Gender: Male - Starting with C

Cazort, William Lee

William Lee Cazort was a familiar figure in Arkansas politics throughout the 1920s and 1930s. He served several terms in the state legislature and three times as lieutenant governor, but his political ambitions were checked by three unsuccessful gubernatorial bids. The scion of a prominent local family, Lee Cazort was born on December 3, 1887, near Cabin Creek (now Lamar) in Johnson County. He was the son of Belle Gardner and John Robert Cazort. His father was invested in interests as diverse as land, lumber, livestock, cotton, and mercantile trade. Popularly known as Cazort Brothers, the family business was a virtual empire that operated throughout Arkansas and into neighboring states. Cazort grew up in a household of eight children. He …

Cecil, John

John Cecil was the first elected sheriff of Newton County. He joined the Confederate army at the beginning of the war and later led dangerous guerrilla units in northwest Arkansas. The Union army wanted to capture him badly enough to burn down the city of Jasper (Newton County), and they enlisted Cecil’s younger brother Samuel to help snare him. John Cecil was the eldest son of Joseph and Margaret (Buttram) Cecil, born on April 10, 1822, in Morgan County, Tennessee. He had three brothers and five sisters. Joseph Cecil and his family migrated to Arkansas prior to 1837 and settled in Carroll County, part of which became Newton County in 1842. Three of John Cecil’s uncles also migrated to Arkansas …

Chamberlin, Henry Howard “Hank”

Henry Howard “Hank” Chamberlin is considered to be the father of forestry education in Arkansas. He began the forestry department at Arkansas Agricultural & Mechanical College (A&M)—now the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM)—in September 1945 with three students. From this humble beginning came the School of Forest Resources at UAM and the Arkansas Forest Resources Center of Excellence. The School of Forest Resources at UAM is the only forestry school in Arkansas. Hank Chamberlin was born on March 8, 1913, in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, to William Chamberlin and Ellen Reed Chamberlin; his father worked as a barber. He was the youngest of four children. After high school, Chamberlin attended Pennsylvania State University and received his BS in forestry. He received …

Cherry, Francis Adams

Francis Adams Cherry was a chancery judge, Arkansas’s thirty-fifth governor, and chairman of the federal Subversive Activities Control Board. Cherry is most remembered for his political ineptness, which resulted in the election of Orval Faubus as governor in 1954. Francis Cherry was born on September 5, 1908, in Fort Worth, Texas, to Haskille Scott and Clara Belle (Taylor) Cherry. The youngest of five children, he only briefly lived in Fort Worth before his father, a Rock Island Railroad conductor, was transferred. Cherry grew up in El Reno and Enid, Oklahoma, graduating from high school at the latter town. He majored in prelaw at Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Oklahoma State University) from 1926 to 1930. The Great Depression delayed …

Cherry, Lewis Williamson

Lewis Williamson Cherry was an important businessman in Little Rock (Pulaski County) who founded several enterprises and served in a leadership role in various banks, as well as managing a robust real estate business. Lewis W. Cherry was born on November 22, 1858, in Memphis, Tennessee, to Calvin Washington Cherry and Sarah Blount Williamson Cherry. His father, a banker, was son of Daniel Cherry, a wealthy North Carolina–born land speculator in early nineteenth-century Tennessee who founded Cherryville in Haywood County. After an initial education in Memphis public schools, Lewis W. Cherry was educated at a number of private schools in Tennessee and Kentucky, completing his education at James Byars’s academy in Covington, Tennessee. Cherry began his career as bookkeeper for …

Chicot County Lynching of 1836

aka: Bunch (Lynching of)
According to the Arkansas Gazette, an African American identified only as Bunch was hanged in Chicot County in August 1836. The incident was also reported in a number of newspapers across the United States. According to the Gazette, Bunch, perhaps a member of the free black population in Chicot County, attempted to vote, but the judges turned him back because he was black. Bunch “took umbrage” at this and “resorted to violent measures.” In the midst of the fracas that followed, one Dr. Webb, “a highly respectable citizen,” was stabbed multiple times and was expected to die. Local citizens were so incensed that they promptly hanged Bunch. The Indiana American, quoting the Louisville Journal, reported that Bunch had a copy …

Chiles, Marcellus Holmes

Army captain Marcellus Holmes Chiles is one of twenty-one Arkansas natives to have received the nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor. He is also one of just three Arkansas soldiers to have received the award for his service in World War I. All three received the honor posthumously. Marcellus Chiles was born on February 5, 1895, in Eureka Springs (Carroll County). He was the oldest of three children born to attorney John Horne Chiles and Lillian Irene Hughes. It is not known how long the family remained in Arkansas after Marcellus’s birth, but by 1900, they were living in Denver, Colorado. Sometime after graduating from high school, Chiles enrolled at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, where he was …

Chism, Larry Porter

Larry Chism is an Arkansas criminal, convicted felon, and longtime fugitive. In 1978, he escaped from a Lonoke County jail and has never been apprehended. He was placed on the U.S. Marshals’ and FBI’s Wanted List, and in 1990, he was featured on the television show Unsolved Mysteries, generating national exposure that led him to flee again. He is considered armed and dangerous, but his whereabouts have remained unknown since 1990. Larry Porter Chism was born in Forrest City (St. Francis County) on December 19, 1948, to Millard Harry Chism Jr. and Frances Louise Porter Chism. Both were from Arkansas. Chism’s maternal grandfather was John Rosamond “Jack” Porter, the mayor of Forrest City for a decade. Chism graduated from Forrest …

Chisum, John Greene

John Chisum was one of the last thirty surviving Civil War veterans, the last surviving Arkansas-born Confederate veteran, and the next to last surviving Confederate veteran to die in Arkansas. He was outlived in Arkansas only by Jonesboro (Craighead County) resident William M. Loudermilk, who died in 1952 (like Chisum, beyond his hundredth birthday). John Green Chisum was born in Calico Rock (Izard County) on February 19, 1848, to Bill and Mary Chisum. Little is known of his years growing up on the family farm. During the early years of the Civil War, the family was isolated in the Ozarks, but at age sixteen in 1864, Chisum made a trip to Newport (Jackson County) and enlisted in a unit under …

Chitwood, Oscar (Murder of)

Oscar Chitwood was murdered on December 26, 1910, at the Garland County Courthouse in Hot Springs. A deputy sheriff who was with Chitwood at the time of the murder claimed that a lynch mob killed Chitwood, but other witnesses contradicted his account. The murder remains officially unsolved. On August 17, 1910, Garland County sheriff Jake Houpt and his chief deputy (and younger brother) Sid Houpt attempted to arrest Oscar Chitwood and his brother George Chitwood for stealing horses. The Chitwood brothers resisted arrest, and a gunfight broke out on the grounds of the Garland County Courthouse. When the fight ended, George Chitwood was dead, and Jake Houpt was mortally wounded. Oscar Chitwood escaped, although badly wounded. Sid Houpt was unharmed. …

Chowning, Frank Edwin

Frank Chowning was a longtime Little Rock (Pulaski County) attorney. He was also a plant enthusiast whose work with irises, especially his hybridization efforts, earned him an international reputation. Francis Edwin Chowning was born on May 26, 1894, in Rison (Cleveland County) to Nathaniel Barnett Chowning and Deborah Curtis Marks Chowning. Chowning grew up and received his early education in Rison before attending Henderson-Brown College (now Henderson State University) in Arkadelphia (Clark County). His time at Henderson-Brown was interrupted by World War I, during which Chowning served in the U.S. Army, earning the rank of lieutenant while stationed in France. Following the war, he earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1922. He married Martha Speakes Bradford in 1928, …

Churchill, Sylvester (Lynching of)

On October 20, 1885, a white man named Sylvester Churchill was lynched in Murfreesboro (Pike County) by being burned alive for having apparently murdered a local man named W. F. Brooks. This was the second time in as many months that the local jail was set afire; on September 6, 1885, brothers Henry and Sylvester Polk had been burned alive when a mob set fire to the new jail. Churchill’s apparent victim was, according to early reports in the Arkansas Gazette, named Dennis Brooks, but an account of the lynching that appeared in the Pike County Sentinel on October 22, 1885, and was reprinted in the Arkansas Gazette five days later, gave his name as W. F. Brooks. Reportedly, there …

Churchill, Thomas James

Thomas James Churchill, the thirteenth governor of Arkansas, led advances in health and education while in office. During his administration, legislation set standards for practicing medicine and established the Medical Department of Arkansas Industrial University (now the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences) in Little Rock (Pulaski County). In addition to creating a facility for the mentally ill and a state board of health, his administration appropriated funds for purchasing a building for the branch normal school in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), which served African-American students. Born on March 10, 1824, on his father’s farm near Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas J. Churchill was one of sixteen children born to Samuel Churchill and Abby Oldham Churchill. The children grew up on the farm …