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

Nannie Gresham Biscoe House

The Nannie Gresham Biscoe House is a Queen Anne–style home located in Arkadelphia (Clark County). Constructed in 1901, the home is notable for passing from mothers to daughters, all of them educators, since its construction. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 21, 2004. Nancy “Nannie” Caroline Gresham was born in 1847 in Walton County, Georgia. She married John Basil Biscoe in 1871, and the couple had three sons and a daughter. John died in 1883 when the family was residing in Forrest, Mississippi. Nannie moved that year with her children and her adopted nephew to Arkadelphia to live near her brother and his family. In 1886, Ouachita Baptist College (now Ouachita Baptist University) began …

Nash, Frank “Jelly”

Frank Nash has been called “the most successful bank robber in U.S. history,” but he is most noted for his violent death in what has become known as the Kansas City Massacre. Nash spent part of his childhood in Paragould (Greene County) and was arrested in Hot Springs (Garland County) the day before his death. Frank “Jelly” Nash was born on February 6, 1887, in Birdseye, Indiana. His father, John “Pappy” Nash, started hotels in several southern towns, including Paragould, Jonesboro (Craighead County), and Hobart, Oklahoma. Nash’s mother, Alta, was the second of John’s three wives. Nash had two sisters and two step-brothers. Living in Paragould from 1893 to 1896, he then moved with his father to Jonesboro and, afterward, …

Nashville Commercial Historic District

The Nashville Commercial Historic District is located in Nashville (Howard County) and includes a total of fifty-five buildings, with twenty-nine contributing to the district. Almost all of the buildings in the district are commercial buildings, with the sole exception of the U.S. Post Office, which is separately listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The district was added to the National Register on September 23, 2010. The boundaries of the district are roughly Shepherd Street on the north, the Missouri Pacific Railroad to the east, Hempstead Street to the south, and Second Street to the west. Three blocks of Main Street are included in the district. Nashville was incorporated in 1883, the same year that the Arkansas and Louisiana …

Nashville Post Office

The Nashville Post Office in Nashville (Howard County) is a single-story, brick-masonry structure designed in a restrained interpretation of the Art Deco style of architecture and featuring a mural created through the U.S. Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture (later renamed the Section of Fine Arts), a Depression-era stimulus project that promoted public art. The post office was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1998. On June 26, 1936, the Nashville News reported that the Howard County seat of Nashville was selected as the site of a new U.S. Post Office facility under a $60 million federal emergency construction program. Site proposals were requested four days later, and on September 18, the News reported …

National Youth Administration

The National Youth Administration (NYA) was the last of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal programs established to address the massive unemployment caused by the Great Depression. It focused on creating employment and education for people aged sixteen to twenty-five who, because of the effects of the Depression, often had neither. Roosevelt created the National Youth Administration by executive order on June 26, 1935, as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) at a time when some 2.9 million American children were in families receiving government relief. The NYA’s goal was to provide funds for part-time work for out-of-school youths from families on the dole; training, counseling, and placement for NYA workers; recreational programs for workers; and student aid for …

Nelson, Bud (Lynching of)

Sometime between October 27 and November 1, 1926, Bud Nelson was shot near Tarry (Lincoln County) for the alleged murder of twenty-four-year-old planter Ed Henderson in neighboring Jefferson County. According to accounts published in the Arkansas Gazette and the Cleveland County Herald, Ed Henderson was riding his horse past the house of Ed Young, who was a black tenant on the land of Ed’s father, John H. Henderson. According to the Cleveland County Herald, Ed Henderson was looking for some mules that had strayed. He asked Nelson, who was sitting on a cotton bale across the road from Ed Young’s house, about the mules. The Herald stated that Ed Henderson was a very popular young man “and was always known …

New Deal

In many ways, Arkansas experienced the hardship of the Great Depression of the 1930s even before the stock market crash of 1929. In the 1920s, it led the nation in per capita indebtedness. As an agricultural state, Arkansans was affected by low crop prices, which left people unable to pay taxes. Schools and roads deteriorated. Without funding for road construction, some towns found themselves isolated and cut off from the rest of the state. Arkansas also suffered as it alternated between both drought and floods—the Flood of 1927, followed by the Drought of 1930–1931 and the Flood of 1937. Banks failed, wiping out savings and ready cash. Many Arkansans lost their land, being forced to become tenant farmers. Others could …

New Edinburg Commercial Historic District

The New Edinburg Commercial Historic District includes a number of former stores and other businesses located on both sides of Arkansas Highway 8 in New Edinburg (Cleveland County). The district contains a total of eleven buildings constructed between 1898 and 1948, ten of which are contributing. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 22, 2001. The area around New Edinburg began to be settled in the early to mid-1830s. Early public buildings in the area included a church constructed in 1838 and a Masonic lodge in 1854. Development of the area paused during the Civil War, and the Action at Marks’ Mills occurred just to the northwest of the community. After the end of …

Newberry, Farrar Claudius

Farrar Claudius Newberry—historian, businessman, philanthropist, and writer—was nationally known for his association with the Woodmen of the World (WOW). He authored several books and dozens of articles on Arkansas history topics. Newberry is also responsible for many markers placed at historical sites throughout Clark County. Farrar Newberry was born on July 30, 1887, in Gurdon (Clark County) to Lawrence Clinton and Mattie Harris Newberry. The family moved to Arkadelphia (Clark County) in 1894. In 1906, Newberry graduated from Arkadelphia Methodist College (which later became Henderson-Brown College) and, in 1908, received a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Newberry married Lillie Lee Thomasson on June 22, 1911, in Little Rock (Pulaski County), and the couple had two sons. Newberry …

Newton County Courthouse

The Newton County Courthouse is located at 100 Court Street in downtown Jasper (Newton County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as architecturally and historically significant for its local standing in Newton County and as a visible result of the New Deal programs active during the Great Depression. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 1, 1994. The present Newton County Courthouse is the fourth to govern county affairs. The first was a log cabin, burned by Union soldiers during the Reconstruction period in 1866. Newton County replaced it with a brick-and-mortar structure in 1873, contracting Robbie Hobbs to build it. It stood until 1902, when it was demolished for a modern …

Newton County Draft War

The Newton County Draft War was the last armed incident of the documented Arkansas draft wars, as well as one of the most colorful, as word of the “Cecil Cove Slackers” spread to national publications. In 1918, Newton County—located in the Ozark Mountains—was one of the most isolated and least developed regions in Arkansas, not yet crossed by railroads or serviceable highways. The Cecil Cove region—twelve miles long and eight miles wide, bordered by steep cliffs and caves, and only traversable by foot or mule—was an exceptional hiding spot. In the last months of World War I, several draft resistors in the region successfully eluded authorities. Later interviews with the deserters outline a now familiar refrain for draft resistance in …

Niloak Pottery

Niloak is a popular American Art Pottery that was created in Benton (Saline County) from 1909 until 1946 by the Eagle Pottery Company. Niloak is best known in the pottery world for its unique Mission-swirl design, but the company in later years produced two other lines, Hywood Art Pottery and the Hywood by Niloak. The name “Niloak” is the word “kaolin” spelled backward. Kaolin is a type of fine-grade clay found near Benton and used in production. Niloak was the creation of Benton native Charles Dean “Bullet” Hyten and an Ohio potter named Arthur Dovey. Hyten grew up in the business, taking over his stepfather’s Benton pottery in partnership with his brothers, Paul and Lee, in 1895. The Hyten Brothers …

Norman Library

The Norman Library has been known as the smallest public library in the state. Located in the town square of Norman (Montgomery County), the single-story structure constructed of brick has been used as a library and for other purposes since its construction. According to the Department of Arkansas Heritage, it once held the Guinness Book of World Records title as the smallest free-standing public library in the country. Norman was founded in 1907 along the Gurdon and Fort Smith Railroad. The town quickly grew to support several lumber mills. Originally named Womble, the name was changed in 1925. After most of the timber surrounding the community was harvested, the economy and population declined. Many residents moved to other towns to …

Norman Town Square

The Norman Town Square is located in the center of the small town of Norman (Montgomery County). Constructed between 1935 and 1940, the park includes a large green space and a small library. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 25, 1993. Incorporated in 1910, Norman was known as Womble until 1925, being called such in honor of Walter Womble, a land speculator who was the first citizen and postmaster of the settlement. The town grew due to its location near two large lumber mills and the Gurdon and Fort Smith Railroad. The name was changed to Norman in 1925 to honor a benefactor of the Caddo Valley Academy, a local school. The town square …

Norman, Will (Lynching of)

On June 19, 1913, twenty-one-year-old Will Norman was lynched in Hot Springs (Garland County) for the alleged assault and murder of Garland Huff, the daughter of Judge C. Floyd Huff. In 1910, C. Floyd Huff was living in Hot Springs with his wife, Octavia, and four children: William (thirteen years old), Garland (eleven), C. Floyd Jr. (ten), and Robert E. C. (six). According to some reports, Will Norman had been employed by the Huffs for about two years prior to 1913. Little other information is available regarding him. According to newspaper reports, on June 19, Norman dragged Garland Huff into a closet. When she resisted his advances, he beat her, crushing her skull in five places. He then locked her …

North Little Rock City Hall

The North Little Rock City Hall is a Neoclassical municipal administration building located in North Little Rock (Pulaski County). Constructed in 1914, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 6, 1975. The building is part of the Argenta Historic District. Incorporated in 1901, North Little Rock annexed Argenta, then part of the city of Little Rock (Pulaski County), in 1904. In 1906, the town adopted the Argenta name before reverting to North Little Rock in 1917. The first city hall of the newly enlarged city was located on the second floor of the fire station located at 506 Main Street. Attracted by its prominent location, the city purchased Dye Memorial Chapel, a Methodist church located …

Northeast Arkansas League

The Class D Northeast Arkansas League was established in July 1909 after the Arkansas State League folded. Two of its franchises, Newport (Jackson County) and Jonesboro (Craighead County), joined baseball clubs from Marianna (Lee County) and Paragould (Greene County) to form the league. It was sanctioned by the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL), the administrative agency of minor league baseball from 1901 to the present. After a successful inaugural season, violence and fiscal woes marred the 1910 and 1911 seasons. At the conclusion of the 1910 season, the Caruthersville, Missouri, and Paragould franchises were separated by only a half game in the standings. The league championship rested on the outcome of a five-game series between the two teams. …

Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company

The Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company was a sawmill that produced lumber and barrel staves on the banks of the St. Francis River just north of the town of Parkin (Cross County). The Northern Ohio sawmill was located on the Parkin Mound Site that is now Parkin Archeological State Park. The Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company operated throughout the first half of the twentieth century, from 1902 until its closure by 1946. The only historic building associated with the sawmill that is still standing is the rehabilitated one-room Northern Ohio School. The property that became the Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company was first owned by Beaufort Neely in 1820. The original survey journal descriptions of the area …

Northern Ohio School

Until the mid-twentieth century, the majority of Arkansas children were taught in one-room schoolhouses, most of which were located in rural areas. Many of these schools have been destroyed, but several remain. The Northern Ohio School, a one-room schoolhouse for rural African-American students, is the only remaining one-room African-American schoolhouse in Parkin (Cross County). As a result of the expanding lumber industry, the population of Parkin grew in the first decade of the twentieth century; the town was incorporated in 1912. The primary employers were local sawmills, one of which was the Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company. It formed in 1906 as an amalgamation of smaller sawmills: the Parkin Cooperage Company and the Northern Ohio Company. The gathering of …

NYA Camp Bethune

aka: Camp Bethune
National Youth Administration (NYA) Camp Bethune was part of a New Deal program that provided opportunities for literacy and critical advantages for young black women from across the state of Arkansas during the Great Depression. Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical, and Normal (AM&N) College in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), incorporated the camp site. The camp marked the network of regional and national political activism among African Americans who negotiated community and citizenship in the first half of the twentieth century. The Federal Emergency Relief Appropriation (FERA) Act created the NYA in 1935. The agency funded part-time work for students between the ages of sixteen to twenty-five, as well as worked to promote public …