which ended slavery. Under slavery, whites had disciplined blacks mostly outside the law. After emancipation, fearing blacks’ revenge, slave owners sought to institute a comparable level of legal control over former slaves. While some Black Codes were not harsh, most were: African Americans could not serve on juries; could not sue or testify against whites; were prohibited from owning farms; and were forced to sign unequal labor contracts. The U.S. Congress immediately responded to the Black Codes by passing the Civil Rights Act of 1866, …

Poteau Work Center

The Poteau Work Center is located east of Waldron (Scott County) along Highway 80. The work center building was constructed circa 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 20, 1993. The building was constructed by members of the 1707th Company of the Arkansas CCC District, which was stationed at the Waldron Camp located fourteen miles to the east. It was built as the repair and maintenance shop for the Poteau Ranger District of the Ouachita National Forest. The building, along with the residence in the same location, was built as the headquarters for the district, which extends westward into Oklahoma. It is significant for its association with …

Pottery

Pottery has been produced in Arkansas from prehistoric times up to the present day. Of note are prehistoric Native American wares from the Woodland Period beginning 2,500 years ago and the prehistoric and historic Caddo pottery tradition that flourished from AD 800 to 1660. Commercial manufacturing and regional ware made by the Ouachita Pottery in Hot Springs (Garland County), the Hyten Pottery (later the Eagle Pottery) in Benton (Saline County), Camden Art and Tile Company in Camden (Ouachita County), and the Dryden Potteries, Inc., in Hot Springs have their roots in the American art pottery movement of the late nineteenth century and the American Craft movement of the early twentieth century. Smaller production studios evolved after the Korean War, and …

Pottsville Citizens Bank

In 1913, some sixteen years after the incorporation of Pottsville (Pope County), the town’s first bank—the Pottsville Citizens Bank—was chartered. On March 28, 2002, the bank, located at 156 East Ash Street, was added to the National Register of Historic places based on its contribution to the development of town commerce and the commercial architecture style of the building. The town of Pottsville slowly developed in the immediate area surrounding the house of the area’s first settler, John Kirkbride Potts, who arrived in the 1820s. As the town grew, town leaders determined that there was a need for a bank. A bank was chartered, and a one-story brick building was constructed across from Potts’s home. On September 2, 1913, the …

Poultry Industry

A staple of the state’s economy, the Arkansas poultry industry first emerged in the 1890s. A century later, Tyson Foods, based in Springdale (Washington County), had become one of the largest agribusiness firms in the United States. Northwest Arkansas, particularly Washington and Benton counties, produces the majority of poultry in Arkansas. The topography of the Ozark highlands—in contrast to the relatively flat eastern half of the state—is well suited to raising chickens. The hilly terrain has historically prevented the widespread cultivation of rice and cotton, which led northwest Arkansas farmers to pursue interests in timber, fruit orchards, and especially poultry. In 1893, Millard Berry of Springdale acquired an incubator with the intent of raising chickens on a large scale. By …

Poverty

In 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the national average of individuals living in poverty was 13.2 percent. At 17.3 percent, Arkansas tied for second among states with the highest poverty rates. The two states with the highest poverty rates are adjacent to Arkansas: Mississippi was the highest with 21.2 percent, and Louisiana second highest at 17.3 percent. They were followed by West Virginia at 17 percent and Kentucky, which tied Arkansas with 17.3 percent. Seven of the top ten impoverished states were in the South. Historical BackgroundThe story of poverty in the South is the story of economic development and social changes over time. Patterns of poverty in Arkansas have developed and fluctuated over time in relation to …

Powhatan Courthouse

The Powhatan Historic Courthouse is located in the Powhatan Historic State Park, a stretch of a nineteenth-century river port town, and represents the rich judicial history and healthy commerce of northeastern Arkansas. It stands on a hill overlooking the Black River, not far from a collection of buildings that Arkansas State Parks also controls: the Powhatan Jail, the Ficklin-Imboden House, a commercial building, and the Powhatan Male and Female Academy. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the courthouse as significant for Lawrence County’s history, while also serving as a good example of historic preservation. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 16, 1970. In 1869, Lawrence County voters approved moving their county seat from the …

Powhatan Jail

The Powhatan Jail was built in 1873 in Powhatan (Lawrence County) and is one of the few nineteenth-century jails still standing in Arkansas. The jailhouse was constructed as a companion building to the nearby courthouse. Originally, it was built with six cells, each quite large. The cells, built from strap iron and assembled by a riveted structure in a lattice pattern, were shipped in from Ohio by steamboat. John D. Edwards designed both the Powhatan Jail and first courthouse. This jail is thought to be the first jailhouse in Lawrence County built from locally extracted stone. The jailhouse’s design is common for nineteenth-century architecture, with the front third of the building intended to have a jail keeper’s residence. However, the residence …

Powhatan Methodist Church

The Powhatan Methodist Church is one of the historic buildings found at Powhatan State Park. The church exemplifies the nineteenth-century Greek Revival architectural style in which it was built. Records indicate that the Powhatan Methodist Church was formed in 1858 with a 284-member congregation under the direction of four local pastors. Members included white settlers, probationers, and African-American residents. Before the church building was constructed, church members in Powhatan (Lawrence County) may have gathered at the Black River for worship services. Around 1874, building plans for the Powhatan Methodist Church included one double-door entrance at the front and windows placed on each side of the building. The interior of the church has a large sanctuary with two cloak rooms that …

Prairie County Courthouse, Northern District

The Prairie County Courthouse, located in downtown Des Arc (Prairie County), governs county affairs in the northern half of Prairie County. DeValls Bluff (Prairie County), which has its own courthouse, is the county’s other seat of government. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story courthouse in Des Arc for its Georgian architecture and stature as one of the most impressive buildings in Prairie County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 18, 1977. Des Arc was destroyed during the Civil War when Union soldiers dismantled the town for materials to use for its base in DeValls Bluff. By 1875, citizens had rebuilt Des Arc after Prairie County designated it as the county seat, replacing …

Prairie County Courthouse, Southern District

The Prairie County Courthouse governing the southern half of the county is located on the corner of Magnolia and Prairie streets in DeValls Bluff (Prairie County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as historically significant as a visible result of the New Deal and the only known building the Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed in Prairie County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 20, 1992. In 1885, county administrators declared DeValls Bluff a second county seat to service the southern half of Prairie County, leaving the courthouse in Des Arc to govern the northern half. Several counties in Arkansas have a similar arrangement by which a county is split into districts, …

Prairie Grove Airlight Outdoor Telephone Booth

Telephone service came to Prairie Grove (Washington County) in 1888 when local physician Ephraim Graham McCormick strung a telephone wire across the city’s main street to his brother’s pharmacy. Since many of their neighbors also wanted to have telephone service, the brothers incorporated the company in October 1906. As the twentieth century dawned, the use of the telephone—and the telephone booth—grew tremendously. Outdoor telephone booths began to appear in the 1940s during World War II at military bases. They became prevalent throughout America in the 1950s. When the Airlight Outdoor Telephone Booth was introduced in the mid-1950s, Bell Telephone System touted the booth’s new modern design and features, meant specifically for outdoor use. The aluminum frame, glass booth, and interior …

Prairie Grove Telephone Company

aka: PGTelco
Owned and operated by four generations of the McCormick and Parks families since the late nineteenth century, the Prairie Grove Telephone Company (PGTelco) is one of the oldest family-owned telephone companies in Arkansas. The company established exchanges in five western Washington County communities: Farmington, Lincoln, Morrow, Prairie Grove, and Strickler. Physician E. G. McCormick and his brother, Will McCormick, were co-owners of the McCormick Bros. drugstore that opened on Prairie Grove’s main street in 1884. Dr. McCormick’s clinic was located across the street from the drugstore, and in 1888 the brothers installed a telephone line between the two businesses. When some local residents expressed an interest in using the new technology, the brothers began to offer phone service to others …

Prescott City Jail

The Prescott City Jail is located in an alley behind city hall in Prescott (Nevada County). Constructed from concrete in 1912, the structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 28, 2005. Nevada County was formed in 1871, and Prescott was platted in 1873 when the Cairo and Fulton Railroad passed through the area. Incorporated in 1874, it became the county seat three years later. Little crime was reported in the early decades of the county. A jail was constructed on the courthouse lawn in 1896. By 1911, the building was no longer usable. That year, the home of a city council member was burgled, and while the thief was captured, he escaped from the jail …

Price Produce and Filling Station

The Price Produce and Filling Station is a complex of one-story Art Deco–style buildings at 413, 415, and 417 East Emma Avenue in Springdale (Washington and Benton counties). It was built in 1934 by Veaze Price. Price moved to Springdale from Missouri in 1923 and worked for several years with the Springdale Produce Company before deciding to open his own business. In the early 1930s, Springdale was a shipping hub for a thriving fruit and produce industry in northwestern Arkansas. Apples were a leading crop from the late 1800s through the early 1900s. By 1930, the area also had the highest concentration of vineyards in the state. Welch’s Grape Juice factory and Nelson Wine and Distillery, both located at Springdale, …

Primary Colors

Loosely based on Governor Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential bid, Joe Klein’s controversial novel Primary Colors was published anonymously in 1996. A film based on the novel was released in 1998. The controversy stemmed from the resemblance of many characters to real-life counterparts, leading many to believe that the novel must have been written by a political insider. The novel follows the presidential campaign of Governor Jack Stanton, an overweight womanizer with a gift for politics, and is narrated by Henry Burton, an idealistic young black man who quickly rises within the ranks of Stanton’s staff. Themes of the book include adultery, sexual promiscuity, idealism, politics, and the role of the media in the political process and celebrity, culminating with Burton …

Private School Movement

aka: Segregation Academies
Beginning in the mid-1960s and continuing into the early 1970s, there was a rapid expansion in the establishment of new, non-parochial private schools across the South. This phenomenon, often called the “segregation academy” or “white academy” movement, was commonly viewed as a means for white parents to avoid having their children attend increasingly integrated public schools. Within Arkansas, the establishment of new private schools was concentrated in two areas—the Delta region and Pulaski County. Starting in the mid-1960s, both of these areas, which had the highest concentration of African Americans in the state, truly began to integrate their schools. The resulting increased level of integration provided the impetus for the start of the private school movement in Arkansas, which was …

Prohibition

Prohibition, the effort to limit or ban the sale and consumption of alcohol, has been prevalent since Arkansas’s territorial period. The state has attempted to limit use of alcoholic beverages through legal efforts such as establishing “dry” counties, as well as through extra-legal measures such as destroying whiskey distilleries. Since achieving statehood in 1836, prohibition has consistently been a political and public health issue. As early as the 1760s, European settlers at Arkansas Post (Arkansas County) took steps to limit alcohol use by Quapaw Indians living in the area. When the area was under Spanish control, British traders successfully maneuvered to trade goods and spirits in Arkansas, plying the Quapaw with rum despite a Spanish law prohibiting the furnishing of …

Proturans

aka: Coneheads
Proturans belong to the Phylum Euarthropoda, Class Entognatha, and Class Protura. The Protura constitute a taxon of hexapods that were previously thought to be insects and now are considered as a class on their own. Proturans are cosmopolitan in distribution (except for both polar regions and snow zones of mountains) with more than 800 described species belonging to three distinct orders (Acerentomata, Eosentomata, and Sinentomata) and seven families (Acerentomidae, Antelientomidae Eosentomidae, Fujientomidae, Hesperentomidae, Protentomidae, and Sinentomidae). As of 2019, seventy-six genera are known worldwide, with nearly 300 species contained within the single cosmopolitan genus, Eosentomon. There are about twenty-six species in North America, though there is no exact number of species reported, to date, from Arkansas. However, four species of …

Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary

Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary began with just one horse on five acres of rural land outside Sarasota, Florida, and eventually evolved into an award-winning, 320-acre facility located in Mena (Polk County). Melanie and Jim Bowles, the founders of Proud Spirit, originally earned their livings as professional firefighters for Sarasota County, Florida. In 1990, they purchased a small home on five acres out in the country. A few months later, they decided they had room for a horse and began looking for one to purchase. In their search, they discovered a thoroughbred mare that was being neglected and purchased the horse to get her out of the abusive situation. In 1992, they opened their five acres to more horses in need, …

Public Health

Public health is a dynamic, interdisciplinary field with the goal of improving and maintaining the health and well-being of communities through education, the promotion of healthy behaviors and lifestyles, the creation of health-related government policy, and research on disease and injury prevention. In Arkansas, the field of public health has been active since territorial days, when infectious diseases such as malaria plagued the area. In the early days, efforts to improve sanitation, prevent the spread of disease, and treat the health problems of the public in Arkansas centered on diseases—particularly malaria, hookworm, polio, yellow fever, typhoid, and tuberculosis. In modern times, public health campaigns in Arkansas have moved toward a focus on chronic health problems such as obesity and diabetes. …

Pulaski County Courthouse

The Pulaski County Courthouse, located at 405 Markham Street, is in the heart of downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County). Two distinct buildings make up the Pulaski County Courthouse: a Romanesque Revival completed in 1889 and a Beaux Arts structure completed 1914. The styles are divergent from each other and symbolize different eras in Little Rock’s history. The Pulaski County Courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 18, 1979. The 1889 building was the first permanent courthouse in the county and was meant to demonstrate Arkansas’s growing prominence. Along with a new seat of justice, the city installed a water system in 1885, and the first paved streets were introduced in 1887. Little Rock and Pulaski …

Pulitzer Prize (Arkansas Recipients and Nominees)

The Pulitzer Prize is awarded annually in American journalism, literature, and music composition. It was named for newspaperman Joseph Pulitzer and has been awarded since 1917. Prizes are given from twenty-one possible categories, but not all categories are awarded every year. Winning comes with considerable prestige as well as a $10,000 prize for twenty of the categories and a gold medal for the Public Service category in journalism. There is a $50 entry fee, and works may be entered in up to two categories for consideration. The nominees are selected by 102 judges serving on twenty juries who select three nominees per category. The judges and the final winners are chosen by the Pulitzer Prize Board. Aside from prize winners …

Pullers

Tom Graves’s 1998 novel Pullers features rare subject matter: the sport of arm wrestling (participants refer to themselves as “pullers”). The Southern Gothic–style novel opens with an arm-wrestling contest at Bad Bill’s Hawg Trawf in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). The novel then shifts to Memphis, Tennessee, where most of the story takes place. But characters spend time on both sides of the Mississippi River, enough that Pullers should be regarded both for its Arkansas and Tennessee pedigrees. The winner of the Pine Bluff contest, Scud Matthews, makes his grand entrance at the event with a much smaller man on a leash, both wearing T-shirts that read: “We’re Queer Dear.” With his use of juxtaposition and stereotypes, Graves is primarily going …

Pyramid Place

aka: Southern Trust Building
The ten-story Southern Trust Building in downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County) opened in 1907 as the first skyscraper in Little Rock. Later called Pyramid Place, it began housing retail spaces, restaurants, and offices. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 26, 2013. In the early twentieth century, Little Rock was transitioning from a river town to a major city, thanks in part to its rapid population growth. According to the U.S. Census, Little Rock’s population more than tripled during this time, from 13,138 in 1880 to 45,941 in 1910. A 1906 Arkansas Gazette editorial complained that despite Little Rock’s growth, the city did not have a single skyscraper. Plans for a skyscraper had been under …