Thursday, April 26, 2018

ASA launches new online exhibit

The Arkansas State Archives has launched a new exhibit chronicling Arkansas’s participation in World War I on Google Arts & Culture! The exhibit, “Arkansas in the Great War,” has three parts: “Mobilizing the State for War,” “The War at Home,” and “In the Trenches.” There are 174 items in the collection, including photographs, documents, letters, and posters.
Google Arts & Culture is a site for online exhibits for archives, museums, and other cultural institutions from around the world. The Arkansas State Archives is thrilled and excited to join so many other institutions in sharing items from our special collections.
You can view the entire exhibit at: Arkansas in the Great War

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wednesday’s Wonderful Collection - Leo and Sylvia Wulfsohn papers, MS.000824

Leo Wulfsohn was born in 1895 to William and Dina Wulfsohn, (née Wurzburg) and grew up in the Chicago area. Wulfsohn graduated from John Marshall Law School in 1916 and served in World War I shortly after. He became active as a Freemason at Fortitude Lodge No. 1003 in the Wicker Park area of Chicago. In 1928, he married Sylvia Rubin of Monroe, NY, and the two remained in the Chicago area for some time. Wulfsohn remained active in numerous groups, including the American Legion and Veterans of World War I of the USA, Inc. The couple relocated first to Saline County, Arkansas, sometime in the mid-1950s, where Wulfsohn served briefly as Justice of the Peace. By the 1960s, they settled outside Hot Springs, where Wulfsohn continued to practice law and served as District Commander for the State of Arkansas for Veterans of World War I of the USA, Inc. Sylvia died in Hot Springs in 1972, and Leo in 1979.
This collection is comprised of attorney Leo Wulfsohn's personal papers as part of his position as District Commander of Arkansas of Veterans of World War I, Inc., his position as National Judge Advocate for the same organization, and his involvement with the American Legion, Jewish War Veterans, and various fraternal and Masonic organizations. The bulk of the papers pertain to membership and organization for Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. from roughly 1964-1966, as well as membership cards for various organizations, personal ephemera, and greeting cards from Sylvia.
The collection also contains the estate of Maynard B. Heath, a WWI veteran whose estate was handled by Wulfsohn. Heath had no heirs and was declared incompetent. Wulfsohn handled his finances while Heath spent two years in a Benton nursing home before passing.
·         District Commander - Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. Bulk, 1964-1966 (Box 1)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. [1 of 3] 1963-1967 (Folder 1)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. [2 of 3] 1963-1967 (Folder 2)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. [3 of 3] 1963-1967 (Folder 3)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. Correspondence 1964 (Folder 4)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. Correspondence 1965 (Folder 5)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. Correspondence 1972 (Folder 6)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. Newsletters 1964-1965 (Folder 7)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. Budget and Membership 1960-1973 (Folder 8)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. Legislative correspondence 1964-1965 (Folder 9)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. Bulletins 1964-1965 (Folder 10)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. Membership and officers material 1965-1972 (Folder 11)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. National Convention 1964 (Folder 12)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. Batesville convention 1965 (Folder 13)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. Arkansas budget 1964-1966 (Folder 14)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. Legislative materials 1964-1965 (Folder 15)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc., miscellaneous undated (Folder 17)
o    Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. pamphlets 1959-1969 (Box 2)
·         American Legion materials, legal materials and ephemera 1935-1972 (Box 2)
o    American Legion newsletters 1972 (Folder 2)
o    American Legion newsletters undated (Folder 3)
o    American Legion publications 1955-1972 (Folder 3)
o    American Legion / veterans' certificates 1935-1972 (Folder 5)
o    American Legion ephemera 1956 (Folder 6)
o    Illinois Reserve Militia gubernatorial commission to Samuel Wulfsohn 1945 (Folder 7)
o    William Van Pelt military service records 1917-1939 (Box 3)
·         Saline County Justice of the Peace, personal correspondence, business cards, estate of Maynard B. Heath (Box 3)
o    Bar Association and American Legion membership cards 1930-1970 (Folder 2)
o    Awarded proclamation and certificates 1947-1967 (Folder 3)
o    Attorney-related papers - Saline and Garland County 1922-1973 (Folder 4)
o    Saline County Justice of the Peace papers 1955-1959 (Folder 5)
o    Saline County Justice of the Peace correspondence 1955-1956 (Folder 6)
o    Miscellaneous correspondence and notes 1965-1973 (Folder 7)
o    Attorney-related ephemera undated (Folder 8)
o    Business cards undated (Folder 9)
o    Greeting cards 1958-1968 (Folder 10)
o    Game and Fish Commission materials 1929 (Folder 11)
o    Maynard B. Heath guardianship papers 1966-1968 (Folder 12)
o    Estate of Maynard B. Heath, personal miscellaneous 1953-1970 (Folder 13)
o    Estate of Maynard B. Heath guardianship correspondence 1966-1971 (Folder 14)
o    Maynard B. Heath case file 1966-1967 (Folder 15)
o    Saline County Justice of the Peace certificates 1941-1957 (Folder 16)
o    Map of Hot Springs, 21" x 42" 1956 (Folder 17)
o    Charles Hutchingson, Saline County Justice of the Peace certificate 1933 (Folder 18)
o    Northern District of Illinois certificate 1918 (Folder 19)
·         Masonic materials 1918-1960 (Box 4)
o    Fortitude Lodge certificate 1918 (Folder 1)
o    Matteson Lodge Centennial program 1955 (Folder 2)
o    The Official Monitor, Grand Lodge A.F. and A.M., Illinois circa 1920 (Folder 3)
o    Illinois Masonic directories 1942-1955 (Folder 4)
o    Illinois Masonic directories 1956-1960 (Folder 5)
o    Fraternal lodge membership cards 1920-1970 (Folder 6)
o    Arkansas Research Lodge No. 739 periodicals 1947-1952 (Folder 7)
o    Masonic Encyclopedia 1951 (Folder 8)
o    Masonic Monitor, Arkansas 1954 (Folder 9)
·         Fortitude Lodge No. 1003 scrapbook 1918-1933 (Box 5)
·         Bound materials (Box 6)
o    Attorney's Register 1967
o    Leo Wulfsohn personal travel expenses ledger undated
o    Sterling personal travel log undated
o    Wulfsohn home guest book 1951-1955
o    Large financial ledger 1969-1970
·         Photo albums, photos (Box 7)
o    Photo albums [1 of 2] 1964-1966
o    Photo albums [2 of 2] Bulk, 1966-1967
o    PH.Wulfsohn.01: PH.Wulfsohn.01: Veterans of World War 1 membership billboard in Healdsburg. Color photograph, 5 ¼" x 3 ½". circa. 1964. (Box 7)
o    PH.Wulfsohn.02: PH.Wulfsohn.02: Cheese plant bought by Veteran’s organization, Clinton, AR. Black and white photograph. 3 ½" x 3 ½". 1964
o    PH.Wulfsohn.03: PH.Wulfsohn.03: Unidentified couple in front of Christmas tree. Black and white photograph. 3 ¼" x 4 ¼". circa 1960s.
o    PH.Wulfsohn.04: PH.Wulfsohn.04: Leo Wulfsohn portrait in National Judge Advocate hat. Black and white photograph. 3 ¼" x 4 ½". circa 1960s.
o    PH.Wulfsohn.05: PH.Wulfsohn.05: Unidentified outdoor area with tree, clothesline and garden. Black and white photograph. 3 ½" x 3 ½". circa 1960s.
o    PH.Wulfsohn.06: PH.Wulfsohn.06: Leo, Sylvia Wulfsohn and others at American Legion banquet. San Diego, California. Black and white photograph, 10" x 8". September 1966
o    PH.Wulfsohn.07: PH.Wulfsohn.07: Leo Wulfsohn with classmates at John Marshall Law School. Chicago, Illinois. Black and white photograph on cardstock, 10" x 8". circa 1916. (Folder 2)
o    PH.Wulfsohn.08: PH.Wulfsohn.08: Leo and Sylvia Wulfsohn wedding photo. Black and white photograph. 10" x 12 ½". 1928. (Folder 3)
o    PH.Wulfsohn.09: PH.Wulfsohn.09: Sylvia Wulfsohn bridal portrait. Black and white photograph, 10" x 12 ½". 1928.
o    PH.Wulfsohn.10: PH.Wulfsohn.10: Leo and Sylvia Wulfsohn wedding portrait with unidentified honor attendants. Black and white photograph, 12 ½" x 10". 1928
o    PH.Wulfsohn.11: PH.Wulfsohn.11: Leo and Sylvia Wulfsohn with 6 unidentified family members in portrait by Morrall, Rochester, New York. Black and white cabinet card, 12" x 10". circa 1935 (Folder 4)
o    PH.Wulfsohn.12: PH.Wulfsohn.12: Unidentified siblings-in-law from previous family portrait, also by Morrall, Rochester, New York. Black and white photograph inside gatefold, 10 ½" x 14". undated
o    PC.Wulfsohn.01: PC.Wulfsohn.01: "The Village Inn on U.S. 70, 15 miles east of Hot Springs." Black and white postcard, 5 ½" x 3 ½". undated (Box 7)
o    PC.Wulfsohn.02: PC.Wulfsohn.02: "The Village Inn on U.S. 70, 15 miles east of Hot Springs." Black and white postcard, 5 ½" x 3 ½". undated
·         Framed photos
o    PH.Wulfsohn.13: Unidentified woman, portrait by Bachrach. Black and white framed photograph, 5" x 7". circa 1905 (Box 8)
o    PH.Wulfsohn.14: Leo Wulfsohn, Mrs. Jack P. Fry, Philipe Sisney, Robert C. Smith, Mrs. Doyle Daniel at American Legion Warren Townsend Post No. 13, Hot Springs, Arkansas. Black and white framed photograph, 10" x 8". 1959 April 6
o    PH.Wulfsohn.15: 2nd Regiment Infantry, Illinois Reserve Militia, over 60 pictured, including 1st Lt. Leo Wulfsohn. Black and white framed photograph, 14" x 11". 1941
·         Estate of Maynard B. Heath and Garland County divorce affidavits [RESTRICTED] 1937-1971 (Box 9)
o    Estate of Maynard B. Heath [RESTRICTED] 1937-1971 (Folder 1)
o    Maynard B. Heath checkbook and banking statements [RESTRICTED] 1966-1970 (Folder 2)

o    Saline County and Garland County divorce affidavits [RESTRICTED] 1937 (Folder 3)

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Women's History Month

Women’s History Month was an opportunity for us to celebrate and remember the contributions made by women in Arkansas history. Some of the more unique archival material we have pertaining to Arkansas women’s history can be found in the Arkansas State Council of Defense Records. The collection highlights work done in Arkansas by citizens in World War I. Inside that collection are the Women’s Committee of the Council of Defense registration cards from Sebastian and Crawford Counties.

In 1917, an Arkansas chapter of the Women's Committee of the Council of National Defense was established by Governor Charles Brough. Led by Ida Frauenthal, the advisory committee focused on registering women for war work, which involved food conservation and an overall willingness to serve. Lloyd England, chairman of the State Council of Defense wrote about the Women’s Committee: “[The Women’s Committee] shows how volunteer workers rendered a service that could not be purchased - it reveals the benefits that are to come to the State from the active participation in public affairs by women who have had the courage of proposing the adoption of the ideals and the practical ability of accomplishing them.”

The Sebastian and Crawford County registration cards are a wealth of information. They include names, ages, addresses, marital status, country of birth, color, time pledged for service, occupations, education, references and physical health. The card also includes information about what kind of work each woman was qualified for. Most importantly, the cards aren’t segregated; they include information on women in those counties from all races.

We’ve digitized a few of these cards. They can be viewed online in our Arkansas Women’s History Collection, along with other material about Arkansas women’s history:

Women's History Digital Collection

One of the things we have been doing at the ASA over the last several years is putting together digital collections, a sort of online museum gallery, and presenting images, letters and other items that help to tell the story of Arkansas.

One of our more popular digital collections is the Arkansas Women’s History Collection. The collection, chosen by Danyelle McNeill and other staff members, contains images, postcards, letters, and pamphlets that document the legacy of women in Arkansas. They spent months digging through photograph collections, manuscripts, and books to build the collection. “I wanted to make sure that what I chose was diverse,” Danyelle remembers. “It was important to me to tell the stories of all of Arkansas’s women.” This led her to pick roughly 90 items that represent different aspects of women’s history in Arkansas. To see the collection, visit

As Danyelle was collecting images, she was also compiling information about collections that relate to women’s history for a resource guide which has a list of materials that contain information pertaining to Arkansas women’s history throughout the ASA’s collections. This guide can be found on our digital collections webpage:

Black History Commission News

The BHCA was very happy to learn that Evin Demirel, a past winner of the Curtis Sykes Memorial Grant,  is presenting on his grant-funded book, “African-American Athletes in Arkansas: Muhammad Ali’s Tour, Black Razorbacks, and Other Forgotten Stories” at April’s Pen to Podium.

Often our readers will have great ideas for research projects but do not know how to get started. Sometimes that boils down to the question of how to pay for such a project. This is when grant programs like the Curtis Sykes Memorial Grant Program become crucial. We fund a vast array of different projects related to African American history and welcome submissions.

Over the last year, we have had some really great proposals. One of our recent entries proposed a book to be released coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Elaine Race Riot of 1919. The book will be edited by Guy Lancaster and will have a series of articles from Arkansas historians reflecting on the historic event. Many of the proposals submitted are for cemetery maintenance or the commemoration of important African Americans buried in them. Another recent proposal is to place a commemorative marker on the currently unmarked mass grave of 19 young men who perished in a fire at the Arkansas Negro Boys Industrial School in 1959.

We have also made the application process easier by allowing applicants to apply online: Once there, click on “Create New Account” and register with the website. You may then fill out the application form and submit it electronically. Before applying, however, it is important that those submitting proposals come to one of our free grant workshops so that they can learn about the writing process. The next grant workshop will be June 2, 2018, in the conference room at the ASA in Little Rock. Registration is not required. For more information, contact Tatyana Oyinloye at 501-682-6892 or email her:

March News from NEARA

Tracking women in early America can prove difficult due to name changes and lack of legal status. When women are finally found in records, they are often stripped of their own names and identified by their husband’s name or a nickname. Even so, there are some wonderful examples of women leading rich, full lives despite their often conspicuous absence.

One such example is contained within the probate file for Ellen Hardin, dated 1826. Ellen resided in Lawrence County at the time of her death, which appears to have been caused by a sickness. The inventory for Ellen’s estate is massive! She had a large home with several rooms’ worth of furniture, a well-stocked kitchen, a nice dining set, several sets of clothes, and some luxury goods like a handheld mirror and brush.

It’s notable that all of this property is described as belonging to Ellen, herself. Few other women in the area owned anything. Perhaps because the Hardin family was prominent and well-known in the community, Ellen was able to have some degree of independence.

A piece of Ellen Hardin’s probate has been digitized and soon will be available online through the Territorial Arkansas Digital Collection: To view the complete file, please stop by NEARA. We’ll be happy to help you track down the often elusive women in history!