August 29, 1891

Claud Wilton Garner, a writer and an advocate for farmers, was born in Hope (Hempstead County). Garner had a fine baritone voice and began as a musician and merchant. He attended Ouachita Baptist College for a year before joining a tent show and traveling to many towns in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Later, working as part owner of an orchard in the Rio Grande Valley, his association with the Mexican workers formed the background for his first novel, published in 1947, which was awarded the Texas Institute of Letters Award. His next novel, Cornbread Aristocrat, used a south Arkansas setting and, as with subsequent works, had a rags-to-riches and historical theme.

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