Gender: Male - Starting with H

Hollingsworth, Perlesta Arthur “Les”

Perlesta Arthur “Les” Hollingsworth was a lawyer whose battle for equal justice for African Americans took him through the trial courts as a civil rights litigator, into municipal politics, and eventually to the state’s highest court, where he served for fourteen months as a justice in 1983 and 1984. He was the second Black member elected to the Little Rock (Pulaski County) city board of directors and the third African American to be appointed justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Les Hollingsworth was born on April 12, 1936, in Little Rock to Perlesta Gomez Hollingsworth, who was a soldier, and Eartha Mae Frampton, a schoolteacher in Sherwood (Pulaski County). His father spent part of his life in a veterans’ home …

Holloway, William Judson

William Judson Holloway was an Arkansas-born politician and lawyer who moved to Oklahoma, where he became active in politics. He led the state of Oklahoma as governor in the early years of the Great Depression. William Judson Holloway was born on December 15, 1888, in Arkadelphia (Clark County) to Stephen Lee Holloway and Molly Holloway. Holloway’s father was a Baptist minister, and he sent his son to Ouachita College (now Ouachita Baptist University). After graduating in 1910, he studied at the University of Chicago. Holloway settled in Hugo, Oklahoma, and while reading the law, he also served for three years as principal of Hugo High School. He entered Cumberland University Law School to complete his legal training, earning his degree …

Holmes, Theophilus Hunter

Theophilus Hunter Holmes was a lieutenant general in the Confederate army and served variously as the commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department and commander of the District of Arkansas. After he failed to regain northwest Arkansas and saw failures at the Battle of Arkansas Post and the Battle of Helena, public confidence in his abilities evaporated. After a medical leave of absence, Holmes resigned his command of the District of Arkansas and returned to North Carolina to serve out the rest of the war. Theophilus Holmes was born on November 13, 1804, in Sampson County, North Carolina, to Gabriel Holmes, North Carolina congressman and governor, and Mary Hunter. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1829, forty-fourth …

Holt, Elias (Lynching of)

Elias Holt was murdered in Mississippi County by a gang of disguised men on January 25, 1872, after an accused horse thief implicated him as a conspirator in the crime. Elias Holt, a Kentucky native, was listed in the 1870 census as a twenty-nine-year-old farmer living with his wife, Martha, age nineteen, in Mississippi County’s Big Lake Township. In early 1872, a young man named Jones was arrested and charged with horse theft. During his initial questioning, Jones claimed that Holt had recruited him to steal the horse (with plans to steal another himself), meet him in Jacksonport (Jackson County), and then ride to Texas to get rid of the stolen animals. Jones’s statement, which the Osceola Times decried as …

Holt, George Moreau

George Moreau Holt played a prominent role in antebellum Arkansas as a physician, an Arkansas State Militia general, and a major in service to the Confederacy. He is also the only general officer of the Arkansas State Militia and its descendant organization, the Arkansas National Guard, to be killed in action by enemy forces. George M. Holt was born on July 4, 1831, in Tipton County, Tennessee, the third son of six of Archibald Murphy Holt and Margaret Tilford Holt. His father, initially a engineer, later became a prominent physician in Bedford County, Tennessee. Holt and his brother Joseph followed in his footsteps by becoming physicians. Little information is found to detail the early life of Holt except what is …

Holt, J. Seaborn

James Seaborn Holt was a lawyer who spent fifty years in private and government practice, the final twenty-three as a justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. He was a member of a prominent family from Boone County that provided three generations of leaders of the Arkansas bar, including three Supreme Court justices and three attorneys general. J. Seaborn Holt, as he was known, was born on November 17, 1884, in Bellefonte (Boone County), a tiny community southeast of Harrison (Boone County), to Joseph Rutherford Holt and Paralee Elizabeth Coffman Holt. His father was a farmer who grew corn, wheat, and oats, and raised cattle. He thought banking would be a good career for the boy and got him a job …

Holt, Jack Wilson, Jr.

Jack Wilson Holt Jr. was chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court for ten years, and his landmark lawsuit against the Arkansas penitentiary caused the entire Arkansas prison system to be declared unconstitutional in 1970, triggering judicially inspired prison reforms in many states. Jack Holt Jr. was born Samuel Wilson Holt on May 18, 1929, in Harrison (Boone County) to Jack Wilson Holt Sr. and Margaret Spikes Holt; he had a younger sister. He insisted that his parents change his name to Jack because children teased him that he had a girl’s name, Sammie. In 1928, his father was elected prosecuting attorney and, in 1934, circuit judge for the Fourteenth Circuit. His father was elected attorney general in 1936, and …

Holt, Jack Wilson, Sr.

Jack Wilson Holt Sr. was an eminent Arkansas politician for two decades in the mid-twentieth century. He was attorney general for three terms before World War II but lost three bitter races for governor and U.S. senator to the dominant politicians of the postwar era—John L. McClellan, Sid McMath, and Francis Cherry. Jack Holt, one of eleven children of Bud and Adeline Holt, was born on February 7, 1903, on his family’s farm along Crooked Creek north of Harrison (Boone County). He entered the first grade at a one-room school at Walnut Grove and graduated from Harrison High School, where he was a basketball and track star. He often rode a pony into town to attend high school. Holt received …

Holt, Joseph Frank

J. Frank Holt was a major figure in Arkansas legal and political circles in the 1950s and 1960s. He served in numerous public offices, including two terms on the Arkansas Supreme Court. Joseph Franklin Holt was born on October 22, 1910, in Harrison (Boone County). One of eleven children of Noah Calvin “Bud” Holt and Malicia Adeline Moore Holt, he grew up in Harrison, where he sold newspapers and worked in a garage while in high school before attending the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). He had to drop out of college and return home due to the Great Depression. He worked a variety of jobs, including selling insurance, teaching in the Cotter (Baxter County) school district, …

Holtz, Louis Leo (Lou)

Louis Leo (Lou) Holtz is a former football coach and television sports analyst who also became a popular public speaker known for his quips on television talk shows. Along with serving as the head football coach at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) from 1977 to 1983, he also held coaching positions at the College of William & Mary, North Carolina State University, University of Minnesota, University of Notre Dame, and University of South Carolina, compiling a career record of 249–132–7. In professional football, he coached the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL) in 1976, where his record was three wins and ten losses. Holtz is known for successfully leading the 1988 Notre Dame …

Holyfield, Wayland

Wayland Holyfield is a prolific country music writer and recording artist who wrote one of Arkansas’s official state songs, “Arkansas, You Run Deep in Me.” He is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame. Wayland D. Holyfield was born in Mallet Town (Conway County) on March 15, 1942. He attended grade school in Springfield (Conway County) and Little Rock (Pulaski County) and graduated from Hall High School in Little Rock in 1960—after attending high school in Mabelvale (Pulaski County) during the Lost Year of 1958–59 when Little Rock’s high schools were closed. He attended Hendrix College in Conway (Faulkner County) on a basketball scholarship and then the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville …

Hoofman, Clifton Howard (Cliff)

Clifton Howard (Cliff) Hoofman, who was reared by grandparents on tenant farms in White County, became a lawyer and politician and held constitutional offices in all three branches of state government. He served in the Arkansas House of Representatives for eight years, the Arkansas Senate for twenty years, four years as a state highway commissioner, and two years on the Arkansas Supreme Court; he also had two separate sojourns of two years each on the Arkansas Court of Appeals. As a close friend and ally of two governors, Bill Clinton and Mike Beebe, Hoofman was instrumental in passing much of the major legislation enacted during their combined twenty years in the governor’s office. Cliff Hoofman was born on June 23, …

Hooper, Philo Oliver

Philo Oliver Hooper has been called the father of Arkansas medicine. He was one of the founders of the Medical Department of Arkansas Industrial University, now the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), a founder and the first president of the Arkansas State Medical Association, a founding board member and director of the Arkansas Lunatic Asylum, and vice president of the American Medical Association. P. O. Hooper was born on October 11, 1833, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Alanson Hooper and Magdaline Perry Hooper. After obtaining what education was available in the city at the time, he pursued his education at Nashville University in Nashville, Tennessee. Returning home to Little Rock, he found employment as the chief clerk …

Horner, Elijah Whitt

Elijah Whitt “Lige” Horner served in both World War I and World War II before retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He was instrumental in the first use of Native American languages as military code, selecting the men who eventually became known as the Choctaw Code Talkers in France during World War I. Elijah Horner was born on May 19, 1893, near Mena (Polk County) to James Lafayette Horner, who was a farmer and real estate businessman, and Corah Elfleda Holman Horner. Horner was the youngest of the five children who lived to adulthood. His mother died when he was four years old, leaving him and his brother John to be raised by his older sisters—Mary Belle, Susan, and Oma. After …

Hotchkiss, Sylvester C.

Sylvester C. (S. C.) Hotchkiss was a northern architect turned Monticello (Drew County) resident who designed a number of houses and buildings in southern Arkansas. Hotchkiss’s relocation to Monticello distinguished the community from other small towns of the period for having a resident architect. Many of his structures are still standing in the twenty-first century, and two are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. S. C. Hotchkiss (whose middle name was likely Clifford) was born on January 29, 1842, in Homer, Michigan, to Sylvester Wolcott Hotchkiss and Mary Hotchkiss. Hotchkiss spent his childhood in Michigan and New York before the family moved to Chicago around 1854. He graduated in 1857 from Sloan Commercial College and began working with …

Houser, Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte Houser was a prominent African-American physician, owner of the Black Diamond Drug Store, and investor in Helena (Phillips County) from 1901 to 1920. He came to Helena from Charlotte, North Carolina, as the Arkansas Delta’s population and opportunities grew, but returned to the place of his birth following the Elaine Massacre. N. B. Houser was born near Gastonia, in Gaston County, North Carolina, on February 14, 1869. He was the son of William H. Houser, a well-to-do brick mason and contractor, and Fannie Houser, a housekeeper and mother. The youngest of six siblings, Houser attended public schools in Charlotte and worked as a farm hand on his father’s farm until the age of fourteen, when he began to …

Houston, Sam

Sam Houston was the governor of Tennessee, twice president of the Republic of Texas, and later senator and governor of the state of Texas. From May 1829 until November 1832, Houston lived in Arkansas Territory among the Cherokee. Sam Houston was born to Samuel Houston and Elizabeth Paxton Houston on March 2, 1793, at Timber Ridge Plantation in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Moving to Maryville, Tennessee, in 1807, Houston cleared land and clerked in a mercantile establishment. As he “preferred measuring deer tracks in the forest to tape and calico in a country store,” Houston went to live with John Jolly’s band of Cherokee and was given the name Colonneh (“Raven”). Subsequently, he taught school and volunteered in the War of …

Hovey, Charles Edward

Charles Edward Hovey was a major general in the Union army during the Civil War, serving as the Federal commander at the Action at Hill’s Plantation (a.k.a. Battle of Cotton Plant) and leading a brigade at the capture of Fort Hindman. While he served only briefly in Arkansas, Hovey was involved in these two major actions, which helped ultimately to secure the state for the Union. Born in Thetford, Vermont, on April 26, 1827, Hovey was the son of Alfred Hovey and Abigail Howard Hovey. One of eleven children, Hovey attended school until the age of fifteen, when he was hired as a teacher. After several years in the education field, Hovey worked as a lumberman before entering Dartmouth College in …

Howard County Reported Lynching of 1894

Brief accounts of lynchings sometimes appeared in newspapers across the country but were later corrected or contradicted by local newspapers. Such was the case with an unidentified African-American man who was supposedly lynched in Howard County in December 1894. In mid-December, several out-of-state newspapers—including Memphis’s Commercial Appeal, the Indianapolis Journal, the New York Sun, the New York Times, and the Raleigh News and Observer—reported that on Monday, December 10, a Black man had “outraged” a small white child (some reports say that she was only two years old) near Center Point (Howard County). He was allegedly chased away by two women but was caught and jailed. On the night of December 11 (some sources say December 12), a mob removed …

Howard, George, Jr.

George Howard Jr. was a trailblazing African-American attorney and judge in the second half of the twentieth century. After becoming one of the first black graduates of the University of Arkansas School of Law, he pursued a career dedicated to the expansion and guarantee of civil rights for all citizens. He became the first African American to be appointed to numerous Arkansas judicial posts, including the Supreme Court of Arkansas. He was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1994. George Howard Jr. was born on May 13, 1924, in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) to George Howard and Sara Howard, who was a public school teacher. He received his early education in Pine Bluff but left home to serve …

Howard, Jesse (Lynching of)

On May 26, 1883, an African-American man named Jesse Howard was fatally shot in Marianna (Lee County) for allegedly setting fire to a livery stable. The Arkansas Gazette, in a brief report published on May 27, does not name Howard, but newspapers across the country reported on the incident, giving not only Howard’s name but additional details. Interestingly, a few of these additional reports mistakenly identified the lynching victim as Henry B. Derrick, who was, in fact, the owner of the livery stable. Jesse Howard had lived in Arkansas since at least 1870, when the census listed him as a farmer and a native of Virginia living in Phillips County with his wife, Susan. By 1880, he and Susan were …

Howard, John Miller

John Miller Howard was an African-American artist and arts educator who founded the Art Department and taught at Arkansas AM&N—now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB)—from 1939 until his death in 1980. At AM&N, he worked to provide a top-quality arts education to his students, many of whom came from rural backgrounds and lacked exposure to art. Howard was recognized as a gifted painter and teacher. His life and work form an important chapter in the history of art in Arkansas. John Miller Howard was born in Alcorn, Mississippi, on September 22, 1908, to Lillie Howard, a young single mother who nurtured his early talent for drawing. He grew up in Brookhaven, Mississippi, attending segregated schools. He graduated …

Howe, John David

John D. Howe was a career U.S. Air Force officer who helped establish vital supply and maintenance operations during World War II and the Korean War, ending his career as commander of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. John David Howe was born on July 24, 1906, in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), the son of Charles D. Howe and Lucy Rowland Howe. The family moved to Hot Springs (Garland County) by 1910 and to Conway (Faulkner County) by 1920, where John studied at Arkansas State Teachers College, now the University of Central Arkansas. Howe enlisted in the 153rd Infantry Regiment of the Arkansas National Guard when he was seventeen, leaving two years later to pursue aviation. By 1929, he was …

Howell, James (Jim) Lee

James (Jim) Lee Howell was a professional football player and coach. As head coach of the New York Giants in the National Football League (NFL) from 1954 to 1960, he led the team to appearances in three NFL championship games and won the NFL title in 1956. He retired with a career record of 55–29–4. His career winning percentage is the best in Giants history for head coaches with fifty or more games and is among the best in NFL history. According to All-Pro defensive tackle Roosevelt “Rosey” Grier, Howell was “one of the greatest coaches to ever coach in the NFL.” Jim Lee Howell was born in Lonoke (Lonoke County) on September 27, 1914, the third of four siblings. His …