Entries - Gender: Male - Starting with H

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 …

Harvey, Robert Drennen (Bob)

Robert Drennen (Bob) Harvey was a farmer and lawyer in Jackson County who spent thirty-two years in the Arkansas General Assembly after World War II, most notably fighting relentlessly for a lean state government. He announced to his colleagues in 1978 that he was not going to run for the Arkansas Senate again because he had finally recognized the loneliness and futility of trying to maintain frugal government in Arkansas. Harvey, a soft-spoken bachelor, was an icon in Jackson County, his forebears having arrived there in 1849. Bob Harvey was born on May 22, 1914. His father and mother, William Richard Harvey and Lula Belle Shaver Harvey of nearby Strawberry (Lawrence County), were farmers near the town of Swifton (Jackson …

Hatfield, Lester Gene

Lester Gene Hatfield was an artist and teacher closely associated with the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) and Conway (Faulkner County). He made paintings in watercolor, oil, acrylic, and sculpture. His best-known work was the transformation of the yard of his Conway home into an art environment, the result of more than forty years of working with junk and recycled objects. His sculpture combined aesthetic values from art movements such as surrealism with qualities of folk art, while his paintings and watercolors were done in the tradition of late-nineteenth-century artists such as Paul Cézanne. His long tenure as an art teacher at UCA was an important contribution to Arkansas’s art culture. Gene Hatfield was born on November 23, 1925, in …

Hathaway, Isaac Scott

Isaac Hathaway was an educator and artist most known for creating more than 100 busts and masks of prominent African Americans. Hathaway taught at what is now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) for more than twenty years as the first chair of the department of ceramics in the college’s art department. Isaac Scott Hathaway was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on April 4, 1872, to Elijah and Rachel Hathaway. He and his two sisters were raised by their father and grandparents, as their mother died in 1874. Hathaway attended Chandler Junior College and the New England Conservatory of Music’s art department, pursuing his childhood dream of sculpting busts of “famous Negroes.” Hathaway spent two years at the Conservatory …

Hathcock, Carlos Norman “Gunny,” II

Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Norman Hathcock II is believed to have attained the highest number of recorded kills in the history of the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Known to his fellow soldiers as “Gunny,” Hathcock had ninety-three confirmed kills as a sniper during the Vietnam War. Others have had more confirmed kills, but his actual total is estimated to be more than 300. He was also instrumental in establishing the Marine Corps Scout/Sniper School at Quantico, Virginia, and helped plan its syllabus. Carlos Hathcock was born on May 20, 1942, in North Little Rock (Pulaski County), the only child of Carlos and Agnes Hathcock. He was fond of firearms from an early age, playing with a non-operating war relic Mauser …

Havis, Ferd

aka: Ferdinand Havis
Ferdinand Havis was born a slave but became an alderman, state representative, assessor, and county clerk, and was called the “Colored Millionaire” of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Ferd Havis was born in Desha County on November 15, 1846, the son of John Havis, a white farmer, and a slave mother. In 1859, Havis’s father moved his operations to Jefferson County. Havis received a little common school education and learned the barbering trade. Later, he owned a profitable barbershop on West Court Street in Pine Bluff. The shop later moved to Barraque Street. Havis married three times. His first wife, Dilsa, died childless in 1870. His second wife, Geneva, died on August 4, 1886; they had one child, Ferda. He married …

Hawkins, Dale

aka: Delmar Allen Hawkins
Delmar Allen (Dale) Hawkins Jr., a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, specialized in creating a sound (called “Swamp Rock” by some) that helped shape rock and roll music. Hawkins was successful in many roles in the music industry: singer, songwriter, recording artist, producer, arranger, band leader, musician, TV host, disc jockey, and promoter. Billboard magazine lists Hawkins’s Suzie Q album in its Top 100 most valuable albums in the development of rock and roll. His first cousin, Ronnie Hawkins, rose to fame with the musical group the Band. Different sources have reported different birth dates for Hawkins (given the practice in the 1950s for promoters to alter birth dates to make their clients more appealing to a younger …

Hawkins, Edwin Luther, Sr.

Edwin Luther Hawkins Sr. was an African-American educator in Little Rock (Pulaski County) who served as principal of Dunbar High School, where he was involved with the students who desegregated Little Rock Central High School. A few years after the Central High Desegregation Crisis, Hawkins became the first Black principal of Central High. Born on December 2, 1914, to Joseph B. Hawkins and Gertrude Hawkins, Edwin L. Hawkins grew up in Denton, Texas. He received a BA in education from Texas College in Tyler in 1938. A few years later, he received an MA in chemistry from Indiana University in Bloomington. In addition, he completed some graduate work at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). He married …

Hawkins, Marlin Conover

Marlin Conover Hawkins served Conway County as an elected official for thirty-eight years. His ability to deliver votes to statewide and national candidates gave Hawkins a profile in state politics that was rare for a county official. His political machine is an important part of Arkansas’s political lore, and the effects of his political contacts are still evident in Conway County. Marlin Hawkins was born on April 22, 1913, near Center Ridge (Conway County) to John Carl and Nettie Mae Hawkins. John Carl Hawkins, a sharecropper and part-time barber, died in 1929. As the second of seven children, part of the burden of supporting the family fell on Hawkins. He worked as a sharecropper and part-time janitor until Olen Fullerton, …

Hawkins, Ronnie

aka: Ronald Cornett Hawkins
Ronald Cornett (Ronnie) Hawkins, a rock and roll singer and bandleader, is known primarily for starting the group the Hawks, which later became the Band. Ronnie Hawkins was born on January 10, 1935, in Huntsville (Madison County). His father, Jasper Hawkins, was a barber, and his mother, Flora Cornett Hawkins, was a schoolteacher. In 1945, the family, which included Hawkins’s older sister Winifred, moved to Fayetteville (Washington County). Hawkins was educated in the city’s public schools, graduating from Fayetteville High School in 1952. During his high school and college years, Hawkins formed his first bands, which played such Fayetteville venues as the Tee Table, the Bubble Club, and the Shamrock Club. A physical education major at the University of Arkansas …

Hawthorn, Alexander Travis

aka: Alexander T. Hawthorne
Alexander Travis Hawthorn was a lawyer and Baptist minister who is best known for serving as a brigadier general in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Serving in the Western and Trans-Mississippi theaters, Hawthorn led units at both the Battle of Helena and at the Engagement at Jenkins’ Ferry. Born on January 10, 1825, in Conecuh County, Alabama, Alexander Hawthorn was the son of the Reverend Kedar Hawthorn and Martha Baggett Hawthorn. Growing up in Wilcox County, he attended school at Evergreen Academy and Mercer University. Moving to Connecticut in 1846, he attended Yale Law School for the next two years. With the outbreak of war with Mexico, Hawthorn returned to Alabama, where he joined a unit of troops preparing …

Hawthorne’s Arkansas Infantry (CS)

Hawthorne’s Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the American Civil War. Most of the companies raised were in response to the 1862 Confederate Conscript Law, so the unit consisted of both volunteers and conscripts. The original commander was Colonel A. W. Johnson, who resigned in November 1862 and was replaced by Colonel Alexander T. Hawthorne. The regiment was enrolled on June 17, 1862, at Trenton (Phillips County) and designated the Thirty-ninth Regiment Arkansas Infantry by the Confederate War Department. It was also referred to as the Sixth Trans-Mississippi Infantry Regiment by department numeration or the Sixth Arkansas Infantry due to its association with Colonel Alexander T. Hawthorne, who previously commanded the Sixth …

Hayden, Bud (Lynching of)

On June 3, 1898, Bud Hayden was lynched in Texarkana (Miller County) for allegedly assaulting twelve-year-old Jessie Scott, the daughter of the late James V. Scott, former circuit clerk. Although Hayden claimed to be twelve years old at the time, the authorities estimated his age to be at least eighteen. The Arkansas Gazette’s reports of the lynching were carried in newspapers across the country, including the Atlanta Constitution, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Herald. At the time of the 1880 census, J. V. Scott was living in Cut Off Township in Miller County. He was a twenty-four-year-old farmer living with his wife, Talitha, who was twenty. There was only one African-American family named Hayden in the county. …

Hayes, Morris Kevin

Arkansas native Morris Hayes is a talented musician, producer, and band leader. As a keyboardist, Hayes has worked with superstars such as Prince, George Clinton, Elton John, Whitney Houston, and Stevie Wonder. He was one of the 2013 inductees into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. Morris Kevin Hayes was born on November 28, 1962, in the small town of Jefferson (Jefferson County), just outside Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). He was inspired by the religious music he heard in church as a child. He majored in art at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). When a rhythm and blues (R&B) band on campus lost its keyboard player, Hayes—who had learned to play a bit in high school—offered to …

Haynes, George Edmund

George Edmund Haynes, the first African American to earn a PhD from Columbia University, was a pioneering sociologist, a social worker, a policy expert, and cofounder of the National Urban League. George Haynes was born in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) on May 11, 1880, to Louis and Mattie Haynes. His father was a laborer and his mother a domestic worker. He graduated from the Richard Allen Institute and, in 1903, earned a BA in sociology at Fisk University. He earned an MA in the same field at Yale University a year later and continued his studies at the University of Chicago, the New York School of Philanthropy, and Columbia University. Meanwhile, he was employed by the Colored Men’s Department of the …

Hays, George Washington

George Washington Hays was a key figure in deciding issues on prohibition and women’s rights. He served as governor during an era of significant interest in progressive reforms, but he did not unreservedly align himself with the reformers. George Hays was born at Camden (Ouachita County) on September 23, 1863, to Thomas Hays, a farmer, and Parthenia Jane Ross. Hays himself farmed until he was twenty-five years old, worked as a store clerk for six years, and taught school for three months. After receiving a legal education at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and studying with the firm of Gaughan and Sifford in Camden, Hays began his own law practice in his hometown in 1897. On February 20, …

Hays, Lawrence Brooks

Lawrence Brooks Hays was a twentieth-century political, civic, and religious leader in Arkansas. He was one of the most influential members of the state’s congressional delegation after World War II and one of the few laymen to serve as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention. While he often referred to himself as a politician, his wife thought the label that best described him was “Arkansas social worker.” Brooks Hays was born on August 9, 1898, in London (Pope County) at the base of the Ozark Plateau. His father, Steele Hays, was a schoolteacher who later became a prominent lawyer, and his mother, Sallie Butler Hays, was also a schoolteacher. Brooks grew up in Russellville, the seat of Pope County, …

Hays, Lee Elhardt

Lee Elhardt Hays was a singer best known as the big man who sang bass with the folk-music group the Weavers. According to historian Studs Terkel, the Weavers were responsible for “entering folk music into the mainstream of American life.” Among the songs he is most known for are: “If I Had a Hammer,” “Roll the Union On,” “Raggedy, Raggedy, Are We,” “The Rankin Tree,” “On Top of Old Smoky,” “Kisses Sweeter than Wine,” and “Goodnight Irene.” Lee Hays was born on March 14, 1914, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to a strict Methodist preacher, William Benjamin Hays, and Ellen Reinhardt Hays. Hays’s father was serving as editor of the Arkansas Methodist at this time but later went back to the …

Hays, Marion Steele

Steele Hays was a lawyer—and son of one of Arkansas’s most enduring and successful politicians—who spent the last fourteen years of his long legal career as a justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. His father, Brooks Hays, a Democratic congressman from Arkansas, was renowned in the post–World War II years for his moderation in the struggle over racial segregation in the South. Steele Hays was more avowedly liberal on race and other issues, dissenting alone from upholding the death sentence on every such case that came before the Supreme Court. Marion Steele Hays was born on March 25, 1925, in Little Rock (Pulaski County), one of two children of Brooks Hays and Marion Prather Hays. He was named after his mother …

Hays, Skip

aka: Donald Slaven Hays
Arkansas author Donald Slaven “Skip” Hays has published novels and short stories as well as edited an anthology of Southern short stories. He served as director of the Programs in Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) from 1998 to 2013. Hays is most noted for his novel The Dixie Association, written in 1984 and reprinted as part of the Louisiana State University Press’s series Voices of the South (1997). Skip Hays was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on June 14, 1947. His father, Donald E. Hays, a chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II, returned to Arkansas with his family to farm and work in a furniture factory. His mother, Mary Slaven …

Hearn, May (Lynching of)

May Hearn, a young white man in his twenties and the son of a farmer in Luxora (Mississippi County), was lynched in Osceola (Mississippi County) on April 6, 1901, for shooting and killing Clyde King “at a place of bad repute” on the night of March 31, 1901. The Arkansas Democrat noted that Hearn was the son of J. R. Hearn, “one of the most respected farmers living in the neighborhood of Luxora” and a longtime magistrate of the town. May Hearn, however, played the role of the wayward son; as the Osceola Times wrote: “When sober, May Hearn is said to be quiet and peaceable, but when under the influence of Luxora whiskey, all the treachery and blood-thirstiness of …

Heartsill, Willie Blount Wright (W. B. W.)

During the 1880s and 1890s, Willie Blount Wright Heartsill (whose first name was pronounced “Wylie” and who was better known as W. B. W. Heartsill) played an active role in the farmer and labor movements in Arkansas. By the early 1890s, he had assumed a position of leadership in both movements, becoming the head of the Knights of Labor in the state and running for Congress as a Populist candidate in 1892. He later served in the Arkansas General Assembly. W. B. W. Heartsill was born in Louisville, Tennessee, on September 14, 1840, to Hiram Heartsill and Amanda Wright Heartsill. He married three times and was the father of seven children. During the Civil War, Heartsill was in the Confederate …

Heckaton

Heckaton was the hereditary chief of the Quapaw during their long and painful removal from their homelands in Arkansas during the 1830s. At the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, fewer than 600 Quapaw remained of the thousands who had lived in the region in the late seventeenth century. Most of these lived in three traditional villages near Arkansas Post (Arkansas County). Each village had its own leader, and one leader was overall tribal chief by family inheritance. A few Quapaw lived in homesteads along the Arkansas River as far north as the site of Little Rock (Pulaski County). For a decade, there were no official relations between the Quapaw and the American government. After the War of 1812, …

Heerwagen, Paul Martin

Paul Martin Heerwagen was an interior decorator who worked out of his Arkansas studios from 1891 to 1931. His work includes hotels, office and government buildings, churches, Masonic temples, and theaters throughout the South and Southwest. Some of his noteworthy projects include the Donaghey and Lafayette buildings and the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock (Pulaski County); the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee; and the Strand Theatre in Shreveport, Louisiana. Fred Goza, an art critic for the Shreveport Times, was amazed at Heerwagen’s work when he toured the restored Strand in 1984; he wrote, “I was amazed that an American firm was responsible [for the interior decoration] because so much of the plaster work is so ornate that you feel …

Heiskell, John Netherland

aka: J. N. Heiskell
John Netherland (J. N.) Heiskell served as editor of the Arkansas Gazette for more than seventy years. During his tenure, he headed the newspaper during two world wars, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, and thousands of other events. He was an active civic affairs activist and used his influence to guide the state through decades of change. J. N. Heiskell was born on November 2, 1872, in Rogersville, Tennessee, to Carrick White Heiskell and Eliza Ayre Netherland Heiskell. He was the elder of two sons. Heiskell’s father—a former Confederate officer, lawyer, and later a judge—moved the family to Memphis shortly after the Civil War. Heiskell, whom his family and friends called …

Helena to Arkansas Post, Expedition from

A Union expedition against the Confederate forces at Arkansas Post in November 1862 was defeated due to low river levels and bad weather. Confederate officials in Arkansas, fearing a possible Union move against the capital at Little Rock (Pulaski County) via the Arkansas River, ordered fortifications built at high points along the river. One of the places selected was Arkansas Post, where construction began on a large earthwork to be named Fort Hindman and defended by the big guns of the CSS Pontchartrain under the command of Colonel John W. Dunnington. In November, Brigadier General Alvin P. Hovey, commander of the District of Eastern Arkansas in Helena (Phillips County), determined to take a combined army-navy taskforce and attack the Confederate base …

Helena to Buck Island in the Mississippi, Expedition from

Brigadier General Napoleon B. Buford ordered the expedition from Helena (Phillips County) to Buck Island on the Mississippi River to determine whether a shipment of guns and ammunition had crossed the river to supply the troops of Confederate Brigadier General Joseph O. Shelby operating in eastern Arkansas. Captain Rudolph Schoenemann of Company E, Sixth Minnesota Infantry Regiment, led forty-three men from Company E and a detachment from Company F of the Sixth, along with troops from either Company E or L of the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry Regiment, out of Helena on the evening of July 13, 1864. Boarding the steamboat Dove, the expedition headed upriver. After disembarking the cavalrymen at a Doctor Peterson’s plantation on the Arkansas side of the …

Helena to Mount Vernon, Scout from

The scout from Helena (Phillips County) to Mount Vernon (St. Francis County) was undertaken to seek Confederate forces that were organizing in the area and to arrest citizens thought to be collaborating with the rebels. Union major Eagleton Carmichael of the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry Regiment led a detachment of the regiment, including a lieutenant and thirty-five men of Company I, out from Helena on August 22, 1864. The cavalrymen boarded the steamboats Dove and H. A. Homeyer and traveled up the St. Francis River to a point four miles past the mouth of the L’Anguille River, where they disembarked. They headed into St. Francis County, scouting local plantations. They began at Hughes’s farm then proceeded to a Dr. Ward’s place, …

Hellom (Lynching of)

In late September 1903, an African-American man named Hellom was hanged by a black mob in Mississippi County for allegedly assaulting two young girls. Census records for the year 1900 reveal that there were three black men in Mississippi County who might have been the victim of the mob. All lived in nearby households in Fletcher Township, and all had a similar surname. The first was Oscar Hullum, age twenty-five, who was working as a farm hand and boarding with Brady and Mary Randolph. The second was Will Hellum, age twenty-three, a farm worker who was living nearby with his wife, Lucy, and their son, Jonathan. Living with them was a brother-in law, Arthur Hullum, age twenty-two, and three other …

Helm, Levon

aka: Mark Lavon Helm
Mark Lavon (Levon) Helm was best known as the drummer and singer for the Canadian rock group the Band. Following the demise of the Band, he continued to have a successful career leading his own band, as well as acting in numerous motion pictures. Levon Helm was born on May 26, 1940, outside Elaine (Phillips County) to Nell and Diamond Helm. He had two sisters and one brother. He grew up in Marvell (Phillips County) working on the family cotton farm but was always encouraged to play and sing music at home and in church. Helm knew that he wanted to become a musician at age six, after seeing bluegrass musician Bill Monroe perform. He began playing guitar at age eight …

Hemingway, Wilson Edwin

Wilson E. Hemingway was an influential figure in Arkansas’s legal community in the later part of the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century, including brief service on the Arkansas Supreme Court. As an attorney, judge, and corporate leader, he had a sizable impact on Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Arkansas politics, law, and business. Wilson Edwin Hemingway was born on January 4, 1854, in Carrollton, Mississippi, to William Hemingway and Sarah Wesley Jenkins Hemingway. He grew up in Mississippi and spent two years at the University of Mississippi before spending another two at the University of Georgia. He does not appear to have earned a degree from either school. Hemingway taught school from 1872 to 1873, while also …

Hempstead, Fay

Fay Hempstead was an attorney, a poet, and a Mason who spent much of his life in the service of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas Freemasons. In addition to his poetical works, he wrote the first school textbook for Arkansas history as well as other historical studies. Hempstead was born on November 24, 1847, in Little Rock (Pulaski County). His parents were Samuel Hutchinson Hempstead, an attorney and postmaster of Little Rock, and Elizabeth Rebecca Beall Hempstead. Hempstead was educated privately and attended St. Johns’ College, a Masonic institution in Little Rock, from 1859 to 1861. From 1866 to 1868, he studied law at the University of Virginia, returning to Arkansas to practice law. From 1869 to 1872, he was …

Henderson, Charles Christopher

Charles Christopher Henderson was a businessman and philanthropist in southern Arkansas long associated with Arkadelphia Methodist College, which in 1904 was renamed Henderson College in honor of Henderson’s service on the board of trustees and his financial support. The school’s former campus operates as Henderson State University in the twenty-first century. Henderson’s 1906 Queen Anne–style home in Arkadelphia (Clark County) was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, listed as the Captain Charles Christopher Henderson House. Charles Henderson was born in Scott County on March 17, 1850, the third of eight children of John Henderson and Margaret Mahalia Reed Henderson. The family lived in both Scott and Sebastian counties during his childhood. Henderson was fourteen years old …

Henderson, Jeffrey Todd (Jeff)

While competing for Sylvan Hills High School in Sherwood (Pulaski County), Jeffrey Todd (Jeff) Henderson became one of the top track and field athletes in Arkansas, excelling in the long jump. As a collegiate athlete, he developed into one of the top long jumpers in the United States. In 2016, he won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, becoming the second Arkansas-connected athlete to win in the long jump. Jeff Henderson was born in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) on February 19, 1989, to Laverne Henderson and Debra Henderson; he was raised in McAlmont (Pulaski County). He is the youngest of five children. Henderson played football while at Sylvan Hills High School, but by his …

Hendrix, James Richard

James Richard Hendrix was a World War II veteran and recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions during that war. James Hendrix, the son of a sharecropper, was born on August 20, 1925, in the small town of Lepanto (Poinsett County) near Jonesboro (Craighead County). At an early age, he left school to work alongside his parents, Pearl Hendrix and James Hendrix Sr., on the family farm. In 1943, at age eighteen, Hendrix was drafted into the U.S. Army. After attending basic training in Florida, Private Hendrix was sent to Europe assigned to the Fifty-third Armored Infantry Battalion, Fourth Armored Division. Hendrix, along with his unit, waited out the Allied invasion of Normandy on a ship in the English …

Henley, Jesse Smith

Jesse Smith Henley presided over a number of desegregation cases but was most noted for reforming the state prison system and being the first federal judge in the country to declare an entire state penitentiary in violation of the Eighth Amendment. J. Smith Henley was born on May 18, 1917, in St. Joe (Searcy County) into a family of lawyers. He had an older brother named Ben and a sister named Wordna (or Wardna). Far from a model student, Henley never formally graduated from high school and seems to have been thrown out of college once. However, he did earn his law degree at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1941. He practiced law …

Henry, Orville Monroe, Jr.

Orville Monroe Henry Jr., the best-known newspaper sportswriter in Arkansas history, worked for the state’s two largest newspapers, the Arkansas Gazette and the Arkansas Democrat (later the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette). Although he covered other sports, he is most identified with writing about Arkansas Razorbacks football at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). Orville Henry was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on February 19, 1925. His father, Orville Monroe Henry Sr., was a traveling salesman who later became a farmer; his mother, Frances, raised eight children and took care of a very active home. When Henry was in the ninth grade at Pulaski Heights Junior High, he decided he wanted to be a newspaperman and worked on the …

Hensen, Elias (Lynching of)

Elias Hensen was seized from a house and shot to death on March 12, 1879, in Clay County after testifying against a co-defendant in a horse-stealing case and preparing to testify against other members of his gang. The 1870 federal census lists Elias Hensen, born around 1852, as an illiterate farmhand working for Abraham Roberts in Randolph County’s Current River Township, and it indicates that he might have had a diminished mental capacity. By 1879, he apparently was working with the Montgomery Brothers gang and had earned a reputation as a “rather unsavory character in this neighborhood, and was accused of various thefts, horse-stealing among them,” according to the Clay County Courier. Hensen and an accomplice, Charley Jenkins, were arrested …

Henslee, Lee

Lee Henslee was the longest-serving superintendent of the Arkansas prison system. He was appointed head of the state penitentiary in 1949 by Governor Sid McMath and served in that position until 1963. Henslee received praise from Governor Orval Faubus, but he was superintendent in a time when abuse and corruption at the prisons were rampant. Lee Henslee was born on September 4, 1903, on a family farm five miles east of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). He was one of three children born to Edward Anderson Henslee (1863–1949), a native of Mississippi, and Clara Belle Treadwell Henslee (1874–1963), a native of Arkansas. Lee Henslee grew up in Pine Bluff. He married Mississippi native Mary Alcorn (1902–1990) on August 22, 1924, in …

Herndon, Dallas Tabor

Dallas Tabor Herndon, father of the archival movement in Arkansas, was the first director of the Arkansas State Archives (previously called the Arkansas History Commission). From 1911 until his death in 1953, he labored tirelessly to preserve manuscripts and other material relating to Arkansas history and culture. Dallas Herndon was born on August 28, 1878, the son of John Alpheus and Mary Mildred Brown Herndon, farmers who lived in Elberton, Georgia. He received his BS and MS degrees in history and political science from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) in 1902 and 1903, respectively. After four years of teaching at Mobile and Auburn, Alabama, he entered the University of Chicago, where he worked toward a PhD in history and English …

Herrig, William (Lynching of)

William Herrig, a white man described in news reports as “a well-to-do farmer 67 years old” was lynched in Clay County by vigilantes on December 29, 1887, for murdering his young wife and a man with whom she was apparently friendly. No William Herrig was living in Clay County by the time of the 1880s census, although other men of that name were living in various places in the United States at the time, all of them German immigrants. Herrig’s wife, whose maiden name was Julia Bennett (and who is also dubbed “Mrs. Nettie” in reports), was described as “a charmingly plump little 20-years-of-age wife” who “had been for the two years before her marriage an actress in the Pauline …

Herron, Francis Jay

Francis Jay Herron, a Union general, saw extensive service in Arkansas and Missouri during the early years of the Civil War. He later held various political posts in Reconstruction Louisiana before moving to New York City in 1877. He was one of four soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry at the Battle of Pea Ridge in Arkansas. Francis Herron, the third child of John and Clarissa Herron, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on February 17, 1837. He enrolled in Western University but left in 1855 to join his three brothers who had established a bank in Dubuque, Iowa. Four years later, Herron created and became captain of a local militia unit, the Governor’s Grays. On May 14, 1861, …

Hibbler, Al

aka: Albert George Edward Hibbler
Albert George Edward (Al) Hibbler, a pop/jazz singer, was the first African American to have a radio program in Little Rock (Pulaski County). He was also the first blind entertainer to gain national prominence. He sang with the Duke Ellington Band for eight and a half years before he left to make five recordings as a solo artist; three became Billboard pop hits. Hibbler also became a prominent figure in the civil rights movement. Records are inconsistent about Al Hibbler’s early life. Most sources have him born on August 16, 1915, in Como, Mississippi, to Hubert Hibbler and Lucy Prokes Hibbler, a farm family; some sources have reported that Hibbler was born in Tyro, Mississippi, while still others report he …

Hickey, Doyle Overton

Doyle Overton Hickey served as an officer in the U.S. Army during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, before retiring as a lieutenant general. Doyle Hickey was born in Rector (Clay County) on July 27, 1892, the oldest child of John and Genie Hickey; he had two brothers and two sisters. John Hickey was a carpenter, and the family moved to Camden (Ouachita County) before 1900. Doyle Hickey graduated from Camden High School in 1909 and entered Hendrix College, graduating in 1913. Hickey studied law and worked at a lumber company in Memphis, Tennessee, before entering the U.S. Army in 1917. Trained at the First Officers Training Camp, Camp Stanley, Texas, Hickey received a commission as …

Hickman, Darrell David

Darrell David Hickman spent almost twenty-two years as a trial-court judge and justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Hickman, who grew up in Searcy (White County), was first elected chancery judge in a district that stretched to Little Rock (Pulaski County) and was elected twice to the Arkansas Supreme Court before retiring in 1990 to follow the seasons and travel from the Canadian Rockies to Mexico and back. He soon returned to Searcy and the town of Pangburn (White County), where he served two more stints as a chancery or circuit judge. Hickman had a propensity for issuing convulsive orders, such as when he declared the Constitutional Convention of 1975 unconstitutional, and for writing colorful opinions, such as when he …

Hicks, Bill

Bill Hicks was an American stand-up comedian and social critic in the tradition of Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor. While he achieved only limited commercial success in his short lifetime, most of it in Great Britain, he is now regarded as one of the most influential American comedians of the twentieth century. With intellectual influences as wide-ranging as psychiatrist Carl Jung and linguist/political critic Noam Chomsky, Hicks married the middle-brow philosophical meandering of Woody Allen with the lacerating moral clarity of an Old Testament prophet. As a motion in the British House of Commons made on the tenth anniversary of his death declared, Hicks “may be mentioned as being worth[y] of inclusion with Lenny Bruce in any list of unflinching …