Entries - Gender: Male - Starting with H

Hackett, Nelson

Nelson Hackett was an Arkansas slave whose 1841 escape to Canada (then a colony of Great Britain) led to a campaign by his owner to have him extradited to the United States on charges of theft as a way of getting around the legal sanctuary that Canada provided to fugitive slaves. Hackett’s extradition aroused the ire of abolitionists on both sides of the border and ultimately resulted in a limitation of the 1842 Webster-Ashburton Treaty’s extradition provision. Nelson Hackett enters the historical record in June 1840 when he was acquired by Alfred Wallace, a wealthy Washington County plantation owner, storekeeper, and land speculator. Hackett was described as “a Negro dandy” of about thirty years of age. Slaves in the Arkansas …

Hadley, Ozro Amander

Ozro Amander Hadley served as acting governor of Arkansas from 1871, when Powell Clayton resigned, until 1873. His two years in office saw a continuation of Clayton’s policies but without the extreme violence that had marked his predecessor’s years. Hadley played several other roles of note both before and after his term in office O. A. Hadley was born on June 26, 1826, at Cherry Creek in Chautauqua County, New York, to Alvah Hadley and Eunice Bates Hadley. His father was a farmer. Hadley was educated in local public schools and at the Fredonia Academy. On February 17, 1849, he married Mary C. Kilbourn; they had two daughters, as well as one child who died in infancy. The ill heath …

Hagerty, Thomas J.

Thomas J. Hagerty was a Roman Catholic priest and social activist. He was originally involved in the Socialist Party of America (SPA), an association that included some early interactions with the active Arkansas chapter of the party. However, he eventually left the socialists and embraced the revolutionary syndicalism of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), an organization he helped to establish. Thomas Hagerty was born in 1862, but there is little information about his life prior to his ordination in Chicago, Illinois, in 1895. While there were rumors that he was a socialist prior to his ordination, his politics became problematic for the church soon after he entered the priesthood. He was transferred to the Archdiocese of Dallas, Texas, …

Halbrook, William Erwin

William Erwin Halbrook was a prominent educator and education reformer in Arkansas during the first half of the twentieth century. Halbrook promoted high school education and led reform efforts to modernize schools in his native Ozarks region and was later important in combating adult illiteracy in the state. The Arkansas Education Association (AEA) considered Halbrook among the “Giants in Arkansas Education.” His career is representative of the early-twentieth-century education reformers who crusaded to bring progress and efficiency to the state’s public school system. William E. Halbrook was born on March 14, 1878, to Urijah Halbrook and Sarah Elizabeth (Woolverton) Halbrook in rural Van Buren County; he had five younger brothers. His father was a poor hill farmer, and Halbrook grew …

Haley, George Williford Boyce

George Williford Boyce Haley was a U.S. ambassador, politician, civil rights activist, attorney, and policy analyst. He was one of the first African-American students to attend the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) since Reconstruction. He was also one of the first African Americans elected to the Kansas Senate. George Haley was born to Simon Haley and Bertha Haley in the small western Tennessee town of Henning on August 28, 1925. He had two brothers, one of whom, Alex, wrote the bestselling book Roots. His mother died when he was six years old. The family later moved to Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), where, in 1939, Haley’s father accepted a position as head of the agriculture department at AM&N …

Haley, Loy (Lynching of)

Loy Haley, an African-American man, was lynched on June 15, 1915, likely near Lewisville (Lafayette County), for allegedly murdering Roy Lester, owner of a plantation in Lafayette County located in the Red River bottoms. Probably the earliest report on the violent chain of events was a June 13, 1915, article in the Arkansas Gazette. Though titled, “Lynching Near Lafayette County,” the article does not, in fact, describe a lynching but rather reports on the intended lynching of Loy Haley. According to the report, Roy Lester had remained on his plantation despite flooding on the Red River that had left his farm entirely surrounded by water, and made him “the only white man on the place.” No details of Lester’s murder …

Hall, B. C.

Baxter Clarence (B. C.) Hall Jr. was an author and teacher whose novels and books on Southern myth and culture attracted wide readership in the last half of the twentieth century. Hall usually wrote under the name B. C. Hall. His best-known books were the novels The Burning Season, Nashville Lady, and Keepers of the Feast, and three nonfiction works on which he collaborated with writer friends C. T. Wood and Bob Lancaster. He also wrote numerous pulp-fiction novels, sometimes cynically referred to as “bodice rippers,” under pseudonyms like Julia French. B. C. Hall was born at St. James (Stone County) on June 9, 1936, the youngest of nine children of Baxter Clarence “Bunk” Hall and Hattie Camellia Younger “Dutch” …

Hall, David

David Hall was an African-American pioneer who was part of a free black community that existed in Marion County prior to the Civil War. David Hall left no diaries or letters, but a document trail of tax records, censuses, and folk stories reveal details about his life. He was born in North Carolina in 1783, and sometime prior to 1805, he married a woman named Sarah (called Sallie), a free woman of Tennessee. Hall arrived at Bull Shoals (Marion County) in 1819 from Bedford County in central Tennessee. He and his wife settled on the White River with the two sons they already had, Absalom and David. They would later have five more children: Willoughby, Joseph, James, Margaret, and Eliza. …

Hallock, Harry M.

Harry M. Hallock served as the sole medical director of what was known at the time as Hot Springs Reservation. In 1832, the U.S. Congress set aside the reservation, which became Hot Springs National Park in 1921, to preserve the springs for public benefit. Hallock introduced controversial regulations that improved the quality of medical care in Hot Springs (Garland County), while also earning him the scorn of some local elites. Chronic illness and political opposition drove him to suicide. Henry Hallock was born on October 14, 1867, in Jersey City, New Jersey. He graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City in 1890. He married Jannette Halford; they had a son named Halford and a daughter …

Hallum, John

John Hallum was a prominent nineteenth-century Arkansas lawyer and historian. His efforts to record and illuminate the territory and state’s early history provided a highly readable introduction to the state’s heritage, while laying a solid foundation for future historians. John Hallum was born on January 16, 1833, in Sumner County, Tennessee, the oldest of eleven children of Bluford Hallum and Minerva Davis Hallum. Shortly after he was born, the family moved, and Hallum spent his early years on a farm near Memphis, Tennessee. He reportedly learned how to read from the local newspaper, the Memphis Appeal, and was a voracious reader from an early age. When the family moved back to Sumner County, he received sporadic schooling in a log …

Halter, Bill

William Amos (Bill) Halter served as Arkansas’s lieutenant governor. He had previously worked as a congressional staffer and served in the administration of President Bill Clinton. He is most known for promoting the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. Bill Halter was born on November 30, 1960, in North Little Rock (Pulaski County). His father, William Halter, was a businessman and his mother, Nancy Halter, a nurse. Raised and educated in Little Rock (Pulaski County), Halter was valedictorian of the class of 1979 at Little Rock Catholic High School. He received his undergraduate degree in economics and political science from Stanford University in 1983. He then studied in England as a Rhodes Scholar, earning an economics degree from Oxford University in 1986. Returning …

Hamblen, Samuel George

Samuel George Hamblen was the second superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation, now Hot Springs National Park. As superintendent, he was mainly noted for his design of the arching of Hot Springs Creek. The arching was instrumental in the development of modern-day Central Avenue in the city of Hot Springs (Garland County). Some of his other notable feats were the laying out of the first drives and bridle paths on the Hot Springs and North Mountains and enlarging the “Mud Hole.” Samuel Hamblen was born on February 7, 1836, the ninth of ten children born to Ichabod and Lydia Fickett Hamblen in Standish, Maine. Hamblen’s father, who moved his family from Standish in the fall of 1839, bought a farm located …

Hamby, Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus Hamby of Prescott (Nevada County) was an attorney and political figure who served as acting governor of Arkansas for four months in the summer of 1892 during Governor James P. Eagle’s illness and absence from the state. Born on September 14, 1851, in Calhoun County, Mississippi, C. C. Hamby was the son of Thomas Jefferson Hamby, a farmer who served in a Mississippi regiment of the Confederate army, and his wife, Nancy Elizabeth Byars. Because of the hardships during the Civil War, Hamby’s education was limited. He went to work as a brakeman for the Mississippi Central Railroad at the age of eighteen. In 1872, Hamby moved to Logan County, Arkansas, where he attended school and worked on …

Hamilton, George Stevens

George Stevens Hamilton is an American film, stage, and television actor widely known for his dashing good looks, jet-setting image, and trademark tan. Hamilton has extensive film and television credits spanning nearly six decades. Born on August 12, 1939, in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised in Blytheville (Mississippi County), George Hamilton is the son of touring bandleader George William “Spike” Hamilton and Southern socialite Ann Stevens of Blytheville. Hamilton’s early years were spent in Blytheville, where his mother’s parents also resided. In addition to an older brother from his mother’s previous marriage, Hamilton also had a younger brother. According to his memoir, the boys lived an idyllic life in small-town Blytheville and enjoyed a close relationship with their grandparents. In 1944, …

Hamilton, Lawrence Olivier

Lawrence Olivier Hamilton was a Broadway star who appeared in such shows as Porgy and Bess, The Wiz, and Jelly’s Last Jam. He was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame in 2005. Lawrence Hamilton was born on September 14, 1954, in Ashdown (Little River County), one of six children of Oscar Hamilton and Mae Dell Neal-Hamilton. He later lived in Foreman (Little River County). He attended Foreman Public Schools and took piano lessons from a woman who had been a friend of ragtime composer Scott Joplin. He studied music education (as well as piano and voice) at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia (Clark County), receiving a bachelor’s degree. In …

Hamm, Eddie

aka: Edward Barton Hamm
Edward Barton (Eddie) Hamm was a state- and world-class athlete in high school, college, and the Olympics. In the 1928 Olympics, he set a world record in the long jump, becoming the first Arkansan to win a gold medal. The Atlanta Journal called him “the South’s first world champion in any sport.” Eddie Hamm was born on April 13, 1906, in Lonoke (Lonoke County) to Charles Edward Hamm, a plumber and electrician, and Zilpah Dare Harris Hamm. He was the oldest of five brothers and one sister. Raised in Lonoke, he excelled in sports, especially track and field. In high school, he won the state long jump for three years straight, 1923 to 1925, setting a state record of 23’2″ …

Hammerschmidt, John Paul

In 1966, John Paul Hammerschmidt, a native of Harrison (Boone County), became the first Republican elected to Congress from Arkansas since Reconstruction. He served Arkansas’s Third District for twenty-six years in Congress. His ability to relate to and serve the home population through effective casework management is perhaps his most lasting legacy. John Paul Hammerschmidt was born on May 4, 1922, in Harrison to Arthur Paul and Junie M. Hammerschmidt. Hammerschmidt was the fourth of five children. Both sets of grandparents migrated to Boone County in the early years of the twentieth century and were of German descent. His paternal grandfather began the Hammerschmidt Lumber Co., which his father and later Hammerschmidt himself managed. Hammerschmidt’s family settled in a modest …

Hampson, James Kelly

One of the few amateur archaeologists to be honored with an obituary in American Antiquity, Dr. James Kelly Hampson amassed an important collection of artifacts and cooperated with professional archaeologists working in northeast Arkansas. James Hampson was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on July 9, 1877, to Henry Clay Hampson and Mary Sue Hanaver Hampson. He had a brother who died at an early age and two sisters. In 1879, Louis Hanauer, Hampson’s maternal grandfather, purchased Nodena Plantation, a parcel of over 3,000 acres located about twelve miles south of Osceola (Mississippi County), at a court-ordered sale. The following year, Hanauer sold the property to the firm of (Daniel Lee) Ferguson and (Henry Clay) Hampson. Hampson’s father and mother lived at …

Hampton, Dan

A defensive star for the Arkansas Razorbacks football team and for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL), Daniel Oliver Hampton earned the nickname “Danimal” for his intense style of play. Earning All-American honors in college and Pro-Bowl recognition during his professional career, Hampton is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor, and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Dan Hampton was born on September 19, 1957, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the son of Robert and Joan Hampton; he has an older brother and an older sister. In 1962, the family moved to a farm near Cabot (Lonoke County). Hampton’s father was an IBM customer engineer who chose …

Hancock, Archibald Rex, Jr.

Archibald Rex Hancock Jr. was a dentist who lived in Stuttgart (Arkansas County) and whose passion for outdoor life and the environment led him to become one of Arkansas’s most ardent supporters of conservation measures. He became known primarily for his fight to preserve the natural character of the wetlands along the Cache River in eastern Arkansas. Rex Hancock was born on July 6, 1923, in Laddonia, Missouri, the youngest of three children of Archibald Rex Hancock Sr., a dentist, and Alma Bothman Klein. He graduated from Laddonia High School in 1941. He interrupted studies at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, to serve as pharmacist’s mate in the U.S. Seventh Fleet Amphibious Division during World War II. After the war, …

Hancock, James Carl

James Carl Hancock was a twentieth-century American etcher, designer, painter, and commercial artist active in Arkansas and Louisiana. His art depicted many landscapes and historic buildings in and around Little Rock (Pulaski County). The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC holds Hancock’s engraving St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Little Rock, Arkansas, a mezzotint on paper produced around 1935. Carl Hancock was born on May 10, 1898, in Springville, Tennessee, the oldest of ten children of Ernest Maralle (Ernie) and Myrtle Blanche Nash Hancock. The family moved to Arkansas in 1901, first settling in Stuttgart (Arkansas County) and later moving to Brinkley (Monroe County), where Hancock completed school through the seventh grade. He moved to the Little Rock area in 1917 and …

Hannah, James Robert (Jim)

James Robert (Jim) Hannah was a popular jurist who, as chief justice, led the Arkansas Supreme Court through a tumultuous period early in the twenty-first century. Hannah, who was known for his dignity and soft-spoken leadership, spent more than thirty-six years as a trial court judge and Supreme Court justice. When deeply divisive political issues reached the court after his election as chief justice in 2004, however, he could not prevent a fracture among the justices. Jim Hannah was born on December 26, 1944, at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Long Beach, California, to Frank Alvin Hannah, who was an officer in the U.S. Navy, and Virginia Marie Stine Hannah. His father was stationed in California and Miami, Florida, in …

Hansen, Bill

aka: William Hansen
William (Bill) Hansen, a longtime political activist, was the first director of the Arkansas Project of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Hansen worked as a civil rights activist in Arkansas between 1962 and 1966. Under SNCC auspices, he participated in a number of protest activities including voter registration drives and sit-ins. Hansen was the second white field director to join SNCC, a predominantly black organization. Bill Hansen was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, into a working-class Catholic family. He came of age watching the burgeoning civil rights movement unfold on television. While a student at Xavier University, he co-founded the Xavier Interracial Council, which was designed to support the Southern civil rights struggle. Not content to sit on the sidelines …

Hardee, William Joseph

William Joseph Hardee, known as “Old Reliable,” was one of the finest corps commanders in the Confederate army. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he was the first Confederate general sent to Arkansas, where he organized a number of regiments. Hardee was already a well-known figure to officers in both armies because his manual on infantry tactics became required reading for a generation of officers during the Civil War. To quote Hardee’s biographer Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes, Jr., “It might be said that every officer of the war went into battle with a sword in one hand and a copy of Hardee’s manual in the other.” William Hardee was born on October 12, 1815, in Camden County, Georgia, the youngest …

Hardin, Joseph Carrol

Joseph Carrol Hardin was a civic leader and politician throughout most of the twentieth century. He is best known for running for governor against Orval Faubus in 1960. While Hardin maintained his segregationist stance during the 1960 campaign, he proclaimed, “I am not a dynamiting, riot-calling segregationist.” Joe Hardin, one of the five surviving children of Thomas J. Hardin Jr. and Bettie Hall Hardin, was born on June 1, 1898, at Grady (Lincoln County). His father died when Hardin was a boy, leaving his mother to raise the children and run the family farm. Hardin attended Grady public schools and, with the help of teacher Edith Jackman Combs, was able to graduate from the nearest high school, at Pine Bluff …

Hardin, Louis Thomas “Moondog”

aka: Louis T. Hardin
Louis Thomas “Moondog” Hardin Jr. grew up and learned to play the piano in Independence County. He later became a musician and composer admired in jazz, classical, and rock circles. He was also known for living on Manhattan streets dressed as a Viking and banging a drum. Louis Hardin was born on May 26, 1916, in Marysville, Kansas, the son of an Episcopal minister, Louis Thomas Hardin Sr., and Norma Alves, a homemaker and teacher. He had one sister and one brother. The family moved around the Midwest when he was young. Playing tom-tom at a Wyoming Arapaho dance at a young age fostered a life-long affection for Native American rhythms. As an adult, Hardin performed with the Blackfoot tribe. While …

Harding, Arthur McCracken

Arthur McCracken Harding, the first Arkansas-born president of the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), served his alma mater as a professor and in various administrative positions from 1905 to 1941, and then as president from 1941 to 1947. His teaching was marked by publication of books on mathematics and astronomy, and his administrative service developed new programs and extension of university education throughout Arkansas. As university president, he worked to quell political turmoil and helped UA face changes to the university brought by World War II. Arthur McCracken Harding was born on September 3, 1884, in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), the eldest of seven sons, to Charles Taylor Harding and Florence May Brewster Harding. (His grandfather was …

Harding, Dexter

Dexter Harding was one of the early citizens of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and owned the first sawmill in town, providing lumber for the homes and businesses from 1850 to 1860. In the 1980s, his pioneer home was converted to a tourist bureau because it was the oldest house in town. He was a brother to Chester Harding, a well-known artist who painted a picture of Daniel Webster and the only painting done from life of Daniel Boone. Dexter Harding was born on July 8, 1796, in Massachusetts. He was the sixth of fourteen children born to Abiel and Olive Smith Harding. When he was ten years old, the family moved to Madison County, New York. They grew up poor. …

Harding, Thomas, III

Thomas Harding III was a successful commercial photographer and an internationally recognized, fine art pinhole photographer. Thomas Harding was born on July 7, 1911, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Thomas Harding and Mary Rice. Both his father and grandfather were architects. Harding graduated from Little Rock Senior High School (now Central High School) in 1929 and then attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. After two years, he found that college studies in architecture did not interest him. He dutifully returned to Little Rock to work at his father’s architectural firm, Thomas Harding Architect, until his photography talents surfaced. Harding joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942 and was stationed in Italy’s Allied Headquarters during World War II. Although …

Hardison, T. W.

Thomas William Hardison is known as the founder of the Arkansas state park system, though he was also renowned in the disparate areas of medicine, archaeology, resource conservation, community service, natural and cultural history, and literature. T. W. Hardison was born in Richland (Columbia County) on April 2, 1884, to Dr. William Harvey Hardison and Caroline Peavy Hardison. Hardison entered Hendrix College in Conway (Faulkner County) in 1902 but left the next year for Memphis Hospital Medical College. After two years in medical school, he returned to Arkansas in 1905, receiving his medical license through the state medical board. Following a brief practice in Tucker (Jefferson County), Hardison secured a job as a contract physician for the Fort Smith Lumber …

Harington, Donald

Donald Douglas Harington has been described by Entertainment Weekly as “America’s greatest unknown writer.” He published more than fifteen books that brought him critical recognition but little in the way of commercial success. His novels, usually set in the fictional Ozark town of Stay More, make up an interconnected body of fiction not unlike William Faulkner’s works about Yoknapatawpha County. Critics have seen in his work the influences of other major world writers such as Gabriel García Márquez and Vladimir Nabokov. In his works, Harington combines the folklore and folk life of the Ozark region with modernist and postmodernist techniques to create works that mix sex, comedy, and violence. Donald Harington was born on December 22, 1935, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) …

Harrell, Calvin F., Jr.

Calvin Harrell is ranked among the best football players in Arkansas State University (ASU) history. He played under renowned head coach Bennie Ellender at ASU, playing in three Pecan Bowls and on the undefeated national small college championship team in 1970. He is a member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Calvin F. Harrell Jr. was born on September 7, 1949, to Calvin F. Harrell and Miriam Virginia Harrell. His father was a sheet metal worker. He had three sisters and two brothers. After graduation from Trezevant High School in Memphis, Tennessee, as a star football player, he was recruited by ASU in Jonesboro (Craighead County) to play on the Indians (later renamed Red Wolves) football team. He was …

Harrington, M. R.

aka: Mark Raymond Harrington
Mark Raymond Harrington was a pioneer in the field of archaeology in Arkansas. He researched Native Americans in Arkansas for the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation (New York). This work brought him to Arkansas between 1916 and 1923. His two books published on these investigations, Certain Caddo Sites in Arkansas (1920) and The Ozark Bluff-Dwellers (1960), have had a lasting influence on the development of archaeology in Arkansas and in the southeastern United States. M. R. Harrington was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on July 6, 1882, to Rose Martha Smith Harrington and Mark Walrod Harrington, astronomer, meteorologist, and then director of the University of Michigan’s Detroit Observatory. The family later lived in Washington DC; Seattle, Washington; and …

Harris, Carey Allen

Carey Allen Harris played vital, though scandal-plagued, roles in the history of early Arkansas banking and Indian Removal between 1837 and 1842. Carey Allen Harris was born in Williamson County, Tennessee, on September 23, 1806. His parents were Edith Perrin Harris of Virginia and Andrew Harris of Rowan, North Carolina. Much like William Woodruff, founder and editor of the Arkansas Gazette, Harris began his professional life as a printer and newspaper owner in Tennessee, when Harris and Abram P. Maury founded the Nashville Republican in 1824. (Harris went on to marry Maury’s daughter, Martha, and they had four children.) In 1826, Harris and Maury sold the paper to state printers Allan A. Hall and John Fitzgerald. In 1830, Congress passed …

Harris, Clifford Allen (Cliff)

Nicknamed “Captain Crash,” Clifford Allen Harris played as a free safety for the Dallas Cowboys. He has been inducted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Hall of Fame (1978), the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame (1985), and the Ouachita Athletics Hall of Fame (2003). He is also a member of the National Football League 1970s All-Decade Team and the Cowboys Silver Season All-Time Team. Cliff Harris, one of three children (and the older of the two sons) of O. J. “Buddy” Harris and Margaret Harris, was born on November 12, 1948, in Fayetteville (Washington County). He began playing football in the ninth grade at Southwest Junior High School in Hot Springs (Garland County) in 1962 and continued playing …

Harris, E. Lynn

aka: Everette Lynn Harris
Everette Lynn Harris was a bestselling author of novels about African-American men in gay and bisexual relationships. In his nine novels, which have sold more than three million copies, the gay characters are “on the down low,” or have not publicized their sexuality. Harris, a black man, endured years of abuse at the hands of his stepfather and for years denied his own homosexuality. E. Lynn Harris was born on June 20, 1955, in Flint, Michigan, to Etta Mae Williams and James Jeter, who were unmarried. When Harris was three, he moved with his mother to Little Rock (Pulaski County), where she worked as a housekeeper. She soon married Ben Odis Harris, who helped raise Harris until he was thirteen, …

Harris, Ernest James

Ernest James Harris was an accomplished entomologist known for his work on breeding Biosteres arisanus, a species of wasp that parasitizes fruit fly eggs. Thanks to the work done by Harris, B. arisanus has been bred on a large scale for the purposes of pest eradication. More than twenty nations have adopted use of the “Harris strain” of the wasp for fruit fly eradication. Harris was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1999. Ernest J. Harris was born on May 24, 1928. His parents had a farm in North Little Rock (Pulaski County), where Harris’s interest in insects first developed. After graduation, he attended Arkansas AM&N (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff). There, he majored …

Harris, Frank (Lynching of)

On August 18, 1871, an African-American man named Frank Harris was lynched at Wittsburg (Cross County) for allegedly murdering a twelve-year-old white girl named Isy Sanders, the daughter of Isaiah Sanders. According to the 1870 census, farmer I. Sanders was living near Wittsburg with his wife K. Sanders, their daughter S. J. (age twelve), and two sons, I. L. G. (age eleven) and M. C. (age five). That same year, a twenty-five-year-old African-American farm laborer identified as F. Harris was also living with his wife near Wittsburg, only two households away from the Sanders family. In addition, there was another African American named Frank Hare living not far away near Wittsburg with his wife M. Hare and four children between …

Harris, George (Lynching of)

On February 23, 1892, an African-American man named George Harris was lynched by a mob near Varner (Lincoln County) for allegedly murdering E. F. Parker (sometimes referred to as S. F. Parker) the previous September. According to newspaper accounts, Parker was a “peaceable and inoffensive citizen of Lincoln County.” He had previously lived in Drew County, where he married Mary McCloy of Monticello in 1882. There is no official record of a man named George Harris in either Lincoln or Drew counties, but the Arkansas Democrat noted that he had formerly lived on Steve Gaster’s plantation in Drew County. At the time of the 1880 census, there was a Steve Gaster living in Ferguson (Drew County) with his mother-in-law, Rachel …

Harris, Gilbert (Lynching of)

On August 1, 1922, a mob of as many as 500 people broke into the Hot Springs (Garland County) jail and, brandishing guns, forcibly took a man and lynched him at the triangle in front of the Como Hotel located at the intersection of Central and Ouachita avenues. In his memoirs, Roswell Rigsby (1910–2001), an eyewitness to the lynching, stated, “I believe this was the last lynching in Hot Springs, at least in public.” There are some conflicting reports as to the first name of the man lynched. There are references to his first name being Punk, Bunk, and Gilbert; however, all accounts list his last name as Harris. Accounts of the hanging appeared in newspapers as far away as …

Harris, John (Lynching of)

On February 2, 1922, an African-American man was lynched in Malvern (Hot Spring County) for allegedly harassing white women and girls. While a number of newspaper accounts, as well as a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) annual report, identify him by the name of Harry Harrison, the Arkansas Gazette identifies him as John Harris, and there is no record of a Harry Harrison ever living in the Malvern area. John Harris was living in Malvern at the time of the 1920 census; he was thirty-eight years old, married, and worked as a laborer in a lumber mill. He was a native of North Carolina and could both read and write. According to the Arkansas Gazette, he …

Harris, Oren

Oren Harris served as prosecuting attorney of Arkansas’s Thirteenth Judicial Circuit (1937–1940) and in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the Fourth Congressional District from 1941 to 1953 and, following redistricting, the Seventh Congressional District from 1953 to 1966. Harris resigned his congressional seat in February 1966 after President Lyndon Johnson appointed him U.S. district judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas. Although Harris took senior status with the court in 1976, he fulfilled his promise to work until “he couldn’t put his socks on” and carried a full docket of cases for two additional decades. Oren Harris was born on a farm in Belton (Hempstead County) on December 20, 1903, to Homer Harris and Bettie Bullock Harris, …

Harrison, Allie Cleveland

Allie Cleveland Harrison was a professor of the dramatic arts who, for more than four decades, made a mark in the development of the theater programs in the South through his work at Little Rock Junior College (now the University of Arkansas at Little Rock), the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), and Alabama’s Auburn University. Harrison was also an award-winning memoirist. Cleveland Harrison was born on August 17, 1924, in McRae (White County). The younger son of Allie Harrison and Floy Harrison, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II, at one time being stationed in Berlin, Germany. Upon his return to the United States, he earned an AA degree from Little Rock Junior College; …

Harrison, Marcus LaRue

Marcus LaRue Harrison organized the First Arkansas Cavalry Regiment (Union) and served as its colonel during the Civil War. After the war, he had a hand in a number of Reconstruction projects, including the reestablishment of Arkansas’s postal service, politics, and railroad promotion. The city of Harrison (Boone County) was named for him. M. LaRue Harrison was born on April 1, 1830, in Groton, New York, the son of Marcus Harrison, a Presbyterian minister and anti-slavery activist, and Lydia House. Because his father had to move often, Harrison’s childhood was spent in various locations in New York, Michigan, and Illinois. By 1850, he had settled in Nashville, Illinois, and married Rebecca Axley, the first of his three wives. The couple …

Harrison, William Floyd Nathaniel

William Floyd Nathaniel Harrison was an obstetrician/gynecologist, abortion provider, congressional candidate, and author. During his career, he became locally and nationally known as an outspoken pro-choice physician. Born on September 8, 1935, in Vilonia (Faulkner County), William Harrison was the fourth of Benjamin G. Harrison and Mattie E. Powell Harrison’s five children. His parents were teachers. His family attended both Methodist and Baptist churches. Educated in the public schools, he attended Arkansas State Teachers College (now the University of Central Arkansas) in Conway (Faulkner County) in the early 1950s but did not complete a degree. He served in the U.S. Navy in the late 1950s. Entering the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1959, he studied pre-medicine and graduated in 1963. …

Harrison, William Neal

aka: William Neal Harrison
Novelist William Neal Harrison established the Creative Writing Program in the Department of English at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1966. As advisor to the university literary magazine, he actively opposed censorship and defended academic freedom. However, he is probably best known for writing the screenplay to the 1975 movie Rollerball, based upon his short story. William Harrison was born on October 29, 1933, in Dallas, Texas, the son of Samuel Scott Harrison and Mary Etta (Cook) Harrison. He received a BA in 1955 from Texas Christian University and an MA in 1959 from Vanderbilt University. Harrison attended Iowa State University’s Creative Writing Program. He married Merlee Portland on February 2, 1957; the couple have …

Hart, Jesse Cleveland

Jesse Cleveland Hart was appointed associate justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1907 after the death of Justice James E. Riddick, who died of typhoid fever on October 9, 1907, while in office. Hart served as an associate justice until 1927, when he was appointed chief justice following the resignation of Chief Justice Edgar A. McCulloch. Hart served as chief justice until his death in 1933. Jesse C. Hart was born in a two-story log home near Dardanelle (Yell County) on July 25, 1864. Hart was the second of seven children of James E. Hart, who was a physician, and Sarah Stone, both pioneers of Yell County. His mother, a talented and educated woman whose own father was a …

Hartman, Alexis Karl

Alexis Karl Hartman was the first elected Reconstruction mayor of Little Rock (Pulaski County), winning the office in January 1869 for an eleven-month term and again in November 1869 for a two-year term. Reflecting the contentious politics of the Reconstruction years, he is the only Little Rock mayor who was twice suspended from office by the city council. In 1871, he lost his bid for a third term. Alexis Hartman was born on August 22, 1838, in Saxony, a province of Prussia, and studied medicine there. In the late 1850s, he immigrated to the United States, and on June 7, 1859, he married Margaret Althus in St. Clair County, Illinois. The couple settled in O’Fallon, a town near St. Louis, …

Hartz, Jacob, Sr.

Jacob Hartz Sr. was a pioneer in the soybean industry. His vision of the use of the soybean plant as a rotation crop in the nitrogen-depleted cotton and rice fields of Arkansas County led to the growth of a soybean industry that today is a $500 million cash crop in Arkansas, where 3.2 million acres are grown annually. Jacob Hartz was born to German immigrants George and Susanna Hartz in Racine, Wisconsin, on April 4, 1888. He was the third of eight children. After completing six years of formal education, his first work experience was as a clerk in a general store. In 1909, he married Mary Isabelle Smith, with whom he had eight children, and became an Arkansas sales …

Harvey, “Coin”

aka: William Hope Harvey
William Hope “Coin” Harvey founded both the resort of Monte Ne (Benton County) and the Ozark Trails Association, establishing him as a pioneer in the promotion of Arkansas tourism. Harvey was also the 1932 Liberty Party nominee for the president of the United States. Coin Harvey was born on August 16, 1851, on a farm near Buffalo, Virginia (now West Virginia), to Robert Trigg and Anna Hope Harvey. He attended the country schools and Buffalo Academy in 1865–67, and then briefly taught school. While teaching, he studied law and briefly attended Marshall College in Cabell County, West Virginia, in 1867. In 1870, he was admitted to the bar. Harvey began his law career in West Virginia but soon moved on …