Time Period: World War II through the Faubus Era (1941 - 1967) - Starting with H

Hall, Claris Gustavius “Crip”

Claris Gustavius “Crip” Hall was a promoter of the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), an ardent Razorback football fan, and a noted politician. Hall served as Arkansas’s secretary of state from 1937 to 1961, dying shortly after being reelected in 1960. He also served as president of the National Association of Secretaries of State. C. G. Hall was born in Social Hill (Hot Spring County) on October 8, 1901, to John R. Hall and Elizabeth Hodges Hall. At the age of eighteen months, he contracted polio. Over the years, he acquired the name “Crip” due to his handicap, coming to prefer it over his given name. He attended public schools in Malvern (Hot Spring County), even playing catcher on his high school baseball team, and entered the University of Arkansas in 1919, graduating with a degree in journalism in 1924. On October 5, 1929, Hall married Nancy Pearl Johnson, and the couple had one …

Hall, Nancy Johnson

Nancy Pearl Johnson Hall was the first woman to be elected to a constitutional office in Arkansas. A staff member to several agencies and constitutional officers of state government, she was appointed to succeed her husband as secretary of state upon his death and went on to be elected state treasurer by the voters. Nancy Pearl Johnson was born in Prescott (Nevada County) on October 5, 1904, to George Sim Johnson and Minnie Bryan Johnson. When she was six years of age, her family moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County), where she attended Little Rock’s public schools. Her career in state government began in 1925 with work for the Legislative Council. She later served as a member of the staff …

Hancock, Archibald Rex, Jr.

Archibald Rex Hancock Jr. was a dentist who lived in Stuttgart (Arkansas County) and whose passion for outdoor life and the environment led him to become one of Arkansas’s most ardent supporters of conservation measures. He became known primarily for his fight to preserve the natural character of the wetlands along the Cache River in eastern Arkansas. Rex Hancock was born on July 6, 1923, in Laddonia, Missouri, the youngest of three children of Archibald Rex Hancock Sr., a dentist, and Alma Bothman Klein. He graduated from Laddonia High School in 1941. He interrupted studies at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, to serve as pharmacist’s mate in the U.S. Seventh Fleet Amphibious Division during World War II. After the war, …

Handywagon

The Handywagon, built in 1964 for the Arkansas Louisiana Gas Company (Arkla), was intended as an economical vehicle for use by the company’s Gaslite and domestic appliance servicers, meter readers, collectors, and meter setters. The small wagon was designed to be easily reparable and average thirty-five miles per gallon. In mid-1963, Arkla board chairman Wilton “Witt” R. Stephens asked company lawyer Raymond Thornton to design a utility vehicle that could operate economically, have a 900-pound load capacity, weigh less than a ton and a half, and be company-built. In 1964, Thornton chose Ed Handy, a company construction engineer, to collaborate with him on the project. After much research, the two men found the power train they needed in Holland. Van …

Hansen, Bill

aka: William Hansen
William (Bill) Hansen, a longtime political activist, was the first director of the Arkansas Project of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Hansen worked as a civil rights activist in Arkansas between 1962 and 1966. Under SNCC auspices, he participated in a number of protest activities including voter registration drives and sit-ins. Hansen was the second white field director to join SNCC, a predominantly black organization. Bill Hansen was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, into a working-class Catholic family. He came of age watching the burgeoning civil rights movement unfold on television. While a student at Xavier University, he co-founded the Xavier Interracial Council, which was designed to support the Southern civil rights struggle. Not content to sit on the sidelines …

Hardin, Joseph Carrol

Joseph Carrol Hardin was a civic leader and politician throughout most of the twentieth century. He is best known for running for governor against Orval Faubus in 1960. While Hardin maintained his segregationist stance during the 1960 campaign, he proclaimed, “I am not a dynamiting, riot-calling segregationist.” Joe Hardin, one of the five surviving children of Thomas J. Hardin Jr. and Bettie Hall Hardin, was born on June 1, 1898, at Grady (Lincoln County). His father died when Hardin was a boy, leaving his mother to raise the children and run the family farm. Hardin attended Grady public schools and, with the help of teacher Edith Jackman Combs, was able to graduate from the nearest high school, at Pine Bluff …

Harris, Carleton

Carleton Harris was a lawyer and politician who was chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court during a tumultuous period in Arkansas political and judicial history. When he was elected to the court in 1956, Harris was the youngest chief justice in the nation; he served in the position for twenty-three years, longer than any other Arkansan except Griffin Smith, whose seat he filled upon the judge’s death and after the brief interim appointment of Lee Seamster. He was elected three times to the Arkansas House of Representatives, first when he was twenty-two years old, and he was elected to one term as prosecuting attorney, to eight years on the chancery bench, and to all or parts of four terms …

Harris, Oren

Oren Harris served as prosecuting attorney of Arkansas’s Thirteenth Judicial Circuit (1937–1940) and in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the Fourth Congressional District from 1941 to 1953 and, following redistricting, the Seventh Congressional District from 1953 to 1966. Harris resigned his congressional seat in February 1966 after President Lyndon Johnson appointed him U.S. district judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas. Although Harris took senior status with the court in 1976, he fulfilled his promise to work until “he couldn’t put his socks on” and carried a full docket of cases for two additional decades. Oren Harris was born on a farm in Belton (Hempstead County) on December 20, 1903, to Homer Harris and Bettie Bullock Harris, …

Harvey, Robert Drennen (Bob)

Robert Drennen (Bob) Harvey was a farmer and lawyer in Jackson County who spent thirty-two years in the Arkansas General Assembly after World War II, most notably fighting relentlessly for a lean state government. He announced to his colleagues in 1978 that he was not going to run for the Arkansas Senate again because he had finally recognized the loneliness and futility of trying to maintain frugal government in Arkansas. Harvey, a soft-spoken bachelor, was an icon in Jackson County, his forebears having arrived there in 1849. Bob Harvey was born on May 22, 1914. His father and mother, William Richard Harvey and Lula Belle Shaver Harvey of nearby Strawberry (Lawrence County), were farmers near the town of Swifton (Jackson …

Harvey’s Grocery and Texaco Station

Harvey’s Grocery and Texaco Station is a historic business building located about three miles west of the Camden (Ouachita County) city limits. It was constructed in 1948 to replace an earlier building. The combined grocery store and gas station was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 25, 2001. Henry Harvey moved to a plot of land located on Arkansas Highway 24 in December 1941 after selling a farm in nearby Chidester (Ouachita County). The community around the Harvey home became known as Harveyville. Harvey constructed a log cabin that was approximately twenty by thirty feet to house his combined grocery store and gas station. The business soon outgrew the small structure, and a larger building was …

Hawkins, Edwin Luther, Sr.

Edwin Luther Hawkins Sr. was an African-American educator in Little Rock (Pulaski County) who served as principal of Dunbar High School, where he was involved with the students who desegregated Little Rock Central High School. A few years after the Central High Desegregation Crisis, Hawkins became the first Black principal of Central High. Born on December 2, 1914, to Joseph B. Hawkins and Gertrude Hawkins, Edwin L. Hawkins grew up in Denton, Texas. He received a BA in education from Texas College in Tyler in 1938. A few years later, he received an MA in chemistry from Indiana University in Bloomington. In addition, he completed some graduate work at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). He married …

Hawkins, Marlin Conover

Marlin Conover Hawkins served Conway County as an elected official for thirty-eight years. His ability to deliver votes to statewide and national candidates gave Hawkins a profile in state politics that was rare for a county official. His political machine is an important part of Arkansas’s political lore, and the effects of his political contacts are still evident in Conway County. Marlin Hawkins was born on April 22, 1913, near Center Ridge (Conway County) to John Carl and Nettie Mae Hawkins. John Carl Hawkins, a sharecropper and part-time barber, died in 1929. As the second of seven children, part of the burden of supporting the family fell on Hawkins. He worked as a sharecropper and part-time janitor until Olen Fullerton, …

Hawkins, Ronnie

aka: Ronald Cornett Hawkins
Ronald Cornett (Ronnie) Hawkins, a rock and roll singer and bandleader, was known primarily for starting the group the Hawks, which later became the Band. Ronnie Hawkins was born on January 10, 1935, in Huntsville (Madison County). His father, Jasper Hawkins, was a barber, and his mother, Flora Cornett Hawkins, was a schoolteacher. In 1945, the family, which included Hawkins’s older sister Winifred, moved to Fayetteville (Washington County). Hawkins was educated in the city’s public schools, graduating from Fayetteville High School in 1952. During his high school and college years, Hawkins formed his first bands, which played such Fayetteville venues as the Tee Table, the Bubble Club, and the Shamrock Club. A physical education major at the University of Arkansas …

Hays, Lawrence Brooks

Lawrence Brooks Hays was a twentieth-century political, civic, and religious leader in Arkansas. He was one of the most influential members of the state’s congressional delegation after World War II and one of the few laymen to serve as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention. While he often referred to himself as a politician, his wife thought the label that best described him was “Arkansas social worker.” Brooks Hays was born on August 9, 1898, in London (Pope County) at the base of the Ozark Plateau. His father, Steele Hays, was a schoolteacher who later became a prominent lawyer, and his mother, Sallie Butler Hays, was also a schoolteacher. Brooks grew up in Russellville, the seat of Pope County, …

Hays, Lee Elhardt

Lee Elhardt Hays was a singer best known as the big man who sang bass with the folk-music group the Weavers. According to historian Studs Terkel, the Weavers were responsible for “entering folk music into the mainstream of American life.” Among the songs he is most known for are: “If I Had a Hammer,” “Roll the Union On,” “Raggedy, Raggedy, Are We,” “The Rankin Tree,” “On Top of Old Smoky,” “Kisses Sweeter than Wine,” and “Goodnight Irene.” Lee Hays was born on March 14, 1914, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to a strict Methodist preacher, William Benjamin Hays, and Ellen Reinhardt Hays. Hays’s father was serving as editor of the Arkansas Methodist at this time but later went back to the …