Time Period: Post-Reconstruction through the Gilded Age (1875 - 1900) - Starting with D

Daniel, Lucy Jane

In the late 1800s, it was so unusual for women to be stone carvers that The Monumental News, a trade journal, was able to locate only three to write about—one of whom was Lucy J. Daniel, formerly of Arkansas. The others were from Kansas and Canada, and all had learned the trade from their fathers. The journal article noted that Daniel had been fully in charge of the family’s marble shop since 1885, doing all the lettering, and some cutting and polishing, of the tombstones. Her only known sculpture is the Goddess of Liberty statue at Pea Ridge National Military Park. Lucy Jane Daniel was born in May 1865 in Carter County, Kentucky. Her mother was Rebecca Jane (Remy) Daniel, …

Danville Lynching of 1883

On September 8, 1883, two white men were forcibly taken by a mob from the jail at Danville (Yell County) and hanged from a bridge spanning the Petit Jean River. In all the stories recounting this lynching, the two victims are identified only as Dr. Flood and John Coker. One possible match for a “Dr. Flood” is John Flood, recorded in the 1880 census living in nearby Montgomery County with his wife and five children aged two to ten. He was fifty-four years old at the time of the census. The census also records a John Coker, age twenty-nine, working as a farmer and living in Ward Township, east of Danville, with his wife and young son and daughter. According …

Dardanelle Lynching of 1881

On September 10, 1881, two white men—J. F. Bruce and John Taylor—were lynched in Dardanelle (Yell County) for the alleged crime of murder. J. F. Bruce had been accused of the murder of John L. White the previous February. As the Arkansas Democrat reported, Bruce, White, and other men were “camped on the Danville road, some two or three miles from Dardanelle,” when they began drinking whiskey, “partaking of the usual amount necessary to cause a fight.” That fight ended in the murder of White, whose brother was a local magistrate and “one of the most esteemed and worthy citizens of Yell county.” Taylor, according to the Democrat, reportedly “murdered a man in the bottoms below Dardanelle.” A later report …

Davis, Alford (Lynching of)

In early January 1894, Alford “Alf” Davis, an African American man, was hanged by a mob in Lonoke County for allegedly stealing hogs. Alford Davis was possibly the thirty-year-old farmer who was living in Pettus Township, Lonoke County, in 1880. He was born in Alabama and was living with his wife, Emma, and three small children. In many accounts, Davis is described as an “old negro.” There were brief reports of the incident in newspapers across the country, and they differ on whether the lynching happened on January 4 or January 5. The Bolivar Bulletin indicates that Davis had been known for stealing and killing hogs “whenever it suited his convenience, regardless of the ownership of the hog.” Apparently, the …

Davis, Chick (Lynching of)

On July 24, 1899, an African-American man named Chick Davis was shot by a posse near Wilmot (Ashley County). While the incident was covered briefly in numerous national newspapers, coverage in Arkansas was no more detailed. As is often the case, given that the enumeration sheets for the 1890 census were lost to fire, there was no information in public records on Chick Davis or his victim. Newspaper reports indicate that a respected area farmer named Will Grin (sometimes spelled Grinn) suspected Davis of stealing and riding his horse at night. Grin went to Davis to “expostulate” with him, and Davis shot him in the forehead, killing him instantly. Davis then fled and was pursued by a posse composed of …

Davis, Jim (Trial and Execution of)

Beginning in the 1880s and increasingly as Jim Crow laws were instituted across the South, newspapers across the United States began to expand their coverage of Southern lynchings. In addition, publications like the Chicago Tribune and organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama began to keep annual lists of lynchings. In her 1895 book The Red Record, Ida B. Wells-Barnett also attempted to include a comprehensive list of lynchings. Further examination of some newspaper accounts, however, shows that subsequent articles, particularly local to the site of the lynchings, later corrected these stories to indicate that no lynching had indeed happened. Other events that were described as lynchings were actually …

Davis, Miller (Execution of)

On some occasions, the names of individuals who were legally executed find their way onto lists of lynching victims. This is the case with Miller Davis, executed on November 10, 1893, who appeared on the Chicago Tribune’s annual lynching list, in Ida B. Wells’s The Red Record, and on at least two other lynching lists. In addition, Wells describes Davis as a Black man, when in fact he was white. According to public records, Miller Davis was a native of Tennessee. In 1880, he was living in Lawrence County, Tennessee, with his parents and a number of siblings, including his brother, Mannon. By 1892, he was living in Sevier County, Arkansas, where he married Hardie Hannah on October 9. Davis …

De Ann Cemetery Historic Section

The De Ann Cemetery Historic Section is part of the Prescott City Cemetery located in Prescott (Nevada County). The original cemetery, the De Ann section, was created in the 1870s and officially opened in 1880. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 1, 2005. The cemetery is located on U.S. Highway 371/Greenlawn Street to the west of downtown Prescott. The original section is located south of the highway, and an addition is located to the north. Only the original section was added to the National Register. It is named for Prairie D’Ane (or De Ann), on which it rests. The earliest dated grave in the cemetery is for an infant who died on December 18, …

Devoe and Huntley (Lynching of)

aka: Huntley and Devoe (Lynching of)
In early January 1898, two African Americans named Devoe and Huntley (no first names were given in the reports) were allegedly lynched near Bearden (Ouachita County) for an attempted assault on an elderly woman there a year earlier. They were apparently lynched in two different incidents, and as the authorities maintained they had escaped, few details are available. According to the Arkansas Gazette, Devoe and Huntley had attempted to assault an elderly woman named Mrs. Paine near Bearden approximately a year before the alleged lynchings. They fled the scene, but in early January 1898, Devoe returned to the Bearden area and was arrested by J. D. Best and Frank Butler. They asked him where Huntley was, and when he refused …

DeWitt Lynching of 1891

On December 21, 1891, a mob of masked men entered the jail in DeWitt (Arkansas County) and shot three men: Floyd McGregory (sometimes written as Gregory) and his father-in-law, J. A. Smith (who were both white), as well as Mose Henderson (who was African American). The three men had been put in jail for plotting to kill Smith’s wife, who had divorced him and received one-third of his property in the settlement. According to the Arkansas Gazette, Smith’s wife, Mary, divorced him because “he was unkind to her, and abandoned her companionship for that of negroes.” The case was bitterly fought, but in the end, she received damages as part of the settlement, and her former husband objected. Smith enlisted …

Dinsmore, Hugh Anderson

Hugh Anderson Dinsmore was the first Arkansan from Benton County appointed as a U.S. foreign minister. Dinsmore also served three years as a circuit clerk, six years as a prosecuting attorney, twelve years in Congress, and several years on the board of trustees for the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). Born on the family homestead in Cave Springs (Benton County) on December 24, 1850, Hugh Anderson Dinsmore was the eldest of five children born to Alexander Winchester Dinsmore and Catherine Anderson. In 1860, before the outbreak of the Civil War, his father owned six slaves and one of the five general stores operating in Bentonville (Benton County). Dinsmore was educated in Benton County schools and the Ozark Institute …

Donnelly, Robert (Lynching of)

Robert Donnelly, an African-American man, was lynched in Lee County on June 29, 1892, by a mob of more than 200 other African Americans. His alleged crime was the repeated assault of a twelve-year-old black girl. While black-on-black lynchings were rare, historian Karlos Hill asserts that many of those that occurred shared a number of similarities. Most of the victims were young, married males who worked as farm laborers. Many of the victims were also connected with plantation societies, communities where everyone knew each other and which were inclined to punish their own criminals. Many of the thinly populated areas in the Arkansas Delta were similar to frontier areas, where violence was rampant and white officials were unresponsive, especially to …