November 15, 1846
Ferd Havis was born in Desha County to a white farmer and a slave mother. His father moved to Jefferson County, where Havis learned the barber’s trade. Even with little education, he became prosperous and was called the “Colored Millionaire.” He was elected alderman for five terms and was elected state representative, but he resigned to accept the post of Jefferson County assessor. He served five terms as Jefferson County circuit clerk, chaired the Jefferson County Republican Party for twenty years, served as a delegate to National Republican Convention in 1880, and was vice president of the Arkansas Republican Party in 1888. Despite worsening relations between the races after Reconstruction, Havis continued to be influential and prosperous, partly because of his charismatic disposition.