September 5, 1942
Myra Dell McLarey, the youngest of five children, was born in Okay (Howard County), the company town of the Okay Cement Plant. McLarey is a teacher and an author of a wide variety of works, many influenced by her childhood in southwest Arkansas. She is best known for her 1995 debut novel Water from the Well, a semi-autobiographical work of fiction set in the fictional town of Sugar Springs, Arkansas. McLarey’s Water from the Well has been described as a work of “place” and brings to life the characters, locations, and memories of southwest Arkansas through a century’s worth of short tales that explore a rural community divided by race.