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

Gann House

The Gann House is among the oldest buildings still standing in Saline County. The Gann House also reportedly had the first indoor bathrooms in the city of Benton (Saline County). It was built in 1895 in the Queen Anne style as the private residence of prominent doctor and freemason Dr. Dewell Gann Sr. and his family. Gann was born on March 31, 1863, in Atlanta, Georgia. In Arkansas, his family became well known for its contributions to history and to the field of medical science. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 2, 1976, a few months after what is now the Gann Museum, immediately neighboring it on South Market Street in Benton, was …

Garland, Augustus Hill

Augustus Hill Garland was the eleventh governor of Arkansas, a member of the Confederate Congress, a U.S. senator, and attorney general of the United States. As governor of Arkansas, Garland worked to get the state out of a tremendous debt and improve the state’s image. As the subject of the U.S. Supreme Court case Ex parte Garland, Garland is also a part of legal history, and Garland County is named for him. Augustus Garland was born on June 11, 1832, in Covington, Tennessee, to Rufus Garland and Barbara Hill Garland. He had an older brother, Rufus, and an older sister, Elizabeth. Garland’s father moved the family to Lost Prairie (Miller County), where he owned a store. He died when Garland …

Gates, Noah Putnam

Noah Putnam Gates was an important educator in Arkansas in the last few decades of the nineteenth century. He played a particularly influential role in the development of what became the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). Noah Putnam Gates was born on November 18, 1932, near Princeton, Kentucky, the son of Nathan Gates and Carolina Davidson Gates. His early education took place in a wide range of schools (predominantly church affiliated) located in Kentucky and Missouri. He attended Chapel Hill College in Chapel Hill, Missouri, and Princeton College in Princeton, Kentucky, before studying at Illinois Normal University and the University of Michigan. He did not receive a degree from any of these schools, but the board of …

Gause, Lucien Coatsworth

Lucien Coatsworth Gause was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the First District of Arkansas in the Forty-Fourth and Forty-Fifth Congresses, serving from 1875 to 1879. Lucien C. Gause was born near Wilmington, North Carolina, on December 25, 1836, to Samuel Sidney Gause and Elizabeth Ann Gause. The family, which included another son, moved to Lauderdale County, Tennessee, where Gause received his earliest education, studying with a private tutor. After graduating from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, he studied law at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. After graduating from Cumberland, he was admitted to the bar and began to practice law in Arkansas at Jacksonport (Jackson County) in 1859. Gause was reputedly an excellent …

Gibbs, Mifflin Wistar

Mifflin Wistar Gibbs was a Little Rock (Pulaski County) businessman, a politician, and the first elected African-American municipal judge in the United States. Mifflin Gibbs was born on April 17, 1823, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the eldest of four children born to Jonathan and Maria Gibbs. His father, a Methodist minister, died when Mifflin was a child, and his mother worked as a laundress. Gibbs learned carpentry through an apprenticeship. He read widely and attended debates at the Philadelphia Library Company of Colored Persons. He had a chance to practice his own oratory in the 1840s when Frederick Douglass invited him to help conduct an abolitionist lecture tour. Journeying to California soon after the gold rush of 1849, he became a …

Goodlett Gin

The Goodlett Gin is located at 799 Franklin Street in Historic Washington State Park in Washington (Hempstead County), once the county seat for Hempstead County and the last Confederate capital of the state of Arkansas. Constructed in 1883 in nearby Ozan (Hempstead County), the gin was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and moved to the park between 1978 and 1980 after it was purchased by the state. Reassembled in the park, it opened as a non-operating exhibit to the public in 1984. David Goodlett was born on April 3, 1840, in Tippah County, Mississippi. After the death of his mother in 1844, Goodlett moved with his family to Camden (Ouachita County). In 1859, he moved …

Goodspeed Histories

The Goodspeed histories of Arkansas are a collection of six volumes originally published individually between 1889 and 1891 (as well as a seventh volume published in 1894) by the Goodspeed Publishing Company of Chicago, Illinois; Nashville, Tennessee; and St. Louis, Missouri. In an effort to “gather and preserve…the enormous fund of perishing occurrence,” each volume contains an extensive description of the existing historical record of the era, often supplemented with information obtained from local citizens and public officials. Although their style, content, and the method in which they were sold suggests that they were written to appeal to the general public, the Goodspeed histories are now recognized as a valuable tool for local historical and genealogical research. The content within …

Gowrow

The gowrow, one of several fabulous monsters reported in Arkansas popular lore, may owe its origins more to journalism than to traditional narrative and folk belief. The principal documentation of the creature’s existence is a story that appeared in the Arkansas Gazette on January 31, 1897, apparently written by Elbert Smithee. Elmer Burrus provided an illustration, allegedly based on a photograph, to accompany the piece. Fred W. Allsopp, who edited the Gazette at the time, recounted the circumstances that led to Smithee’s story. William Miller, a Little Rock businessman who had been traveling in the Ozarks of northwest Arkansas, told Smithee of a “horrible monster” known as the gowrow. Its name came from the noise it made during its nocturnal …

Graham, David Crockett (D. C.)

David Crockett (D. C.) Graham was a Baptist missionary and pioneer anthropologist in southwestern China. Over the course of almost four decades in Sichuan Province, Graham, through his publications and museum work, introduced to the English-speaking world the cultures of several little known peoples, and introduced modern archaeology in the region. D. C. Graham was born in Green Forest (Carroll County) on March 21, 1884, to the farming family of William Edward Graham and Elizabeth (Atchley) Graham; he was one of nine children, five of whom died young. After his mother died, the family moved to the Walla Walla, Washington, area when Graham was about four. He attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, where he was active in the Young Men’s …

Grand Army of the Republic Monument (Judsonia)

The Grand Army of the Republic Monument located in the north-central section of Evergreen Cemetery in Judsonia (White County) was erected in 1894 by the W. T. Sherman Post No. 84 of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). It is one of three such monuments known to have been erected in Arkansas, the others being in Siloam Springs (Benton County) and Gentry (Benton County). The Grand Army of the Republic was a national organization of Union Civil War veterans initially formed to help the widows and orphans of fallen Union servicemen and to support the Republican Party; it later focused upon promoting patriotic activities and decorating the graves of the war dead. The first GAR camp was established in …

Gravette Historical Museum

aka: Kindley House
The Gravette Historical Museum is housed in the historic two-story Kindley House located at 503 Charlotte Street in Gravette (Benton County). Founded in 1995, the museum houses a collection of artifacts documenting the history of the area, as well as detailing the life of one-time town resident and World War I air ace Field Kindley. The Kindley House—L-shaped and of Italianate design—was constructed sometime in the 1870s of brick manufactured on site. After having several occupants, it was purchased by Amos Eraster Kindley, who moved to the town in 1898 and assisted in establishing the Bank of Gravette. In about 1908, he and his wife, Mary, obtained custody of their nephew Field Eugene Kindley, whose mother had recently died. The …

Great Southwestern Strike

At its height, the Great Southwestern Strike of 1886 shut down railway lines in five states (Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Texas, and Missouri), threatened to upset commerce nationally, and, with its promise of union recognition, attracted support from a wide spectrum of unskilled and semi-skilled railroaders. Instead of winning union recognition, the strikers met with a terrible defeat that divested hundreds of their jobs, confirmed the power of the state and federal governments to repress labor unrest on the railways, and dealt a severe blow to the Knights of Labor, the nation’s largest labor union. Defeat was not total, however; strikers’ grassroots, cross-racial activism on the railroads contributed to the broader Populist movement in Texas and Arkansas. The Great Southwestern Strike …

Green, Benjamin William

Benjamin William Green was a soldier, planter, mill operator, real estate agent, and advocate for Confederate veterans. Raised in South Carolina, he fought in a Georgia unit during the Civil War. He moved to Arkansas after the war and later served as commander of the Arkansas Division of the United Confederate Veterans (UCV). Benjamin Green was born on September 7, 1846, in Darlington County, South Carolina, to Judge James Green and Sarah Ann Green. He was a descendant of John James, an officer of the American Revolution. Green’s father was a planter, who, according to the 1860 census, owned twenty slaves ranging from age three to eighty years of age. His father was too old to fight in the Civil …

Greenback Party

Arkansas’s Greenback Party emerged in the political tumult of the post-Reconstruction era in the late 1870s, in part because of an agrarian reaction to the Republican-controlled federal government’s hard money policies. Despite some initial successes in state and local elections in the late 1870s and early 1880s, however, the Greenbacks were spent politically by 1884. They disbanded as their issues were largely co-opted by the Democrats or rendered moot by an improving national economy. Origins of the PartyAs a result of the economic recession that followed the Panic of 1873, the national Greenback Party organized in 1876 to address agrarian concerns over the Specie Resumption Act of 1875. The act was a deflationary Republican initiative to redeem federal bank notes …

Greene County Courthouse (1888)

The 1888 Greene County Courthouse, located at 306 W. Court Street in Paragould (Greene County), is a three-story rectangular structure. The building exhibits the Italianate style in the low-pitched, hipped roofline; the square cupola supporting a clock tower; widely overhanging eaves with decorative brackets; and tall, narrow windows. The exterior also features Georgian Revival accents shown in the pediments on each side. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 11, 1976. The restored building is no longer used as a courthouse, but it houses the Paragould Regional Chamber of Commerce and is open to visitors. Greene County has changed county seats three times. The first county seat was located at a town called Paris …

Gregg, Lafayette

One of the most enigmatic, if relatively unknown, figures in Arkansas history is Judge Lafayette Gregg. Gregg was a member of one of the pioneering families in northwest Arkansas and was involved in one way or another in nearly every major historical event in Arkansas history that happened during his lifetime. Although most remembered as an instrumental figure in the location of Arkansas Industrial University—later the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County)—in northwest Arkansas, he was also a banker, lawyer, state representative, Civil War veteran, and Arkansas Supreme Court justice. At the time of his death, Gregg was in service to Arkansas helping prepare the state’s exhibition for the 1893 World’s Fair. Lafayette Gregg was born on February …

Grey, William Henry

William Henry Grey emerged as a leader of African Americans in Arkansas after he settled in Helena (Phillips County) in 1865. Never a slave himself, he was a tireless fighter for the rights of freedmen. His involvement in politics included being a Republican member of the 1868 state constitutional convention and a member of the Arkansas General Assembly, as well as serving as the Commissioner of Immigration and State Lands. In 1872, he became the first African American to address a national nominating convention, seconding the nomination of Republican presidential candidate Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. He was also the first Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge (Colored) of Free and Accepted Masons of Arkansas, established in 1873 from the merger …

Gunter, Thomas Montague

Thomas Montague Gunter was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. From 1874 to 1883, he represented first the Third District of Arkansas and then later, due to redistricting, the Fourth District. His service began in the Forty-Third Congress and extended through the Forty-Seventh Congress. Thomas M. Gunter was born on September 18, 1826, near McMinnville, Tennessee. The son of John Gunter and Lavina Thomason Gunter, he pursued classical studies and graduated from Irving College in Tennessee in 1850. After graduation, he taught school for a year in Alabama. With his earnings, he began to study law, a course he continued when he moved to Arkansas in 1852. There, he began to work and study under a relative, …