Gender: Male - Starting with D

Driftwood, Jimmy

aka: James Corbett Morris
Jimmy Driftwood was a prolific folk singer/songwriter who wrote over 6,000 songs. He gained national fame in 1959 when Johnny Horton recorded Driftwood’s song, “The Battle of New Orleans.” Even after Driftwood had risen to fame, he continued living in rural Stone County, spending most of his time promoting and preserving the music and heritage of the Ozark Mountains. Jimmy Driftwood was born James Corbett Morris in West Richwoods (Stone County) near Mountain View (Stone County) on June 20, 1907, to Neal and Allie Risner-Morris. He was given the name Driftwood as the result of a joke his grandfather had played on his grandmother. When the two went to visit their new grandson, Driftwood’s grandfather arrived first and wrapped a bundle …

Driver, William “Judge”

William Joshua “Judge” Driver of Mississippi County served as a member of the Arkansas legislature (1897–1899), as circuit judge in the Second Judicial District (1911–1918), and as U.S. representative from Arkansas’s First Congressional District (1921–1939). During his tenure in Washington DC, Driver served as president of the powerful National Rivers and Harbors Congress for many years and became chairman of that group’s board of directors in 1940. Driver used his position in the National Rivers and Harbors Congress to influence federal flood control legislation that greatly benefited Arkansas in the early twentieth century. William Driver was born near Osceola (Mississippi County) on March 2, 1873, the second of John B. Driver and Margaret Ann Bowen Driver’s eight children. His father …

Drummond-Webb, Jonathan

Jonathan Drummond-Webb was the chief pediatric heart surgeon at Arkansas Children’s Hospital from 2001 to 2004. He brought the David Clark Heart Center into national prominence through his high success rate, averaging 600 surgeries per year with only a two percent mortality rate. He also performed the first-ever successful surgery using the DeBakey ventricular assist device (VAD), a miniature heart pump, in 2004. Jonathan Drummond-Webb was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, on August 29, 1959, toErrol Praine Drummond and Anne Drummond-Webb. He was first inspired to become a heart surgeon after Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first successful human-to-human heart transplant, in Cape Town, South Africa. Drummond-Webb stated in an interview that when he learned of this, he was “amazed …

Dudley Lake, Skirmish near

aka: Scout from Brownsville (December 15–18, 1864)
The December 16, 1964, Skirmish near Dudley Lake took place during a routine scouting expedition by men of the Third Michigan Cavalry Regiment from the Union base at Brownsville (Lonoke County). Seventy-five men of Companies E, F, and G, Third Michigan Cavalry, under Captain James G. Butler of Company F, rode out of Brownsville on December 15, 1864, on a scout into what is now Lonoke County. After crossing Bayou Meto at Eagle’s Ford, they camped at Smith’s Mill, having traveled sixteen miles. The next morning, Butler dispersed his men along three different roads heading south. The troops converged before reaching Flyn’s farm near Dudley Lake, south of present-day Coy (Lonoke County). There, they ran into a small party of …

Dudley, Robert Hamilton (Bob)

Robert Hamilton Dudley—who followed a lineage of lawyers, politicians, and judges—was a longtime trial judge and justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. He retired in 1996. Robert H. (Bob) Dudley was born on November 18, 1933, in Jonesboro (Craighead County), the son of Denver Layton Dudley, who was a lawyer, and Helen Paslay Dudley, a schoolteacher and clinical psychologist. An older brother died as an infant. Dudley’s family had a long history in Arkansas. After fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War, Dudley’s great-grandfather left Kentucky and settled in northeastern Arkansas at Piggott (Clay County). Dudley’s grandfather, Robert H. Dudley, was elected treasurer of Clay County in 1900, to the Arkansas House of Representatives for a single term in …

Dugan, William (Lynching of)

A white man named William Dugan was lynched in St. Charles (Arkansas County) on October 17, 1875, shortly after the Arkansas Supreme Court granted him a new trial for a murder he had allegedly perpetrated the previous year. In the fall of 1874, William Dugan was arrested on a charge of having murdered Ahib Inman near St. Charles. There is a William Dugan recorded as residing in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) on the 1870 census, where he is listed as twenty-two years old, a native of Ireland, and working as a store clerk. According to an October 21, 1875, article in the Arkansas Gazette, the two men had apparently quarreled a few months previously, and “Inman had eloped with and …

Duke, Charles Sumner

A trailblazing African-American architect and engineer, Charles Sumner Duke not only designed unique public structures, but he also fought for housing rights and educational opportunities for African Americans. His powerful legacy continues in the buildings he designed, as well as in the organization he formed to facilitate the development of engineering and technological skills in youth of color. Charles Sumner Duke was born in Selma, Alabama, on July 21, 1879. His father, Jesse Duke, was the editorial writer and publisher for a local newspaper, The Herald. His mother, Willie Black Duke, was from a family of established businessmen. It was a financially secure family, allowing Duke and his siblings to take advantage of opportunities that many others in the black …

Dumas (Lynching of)

On August 5, 1874, an African-American man, identified only as Dumas in newspaper reports, was killed in Greenwood (Sebastian County). His killing was in response to his alleged “murderous assault” on Jacob Greiner and then his escape from jail after his arrest. According to the Weekly New Era of Fort Smith (Sebastian County), several weeks earlier Dumas had allegedly assaulted Greiner in an effort to rob his store. He was arrested and housed in a “stout log-house or pen” with a murderer named Walls or Wall. According to the Era, the prisoners were accessed by a stairway or ladder that ran through a hole with an iron door; it was by this means that food was delivered. On August 12, 1874, …

Dumas, Ernest Clifton (Ernie)

Ernie Dumas was the dean of the Arkansas political press corps for most of the second half of the twentieth century. His days as a journalist extended back to high school, when he worked for the El Dorado Daily News, and he was later an associate editor and a reporter for the Arkansas Gazette and a columnist for the Arkansas Times.  Ernest Clifton Dumas was born on December 13, 1937, in El Dorado (Union County), the younger of two sons born to Joseph Clifton Dumas and Berta Canady Dumas. His mother was an educator who stopped teaching when she got married, but she taught Dumas to read before he started school and later taught his son as well. Dumas grew up in El Dorado and graduated from El Dorado High School in 1955.  At the start of his …

Dumas, Henry

Henry Dumas was a critically acclaimed author of poetry and fiction who captured, in some of his finest work, many of his childhood experiences as an African American living in southern Arkansas. Henry Dumas was born on July 20, 1934, in Sweet Home (Pulaski County), sometimes called Sweetwater, and he continued to live there until he moved with his family to Harlem when he was ten years old. Almost no information about Dumas’s childhood is available, yet his life in the deep South and the desolate conditions confronting black Southerners in that era are insightfully depicted in several of his writings, including his widely admired short story, “Goodbye, Sweetwater.” Dumas graduated from Harlem’s Commerce High School in 1953 and then …

DuMond, Wayne Eugene

aka: Wayne Dumond Affair
Wayne Eugene DuMond was a serial rapist and killer whose crimes and efforts to gain his freedom from prison vexed the political careers of three Arkansas governors: Bill Clinton, Jim Guy Tucker, and Mike Huckabee. Suspecting that DuMond might have been framed for the rape of a Forrest City (St. Francis County) woman because DuMond’s accuser was a distant cousin of Clinton, who was by then president of the United States, Governor Huckabee arranged his parole to Missouri in 1999. DuMond was convicted soon thereafter of the rape and murder of a Missouri woman and was suspected of raping and killing another woman. When Huckabee ran for president in 2007–08, DuMond’s parole and subsequent crimes became a major detriment because …

Dunaway, Edwin Eagle

Edwin Eagle Dunaway was a lawyer and politician who was a rare unabashed champion of racial equality in the days of total segregation in Arkansas, before and after the historic desegregation crisis at Central High School in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1957–1959. He served in the Arkansas General Assembly for three terms before and during World War II, was elected prosecuting attorney twice, served more than a year as a justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, and taught law at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville (Washington County). He established important civil-liberties laws by taking unconstitutionally coercive acts passed by the Arkansas legislature to the U.S. Supreme Court, where they were nullified. Edwin Dunaway was born …

Dunaway, Louis Sharpe

Sharpe Dunaway may be the most famous traveling salesman in Arkansas history, a distinction only partly due to his sidelines—politics, writing, and state promotion. For nearly fifty years, Dunaway was a sales agent for newspapers, mainly the Arkansas Gazette, which earned him the sobriquet “Mr. Gazette.” He was a friend and supporter of many Arkansas politicians, notably Governor and U.S. Senator Jeff Davis and U.S. Senator Hattie Caraway. Dunaway wrote two books, one about the life and speeches of Jeff Davis, and the other a collection of observations about Arkansas and its people titled, What a Preacher Saw Through a Key-Hole in Arkansas. The short book, published in 1925, would become an important contribution to Arkansas history for a chapter …

Dunaway, Michael Lee (Mike)

Mike Dunaway suffered a permanent injury to his back playing football for the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway (Faulkner County), so he took up the game of golf and became an international legend for consistently driving a golf ball farther off the tee than anyone in the world. He parlayed that skill into a career, creating celebrity tournaments and founding golf’s 350 Club, as well as the Long Drivers Association of America. His publicity stunts, popular instructional videos, celebrity events, and camaraderie with a few of professional golf’s legends made him famous, although he never perfected the rest of his golf game to become a tournament golfer. Michael Lee Dunaway was born in Conway on February 1, 1955, …

Dunn, Charles DeWitt

Charles DeWitt Dunn served as the president of Henderson State University from 1986 until 2008, making him the longest-serving president in the institution’s history. Charles Dunn was born on December 2, 1945, to Charles E. Dunn and Lucille Dunn in Magnolia (Columbia County). The Dunn family operated a restaurant in McNeil (Columbia County), where Charles graduated from high school in 1963. Attending Southern State College (now Southern Arkansas University), Dunn earned an undergraduate degree in political science in 1967. He earned a graduate degree in government at the University of North Texas in 1970 and a doctoral degree in political science at Southern Illinois University in 1973. Dunn married Donna Jane Parsons in 1966, and the couple had two daughters …

Dunn, Poindexter

Poindexter Dunn was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the First District of Arkansas in the Forty-Sixth through the Fiftieth Congresses, serving from 1879 to 1889. Poindexter Dunn was born on November 3, 1834, near Raleigh, North Carolina, to Grey Dunn and Lydia Baucum Dunn. He and his family moved to Limestone County, Alabama, in 1837. After receiving his early education in local common schools, he graduated from Jackson College in Columbia, Tennessee, in 1854. He studied law for a time before moving to St. Francis County in Arkansas in 1856 and then won election to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1858. He also grew cotton until 1861, when the Civil War broke out. …

Dunn, Ronnie Gene

With a slew of chart-topping singles to his credit as half of the duo Brooks & Dunn, Ronnie Gene Dunn established himself as a member of the most award-winning duo in country music. Though Arkansas is not considered his home state, he has earned a spot in its musical history. Ronnie Dunn was born on June 1, 1953, in Coleman, Texas, to Jesse Eugene Dunn and Gladys Inez Thurmon Dunn. His father was a musician who also worked in the oil fields and drove trucks; his mother was a devout Baptist who, in the 1960s, lived in El Dorado (Union County) and worked as a bookkeeper at the First National Bank and then as a telephone operator at Warner Brown …

Dunnington, John William

John William Dunnington was a Confederate naval and infantry officer during the Civil War. After serving in the U.S. Navy early in his career, he joined the Confederate navy. He served for approximately nine months in Arkansas and took part in the Engagement at St. Charles and Battle of Arkansas Post. Dunnington was rare in that he held the rank of officer in both the Confederate army and navy during the war and served both east and west of the Mississippi River. John W. Dunnington was born on May 18, 1833, in Christian County, Kentucky, to Francis Dunnington (1798–1835) and Elizabeth Cobey Dunnington (1799–1848), both of whom were natives of Maryland. Dunnington’s brother, Francis C. Dunnington, served on Nathan Bedford …

DuVal, Elias Rector

In the late nineteenth century, physician Elias Rector DuVal (sometimes rendered Duval) was a leader in the drive to modernize medicine in Arkansas. In the 1870s, he cofounded the Arkansas State Medical Association (ASMA) and the Arkansas Medical Society (AMS). E. R. DuVal was born on August 13, 1836, in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) to William DuVal, who was a trader, and his wife, Harriet Tabitha Doddridge DuVal. The family included three sisters and two brothers. In 1835, DuVal’s sister Catherine DuVal married Elias Rector. Rector was a U.S. marshal for the Western District of Arkansas and Indian Territory and later served as superintendent of Indian Affairs. Educated in the local schools, DuVal graduated from Arkansas College in Fayetteville (Washington …

Duvall, Leland Blaine

Leland Blaine Duvall was a writer and editor who wrote columns, editorials, and historical articles for the Arkansas Gazette for forty years after World War II. Self-educated and reared on a hardscrabble Ozark Mountain farm, Duvall was an itinerant farm laborer until World War II. His voluminous correspondence from training camps and the war front with family members, friends, and his future wife impelled him to college and a writing career. His commentary on agriculture and economics for the Arkansas Gazette attracted a wide following and won numerous awards. Leland Duvall was born on June 19, 1911, the eldest of four sons of Omer Duvall and Esther Singleton Duvall. His father was a sharecropper, but he acquired forty acres in …

Duwali

aka: Bowl
aka: Bowles
Duwali, also known as The Bowl or Bowles due to the Quapaw meaning of his name, was leader of a group of Cherokee who lived briefly in Arkansas early in the territorial period, from about 1812 to 1818. His life story illustrates the fate of thousands of Native Americans from tribes and nations east of the Mississippi River who moved west to get away from economic and political turmoil long before the official Indian Removal events of the 1830s. These early groups had a significant impact on early territorial residents and on the Caddo, the Osage, and the Quapaw who lived, hunted, and claimed territorial rights in Arkansas when Euro-American settlers first arrived. Duwali was born about 1756 in the …

Dyess, William Reynolds

William Reynolds Dyess was a politician and government official who headed the Arkansas operations for two New Deal agencies: the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The cooperative farming community known as Dyess (Mississippi County) was named in his honor following his death in a plane crash. William Reynolds Dyess was born in July 1894—the exact date is unknown—near Waynesville, Mississippi, to William Henry Dyess and Martina (Mattie) Eudora Bass Dyess. He had a brother and a sister. He initially worked as both a contractor and a farmer in Mississippi before moving to Arkansas in 1926 to take a job as the superintendent of construction for a company doing levee work on the Mississippi and …