Entries - Gender: Male - Starting with F

Fordyce, Samuel Wesley

Samuel Wesley Fordyce was a businessman who spearheaded efforts to build thousands of miles of railway in the South and Southwest during the late nineteenth century, including the Cotton Belt route that crossed Arkansas. He also was a major force behind the transformation of Hot Springs (Garland County) from a small village to major health resort. The town of Fordyce (Dallas County) is named for him, as is the Fordyce Bath House in Hot Springs. Samuel Fordyce was born on February 7, 1840, in Senecaville, Ohio, the son of John Fordyce and Mary Ann Houseman Fordyce. As a boy, he never liked school, but he attended Madison College in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and North Illinois University in Henry, Illinois, before becoming …

Foster, Thomas P. (Murder of)

In 1942, during World War II, a Little Rock (Pulaski County) police officer shot and killed Sergeant Thomas P. Foster. Foster, an African American from North Carolina, had been inducted into the army in May 1941. He was shot while trying to investigate the police beating of a soldier in his company. On March 22, 1942, a group of African-American soldiers from Company D of the Ninety-second Engineers stationed at Camp Joseph T. Robinson went to Little Rock’s African-American business and recreational district at Gaines and West 9th Street in search of off-post entertainment. One black soldier, Private Albert Glover, was arrested by white military police officers for public drunkenness. Little Rock police officers Abner J. Hay and George Henson …

Foster, Vincent Walker (Vince), Jr.

Vincent Walker Foster Jr. was a prominent Little Rock (Pulaski County) lawyer and close friend and associate of Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Although he had a distinguished legal career in Arkansas, he became a historically important figure for the last six months of his life, when he was deputy counsel for the White House in the administration of President Clinton. Despondent over the political turmoil in which he became involved, Foster committed suicide in a suburban Virginia park, triggering a series of investigations that became part of what was popularly called the “Whitewater scandal.” Vince Foster was born on January 15, 1945, to Vincent W. and Alice Mae Foster in Hope (Hempstead County), where his father …

Foster, William Franklin (Bill)

William Franklin (Bill) Foster was a longtime and influential member of the Arkansas House of Representatives. Serving in the state legislature for over three decades beginning in the early 1960s, he was particularly well known for his work on behalf of senior citizens. Bill Foster was born on August 2, 1916, in Lonoke County. He was the oldest of three children born to Joseph R. Foster and Josephine Margaret Crutchfield Foster. Foster grew up in Lonoke County, graduating from Lonoke High School in 1934. In the midst of the Great Depression, he worked for the Arkansas Department of Transportation as a statistician for eight years. In 1943, with World War II raging, he joined the U.S. Army Air Force. Discharged in …

Foucault, Nicolas

Nicolas Foucault was the first Christian missionary to serve among the Quapaw Indians of Arkansas. Nicolas Foucault was born around 1664 in Paris, France. As a young adult, he joined the Seminary of Foreign Missions in Paris but soon left to pursue his ministry in Quebec via La Rochelle, France, on board the Soleil d’Afrique. On June 3, 1688, Foucault arrived in Québec and immediately began to serve as a secretary to Bishop Jean-Baptiste de Saint-Vallier while also continuing his seminary studies. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 3, 1689, and was immediately appointed to serve as curate first, in Contrecoeur, then in the hamlet of Batiscan on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. Here, Foucault presided …

Fourth Arkansas Cavalry (US)

The Fourth Arkansas Cavalry was a regiment formed by white Arkansans who supported the Federal government during the Civil War. The Fourth Arkansas Cavalry began organizing in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in November 1863. William Fishback led the effort to recruit part of the regiment. Organized in two battalions of six companies each, the first company was mustered into service in December. LaFayette Gregg was commissioned as the colonel of the regiment and commanded it for its entire existence. The first battalion was originally enlisted as a one-year regiment, but this designation was rejected by the War Department. The battalion was disbanded, and recruitment continued as a three-year unit. The first eight companies of the regiment were organized by May …

Fourth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Fourth Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a unit of the Confederate army that served in the Western Theater during the Civil War. The unit was organized in Lawrence County, Missouri, on August 17, 1861, from companies that marched from Arkansas to join the army organizing in southwestern Missouri. Known as the Southwestern Arkansas Regiment, the unit consisted of companies from Calhoun, Hempstead, Montgomery, Lafayette, Pike, and Polk counties. Evander McNair of Washington (Hempstead County) was selected to lead the new regiment. The regiment organized with only eight companies, but two more joined the unit in November 1861 to bring the unit to full strength. Measles and other illnesses soon struck the unit, and a number of men died or were …

Fowler, Absalom

Absalom Fowler was a prominent attorney and government official in early Arkansas. He was a leading figure in the transition of the area from territory to state, while also playing a major role in the development of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Absalom Fowler’s early life is enshrouded in legend. The most reliable reports indicate that he was born in 1806 in Madison County, Kentucky, to Thomas and Alethia Fowler. Almost nothing is known about his early life, but it appears that he arrived in the Arkansas Territory by the mid-1820s with little more than the clothes on his back. Parts of his legend say that the penniless Fowler actually walked from Memphis, Tennessee, to Little Rock with all his possessions …

Fox, Joseph (Joe)

Joseph (Joe) Fox was one of twelve African-American men accused of murder following the Elaine Massacre of 1919. After brief trials, the so-called Elaine Twelve—six who became known as the Moore defendants and six (including Fox) who became known as the Ware defendants—were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. Ultimately, the Ware defendants were freed by the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1923; after numerous legal efforts, the Moore defendants were released in 1925. Joe Fox was born on October 8, 1897, in Louisiana to Sides Fox and Annie Fox. By the 1910 census, the twelve-year-old lived with his parents as an only child in East Carroll, Louisiana. He worked with his parents on the farm as a sharecropper. …

Fox, Warren (Lynching of)

On July 9, 1915, an African-American man named Warren Fox was lynched in Crittenden County for allegedly murdering a white man named John Millett. There is almost no information available on the principals in this incident. The Arkansas Gazette identified Millett as a “Frenchman and gardener” who worked for G. W. Sims on his plantation at the Crittenden county community of Kanema. Although the Gazette noted that Millett had previously been in Caruthersville, Missouri, and Johnson City, Illinois, he is not listed in census records for Arkansas, Missouri, or Illinois. Similarly, there is no record of an appropriate Warren Fox in Arkansas census records. George W. Sims, however, is well known. He owned extensive property in Crittenden County and worked …

Franklin, Monroe (Lynching of)

On August 19, 1912, an African-American man named Monroe Franklin was hanged in Russellville (Pope County) for an alleged attack on an unidentified white woman. Officials believed that a second black man, Pet (sometimes referred to as Pete or Pit) Grey, was also involved. Although the Arkansas Democrat described the lynching as the first in Pope County, research indicates that it was at least the third. John Hogan was lynched there in 1875, followed by Presley Oats in 1897. There is some possible information available on Franklin and Grey. Newspapers reported that Franklin had recently come into the area from Oklahoma. In 1910, there was a twenty-nine-year-old African American named M. F. Franklin living in Bearden Township, Okfuskee County, Oklahoma, …

Franks, William Joseph

William Joseph Franks was a U.S. Navy seaman who received a Medal of Honor for his actions while serving as an artilleryman in a Civil War battle at Yazoo City, Mississippi, in 1864. He is buried in Maple Hill (Independence County). Little is known about William Joseph Franks’s early life, except that he was born in 1830 in Pittsboro, Chatham County, North Carolina. The 1850 federal census appears to include a reference to him as living in Chatham County’s Lower Regiment with a fifty-year-old woman named Rebuah Frankes and a seven-year-old girl named Emilin Frankes, though it lists William as a fifteen-year-old laborer rather than a twenty-year-old. Regardless, he was in DeValls Bluff (Prairie County) in 1863 and enlisted in …

Frauenthal, Max

Max Frauenthal, a German immigrant noted for bravery in the Civil War, established an important mercantile business in Conway (Faulkner County). He was later known as the “Father of Heber Springs and Cleburne County.” Max Frauenthal was born on November 11, 1836, in Marienthal, Bavaria, Germany. No definite records of his parents’ or any siblings’ names are available. According to family history, his grandfather was called simply Meyer until the early nineteenth century, when the enactment of the Napoleonic Code required European Jews to take surnames; Meyer took Frauenthal, the name of a town south of Vienna, Austria. Max Frauenthal was fifteen when he came to the United States, eventually settling in Brookhaven, Mississippi. At Summit, Mississippi, he enlisted in …

Frauenthal, Samuel

Samuel Frauenthal was a prominent lawyer and judge in Arkansas in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. With his appointment in 1909, he became the first person of the Jewish faith to serve on the Arkansas Supreme Court. Samuel Frauenthal was born on August 8, 1862, in Louisville, Kentucky. He was one of seven children of Jacob and Yetta Frauenthal, both of whom had been born in Bavaria, Germany. The family moved to Russellville, Kentucky, and Frauenthal received his early education in the Russellville schools. He then attended the local Bethel College, from which he received a BA in 1880. Following his graduation from Bethel, he pursued the study of law, although there are conflicting reports about whether he …

Frazier, George Thomas

George Frazier was a well-known business, civic, and political leader in Hope (Hempstead County) for six and a half decades. He served as a close friend and advisor to prominent Arkansas Democrats, most notably two Hope natives: Bill Clinton and Mack McLarty. Frazier was also a key figure in the effort to preserve Clinton’s boyhood home in Hope as a National Historic Site. George Thomas Frazier was born on October 29, 1918, in Anderson, Kentucky, to Leonard Leigh, a machinist, and Faye Thomas, a secretary. Leigh left his family when George was two, and his mother married John Joseph Frazier, a construction worker from St. Louis, Missouri, in 1923. John Frazier adopted George, and the family lived in St. Louis …

Frederick, Bart (Lynchings Related to the Murder of)

On January 7, 1898, in Little Bay (Calhoun County), African-American men Charley Wheelright (or Wheelwright) and A. A. Martin were lynched for the alleged murder of Bart Frederick, a white man. Jim Cone, another suspect in the case, was probably lynched around the same time. Six months later, Goode Gray (a.k.a. Tobe Gray) was lynched at Rison (Cleveland County) for the same crime. According to the Arkansas Gazette, Bart Frederick was murdered in the first week of January while he was operating a handcart on the Cotton Belt Railroad near Kingsland (Cleveland County), where he was a waterman (a worker who supplied water to the railroad tanks). A letter written by Dr. William Buerhive to Bart Frederick’s brother in Michigan, …

Freeman, George Washington

George Washington Freeman was an Episcopal clergyman who served from 1844 to 1858 as the second missionary bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas. He was the first bishop to reside in the state. His jurisdiction also included Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) and the Episcopal missions in the Republic of Texas. George Freeman was born on June 13, 1789, in Sandwich, Massachusetts, to a strict Congregationalist pastor, the Reverend Nathaniel Freeman, and his first wife, Tryphosa Colton. He was the youngest of their twelve children. His father claimed that Freeman completed reading the entire Bible between the ages of six and seven. Freeman married Ann Yates Gholson of Virginia in 1818, and they had three sons. He was acquainted early …

Freund, Harry Louis

Harry Louis Freund was a muralist who became famous for his depictions of life in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas during the 1930s. His artwork is identified with the American scene painters and muralists, such as John Stuart Curry, Grant Wood, and Thomas Hart Benton. He was instrumental in establishing art departments at two Arkansas institutions, Hendrix College and Little Rock Junior College (now University of Arkansas at Little Rock), as well as Stetson University in De Land, Florida. He and his wife, Elsie Bates Freund, founded the Summer Art School in Eureka Springs (Carroll County) and helped shape that resort town as a year-round community for artists and writers. Louis Freund was born on September 16, 1905, in Clinton, …

Frizzell, “Lefty”

aka: William Orville Frizzell
William Orville “Lefty” Frizzell was virtually the prototype of what became known as honky-tonk singers—plainspoken vocalists whose regional roots were immaterial because they sounded as friendly as a storytelling neighbor. Willie Nelson remarked that “without Lefty Frizzell, a lot of us singers wouldn’t have a style.” Lefty Frizzell was born on March 31, 1928, in Corsicana, Texas, but he soon moved from one small town to another in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas as the son of an oilfield worker. Country singer David Frizzell is his younger brother. He debuted as a singer on radio station KELD in El Dorado (Union County) when he was twelve, and he acquired his nickname in a schoolyard brawl. He is widely regarded as one …

Frolich, Jacob

Jacob Frolich was a German immigrant and a Confederate soldier who became an active and high-profile figure in post–Civil War Arkansas politics. An alleged leader of the Ku Klux Klan in Arkansas, he was accused of murder in a case that highlighted the political divisions in the state at that time. Ultimately acquitted of the charges, he went on to be elected to three terms as Arkansas’s secretary of state. Jacob Frolich was born in Obernforf, Bavaria, Germany, on November 15, 1837, to John Frolich and Marie Elizabeth Herrman Frolich. When Frolich was nine, the family came to the United States. They lived initially in New Orleans, Louisiana, but ultimately settled in Indiana. At the age of fourteen, Frolich began …

Froug, William (Bill)

Emmy Award–winning Bill Froug was a writer, producer, author, educator, and television executive whose career in radio and television had a significant impact upon the entertainment industry. Film critic Roger Ebert once said of Froug, “He is not merely as sharp as a tack; he is the standard by which they sharpen tacks.” William (Bill) Froug was born in Brooklyn, New York, on May 26, 1922. He was raised by adoptive parents Rita and Bill Froug in Little Rock (Pulaski County), residing first in Hillcrest and later in the Quapaw Quarter. Froug attended Rightsell Elementary School, East Side Jr. High, and Little Rock Senior High School (now Central High). Summer breaks were often filled with Arkansas Travelers baseball games and …

Fulbright, Bill

aka: James William Fulbright
aka: J. William Fulbright
James William Fulbright was and remains among the best-known Arkansans. As a Democratic U.S. senator, he was a force for change. Like his Oxford tutor, R.B. McCallum, Bill Fulbright believed that a “Parliament of Man” was possible, that educated, enlightened human beings were able to recognize that their individual interests and were inextricably bound up with the well being of the community. The crux of that education was knowledge about and appreciation of other cultures. Tolerance, peaceful coexistence, respect for human rights, and collective security are Fulbright’s bequests to the nation and the world. Fulbright was born on April 9, 1905, in Summer, Missouri, to Jay and Roberta Fulbright. In 1906, the family moved to Fayetteville (Washington County), where his …

Fulkerson, Floyd Hurt, Jr.

Floyd Hurt Fulkerson Jr. is a highly honored veteran who served with the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II. The grandson of an Arkansas Civil War commander, he became a businessman and real estate developer in central Arkansas. Floyd Hurt Fulkerson was born on April 6, 1921, in Little Rock (Pulaski County), one of three children of Floyd and Georgia Fulkerson. Fulkerson’s maternal grandfather was Colonel George F. Baucum, commanding officer of the Confederate Eighth Arkansas Regiment during the Civil War. His elder brother, George Baucum Fulkerson, was a Rhodes Scholar from Sewanee University who served as a member of the Nuremberg Military Tribunal and prosecuted Nazi officers for war crimes. Fulkerson attended Little Rock High School, Sewanee …

Fulks, Clay

Clay Fulks was a notable figure in Arkansas’s limited history of radical leftism. He was a repeat candidate for governor on the Arkansas Socialist Party ticket and published articles in such nationally important periodicals as the American Mercury. Clay Fulks was born on January 28, 1880, in Pearson (Cleburne County) to Whitman Whifield Fulks and Martha Ellen Thompson Fulks. He had five brothers and four sisters. He graduated from Heber Springs High School in 1903. From 1909 to 1915, he wrote articles for newspapers in White County, where he also served as a public school teacher, and, in 1916, edited a column titled “Department of Economics” in the Searcy Daily News; he also contributed to the Milwaukee Leader from 1920 …

Fuller, Bennie

Bennie Fuller is the all-time leading scorer in Arkansas boys’ high school basketball history and ranks fourth on the national scoring list (as of 2015). Fuller scored 4,896 points at the Arkansas School for the Deaf in Little Rock (Pulaski County) from 1968 to 1971. In 1971, Fuller scored 102 points in a game against Leola (Grant County). Fuller is third nationally on the per-game scoring average list (50.9 points per game during the 1970–71 season). Bennie Fuller was born on March 13, 1951, the son of Tammy Fuller, who worked at the Pine Bluff Arsenal, and Birdie Missouri Fuller. Fuller grew up near Hensley (Pulaski County), where he learned to shoot a basketball into a hoop made from a …

Fuller, Claude Albert

Claude Albert Fuller was a noteworthy lawyer, city clerk, state legislator, prosecuting attorney, mayor, and congressman. As mayor, he made many improvements to his city, and as a Democratic congressman, he was a force for improving the lives of those he represented. Among other accomplishments, he was involved with the Social Security Bill and the lakes of northwest Arkansas. Claude Fuller was born on January 20, 1876, in Springhill, Whiteside County, Illinois, to Wilmont P. and Maria (Ocobock) Fuller. He had a brother and a sister, Harvey and Maude. Fuller’s father, of English ancestry, was a farmer, carpenter, and small contractor. His Pennsylvania Dutch mother was a devout Baptist and insisted the entire family accompany her to Sunday school and …

Fulton, William Savin

William Savin Fulton was appointed Arkansas’s last territorial governor by President Andrew Jackson in 1835 and served as Arkansas’s first junior senator after statehood in 1836 until his death on August 15, 1844. He is most often associated with the Democratic Party, and when serving as governor, he surrounded himself with controversy by opposing immediate statehood for Arkansas. William Fulton was born in Cecil County, Maryland, on June 2, 1795. His parents were Irish-born David and Maryland native Elizabeth Fulton. Owing to his mother’s wealth, Fulton was provided with a formal education under Reverend Samuel Knox in 1803, and he attended Baltimore College in 1813 before practicing law in 1817. Between his education and law career, Fulton served as a …

Funk, Erwin Charles

As the editor of the Rogers Democrat, Erwin Charles Funk introduced modern equipment and up-to-date business practices to that newspaper. As an active participant in state and national editorial associations, Funk spread awareness of the benefits of such innovations to other small-town newspapermen. Then, through his writings, he documented the changes in the newspaper business during his more than three decades as an editor. Funk also was a force behind many progressive civic improvements in Rogers (Benton County) through both his editorial voice and his volunteer work. Erwin Funk was born on January 5, 1877, in Deep River, Iowa, to Emanuel and Addie Funk; his parents also had three daughters. He grew up in western Iowa and graduated from Carroll …

Furbush, William Hines

William Hines Furbush was an African-American member of the Arkansas General Assembly and the first sheriff of Lee County. His political career began in the Republican Party at the close of Reconstruction and ended in the Democratic Party just as the political disfranchisement of African Americans in the post-Reconstruction era began. William Furbush was born in Carroll County, Kentucky, in 1839 and was often described as a “mulatto.” Nothing is known of his parentage or childhood, but judging from his literacy and scripted handwriting, he received an early and formal education. Around 1860, Furbush is known to have operated a photography studio in Delaware, Ohio. In March 1862, he traveled to Union-controlled Helena (Phillips County) on the Kate Adams, where …

Fussell, Robert Foreman (Bobby)

Robert Foreman (Bobby) Fussell had a long career as a lawyer championing the legal rights of disabled veterans and the deaf, prosecuting prominent state political figures, and presiding over federal bankruptcy courts. He was a U.S. bankruptcy judge for twenty years, most of them as the chief bankruptcy judge of the Arkansas courts. Bobby Fussell was born on January 1, 1938, at Forrest City (St. Francis County), one of three sons of James V. Fussell Jr. and Dorothy Hall Fussell. His father ran a cotton gin and a service station. Fussell got a degree in business in 1959 and a law degree in 1965 from the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). He then became a U.S. Army …

Futrall, John Clinton

John Clinton Futrall was an influential figure in Arkansas higher education. Serving as president of the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) for more than two and a half decades in the early part of the twentieth century, he oversaw the transformation of the state’s higher-education system. John C. Futrall was born on March 9, 1873, in Jackson, Tennessee, to Thomas Andrew Futrall and Emma Headen Futrall. One of seven children, Futrall received his early education in the public schools of Marianna (Lee County), where his father had served as superintendent of schools. In 1888, he graduated from the Marianna Male and Female Institute and then began attending the University of Arkansas. In 1890, Futrall and four other …

Futrell, Junius Marion

aka: J. Marion Futrell
Junius Marion Futrell, the thirtieth governor and a circuit and chancery judge, had the misfortune to be governor during the Great Depression. Hamstrung by the state’s financial predicament and by his philosophy of limited government, Futrell has not ranked high in the estimation of historians. Born on August 14, 1870, to Jepthra Futrell and Arminia Levonica Eubanks Futrell in the Jones Ridge community (Greene County), J. Marion Futrell was the second of three children. His father, a Confederate veteran, had migrated from Kentucky in 1843; his mother was a Georgia native. After minimal public schooling, J. Marion Futrell (apparently, he preferred to drop the Junius, and one public record even rendered the “J” as James) received an appointment to attend …