January 29, 1897
Mary Lewis, famed opera soprano, was born into poverty in Hot Springs (Garland County). She grew up in the slums until rescued by Reverend and Mrs. W. S. Fitch, who recognized her talent for singing. Before making her debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House to critical acclaim in 1925, she sang in cafes and worked in silent movies. Much of her later life, however, was plagued with disastrous relationships and alcoholic binges that precipitated a decline in her fortunes.