Friday, December 30, 2016

December 2016 issue of the Arkansas Archivist

Look Inside the December 2016 issue Issue of the Arkansas Archivist for these and other features

The ASA Introduces New Quarterly Lecture Series

In January, we will be debuting a new lecture series entitled “From Pen to Podium.” The quarterly lecture series will feature hour-long lectures by Arkansas authors in their work. Dr. Kenneth C. Barnes of the University of Central Arkansas will kick off the series on January 17 at 7 p.m. He will be speaking about his book Anti-Catholicism in Arkansas: How Politicians, the Press, the Klan, and Religious Leaders Imagined an Enemy.

The ASA Announces 2017 Events Calendar

In addition to the quarterly lecture series, Pen to Podium, we have planned events that will interest a wide range of those interested in Arkansas history.  In honor of Black History Month, the Black History Commission of Arkansas and ASA will present “Black Political Engagement in Arkansas,” on February 4, 2017. The event will focus on the history of African Americans in the state’s political life.  The ASA will team up with the Arkansas Genealogical Society on May 6, 2017, to present “In the Genealogical Trenches: Tracing Your Wartime Ancestry.”  There are other events coming, read further for the complete list of events.

Black History Commission News

Communities come and go. Some thrive, some disappear, leaving only the name of the community on old maps or land deeds. This month, we focus on the Pankey Community, a section of land in Pulaski County that holds a very important historical distinction. The Pankey Community was developed by one of the few female developers in the early twentieth century, and possibly the only African American female developer in the state.

The ASA Wishes a Happy Retirement to Jane Hooker

After 33 years of service to the History Commission and now State Archives, Archival Manager Jane Hooker will retire on December 31. Hooker has served under three different directors, Dr. John L. Ferguson, Dr. Wendy Richter, and Dr. Lisa Speer. During the time that she has been on staff, Jane has seen and been a part of a lot of change at the agency.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December 2016 Acquisitions and Accessions

NEARA Books and Periodicals

McCollough Cemetery (Sharp County), by Randall Smith
Genealogical Society of Craighead County Association (GSCCA), December 2016

SARA Books and Periodicals

The Ouachita County Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, Number 2, Winter 2016—The Ouachita County Historical Society, Camden, AR

AHC Accessions

Arkansas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, 6 cu. ft.

Islamic Center of Little Rock 1994 poster (digital), 1 item

Washington County Historical Society final grant report, 0.10 cu. Ft.

Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society-Arkansas final grant report: Dr. Henry Thibault's Medical Records of Afro-Americans during the late 1800's through 1920's, 2 items

Governor Orval E. Faubus television speech transcript, July 30, 1962, 1 item

Carroll-Peters Collection: Accretion, 1 item

Arkansas State Auditor's ledger, 1838-1851, 1 cu. ft.

South Sebastian County Historical Society final grant report, 0.25 cu. ft.

Michael Rankin genealogical collection, 0.10 cu. ft.

KTHS Radio Station records, 0.5 cu. ft.

George Fischer caricatures, 0.10 cu. ft.

William and Linda Krieg collection, 0.5 cu. ft.

Davies and Allied Families Collection

NEARA Accessions

Dr. JB Munn’s business ledgers, 4 ledgers

SARA Accessions

“The Brakeing [sic] Up of Camp Nelson” and typed history of the poem—John Arnold, Camden, AR, 1 Disc
E.A. Smith Archive collection, 0.2 cu. ft.

Wednesday's Wonderful Collection - St. Bartholomew school enrollment lists, MS.000142

St. Bartholomew Catholic Church and School was established about 1909 at Eighth and Gaines Streets in Little Rock, Arkansas, founded by Bishop John B. Morris of the Diocese of Little Rock. In 1910, Bishop Morris invited the Divine Word Missionaries, whose mission was to specialize in the pastoral work of southern African Americans, to be in charge of the new church. Reverend Joseph Hoflinger of the Divine Word was assigned to St. Bartholomew, followed by the Sister Servants of the Holy Ghost from Techny, Illinois. The Sister Servants replaced the Benedictine Sisters of Shoal Creek, Arkansas, who had conducted a fledgling school during the 1909-1910 school year.
In 1911, the church and school moved from Eighth and Gaines Street to a new two-story brick building at Sixteenth and Marshall streets. The school was dedicated on September 17 and classes began on September 18. The school, which housed kindergarten through twelfth grades, flourished in the African American community for many years. The school closed in the spring of 1975.
This collection contains photocopies of student enrollment lists from 1910-1975. The files are arranged chronologically.

  • 1. 1910-1911 (Box 1)
  • 2. 1911-1912
  • 3. 1912-1913
  • 4. 1913-1914
  • 5. 1914-1915
  • 6. 1915-1916
  • 7. 1916-1917
  • 8. 1920-1921
  • 9. 1921-1922
  • 10. 1923-1924
  • 11. 1924-1925
  • 12. 1925-1926 (grades 3-8)
  • 13. 1926-1927 (junior and senior high)
  • 14. 1927-1928 (grades 1-2)
  • 15. 1928-1929 (elementary grades)
  • 16. 1929-1930 (grades 3-8)
  • 17. 1929-1930 (kindergarten)
  • 18. 1930-1931 (kindergarten)
  • 19. 1931-1932 (kindergarten)
  • 20. 1932-1933
  • 21. 1932-1933 (kindergarten)
  • 22. 1933-1934, 1934-1935
  • 23. 1933-1934 (kindergarten)
  • 24. 1935-1936
  • 25. 1936-1937
  • 26. 1937-1938, 1938-1939, 1939-1940, 1940-1941 (kindergarten)
  • 27. 1952-1953 (kindergarten)
  • 28. 1957-1958 (kindergarten)
  • 29. 1974-1975

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wednesday's Wonderful Collection - Page Mortuary records, MG.00152

Page Mortuary was established in 1947, in Hot Springs, Garland County, Arkansas, by Theodore R. Page, and his brother William “Bubba” Page. It was originally located at 418 Malvern Avenue, in the African American business district, before relocating to 409 Pleasant Street in 1972. The Pleasant Street location had once served as the resident home for the nuns of St. Gabriel Catholic School.
Theodore Page was born May 21, 1918 in Hot Springs, the son of James Will “Pete” and Minnie Ash Page. Pete Page was an early entrepreneur who owned several businesses on Malvern Avenue. Theodore graduated from Langston High School in Hot Springs, and mortuary science school in Nashville, Tennessee in 1941. In 1942 he joined the army and served in the Philippines during World War II.
Theodore married Ernestine Rosborough, and they had one child, Harriett Page. Ernestine and Theodore's sister, Constance, worked in the business as attendants, and did hair styling and make-up for female clients.
He sold his business in 1998 to Brandon Funeral Home of Malvern, Arkansas. On January 13, 2003, the Hot Springs location was destroyed in an early morning fire. Theodore Page died on June 15, 2005. He was a life-long member of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, Hot Springs.
The project was made possible with a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the Black History Advisory Committee (now the Black History Commission of Arkansas).
This collection contains death records and burial transit permits, 1950-1970.

  • Death records
    • 1950 (Reel MG00152)
    • 1954
    • 1959
    • 1960
    • 1961
    • 1962
    • 1964
    • 1965
    • 1966
    • 1967
    • 1968
    • 1969
    • 1970
  • Death records, supplement
    • 1953 [includes name index] (Reel MG00153)
    • 1954
    • 1967

Monday, December 19, 2016

ASA Dates Closed for the Holidays

The Arkansas State Archives and its branch archives, the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives, will be closed Fri., Dec. 23rd, Sat., Dec. 24th, and Mon., Dec. 26th in observance of Christmas. 

The Arkansas State Archives will also be closed on Mon., Jan. 2nd in observance of New Year's Day. 

Arkansas State Archives Announces 2017 Lecture Series

The Arkansas State Archives, in conjunction with its sister agency Historic Arkansas Museum, is launching a series of book lectures in 2017.  The lecture series, Pen to Podium: Arkansas Historical Writers' Lecture Series, will be held quarterly and will feature Arkansas authors Ken Barnes, Elizabeth Hill, Brooks Blevins, and Erik Wright, Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst announced today.

“This collaboration between our Department of Arkansas Heritage agencies is just one example of how we are working together to present our unique Arkansas history and culture to new audiences,” said Hurst.

The first lecture will be held from 7 - 8 p.m. on Tues., Jan. 17, at Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock and will feature Ken Barnes, who will present, Anti-Catholicism in Arkansas: How Politicians, the Press, the Klan, and Religious Leaders Imagined an Enemy, 1910–1960. Before the lecture, a reception sponsored by the Friends of the Arkansas State Archives will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the atrium of the museum.

The lecture is free but registration is required. Registration is limited and deadline for registration will be Fri., Jan. 13.

The Arkansas State Archives is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and is responsible for collecting and maintaining the largest publicly held collection of materials on Arkansas history in the world.  The State Archives has two branch locations; the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Powhatan and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Washington. Other agencies under the Department of Arkansas Heritage include the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and the Historic Arkansas Museum.

For more information or to register, contact or call 501-682-6900.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wednesday's Wonderful Collection - Jonesboro, Arkansas Civitan Club scrapbooks MSNE.0025

The Jonesboro Civitan Club is an affiliate of the Civitan International. Civitan Clubs organized in 1917 to provide resources for individuals and groups in their communities, particularly those with birth defects and disabilities. The name "civitan" was formed from the Latin word "civitas" which means citizenship. "Builders of Good Citizenship" became the motto for the Civitan Clubs.
The Jonesboro Civitan Club was organized in the 1950s and is an active civic group, supporting organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Northeast Arkansas Comprehensive Learning Center, Arkansas Special Olympics, United Cerebral Palsy, and others.

These scrapbooks contain photographs and written descriptions of club activities, including recruiting new members, organizing new clubs, supporting charitable organizations, and attending international, national, state, and district meetings.
  • 1988 (Volume 1)
  • 1999-2000 (Volume 2)
  • 2000-2001 (Volume 3)
  • 2001-2002 (Volume 4)
  • 2002-2003 (Volume 5)
  • 2003-2004 (Volume 6)
  • 2004-2005 (Volume 7)
  • 2006-2007 (Volume 8)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wednesday's Wonderful Collection - William Quesenbury Papers, SMC.13.23

William "Cush" Quesenbury was born August 21, 1822, in Crawford County, Arkansas. In 1839, he began to write for newspapers in Van Buren, Arkansas. In the 1840s, he studied under the painter, John Mix Stanley, and began a career in drawing sketches, caricatures, and cartoons. Quesenbury fought in the Mexican War in 1846, after which he returned to Arkansas to teach. He started his own newspaper in Fayetteville in 1853, the "South West Independent," which lasted until 1857. In 1860, he took over the Fayetteville newspaper, "Arkansian" for Elias Boudinot, who moved to Little Rock to become the editor for the "True Democrat." When the Civil War began, Quesenbury fought for the Confederacy with Albert Pike in Indian Territory. He moved to Texas following the war but returned to Arkansas in 1876, eventually relocating to Neosho, Missouri, in 1880. He died on August 31, 1888.
This collection contains correspondence and literary works of William Quesenbury.

  • Correspondence (Reel MG00207)
    • 1888 January 18: William Quesenbury, Neosho, Missouri, to Elias Boudinot
  • Literary works
    • Circa 1860: "Kansas," Article addressed to "friend Wheeler" about "bleeding Kansas" and signed Javelin
    • 1876 July 4: "And Others," Article in answer to Mr. Turner's July 4, 1876, address in Alma
    • 1876 July 4: "To the Mexican Veteran"
    • 1876 December 25: Poem, "Carrier's Address to the Readers of the Western Independent"
    • Undated: "A Card"

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Arkansas State Archives November 2016 Newsletter

Look inside the November 2016 Issue of the Arkansas Archivist for these and other features:

The ASA Welcomes Students from Valley View Junior High School

Over the last few years, the ASA has been expanding its educational programs.  We have created lesson plans and held teacher workshops on the use of primary sources in the classroom.  The ASA considers the promotion of history education, in particular Arkansas history and how our state factors into national and global narratives, among its most important roles.

Black History Commission News

Anyone who has done much research knows that no research project is ever actually finished.  There are always new questions that come to light, new avenues to be explored.  This month we present just such a case.  A few months ago, we wrote about a Sykes grant winner’s project dealing with the historic Norwood-Mt. Olive Cemetery in Fort Smith and the life of Henry Norwood.  The South Sebastian County Historical Society, which was behind the original project, has returned to the topic to further examine the world of Henry Norwood, more specifically his early life in slavery. The new project, “Songs of Hope and Inspiration: The Hidden Meaning of Spirituals,” analyzes traditional songs that enslaved people sang and reveals the meanings behind these songs.  

From the Director

On November 11, the United States commemorated Veterans Day.  Here in Arkansas, we marked the occasion with a press conference of the World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee to preview the official website of the commemoration.  The website, which can be found at is sponsored by the Department of Arkansas Heritage, provides the public with a variety of ways to participate in Arkansas’s commemoration of the “Great War” between now and the end of 2018.

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month.  The ASA holds a large collection of materials related to the history of Native Americans in Arkansas.  A number of our earliest records in our collection deal with some of the Native Americans who were living in Arkansas and those who  migrated here during the Trail of Tears.  The L.C. Gulley collection contains a number of letters from Native American leaders to Arkansas’s territorial officials discussing the treatment of Native Americans in the state.  There are also a number of maps that show Native American territorial lands. 

Wednesday's Wonderful Collection - K.W. rector papers, MS.000230

K.W. Rector was a successful farmer in the Mill Creek Township of Izard County, Arkansas. He was born in 1858 in Izard County. His parents, J. W. Rector and Ann E. Cooper Rector, were natives of Kentucky who came to Arkansas in 1852. K.W. Rector married Martha C. Bigham on September 25, 1879. Her parents were Samuel and Susannah Bigham of Tennessee. K.W. and Martha Rector had five children together, and by 1910, amassed a farm of nearly 500 acres in Izard County.

This collection contains journals and diaries kept by K.W. Rector and members of the Rector and Bigham families. It also contains deeds and United States land grants from members of the families and other residents of the Izard County area during the 1850s.

·         1. Journal, 1862 March 10 (Box 1)
·         2. Journal, 1884 August 21-November 19
·         3. Journal, 1885 November 28-1894 April 8
·         4. Journal, 1893 November 24-1900 October 22
·         5. Journal, 1896 February 15-1902 March
·         6. Journal, 1898 August 20-1902 December
·         7. Journal, 1899 January 1-1899 November 21
·         8. Journal, 1901 February 1-1902 March 29
·         9. Journal, 1902 December 31-1903 August 21
·         10. Journal, 1906 December 28-1907 March
·         11. Journal, 1912 January 30
·         12. Journal, 1912 March 8
·         13. Journal, "Earl Rector's Book," 1916 August 8-1917 November 4
·         1. Land grant, United States of America to Joseph A. Dillard, 1853 November 1 (Box 2)
·         2. Land grant, United States of America to Warren Johnson, 1853 December 10
·         3. Deed, T.W. Edmonson to Samuel L. Bigham and John Woods, 1853 February 10
·         4. Land grant, United States of America to William D. Bugbee, 1854 July 1
·         5. Land grant, United States of America to Thomas W. Edmondson, 1855 March 1
·         6. Land grant, United States of America to Thomas W. Edmondson, 1855 March 1
·         7. Land grant, United States of America to William M. Taylor, 1855 June 16
·         8. Land grant, United States of America to William Dillard, 1859 July 1
·         9. Land grant, United States of America to Joseph W. Rector, 1859 July 1
·         10. Land grant, United States of America to Samuel L. Bigham, 1859 July 1
·         11. Miscellaneous papers (9 items)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Arkansas State Archives Named One of 75 Best State Genealogy Websites

On November 10, the Arkansas State Archives was named to Family Tree Magazine’s list of 75 Best State Websites for Genealogy in 2016. Each year, the magazine honors the best websites across the country specializing in genealogical research. This is the second time the State Archives has been honored with this designation. In 2011, it was named by Family Tree Magazine as one of the top 101 best genealogical websites in the U.S.

Criteria for chosen sites includes providing a user-friendly website with a priority on digitized material.

Diane Haddad, editor of Family Tree Magazine says, “We wanted each state to be represented with at least one website, so we had to be more selective for states with many online resources. We hope that readers will see the types of online resources available at the state level and go looking for more sites beyond what’s on this list.”

Dr. Lisa Speer, state historian and director of the Arkansas State Archives, commented on the selection, “We are excited that Family Tree Magazine selected us to represent Arkansas archival repositories.   The State Archives just brought up a new website in June of this year. We really focused on making the site more user friendly, with a high priority on featuring our digital collections and services for researchers. I am grateful to have this work recognized.”

The list of all 75 websites will appear in the December 2016 issue of Family Tree Magazine and can be viewed online at

The Arkansas State Archives is an agency under the Department of Arkansas Heritage and is responsible for collecting and maintaining the largest collection of historical materials on Arkansas in the world.  The State Archives has two branch locations; the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Powhatan and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Washington. Other agencies under the Department of Arkansas Heritage include the Arkansas Arts Council, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and the Historic Ark

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Acquisitions and Accessions for November 2016

Arkansas State Archives November 2016 Acquisitions

Standridge Kith an’ Kin Family History Newsletter, Vol. 13 no. 4, Fall 2016

Glenwood High School Class of 1962 Reunion:  54 Years

Basin Park Hotel:  Eureka Springs

Romancing Eureka:  We Found It!, by Dan Ellis

Glad News

Forty Years Missionary in Arkansas, by Father E.J. Weibel

Around the World with a Camera, by Leslie-Judge Company

Monday, November 21, 2016

Closed for Thanksgiving

The Arkansas State Archives and its branches, the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives (NEARA) and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives (SARA), will be closed from Thursday, Nov. 24th - Saturday, Nov. 26th in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.  The State Archives will reopen with regular business hours on Monday, Nov. 28th.  NEARA and SARA will reopen with regular business hours on Tuesday, Nov. 29th. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wednesday's Wonderful Collection - "Across the Horizon" manuscript, MS.000589

Cornelia Alice Kirkley was born November 14, 1904, in Norphlet, Union County, Arkansas, to James and Willie Murphy Kirkley. When she was six years old, her family moved to Grady, Arkansas, which is located along the Choctaw Bayou in Lincoln County, about twenty-five miles south of Pine Bluff.
In the early 1920s, she graduated with honors from Grady High School and attended what was then called Arkansas State Normal School in Conway. She moved to Chicago to study shorthand and business practices under John Robert Gregg, the inventor of the Gregg Shorthand Method. After completion of this course, Kirkley returned to Conway and received a bachelor's degree in education from her previous college, by this time known as Arkansas State Teachers College (now the University of Central Arkansas). She married William Floyd Foster, II, of Portland, Arkansas, in 1926 and they had one son, William Floyd, III. She began her teaching career at Draughon's Business College in Little Rock in the late 1920s, then went on to teach business classes at what is now Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Columbia County. In 1940, she opened Foster Business School in Camden, Ouachita County, which she operated for twenty-five years.
Foster began interviewing and photographing residents of the African American community of Grady, Arkansas, in the late 1930s. Her research led her to write a manuscript, which she finished in 1938 and entitled "Across the Horizon."
Cornelia Foster died on June 28, 1971, and is buried in Camden. In 2006, her son self-published "Across the Horizon" and donated its original pages and photographs to the Arkansas State Archives.
This collection consists of an original manuscript, written in 1938, and the self-published version, copyright 2006, along with additional photographs.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wednesday's Wonderful Collection - Centennial Missionary Baptist Church records MG.00486

Centennial Missionary Baptist Church in Helena, Phillips County, Arkansas, was established on July 4, 1876. In August 1876, Reverend Robert Caver of Alabama was called to serve as the first pastor. Caver was followed by two other pastors who served brief periods. However, the church flourished under the administration and pastorate of Elias Camp Morris (1855-1922), who was called in June 1879. Morris later became a leading religious figure in the state and throughout the country. He was a founding member of the National Baptist Convention, and its president until his death in 1922. Morris served as pastor of Centennial for forty-three years.
Centennial Missionary Baptist Church with its Gothic Revival design was listed as a National Historic Landmark on July 31, 2003. The church, located at York and Columbia Streets, was built in 1905 by Henry James Price, an African American architect. Due to major deterioration of the structure, the congregation held its last worship service in 1999. The building still stands, however, and is owned by the E.C. Morris Foundation, comprised of former church members.
The documents in this collection were rescued by Phyllis Hammonds of the E.C. Morris Foundation, and her mother Thelma, who stored the records at the Delta Cultural Center, in Helena, Arkansas. The microfilming of the collection was part of a project made possible with a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and Black History Advisory Committee (now the Black History Commission of Arkansas).

The collection contains church programs, correspondence, minutes, financial reports, membership rosters, Women's Missionary Society, Sunday school, and Baptist Young People's Union records.
  • Administrative records
    • 1. Correspondence, 1909-1947 (Reel MG00486)
    • 2. Minutes, financial reports, etc., 1876-1983
    • 3. Membership register, 1941-1955
    • 4. Funeral programs, 1965-1991
    • 5. Church anniversary celebrations, 1919-1991 (Reel MG00487)
    • 6. Special program events, 1931-1997 (includes program of the eighty-second annual session, National Baptist Convention, Incorporated, 1962 September 4-9, Chicago, Illinois)
    • 7. Harvest homecoming, 1954-1989
    • 8. Reverend A.L. Woodson, personal papers (correspondence, receipts, and membership certificate to The Most Worshipful Sovereign Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, Jurisdiction of Arkansas, 1947)
  • Women's Missionary Society ledgers
    • 1912-1939
  • Baptist Young People's Union, record and roll book
    • 1900-1924
    • 1924-1941 (Reel MG00488)
    • 1940-1973 (Reel MG00489)
  • Sunday school reports, minutes and record books
    • 1900-1919 (Reel MG00490)
    • 1919-1932 (Reel MG00491)
    • 1932-1942 (Reel MG00492)
    • 1942-1953 (Reel MG00493)
    • 1954-1970 (Reel MG00494)
    • Sunday School records, 1971-1984 (Reel MG00495)
    • Class books, 1917-1947