Gender: Male - Starting with C

Corvett, George (Lynching of)

A white laborer named George Corvett was lynched on February 12, 1890, two miles west of Crawfordsville (Crittenden County) for having allegedly raped and murdered a young woman named Ada Goss. According to the Arkansas Gazette, Ada Goss was the daughter of H. C. Goss, “a highly respected citizen,” and the Goss and Corvett families were related by marriage, with George Corvett working for H. C. Goss. The 1880 federal census records an Ada Goss, then about five years old, living with her parents, H. C. and Laura Goss, and two siblings. Her father worked as a farmer. The census does not record anyone named George Corvett (or similarly named) living in the vicinity. On the night of February 11, …

Cotton States League

The Cotton States League was founded at Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1902 and comprised teams from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas; there were occasional entries from Texas, Alabama, and Florida. In Arkansas, teams were established in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), El Dorado (Union County), Helena (Phillips County), and Hot Springs (Garland County). The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL), the administrative agency of minor league baseball from 1901 to the present, sanctioned the league. The league operated as a Class D league, typically the lowest level of professional competition, from 1902 to 1932, though it played no games in 1909 and suspended operations from the fall of 1913 to 1922. From 1936 to 1955 (with the exception of 1942–1946 when it …

Cotton, John (Lynching of)

On July 15, 1893, a seventeen-year-old African American named John Cotton was hanged near Cornerville (Lincoln County) for an alleged attack on the wife of John Tucker, a prominent area farmer. According to the Forrest City Times, on Thursday, July 13, Cotton tried to assault Tucker while he thought her husband was away. John Tucker, however, was in a field nearby, where he heard her screams, and ran to the house. Cotton escaped, and as news spread of the attempted attack, a mob gathered. Cotton managed to elude them, “running like a hunted beast through the fields and woods.” He could find no food and no hiding place, and by Saturday afternoon he was exhausted and collapsed. His pursuers caught …

Cotton, Thomas Bryant (Tom)

Tom Cotton became the junior senator from Arkansas in 2015. A Republican elected with only Libertarian Party opposition to a second term in 2020, Cotton has gained a high public profile and has been spoken of as a possible future presidential candidate. Thomas Bryant Cotton was born on May 13, 1977, in Dardanelle (Yell County) to Thomas Leonard Cotton and Avis Cotton. He grew up on the family’s cattle farm. At Dardanelle High School, from which he graduated in 1995, the six-foot, five-inch Cotton played basketball. Cotton earned his bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University, graduating in 1998 after only three years. While at Harvard, he was a columnist for the Harvard Crimson and was also active in the …

Couch, Harvey Crowley

Influenced by a teacher’s counsel, Harvey Crowley Couch helped bring Arkansas from an agricultural economy in the early twentieth century to more of a balance between agriculture and industry. His persuasiveness with investors from New York and his ingenuity, initiative, and energy had a positive effect on Arkansas’s national reputation among businessmen. He ultimately owned several railroad lines and a telephone company and was responsible for what became the state’s largest utility, Arkansas Power and Light (AP&L). Harvey Couch was born on August 21, 1877, in Calhoun (Columbia County) to Tom Couch, a farmer turned minister, and Mamie Heard Couch. He had five siblings. Couch attended school in Calhoun two months out of each year, as did many farmers’ children …

Coulter, Wallace Henry

Wallace Henry Coulter was an engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur who was co-founder and chairman of Coulter Corporation, a worldwide medical diagnostics company headquartered in Miami, Florida. The two great passions of his life were applying engineering principles to scientific research and embracing the diversity of world cultures. Wallace Coulter was born on February 17, 1913, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Joseph R. Coulter and Minnie May Johnson Coulter. His father was a train dispatcher, and his mother was an elementary school teacher; he had one brother. Coulter spent his youth in McGehee (Desha County), graduating from McGehee High School. He attended his first year of college at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri; his interest in electronics, however, led him …

Counts, Will

aka: Ira Wilmer Counts
Ira Wilmer (Will) Counts Jr. was a photographer best known in Arkansas for his photographs during the 1957 desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock (Pulaski County). His photographs have been widely recognized as among the most memorable of the twentieth century. Will Counts was born on August 24, 1931, in Little Rock to Ira Counts Sr. and Jeanne Frances Adams Counts; he had one brother. The Counts family sharecropped near Rose Bud (White County) and then outside Cabot (Lonoke County) before moving in 1936 to the Resettlement Administration’s Plum Bayou Homestead in Jefferson County. When the family moved back to Little Rock, where Counts attended Little Rock High School (later Central High), he developed his initial interest in …

Covington, Riley (Reported Lynching of)

In the summer of 1877, a number of newspapers reported that an African American man named Riley Covington had been lynched for murder in Osceola (Mississippi County). This information has been included on various inventories of lynching events, and his reported murder is even memorialized at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. However, Covington was not actually lynched but, instead, was tried, convicted of murder, and incarcerated. The June 26, 1877, edition of Illinois’s Cairo Bulletin gives the most detailed information on Covington’s alleged crimes and arrest. Covington first came under suspicion when, in November 1876, he befriended a Black cotton picker identified only as Shackleford near Osceola. The two disappeared, and several weeks later, Covington …

Cox, David Adrian (Dave)

David Adrian Cox was an obscure Poinsett County farmer who, at the age of forty-eight, ran a quixotic campaign in 1962 to unseat Governor Orval E. Faubus, the most powerful Arkansas politician of the twentieth century. Faubus ran for governor nine times, but Cox was the only opponent who claimed that the act that made Faubus internationally famous—sending soldiers to prevent African American children at Little Rock (Pulaski County) from attending school with whites—was immoral. Faubus’s few critics and his thirty-eight other opponents in those races attacked him on other issues altogether, or else objected that by defying court orders to integrate he did not observe law and order. No Arkansas politician of the era except Cox dared publicly support …

Coy, Edward (Lynching of)

On February 20, 1892, Edward Coy, a thirty-two-year-old African-American man, was burned at the stake in Texarkana (Miller County) before a crowd of approximately 1,000 people. Ida B. Wells, a journalist and prominent anti-lynching crusader, described Coy’s murder as one of the most shocking and repulsive in the history of lynching. Coy, described in press accounts as “mulatto,” was charged with a crime “from which the laws provide adequate punishment. Ed Coy was charged with assaulting Mrs. Henry [Julia] Jewell, a white woman. A mob pronounced him guilty, strapped him to a tree, chipped the flesh from his body, poured coal oil over him, and the woman in the case set fire to him.” According to the New York Times, …

Craft, Clarence Byrle

Clarence Byrle Craft, a native of California, received the Medal of Honor for his actions on Hen Hill during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. He moved to Arkansas after World War II and died in Fayetteville (Washington County). Clarence B. Craft was born on September 23, 1921, in San Bernardino, California, the son Louis E. Craft and Pearl Collins Craft. His father, a railroad engineer, died in an accident in 1929 or 1930. His mother worked as a cook in the Harvey House restaurant chain, which led her and her children to move frequently. When World War II began, Craft joined the U.S. Army at Santa Ana, California, and shipped out as a private first class in Company G, …

Craighead and Lawrence Counties, Scout in

The Eleventh Missouri Cavalry Regiment (US) established its base at Jacksonport (Jackson County) on April 18, 1864, and began almost continuous scouting expeditions into the surrounding region in search of enemy troops and guerrillas. One such scout was conducted into Craighead and Lawrence counties in early May. Captain George W. Weber of Squadron M, Eleventh Missouri Cavalry, led a detachment of a lieutenant and fifty-two men out of Camp Sherman at Jacksonport on the morning of May 5, 1864, with orders to explore the area between Village Creek and the Cache River. Particular attention was to be paid to the area called the “Promised Land”—modern-day Egypt (Craighead County)—as the Federals sought to “gather all the information possible as to the …

Cramer, Floyd

Pianist Floyd Cramer was one of the creators of what became known as the “Nashville sound,” a style often seen as a forerunner of the slick, upscale pop/rock that emerged in Nashville, Tennessee, in the 1990s. Cramer released fifty solo albums, had a classic hit in the song “Last Date” in 1960, and accompanied Elvis Presley on such rock and roll hits as “Heartbreak Hotel.” He was a longtime friend of producer and guitar virtuoso Chet Atkins and performed with other music luminaries, including Patsy Cline, Eddy Arnold, the Everly Brothers, Perry Como, and Roy Orbison. In the 1980s, he recorded a hit version of the theme from the Dallas TV series. Born on October 27, 1933, in Campti, Louisiana, …

Crank, Marion Harland

Marion Harland Crank was a member of the Arkansas General Assembly for eighteen years; he lost narrowly to Governor Winthrop Rockefeller in 1968 in his only race for statewide office. Crank’s defeat ended conservative dominance of the Democratic Party in Arkansas. A government agriculture specialist, farmer, teacher, and businessman, Crank became influential in the dominant rural faction of legislators when he entered the state House of Representatives in 1951. He was the speaker of the House in 1963–64 and often managed legislative programs for Governor Orval E. Faubus during Faubus’s twelve years in office. He was the choice of the old political organization of conservative businessmen and planters to oppose the Republican Rockefeller for a second term, defeating five Democrats …

Cravens, Jordan Edgar

Jordan Edgar Cravens was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Third District of Arkansas in the Forty-Fifth, Forty-Sixth, and Forty-Seventh Congresses from 1877 until 1883. Jordan E. Cravens was born on November 7, 1830, in Fredericktown, Missouri, to Nehemiah Cravens and Sophia Thompson Cravens. He was one of three sons. Seeking new opportunity, the Cravens family moved to Arkansas the year after his birth. Cravens received his early education in the local common schools, but he graduated from the Presbyterian-supported Cane Hill College in Washington County in 1850. Following graduation, he studied the law and was admitted to the state bar in 1854, opening a practice in Clarksville (Johnson County). Cravens then entered the …

Cravens, William Ben

William Ben Cravens was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He had two separate and distinct periods of service in Congress, first representing the Fourth District of Arkansas in the Sixtieth, Sixty-First, and Sixty-Second Congresses, serving from 1907 to 1913, and then after two decades away, he returned to Congress, again representing the Fourth District, in the Seventy-Third through the Seventy-Sixth Congresses, serving from March 1933 until his death in early 1939. Ben Cravens was born on January 17, 1872, in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) to William Murphy Cravens and Mary Eloise Rutherford Cravens. He attended the local schools before continuing his studies at Louisville Military Academy in Kentucky and then at Staunton Military Academy in Virginia. …

Cravens, William Fadjo

William Fadjo Cravens was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Fourth District of Arkansas in the Seventy-Sixth through the Eightieth Congresses, serving from 1939 to 1949. Fadjo Cravens was born in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) on February 15, 1899, to William Ben Cravens and Caroline Dyal Cravens. Cravens got his early education in the local public schools before attending the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) and the University of Pittsburgh. His education was interrupted while he served as a seaman in the U.S. Navy during World War I. Upon his return from the service, he earned his law degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, in 1920. Cravens was …

Crawford, Eric Alan “Rick”

Rick Crawford is a Republican U.S. congressman from Arkansas who was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 as part of the wave of new conservatives who made up the Tea Party Movement, a group whose emergence helped the Republicans regain the majority in the House. After arriving in Washington DC, Crawford began compiling a record characterized by strong opposition to President Barack Obama and equally strong support of President Donald Trump. He has also proven himself to be adept at getting votes, being easily reelected five times. Eric Alan “Rick” Crawford was born on January 22, 1966, on Homestead Air Force Base in Florida. He was one of three sons born to Ruth Anne Crawford and …

Crawford, William Ayers

William Ayers Crawford’s importance to Arkansas history stems from his service to the Confederacy and his participation in Arkansas’s postwar political crises, the most visible of which was the Brooks-Baxter War. William Crawford was born on June 24, 1825, in Washington County, Tennessee, the youngest of eleven children of William Ayers Crawford and Martha Blakely Crawford. His father was a farmer and breeder of fine horses; he died in 1834. Following his mother’s death in 1840, the orphaned Crawford left Tennessee with older siblings. After passing through Little Rock (Pulaski County) en route to Texas, they changed their original plan and made Saline County their permanent home, farming for a living. In June 1846, Crawford enlisted for service in the …

Crenchaw, Milton Pitts

Milton Pitts Crenchaw, of the original Tuskegee Airmen, was one of the first African Americans in the country and the first from Arkansas to be trained by the federal government as a civilian licensed pilot. He trained hundreds of cadet pilots while at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute in the 1940s and was the catalyst in starting the first successful flight program at Philander Smith College in Little Rock (Pulaski County) from 1947 to 1953. His combined service record extends for over forty years of federal service from 1941 to 1983 with the U.S. Army (in the Army Air Corps) and eventually the U.S. Air Force. Milton Crenchaw was born on January 13, 1919, in Little Rock to the Reverend Joseph C. …

Crenshaw, George (Lynching of)

On September 2 or 3, 1885, an African American man named George Crenshaw was taken from jail and hanged by a mob near Lewisville (Lafayette County) for allegedly murdering a young salesman named Harry W. Paup. According to the September 1 edition of the Arkansas Gazette, at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, August 28 (another report says August 29), a young salesman and “highly respected young gentleman” named Harry W. Paup was walking through a cotton field near the home of an elderly black man named George Crenshaw. Crenshaw’s dogs began to bark and alerted Crenshaw, described as a “blood-thirsty old demon.” Crenshaw grabbed his gun, and though another man, Mike Ross, tried to stop him, ran to the field, spotted …

Crittenden County Lynching of 1840

In early December of 1840, two unidentified escaped slaves were hanged in Crittenden County for allegedly murdering their owner, Major Thomas E. Clark. At the time of the 1840 census, Clark was living in Jasper Township and owned three slaves. When Clark discovered that the two men were gone, he and Colonel James Martin pursued them. Clark and Martin were separated during the chase, and Clark was alone when he encountered the fugitives. Martin, who was nearby, heard Clark crying out, but by the time he arrived at the scene, Clark was dead. When area citizens learned of the crime, they caught the two escapees and hanged them from a nearby tree “as examples for other refractory slaves.” The Arkansas …

Crittenden, Robert

Robert Crittenden was the first secretary and acting governor of the Arkansas Territory; subsequently, he was the first person to serve in the role now known as the lieutenant governor of Arkansas. He was a prominent member of the Arkansas bar, candidate for territorial delegate to Congress in 1833, and political powerbroker in territorial Arkansas. Robert Crittenden was born on January 1, 1797, in Woodford County, Kentucky, near Versailles. He was the son of John Crittenden, a major in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, and Judith Harris. His brother, John Jordan Crittenden, served as a United States senator from Kentucky and was attorney general under presidents William Henry Harrison …

Crockett, Davy

aka: David Crockett
The legendary frontiersman and congressman David (Davy) Crockett passed through Arkansas on his way from Tennessee to Texas in 1835. While at a Little Rock (Pulaski County) banquet given in his honor, he reportedly stated, “If I could rest anywhere it would be in Arkansas, where the men are of the real half-horse, half-alligator breed such as grow nowhere else on the face of the universal earth but just around the backbone of North America.” Davy Crockett was born in Greene County, Tennessee, on August 17, 1786. His parents were John and Rebecca Hawkins Crockett. He ran away from home at about age thirteen and did not return home for some thirty months. In 1806, Crockett married Mary “Polly” Finley, …

Crockett, Robert Paul (Bobby)

Bobby Crockett was a star wide receiver on the 1964 and 1965 University of Arkansas (UA) football teams, which rank among the school’s all-time great squads. As the team’s leading receiver, he earned All-American honors in 1965 before he embarked on a short-lived professional career with the Buffalo Bills. Robert Paul (Bobby) Crockett was born on April 3, 1943, in Briggsville (Yell County) to Robert Roy Crockett and Frances Annette Crockett. He attended Dermott High School, graduating in 1962. The 6’3″, 200-pound wide receiver then went on to UA in Fayetteville (Washington County), where he played a critical role in the best two-season run in the university’s history. At UA, Crockett was a three-year letter winner on the 1963, 1964, …