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

Dr. Boaz House

The Dr. Boaz House is a dogtrot house located in western Clark County near the Clear Springs community. Constructed around 1891, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 28, 1992. Clear Springs is located about two miles east of Antoine (Pike County) on the road linking Arkadelphia (Clark County) and Murfreesboro (Pike County), now Arkansas Highway 26. Never a large community, in 1890 Clear Springs included a church, store, school, post office, cotton gin, and grist mill. About fifty people lived in the community. There is a lack of information about Dr. Boaz, although oral tradition suggests that he was a medical doctor. The single reference to Boaz in public records is a marriage record …

Draughon School of Business (Little Rock)

aka: Draughon Business College (Little Rock)
Draughon’s Practical Business College opened in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on February 5, 1900. During its more than ninety years of operation, it offered a variety of courses ranging from typing and shorthand to courses in servicing television and radio equipment. The first Draughon School of Business was founded by John F. Draughon in eastern Tennessee in 1879. At the age of sixteen, Draughon would transport books and materials by cart from town to town, offering classes in basic business skills. His first non-mobile instruction was offered in Nashville, Tennessee, a few years later. By the time he died in 1921, thirty-eight such schools had been established in southern and western states from Georgia to Texas, including schools in Savannah, …

Draughon, James Harris

James Harris Draughon was a prominent businessman and civic booster in Arkansas and Texas following the Civil War. With numerous business interests in the Texarkana (Miller County) area, he was a central figure in the founding of the town that now bears his name, Draughon (Cleveland County). James Harris Draughon was born on June 12, 1843, in Waverly, Tennessee, to William W. Draughon and Cassandra Murphy Draughon. His father died when he was less than a year old, leaving his mother to care for him and his six siblings. He grew up in Waverly and received his early education in the town’s public schools. He got his first job in 1857, working as a clerk in Dresden, Tennessee. Although he …

Dunn, Poindexter

Poindexter Dunn was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the First District of Arkansas in the Forty-Sixth through the Fiftieth Congresses, serving from 1879 to 1889. Poindexter Dunn was born on November 3, 1834, near Raleigh, North Carolina, to Grey Dunn and Lydia Baucum Dunn. He and his family moved to Limestone County, Alabama, in 1837. After receiving his early education in local common schools, he graduated from Jackson College in Columbia, Tennessee, in 1854. He studied law for a time before moving to St. Francis County in Arkansas in 1856 and then won election to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1858. He also grew cotton until 1861, when the Civil War broke out. …

Eagle-Booe Feud

On April 25, 1898, three men were shot to death in Lonoke (Lonoke County). These killings—and the conflicts that took place before and after—have come to be called the Eagle-Booe Feud. The prominent Eagle family of Lonoke County, including the brother of a former Arkansas governor, was roped into the feud and ended up being defended in court by a distant relation who would became governor himself, and later a U.S. senator. Approximately a week before the killings, on or about April 19, 1898, an unknown assailant shot Charles (Charley) Booe (wrongly spelled sometimes as Booie) outside of his law office in England (Lonoke County). Charley Booe, for reasons unknown, accused Robert (Bob) Eagle of shooting him. Booe’s father, William …

Eagle, James Philip

James Philip Eagle served as governor during one of the most turbulent times in Arkansas’s history. Elected under a cloud of election fraud and faced with a divided Democratic Party, he presided over a General Assembly bent on enacting a series of “Jim Crow” laws to segregate Arkansas society along racial lines. By the time Eagle left office, the dominance of the Democratic Party had been restored, but Arkansans were more racially divided than at any time since the days of slavery. James Eagle was born on August 10, 1837, in Maury County, Tennessee, the son of James and Charity Swaim Eagle. The family, of German descent, immigrated to the United States from Switzerland. In November 1839, Eagle’s father, a …

Earle, Fontaine Richard

Fontaine Richard Earle was a major in the Thirty-fourth Arkansas Infantry (CSA) from Cane Hill (Washington County). He fought in a number of Civil War battles in the Trans-Mississippi Theater and later served northwest Arkansas as a legislator (1866–1867), minister, teacher, administrator, and author. Fontaine R. Earle was born on January 9, 1831, in Pond River, Kentucky. His parents, Samuel Baylis Earle and Jane Woodson Earle, were farmers in Pond River; he had eight siblings. Earle received bachelor’s degrees in arts and divinity from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1858. He moved to Boonsboro (now Cane Hill) in 1859 to become president of Cane Hill College and a Cumberland Presbyterian minister. During the Civil War, he became engaged to …

Election Law of 1891

The passage of the Election Law of 1891 was essential to the solidification of power in the state for Democrats during the post-Reconstruction era and was the first step in making Arkansas a one-party state. In conjunction with the subsequent Poll Tax Amendment, controversially passed during the 1892 general election, the Election Law of 1891 effectively disfranchised African Americans in Arkansas and legally suppressed Republican and third-party political opposition. By 1888, Democratic Party officials in Arkansas were expressing concern about perceived election fraud in the state and the threat of federal oversight of state elections. Evidence of widespread election fraud and the highly publicized murder of Republican candidate John M. Clayton brought about mounting calls for election reform legislation. After much …

Elligin and Anderson (Lynching of)

Two African-American men named Elligin and Anderson were lynched in September 1877 near DeWitt (Arkansas County) for the alleged crime of murder. This was the third lynching event to occur in Arkansas County. The two men lynched were likely Jordan Elligin and George Anderson. The 1870 census records both men living in Villemont township in Arkansas County (the township would be annexed to Jefferson County in 1889). Elligin was fifteen at the time of the census, while Anderson was twenty-four and working as a farmer. An account of this event appeared in the Indicator, a newspaper published in DeWitt. According to this account, published on Saturday, September 22, and reprinted in the Arkansas Gazette, Elligin and Anderson had been confined …

England, Albert (Lynching of)

Albert England, a white man, was lynched on the night of November 2–3, 1895, near Vilonia (Faulkner County). After being arrested and charged with burglary, he was taken from custody and murdered. Some at the time believed that the mob was composed of fellow criminals intent upon silencing England and protecting themselves from exposure. The exact identity of Albert England is difficult to determine. There was an Albert England reported on the 1880 census as twenty-six years old and from Lonoke County; however, there is a brief line in the November 28, 1895, Arkansas Gazette noting that an Albert England who was resident at the state asylum (now the Arkansas State Hospital) had died, and his body was being shipped …

Eureka Springs Baby

aka: Eureka Baby
aka: Petrified Indian Baby
The 1880 discovery of a fossilized human child in Eureka Springs (Carroll County) was not revealed as a hoax until 1948. The find was exhibited locally and then around the state. Within a year, the carving—known variously as the “Eureka Baby,” the “Petrified Indian Baby,” or as a Hindu idol—had been exhibited in St. Louis, Missouri; Galveston, Texas; and New Orleans, Louisiana. It was also reportedly en route to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC at the time of its disappearance. This hoax was the brainchild of Henry Johnson, a Scottsville (Pope County) merchant who closely modeled his deception on the nationally famous Cardiff Giant. This massive stone man was “discovered” in 1869 in Cardiff, New York, and publicly acknowledged …

Factor, Pompey

Pompey Factor was a scout for the U.S. Army during the Indian Wars. In 1875, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroic actions during the course of the Red River War. Factor was born in 1849 in Arkansas to Hardy Factor, a black Seminole chief and Indian scout, and an unknown Biloxi Indian woman. The descendants of runaway slaves and Seminole Indians, many black Seminole fought against the U.S. Army in the Second Seminole War (1835–1842). By the end of that conflict, most of them were captured and removed to the Indian Territory. The fear of enslavement, however, drove many black Seminole to migrate to Mexico in the 1850s. Factor’s family was among those who emigrated. Factor and …

Farmer, John (Lynching of)

On July 19, 1891, an African-American man named John Farmer was lynched in Chicot County for allegedly murdering a prominent local planter named C. C. Buckner. John Farmer may be the same person who was living with his grandmother, Lou Gibson, in the household of another African American, Jack Gillis, in Mason Township of Chicot County in 1880; his grandmother was a servant, and fifteen-year-old Farmer was a farm laborer. This would mean that he was twenty-six at the time he was lynched. According to Paul R. Hollrah’s History of St. Charles County, Missouri (1765–1885), C. C. Buckner was Charles Creel Buckner, born in Kentucky in 1850 to George Roberts Buckner and Harriet Creel Buckner. C. C. Buckner graduated from …

Featherstone v. Cate

In the Arkansas election of 1888, Agricultural Wheel members and other groups formed the Union Labor Party and allied with the Republicans to offer a serious challenge to the Democrats. In 1889, the Featherstone v. Cate congressional hearings resulted from allegations of election fraud in the race for U.S. representative from Arkansas’s First Congressional District, a district comprising seventeen eastern counties including Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Lee, Phillips, and St. Francis. In 1888, the race for first district representative pitted Independent candidate Lewis P. Featherstone of Forrest City (St. Francis County) against Democratic judge William Henderson Cate of Jonesboro (Craighead County). Initially, the election results showed Cate the winner with 15,576 votes to Featherstone’s 14,238. In late November 1888, Featherstone, alleging fraud in Crittenden, Cross, Lee, …

Featherstone, Lewis Porter

Lewis Porter (L. P.) Featherstone was an Agricultural Wheel leader and a politician who served in the state legislature in 1887 and in the U.S. Congress from 1890 to 1891. His electoral defeat in 1888 resulted in federal hearings that highlighted the extent of election fraud in Arkansas and saw him seated in Congress in 1890. L. P. Featherstone, the eldest son of Lewis H. Featherstone and Elizabeth (Porter) Featherstone, was born on July 28, 1851, in Oxford, Mississippi. By 1860, his father, a landowning farmer, had resettled near Memphis, Tennessee, and his family eventually included five more sons. Educated in the local schools, Featherstone attended Cumberland University law school in Lebanon, Tennessee, before failing eyesight forced him to abandon …

Ferguson House (Pine Bluff)

The Ferguson House, sometimes referred to as the Ferguson-Abbott House, is located on West 4thAvenue in the historic district of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). It was the first home in Pine Bluff to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places, which noted its historical and architectural significance within the community of Pine Bluff, as it has a unique architectural design and was the birthplace and childhood home of Martha Mitchell. The house was built by Calvin M. Ferguson, who was born in Chester, South Carolina, in 1852 and moved to Pine Bluff in 1893. Upon moving to Pine Bluff, he opened a grocery store with M. P. Russell, and he later started a wholesale grocery company with his son, …

Fishback, William Meade

William Meade Fishback was a prominent Unionist during the Civil War who became the seventeenth governor of Arkansas. He was elected (but not seated) as U.S. senator by the Unionist government in 1864. During Reconstruction, he became a Democrat and, in the mid-1870s and early 1880s, championed repudiation of state debts. The Fishback Amendment earned him the name the “Great Repudiator.” His relatively lackluster one term as governor was most notable for his public relations effort to improve Arkansas’s image. William Fishback was born on November 5, 1831, in the Jeffersonton community of Culpeper County, Virginia, the oldest of the nine children born to Frederick Fishback and Sophia Ann (Yates) Fishback. As the son of a prosperous farmer, he received …

Fitzgerald Station and Farmstead

Fitzgerald Station and Farmstead in Springdale (Washington and Benton counties) was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 27, 2003. Focusing on the time period 1857–1953, the National Register listing includes a barn used by Butterfield’s Overland Mail Company (1858–1861), an 1870s house, a stable, a pump house, a chicken house, a cistern, native stone entry markers, and an outdoor fire pit. Fitzgerald (or Fitzgerald’s) Station and Farmstead has also been designated by the National Park Service as a certified site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. John Fitzgerald Sr. (1783–1875) and his wife, Mary Fitzgerald (1794–circa 1865), moved their family from Alabama to Washington County, Arkansas, in the late 1820s or early 1830s, settling …

Fitzgerald, Edward Mary

Edward Mary Fitzgerald was the second Roman Catholic bishop of Little Rock (Pulaski County), overseeing a diocese that encompasses the boundaries of the state of Arkansas. As the most historically significant Arkansas Catholic prelate, he was one of the only bishops in the world, and the only English-speaking one, to vote against papal infallibility. As an Arkansas bishop, he strove to attract Catholic immigrants to the state and sought also to evangelize African Americans; these efforts, however, bore little fruit. St. Edward Catholic Church was named in his honor. Although it is known that Edward Fitzgerald was born in the city of Limerick on the west coast of Ireland, his birth certificate fails to reveal his exact date of birth. …

Fordyce, Samuel Wesley

Samuel Wesley Fordyce was a businessman who spearheaded efforts to build thousands of miles of railway in the South and Southwest during the late nineteenth century, including the Cotton Belt route that crossed Arkansas. He also was a major force behind the transformation of Hot Springs (Garland County) from a small village to major health resort. The town of Fordyce (Dallas County) is named for him, as is the Fordyce Bath House in Hot Springs. Samuel Fordyce was born on February 7, 1840, in Senecaville, Ohio, the son of John Fordyce and Mary Ann Houseman Fordyce. As a boy, he never liked school, but he attended Madison College in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and North Illinois University in Henry, Illinois, before becoming …

Forrest City Riot of 1889

In the 1888 election, the Union Labor Party, which included farmers of the Agricultural Wheel, allied with the Republicans to challenge the Democrats. Aware of black Arkansans’ important electoral support of this movement, white Democrats responded by launching an effort to end African Americans’ political participation. In St. Francis County in eastern Arkansas, which had become a black-majority county by 1890, the Wheel/Republican alliance became politically powerful. In 1888, county Union Laborites and Republicans formed a fusion ticket to challenge the previously dominant Democrats. Much to the Democrats’ dismay, three black Republicans captured the offices of county assessor, treasurer, and coroner, and white Union Labor candidates won the offices of sheriff, county clerk, and county judge. Shortly after the election, …

Frederick Hanger House

aka: Hanger House
One of the most picturesque, best preserved, and most carefully restored houses in Little Rock (Pulaski County) is the late-nineteenth-century Frederick Hanger House. It retains a high percentage of its original fixtures, fittings, and architectural features and is an outstanding example of the Queen Anne style of architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 15, 1974. Peter Hanger, originally from Kentucky, moved to Arkansas in the 1830s, settling first in Chicot County and, by 1848, in Little Rock. In 1850, he married Matilda Cunningham, daughter of Dr. Matthew Cunningham and his wife, who were among Little Rock’s earliest settlers. He invested in real estate and was active in a variety of businesses, including U.S. Mail …

Frederick, Bart (Lynchings Related to the Murder of)

On January 7, 1898, in Little Bay (Calhoun County), African-American men Charley Wheelright (or Wheelwright) and A. A. Martin were lynched for the alleged murder of Bart Frederick, a white man. Jim Cone, another suspect in the case, was probably lynched around the same time. Six months later, Goode Gray (a.k.a. Tobe Gray) was lynched at Rison (Cleveland County) for the same crime. According to the Arkansas Gazette, Bart Frederick was murdered in the first week of January while he was operating a handcart on the Cotton Belt Railroad near Kingsland (Cleveland County), where he was a waterman (a worker who supplied water to the railroad tanks). A letter written by Dr. William Buerhive to Bart Frederick’s brother in Michigan, …

Frolich, Jacob

Jacob Frolich was a German immigrant and a Confederate soldier who became an active and high-profile figure in post–Civil War Arkansas politics. An alleged leader of the Ku Klux Klan in Arkansas, he was accused of murder in a case that highlighted the political divisions in the state at that time. Ultimately acquitted of the charges, he went on to be elected to three terms as Arkansas’s secretary of state. Jacob Frolich was born in Obernforf, Bavaria, Germany, on November 15, 1837, to John Frolich and Marie Elizabeth Herrman Frolich. When Frolich was nine, the family came to the United States. They lived initially in New Orleans, Louisiana, but ultimately settled in Indiana. At the age of fourteen, Frolich began …

Fyler, Eliza A. (Lizzie) Dorman

Lizzie Dorman Fyler was an activist in Arkansas in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Although she died at the age of thirty-five, she had already made a mark as a leader in the temperance movement, and she laid the early foundation for the drive to achieve women’s suffrage in Arkansas. Eliza (Lizzie) Dorman was born on March 11, 1850, in Massachusetts to Dr. Uriah Dorman and Eliza Alma Dorman. She moved with her parents and her mother’s parents to Wisconsin in 1853. While little is known about her youth, she appears to have grown up and received her early education in Wisconsin before marrying Frank F. Fyler in 1870. The couple had a daughter in 1871, by which time …

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 …

Gulley, Ransom

Ransom Gulley was an educator, lawyer, entrepreneur, and politician who lived much of his life in Independence and Izard counties. Ransom Gulley was born on a farm near Raleigh, North Carolina, on January 24, 1839, one of at least seven children of John G. Gulley and Mary Gulley. Gulley was educated at home by a private tutor. In 1860, he studied law in Tennessee. In January 1862, Gulley enlisted in the Confederate army at Pocahontas (Randolph County), joining the Seventh Arkansas Infantry Battalion, Company C, also called Desha’s Battalion. When the battalion reorganized as the Eighth Arkansas Infantry in May 1862, Gulley was discharged. According to his service record, he reenlisted in March 1863 at Fort Caswell in North Carolina …

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, …

Hallum, John

John Hallum was a prominent nineteenth-century Arkansas lawyer and historian. His efforts to record and illuminate the territory and state’s early history provided a highly readable introduction to the state’s heritage, while laying a solid foundation for future historians. John Hallum was born on January 16, 1833, in Sumner County, Tennessee, the oldest of eleven children of Bluford Hallum and Minerva Davis Hallum. Shortly after he was born, the family moved, and Hallum spent his early years on a farm near Memphis, Tennessee. He reportedly learned how to read from the local newspaper, the Memphis Appeal, and was a voracious reader from an early age. When the family moved back to Sumner County, he received sporadic schooling in a log …

Hamblen, Samuel George

Samuel George Hamblen was the second superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation, now Hot Springs National Park. As superintendent, he was mainly noted for his design of the arching of Hot Springs Creek. The arching was instrumental in the development of modern-day Central Avenue in the city of Hot Springs (Garland County). Some of his other notable feats were the laying out of the first drives and bridle paths on the Hot Springs and North Mountains and enlarging the “Mud Hole.” Samuel Hamblen was born on February 7, 1836, the ninth of ten children born to Ichabod and Lydia Fickett Hamblen in Standish, Maine. Hamblen’s father, who moved his family from Standish in the fall of 1839, bought a farm located …

Hamby, Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus Hamby of Prescott (Nevada County) was an attorney and political figure who served as acting governor of Arkansas for four months in the summer of 1892 during Governor James P. Eagle’s illness and absence from the state. Born on September 14, 1851, in Calhoun County, Mississippi, C. C. Hamby was the son of Thomas Jefferson Hamby, a farmer who served in a Mississippi regiment of the Confederate army, and his wife, Nancy Elizabeth Byars. Because of the hardships during the Civil War, Hamby’s education was limited. He went to work as a brakeman for the Mississippi Central Railroad at the age of eighteen. In 1872, Hamby moved to Logan County, Arkansas, where he attended school and worked on …

Hampton Race War of 1892

aka: Calhoun County Race War of 1892
The Hampton Race War (also referred to as the Calhoun County Race War in many sources) occurred in September 1892 and entailed incidents of racial violence all across the southern part of the county. While many sources have attributed the events in Calhoun County to Arkansas’s passage of the Election Law of 1891, with provisions that vastly complicated the voting process for illiterate citizens of all races and effectively kept them from voting, it seems that the trouble in the county started prior to the early September election. Racial unrest was widespread in Arkansas in the 1890s, especially across the southern counties. Incidents increased after the state began passing Jim Crow legislation that limited the rights of its black citizens. (According …

Hardy Cemetery Historic Section

The Hardy Cemetery Historic Section, which is located near the northern edge of Hardy (Sharp County), was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 2, 2006. It was included in part due to its connection to the founders of the town and its funerary architecture. Though the area that became Hardy was settled by the 1880s, the town was not incorporated until July 12, 1894. Walter Clayton, a town founder, had donated the land for the town in 1883. He also donated the land for the cemetery, though it is not clear if this donation was made at the same time. There are a total of 322 burials in the cemetery. The oldest with a dated headstone …

Harris, George (Lynching of)

On February 23, 1892, an African-American man named George Harris was lynched by a mob near Varner (Lincoln County) for allegedly murdering E. F. Parker (sometimes referred to as S. F. Parker) the previous September. According to newspaper accounts, Parker was a “peaceable and inoffensive citizen of Lincoln County.” He had previously lived in Drew County, where he married Mary McCloy of Monticello in 1882. There is no official record of a man named George Harris in either Lincoln or Drew counties, but the Arkansas Democrat noted that he had formerly lived on Steve Gaster’s plantation in Drew County. At the time of the 1880 census, there was a Steve Gaster living in Ferguson (Drew County) with his mother-in-law, Rachel …