December 31, 2007
Saline County native Francis Irby Gwaltney was a scholar, professor, and author of significant novels dealing with the South. Gwaltney wrote eight novels, with his most critically acclaimed and commercially successful being The Day the Century Ended (1955). Drawing on his World War II combat experiences, he crafted a gripping story about the relationships between poor and rich Arkansas soldiers in the South Pacific. The book was made into the movie Between Heaven and Hell. Gwaltney died in 1981.