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

Pace, Frank

Frank Pace Jr. was an Arkansas native who served as Secretary of the Army under President Harry S. Truman from 1950 to 1953 and as the first president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from 1968 to 1972 under Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon. Pace served in many capacities—such as attorney, civil servant, corporate executive, and nonprofit director—in his long career. Frank Pace Jr. was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on July 5, 1912, to Frank Pace and Flora Augusta Layton Pace. The family soon moved to Pennsylvania. He received a private school education in Pennsylvania before attending Princeton University. He received his law degree from Harvard University Law School in 1936. Pace returned to Arkansas, …

Parkway Courts Historic District

The Parkway Courts Historic District is a motel and apartment complex located at 815 Park Avenue in Hot Springs (Garland County) originally constructed in 1943. Part of the district was rebuilt in the early 1950s after a fire, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 11, 2004. Businesses began to appear along Park Avenue in the 1930s to serve the tourists who visited Hot Springs. Construction of motels, restaurants, and similar enterprises continued in the area until the 1950s. The Parkway Courts were constructed by Florence Franklin Newell in 1943. She sold the property to Otto Baker in 1950, and the name of the business was changed to Parkway Apartments. Two years later, the …

Partain, Edward Allen (Ed)

Edward Allen (Ed) Partain was a U.S. Army officer who fought in the wars in Korea and Vietnam, eventually leading the Fifth Army as a lieutenant general. Ed Partain was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on June 26, 1929, to Eugene and Zoe Partain. He had one brother. His family moved to Paragould (Greene County) when he was a child, and he grew up there prior to attending the Western Military Academy in Alton, Illinois. After graduating, he was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, where he was a cadet company commander and taught Sunday school. Immediately after graduating from West Point, he married Mary Frances Johnson of Paragould on June 5, 1951; they had known …

Patteson House

Located on approximately five acres to the southeast of Jonesboro (Craighead County) at 2801 Harrisburg Road, the Patteson House was built in 1961–1962 and designed in the Mid-Century Modern style by Arkansas architect F. Eugene Withrow. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 23, 2020. Alan Patteson Jr. was born in Jonesboro and attended the University of Missouri in Columbia. His occupations included farming and cotton ginning, as well as owning and operating AM/FM radio stations in Jonesboro for thirty-five years. His wife, Carol, was originally from Long Island, New York, and she and her family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, when she was sixteen. She graduated from Hutchison Girls School in Memphis and Stephens College …

Perry Plaza Court Historic District

The Perry Plaza Court Historic District consists of a former motel (or “tourist court,” as it was known at the time) on Park Avenue in Hot Springs (Garland County). Constructed in the International Style, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 11, 2004, due to its architectural significance and condition. In the 1970s, the building was converted into an apartment complex. Construction of the motel began in 1947 and was completed the next year. Designed by Hot Springs architect Irven McDaniel, the motel had nineteen units. The International Style, in which the building was constructed, is noted for its horizontal design elements and minimal adornment. The motel was built with steel joist construction, fire walls, …

Perry, Harold Robert

Harold Robert Perry was the first African American to become a bishop in the Catholic Church in the modern era. Part of his career beforehand was spent serving a church in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Perry was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on October 9, 1916, the son of a mill worker and a domestic cook. He knew at a young age that he wanted to enter the ministry, and at age thirteen he entered the Society of Divine Word Seminary in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. In 1944, he was ordained into the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church, becoming the twenty-sixth African American to attain this position. Over the decade, he served in several positions, pastoring congregations in Mississippi, …

Perryman, Lloyd Wilson

Lloyd Wilson Perryman was a member of the country and western group Sons of the Pioneers for more than four decades, appearing in dozens of movies and selling millions of records. An accomplished guitarist and singer, Perryman was a fixture in Hollywood from the mid-1930s until his death. Lloyd Perryman was born in Ruth (Fulton County) on January 29, 1917, to Samuel and Sally Perryman. He had eight older brothers and sisters. His family also lived in Zion (Izard County), where they farmed and owned a general store, prior to moving to California in 1928 when Perryman was eleven years old. There, Perryman learned to play the guitar and became involved with music while in high school. His first radio …

Peter Dierks Joers House

The Peter Dierks Joers House was built in 1955 by an heir to the Dierks Lumber Company family. Peter Dierks Joers and his wife, Elizabeth Howe Joers, were living near Oaklawn Park (now Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort) in Hot Springs (Garland County) in the early 1950s when they purchased ten acres from Hot Springs resident Mose Klyman for $10,000 to build a home for their growing family. Peter Dierks Joers was born on February 19, 1919, inKansas City,Missouri. After graduating from the U.S.Naval Academy and serving in the U.S. Navy, Joers went to work for Dierks Lumber and Coal Company in 1946. Joers served as vice president for the company. Bids for work at the Joers house date back to …

Peter, Lily

Lily Peter, state poet laureate, was a distinguished author, successful farmer, teacher, musician, conservationist, and philanthropist. Her biographer, Annie Laura Jaggers, called her “an anachronistic symbol of the pioneering spirit of all Americans and particularly of Arkansas, a state that is a haven for contrasts and extremes.” Lily Peter was born on June 2, 1891, to William Oliver Peter and Florence Mobrey Peter in Big Cypress Bayou near Marvell (Phillips County). She was the first of ten children, of whom five did not survive childhood. Peter received much of her early education at home before going to public school. Her father, after experiencing varying degrees of success as a farmer, died in an accident in 1907, leaving Peter to take …

Pettaway, Caleb Darnell

The Reverend Caleb Darnell (C. D.) Pettaway was an influential Little Rock (Pulaski County) religious leader who served as president of the National Baptist Convention of America (NBCA) from 1957 to 1967. Caleb Darnell Pettaway, commonly referred to as “C. D.,” was born on December 18, 1886, in Concordia Parish, Louisiana. Sources conflict as to his birth name—he is listed as Charles, Cyrus, and Claude in various years of the Little Rock city directory. However, his World War I and World War II draft cards are clearly signed as “Caleb.” In 1918, Pettaway married Jennie E. Vagner of Independence County and apparently moved to Arkansas around that time. Together, they moved to Little Rock and bought a house located at …

Pettigrew, Helen Lyle

Helen Lyle Pettigrew was an author of word puzzles (including crossword puzzles). Her puzzles appeared in newspapers, magazines, and books, including several books for which she was the sole author. She was probably the first Arkansas native to author a syndicated crossword puzzle. Helen Pettigrew was born on October 31, 1894, in Charleston (Franklin County) to Thomas Aldridge Pettigrew, who was a prominent lawyer and educator, and Lucy Lee Ervin Pettigrew. Her father was the son of Charleston Academy founder John M. Pettigrew. She had three sisters and one brother, and was a member of the local Presbyterian Church. Helen Pettigrew was a teacher in the Charleston School District around 1920. Pettigrew’s first known puzzle was a crossword published in …

Phelps, Ralph Arloe

Dr. Ralph Arloe Phelps spent over a decade serving students as president of what is now Ouachita Baptist University (OBU) in Arkadelphia (Clark County). Phelps was also influential in shaping the Arkansas Baptist community during his time in the state. Ralph Phelps was born in Dallas, Texas, on May 27, 1921, one of three children of Ralph Phelps Sr., who was a building superintendent, and Elsie Jack Phelps, who worked as a stenographer in the dry goods industry. Phelps graduated from North Dallas High School in 1939, where he was involved in student debate, Latin, and speech organizations. He enrolled at Baylor University in the fall of 1939. Phelps married Helen Ruth Kennedy sometime between 1940 and early 1942, when …

Phillips, Kate

aka: Mary Katherine (Kay) Linaker
Mary Katherine (Kay) Linaker (a.k.a. Kate Phillips) was a veteran stage and screen actress who went on to become a writer of television and movie screenplays. She achieved her greatest notoriety as a writer on the 1958 horror/science fiction classic, The Blob. Kay Linaker was born on July 19, 1913, in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Her father owned C. A. Linaker and Company and was a wholesaler for Armour Food Company. Linaker’s father died when she was eleven. When she was twelve, she entered the Hillside School in Norwalk, Connecticut, a boarding school from which she graduated at sixteen. She had already expressed an interest in theater and planned to attend Wellesley College, but the exercise treatments for the polio …

Piazza, Ben Daniel

Ben Daniel Piazza was an actor, director, author, and playwright who was compared to the young Marlon Brando in his youth but achieved acclaim for character roles in his later years, often portraying an edgy, tightly controlled suburbanite or a repressive parent in films such as The Blues Brothers. He began acting in 1952 during his college days at Princeton University and worked steadily in theater, film, and television until his death in 1991. Ben Piazza was born on July 30, 1933, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Charles Piazza, a shoe repairman, and Elfreida Piazza, a homemaker. He was one of nine children, having two sisters and six brothers. He graduated from Little Rock High School (later Central High …

Pick and Shovel

The Pick and Shovel was the official newspaper of the Republic Mining and Manufacturing Company (a subsidiary of the Alcoa company, which mined bauxite ore to produce aluminum), based in Bauxite (Saline County). It was conceived by Leona Rucker, its first editor, to be “a friendly, informal newspaper for all of us and our families at Bauxite and at Drury.” In 1953, the Pick and Shovel won the highest award for editorial merit of all Alcoa plant publications in the United States. The paper’s original run lasted from January 1944 to May 1958, after which it went out of print. However, the most recent incarnation of the Pick and Shovel is as the official newsletter of the Bauxite Historical Association …

Piggott National Guard Armory

The Piggott National Guard Armory at 775 East Main Street in Piggott (Clay County) was built in 1956 and reflects the “Type ‘Z-Z’ one unit” design developed by the Wittenberg, Delony & Davidson architectural firm of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Citizen-soldier militias have had a constant presence in the United States since the colonial era, but it was not until Congress passed the Militia Act of 1903—also known as the Dick Act for sponsor Senator Charles W. F. Dick, chairman of the Committee on the Militia—that the National Guard became an official partner in the nation’s armed services, receiving federal support for training, equipment, and wages. Arkansas’s state militia was organized into the Arkansas National Guard as a result of …