December 12, 2011
Napoleon Bonaparte Houser was a prominent African-American physician and businessman in the early 1900s. As one of the few black doctors in Helena (Phillips County), Houser prospered and was owner of the well-known Black Diamond Drug Store. In 1919, the area was rocked by racial discord, which resulted in the deaths of an undetermined number of African Americans (some estimates are in the hundreds). The event, now known as the Elaine Massacre, was troubling enough to Houser to motivate him to leave Arkansas and return to his native state of North Carolina, where he died in 1939.