Gender: Male - Starting with F

Fleming, Victor Anson (Vic)

Victor Anson “Vic” Fleming of Little Rock (Pulaski County) is a judge, author, and adjunct law professor. He also writes crossword puzzles that appear in prestigious national publications, including the New York Times. In 2017, Fleming and former President Bill Clinton co-authored a Times crossword. Fleming appeared in the 2006 documentary film Wordplay, playing guitar and singing an original song, “If You Don’t Come Across (I’m Gonna Be Down),” about the relationship between a Times crossword and its solver. Vic Fleming was born on December 26, 1951, in Jackson, Mississippi, to Elijah Anson Fleming Jr., who was a General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) manager, and Norfleet Cranford Fleming, who worked as an administrative assistant for the Mississippi legislature. The family …

Flemming, Owen (Lynching of)

On June 8, 1927, a mob murdered Owen Flemming, an African-American man, near Mellwood (Phillips County). At the time of the lynching, Arkansas was experiencing unprecedented flooding. The Flood of 1927 remains the most destructive in Arkansas history, covering about 6,600 square miles and inundating thirty-six of the state’s seventy-five counties. Many black citizens who lived along the Mississippi River and other flooding waterways were forced to work on the levees, often at gunpoint. One of these forced workers was Owen Flemming (or Fleming, according to some accounts). There is little information available about Flemming, but he is described in several articles as a “prominent black man.” According to the Arkansas Gazette, however, Flemming had a bad reputation. Officials at …

Fletcher, Albert Lewis

Albert Lewis Fletcher was the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Little Rock, the only Catholic diocese for the state of Arkansas. He was the first native Arkansan ever to be raised to the rank within the American Catholic episcopacy, and he oversaw Arkansas Catholicism during an era of unprecedented growth and upheaval. Albert Fletcher was born on October 28, 1896, the oldest of four children, to Thomas Fletcher, a physician, and Helen Wehr in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Around the time of their marriage, both parents converted to Catholicism, his father being a former Episcopalian and his mother a former Lutheran. Within a few months of his birth, the family moved first to Paris (Logan County) and then to …

Fletcher, John Gould

John Gould Fletcher, poet and essayist, is widely acknowledged as one of the state’s most notable literary figures. He enjoyed an international reputation for much of his long career, earned the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, and participated in movements that shaped twentieth century-literature. John Gould Fletcher was born on January 3, 1886, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Adolphine Krause and John G. Fletcher. After the Civil War, Fletcher’s father formed a successful cotton brokerage firm with fellow veteran Peter Hotze, bringing him wealth and prominence. Fletcher’s mother had abandoned the prospect of a musical career to tend to her ailing mother and likely centered her artistic ambitions on her only son. Fletcher was reared and educated by tutors in …

Flippen, Jay C.

Jay C. Flippen was a versatile entertainer whose career spanned more than six decades and multiple show business genres, from minstrelsy to motion pictures. Flippen became an iconic Hollywood character actor during the 1950s and 1960s. Long before that, he had established himself as a popular stage and radio performer whom Milton Berle eulogized as “one of the greatest standup comedians I ever saw.” J. C. Flippen was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on March 6, 1899. He may have been named for his father, whose name was either Jay Charles or John Constantine. However, Flippen reminisced that his parents could not decide on a name and took to calling him by the initials “J. C.” His mother was Emma …

Floating CCC Camp at Jacks Bay

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) side camp BF-2 at Jacks Bay in Arkansas County was distinct from most other CCC camps in Arkansas in two ways: the enrollees were African American rather than white, and they were housed in floating government quarterboats rather than in barracks or tent camps. The side camp at Jacks Bay was occupied from January 1936 until May 1938, when it was abandoned, the boats removed, and the personnel integrated into another camp. The Jacks Bay side camp had its origins in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 7173, issued on September 5, 1935, that authorized the Bureau of Biological Survey to acquire 110,000 acres on the Lower White River for protection and conservation of migratory …

Flowers, Cleon

Cleon Aurelius Flowers Sr., an African-American physician from Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), was reported to be the first physician in the country to deliver viable conjoined twins successfully during a home birth. During his fifty-nine-year career as a physician, he earned a reputation as a compassionate and generous healthcare provider in Pine Bluff and Jefferson County. Cleon Aurelius Flowers was born in Stamps (Lafayette County) on July 26, 1913. His father, Alonza William (A. W.) Flowers, was a laborer in sawmills who later became an insurance agent for Universal Life Insurance Company, and his mother, Beulah Sampson Flowers, was a teacher, community leader, and political activist. His parents also owned and operated the A. W. Flowers and Sons grocery store …

Flowers, William Harold

William Harold Flowers was a lawyer, minister, social and political activist, and one of the leading figures in the civil rights movement in Arkansas in the 1940s. He was the first African American special circuit judge in Jefferson County and a president of the African-American National Bar Association. He was also active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the state, serving as president of the Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) branch and as president of the state conference of branches. Born on October 16, 1911, in Stamps (Lafayette County), William Harold Flowers was the son of Alonza (often spelled Alonzo) Williams Flowers Jr., a businessman, and Beulah Lee Sampson, a schoolteacher. He was the eldest …

Floyd, John Buchanan

John Buchanan Floyd was the governor of Virginia, secretary of war, a brigadier general in the Confederate army, and a lawyer and planter who lived in Arkansas for a period. John Buchanan Floyd was born on the Smithfield Plantation, outside Blacksburg, Virginia, on June 1, 1806. His father, John Floyd, served in the House of Representatives and as the governor of Virginia. His mother, Letitia Preston Floyd, came from a prominent Virginia family. Floyd was the oldest of twelve children. Floyd attended South Carolina College and opened a law practice in Abington, Virginia, in 1829. The next year, he married Sarah Buchanan Preston. The two adopted a daughter. In 1834, Floyd and a brother moved to Arkansas, purchasing a cotton …

Floyd, John Charles

John Charles Floyd was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Third District of Arkansas in the Fifty-Ninth through the Sixty-Third Congresses, serving from 1905 to 1915. John Charles Floyd was born on April 14, 1858, in Sparta, Tennessee, to John Wesley Floyd and Eliza Jane Snodgrass Floyd. Floyd spent his early years in Tennessee while his father served in the Confederate army. After the Civil War, the family moved to Arkansas, settling near Bentonville (Benton County) in 1869. There, Floyd received his early education, attending the local common school and the high school. He continued his education at Arkansas Industrial University in Fayetteville (Washington County), which later became the University of Arkansas, from which …

Fogleman, John Albert

John Albert Fogleman was a lawyer who spent seventy years in the profession, including fourteen years as a justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, the last one as chief justice. Fogleman was an unusually congenial litigant and judge, liked by his colleagues and opponents and known for his scholarship, copious opinions, and rigid, conservative application of constitutional and statutory law.  A descendant of pioneer settlers of Crittenden County, John Fogleman was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on November 5, 1911, one of three sons of John Franklin Fogleman and Marie Julia McAdams Fogleman. He was reared and educated in Marion (Crittenden County) and enrolled at the University of Arkansas (UA) in  Fayetteville (Washington County) at the age of fifteen, where he received a bachelor of arts degree. As a freshman at the university, he met and, three years later, married Annis Adell Appleby …

Foley, Blaze

aka: Michael David Fuller
Singer-songwriter Michael David Fuller worked under the names Depty (or Deputy) Dawg and then Blaze Foley, being best known by the latter. His songs have been recorded by singers such as Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, and John Prine. Blaze Foley was born on December 18, 1949, to Edwin Fuller and Louise Fuller in Malvern (Hot Spring County). His family traveled as gospel performers and were known as the Singing Fuller Family. Foley began singing with the group at the age of eleven with his mother, brother, and sisters. When Foley was a baby, the family left Arkansas for Texas, settling in San Antonio and later the Dallas/Fort Worth area. While an infant, he contracted polio, which was cured …

Fooy, Samuel W. (Execution of)

On September 3, 1875, a Native American man named Samuel W. Fooy was among the first six men to be executed in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) under “hanging judge” Isaac Parker. Fooy was convicted of robbing and killing a Kansas schoolteacher in Indian Territory several years earlier. Sam Fooy was born in Sebastian County in 1849. He was part Cherokee; his father was James E. Fooy of Memphis, Tennessee, and his mother was named Mary Ann. Sam married Amanda Talitha Beattie, and by 1872 they were living near Webbers Falls in the Cherokee Nation (in present-day Oklahoma). At the time of Fooy’s death, they had three children. An 1875 article in the Arkansas Gazette described him as “well educated and …

Forbes, Ralph Perry

Ralph Forbes was an Arkansas political operator, minister, and former leader in the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party. He entered the Arkansas political scene in the Ronald Reagan era, when Arkansas Republicans had seen the election of a Republican governor and two GOP congressmen but were still so weak at the down-ballot level that low filing fees attracted fringe candidates that caused the party no end of embarrassment less than two decades after the heyday of Republican governor Winthrop Rockefeller. One of these fringe candidates was a one-time high official in the American Nazi Party who ultimately made his way to Pope County in the Arkansas River Valley. Ralph Perry Forbes was born on March 12, 1940, …

Ford, Archibald Washington (Arch)

Archibald Washington Ford was commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education from 1953 until his retirement in 1978. He served under five governors: Francis Cherry, Orval Faubus, Winthrop Rockefeller, Dale Bumpers, and David Pryor. Under his leadership, the state undertook significant work to provide a quality education to all students regardless of their race, age, abilities, or location in the state. Arch Ford was born in Wooster (Faulkner County) on January 25, 1906, to Thomas Noah Ford (1872–1959) and Minnie Lee Clements Ford (1880–1954). He was the fourth of six children. His father was a farmer and a Baptist minister who served on the local school board as well as the Faulkner County Board of Education. His father helped lead …

Ford, Edsel

Although Edsel Ford did not arrive in the Arkansas Ozarks until the age of eleven, he lived most of his adult life in the region, consistently incorporated its culture into his writing, and became one of its most distinguished poets. At the time of his death, at the age of forty-one, he was a well-established regional poet who was beginning to earn national literary attention. Edsel Ford was born to James Tilden Ford and Nora Louisa Ford in Eva, Alabama, on December 30, 1928. His family farmed cotton, and he was one of four children. When Ford was two years old, he moved with his family to Roswell, New Mexico. In 1939, the family moved to Avoca (Benton County) to operate …

Ford, Joe Thomas

Joe Thomas Ford, son of Arkansas’s longtime top school official Arch Ford, embarked on a political career as a young man but then devoted himself to his business, building it into one of the largest communications companies in the world. His political career comprised four terms—sixteen years—as a state senator from Pulaski County. His once tiny rural telephone company was growing rapidly and in 1982 he had to make a choice: to either quit politics or his business. His name had come up in speculation about higher offices—governor or Congress. He quit politics, or at least the electoral aspect of it, and did not run for reelection. In 2008, Ford sold his company, Alltel, to Verizon Communications, Inc., for $28 …

Ford, L. L. (Execution of)

L. L. Ford was one of two men hanged for the 1879 murder of a Crittenden County man, though many believed him innocent and he denied being involved in the crime. On October 26, 1879, four masked men rode up to the home of John Broadway, age fifty-five, about ten miles north of Marion (Crittenden County). One of them was John Potter, who worked for Broadway and believed that Broadway had $300 in his home. When Broadway tried to defend himself, another robber, Hiram Jeffries, shot him down. The four men fled, having netted only eight dollars. Potter, Jeffries, L. L. Ford, and Cal Huey were arrested and charged with Broadway’s murder. Huey got a change of venue to Mississippi …

Ford, Richard Carrel

Richard Carrel Ford is a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist whose formative years in Little Rock (Pulaski County) helped shape his career as a writer. He has written seven novels and five collections of short works and was the first person to be awarded both the Pulitzer and the PEN/Faulkner Award for the same book. Ford was born on February 16, 1944, in Jackson, Mississippi, to Parker Carrel Ford and Edna Ford. His mother was a native of Arkansas, and his grandfather, Ben Shelley, managed the Marion Hotel in downtown Little Rock. As a child, Ford often spent his summers at the hotel and, during his teen years, worked as a lifeguard at the Little Rock Country Club. Ford recalls that his residence …

Fordyce, John Rison

The son of Hot Springs (Garland County) entrepreneur and Cotton Belt Railroad president Samuel Wesley Fordyce, John Rison Fordyce forged his own way into Arkansas history. He was educated as a mining engineer but was also an inventor, manufacturer, leader in commerce, public servant, and amateur archaeologist. John R. Fordyce was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on November 7, 1869. He moved to the health resort of Hot Springs at age five with his father and mother, Susan Chadick, after his father, suffering from malaria contracted during the Civil War, found renewed health in the local thermal springs. The third of five children, Fordyce—along with his three surviving siblings—was educated in Hot Springs schools. His father was instrumental in Hot Springs’ …

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 …

Foreman, Gene

Born in a small Ohio town and reared in the rural community of Wabash in Phillips County, Gene Foreman became one of Arkansas’s and the nation’s most honored newspaper editors. At the Arkansas Gazette, he was a leader in the paper’s coverage of the tumult over school integration in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1957–1959. Foreman also became managing editor at the Pine Bluff Commercial and the Arkansas Democrat. He spent most of his career as an editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer. He managed the newsroom at the Inquirer for more than twenty-five years, a period during which the newspaper received numerous awards for its reporting, including eighteen Pulitzer Prizes. In retirement, he was a professor of journalism at Pennsylvania State …

Forsyth, Missouri, to Batesville, Scout from

A patrol of ninety-three men of the Eighth Missouri State Militia Cavalry led by Captain James J. Akard left their base at Forsyth, Missouri, on December 26, 1863, to deliver dispatches to Federal troops who had occupied Batesville (Independence County) the day before. The Missourians endured a lack of forage for their horses for the first forty-five miles of their journey but found ample fodder as they neared Batesville. Passing through Mountain Home (Baxter County), Calico Rock (Izard County), and Wild Haws (Izard County), they killed two Confederates and captured nine others, along with nineteen horses, during their scout to Batesville, turning them over to the provost marshal when they got there on December 29. They left the next day …

Fort Pinney to Kimball’s Plantation, Expedition from

The expedition from Fort Pinney to Kimball’s Plantation was undertaken to break up a Mississippi smuggling operation. Captain Benjamin Thomas of the Sixty-Third United States Colored Troops (USCT), who served as the provost marshal for the Eastern District of Arkansas, organized the expedition, which was manned by troops from the Sixty-Ninth USCT under Captain Charles T. Parks from Fort Pinney, a contraband camp located southeast of Helena (Phillips County) across the Mississippi River from Friar’s Point (usually spelled Friars Point), Mississippi. The goal of the expedition was to capture a pair of deserters and smugglers named Dustin and Stewart who were operating from a Mrs. Kimball’s house on the east side of the river. Thomas worked with Acting Master William …