Entries - Time Period: Early Twentieth Century (1901 - 1940) - Starting with I

Incoming Kingdom Missionary Unit

One of Arkansas’s quirkiest religious groups, the Incoming Kingdom Missionary Unit, located at Gilbert (Searcy County), was founded shortly after World War I. A Midwestern clergyman, the Reverend John Adams Battenfield (1876–1952), taught that the world would end “shortly” amid “a great world-wide war between Catholics and Protestants.”Therefore, the faithful, those who heeded Rev. Battenfield’s message, needed to prepare for this impending event by fleeing their present communities and establishing themselves in completely self-sufficient communities, or “Kingdom Units,” in scattered remote mountain areas across the nation. From here, they would emerge after the holocaust and establish the Millennial Kingdom of God. In each community, all property was to be communally owned, government was to be in the hands of the …

Irons Fork Experimental Forest

Shortly after experimental forests were authorized for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS)—an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)—by the McSweeney-McNary Forest Research Act of 1928, the Ouachita National Forest (ONF) reached out to the USFS’s Southern Forest Experiment Station (SFES). The ONF staff members wanted the SFES to develop an experimental forest to help them learn about managing the shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata)–dominated forests of the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. In early 1931, the SFES dispatched a three-man crew to examine possible locations on the ONF, but they did not find any areas they thought were suitable for silvicultural research. The ONF and the USFS’s Washington DC office persisted, and a few years later the SFES suggested an experimental forest on a large tract of virgin and cutover timber along the Irons Fork …

Ish, George William Stanley

George William Stanley Ish was a prominent black physician in Little Rock (Pulaski County) who cared for citizens of the capital city and inspired members of both races. He graduated from Harvard Medical School and was instrumental in founding both United Friends Hospital and the J. E. Bush Memorial Hospital, primary centers for the medical care of black patients. He was also largely responsible for the inception of the McRae Memorial Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Alexander (Pulaski and Saline counties), the state’s separate black sanatorium. Physicians of both races held him in high regard, and he was a staff member at predominantly white hospitals in Little Rock. G. W. S. Ish was born in Little Rock on October 28, 1883, in …

Island 37

aka: Andy Crum (Lynching of)
aka: Bert Springs (Lynching of)
Island 37 is a stretch of land that is in the legal possession of the State of Tennessee but is physically joined to Arkansas. Because competing claims of jurisdiction left it in something of a legal void, Island 37 became, in the early twentieth century, an outpost for bootleggers and other criminals. Police action taken against those criminals resulted in one of the many U.S. Supreme Court cases regarding ongoing boundary disputes between Arkansas and Tennessee. The Mississippi River is a dynamic waterway, often cutting new channels and thus either forming islands or causing former islands to merge with the eastern or western banks. The legal principle of avulsion holds that land cut off by the river from one state …

Ivey, Helen Booker

Helen Booker Ivey was a longtime teacher and principal in Little Rock (Pulaski County) public schools. The Colored Branch of the Little Rock Public Library was renamed in her honor in 1951. The branch library continued to operate and serve as a community meeting place throughout the 1960s. Helen Booker Ivey was the daughter of Dr. Joseph A. Booker and Mary Jane Caver Booker; her father was the first president of Arkansas Baptist College and a leader in Arkansas’s African-American community. Her date of birth is uncertain: the 1900 census states that she was born in December 1896, while the 1930 census places her age as thirty-two, indicating an 1898 birth; her gravestone has a 1901 birthdate. She attended Arkansas …

Izard County Courthouse

The Izard County Courthouse is located off Highway 69. It joins adjacent streets of Lunen, Court, and Spring to form Courthouse Square in Melbourne (Izard County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as architecturally and historically significant for its Art Deco style and association with a New Deal program, the National Youth Administration (NYA). The National Park Service added it to the National Register of Historic Places on September 30, 1993. This was not the first structure in Melbourne to house county business. After the county seat moved in 1875 from Mount Olive (Izard County) to Melbourne, the county used a large barn until a two-story structure was erected in 1878 on the present site. A fire …