Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday's Wonderful Collection - Archibald Yell Papers

Archibald Yell Papers, SMC.21.8

Archibald Yell was an army officers, United State Representative, and the second Governor of Arkansas. He was born in North Carolina in 1797 to Moses and Mary Curry Yell, but grew up in Tennessee. Archibald served in the War of 1812 and fought at the Battle of New Orleans, reaching the rank of sergeant. He went on to serve during the First Seminole War as a first lieutenant. Yell married Mary Scott on November 8, 1821, in Tennessee. Mary Yell died in 1823 while giving birth to their daughter, Mary Scott Yell. In 1827, Yell married Nancy Jordon Moore, with whom he had four children: Artemesia, Jane, and Elizabeth, and Dewitt Clinton. While in Tennessee, Yell served in the state legislature and also practiced law. He served as Receiver of Public Monies in Little Rock, Arkansas. However, he resigned after he developed malaria and moved back to Tennessee to recover.
Yell returned to Arkansas in 1835, settling in Fayetteville, after receiving an appointment as a territorial circuit judge. His second wife, Nancy, died in October 1835.  Yell then married Mary Ficklin in July 1836. That same year, Yell became the first congressman from the State of Arkansas. He did not run for reelection due to the death of his third wife. In 1840, he successfully ran for Governor of Arkansas and served until his unexpected resignation in Spring 1844. Retirement was short-lived, with Yell entering the congressional election against his law partner, David Walker. Yell won the election and served until the outbreak of the Mexican War in 1846, when he resigned. He enrolled as a private under Captain Solon Borland, but was elected colonel. During the Battle of Buena Vista, Yell led a charge against the Mexican Army, received multiple wounds, and died on February 22, 1847.

This collection contains correspondence, a will, and news clippings related to the Yell family.
  • 1840 April 21: A. Yell, Little Rock, Arkansas, to Gilbert Marshill, Booneville, Arkansas (Reel MG00212)
  • 1849 November 30: List of lands devised by Governor Yell, to his children
  • 1841 July 2: Will, Archibald Yell
  • 1915 June 6: "Governor Yell's Old Home Stands," Arkansas Gazette
  • 1894 June 7: "Dear Cousin Jennie"
  • Undated: Newsclipping, obituaries, Joel B. Smith, Clinton Y. Smith, and Archibald Yell
  • Undated: News clipping, "Lincoln County" by Jno. M. Bright

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wednesday’s Wonderful Collection - Lycurgus A. Sallee papers, MS.000856

Lycurgus A. Sallee was born in St. Charles County, Missouri, on March 19, 1829, to Isaac Huffman and Lucinda Baugh Sallee. Lycurgus joined the Confederate Army in Camden, Arkansas, in May of 1861. He served in Company C, First Arkansas Regiment, as a private. After the Civil War, he left Arkansas, later living in Colorado and Texas. He died in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on November 29, 1916, but is buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Texas.
This collection contains correspondence, a scrapbook, and items from the Civil War and 1911 Confederate Veterans Reunion in Little Rock, Arkansas. This correspondence details the Battle of Chickamauga on the 19th and 20th of September 1862 and the Battle of Stones River fought on December 31, 1862, in Tennessee.
·         "The Daily Citizen," Vicksburg, Mississippi (photocopy) 1863 July 2 (Box 1)
·         Correspondence
o    Lycurgus A. Sallee, Johnson County, North Carolina, to James J. Lawrence 1865 April 2 (Box 1)
o    Envelope, Walter L. Bragg, Alabama, to L.A. Sallee, Army of Tennessee 1860 November 18 (Box 1)
o    M.M. Duffie, Winnipeg, Canada, to "Dear Old Friend" 1898 February 27 (Box 1)
o    Robert L. Rodgers, Atlanta, Georgia, to L.A. Sallee, Apishapa, Colorado 1898 March 19 (Box 1)
o    Lycurgus A. Sallee, Del Rio, Texas, to Mamie Yeovy, M'Gregor, Texas 1910 May 2 (Box 1)
o    Lycurgus Ashbrook Sallee, Del Rio, Texas, to J.A. Reeves, Camden, Arkansas 1910 February 26 (Box 1)
o    Charles W. Bryan, Lincoln, Nebraska, to L.A. "Salles," Del Rio, Texas 1912 April 26 (Box 1)
o    George A. Proctor to unknown Undated (Box 1)
o    Bennett H. Young, Louisville, Kentucky, to "Dear Friend" Undated (Box 1)
·         Booklet: "Fifty Best Poems of America" 1937 (Box 1)
·         Pamphlet: United Confederate Veterans Reunion, Little Rock, Arkansas 1911 May 16-18 (Box 1)
·         Scrapbook 1891-1913 (Box 2)

Thursday, June 28, 2018

SARA Helps Preserve Pike County History

Named for American explorer Zebulon Pike, Pike County was created by the territorial legislature on November 1, 1833 from Clark and Hempstead Counties. It was not until 1836 that a permanent county seat was chosen when Murfreesborough (later changed to Murfreesboro) was established along with a post office. 

The town is said to have been named by settlers who came from the town of the same name in Tennessee.  Due to two courthouse fires, most of Pike County’s early records are unavailable prior to 1895, thus making much of Pike County’s early history difficult to research. However, a ledger of the County Treasurer’s records that dates to 1884 survived the fires and has been preserved in SARA’s collections. 

These records, which list county income and expenses, give a rare glimpse into Pike County history.  The columns record what was available in the treasury in currency, state scrip and county scrip. It also lists poll taxes collected and fees for teacher’s licenses, as well as payments for public school teacher’s salaries. With so much of Pike County’s early history lost, having such a record available is of great value to researchers.

SARA Welcomes Summer Intern

Wes Oliver, a rising senior at Ouachita Baptist University (OBU), has joined the team at Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives (SARA) as its summer intern. Oliver, who is double majoring in history and public history, and minoring in psychology, became familiar with SARA while touring with Dr. Wendy Richter’s Archival Studies course in December of 2017. Oliver became interested in the internship at SARA because he wanted to learn more about the work, but also to see if archiving is something that he would like to pursue as a career.

Oliver has kept busy with a variety of projects, which has given him an understanding of the work archivists do. A project that he has worked on is helping to organize over 400 courthouse ledgers on the custom ledger shelving that was installed at SARA earlier this year.  He is also helping with processing a collection of historical information on schools in southwest Arkansas which was compiled by former SARA Director Faith Riley.  

One project in particular that Oliver has enjoyed is working on processing the unclaimed Hempstead County marriage licenses that were donated to SARA by former Archival Manager Peggy Lloyd. “Every preacher or justice of the peace had his own style of writing the records so that you could get a sense of the individuality of the people involved and some of the characteristics of the church denominations and local government institutions they represented,” said Oliver.

In his spare time, he enjoys reading (especially about history), walking his dog and exploring the outdoors.

The SARA Foundation sponsors the internship each year, and is the friends group for SARA. 

SARA Foundation’s mission includes providing volunteer support, promoting the acquisition of archival materials for SARA, and conducting special projects and fundraisers benefitting SARA. The SARA Foundation depends on membership dues and other contributions to fulfill its mission.  For more information, e-mail, call 870-983-2633, or write to SARA Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 133, Washington, AR 71862.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Black History Commission of Arkansas and ASA Host Workshop

The Black History Commission of Arkansas (BHCA) and the Arkansas State Archives (ASA) hosted their annual workshop on Saturday, June 9, at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock.

The event, “Arkansas’s Early Black Fraternal Organizations,” featured five dynamic speakers, who focused on multiple historical perspectives and unique characteristics of African American fraternal organizations in Arkansas.

Dr. John Graves, professor of history at Henderson State University, was the first speaker. He discussed the national history of the Mosaic Templars. Dr. Blake Wintory, assistant director at Lakeport Plantation, spoke on the history of Arkansas’s black fraternal organizations. Cleveland K. Wilson, grand master of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, talked about the history of the Masons, and Flora Simon, grand matron of the Eastern Star, discussed the history of her organization.

Tamela Tenpenny-Lewis wrapped up the day with a presentation about gravestones and the symbols that can be found on them. “There are countless stories hidden within the pages of the histories of the African American benevolent societies,” said Tenpenny-Lewis. “They speak to us from thousands of headstones in countless burial grounds. Some stand mightily in our midst today. Our awesome task is to find them.”

June 2018 Accessions


Arkansas state song sheet music
Hope Star centennial newspaper

Printed Materials

“The Pix” Little Rock High School yearbook, 1952
Crossett High School yearbook, 1953
1924 Western Arkansas League
The Baptist Encyclopedia, V. I & II


Hempstead County loose marriage records


Barbara Wright Brodie Collection accretion, AN2018.0002B

Book list from this collection:
Descendants of Richard and Elizabeth (Ewen) Talbott of Poplar Knowle West River, Anne Arundel County Maryland, Compiled by Ida Morrison (Murphy) Shirk
To Maryland from Overseas, by Harry Wright Newman
 Davidson County, Tennessee County Court Minutes, 1783-1792, by Carol Wells
Cemetery Records of Lawrence County Arkansas, by Extension Homemakers Council Marriages Lawrence County Arkansas, Volume II, 1883-1902
Lawrence County Arkansas Tax Records, 1829-1838, by Burton Ray Knotts
 Abstracts of Arkansas Reports, January 1837 - January 1861, compiled by Joan Thurman Taunton
New Hope Baptist Church Records, 1844-1926
Obituaries from Tennessee Newspapers, by Jill L. Garrett
Davidson County, Tenneessee Deed Books, "T" and "W," 1829-1835, by Mary Sue Smith
The Cemeteries of Hyattstown, by Dona Lou Cuttler
The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland, by J.D. Warfield


“The Greene County Historical and Genealogical Society Quarterly,” Volume 31, Summer 2018.
“The Independence County Library Genealogy Newsletter,” No. 24, June 2018
“Green County Historical and Genealogical Society Newsletter,” Vol. 31, Issue 2, May-June 2018.

Wednesdays Wonderful Collection - Sarah Rhodes Diaries, MS.000796

Sarah Starr was born December 30, 1848, and married Cory Rhodes October 20, 1866. They had six children, although only two survived to adulthood (Milton and Frances). By 1890, the Rhodes were living in Clarksville, Arkansas, and Cory was teaching Sunday School.
This collection contains the diaries of Sarah Starr Rhodes, which describe her day-to-day activities at home, the death of her father, and the birth of her last child, Frances. The establishment of Cumberland College in Clarksville, Arkansas, is frequently mentioned.
·         Diary 1890

·         Diary 1891