Race and Ethnicity: White - Starting with T

Thibault, David

David Thibault was an agricultural agent and writer whose short stories appeared in popular national magazines. His early death cut short his career before he could accumulate a large body of significant work. Some of his best fiction draws characters, settings, and themes from plantation life in Arkansas in the early twentieth century. David Thibault was born on May 23, 1892, at Walnut Grove plantation east of Little Rock (Pulaski County). His parents were James Keatts Thibault, a farmer, and Corinne Laurie Gibson Thibault. He was the youngest of nine chlidren and was educated in the public schools of Little Rock. In 1915, Thibault married Irene Graeme Stockton, a high school English teacher. In 1917, they had a son, David …

Third Arkansas Light Artillery (CS)

aka: Jackson Light Artillery
The Third Arkansas Light Artillery was a Confederate unit that served in the Western Theater in a variety of roles throughout the Civil War. The battery that would come to be known as the Third Arkansas was organized at Jacksonport (Jackson County) on June 15, 1861, under the command of Captain George McCown. The unit was known as McCown’s Battery during its early existence. The battery joined two other Arkansas artillery units in a battalion under the command of Major Francis Shoup, and this unit transferred to Confederate service on July 25, 1861. McCown resigned his commission on July 17, and Second Lieutenant George Hubbard was elected to lead the battery. The battalion moved to the east bank of the …

Third Confederate Infantry (CS)

The Third Confederate Infantry was a Confederate unit that served in the Western Theater during the American Civil War. The unit of seven companies was primarily made up of men from Greene, Jefferson, Mississippi, Pulaski, St. Francis, and Searcy counties. One Searcy County company was former Arkansas Peace Society men who had been arrested and offered the choice of enlistment or jail. These companies, originally part of Hindman’s Legion, were organized into the First Arkansas Infantry Battalion when Confederate authorities refused to accept the twenty-two-company legion. With the addition of three companies from Tennessee and Mississippi, it officially became the Eighteenth Arkansas Infantry with John S. Marmaduke as colonel, J. B. Johnson as lieutenant colonel, and H. V. Keep as …

Thirteenth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Thirteenth Arkansas Infantry was a regiment that served in the Confederate army during the American Civil War. Spending most of its service in the Western Theater, the regiment served for the duration of the war. The regiment organized on July 29, 1861, in Greene County with companies from Phillips, St. Francis, Poinsett, Lawrence, Greene, Crittenden, and Craighead counties. One company in the regiment was from Missouri. James Tappan was selected as the first colonel of the regiment. The regiment moved to Belmont, Missouri, and camped on the banks of the Mississippi River across from Columbus, Kentucky. The unit saw its first action at the Battle of Belmont on November 7, 1861, when Brigadier General Ulysses Grant attacked the camp. …

Thirtieth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

aka: Rogan's Arkansas Cavalry (CS)
The Thirtieth Arkansas Infantry was a Confederate unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the American Civil War. The unit was primarily composed of men from Craighead, Cross, Clay, Greene, Jackson, Poinsett, Pulaski, and St. Francis counties. The regiment was organized on June 18, 1862, with field officers Colonel Archibald McNeill, Lieutenant Colonel Robert A. Hart, and Major James W. Rogan. Initially referred to as the Fifth Trans-Mississippi Infantry Regiment or McNeill’s Regiment, it was officially designated the Thirtieth Arkansas Infantry by the Confederate War Department. Often incorrectly referred to as the Thirty-Ninth Arkansas Infantry, it is also known as Hart and Rogan’s Arkansas Infantry. During summer and fall 1862, the regiment operated in the vicinity of the White …

Thirty-Eighth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Thirty-Eighth Arkansas Infantry was a Confederate unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the American Civil War. The unit was composed of men primarily from Craighead, Independence, Izard, Lawrence, and Randolph counties. The regiment began organization in June 1862 as a mounted infantry unit but was dismounted in August 1862 and mustered into Confederate service with ten companies on September 21, 1862, at Jacksonport (Jackson County). The elected field officers of the unit were Colonel Robert G. Shaver, Lieutenant Colonel William. C. Adams, and Major Milton Baber. The Thirty-Eighth Arkansas experienced its first combat on December 7, 1862, at the Battle of Prairie Grove. Assigned to a brigade commanded by Shaver of Frost’s Division, the Thirty-Eighth, under Adams, …

Thirty-First Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Thirty-First Arkansas Infantry was a Confederate unit that served in the Western Theater during the American Civil War. The unit was composed of men primarily from Conway, Independence, Jackson, Pope, Van Buren, and Yell counties. Organized originally as a four-company battalion under the command of Major Thomas H. McCray in January 1862, it reorganized on May 25, 1862, as the Thirty-First Arkansas Infantry with ten companies. The original field officers were Colonel Thomas H. McCray, Lieutenant Colonel James F. Johnson, and Major James W. Clark. After initial assignment to the brigade of Brigadier General J. L. Hogg in Major General John P. McCown’s division at Corinth, Mississippi, it was ordered to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and transferred to the division of …

Thirty-Fourth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Thirty-Fourth Arkansas Infantry regiment was a Confederate unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the American Civil War. Organized in the summer of 1862, most of the companies were raised prior to—but in direct response to—the 1862 Confederate Conscript Law, making it a volunteer regiment. It was composed primarily of men from Benton, Crawford, Franklin, Sebastian, and Washington counties. The original command staff consisted of Colonel William H. Brooks, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Gunter, and Major James Woolsey. Initially referred to as the Second Regiment, Northwest Division by the state military board, the Confederate War Department re-designated it as the Thirty-Fourth Arkansas Infantry. During the summer and fall of 1862, the regiment trained in northwestern Arkansas before moving south …

Thirty-Second Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Thirty-Second Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the Civil War. Organized on June 16, 1862, as Matlock’s Arkansas Cavalry Battalion, it was later converted to infantry. More than fifty percent of the regiment was composed of men from Independence, Jackson, Searcy, St. Francis, and White counties, with the remainder being conscripts. Appointed officers were Colonel Charles Matlock, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Young, and Major Lucien Gause. While serving as independent companies and Matlock’s Battalion, the troops fought in numerous small skirmishes in northeastern Arkansas at Smithville in Lawrence County, Searcy Landing on the Little Red River, Whitney’s Lane, Cache River near Cotton Plant (Woodruff County), and Groves Glades on the White River. …

Thirty-Seventh (Bell’s) Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Thirty-seventh Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the American Civil War. It was a volunteer regiment, as it was organized in March 1862, prior to the enactment of the 1862 Confederate Conscript Law. It was composed primarily of men from Ashley, White, Woodruff, Union, Dallas, Clark, and Benton counties. The original command staff consisted of Colonel Joseph C. Pleasants, Lieutenant Colonel John A. Geoghegan, and Major Samuel S. Bell. Initially referred to as the First Trans-Mississippi Infantry Regiment and designated as the Twenty-ninth Arkansas Infantry by the Confederate War Department, it was most commonly referred to as Pleasant’s [sic] Arkansas Infantry. After the Battle of Prairie Grove and reorganization of the …

Thirty-Third Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Thirty-Third Arkansas Infantry was a Confederate unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the Civil War. The unit was primarily composed of men from Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Montgomery, and Ouachita counties. Ten independent companies rendezvoused at Camden (Ouachita County) on July 11, 1862, and were ordered to Camp White Sulphur Springs outside Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) for training. The appointed field officers were Colonel Hiram S. Grinstead, Lieutenant Colonel H. W. McMillan, and Major W. L. Crenshaw. It officially mustered into Confederate service as the Thirty-Third Arkansas and was assigned to Colonel Robert Shaver’s brigade before moving to northwestern Arkansas in October. Additionally, the muster roll included eleven enslaved members serving primarily as cooks. The Thirty-Third experienced its …

Thomas, David Yancey

David Yancey Thomas was one of the most influential academic historians in the field of Arkansas history. He was a driving force in the re-establishment of the Arkansas Historical Association (AHA) in 1941, was the first editor of the Arkansas Historical Quarterly, was the chair of the Department of History at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) for twenty-eight years, and was known nationally for his scholarly books and articles. David Thomas was born on January 19, 1872, to James Fuller Thomas and Eliza Ann Ratliff Thomas. He grew up on a farm in southwest Kentucky, near Hickman in Fulton County. He was the youngest of nine children. Thomas was a student at Marvin Training School in …

Thomas, Henry Andrew “Heck”

Henry Andrew “Heck” Thomas became one of the best-known officers of the law in Arkansas and Indian Territory (later Oklahoma). His reputation as a fearless crime fighter stemmed from a determination to bring felons to justice and from the notorious characters he encountered. Tall and lean, with dark eyes and a mustache, Thomas was the image of the frontier lawman, usually attired in knee-high boots, corduroy trousers, and a flannel shirt. Thomas, and others like him, helped combat frontier criminals in order to make the region safe for settlers. Heck Thomas was born on January 6, 1850, in Oxford, Georgia, the last child of twelve of Martha Ann Fullwood Bedell Thomas and Lovick Pierce Thomas. He acquired the nickname “Heck” …

Thomas, John Orval

John Orval Thomas was a teacher, mentor, and role model for many television and film industry professionals in Arkansas. He worked as a sound engineer on major motion pictures, produced political campaign commercials, and had a variety of jobs in the television industry. Orval Thomas Jr. was born in Slocomb (Saline County) on November 25, 1919, to John Quincy Thomas Sr., who was a traveling preacher, and Eliza Eldridge Thomas. When Thomas was four, his parents started taking him on various “speaking engagements” of the revival circuit, where they would play one-reel silent movies in between his father’s sermons. When he was fourteen, Thomas took a job at a photography studio, the Deluxe Studio in Hot Springs (Garland County). There, …

Thomas, Ruth Harris

Ruth Harris Thomas was a highly regarded amateur ornithologist whose column on birding in Arkansas was published by the Arkansas Gazette for about forty years. Her column not only documented area birds, but it also contributed to a growing appreciation for birds, birding, and habitat conservation. Ruth Harris was born in Kentucky on August 25, 1900, to Charles O. Harris and Columbia B. Cox Harris. She had two brothers. Majoring in English and journalism, Harris graduated from Louisiana State University in 1923, where she also edited the student newspaper. She moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the autumn of 1923 to work as a reporter for the Arkansas Gazette newspaper. In 1927, she married Maine native Stanley Powers Rowland …

Thomas, William

William H. Thomas, a native of Wynne (Cross County), was an American soldier in World War II who was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry in battle against the Japanese in the Philippines. William H. Thomas was born in Wynne on January 13, 1923, to lumber mill worker John Thomas and Jessie Thomas. The Thomas family, which included two daughters and four other sons, apparently moved around the Arkansas Delta, as the family lived in Trumann (Poinsett County) in 1930 and in Brinkley (Monroe County) by the mid-1940s. William Thomas, who had worked as a farmer and timber worker, attempted to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1943 but was turned away because of a heart condition. He succeeded …

Thomason, Harry Z.

Harry Z. Thomason is a film and television producer best known for the television series Designing Women and for his friendship with Bill Clinton. Thomason made the casting of people of Southern heritage more popular, replacing the ignorant hillbilly type with a more wry, witty, sophisticated Southerner. Thomason was born in 1940 in Hampton (Calhoun County). After moving to Little Rock (Pulaski County), he became a high-school speech teacher and football coach. Beginning with Encounter with the Unknown (1973), he wrote, produced, and/or directed the movies The Great Lester Boggs (1974), So Sad about Gloria (1975), The Day It Came to Earth (1979), and Revenge of Bigfoot (1979). He then moved to television, where he produced the television movies A Shining Season …

Thompson, Charles Louis

Charles Louis Thompson was a highly prolific architect who created one of the most successful architectural practices in Arkansas during the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. His firm designed more than two thousand buildings, of which hundreds still exist today. Charles Thompson was born in November 1868 in Danville, Illinois, to James C. and Henrietta Lightner Thompson. He and his six siblings were orphaned when he was fourteen, and they moved to Indiana to live with relatives. He quit school at the age of fourteen and went to work in a mill to help support his brothers and sisters. During his extra hours, he worked for an architect named Hunt, who taught him drafting and exposed …

Thompson, David Aiken

David Aiken Thompson came to Arkansas as the Arkansas Territory was beginning to show rapid growth, attracting settlers from eastern states and offering opportunities for business and land speculation. Thompson became one of the largest land speculators in Arkansas. At the height of his operations, he reportedly either owned outright or had an interest in 150,000 acres of land in sixteen Arkansas counties. David Thompson was born on April 4, 1796, at New Castle, Delaware, to Dr. David Thompson and his second wife, Frances Aiken Thompson. His father died two months before he was born. His mother soon moved to Jonesboro, Tennessee. There, she met John McAlister, and they married on December 25, 1800. Thompson grew up in Jonesboro and …

Thompson, M. Jeff

Meriwether “Jeff” Thompson was a brigadier general in the Missouri State Guard who served and led troops in Arkansas during the Civil War, ultimately surrendering the troops in the northeastern part of the state in 1865 after earning a reputation as a wily commander. Meriwether Thompson was born on January 22, 1826, in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, the son of U.S. Army paymaster Captain Meriwether Thompson and Nancy Slaughter Broadus Thompson. As a youth, Thompson would skip school to accompany a black deliveryman named Jeff on his rounds, which led his family to begin calling him by that name. His friends soon followed suit, and after moving to Missouri in 1847 he had his name legally changed to M. Jeff Thompson. …

Thornton, Billy Bob

Billy Bob Thornton is an actor, director, screenwriter, and musician who began his film career in the late 1980s and has since starred in a number of popular and critically acclaimed films. He received an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Sling Blade (1996). Billy Bob Thornton was born on August 4, 1955, in Hot Springs (Garland County), the oldest son of high school basketball coach Billy Ray Thornton and Virginia Faulkner, a psychic. At seven months of age, he set the Clark County record for heaviest infant, at thirty pounds. He has two younger brothers, Jimmy Don and John David. Residing with over a dozen relatives in a shack with no electricity or plumbing, the Thorntons subsisted on …

Thornton, Raymond Hoyt (Ray), Jr.

Law professor Raymond (Ray) Hoyt Thornton Jr. was an Arkansas entrepreneur, lawyer, attorney general, U.S. representative, university president, and Arkansas Supreme Court justice. Thornton also played a key role in fashioning the articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon concerning the Watergate cover-up. Ray Thornton was born on July 16, 1928, in Conway (Faulkner County), one of two children of Raymond Thornton Sr. of Sheridan (Grant County) and Wilma Elizabeth Stephens of Prattsville (Grant County). His parents attended Arkansas State Teachers College (now the University of Central Arkansas) and eventually returned to Sheridan to live; Thornton’s father served as superintendent of schools for Grant County, and his mother taught at Sheridan. Thornton graduated from high school in 1945 at age …

Three Guardsmen

The Three Guardsmen were three U.S. marshals based in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) who became famous for their effort to track down the Doolin Gang, also known as the Wild Bunch, in Oklahoma in the early 1890s. When the three accomplished lawmen teamed up in 1891, they spent the next five years pursuing the group, finally capturing gang leader Bill Doolin in January 1896, only to have him escape from the Guthrie Federal Prison less than six months later. They tracked him down again, but refusing to surrender, Doolin was killed in a shootout on August 25, 1896. The leader of the Three Guardsmen was Henry Andrew “Heck” Thomas, who was born in 1850 in Athens, Georgia. Thomas was joined …

Thruston, Henry Clay

Henry Clay Thruston was a Confederate soldier who fought at the Battle of Pea Ridge and in the Camden Expedition, as well as in General Sterling Price’s Missouri Raid of 1864. Thruston is perhaps best known for reportedly being the tallest Confederate soldier of the Civil War at over seven and a half feet tall. Later in life, he worked for P. T. Barnum’s circus, being advertised as the world’s tallest man. Information is sketchy about the early life of Henry Clay Thruston. He was born in South Carolina in either 1830 or 1833, with the exact day variously recorded as May 4 or May 5. His father, Street Thruston, served in the American Revolutionary War, and he had four …

Tillman, John Arthur

John Arthur Tillman was the last person executed by hanging in the state of Arkansas. Accused of murdering a girlfriend, Tillman insisted upon his innocence to the day of his death. John Arthur Tillman was born in January 1891, the third oldest of nine children of John Franklin Tillman, a farmer and cattle breeder, and Lennie Belle Townsell Tillman of Delaware (Logan County). His arrest in 1913 was connected to the March 10 disappearance of Amanda Stephens, age nineteen, who lived north of Delaware. Friends and neighbors said that the two were “seeing each other,” and Stephens left behind a note pinned to her pillow suggesting that she was running away. According to later newspaper reports, she had told friends …

Tillman, John Newton

John Newton Tillman was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Third District of Arkansas in the Sixty-Fourth through the Seventieth Congresses, serving from 1915 to 1929. John N. Tillman was born near Springfield, Missouri, on December 13, 1859, to Newton J. Tillman and Mary Mullins Tillman. The family moved to Arkansas when he was a child, and he attended the local common schools before graduating from the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1880. Following graduation, Tillman taught school while also studying law. He read law in the office of Judge J. M. Pittman until Pittman was elected circuit court judge, at which point Tillman studied with local lawyers Holsinger and …