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

Kahn-Jennings House

The Kahn-Jennings House at 5300 Sherwood Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County) was built in 1927 from a design by architect Maximillian F. Mayer that incorporates elements of the English Revival and French Eclectic styles of architectures. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 8, 1992. Sidney L. Kahn Sr. was a former banker who, in 1919, formed a real estate business and began developing subdivisions in Little Rock. Prominent among those was the Prospect Terrace neighborhood in the Pulaski Heights Addition, and Kahn chose to build a large home for his family there on six lots between Sherwood and Edgewood. Kahn hired Mayer, an architect with an emerging Little Rock practice, in 1926 to …

Kansas City and Memphis Railway

  The Kansas City and Memphis Railway Company (KC&M) at its brief peak in 1914 was the largest non-Frisco (St. Louis–San Francisco Railway) railroad in northwestern Arkansas, with 63.97 miles of standard gauge track. The railroad, based in Rogers (Benton County), was formed in 1910. It absorbed the Arkansas and Oklahoma Western Railroad, which ran from Rogers to Siloam Springs (Benton County), and the Monte Ne Railway, which ran from Monte Ne (Benton County) to Lowell (Benton County), in 1911. The business plan projected a western terminus of Wagoner, Oklahoma, and an eastern extension that would serve Huntsville (Madison County) and Little Rock (Pulaski County) en route to Memphis, Tennessee. The railroad was backed by prominent Rogers banker William R. …

Kansas City Southern Railway

The Kansas City Southern Railway Company (KCS), the smallest of the large North American freight railroads, has 4,300 miles of track in ten states. It has retained the same name since 1900, a rarity among U.S. railroads. A predominantly north-south railroad in a world of east-west railroad systems, the KCS owns about 200 miles of track in western Arkansas along the border with Oklahoma. Arthur E. Stilwell was the visionary who saw the need for a railroad to link the major agricultural center of Kansas City to a port on the Gulf of Mexico. In 1887, he built the Kansas City Suburban Belt Railway. It was a success, and Stilwell subsequently built two railroads south of Kansas City to serve …

Kaplan, Regina

Nurse, teacher, and healthcare innovator Regina Kaplan was the hospital administrator and director of the nursing school at the Leo N. Levi Memorial Hospital in Hot Springs (Garland County) for thirty-five years. She was active in national and community organizations, and has been called Arkansas’s “Lady with the Lamp.” Regina Kaplan was born on May 12, 1887, in Memphis, Tennessee, the third of five children of German immigrants Gershon Kaplan and Adella Hannah Traube Kaplan. Her father had been a school teacher in Germany. The family moved to Denver for her mother’s health. Unable to afford medical school to become a doctor, at age seventeen, Kaplan entered Denver’s Mercy Hospital Training School for Nursing. She graduated in 1908 at the …

Kavanaugh, William Marmaduke

William Marmaduke Kavanaugh was briefly a U.S. senator for Arkansas after the death of incumbent Jeff Davis. In addition, Kavanaugh also served as managing editor of the Arkansas Gazette from 1890 to 1896, sheriff and tax collector for Pulaski County from 1896 to 1900, probate and county judge from 1900 to 1904, and member of the National Democratic Committee from Arkansas from 1912 to 1915. William M. Kavanaugh was born on March 3, 1866, near Eutaw in Greene County, Alabama, to the Reverend Hubbard Hinde Kavanaugh and Anna Kimbrough Kavanaugh; he was one of six children. His father was a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and chaplain of the Orphans Brigade, which was the only Confederate brigade from …

Kays House

The historic residence of Victor Cicero (V. C.) Kays, who led the early development of what is now Arkansas State University (ASU), occupies a prominent rise along Aggie Road on the eastern side of the campus in Jonesboro (Craighead County). Kays was the first president of the First District State Agricultural School—which later became Arkansas State College, then Arkansas State University—from appointment in 1910 until retirement in 1943. In the later years of his presidency, around 1936, he and his wife, Bertie, began construction of a three-story residence near the edge of the campus. Kays hired Little Rock (Pulaski County) architect A. N. McAninch to design the house, which includes bedrooms on the top floor, living and dining spaces on …

Kays, Victor Cicero (V. C.)

Victor Cicero (V. C.) Kays was the founding president of the First District State Agricultural School, which evolved into Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro (Craighead County). During his thirty-two-and-a-half-year tenure, Kays guided the institution through trying circumstances and led its transformation from a regional agricultural training school to a college that offered four-year academic degree programs. He was successful despite hardships that were magnified by the impact of two world wars, the Great Depression, meager public funding, and a fire that consumed the college’s main building. V. C. Kays was born on July 24, 1882, in Magnolia, Illinois, one of six children of John A. Kays and Mary Alice Kays. His father was a farmer. After finishing high school …

Kees, Willie (Lynching of)

On April 29, 1936, a nineteen-year-old African-American man named Willie Kees was shot near Lepanto (Poinsett County) for allegedly attempting to attack a white woman. It was both the first recorded lynching in Poinsett County and the last recorded lynching in Arkansas. On April 18, Kees allegedly attacked the woman on a bridge just outside of town. She screamed, and two men came to her rescue. Kees was turned over to city marshal Jay May and put in jail. That night, May intercepted a mob that was coming to the jail to get Kees and dissuaded the citizens from doing so. He told reporters for the Arkansas Gazette that, because of the darkness, he was unable to identify anyone in the mob. Kees had …

Keiser Waterworks

The Keiser Waterworks, located northeast of the junction of Water and East Main streets in Keiser (Mississippi County), was constructed in 1936 and installed with assistance from the Public Works Administration (PWA), a New Deal public relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 24, 2007. As the United States struggled with the effects of the Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration enacted the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) to ease the effects of businesses closing. The act included an organization called the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (or Public Works Administration), which was created on June 16, 1933, to help finance federal construction projects and create jobs. The town …

Keo Commercial Historic District

The Keo Commercial Historic District in Keo (Lonoke County) was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 15, 2011. The district consists of thirty-five structures, objects, and buildings located primarily on the west side of Main Street. The district boundaries are Arkansas Highway 232 on the north, Fleming Street on the south, and an alley on the west. The east side of Main Street is the eastern boundary. The commercial structures of the district display Standard Twentieth Century architecture and Plain Traditional industrial/agricultural styles. The town of Keo was originally known as Cobb Settlement, Cobbs, or Lafayette Township, and it was situated on Arkansas Highway 15 about one mile north of U.S. 165. The namesake of the …

Kessler v. Strecker

Kessler v. Strecker was a U.S. Supreme Court case in 1939 concerning the arrest and planned deportation of Joseph George (a.k.a. Josef or Joe Georg) Strecker, a Hot Springs (Garland County) restaurant owner, for alleged membership in the Communist Party. This case happened around the time Texas congressman Martin Dies was publicly demanding the deportation of International Longshoremen’s Association head Harry Bridges for similar reasons. When Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins refused to act on Bridges’s case until Strecker’s case was settled, Republicans began impeachment proceedings against her. Born on August 29, 1888, in Galicia, then a part of Austria-Hungary, Strecker immigrated to the United States in 1912 and worked in coal mines before settling in Hot Springs, running a …

Kindley, Field Eugene

Field Eugene Kindley, recipient of the British Distinguished Flying Cross and an Oak Leaf Cluster for the American Distinguished Service Cross, ranked third in number of aircraft downed for the United States Army Air Service in World War I. Working his way from National Guard volunteer to commissioned Army officer, Kindley commanded the 148th Squadron in France from August 1918 until the end of the war and totaled twelve confirmed kills. Field Kindley was born on March 13, 1896, in a rural area near Pea Ridge (Benton County) to George C. and Ella Kindley. The death of his mother prior to his third birthday disrupted the family, and shortly thereafter in 1898, his father left the country to become the …

King Biscuit Time

In November 1941, KFFA, 1360 AM, the first local radio station in Helena (Phillips County), went on the air. Soon after its first broadcast, blues musicians Robert Lockwood Jr. and Sonny Boy Williamson approached owner Sam Anderson with a proposal to air a local blues radio show. Anderson liked the idea, but he knew the show would have to have a sponsor. He directed Lockwood and Williamson to Max Moore, the owner of Interstate Grocery Company, as a possible sponsor. Moore, who recognized the possibilities of marketing to African Americans, agreed to sponsor the show if the musicians would endorse his product. With a corporate sponsor, the King Biscuit Time radio program went on the air on November 21, 1941. …

King Crowley

King Crowley is the most famous archaeological fake produced in Arkansas and was originally part of a collection “found” in Jonesboro (Craighead County) along Crowley’s Ridge in the 1920s and 1930s. Despite the discoverer’s claim that the collection was an important archaeological find, modern researchers now refer to King Crowley and its companions as folk art instead of forgeries, as the pieces did not reproduce prehistoric artifacts. Dentler Rowland, a gunsmith and jeweler from Jonesboro, began selling these artifacts of a “lost” civilization in 1923, and he continued to do so until the 1930s. Rowland claimed to have discovered them while digging along Crowley’s Ridge, an erosional remnant within the Mississippi River Delta upon which Jonesboro was founded. Approximately eighty …

King Schoolhouse

The King Schoolhouse is located approximately one mile east of U.S. Highway 71 near the community of King (Sevier County). Built in 1915, the two-story structure is significant for being one of the few surviving school buildings of Colonial Revival style for a railroad community in the county. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 20, 1996. In the late 1880s, the settlement that would become the town of King was established. It was not until after 1897, when the Kansas City Southern Railway laid tracks, that the settlement was promoted to town status. King was named after the King Ryder Lumber Company, which operated a company general store and made King a thriving lumber …

King, Bertha Hale

aka: Bertha Hale White
Bertha Hale King was a socialist activist in the first part of the twentieth century. Although born in Illinois, she received most of her early education in Arkansas before leaving the state to serve as a high-ranking official in the national Socialist Party. Bertha Hale was born in Nashville, Illinois, in 1878. Her father was a farmer, but little else is known about her parents. She attended primary school in Golden City, Missouri, just over the state line from Illinois. The family then moved to Arkansas. Following graduation from high school in Fort Smith (Sebastian County), she attended Buckner College, a small Baptist school just a few miles north of Huntington (Sebastian County). In preparation for a teaching career, she …

King, John

John King was an Irish sailor who received two Medals of Honor during a twenty-six-year career in the U.S. Navy, though neither was for wartime action. King died in Hot Springs (Garland County) and is buried in Hollywood Cemetery. John King, a native of Ballinrobe in County Mayo in western Ireland, was born on February 7, 1862, to Michael King and Ellen Flannery King. He moved to the United States in 1886 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on July 20, 1893. King served his career below decks, beginning as a coal passer, before receiving promotion to fireman, oiler, water tender, and chief water tender, the latter being the petty officer commanding the boiler room. Perhaps the most-feared occurrence in …

Kingston School

The Kingston (Madison County) school district was established on January 25, 1869. As with most districts following the Civil War, the school operated only six to eight weeks a year, due to lack of funding and the children being needed for farm work. In 1916, the Reverend Elmer J. Bouher was granted permission by the Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. to take charge of the abandoned church mission at Kingston. Bouher arrived later that year ready to put his “Kings Plan” into action. The plan was to (1) unite the church and school; (2) create a community building program; (3) teach health and hygiene to the entire community; and (4) improve farming methods and local roads. …

Kirby, William Fosgate

William Fosgate Kirby was an associate justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court and also served as state attorney general and U.S. senator. A friend and political ally of Jeff Davis, Kirby was a member of the Democratic Party and an ardent agrarian populist. His convictions led to his spirited opposition to President Woodrow Wilson’s efforts to involve the United States in World War I. Born on November 16, 1867, near Texarkana (Miller County), William F. Kirby was the son of Joseph F. and Martha (Ferguson) Kirby. His father was an ex-Confederate who moved into the state from Alabama and took up agriculture. Kirby grew up on the family farm with his three brothers. He received his secondary education in local …

Kitchens, Wade Hampton

Wade Hampton Kitchens was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Fourth District of Arkansas in the Seventy-fifth and Seventy-sixth Congresses from 1937 to 1941. Wade Hampton Kitchens was born on December 26, 1878, on a farm near Falcon (Nevada County) to James Monroe Kitchens and Margret Sherrill Kitchens. He had eleven siblings. His formal education included the area’s local common schools, Southern Academy, and then the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), which he attended from 1895 to 1898. With no academic legal education available at the university or anywhere within the state, Kitchens left UA and continued his formal studies at the law department of Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, from …

Krieger, Heinrich

Heinrich Krieger was a German lawyer instrumental in providing knowledge of American race law to Nazi policy-makers. As an exchange student at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1933–34, he engaged in an in-depth examination of American Indian Law. Some of his research later served as the basis for the Nuremberg Laws, the centerpiece anti-Jewish legislation of the early Nazi regime. Heinrich Krieger’s date of birth is unknown. There is no information about what brought him to Arkansas. Upon his return to Germany, Krieger produced a memorandum—presumably based on research he had begun in Arkansas—that was used in a critical 1934 meeting for planning what would become the Nuremberg Laws. The memorandum described American …

Kruse Gold Mine

William (Will) Henry Kruse (1860–1925) sought gold ore deposits in Rogers (Benton County) on his father’s eighty-acre farm. His hunt for the precious metal was triggered neither by scientific nor geological verification but rather inspired by psychic revelations he combined with automatic writings pointing him to a precise site where he believed wholeheartedly that he would find enough gold to end world misery. To this end, he established Kruse Gold Mine and spent the remainder of his life trying to fulfill the renderings of his visualizations. Will Kruse was born in Ohio, though his family moved to Le Sueur, Minnesota, the following year. In 1883, his father, Henry Kruse, purchased an eighty-acre tract in Rogers, eventually moving there in the …

KTHS

KTHS, which became KAAY in 1962, is thought to be Arkansas’s third-oldest continuously licensed broadcast radio station. The station survived the turbulent years of broadcasting’s infancy, government regulations, and changes in location and frequencies to become Arkansas’s first 50,000-watt clear-channel station. KTHS was also known for its role in launching the career of the comedy team Lum and Abner. Radio station KTHS was built in 1924 on the upper floor of the new Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs (Garland County). Facilities included studios and ballrooms wired for broadcast. Two steel towers were installed on the roof between the hotel building’s towers, one 150 feet tall, the other 125 feet, to support the transmitting antenna. Test broadcasts began on December 11, …

Ku Klux Klan (after 1900)

The original Ku Klux Klan (KKK) formed sometime between 1865 and 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee. Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first acknowledged Klan leader, took actions to disband the organization in 1869. A resurgence in Klan activity occurred starting in 1915, and states such as Arkansas were home to newly forming Klan groups during the 1920s. By 1955, the threat of school integration ushered in a new Klan era even though independent Klan groups were a fixture on the American landscape in some way or another from the 1920s on. One of the first official Klan acts in Arkansas was a donation to the Prescott (Nevada County) Christmas fund in December 1921. Shortly thereafter, other Klan groups formed with the goal …

KUOA

Radio station KUOA started at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) and later belonged to John Brown University (JBU) in Siloam Springs (Benton County). These schools used the station to broadcast programs such as educational talks, religious programs, music, local information, and sports. In the twenty-first century, KUOA is an all-sports station nicknamed “Hog Sportsradio.” It is generally considered to be the oldest radio station in Arkansas that is still broadcasting. According to Ray Poindexter in his book Arkansas Airwaves, the UA Department of Engineering began experiments with a wireless telegraph in 1897 and had a wireless station in 1916 licensed with the call letters 5YM. A license for the school’s first commercial AM radio station, KFMQ, …