Cross County, Arkansas
T. E. Lines
Thomas Ellery Lines, Wynne's oldest established attorney and a former mayor of the city, occupies a position of prominence and influence in Cross County and is widely known and respected throughout Eastern Arkansas. Mr. Lines also hold the distinction of having been elected the first Municipal Judge of Wynne, after the city was officially recognized by the State of Arkansas as a city of first class. He has distinguished himself as a highly competent lawyer with a record of service of nearly half a century. He was admitted to the Arkansas Bar in 1910. Mr. Lines was born June 28, 1885, at Albion, Illinois, son of Lafayette G. Lines and Jane Isabella (McCollum) Lines, both now deceased. He received his early schooling in the public schools and then attended Albion Junior College. He received his L. L. B. Degree in 1910 from Valparaiso University Law School and promptly moved to Wynne, Arkansas, that same year to open law practice.
On May 18, 1913, he married Miss Eugenie Vernette Schaeffer, daughter of Edward E. Schaeffer and Elizabeth (Clingman) Schaeffer of Fairfield, Illinois. To this union have been born three children. Dorothy Lee is the wife of L. R. Cotton, Western Auto Store dealer of Alton, Mo. The Cottons have two daughters, Janet Lee and Barbara Jean. Richard D. Lines is a Civil Engineer at Phoenix, Arizona. He and his wife, the former Helen Williams of Forrest City, have a daughter, Chambliss, now Mrs. Gene Satterfield of Forrest City. Frederic H. Lines is a rice farmer of Wynne. He and his wife, the former Glenda Jernigan of Jonesboro, have two daughters, Laurian and Dana. The ancestry of the Lines and McCollum families extend back to before the Revolutionary War when the Lines came to Connecticut from England and the McCollums to Charleston, S. C. from Scotland.
In addition to practicing law, Mr. Lines has found time to take an active part in municipal affairs. He served as Mayor of the City of Wynne from 1930-1934. In 1948, when Wynne was recognized as a city of first class, he was elected its first Municipal Judge, a position which he still holds. His fair and impartial handling of the multitude of divergent cases has won the praise of his fellow lawyers and the public in general. Mr. Lines is a Protestant and prefers the Methodist Church. He belongs to the Wynne Rotary Club, of which he has served as President. He is President of the Cross County Bar Association and belongs to the Arkansas and American Bar Association. He has served as Exalted Ruler of the Wynne Elks Club. A man of varied interests, Mr. Lines also in engaged in farming his 200-acre farm in the western part of Cross County. The Lines family, vitally interested in the betterment of Wynne, is indeed a prominent member of the progressive town of Wynne, Arkansas, and has made noteworthy contributions to its growth.
Homer L. Mitchell
A native of Cross County, Homer L. Mitchell has accomplished much in public life since he was born July 25, 1900, at Tilton, Ark., rising to a position of prominence and influence as County Judge of his home country, an office he was elected to in 1946 and has been re-elected to ever since. His father, the late Henry T. Mitchell, served as County Judge of Cross County from 1921-1927. His mother was the former Minnie Robertson of Tilton.
Judge Homer Mitchell was reared in this county and was graduated from the Wynne High School. He finished Draughon's Business College in Little Rock in 1925. For 22 years he served faithfully and efficiently as deputy sheriff and collector and deputy county clerk of Cross County, establishing a wide reputation for conscientious service and integrity that was to carry him into the first public office he sought, that of County Judge. During World War II, he was inducted in July 1942 into the U. S. Army and was assigned to the 58th Medical Battalion, Army Medical Corps. After serving two years and two months overseas in the North African and European Theatres of War, receiving five Battle Stars, he was honorably discharged in July, 1945. On May 15, 1946, he married Leta Stutts Wood, daughter of the late Harvey Stutts and Viola (Oliver) Stutts of Hamlin. The Mitchells have one daughter, Bonnie Wood, now the wife of James L. Shaver II, leading young Wynne attorney and direct descendant of one of the oldest pioneer families of Eastern Arkansas. Mr. and Mrs. Shaver have two children: James Levesque Shaver III and Bonnie Sue Shaver. Judge Mitchell, a quiet and unassuming individual of unquestionable integrity, is a member of the Wynne Methodist Church. He also belongs to the Hundred Club and the Masonic Lodge. He has a farm in western Cross County on which he now raises registered Angus cattle.
Wynne Wholesale Grocer Company
Wynne Wholesale Grocer Company has achieved several noteworthy distinctions during its more than 40 years of existence. First, it is one of the oldest continuously-operating business firms in Cross County; second, it is the only wholesale grocer company in the county; and third, it is recognized as one of the leading firms of Eastern Arkansas. Wynne Wholesale Grocer Company was officially founded in 1913 by C. S. Lemons, now of Blytheville, and the late G. L. Gholston. These two founders operated their wholesale business in a small frame building near the junction of the Helena and Memphis branches of the old Iron Mountain Railroad, the railroad that prompted the founding of the railroad stop of Wynne, Arkansas. The company operated in adverse conditions what with Wynne just beginning to develop and potential customers located in surrounding communities and villages with inadequate transportation facilities. Under the capable and enterprising guidance of Mr. Lemons as manager and Mr. Gholston as an equally ambitious partner, the business grew. There was an essential need for a wholesale grocer not only in the rapidly-growing town of Wynne but throughout the entire area. The problem in those days was primarily one of transportation for the horse-drawn wagons and buggies were still the principal means of safe and sure travel along the country roads where the railroad did not venture. In 1916 Wynne Wholesale Grocer Co. lost one of its distinguished founders, G. L. Gholston. His death was mourned by all who had come to know him as a pioneer in the field of wholesaling groceries and allied products in Cross County. The following year, in 1917, the firm suffered still another serious setback. The building was burned, destroying practically the entire inventory. Among the items salvaged were the delivery wagons and the faithful horses and mules that had made the rounds in Wynne for years.
Mr. Lemons immediately proceeded to erect a new and much larger building only a short distance from his original location, on a spur connecting the Memphis and Helena tracks. It is in this building the company still operates. Wynne Wholesale Grocer Co. continued to grow under the management of Mr. Lemons, who was to resign in 1928, and the faithful and loyal service of its employees, several of whom are still associated with this firm. Mr. Lemons, still a stock-holder of the company, is now a retired businessman of Blytheville, Arkansas. He was succeeded by G. C. Hollan, who, as his successor did, capably directed the multiplying activities of the company, surviving a national depression and disastrous St. Francis Valley floods. The firm continued to expand, adding other Eastern Arkansas and Northeast Arkansas counties to its wide territory. Death came to Mr. Hollan in July 1939. He was succeeded by a man who had been associated with Wynne Wholesale Grocer Co. since a boy, working afternoons and Saturdays after school.
Neal H. Smith assumed the responsibilities of manager of this firm on March 1, 1940 after 18 years of efficient and competent service as a member of the sales force, a position he still occupies in addition to his executive duties. Neal Smith was born February 28, 1904, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, son of M. V. Smith and Emma (Smothers) Smith. He came with his parents to Wynne when he was seven years old, grew to manhood here, completing his prep school education at the Wynne High School. He started working part time for the Wynne Wholesale Grocer in 1918, during World War I. It was a move that was one day to result in his becoming president of the firm as well as a principal stockholder and manager. Mr. Smith attended Henderson State Teachers at Arkadelphia for a year before returning to Wynne to work full-time at the wholesale company. Under his able management, the company has established its highest record of sales, serving a trade territory consisting of six counties-Cross, St. Francis, Lee, Woodruff, Crittenden and Poinsett-with an annual payroll of approximately $65,000 being distributed to 14 loyal employees. Six large trucks are constantly on the move, delivering a multitude of items to Arkansas stores, both large and small, on busy state highways or out-of-the-way country side roads. Mr. Smith has furthered the reputation of the firm as a public-spirited member of the community. He himself is a member of the Wynne Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, Hundred Club and Wynne Fumble Club and is one of the football team's most ardent supporters. He belongs to the Methodist Church. His wife is the former Hazel McKnight, daughter of the late R. B. McKnight and Frankie (Lollar) McKnight, formerly prominent Wynne citizens. The Smiths were married July 2, 1929. They have a daughter, Sharis, now Mrs. Gerald Blackburn of Columbia, Mo. Mrs. Smith is an active member of the First Christian Church, her parents having been among the pioneers of the Wynne Church. In addition to Mr. Smith other officers of the company are J. A. Gorin of St. Louis, Mo., Vice President and R. P. Best of Wynne, Secretary-Treasurer. Among the personnel are these employees, who are among the leading and respected citizens of the community; Miss Marie Cookston, who has been with the firm since 1917; Jake Wiltshire, since 1939; George Russell, since 1939; R. P. Best, since 1943; and Johnny Baus, since 1947.
United Insurance Service
Since its founding on October 31, 1933, United Insurance Service of Wynne, Arkansas, has enjoyed a steady and sound growth, and today is recognized as a leading insurance agency of this area. Its marked growth has resulted from an efficient and competent program of insurance selling and service. Representing only time-tested and respected insurance companies, United Insurance Service offers as complete and as well-planned protection of general insurance as provided anywhere. It is the constant policy of Mrs. Florence M. Stacy, esteemed office manager of the firm, to make every policy her company writes the best policy for that specific purpose. Mrs. Stacy has been employed by the agency since its organization and has been its office manager for the past 13 years. Mrs. Carroll Pickett, the former Catherine Chrisco, is the very efficient book-keeper and policy clerk. Ever since its beginning, United Insurance Service has adhered religiously and meticulously to the highest principles of its profession. Policyholders have come to know the firm, backed by some of the oldest respected insurance companied in the United States, as one of unquestionable integrity and public service.
United Insurance Service officially dates its beginning as October 31, 1933, but actually its ancestry extends farther back than that. In 1933 three prominent Cross Countians - H. K. Barwick Jr., J. E. Fitzgerald and Vernon Paul - formed a partnership to purchase the Owen Bros. Insurance Agency and to formally open the United Insurance Service. Some of the policies of the Owen Bros. company actually dated even farther back because it was a consolidation of the M. R. Owen Agency and the insurance department of the East Arkansas Abstract & Loan Co. About a year after its opening, Mr. Paul sold his interest to his two partners who still own the agency with Mr. Barwick, one of Cross County's most beloved and respected citizens, serving the official capacity of manger. Fortunate indeed is the firm in having owners of such sterling character and public spiritedness but it is equally fortunate in having a woman of Mrs. Stacy's standing, intelligence and ability as office manager to be primarily responsible for the successful operation of the agency.
United Insurance Service, in addition to owning assets of the Owen Bros. Agency and the East Arkansas Abstract & Loan Co., also has purchased the interests of the one-time Dixie Insurance Agency and the Roland Hughes Insurance Agency. United Insurance belongs to the Arkansas Association of Insurance Agents, and co-operates in its motto: "To support Right Principles and oppose Bad Practices in the Business." United Insurance Service is located on East Merriman Avenue in the Barwick Garage Building. From 1933 to November 1942 it occupied offices in the Martin Building. The future of this splendid insurance agency is bright because the combination of respectability, intelligent service and sound financial practices, backed by tried and proven products, is an assurance of success in any business operation.
Carroll (Bull) Durham
Carroll (Bull) Durham, founder of Durham Funeral Home and outstanding civic worker of Wynne and Cross County, is prominently-known throughout the state for his Lions International work as a former Lieutenant and Assistant Director of the Arkansas State Police. A public-spirited individual of large build, Bull Durham is a colorful figure in Cross County, vitally interested in the growth of the community. He served for three years as Fund Drive Chairman of the Cross County Cancer Drive and as Chairman of the Red Cross County Chapter. A member of the Wynne Lions Club, he served as Deputy District Governor of Lions International from 1947-49 and was instrumental in the organization of several Lions clubs.
He was born at Horatio, Sevier County, Ark., Feb. 12, 1911, son of Claude Durham and Myrtle (Carroll) Durham. Graduate of Benton High School, he later attended Arkansas College, Henderson State, LSU, College of Ozarks and Arkansas State Training School, receiving his B. S. Degree in 1935. An outstanding athlete, he was named All-State Tackle while playing with the Arkansas College Panthers. He taught and coached at Benton High in 1934, at College of Ozarks in 1935 and Dierks High in 1936. An original member of the Arkansas State Police in 1937, he advanced from patrolman to assistant Director before entering the government service as investigator in Material Command, Army Air Forces. He previously had served three years in the CMTC and the Arkansas National Guard.
His wife is the former Dolly Jane Hammett, daughter of Charlie Hammett, of Wynne, and Jane (Sheridan) Hammett, Vanndale school teacher. They were married Dec. 26, 1939; have a daughter, Sharon Kate. The Durhams are members of the Presbyterian Church of which Mr. Durham is a Deacon. He has been Church Treasurer and is a Past President of the Men of the Church. In addition to owning the Durham Funeral Home, which he established in 1947, and serving as Secretary-Treasurer of the Durham Burial Assn., which he also founded, Mr. Durham is the East Arkansas representative of the Capitol Monument Co. of Little Rock.
Carroll (Bull) Durham is indeed a worthy member of Cross County; he has given much of his time and efforts to worth-while civic affairs. He is also willing to do his part and is being constantly called upon to lead various civic projects.
C. E. Martin Grocery
For more than a quarter of a century, C. E. Martin has been associated with the grocery business in Wynne, his grocery store having been a landmark on South Front Street since January 2, 1924.
A genial and wholehearted person, Mr. Martin is a widely-known businessman of Wynne. He also owns extensive farming interests in Cross County and is a stockholder and President of the Merchants & Farmers Gin in Wynne. Part of his farm property is located east of Fitzgerald's Crossing and the other within the city limits of Wynne in the southern part of the town. The Rainfair, Inc., clothing plant, for which the citizens of Wynne raised funds to construct the building, is located on land he sold the Wynne Industrial Development Committee. In addition to the usual cotton crop, Mr. Martin raises livestock and devotes some of his acreage to rice. Within the past few years Mr. Martin has developed the Martin subdivision in South Wynne and erected numerous residences, on what is now known as Martin Drive. He was born August 23, 1894, at the county seat of Saline County, Arkansas, son of B. M. Martin and Lenora (Becnaugh) Martin of McNairy County, Tennessee. His parents, now deceased, came to Cross County in 1890 to farm. He grew up on a farm, learning at firsthand an understanding and appreciation of the soil which was later to aid him in farming on his own. During World War I, on May 31, 1918, he joined the Army as Acting Corporal of Supplies and was stationed at Camp Pike with the 10th Battalion, Company M. He was honorably discharged on December 14, 1918, as a Sergeant.
His wife is the former Mamie Holmes, daughter of Benjamin Franklin Holmes and Sallie (Hunt) Holmes, who came to Cross County to farm in 1893. Mr. and Mrs. Martin were married January 7, 1918. To them were born four children. Raymond Martin passed away in 1948 at the age of 35. Evelyn is married to Kenneth Ray McEwen, local farmer and mechanic; they have three children, Michael Patrick, Kathleen Louise and Harry Emmett. Mr. McEwen is a World War II veteran, served with the 7th Army Corp.
Oliver Martin, better known as "Chick", now associated with his father in farming and is Manager of the Merchants & Farmers Gin, married Mary Lemke of Hickory Ridge, Ark.; they have two children, Bobby Lynn and Nancy Carolyn. Mr. Martin, a World War II veteran, saw action in Italy with the 15th Airborne Division and was decorated with the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters and three Unit Citations. He flew 50 missions over enemy territory as an A/M gunner. Mildred is married to Weighley Hegi, employee of the Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division; they have a daughter, Betty. Mr. Hegi, also a World War II veteran, served with the 1st Army, 83rd Division. Mrs. Hegi, M. T., is employed as head technologist at Dr. Rudner's Clinic in Memphis. In years past Mr. Martin was active in political affairs of the county but now devotes his time to his numerous business interests. He is aided in the operation of his store by his son, Oliver Martin. Having already accomplished much, C. E. Martin looks forward to achieving even more as a merchant, planter, landowner, ginner and real estate developer. He never lets a day pass without personally supervising several or all of his business enterprises.
William E. Fallis
The life of William (Bill) E. Fallis has been one of successful farming in Smith Chapel Community, south of Wynne, where he was born August 7, 1897, and became one of Cross County's prosperous and respected farmers and cattle raisers. He is the son of the late Robert Ricket Fallis and Sopha Pearson Fallis of Smith Chapel. He received his early schooling in his home community and then attended Wynne High School. Mr. Fallis has spent his entire life developing and improving his farm lands along the Smith Chapel Road. In addition to growing cotton and other diversified crops. Mr. Fallis also raises livestock.
On September 26, 1922, he married Miss Pauline Rich, daughter of prominently-known Walter Rich and Maggie Allen Gatten Rich of Colt, Arkansas. To this happy union has been born five children. W. E. Fallis Jr. is associated with his father in farming. Robert Rich Fallis is engaged in the building business in West Memphis. He and his wife, the former Edith Weir, have a son, Robert Rich Fallis Jr. Jacklyn Fallis is Executive Director of Girls Scouts at Columbus, Ind. Thomas Joe Fallis is a member of the U. S. Air Force and is stationed at Albuquerque, N. M. Paul Fallis is helping his father farm. Mr. Fallis is a man of sound, practical judgement, upright in thought and deed. He has achieve success in farming by long and hard work and by intelligent practices which have brought him and his devoted family rich dividends from the soil they tilled so well. He is a member of the Wynne Baptist Church and has been a member of the Wynne Lions Club since its organization. Mr. and Mrs. Fallis and their family are respected and popular Cross County citizens, active and useful members of their community.
Herbert E. Proctor Sr.
The name of Herbert Everett Proctor Sr. is prominently interwoven with the history of Cross County, Arkansas, and the State of Arkansas for a quarter of a century he distinguished himself in public service. Now the successful owner and operator of the Home Furniture & Gift Shop of Wynne, Mr. Proctor is accorded the distinction of having been elected the first County Clerk of Cross County, beginning in 1921 an outstanding career in public service that was to be climaxed by his being appointed to a prominent state office.
Herbert E. Proctor Sr. was born March 10, 1889, at Vanndale, Arkansas, son of William Harrison Proctor and Elzira Bell (Daniels) Proctor. He spend his early boyhood at Vanndale and later completed his schooling at the Wynne High School in 1909. From that year to 1911, he was a clerk of the Missouri Pacific Railroad; on February 1, 1915 he entered the retail grocery business. Always interested in politics and fortunate in having a winning personality and a knack for making and retaining friends, Mr. Proctor was elected to the office of County and Probate Clerk of Cross County in 1920, and was sworn in officially as the first person ever to hold such an office in the county. He served until 1924 when he was elected Sheriff and Collector. He remained in this office until 1929 when he was elected again to his familiar position of County and Probate Clerk. In 1941 Mr. Proctor was appointed a member of the Arkansas Corporation Commission by Governor Homer M. Adkins and later was named State Comptroller. He resigned on February 1, 1945, to enter real estate business in Little Rock. Anxious to return to his home county, Mr. Proctor in 1948 opened his present retail furniture and gift shop on Union Street in Wynne in 1949 and with the assistance of his charming wife, he has steadily built a substantial business. His wife is the former Laura Lee Bess, daughter of the late Dr. W. C. Best and Francis V. Watson Best of Wynne. Mr. and Mrs. Proctor were married January 15, 1916. They have three children. Herbert Everett Proctor Jr., prominent lawyer of Wynne, who married Miss Mary Virginia Montgomery of Prescott, Arkansas; they have three sons, Douglas Everett, Richard Lee and Kenneth Best. Virginia Celestine Proctor, now the wife of Dr. D. P. Hefner of Mena, Arkansas; they have a daughter, Sybil Jeanne. Geraldine Best Proctor, now the wife of Lawrence Jesse R. Toll Jr., Little Rock businessman; they have a daughter, Barbara Joyce. Mr. Proctor is a member of the Wynne Baptist Church, the Masonic Lodge and the Consistory. He has been a member of the Wynne Rotary Club, North Little Rock Lions Club, Secretary of the County Clerks' Association and the Sheriffs' Association. He was a charter member of the Crowley's Ridge Country Club in Wynne.
History will record that Herbert Everett Proctor Sr., with 25 years of outstanding public service, reached this large measure of public confidence as a man of integrity, ability and self-reliance, respected by all who have known him.
In 1898, before the turn of the twentieth century, there came to this country a young Polish lad of 23 who was to become one of Eastern Arkansas' most successful merchants, farmers and property holders. He is Hyman Steinberg, founder of the prosperous firm of Steinberg's general merchandise retailers of Wynne, Arkansas. He has accomplished much, having risen to a position of prominence, influence and respect in Cross County. Mr. Steinberg was born in Poland on April 15, 1875. He grew to manhood in his country and in 1898 came to America and finally to Little Rock; moving to Wynne in 1920 to purchase a variety store formerly owned by W. C. Gleason.
Demonstrating the ability, initiative and resourcefulness which has marked his career as a merchant, Mr. Steinberg worked hard and long to make his new business venture a success. Ten years, later, in 1930, he wisely expanded his dry goods store into the general merchandise business at his present location in downtown Wynne on Union Street. It was the first of several important improvements and expansions he had made. In 1935, as his business continued to grow, Mr. Steinberg erected a modern store building at his same location, offering to an ever-increasing number of customers a complete line of dry goods, groceries and meats as well as many other items for farm and home. Aware that sufficient capital was essential to the development and improvement of this agricultural area, Mr. Steinberg has always been active in furnishing farmers with their needs until they had harvested their crops. Prior to the mechanization of farming in this county, Mr. Steinberg's general merchandise store sold practically everything a farmer needed to plant and harvest a crop, from the plow share and the cotton pick sack to the wagon in which to haul the crop to town. Confident of a sound future for his adopted county, Mr. Steinberg has invested carefully in real estate in Wynne and the neighboring town of Parkin and today owns valuable city property in both, in addition to rich farm land, totaling about 1000 acres.
Since 1933 he has been a Director of the Cross County Bank of Wynne and in that position he has played an important role along with the other bank directors in contributing to the financial security and advancements of this area. Mr. Steinberg also is a stockholder in another of the county's leading business concerns, the Merchants & Farmers Gin, located in Wynne. He is a charter member of the Wynne Chamber of Commerce and the B'nai B'rith. He belongs to the Baron Hirsch and the Anshel Sphard Congregations of Memphis, Tennessee. Through the years his active business life has been made more pleasant by the presence of a wife who has contributed greatly in her way to the success of Hyman Steinberg in his various business ventures. She is the former Tillie Smuloff, daughter of Abraham Smuloff and Pesa Smuloff of Nemaksera, Lithuania. Mr. and Mrs. Steinberg were married July 23, 1904, in St. Louis, Missouri. They observed their 50th anniversary in 1954 in their attractive residence at 716 East Union in Wynne. They have three sons, Isadore, Morris and Jake, and a daughter Sadye. The sons are associated with their father in the operation and management of the store, the farm land and the other business interests. Sadye is the wife of Arthur Evensky, formerly of Parkin and now in the wholesale jewelry business in Memphis. Mr. and Mrs. Evensky have two children, Bettye and Marcia Evensky. Isadore M. Steinberg, the eldest son married Pearl Milstein and they have two children, Elaine and Alvin Steinberg. Morris D. Steinberg married Beatrice Schaffer and they also have two children, Ronald and Harold Steinberg.
Progressive in planning and aggressive in developing their plans, the Steinbergs, guided by the calm wisdom and sound judgment that has brought the senior Mr. Hyman Steinberg success in many fields of endeavor, are destined to occupy an even more prominent position in the continued improvement of Cross County. Having passed the 79th milestone of an active and fruitful life. Mr. Steinberg today is relying more and more on the capable hands and minds of his sons.
Gibbs-Harris Rice Drier, Inc.
The distinction of having been the first rice drier in Cross County and the second in the entire state belongs proudly to the Gibbs-Harris Rice Drier, Inc., of Wynne, Arkansas. The drier was founded in the spring of 1945 by C. T. Gibbs and Harold Harris, Sr., two prominent Cross County citizens, who, by virtue of their keen vision and faithfulness in the future of this area, played a major role in revolutionizing the harvesting of rice in Cross County.
That these two men - Mr. Gibbs, a rice grower himself, and Mr. Harris, businessman and banker - were highly successful in pioneering commercial rice drying and storage in Cross County is evidenced by the unprecedented growth of the Gibbs-Harris Rice Drier. From an initial construction of 10 bins with a combined capacity of 50,000 bushels, the drier now includes 42 bins with a total capacity of 330,000 bushels, an amazing growth covering a period of less than 10 years. For years the rice crop of Cross County was harvested with binders and threshers and stores on the farm. With the construction of the Gibbs-Harris Rice Drier in Wynne, the rice growers soon started combining their crops and utilizing the drier for immediate specialized drying and nsured storage. As the demand for the facilities of the rice drier increased, so did the facilities of the plant. Where one drying unit with a capacity of 1000 bushels per hour at first handled the flow of rice into the drier, it now is necessary to operate three such units during the harvesting season on a 24-hour basis, usually seven days a week. Gibbs-Harris Rice Drier has constantly kept abreast of the latest developments and introduction of modernized equipment. It is recognized as one of the finest driers in the Mid-South area. Included among its expensive equipment is a central control system which enables the operator in the main office to control the inbound movement of the rice.
Another invaluable piece of equipment is the temperature checking unit, located in the office, whereby in a matter of only a few minutes the temperature of rice in every bin at the drier can be accurately checked at every five-foot level. The value of this amazing unit is readily seen in maintaining the ideal temperature for properly storing the rice. That Gibbs-Harris Rice Drier is efficient in its particular work as shown by the fact that rice dried and stored at this modern plant has consistently brought the average highest market in the state for the past several years. In 1953 the drier was approved and licensed by the Federal Government under the U. S. Warehouse Act, the latest forward step by the owners of the drier. To guarantee absolute accuracy in weighing each individual load of rice delivered to one of the two pits, Gibbs- Harris Rice Drier uses the Fairbanks-Morse Scale System. In addition to rendering an essential service to the growers of rice and other small grain in Cross County, the Gibbs-Harris Rice Drier employs approximately 15 people during the harvest season from August 25 to November 10 with an average payroll of more than $6000 a month. Towering to a height of nearly 100 feet, the Gibbs-Harris Rice Drier today stands as a monument to the progressive rice growers of this area, to the intelligent founders and to the men who maintain it.
Besides Mr. Harris and Mr. Gibbs, who is also general manager of the drier, Bob Fisher occupies an important position in the operation of the company as assistant manager. Mr. Fisher, who has been associated with the drier since June 1, 1946, is also a grader and buyer for River Brand Rice Mill, Inc., of Memphis, thus enabling Gibbs- Harris Rice Drier to offer a complete farm-to-market service to its many customers. The success of Gibbs- Harris Rice Drier, Inc., is ample proof that there are opportunities in Arkansas if individual initiative is exercised by men of vision and courage, with a thorough knowledge and acquaintance with the natural advantages of their community.
Cecil T. Gibbs
The rice industry today plays a vital role in the prosperity of agricultural Cross County and it is primarily due to the pioneer farmers who have devoted their life to producing the versatile rice and to the businessmen and bankers who have demonstrated vision and faith in the financing and construction of essential rice driers. Such is the well-deserved recognition due Cecil T. Gibbs of Wynne, Arkansas, who has achieved outstanding success in all these fields of endeavors-as a successful rice grower of 28 years standing, as a bank director confident in the financial security of rice production, and, finally, as the efficient and competent owner and operator of Cross County's first rice drier. Mr. Gibbs has been engaged in the growing of rice for more than a quarter of a century, and, today, as a partner and as manager of the Gibbs-Harris Rice Drier, Inc., his wide knowledge and thorough acquaintance with the cultivating and harvesting of rice has proved invaluable in the establishing of the Wynne drier as one of the finest and most efficiently-operated driers in Arkansas.
Mr. Gibbs was born October 20, 1906, at Iowa, Louisiana, son of A. N. Gibbs and Minnie (Mienzer) Gibbs, now of Brinkley. He moved to Wheatley, Ark., in 1912 with his parents, then to Cross County in 1929 and started rice farming. It was a move which was to be one of the most important and rewarding of his life. On October 24, 1931, he married Veda Fountain, attractive daughter of H. I. Fountain and Mary Fountain, leading Cherry Valley, Ark., couple. To this union has been born a son, Cecil T. Gibbs Jr., now associated with his father in the production of rice in Cross County. Recognized as a leader in his chosen field of endeavor, Mr. Gibbs has served as President of the Arkansas Rice Promotion Association. In addition to the active management of the Gibbs- Harris Rice Drier, which has grown steadily and soundly since its founding in 1945, Mr. Gibbs is engaged in farming 1160 acres in the western part of Cross County, with practically the entire acreage devoted to growing rice. Since 1944, he has been a Director of the First National Bank of Wynne and a member of the Wynne Water Commission since 1949. Mr. Gibbs holds membership in the Methodist Church and the Rotary Club. His favorite form of relaxation is hunting or fishing. The Gibbs are prominent citizens of Wynne, always interested in the betterment of the community in which they are highly respected and influential.
Western Auto Associate Store
Western Auto Associate Store of Wynne, Arkansas, founded by Mr. and Mrs. James Franklin Moore, is one of the most successful and outstanding of a group of more than 250 similar stores in the Mid-South, a noteworthy achievement in one of the most competitive business fields. Their judgment in introducing to Cross County people their first Western Auto Associate Store has been amply vindicated as evidenced by the sound and steady growth of the store since its opening on February 1, 1937, and the position of respect and confidence it holds in this area. James F. Moore was born in Cleveland County, Arkansas, near Rison on March 11, 1889, son of Julia (Hall) Moore and James Samuel Moore. His parents came to Arkansas from North Carolina and Missouri, respectively; and were early settlers in Cleveland County. Mr. Moore was graduated from the Rison High School in 1907, and worked for the Street Car Company in Pine Bluff until December 1910, when he quit to attend Ford's Business College in Little Rock. He received his diploma from this institution in May 1911 and the same month was employed by the American Bank there. During the years Mr. Moore was associated with the banks in Little Rock, he attended the American Institute of Banking, studying Commercial and Business Law under Judge Carmichael, then Dean of the University of Arkansas Law School. After completing these courses and comprehensive courses in Banking, Mr. Moore received the American Institute of Banking diploma in 1923.
From 1911 until 1928, Mr. Moore continued in the employment of the American Bank, through its various mergers and consolidations with other banks of the city, with the exception of three years which were spent in El Paso, Texas, for his health. Before leaving Texas, Mr. Moore became credit manager and assistant general manager of a branch of the Great Western Oil Company of Cleveland, Ohio, and has this position when he received an offer to return to the American Bank in Little Rock. He and his family returned there in 1917. In 1928 he resigned his job with the American Bank to take a position with the Peoples National Bank as the head of their Department in Charge of New Business. After being associated with the banking profession in Little Rock for more than twenty years, Mr. Moore and his wife, who was to play a major role in his latest move, came to Wynne to establish the Western Auto Associate Store, the first in Cross County.
Mrs. Moore is the former Grace Lorena Miller, daughter of Frances Harriett (Brown) Miller and John Crawford Miller of Pine Bluff. Mr. and Mrs. Moore were married August 9, 1913, and have two children: a daughter, Alice Lorena, now Mrs. Wayne J. Armstrong of Wynne, and a son, James Ira Moore, who has been associated with his father in business for the past ten years. The Moores have three grandchildren: Sylvia Ann Moore, Wayne J. Armstrong Jr. and Lorena Jane Armstrong. Working together, Mr. and Mrs. Moore built their business on a sound basis, and proudly watched it become one of the leading firms of the community. As the years passed, Mrs. Moore, having contributed much to the early and important growth of the firm, found household duties at the attractive Moore residence on Levesque Avenue more and more pressing, and, as her son, James I Moore, had returned from the war, she was able to gradually relinquish her responsibilities at the store. Mr. Moore is a member of the Wynne Masonic Lodge. His hobby is fishing. Mrs. Moore is a member of the Woman's Progressive Club. Their son, James I. Moore, was born February 20, 1917, at El Paso. He was graduated from the Little Rock High School. He was employed by the Southwest Hotels, Inc., and P. Lorillard & Co. before joining the U. S. Navy during World War II in October 1942. Before his discharge in November 1945, Mr. Moore saw action overseas in the South Pacific in the invasion of Okinawa. He has a daughter, Sylvia Ann Moore, a student at Little Rock Central High. An individual of efficiency and ability, and vitally interested in civic affairs, Mr. Moore has served as President of the Wynne Rotary Club, Wynne Fumble Club and Crowley's Ridge Shrine Club. In addition to his fraternal affiliation with the Masonic Order and the Shrine, he belongs to the Chamber of Commerce. He attends the Methodist Church.
The Western Auto Associate Store, which now ranks second in amount of purchases among approximately 250 other similar stores, was originally located on Union Street in the building now occupied by Home Furniture & Gift Shop; moving in June 1948 to a new building at 104 South Wilson. In addition to carrying a large stock of auto parts and accessories, as well as nationally-advertised appliances, the store features one of the best-stocked gun departments in Eastern Arkansas. One of the assets of the growing business is its competent and loyal staff, which includes Miss Frances Davis, W. H. Taylor, Horton Woolbright and Wilbur Moore. The aggregate total of years of service the members of the firm have accumulated among themselves is an impressive 53 years.
R. D. Pittman
Ren Dowell Pittman of Wynne, Arkansas, devoted more than 40 years of his life to railroading and when he retired on doctor's orders in August 1947 he was respected and honored along the Missouri Pacific Railroad line not only as an efficient Conductor but also as a beloved family man. A native of Vanndale, Mr. Pittman as a retired railroadman is a familiar and popular figure about Wynne. He began railroading June 20, 1907. On October 19, 1921, he was promoted to Conductor on the MoPac and served 40 years, one month and 12 days before retiring. During this long period of faithful and loyal service, Mr. Pittman saw many changes in railroading. He recalls the time he was the Conductor on the first through train over the Marianna cut-off and how it took 9 hours 50 minutes to travel the 51 miles from Marianna to Memphis because of the unsettled conditions of the railroad and the unfinished St. Francis River bridge. His father, the late Francis M. Pittman, helped built the right-of-way for the old St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern RR east out of Wynne in 1882 to 1884. His wife is the former Etta May Griffin, daughter of Silas and Fannie (Coleman) Griffin of Vanndale. They were married July 31, 1912, and have two sons, Jack Dowell, now of Conway, Ark., who has thre sons, William (Bill), now a Major of the U. S. Air Force, has a daughter. A daughter, Loretta Mae, was born to Mr. and Mrs. R. D. Pittman but she died at the age of four on Sept. 1, 1933. The Pittmans have always been a poplar and widely-known family of Wynne. Mrs. Pittman served as President of the Women's MoPac Booster Club in 1942.
Murray-Ellis Equipment Co.
Located in the county seat, midway of the rich and diversified agricultural area of Cross County, Murray-Ellis Equipment Company of Wynne, Arkansas, has played a major role in meeting the needs of the farmers and fruit growers of this section. The firm was founded in 1946 and is owned by a partnership composed of Tom B. (Buddy) Murray Jr. and Marvin E. Ellis. The latter is in active management of the company, which is located on Commercial Street in a large brick building with more than 6000 square feet under roof. Murray-Ellis Equipment Company is widely-known throughout Eastern Arkansas and even in parts of West Tennessee. In addition to being an authorized Allis-Chalmers farm equipment dealer, Murray-Ellis is the exclusive dealer for the nationally-known John Bean orchard equipment for Arkansas. Fruit growers throughout the fruit belt along the historic Crowley's Ridge and even extending into the neighboring state of Tennessee rely on Murray-Ellis not only for practically every piece of John Bean equipment but also for competent and speedy service. Constantly alert to the trends in modern farming, Murray-Ellis is now devoting more and more of its time and capital to the relatively new but ever-increasing field of irrigation, which is destined to become a major business in Cross County. Several years of drought have quickly brought to the attention of suffering farmers the advantage of intelligent irrigation.
Marvin E. Ellis, manager and part-owner of Murray-Ellis Equipment Co., is a native of Cross County, son of Mr. and Mrs. T. M. Ellis, prominent Wynne citizens. A graduate of Wynne High School and Hendrix College. Mr. Ellis managed Murray Chevrolet Co. for several years. During World War II, he served as a Captain in the U. S. Army, Ordnance division, in Europe and Africa. After four years' service he was honorably discharged and returned to Wynne to eventually help found Murray-Ellis Equipment Company.
His partner, Buddy Murray, is actively assisting his father, the prominent T. B. Murray Sr., in the operation and management of Murray Chevrolet Co., one of Eastern Arkansas' most outstanding and successful automobile dealerships.
Grover Cleveland Gaskins, widely-known and respected Tax Assessor of Cross County, Arkansas, is indeed a true citizen of activity and usefulness to a community which had proudly watched him grow from a boyhood beset with infantile paralysis to a position of prominence and faithful service in his home county. Fifty-one years of residence in Cross County, accepting and meeting the everyday challenges of a life which has had its share of despairs and joys, had moulded for Grover Gaskis a justly-earned reputation of honesty, fairness and integrity. Mr. Gaskins was born at Cherry Valley, April 11, 1904, son of the late John Thomas Gaskins and Della Florence Pitts. His grandfather came to Cross County from South Carolina in 1860 and settled three miles west of Vanndale. His maternal grandfather also was an early settler. Early in life Mr. Gaskins was forced to earn his own living. His father died when he was nine; his mother when he was 13. Stricken with polio when he was only nine months old, he walked for the first time in his life when he was ten years old. The rise of Grover Gaskins from a childhood fraught with heavy responsibilities in the face of a serious physical handicap serves as an inspiration. Since their marriage November 10, 1928, Mr. Gaskins has been greatly aided in life by his wife, the former Novie Pitts, daughter of J. M. Pitts and Zada Pitts of Cherry Valley. They have five daughters, Wilma, now Mrs. Forrest D. Bynum and bookkeeper at Southern Baptist College at Walnut Ridge, was born in 1930. Her husband is a Baptist minister and they have a son, Mike David. Barbara was born in 1933. Her husband, Kenneth Hamrick, is a football coach in South Carolina and she is teaching school. Patsy was born in 1936. She was graduated at Wynne High School in 1954. Marcelle was born in 1939 and is in the ninth grade. Martha Jo was born in 1954. Mr. Gaskins has a brother, Hermon Gaskins of Cherry Valley, and a sister, Mrs. Jewel Monroe of St. Louis, Mo.
Mr. Gaskins has served as Tax Assessor of Cross County since 1940, the longest term of office ever held by any other assessor in the count. Evidence enough of the high regard the people have for him. He served two and one-half years as President of the Arkansas Tax Assessors Association. He has been Sunday School Superintendent, Bible Class teacher and Secretary of his Sunday School in the Assembly of God Church. He has been a member of the Wynne Lions Club for six years.
Although Mr. Gaskins is widely-known as Cross County Tax Assessor, it is his hobby of gospel singing which probably ha brought him his most recognition. He has not missed a single all-day singing or county convention in 23 years. He became a member of the Cross County Singing Class in 1931 and has been President for the past 17 years. Having attained such an outstanding record and having attended approximately 400 all-day singing conventions in the past 23 years, Mr. Gaskins probably has established a record in Arkansas.
Loyal to his friends and his office and devoted to his family, Grover Cleveland Gaskins has gained the affectionate regard of all who know him.
Hodges Hardware & Furniture Co.
Successful in his business undertaking, useful to his community and church, faithful to his family and courteous to his fellowman-these are the characteristics that best describe Haven Hodges, who came to Wynne a decade ago to open Hodges Hardware & Furniture Company. Today both manager and firm are respected and valued members of the community. Hodges Hardware & Furniture Company is the only business of its kind in Wynne, retailing both hardware and furniture. That it has been successful in its field is evidenced by the sound and steady growth of its business. The company was founded December 15, 1944, by two brothers, Haven Hodges and J. V. Hodges, and Fred G. Moseley. At that time the latter two businessmen were partners in the ownership of Hodges Hardware & Furniture Co. in Forrest City; later Mr. Hodges sold his interest in the Forrest City store to Mr. Moseley and bought Mr. Moseley's interest in the Wynne store. In addition to his partnership in Hodges Hardware & Furniture Co., J. V. Hodges also is the senior partner in the Economy Furniture & Appliance Co. in Forrest City. Haven Hodges, both partner and manager of Hodges Hardware & Furniture Co., is one of Wynne's most prominent and active businessmen. He was born October 24, 1914, at Forrest City, son of S. L. Hodges, was passed away January 10, 1937, and Mrs. Emma (Haven) Hodges, a resident of Forrest City.
Haven Hodges grew to manhood in Forrest City, finishing the local high school. From 1932-1935, he was employed at Gregory's Furniture Co. in Forrest City; 1935-1938, with the Soil Conservation Corps; and then from 1939-1944, he engaged in farming in Cross County. Then came the opportunity to open Hodges Hardware & Furniture Co. in Wynne. Now ten years later he has established the firm as one of the leading and respected businesses of Cross County. On June 17, 1938, he married Mildred Elizabeth Owen, daughter of J. A. Owen and Mable (Bailes) Owen of Parkin. To this union have been born two daughters, Nancy Lee Hodges, December 9, 1939, and Judith Haven Hodges, December 15, 1945.
The Hodges are members of the Wynne Presbyterian Church of which Mr. Hodges is Deacon and a member of the Religious Education Committee. He also belongs to the Hundred Club and Band Boosters Club. He is a former Rotarian and local Boy Scout official.
The unselfish work he did, along with that of his co-workers, Mrs. Fred Ritchey and Mrs. Lane Carson, in securing the necessary signatures for placing before the people of Cross County the chance to vote for or against a county hospital will always be remembered and appreciated. Today the Cross County Hospital stands as a living monument to hundreds of public-spirited citizens of his standing and vision.
Hodges Hardware & Furniture Co. was originally located on Front Street. It remained there from 1944 until 1948 when it moved to larger and more conveniently-located quarters on Wilson Street, occupying the building formerly used by the Davis Furniture Co.
The firm offers a large stock of quality furniture for every room in the house and a line of hardware to meet the needs of home, business and farm. It features such nationally-known lines as Kelvinator refrigerators, ranges, washers and freezers; Bendrix home laundry equipment; and Simmons and Serta sleep products.
Hodges Hardware & Furniture Co. also offers a special floor covering service, which has attracted even more customers to the store.
Arthur M. Shaver
Arthur M. Shaver, native of Cross County, has been connected with the prominently-known W. M. Smith & Sons at Birdeye, Arkansas, since 1908 and is now serving as farm plantation manager for the firm.
Mr. Shaver, a descendant of the Shaver family that was a pioneer of Cross County, was born July 19, 1891, son of Mrs. Addie (Hill) Shaver Mayfield and the late Thomas Jasper Shaver of Bay Village, Arkansas, one of the historic towns of the country. Mrs. Mayfield, born in 1871, now resides in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. His father, employed by W. M. Smith and the late T. B. Smith, operated one of the largest blacksmith shops in Cross County before his death in 1926 when the automobile in which he was driving was hit by a train at the railroad crossing at Smithdale.
Arthur Shaver, on November 24, 1909, married Agnes Taylor, daughter of the late John Taylor and Fannie (Blackenship) Taylor of Sharp County, Arkansas. Mr. and Mrs. Shaver are the parents of seven children: Eloise, born December 4, 1910, was married to Roy C. Pitts of Earle, Arkansas, August 6, 1934. One son adopted, Jimmie Roy, born December 27, 1947. They are now in the general merchandise business at McDonald, Arkansas. Chester Lloyd, deceased, born August 8, 1913, and died May 28, 1914. Georgia Pauline, born July 3, 1915, was married to Boyd Hazlett of Parkin, Arkansas, April 1, 1933. Four children: Arthur William, born March 30, 1935; Martha Jane, born July 13, 1937. Myrna Joyce, deceased, born June 5, 1938, died same date; Doris Jean, born June 3, 1939. Boyd Hazlett has been with the Memphis Branch of the Ford Motor Company since 1935. The family now resides at 26 West Frank Ave., Memphis, Tennessee.
Gladus William, born November 7, 1918, was married to Lovella Williamson of Weaver, Alabama, July 5, 1938. Three children: Joyce Jeanette, born March 6, 1938, Barbara Joan, born October 3, 1940, and Deborah Juanita, born Jan. 19, 1955. He has been serving with the U. S. Army since 1936.
Eunice Virginia, born December 27, 1921, was married to Clifton Caruthers of Greenwood, Mississippi, on July 17, 1943. Two children: Robert Ellis, born January 31, 1946, and Richard Lynn, born September 19, 1947. Clifton Caruthers is a bookkeeper now employed in Greenwood, Mississippi, where the family resides.
Arthur Thomas, born December 1, 1925, was married to Maxine Ferguson of Parsons, Kansas, September 9, 1950. One child: Arleta Rolene born November 28, 1951. Thomas has been serving with the U. S. Army since 1942.
Grady Franklin, born November 16, 1927, was married May 12, 1950, to Betty Shaulis of Dixion, Illinois. Two children: Keith Arthur, born September 14, 1951, and Jon Allen, born August 5, 1953. Grady has been serving with the U. S. Navy since 1944.
Mr. Shaver, a member of the Parkin Methodist Church, has earned a reputation for his efficient and conscientious service as a citizen of his community.
Wynne Lumber Company
The Wynne Lumber Company was established in 1942 as the successor to the Arkmo Lumber Company unit, which was opened in Wynne April 1926 as part of the chain of the Arkmo Lumber Company, retail branch of the Stout Lumber Company with general offices at Thornton, Arkansas.
The Wynne Lumber Company was operated from January 1, 1942, through July 1951 as a partnership consisting of James L. Gardner and Henry L. (Roy) Coldren of Parkin and as a proprietorship until April 1952 at which time it was reorganized into a partnership of James L. Gardner and his brother John Randolph Gardner, who came to Wynne from Earle where he had been engaged in the retail lumber and building material business with Wallin-Dickey Rich Lumber Company at Parkin and Earle.
In 1926 James L. Gardner, an experienced lumberman having gained his first experience in the business at the Stout Lumber Company in his hometown of Thornton, Arkansas, and later at the Arkmo Lumber Company in Russellville, Arkansas, came to Wynne to temporarily manage the Arkmo Lumber Company. His company had transferred him to Wynne for what was to be a six-months' stay. He elected to stay in Wynne and today is one of its prominent and influential citizens.
Mr. Gardner was born May 31, 1896, at Thornton, Arkansas, son of the late William Lee Gardner and the late Mary Eula (Pickett) Gardner. He was reared in his hometown, graduating from the local high school and then attending Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. While in college, he joined the U. S. Coast Artillery Reserve in June 1917 and in November of that year was put on active duty. He was assigned to the Army's Headquarters Staff at the Port of Embarkation at Newport News, Virginia, as a private, first class. He was honorably discharged as a quartermaster sergeant in August 1919.
Mr. Gardner returned to Hendrix College to continued his study, remaining there through part of 1920. He later joined the Stout Lumber Company in Thornton, Arkansas, and then the Arkmo Lumber Company in Russellville. In 1926 he came to Wynne.
On May 31, 1928, he married Ruby C. Reed, daughter of Stonewall Jackson Reed and Thoedosia (Patterson) Reed of Russellville, Arkansas, and to this union were born two sons: James Lee Jr., now a First Lieutenant in the U. S. Air Force at Stewart Air Force Base, Tennessee, and Jack Reed, now a student at the University of Arkansas. She passed away in 1932. On July 9, 1936, Mr. Gardner married Mildred Claypool, daughter of William Austin Claypool and Nora (Harris) Claypool of Springdale, Arkansas. To this union has been born a daughter, Janet Claypool, student at the Wynne High School. All members of the Gardner family belong to the Wynne High School. All members of the Gardner family belong to the Wynne Baptist Church of which Mr. Gardner is a Deacon and Superintendent of the Sunday School. The Gardner residence is located on Eldridge Court.
For fourteen years Mr. Gardner represented Ward One on the Wynne City Council and for nine years has been a Director on the Wynne School Board, serving seven years at President. He is a Past President of the Wynne Lions Club and the Wynne Rotary Club. He is a member of the Wynne Masonic Blue Lodge and Scottish Rite Consistory in Little Rock. For relaxation, Mr. Gardner likes to hunt and fish.
White Bros. Supermarket
Within four and a half years after they opened their first grocery and market on Front Street in Wynne, J. C. and Leonard White had risen to a position of prominence and success as the owners of the first supermarket in Cross County. Their judgment and foresightedness in being the first grocers in the county to erect a modern supermarket away from the congested downtown business area was quickly vindicated. Customers anxious to find adequate parking space flocked to the attractive and brilliantly-illuminated supermarket at its convenient location on East Merriman Avenue.
Although the White Bros. Supermarket was considered a spacious store when it was formally opened in July 1951, J. C. and Leonard White soon realized that their constantly expanding volume of business necessitated additional floor space. So, with the assistance of their wives who have played an indispensable part in the remarkable growth of the business ever since the brothers opened their first store February 3, 1947, on Front Street, the two immediately began to formulate plans to double the size of the modernistic supermarket. Subsequently on November 30, 1954, White Bros. Supermarket became not only the first in Cross County but also one of the largest in Eastern Arkansas. Located on half a city block, it now has more than 7500 feet of floor space.
Offering the largest stock of nationally advertised foods and household items in the county, as well as fresh firm produce and choice Grade A means at the lowest possible prices, White Bros. Supermarket is constantly establishing new records in sales volume. All the latest innovations in grocery shopping are featured in the air-conditioned supermarket but with all these modernistic conveniences, the bothers still maintain the friendly atmosphere of a neighborhood grocery.
Carefully planned to provide the utmost shopping efficiency in a minimum amount of time, the supermarket in a move characteristic of the personal and friendly approach of its owners still offers free delivery within the city limits.
The history of this unusual supermarket is actually an account of the lives of the two brothers, J. C. and Leonard White, and their wives. These two families have worked hard and long to make their business a success, and today, they can be justly-proud of their accomplishments for they certainly have given the people of Wynne one of the finest stores in the community.
The parents of J. C. and Leonard White are C. M. White and Gertha (Lester) White of Batesville, Mississippi. J. C., the oldest, was born April 1, 1923, and Leonard, March 23, 1925. The two brothers were graduated from the Bruce (Miss.) High School. From 1943 to 1945 J. C. worked for the Ingells Shipyards in Pascagula, Miss., and then in 1946 established his first grocery business in Batesville, Miss.
In June 1943 Leonard joined the U. S. Army and was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division. After 13 months overseas in the European Theatre, he was honorably discharged in January 1946. Associated in business in Batesville, the brothers had an opportunity to buy the Mitchell Grocery & Market in Wynne and so on February 3, 1947, they started the firm of White Bros. Grocery & Market, where now is located Baddour's Bargain Store.
The wife of Leonard White is the former Geraldine Faust, daughter of J. F. Faust and Mary (Morehead) Faust of Memphis. They were married February 17, 1943, and now have two children, Pamela Ann and Linda Carol. On September 14, 1948, J. C. married Maxine Ledbetter, daughter of J. C. Ledbetter and Mary Ledbetter of Batesville, Miss. They have two children: Marion Glenn and Michael Joe.
In addition to operating their business, which requires constant supervision and attention, both J. C. and Leonard have still found time to take an active part in civic affairs. Both are members of the Wynne Baptist Church of which J. C. is Sunday School teacher. Leonard is a past Vice President of the Lions Club, Director of the Fumble Club, a Legionnaire and a members of the Chamber of Commerce. A Rotarian. J. C. is a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and a past President of the Fumble Club. The two brothers and their wives have accomplished much since they moved to Wynne and being energetic, enterprising and vitally interested in their adopted community, they are destined to occupy an even more enviable position in the future. They have proved that there are opportunities in Wynne if individual initiative is exercised.
Robert Eugene Robinson
A native of Cross County and descendant of early settlers near Vanndale, Robert Eugene (Gene) Robinson of Wynne, Arkansas, occupies a position of prominence and respect in this county as a successful landowner and leading businessman. His grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. James L. Robinson, came to Cross County about 1885 from Mississippi and settled two miles east of Vanndale, when Gene Robinson's father, William Moses Robinson, was 17 years old. His mother was Essie Mayo, daughter of J. R. Mayo, who with W. M. Robinson founded the first wholesale grocery firm in Wynne in 1903. This firm, Mayo & Robinson, later became W. M. Robinson & Sons and continued in operation on South Front Street in Wynne until 1926. Gene Robinson was born February 18, 1901, at Cherry Valley. He attended the Wynne Public Schools and then graduated from the Staunton (Va.) Military Academy. He joined his father's wholesale firm as salesman and buyer. Mr. Robinson now farms extensively in Cross and Crittenden counties in Arkansas and Hockley County in Texas. In recent years he has become interested in raising livestock, especially on his farm land on the historic Crowley's Ridge, east of Wynne.
His wife is the former Mary Sue Bissell, daughter of Edward W. Bissell and Carolyn (Madison) Bissell of Illmo, Mo. They were married December 8, 1921, and to this union were born two children. Mary Sue Robinson is now a social worker in Jacksonville, Florida. Robert Eugene Robinson Jr. gave his life for his country on August 20, 1950, while serving as a corporal in the U. S. Marine Corps in Korea. His death was deeply mourned by the people of Wynne for he was a popular young man of the community.
Mr. and Mrs. Robinson are active members of their community. They belong to the Presbyterian Church. Their residence on the corner of Terry Street and Hamilton Avenue is one of the city's most attractive. In addition to farming, Mr. Robinson has valuable real estate property in Wynne and is President of the Modern Gin, Inc., in Wynne. He is a member of the Rotary Club, 100 Club, Fumble Club, Crowley's Ridge Country Club and Mallard Pond Duck Club. He is a Mason and Shriner and belongs to the Little Rock Consistory and the Hughes de Paynes Commandery No. 1.
Kernodle Funeral Home
Sympathy and understanding have always characterized the services rendered by Kernodle Funeral Home of Wynne, Arkansas. Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Kernodle have always strived to provide a personal service which will be a consolation in the time of sorrow. Since its beginning, which actually dates back to 1915 when its founders and owners, W. C. and Mickie Kernodle, started selling coffins in their general store in Parkin, Arkansas, Kernodle Funeral Home has, during its 40 years of operation, achieved a peak of efficiency and service respected by the other funeral homes in the state. The home itself is one of the most attractive in the state and is one of only a few in Arkansas to be specifically designed and constructed for use as a modern funeral home. The architectural plan of the home was created with the explicit purpose of bringing beauty and quiet dignity into an atmosphere of deep reverence. The equipment of Kernodle Funeral Home is modern in every respect. The rolling stock consists of four late model ambulances with mobile oxygen equipment.
Mr. Kernodle was born August 29, 1888, at Vanndale, son of the late W. W. Kernodle and Mattie (Hendrix) Kernodle, who came to Cross County in 1884 from Byhalia, Mississippi. Mr. Kernodle attended Vanndale Public School and was graduated from Nelson Business College, Memphis, Tennessee, in 1907. On December 18, 1910, he married Miss Mickie Jones, daughter of the late A. D. Jones and Mattie (Dodson) Jones of Mississippi. Mrs. Kernodle has the distinction of being one of the first lady attendants in a funeral home in Arkansas. She has always assumed an equal responsibility with Mr. Kernodle in the operation of the funeral home.
Mr. and Mrs. Kernodle opened a general store in Parkin, Arkansas, in January 1915, and stocked caskets, too. Mr. Kernodle seemed destined by fate since an early age to become a funeral director and in 1925 he became determined to be a Funeral Director and he attended Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Nashville, Tennessee, graduating in 1926. President of his class. Upon finishing Gupton-Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Kernodle decided that Wynne, the county seat of Cross County, should be the site of their funeral operation, so, in 1927, they opened their funeral service in downtown Wynne, bringing the first ambulance to Cross County. Mr. Kernodle was the first licensed embalmer in the county.
In 1929, Kernodle Funeral Home moved to a building on Front Street, immediately north of the present Burnett Drug Store. And then in 1935, Mr. and Mrs Kernodle moved their funeral service to the R. M. Smith home on East Union Ave. It was also in 1935, that Mr. and Mrs. Kernodle founded the Kernodle Burial Association, the first burial association in Cross County. In 1940, Mr. Kernodle introduced an entirely new type of plan in Arkansas-prepaid ambulance service. This service has since been adopted by funeral homes all over the state.
Constantly seeing to improve their services, the Kernodles made one of the greatest steps in 1940 when they constructed an entirely new funeral home at their East Union location. This beautiful new funeral home was recognized as one of the most attractive in the state.
Mr. and Mrs. Kernodle and their family hold an enviable place in the community; they have always been faithful in their business affairs, loyal in friendship, honored in civic work, and highly respected as worthy citizens. Mr. Kernodle is a Steward in the First Methodist Church and has been Secretary of the Board. He is a past member of the Wynne Rotary Club; served as Coroner of Cross County from 1932 to 1954 and is past Director of the Arkansas Funeral Directors Association. As a hobby he raises Polled Hereford Cattle on his farm on Highway 1, south of Wynne.
Mr. and Mrs. Kernodle have a daughter and two sons, Lucile is the wife of Sam McGuire, prominent Wynne druggist. William C. (Billy) Kernodle II is now actively aiding his father in operating the funeral home. Jere C. Kernodle is a graduate of the Wynne High School, attending Christian Brothers Junior College, Memphis, Tennessee, for two years and graduating from Baylor University, Waco, Texas, in May 1954. Jere entered military service in 1954 and wishes to join his father and brother in the management of the Kernodle Funeral Home upon his return from service.
The Kernodles have seen many changes in Cross County and in Wynne, as well as in their profession, but they have always strived to make their profession one which is a credit to the community. By its own nature their profession is a hard one, yet they have always lived with the hope that they were rendering to their fellowman a necessary service in a quiet, religious and dignified way.
William C. Kernodle II
Brought up in the funeral profession in which his parents were pioneers in Eastern Arkansas, William Claud Kernodle II has proven that as a young director of the Kernodle Funeral Home he has a thorough knowledge and a sympathetic understanding of his chosen field of endeavor. He was born in Parkin Feb. 1, 1926, son of W. C. Kernodle and Mickie (Jones) Kernodle. He was graduated from the Wynne High School and then attended Southwestern at Memphis for one year before joining the U. S. Navy during World War II in June 1944. He served on the Destroyer Escort U.S.S. Price (DE 332) on patrol duty in the North Atlantic and at Hawaii, Guam, and Chi Chi Jima. After two years overseas duty, he was honorably discharged in June 1946. He returned to Southwestern University for another year's study and then graduated in December 1947 from the John A Gupton School of Mortuary Science, Nashville, Tennessee. In 1952 he furthered his specialized training as a graduate of the National Foundation of Funeral Service in Evanston, Ill.
On April 25, 1948, he married Phillis Phillips, daughter of George Phillips and Lana (Thomas) Phillips of Henderson, Tenn., and they have three children: William C. Kernodle III, Kay Annette Kernodle and Constance Kernodle. The Kernodles are members of the First Methodist Church of which Mr. Kernodle is a member of the Board of Stewards and President of the Go-Getters Class. He has served as Secretary of the Board of Stewards and as Treasurer of his Sunday School Class. He also is a part time teacher in the MYF Class and has frequently made laymen talks in the churches of the community. Interested in civic affairs, he was Secretary of the Wynne Club for three years and is President for the term of 1954-55.
William C. Kernodle II realizes his responsibility to his church, his community, and the people he serves.
William Paul Brown
Having passed his 69th birthday in his native Cross County, William Paul Brown, farmer and justice of the peace at Hamlin, has played a part in the development of this county. A former school director at Hamlin, he was born Jan. 20, 1886, son of W. P. Brown and Laura Jenkins. His father came to this county in 1961 (sic) and when he was 17 joined the Confederate Army. After the war he became a leading farmer in the county and served as tax assessor from 1878-1886 and again from 1890-1892. Wiliam Brown's grandparents were Thomas and Elizabeth (Speight) Brown of North Carolina. Thomas Brown was a prominent and prosperous physician of Colerain, Bertie County, N. C.; his father owned 100 slaves and gave each of his children 25 Negroes. Dr. Brown was the owner of a saddle belonging to Gen. Zachary Taylor, which he used during the Mexican War.
William Paul Brown married Georgia Lee Holt, daughter of James M. Holt and Ada (Graff) Holt, December 19, 1909, and to that union were born nine children, Carson L., born Dec. 2, 1910, married Vera Drury, children, Charlie Lee and Jerry Ray. William Paul Jr., Jan. 25, 1913, married Hazel Brown, son, William Paul III. Jaurel Jewel, August 7, 1915, married Berger Ellis, children, Riley Paul, Ira and Gloria. Beryl Beatrice Nov. 9, 1917, married Owen Thomas, children, Wallace, Wayne and Cheryl. Doyl Earl, Sept. 2, 1920, married Aletha Adams, children Clyne and Byron. Frances Mildred, Dec. 31, 1922. Richard Ferrell, Oct. 24, 1925, married Imogene Smith, children, Richard Jr. and Dwight. Doris Carol, Dec. 31, 1927, married Frank Ellis, son, Robert Brown. Ninadeen, Pearl, Dec. 12, 1930, married Noble Spencer. Mr. and Mrs. William Paul Brown, their children and their grandchildren are popular and respected members of Cross County.
Burnett Truck Lines
In less than nine years, dating from the end of World War II. Burnett Truck Lines has grown from a small intra-state trucking firm into one of the leading and most successful inter-state lines in Eastern Arkansas. Its founder, Benton H. Burnett, has worked long and hard, often in the face of serious obstacles. Assisting him from the beginning, his younger brother Donald Burnett, a partner in the firm since 1951, has played an equally important role in the outstanding growth of the firm. It was officially founded in the fall of 1946 when Benton Burnett bought the Morris Truck Line, which had only two trucks and operated on a limited schedule in Wynne, Parkin, Earle and Memphis. Now operating from its headquarters in Wynne, Burnett Truck Lines has justly-earned the reputation of being one of the most efficient and dependable trucking lines in Eastern Arkansas. With 38 pieces of equipment, including 10 of the large tractor-trailer type trucks, and 18 employees, the company carries a tremendous amount of fright to and from Wynne and Memphis with regularly scheduled stops at West Memphis, Earle, Parkin and other communities or on Highway 70 at Forrest City. In July 1954 the firm completed its $25,000 terminal at 1700 Kansas Street in Memphis. It previously has erected a terminal in Forrest City in 1950. In the near future modern terminals will be built in West Memphis and Wynne. Donald Burnett is in charge of the Memphis and West Memphis operations. The firm is a member of the Arkansas Bus & Truck Ass'n., American Trucking Ass'n., and is fully bonded and insured. It also is the representative of North American Van Lines, nationally-known household carriers.
Benton Burnett, the founder of the company, was born August 5, 1915, son of C. R. Burnett, who died 1941, and Hallie Rowena (Biles)Burnett, a Wynne resident. A graduate of Wynne High School, he was Magnolia Petroleum Co. distributor in Wynne from 1936-39. During World War II, he served with the U. S. Army Air Corps; was discharged as a master sergeant. Returning to Wynne, he soon afterwards established the Burnett Truck Lines.
On July 3, 1952, he married Beverly Daniel, daughter of Corbin Daniel and Lucy (Wells) Daniel. They have a daughter, Beverly Wells Burnett. Mr. Burnett is a past President of both the Wynne Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club; past Vice Commander of Ted Cobbs American Legion Post; and is a Steward of the First Methodist Church. He also belongs to the Fumble Club, 100 Club, Crowley's Ridge Country Club and was a charter member of the Wynne Lions Club.
John Donald Burnett was born October 3, 1924, in Wynne. A graduate of Wynne High School, he served as a gunner on a B-17 bomber in the U. S. Army Air Corps. He was discharged as a staff sergeant. When his brother formed the Burnett Truck Lines in 1946, he contributed substantially to its growth, becoming a partner in 1951. Mean-while he found time to attend Business Administration School at the University of Arkansas. On November 25, 1951, he married Patsy Ruth Goodwin, daughter of Guy B. Goodwin and Edna (Maxie) Goodwin of Fort Smith. They have a daughter, Patty Sue, and live in West Memphis. They belong to the Methodist Church. Mr. Burnett is a member of the West Memphis Junior Chamber of Commerce, Forrest City Lions Club and Wynne Masonic Lodge.
Much has been accomplished by the two Burnett brothers. They have earned what they have acquired. The success they have had in the trucking business has come as a result of having the courage, determination and vision, as well as the rugged constitution to work long and hard hours with their hands and their minds, to build their jointly-owned firm soundly and steadily. They are young men and the future holds much in store for them for they are ambitious, resourceful and enterprising.
Herbert E. Proctor Jr.
Herbert Everett Proctor, Jr., prominent lawyer of Wynne, has proved himself a capable, conscientious counselor and has been accorded the confidence and respect of both the bar and the public. He was born December 31, 1916, son of H. E. Proctor, Sr., and Laura (Best) Proctor, prominent citizens of Wynne. H. E. Proctor Jr. was graduated from Wynne High School in 1934; attended Arkansas State College at Jonesboro and then obtained his LL. B Degree in 1937 at Cumberland University. After his admission to the Arkansas State Bar in 1939, Mr. Proctor opened his law office in Wynne and has established a substantial practice. He also has been admitted to practice in the Federal Courts of the United States.
On August 29, 1940, he married Miss Virginia Montgomery, daughter of Lee Montgomery and Lucy Montgomery of Prescott, Ark., and to this happy union have been born three sons: Douglas Everett Proctor, Richard Lee Proctor and Kenneth Best Proctor. In November 1942, during World War II, Mr. Proctor joined the U. S. Army as an Aviation Cadet. He was assigned to the Troop Carrier Command and later Contract Termination, and was honorably discharged on December 6, 1945, as a Sergeant.
Returning to civilian life in Wynne, he immediately re-opened his law office. He was again named Deputy Prosecuting Attorney of Cross County, a position he held prior to the war and served in that capacity until 1955. Since 1946, Mr. Proctor has held the position of City Attorney of Wynne. From 1941-42 he was a member of the City Council as Alderman of Ward 1. Always interested in civic affairs, Mr. Proctor in 1946 re-organized the Wynne Lions Club, which had disbanded during the war. He was elected the first President. He holds memberships in the Masonic Lodge, Arkansas Bar Association and Cross County Bar Association. He is a member of the Wynne Baptist Church of which he is a Deacon and Chairman of the House Committee and has served as Chairman of the Board of Deacons and Finance Committee. He also is a former Rotarian.
Herbert Everett Proctor Jr. has established a reputation for intelligent action, fairness and integrity in all his dealings, and an active, public-spirited interest in community affairs.
McGuire Drug Company
The integrity and tradition that characterized the former Longest-Thompson Drug Store for more than a quarter of a century is just as symbolic of its modern successor, the McGuire Drug Company, owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Sam A. McGuire Jr. The McGuires bought the Longest-Thompson Drug Store in 1947; the store having been established as far back as 1917 by the late Dr. R. Longest, the late Dr. Robert L. Thompson and J. S. Thompson. The McGuire Drug Company today is modernistic and progressive with a friendliness and efficiency that has attracted an ever-increasing number of customers. It is proud of its absolutely dependable pharmaceutical department, its nationally-advertising merchandise and attractive gift selections.
Sam A. McGuire Jr. has been a resident of Cross County since 1934 when he came here to manage the Kroger Store in Parkin. He was born June 3, 1913, in Helena, son of Sam A. McGuire and Rosa (Ruane) McGuire. He was graduated from the Sacred Heart Academy in Helena. He joined the Kernodle Funeral Home in Wynne in 1937 and then received specialized training at the Hohenschuh-Carpenter College of Mortuary Science, finishing in 1937. During World War II he volunteered for the U. S. Navy in April 1942 as 3rd Class Pharmacist Mate and was assigned to the Naval Hospital Corps. After two years overseas in the South Pacific, he was honorably discharged in November 1945 as Chief Pharmacist Mate. While in service he received special schooling at the U. S. Naval Hospital Corps' Independent Duty School in Norfolk, Va., for duty as an independent medical representative on board ship in the South Pacific.
His wife is the former Lucile Kernodle, daughter of W. C. Kernodle and Mickie (Jones) Kernodle, prominent Wynne citizens. The McGuires were married June 26, 1938, and have two children, Sam A. McGuire III born May 4, 1944, and Martha Elizabeth McGuire, born August 12, 1947. Mr. McGuire is a Warden of the St. Peters Catholic Church. Mrs. McGuire is a members of the Methodist Church.
In addition to managing his drug store, Mr. McGuire has farming interest in the county. He belongs to the Wynne Rotary Club and the Holy Name Society.
Present employees of the store are Barbara Jean Hess, Mrs. Harry Marshall and James Dye Jr., registered pharmacist. Among those who have been associated with the store are Miss Lizzie Eubanks, Mrs. Desmond Riley, Mrs. Tippy Hunter, Mrs. Bob Hughes, Grover Tyer and Raymond Hess.
Carl P. Dail
The man who possesses the initiative and the mental and moral stamina to start out for himself and make his own way in the world commands universal respect. Carl. P. Dail of Wynne, Arkansas, a leading Eastern Arkansas furniture dealer before his retirement in 1952, has been "on his own" since he was 16 years old. Failing health forced his retirement from the ownership and operation of Dail Furniture Company of Wynne and Cherry Valley. The rise of Carl Dail to the position as a successful Arkansas furniture dealer is indeed the story of an outstanding young man who emerged out of bleak and unpromising beginning into a field of broad and active influence and activity. Mr. Dail was born January 26, 1905, in Jonesboro, son of Mrs. Lula Sanders Dail and the late Lilbern Lindley Dail. After a short but sound formal education at Jonesboro, Mr. Dail started making his own way at an early age, receiving invaluable experience in the furniture business in Jonesboro and later at Walnut Ridge.
In October of 1938 he made one of the most important decisions of his life by deciding to move to Wynne, Arkansas, to open a second-handed furniture store. That he became in a few years one of Eastern Arkansas' prominent furniture dealers is evidence enough of the sheer determination, courage and sound judgment which has characterized his amazing climb to success in a highly competitive field. He worked hard and long, always alert to ways to improve and enlarge his business. In a short while, from an obscure start in used furniture, he branched out into the field of retail furniture and soon afterwards built a modern and attractive building on Front Street in downtown Wynne.
Dail Furniture Company continued to expand. It attracted customers from all over Eastern Arkansas. The finest nationally known lines of furniture were featured. A new store was opened in the neighboring town of Cherry Valley, in the northern part of Cross County.
Always interested in civic affairs, he was elected President of the Wynne Lions Club and of the Crowley's Ridge Shrine Club. A member of the Wynne Baptist Church, he has served as President of the Brotherhood. He is a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Sahara Temple in Pine Bluff. His hobby is flying his own Piper Cub Cruiser.
On October 21, 1934, he married Alma Ernestine Mays, daughter of the late Alex and Ethel Mays of Jonesboro. To this union has been born two sons, C. P. Dail Jr., now 14 years old, and Morris David Dail, now 7 years old.
At the peak of his business career, Mr. Dail's health failed, forcing him to retire in January 1952. At that time he sold his entire furniture holdings to the Dixie Furniture, retaining his real estate holdings. His friends know that Carl P. Dail, an unusual person of ambition, determination and courage, will again be active in the business would as soon as he regains his health. He has always met the challenges of life and conquered them.
Alvah E. Bassham
Alvah E. (Al) Bassham of Wynne, Arkansas, as the efficient and competent part-owner and manager of the widely-known Summersweet Orchards on historic Crowley's Ridge, is a leading and respected horticulturist of Eastern Arkansas. He was born January 14, 1906, at Bethel Springs, Tenn., son of the late Dr. E. E. Bassham and Lela (Wilson) Bassham. He was graduated from the Selmer (Tenn.) High School and then attended Union University. In 1926 he joined the Bethel Springs Bank and then in 1928 he moved to Wynne as a member of the First National Bank. He held the position of Assistant Cashier when he resigned in 1942 to become manager of the Summersweet Orchards. In 1952 he entered into a partnership with A. C. Eichberg and Thomas McDaniel in the ownership of the orchards, continuing in his capacity as manger. In addition to capably discharging his managerial duties, Mr. Bassham also is the representative of a leading spray material firm. On October 15, 1932, he married Mary Elizabeth Mitchell, daughter of Robert H. Mitchell and Pearl (Oliver) Mitchell. To this union has been born a son, Robert Mitchell Bassham, on March 14, 1940.
The Basshams are popular and respected members of their community. They belong to the Presbyterian Church of which Mr. Bassham is an Elder, Superintendent of the Sunday School, Clerk of Session and former Treasurer. He is a member of the Wynne Rotary Club and served as President of the Wynne Lions Club in 1940-41.
It has always been said of Al Bassham, quiet and unassuming; that he is a man of unquestionable integrity, loyal to his friends, devoted to his family and interested in the welfare of his adopted community.
Robert P. Best
Robert P. Best, efficient bookkeeper and popular salesman of the Wynne Wholesale Grocer Co., is a useful and active citizen of his community, serving his third term as a member of the Wynne City Council.
Mr. Best was born September 16, 1891, in Mississippi, son of Nathan H. Best and Martha (Dacus) Best, both deceased. He attended the public schools of Winona, Miss. From 1909-1915, he was employed by the American Express Co.; 1915-1918, Morris & Co. Packers; and then during World War I, he served as a member of this U. S. Army, assigned to the 327 Supply Co., 2nd Army. He joined in May 1918 as a private and after serving eleven months overseas at Toul, France, as a QMC Supply Sergeant, he was honorably discharged in July 1919. From 1919-1922, Mr. Best was employed by R. E. Person & Co. in Memphis; 1922-1925, Wilson & Co.; 1925-1928, managed retail grocery in Wynne; 1928-1934, J. E. Harris Lbr. Co.; 1934-1943, engaged in U. S. Government work; and since 1943 he has been associated with Wynne Wholesale Grocer Co. of which he holds the position of Secretary-Treasurer.
On March 30, 1934, he married Ethyland Byrd, daughter of the late Lonnie Guy and Christine (Peterson) Byrd of Covington, Tenn. To this union have been born four children: Edward B. Best, now a resident surgeon at the Scott & White Memorial Hospital, Temple, Texas; Sibina Kathryn Best of Wynne; Sandra Locke Best, student at Hendrix College, Conway, Ark.; and Roberts Jo Best of Wynne.
The Bests are members of the Wynne Baptist Church of which Mr. Best is past Treasurer. He also is a member of the Masonic Lodge and Scottish Rite. He has been Adjutant of the Ted Cobb American Legion Post and a former member of the Wynne Lions Club. He is serving his second term as a justice of the peace.
Mr. Best is a quiet and unassuming man, respected by all who have come to know him as being of high integrity and honesty.
Joseph Henry Fisher
Joseph Henry Fisher has passed the 75th milestone of an active and useful life; a life that saw the rise and decline of a flourishing and prosperous timber industry that contributed greatly to the growth of a pioneer Cross County. A farmer now but once the owner and operator of a large stavemill in Wynne. A man of integrity, public spiritedness and usefulness, Mr. Fisher has unselfishly given his hometown more than a quarter of a century of public service. Since 1928 he has served continuously as Alderman of Ward 2 or the Wynne City Council; a record of trustworthy and faithful service as noteworthy as any in the state. In addition to conscientiously representing the people of his ward, Mr. Fisher has held the important position of Chairman of the Street Commission practically ever since he was first elected to the Council. He has, and still is, giving many hours of his time in the constant development of an outstanding system of paved and other hard surface city streets.
J. H. Fisher was born December 30, 1879, at Barlett, Tenn., son of the late Robert Fisher and Ludie Victoria (Edwards) Fisher of Brownsville, Tenn. While he was only four years old, he came with his parents to Cross County and thus began an interesting life in a community that was to benefit so much from his efforts.
On October 11, 1908, he married Florence Elizabeth Morris, daughter of Ambrose Nichols and Matilda (Aldridge) Morris of Cross County. To this union were born three children. Robert Fisher married to Elsie Holmes is now bookkeeper of the Gibbs-Harris Rice Dryer at Wynne. Molly Fisher is the wife of James Roleson, owner and operator of the Blytheville (Ark.) Credit Bureau. Mrs. Roleson is postmaster at the Blytheville Army Air Base. The Rolesons have a son, James (Bucky) Fisher, aged 12. Doryce Fisher is the wife of W. E. (Jake) Wiltshire, widely-known salesman of the Wynne Wholesale Grocers. Mr. and Mrs. Wiltshire have two sons, Wendy, age 13, and Warren age 10. The elder Mr. Robert Fisher was the founder of the Masonic Lodge in Cross County, the charter bearing his signature is still used by the local lodge.
In 1909 J. H. Fisher opened the Cross County Stave Co. with the late Ed Hamilton as partner. After the latter's death, Mr. Fisher continued the operation of the stave mill until in 1932 when one day the mill whistle blew for one hour, signifying that all usable timber in this area has been cleared and that gone forever was one of the exciting periods in the history of Cross County. Since that fateful day in '32, Mr. Fisher, an employee of the Missouri Pacific Railroad Co. in the days of the wood burners, has engaged in farming.
Indicative of the unselfish service and usefulness of this man of small stature but warm heart is his record of achievement as President of the Cogbill Cemetery Association. For 20 years Mr. Fisher has capably shouldered the heavy and burdensome responsibility of maintaining and improving the Cogbill Cemetery, often in the face of great obstacles.
As in public service, Mr. Fisher has found time to serve his Lord. He is a respected member of the Board of Stewards of the First Methodist Church.
Of energetic nature, Mr. Fisher finds relaxation from his many duties by enjoying baseball games. A Memphis Chick fan he buys a season ticket to all the Chicks' home games and seldom misses a game though the rounds trip to Memphis and back is about 100 miles. Loyal to his friends and devoted to his family, Joseph Henry Fisher has gained the affectionate regard of all who know him. He is indeed an exceptional citizen, one who will always be remembered and honored for his unselfish public service.
Wendell E. Wiltshire
Wendell E. (Jake) Wiltshire, widely-known salesman of the Wynne Wholesale Grocers, has reached a conspicuous position among the leading and respected members of Cross County. He has a keen regard for what he considers right and he stands firmly in support of his honest convictions. He served on the Wynne School Board from 1945 to 1951 during which time land was purchased in North Wynne and a new high school erected. The expansion of the Childress School for colored also was completed during this time. Mr. Wiltshire, affectionately known to his host of Friends as "Jake," was born December 31, 1913, at White, Arkansas, son of Arthur Percival Wiltshire and Marie (Scobey) Wiltshire of Warren. Mr. Wiltshire received his early schooling at Warren and was graduated from the Warren High School in 1932.
In 1934 he came to Cross County as bookkeeper for the S. M. Dixon Co.; later he was employed in the same capacity by the Harris Lumber Co. For several years he was with the Cudahy Packing Co. in Monroe and Alexandria in Louisiana and then in Memphis and Columbia, Miss. In 1940 he returned to Wynne as bookkeeper of the Wynne Wholesale Grocers. Since 1941 Mr. Wiltshire has been a salesman for this esteemed company.
On April 17, 1935, he married Doryce Fisher, daughter of Joseph Henry Fisher and Florence (Morris) Fisher, leading citizens of Wynne. To this union have been born two sons, Robert Joseph (Wendy) Wiltshire, aged 13, and Warren Arthur Wiltshire, aged 10. Mrs. Wiltshire is a wel-known Cross Countian and is now a capable and efficient members in the advertising department of The Wynne Progress. Mr. Wiltshire belongs to the First Methodist Church and is a member of the Board of Stewards. He also holds a membership in the L'Anguille Sporting Club for his favorite way of relaxing is hunting and other sports. The Wiltshires, who lived in Wynne for years, now reside on their 240-acre farm, five miles west of Wynne on Highway 64. Progressive and substantial citizens, Mr. and Mrs. Wiltshire are excellent citizens of a county which was the birthplace of one and the adopted home county of the other.
Robert Henry Winters
Farming has reached the dignity of a business and some men operate their land in a way that makes it almost a science. Such methods pay, for the soil gives large returns to those who cultivate it correctly, and nowhere is this more true than on the farms of Robert Henry Winters, prominent rice grower and cattleman of Smith Chapel Community, 5 miles southwest of Wynne. Robert Winters has had an unusually fortunate background for following his farming career-industrious and respected parentage, active boyhood on the farm, specialized agricultural schooling and years of rural teaching. He was born March 29, 1908, the son of Henry Lee and Ethel Elizabeth Winters, substantial and hard-working citizens of the fertile agricultural Smith Chapel Community. Proudly bearing the names of his grandfathers, Robert Fallis and Henry Winters, Robert Henry Winters was taught early that success in any field, particularly in farming, is attained through hard, intelligent and thrifty habits. That he learned well is evidenced by the fact he is one of Cross County's leading farmers. Mr. Winters received his early schooling at Colt, Ark., and later was graduated from the Wynne High School. Energetic and ambitious, he worked his way through Arkansas State College at Jonesboro from 1930 to 1932, eagerly absorbing the lessons of modern farming. In 1933 he returned to his home to teach school in the Martin and Mebane rural schools for the next seven years. On June 12, 1941, he married Miss Norma Elizabeth Eddins, daughter of B. M. and Blanche Eddins of Wynne. Mr. and Mrs. Winters have two daughters, Patricia Ann, adopted April 20, 1954, and Tenna Kay, born Sept. 11, 1954. Mrs. Winters is President of the Cross County Hospital Auxiliary. Mr. Winters is a leading member of the Wynne Lions Club, having served as Tail Twister, Lion Tamer and Director. He was Secretary of the Cross County Farm Bureau for five years and has been Vice President for four years. He is adult teacher of the Church of Christ Sunday School at Wynne. Successful in growing rice on his 840-acre farm at Fair Oaks in the western part of Cross County, Mr. Winters has in recent years enlarged his farming interests by raising cattle on his 362-acre home farm in the McElroy and Smith Chapel Communities. In addition to being a rice farmer and a cattleman, Mr. Winters is a stockholder of the Merchants-Farmers Gin in Wynne, Fair Oaks Grain Dryer and the Hickory Ridge Grain Dryer.
As did their respected parents, Robert Henry Winters and Norma Elizabeth Eddins Winters hold an enviable place in the life of their chosen community and are accorded the respect of all who know them.
C. E. (Gene) Cook
In the history of the administrative government of Cross County the name of C. E. (Gene) Cook will always occupy a prominent and secure place for he served his county faithfully and efficiently for four consecutive terms as County and Probate Clerk. He did not see re-election in 1954 having accepted a position with the Arkansas Printing & Lithographing Company of Little Rock in this section of the state. He was first elected in 1946. During his administration, Mr. Cook installed a machine system of preparing the tax books and receipts and as a result the county has a complete fireproof record of all ownership listings.
Mr. Cook was born August 15, 1916, at Pleasant Hill, Ark., son of John G. Cook and Floy (Legg) Cook. His father, a beloved resident of the Vanndale community for many years, died in 1947. His mother, now 81 years old, is still a widely-known and active resident of the community. Gene Cook completed his high school education at Vanndale. He joined the U. S. Navy February 15, 1942. For three years he served as an instructor in the Naval Aviation Training Dept. and then in the Naval Intelligence Dept. in Washington, D. C. for a year. He was discharged as Chief Petty Officer on December 20, 1945. On November 26, 1947, he married Clarice Clark, daughter of Felix G. Clark and Francis (Mast) Clark of Vanndale. Mrs. Cook is a registered nurse and a former American Airlines stewardess. Mr. and Mrs. Cook have two children, Deborah and Charles Eugene Jr. The Cooks are members of the Wynne Methodist Church of which Mr. Cook is a Steward. He is a Rotarian, Mason and a Past Treasurer and Past President of the Wynne Lions Club. Mr. and Mrs. Cook, well-liked and respected members of the community, live in their attractive residence at 1310 Hamilton Avenue.
Elmer Ellsworth Turner Jr.
The list of accomplishments of Elmer Ellsworth Turner, Jr., farmer, civil engineer, civic leader, church worker, of Vanndale, Arkansas, is lengthy and reveals a true insight into the active life of a man who has risen to a position of prominence and influence in Cross County. Elmer Ellsworth Turner, Jr. was born October 14, 1900, son of Elmer E. Turner and Maude (Swift) Turner of Jefferson City, Mo., both now deceased. The senior Mr. Turner was Superintendent of the Valley Division of the Missouri Pacific Railroad; later held the same office on the M. K. & T. Railroad. A railroad family, E. E. Turner's grandfather, J. L. Turner, was General Superintendent of the Union Pacific Railroad. His mother, Maude Swift Turner, was the daughter of Judge H. A. Swift, who also was warden of the Missouri Penitentiary for three terms. E. E. Turner, Jr. grew to manhood at Jefferson City, completing his prep school education at the high school there. During World War I, he volunteered for the U. S. Navy, but his term of service was short as the Armistice was soon signed. He was discharged November 30, 1918. Returning to civilian life, he continued his formal education, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri in 1923. He furthered his education later, with 26 hours' work on a Master's Degree.
Following in his illustrious father's footsteps-and those of his grandfather-E. E. Turner, Jr. turned to railroading, accepting a position as Assistant Engineer on the Missouri Pacific RR at McGehee, Ark., in 1925. In 1935 he became Safety Engineer of the Northeast Arkansas District of the Works Progress Administration and then in 1943 became Assistant Chief Engineer of the Blytheville, Ark., Airport. Since 1945 he has been engaged in farming at Vanndale and Parkin in Cross County.
On April 30, 1925, he married Jenny Oliver Hare, daughter of the late Dr. Jacob L. Hare and Mary (Graham) Hare of Wynne. To this union were born two sons, Jacob Hare Turner, now associated with his father in farming, and Elmer E. (Jack) Turner III, now in the U. S. Marines. Jenny Hare Turner died March 17, 1945. Mr. Turner married Mary Ella Steckman, daughter of the late Dr. Edward H. Steckman and Sarah (Mitchell) Steckman, prominent residents of Trenton, Mo. The marriage was January 30, 1948. Mrs. Turner is a well-educated woman, having A. B. and M. A. Degrees from the University of Missouri. She taught French and Spanish at Trenton Junior College. In addition to supervising his 600-acre farm at Vanndale and the 1200 acres of the Hare Estate farm at Parkin, Mr. Turner is active in many and varied fields of endeavor. He is a member of the Vanndale Methodist Church and the Men's Bible Class; President of the church's Fellowship; and has served on the Board of Stewards.
He is Vice President of the Cross County Fair Board, Chairman of Field Crops of the Cross County Fair and holds memberships in the Cross County Farm Bureau, East Arkansas Livestock Association, and Missouri University Alumni Association. He is a member of the Masonic Lodge Acacia 602 and the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. He is a former member of the Wynne Rotary Club.
As a hobby years ago, Mr. Turner became interested in apiculture and has excelled in this field of activity. He is now President of the Northeast Arkansas Beekeepers Association and a member of the Executive Board of the State Beekeepers Association. The Turner family holds and enviable position of respect and achievement in Cross County. As does her husband, Mrs. Turner takes an active and interested part in civic affairs. Activity and usefulness have been the twin keynotes of the life of Elmer Ellsworth Turner Jr. He possesses the drive and initiative to insure success of any cause or campaign with which he is actively connected.
Fred O. Cogbill
Fred O. Cogbill, prominently-known founder of the nearly half-century-old Cogbill Insurance Agency, is a descendant of one of the first families to settle near the present site of Wynne and is one of the very few early residents still living in the town. Mr. Cogbill was born January 10, 1882, the year the old Iron Mountain Railroad passed through this section and prompted the founding of Wynne and other towns in Eastern Arkansas. His parents were Lineaus Lightle Cogbill and Bell (Graves) Cogbill. The Cogbill family came to Cross County as early as 1854 and settled on farm land about two miles east of the present site of Wynne on Crowley's Ridge. Fred Cogbill's grandparents were George W. and Sarah (Massey) Cogbill and his great-grandparents, Charles C. and Mary (Fetherstone) Cogbill. All are buried in the Cogbill Cemetery, which is situated on part of the old Cogbill homestead east of Wynne on the Ridge. Mr. Cogbill's maternal grandparents were Dr. Aaron Graves and Sue (Blow) Graves, both of whose parents came to Cross County from Virginia, as did all the older generation of Cogbills. Mr. Cogbill attended the various private and public schools in and near Wynne. Early in life he took an interest in the newspaper business, serving as printer's "devil" and printer at various times until 1902 when he bought a weekly newspaper in Wynne. An editor of the early handset country newspaper he continued the paper until 1908 when the purchased an interest in the old Barnes, Hamilton & Brewster Insurance Agency. In 1910 he bought the interest of his partners and founded the Cogbill Insurance Agency, which now has served the community efficiently and faithfully, representing some of the nation's most respected insurance companies, for nearly 50 years.
On November 23, 1903, Mr. Cogbill married Beryl Day, daughter of W. A. Day and Belle (Rouse) Day of Rantoul, Kansas. To them were born four children: the late Fred Odell Cogbill Jr.; Day L. Cogbill, now with the State Highway Department in Wynne; Beverly Cogbill (Byrd) Hunter, wife of Floyd Hunter, Wynne automobile dealer, and she is connected with her father's insurance agency. Beverly has two daughters, Lynda and Harriet Byrd, both now attending college. The youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Cogbill is William H. Cogbill, now in the general insurance business in Texarkana, Ark. The latter has two sons, Stacy and Gene Cogbill, pupils at the Texarkana School. Fred O. Cogbill, as a newspaper editor, businessman, civic leader and municipal official, has contributed substantially to the constant betterment of the community in which he has lived now for more than 70 years.
William Robert Fisher
William Robert Fisher, widely-known and respected citizen of Wynne, has faithfully and loyally served the Missouri Pacific Railroad as contractor for more than a quarter-century and is still actively pursuing his duties though he has passed his 82nd birthday. He was born August 1, 1872, in Shelby County, Tennessee, son of Robert Fisher and Victoria (Edwards) Fisher. He came to Cross County with his parents when he was 12. When he grew to manhood he started farming and later served as buyer of livestock for the late Lee Block of Wynne. Then was employed by the MoPac Railroad. On February 5, 1896, he married Cora Archer, daughter of Thomas F. Archer and Elizabeth Ann Archer of Clark County, Ark. To them were born six children, all in the Wynne Township. Rosalie married W. A. Pope and had three children, W. A. Jr., Dorothy and Elizabeth An. William E. married Helen Lancaster; no children. Frank married Rebecca Cooper; a son, Larry. Harrell married Polly Miller; six children, Sam Roger, Harrell, Mike, John and Paula Faye. Una R. married Ben Cooper; two sons, Jere Ben and Bill Ed. Roger C., who was killed in action in Germany during World War II, married Martha Jenkins; no children. A member of the Wynne Baptist Church, Mr. Fisher is a man of activity, integrity and resourcefulness. His reputation as a capable contractor is well known and respected throughout this area.
James Thomas Gooch
A native of Vanndale, Arkansas, James Thomas Gooch now occupies a position of prominence and influence in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where he is an esteemed member of the respected firm of Lookadoo, Gooch & Lookadoo. Mr. Gooch, known to his many friends throughout Arkansas as "Jim," is an outstanding and striking individual, large in build and fortunate in having a natural inclination for the exacting profession of law. He was born December 13, 1913, son of Sam A. Gooch and Augusta Cornelia (Halk) Gooch. His father, now deceased, was a prominent Cross Countian who served the county as county judge for two terms and was in office when the present court house was built in Wynne in 1915. His mother's parents were early settlers near Cherry Valley in the northern part of the county.
Jim Gooch was graduated from Wynne High School, received his A. B. Degree from Arkansas State College and then obtained his L.L.B. Degree from the Arkansas Law School in 1940. Admitted to the bar, Mr. Gooch entered the practice of law in Wynne that same year. He was State Senator of the 31st District (Cross and Poinsett) 1940-44. In September 1942 he entered the U. S. Navy as an Ensign and served abroad the U. S. S. Savannah and the U. S. S. Wisconsin in both the European and Pacific theatres of operation. After three years overseas, he was honorably discharged in December 1945 as Lieutenant, Senior Grade. In 1946 Mr. Gooch was appointed United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and served two terms. From 1946 to 1954 while in office, he was elected President of the U. S. Attorney's Conference. He resigned January 1, 1954, and joined the law firm of Lookadoo, Gooch & Lookadoo in Arkadelphia. His wife is the former Edris Lookadoo, daughter of John H. Lookadoo and Caldonia (Daniels) Lookadoo of Arkadelphia. They were married March 9, 1940, and have two daughters, Edris Johanna and Marilyn Kay. The Gooch family, members of the Methodist Church, are leading residents of their community and take an active and interested part in its affairs. A man of ability and enterprise, James Thomas Gooch is constantly adding to his stature as a capable attorney of Arkansas. For the past few years his accomplishments have been mentioned in "Who's Who in America."
Cross County Agriculture
The following information was compiled by County Agent W. B. Proctor in November 1954.
For the sale of livestock a local Auction Sale barn is operated south of Wynne every Thursday afternoon. This furnishes a handy market locally for farmers having livestock or farm machinery and equipment for sale. In addition, the Memphis Stockyards 52 miles east are readily accessible to Cross County farmers.
Both Wynne and Parkin have a frozen food locker plant where space may be rented to store fresh meat, fruits and vegetables.
The twenty-two gins in the county market most of the cotton. They use the Smith-Doxey classing service which enables the famers to sell on class and grade. Cotton may be sold to local buyers, however, most of the larger farmers sell their cotton in Memphis on grade and staple basis.
Rice has undergone a big change the last few years. Most famers changed from the old threshing system to harvest by combines. This brought into the picture quicker harvest and rice dryers. A lot of storage space had to be developed at the dryers and also on the farm. Cross County boasts of three large cooperative rice dryers, one at Hickory Ridge, one at Parkin, and the other at Fair Oaks. Storage capacity of these three dryers is 1,200,000 bushels and they dry more than two million bushels per season. Some few individual farmers own and operate farm size rice dryers. Farmers over the county have installed grain bins for storage of rice and soybeans at harvest. Most of them are equipped with ventilating systems.
Soybeans are marketed locally and at Memphis. Farmers are recognizing the importance of storage at harvest rather than being forced to sell on a flooded market at harvest, and most farmers have installed grain bins to take care of their farm storage needs. "Plenty of farm storage makes bargaining power available."
Fruits and vegetables are marketed by each individual grower. Peaches being the major fruit crop of most fruit growers, are usually graded and packed by each producer and sold to truckers, or hauled in their own trucks to the Memphis, St. Louis or Chicago and other markets. Berries, apples and grapes are handled in about the same manner.
Kinds Of Roads
Of the 75 miles of hard surface roads in the county, 525 farms are located on these roads. 1,620 farms are located on the 825 miles of gravel roads in the county and 895 farms located on dirt and un-improved roads.
Economical Information And Trends
Number, size, tenure of farms: There are 3,189 farms listed in Cross County, a reduction of 315 farms since the 1945 census.
Farm land in Cross County in 1945 was 247,526 acres and in 1950 was 309,436 acres, showing that farmers increased the farm land in the county 51,910 acres that 5 year period. A reduction in the number of farms and an increase in acres of farm land shows the trend to larger size farms. In 1945 the average farm was 70.6 acres, in 1950 the average farm was 97.0 acres, an increase in size of them 27.4 acres.
There were 744 land owners in the county in 1950 as compared to 911 owners in 1945. Only 75 part owners in 1945 and 334 in 1950. There were 2,015 white operators and 1,174 negro operators in 1950. IN this group of operators 744 are full owners and 334 part owners.
There were 2,506 tenants in Cross County in 1945 and in 1950 there were 2,096. A decrease of 410. The 1950 census also shows 103 of these tenants were cash renters, 466 were share tenants, and 1,365 share croppers. These changes are no doubt reflecting the increased use of labor saving and power equipment.
Land Use: The total land area of Cross County is 400,610 acres of which 309,436 are in farms with a total crop land acreage of 196,774. The following table from the 1950 census will show how Cross County farmers use their land.
1944 -- 1949
acres 44,812 -- 64,605
bales 40,854 -- 52,895
acres 22,243 -- 38,465
bushels 1,510,662 -- 1,829,869
Soybeans grown alone, acres 10,599 -- 10,505
Acres harvested for beans 2,345 -- 6,668
bushels 37,522 -- 106,862
Oats threshed or combined, acres 4,615 -- 2,526
bushels 155,823 -- 60,179
Wheat threshed or combined,
acres 1,232 476
bushels 27,967 6,055
There has been a trend toward larger acreages of cash crops, particularly cotton and rice. In recent years farmers have given more consideration to soil building crops, pasture improvement and livestock. This is particularly true of the Crowley's Ridge section and rice area of the county.
Cross County's fruit acreage on Crowley's Ridge.
Peaches, acres -1,360
Apples, acres - 630
Grapes, acres - 60
Strawberries, acres - 25
Livestock production has been profitable in the county. Rice acreage declines in 1952 and 1954 has made beef cattle production less attractive.
1945 -- 1950
Work animals 6,790 -- 4,724
Beef cattle 8,442 -- 6,426
Dairy cattle 4,221 -- 3,010
Sheep 282 -- 119
Poultry 92,707 -- 63,405
These figures indicate a general drop off in livestock population which was true at the time the census was taken. Since then the horse and mule population has decreased at a rapid rate in favor of tractors but the beef cattle population has shown considerable increase due to high market prices and land that should be in pasture or feed crops on a better land use program.
Mechanization and Electrification
Farm families are rapidly adapting improved methods, practices and machinery. They are applying the latest developments as fast as economic conditions permit. This group of people have made great progress in farming the past twenty years and more so in the past ten years. The mule barns and corrals have almost disappeared from most farms in Cross County in favor of mechanization. Some few farmers keep one or two teams around for emergency. Rice farmers have mechanized in a big way, and cotton farmers are mechanizing as far as possible and slightly altering their cropping system in favor of soybeans because this crop lends itself to these practices.
1945 - 1950
Work animals: 6,790 - 4,724
Tractors: 758 - 2,131
Combines: 25 - 283
Cotton pickers: 0 - 72
Pick-up automatic hay balers: 0 - 152
Land clearing by use of stump saws and bulldozers has practically replaced hard labor except to assist with these machines. Also draglines have replaced the shovel in most of the farm drainage.
Electrification has gone further than any one recent development in making the farm home convenient, modern, and sanitary. Rural electrification has come about in the last eighteen years. Cross County has 2,225 farms electrified and rural telephones on over 1000 farms.
Irrigation is becoming a farm necessity more and more each year. The past 25 (1927-1951) years we have had 65 droughts. (A drought is defined as 20 days or more, each ten days of which has a total of less than one-half inch of rainfall.) Irrigation is growing more important each year. Rice farmers have found it pays to irrigate their pastures during drought periods. All that is necessary is to pull up their levees, flush the water through their pasture to the saturation point not to exceed 3 days, thus increasing their grazing about four-fold. Irrigation is also being used on corn heavily fertilized, soybeans and cotton. Therefore, cotton farmers have increased their yield from 25% to 100% by irrigation, depending on the duration of the drought and the efficiency of irrigation. Approximately 60 cotton farmers used supplemental irrigation in 1953. Henry Young on the Killough farm at Wittsburg produced 100 bales of cotton on 50 acres irrigated in 1953. The farm average on this crop was 730 lbs. lint cotton per acre on 150 acres. Other farmers are getting comparable results. In Cross County, both the canal type and sprinkling system are used to irrigate pastures and row crops.
Cotton has been the principal cash crop in Cross County for many years. Fifty to sixty-five thousand acres of land is planted to cotton annually, producing from 40 to 53 thousand bales. Recognizing the importance of the cotton crop to farmers of this county, a long time balanced farm program should be worked out to include cotton soil building crops, good land use and good rotations with cotton, winter and summer legume crops.
Rice production in Cross County is relatively new. The first crop was planted at Hickory Ridge in 1912. The price Cross County farmers received for their rice has fluctuated widely since 1912. For a period immediately after World War I and then the 1930's rice farmers had a hard struggle to remain in production. Beginning in 1941 and up to and through 1953 prices have been such that rice production has been profitable. There were 22,000 acres planted in 1944. Five years later the county planted 38,500 acres. In 1954 there were around 50,000 acres of rice planted in Cross County. Most of this acreage increase has been on the rice soils west of Crowley's Ridge. Since 1950 there has been a gradual expansion of rice to the black gumbo soils east of Crowley's Ridge. Due to the particular nature of rice production, the problems of weed and grass control, the problem of high calcium content of well water, the continued use of which well water increase the P. H. to such a point that it is difficult to satisfactorily grow rice. Crop rotation is necessary.
The development of the self-propelled combine has revolutionized rice harvest the past ten years making it possible to get the crop harvested and in storage or marketed before the winter rains start. Rice harvest formerly was spread out over a two to five months period with the old binder, hand shocking and eventually threshing when weather would permit and labor was available. The combine put into effect the rice dryers of which Cross County rice producers have five large dryers available, located at Hickory Ridge, Fair Oaks, Wynne and Parkin.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetable crops seem better suited fro Crowley's Ridge section of Cross County than most other crops. Acreage in fruit crops on the ridge include 1,360 acres of peaches; 630 acres of apples; 60 acres of grapes and 25 acres of strawberries, giving a total of approximately 2,075 acres in fruits. Packing sheds are operated by practically all peach produces which enables them to turn out a nice pack.
Soils and Crops
There are three distinct soil types in Cross County; namely, 1. Greyish white buckshot west of Crowley's Ridge; 2. Silt loam soils of Crowley's Ridge; 3. The heavy gumbo clay soil in east St. Francis River bottom; and in addition, there are all combinations and variations between these three types of soil, from silts, silt loam, clay, sandy and sandy loam.
Livestock in Cross County is a supplemental source of farm income designed to fit into a well planned "Land-use Balanced farm program." This is a soil building program, that increases the organic matter and nitrogen content of the soil which is very essential for maximum production of any soil. Livestock furnishes a means of using waste land for pasture and the production of forage crops as roughage. The sale of this livestock furnishes an additional source of income from waste land. Most of the livestock has been produced in the rice area and the Crowley's Ridge Section of the County. However, there is a growing interest in the delta section due to making a change to some extent in the crop rotation and the production of more forage crops. Due to present prices most livestock enterprises may be less attractive than they have been the last few years. However, with efficient pasture and feed production with good farm management program livestock may offer excellent possibilities on many farms even at present prices. Efficiency in livestock production is as important with livestock as with any other farm crop.
Wynne School District No. 9
According to W. S. Newsom, probably the oldest living native of Wynne, the first school house in Wynne was a frame building located about where Dr. Kemp's Clinic once stood. It burned sometime in 1886. The next school was built where now stands the Hare residence in West Wynne. In those days you could tell how advanced a pupil was by knowing what reader he was studying at that time.
"We sat in the school room from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., except on Friday afternoons when there were speeches," Mr. Newsom has recalled. "A certain number of pupils would have to say a speech and if the speeches were short, we got out early."
School funds being insufficient there were no public schools in Wynne for several years but there were several private schools with tuition about $2.00 per month. Prof. Gholston operated a one-room school for boys for a while. About 1890 a two-story brick school was built near the present site of the W. C. Daniel home in West Wynne. This building later was condemned because it was poorly constructed. The school was then transferred to what was known as the old opera house on South Front Street. In 1902 the two-story brick building, now known as the elementary school was built near the present courthouse. The present high school in North Wynne was completed in 1950. The gymnasium in this building was destroyed by fire in February, 1953, but now has been rebuilt at a cost of $97,000.
Past Superintendents include J. T. Webb, Hugh A. Woodward, J. H. Andrews, W. R. Ooley, Noble E. Davis, Rayda Wallace, D. E. Blockmon and R. E. Womack Jr. Present school officials are: R. A. Cox, Supt.; Vernon James, High School Principal; D. D. Martin, Elementary School Principal and Mrs. John P. Tarbutton, Secretary and Bookkeeper of the district. E. M. DeShay is Principal of the Childress Vocational High and Elementary Schools for Negroes. The present school board: James L. Gardner, President; J. J. Harrell, Secretary; Robert M. Vaughan, C. L. Brown and C. S. Howell.
The Wynne School District includes 209 square miles and has one white high school, Negro high school, white elementary school in town and one in the country, and a Negro elementary school. In 1937-38 term there were 1206 white and Negro pupils; 1954-55, 2311 pupils. The district operates 18 buses. Receipts anticipated during 1937-38 fiscal year totaled $32,000; 1954-55, $316,196. Records found show that as far back as 1927 Wynne High and Elementary Schools were members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. In 1947 Wynne was one of the 28 schools in Arkansas unqualifiedly approved for membership from 77 applied. The teaching staff of the district now includes 71 teachers as compared to 35 for the 1937-38 term.
Strange Wynne Case
The following story appeared in newspaper and magazines throughout the nation after this strange case became known.
The jury in Wynne, Arkansas, were quite certain that 42-year-old Blanch Palmer had shot and killed her middle-aged lover, Charles Turain. They declared her guilty of second degree murder and the judge promptly sentenced her to 21 years in the state penitentiary.
Two days later, on September 13, 1923, Sheriff E. L. Cooper drove Mrs. Palmer to the state pen at Little Rock. But the warden was away and the trusty in charge of the prison office protested. "Sheriff," he said, "you should know this place is only for men. I refuse to accept a woman prisoner."
Sheriff Cooper slapped Mrs. Palmer's commitment papers down on the desk. Mrs. Blanche Palmer, they stated in clear black and white, was sentenced to the Arkansas State Penitentiary. For 20 minutes, Cooper pleaded, argued and fought with the trusty. But the trusty just shook his head. Finally Cooper threw up his hands in despair. "She's all yours," he shouted, and stomped out.
The trusty turned his back on Mrs. Palmer and buried his nose in some official papers. Mrs. Palmer kept quiet as long as she could, then asked timidly, "If you don't want me, what am I going to do?" The trusty dropped his papers and glared at her. "All I got to say, lady," he barked, "is that 21 years is a long, long time."
So Mrs. Palmer picked up her bag and left. When the story broke, there was a furor. Because of sheer stubbornness, public officials had allowed a convicted murderess to escape. The warden of the penitentiary, who backed up his trusty, was tried for contempt and fined $500.
Blanche Palmer? She was never seen again!
The community of Levesque, on Highway 64 east of Wynne and near Copperas Creek, is now best known as the site of the nearby farms of J. E. Hollan & Son and John J. Johnson & Son. It formerly was called "Magnolia Grove" back in the early days of Cross County. It was later named for Capt. Levesque. The ante-bellum home, now occupied by John J. Johnston Sr. at Levesque, was built by John Maggett for his daughter, Virginia Maggett, who married I. N. Deadrick. It was built by slaves before the War Between the States. The house, a two-story affair, was built without nails. According to a story often told, Mrs. Deadrick once held several Yankee soldiers at bay in the home when they came to search for her husband, who, unknown to the soldiers, was hiding upstairs. Mrs. Deadrick stood on the stairs with a pistol leveled at the soldiers and told them "I'll blow your brains out if you come up these stairs." The men finally left empty handed.
Cross County Hospital
The 50-bed Cross County Hospital, located in Wynne, was built at a cost of $500,000 and formally opened July 9, 1952. The construction costs were provided by a $200,000 bond issue voted by the citizens of Cross County in a special election in 1948. The remaining part was granted under the federal hospital program. The hospital has facilities for both white and Negro patients. In addition to the hospitals, two clinics are operated in Wynne. The hospital operates under a board of trustees with two auxiliaries assisting. Members of the board: W. N. Killough, President; J. L. Shaver, Secretary; W. M. Smith, J. E. Collier, Bill Simpson, A. P. Murray and Lester Fetzer.
History of Parkin
The history of Parkin, though it was not called Parkin then, dates back to the second year of the Statehood of Arkansas, to 1837. It has been established that land was cleared in the vicinity of Parkin as early as that year. By 1852, the little pioneer town of Smithdale, located two miles east of present day Parkin, was a thriving community.
The first permanent settlers at what is now Parkin were Reuben R. Rogers and his younger brother, R. Smash Rogers, who came to this vicinity with their parents in 1865 from Monroe, La. Reuben was 14 and Smash was 9. Their step-father settled on the old Rose place north of Parkin. In 1871 Dr. John Stoner, a medical doctor, moved to this area from York, Pa., with his family and bought 320 acres of land on the Tyronza River east of the present town site. He had three children, Annie, Frank and Ida Stoner. Four year later in 1875 William Pierce, who had come to Cross County in 1869, married Annie Stoner and they had four children, Willie, Anna, Ed and Sam Pierce. In the meantime, in 1873, John Stanley had moved to this vicinity from Mound City, near Marion, Ark. Mr. and Mrs. Stanley had five children, Lee, Bob, Laura, Alice and Mrs. P. A. Donahue. In this same year Reuben Rogers married Alice Stanley and they had four children, Leslie, Irving, Louin, Fannie and Winnie. In 1880 R. Smash Rogers married Mollie Sue Rolfe and five children were born to this union, Rawlsey, Clarence, Etta, Minerva and Edna.
Up until this time Smithdale had been the metropolis of Cross County east of Crowley's Ridge. But in 1887 the old Southern Railroad (now the Missouri Pacific) was completed through Parkin. A young civil engineer surveyed the spur track which is located just west of Parkin. His name was William Parkin and when he asked his boss what he should call the place where the spur was placed, his boss answered: "Call it Parkin" and Parkin it has been ever since. In 1890 I. R. Dye came to Smithdale from Hickory Ridge where he worked in an old river boat which had been converted into a store. In 1903 Mr. Dye rented the first public store building in Parkin built by the Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Co. and located about where E. C. Cole's grocery stands. It was also about 1890 the Fee brothers came to Parkin from Camden Point, Pa., bought a lot and built a commissary where the Missouri Pacific station now stands. They also built a small mill in South Parkin. It was in 1897 that the brothers sold 17 sections of land to the Lansing Wheelbarrow Co. of Lansing, Mich., which later on led to the establishment of their big mill here. The land brought $6.00 an acre. It was also in 1890 that two brothers by the names of George and Jake Maddox pitched a tent just south of the old "Indian Mound" in north Parkin and started a ground-hog sawmill which was later to become the Northern Ohio Cooperage & Lumber Co.
The history of Parkin would not be complete without information about two major industries which played such a major role in the development of the town.
A young man named Rolland W. Minnie, who had come to the Short Bend Community near Parkin in 1900, sold a tract of timber for the Fee Brothers to a Mr. Porter, representative of the Lansing Wheelbarrow Co. of Lansing, Mich., and in March, 1902, the old Fee Bros. Mill was transformed into a subsidiary of the Lansing Wheelbarrow Co. and began to manufacture these products.
In the same month of the establishment of the wheelbarrow company, another young Easterner, named S. W. Sterling, timber buyer and junior partner in a lumber firm at Grafton, Ohio, came down to Missouri to buy timber land for their mill, heard about the fine timber at Parkin, came here and bought the old Maddox Brothers Mill from Major H. T. Blanton of Memphis, who had bough the mill earlier. Mr. Sterling and his family moved to Parkin June 2, 1902, and managed the lumber company until 1918 when he sold his interest to Henry Coldren.
In 1902-04 Henry Coldren, one of five partners in the lumber mill at Grafton (Charles Jones, George Core, S. W. Sterling, Henry Coldren and A. L. Sweeney) moved the Ohio mill to Parkin and established it here under the name of the Parkin Cooperage Co. late in 1905 or early in 1906 this mill and the Northern Ohio Lumber Co., managed by S. W. Sterling, were merged into the Northern Ohio Cooperage & Lumber Co. to manufacture barrel staves.
In October 1912, Mrs. Agnes Hamill Park came to Parkin from Lansing, Mich., to take over the management of the Lansing Wheelbarrow Co. office, which position she held at the time of her death. Along with being an efficient manager of one of Parkin's two large industries, Mrs. Park became one of the community's most beloved citizens because of her faithful and untiring efforts to improve Parkin. Her company survived two disastrous fires, one in 1903 and again in 1912.
Both of these companies were victims of the Depression and a shortage of good timber in this area. Both turned their interests gradually from industry to farming.
First State Bank
No other financial institution has contributed more to the sound and steady development of agriculture in the eastern part of Cross County than the strong and secure 29-year-old First State Bank of Parkin, Arkansas. The leading role of this esteemed bank in providing the essential capital for the unprecedented improvement of farming in this area has been of immeasurable value and will be recorded in the annals of Cross County as one of the most decisive factor in making the land east of historic Crowley's Ridge of the richest agricultural sections in Eastern Arkansas. Since the momentous day when the First State Bank formally opened its doors in June of 1925 on Main Street in Parkin, this prominent banking institution has firmly established a splendid record of continuous and prosperous operation, thus clearly reflecting the unwavering confidence and guiding influence it has enjoyed these past 29 years.
Actually the ancestry of the First State Bank extends back to 1911 when the Parkin Home Banks was organized with the late I. R. Dye Sr. as President. It was re-organized in 1921 and Mr. Dye was succeeded as President by R. W. Minnie, and the name changed to Bank or Parkin. A one-hundred-percent assessment was paid in by the stockholders at this time. The Bank of Parkin failed in 1925 and was re-organized with fresh capital as the First State Bank. Ed Hamilton was the first President, followed by Dave Block and Vernon Paul. In March of that year, the present First State Bank was organized with H. L. Coldren as President, the late R. M. Lake as Vice President, and I. H. Thompson as Cashier.
The First State Bank was organized with an original investment of $10,000 in capital stock; total resources were $50,000; deposits, $36,960; Surplus, $1,000; and undivided profits $2,039.
On December 31, 1954, the statement of condition of the First State Bank revealed the bank had enjoyed the greatest year in its history. Total resources were $1,492,921; deposits, $1,326,477; capital, $50,000; surplus, $50,000; and undivided profits, $54,005. Deposits alone are nearly forty times what they were back in 1925, evidence enough that the First State Bank occupies a position of the utmost confidence and integrity in the community.
Mr. Coldren recently completed his 22nd year as President of the First State Bank. A prosperous landowner, ginner and civic leader, Mr. Coldren has played a major role in the growth of the bank. When he was elevated to the Presidency in January of 1933 bank deposits totaled $36,643 and total resources, $63,970; on December 31st, 1954, deposits were more than fifty-five times what they were at the beginning of 1933 and resources, more than twenty-two times the figure of 1933.
Another person who has been invaluable to the bank practically since its organization is Mrs. G. D. Carter, now the Executive Vice President. An efficient and conscientious individual, Mrs. Carter had devoted more than 28 years of her life to faithfully and loyally serving the bank. She started in 1927 as a bookkeeper. Acquiring a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of banking practices, she steadily advanced and in January 1941 was elevated to the important position of Cashier. In January 1953 she was appointed to the newly-created office of Executive Vice President.
From the time of its founding in 1925 until July 1950, the First State Bank occupied the old Parkin Home Bank building on Main Street. Then it moved to its modernistic building on Main Street across from the postoffice. This new, distinctly-styled building is one of the most attractive bank structures in Eastern Arkansas. It was carefully planned to afford ample lobby space, convenient teller windows, private consultation rooms and yet create an atmosphere of friendliness.
The First State Bank has been fortunate since its beginning in having directors of the highest integrity, ability and civic-mindedness to determine the polices of the bank and to see that they are carried out through the elected officers and carefully-chosen employees.
The president directors and officers of the bank, in addition to H. L. (Roy) Coldren as President and Mrs. G. D. Carter as Executive Vice President (biographies of whom appear later), are as follows:
F. E. Brenner Sr.
F. E. Brenner Sr., Vice President, a Director of the First State Bank since its re-organization in 1933, was born in Fort Smith, Ark., October 14, 1897. Attended grammar school at Marion, Ark. Entered preparatory department of Ouachita College in 1911. Left college in 1914, entered Arkansas National Guard in July 1916. Served on Mexican Border with Guard until beginning of World War I, and was transferred to Regular Army on April 7, 1917. Discharged from Army as Second Lieutenant on Dec. 18, 1918, he went into the soft drink business with his father, the later John A. Brenner. Married Myrtle Speas of Casper, Wyoming,, June 3, 1920. Mr. and Mrs. Brenner have three children: Mary Alta Harrison of Memphis, Fred E. Jr. of Parkin and John A. of Parkin. Then senior Mr. Brenner came to Parkin in January 1927 and started working for the Northern Ohio Cooperage & Lumber Co. On May 9, 1929, he bought the old Clarence Saunders Grocery Co. of Parkin and continued same business until November 1940. He acted as Manager of Farmers Cooperative Oil Co. until January 1948. He had been farming since 1933 along with his other business interest and in 1948 he started farming exclusively. He is a Past President of the Parkin Rotary Club, Past Chairman of Board of Steward of First Methodist Church and served as a member of the Parkin School Board for about 17 years.
N. E. Thomas
N. E. Thomas, Director of the bank since January 1943, was born in 1891 in Graves County, Ky. Served 21 months in World War I with General Hospital Group No. 25. After discharge was First Assistant Manager of Liggett Drug Store No. 73. Jacksonville, Fla.; Manager of drug store in Greencave Springs, Fla.; associated with Gilbert Drug Store, Paducah, Ky., and then James S. Robinson Drug Store, Memphis. Moved to Parkin October 1924 and operated drug store known as Thomas Drug Store until May 12, 1952. Mr. Thomas is now part-owner in Main Drug Store in Earle, Arkansas. He married Frances Marie Dawes December 26, 1922, in Fulton, Ky.; they have a son, Charles Dawes Thomas, born March 2, 1927.
H. L. Coldren, Jr.
H. L. Coldren Jr. was born in Memphis in 1919. He attended Parkin High School, graduating in 1936. After a year at Hendrix and three more at the University of Arkansas, he graduated from the School of Business Administration in 1940, with a Major in Accounting. After six months' work in a brokerage office in Memphis, he took the position of Assistant Cashier in the First State Bank of Parkin. In January 1942 he entered the Army, later transferring to the Aviation Cadet Corps for bombardier training and was discharged in September 1942. He then entered the stave and lumber business with his father and started the Insurance Agency that he still operates. In 1945 Coldren Motors, Inc., was organized to sell Kaiser and Frazer products and this same company has now been the local J. I. Case Co. dealer for over four years. He was elected a Director of the First State Bank in January 1946.
Fred E. Brunner, Jr.
Fred E. Brenner Jr., a Director of the bank since January of 1953, was born April 7, 1923, in Memphis, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. E. Brenner Sr. of Parkin. He was educated in grammar and high schools at Parkin and graduate from the high school in 1940. Attended one year at Marion Military Institute, Marion, Ala., 1940-41. Appointed as Midshipman, U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., June 1941. Graduated from Naval Academy in June 1944, as member of Class of 1945. Joined fleet as Ensign in September 1944, aboard U. S. S. Quincy. Aboard Quincy in Atlantic and Pacific waters until end of World War II. Entered flight training and was assigned to Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas, January 1946. Married June 1946, Miss Beatrice Louise Phillips of Memphis. Resigned commission as Lieutenant (j.g.) U. S. Navy in August 1947, to return to Parkin. Was elected Manager of the Farmers Cooperative Oil Co. in January 1948. Mr. and Mrs. Brenner have two children: Valerie Jean, born April 3, 1949, and Karen Marie, born March 17, 1954. Mr. Brenner served as President of Parkin Lions Club from 1950-51. Was called back to active duty with U. S. Navy, November 1951, and served a year in Korean waters aboard U. S. S. Manchester. Returned to present position of Manager of Farmers Cooperative Oil Co. November 1952.
John A. Brenner
John A. Brenner, Director of the First State Bank since January 1954, was born in Memphis, February 28, 1927, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred E. Brenner Sr. He was graduated from Parkin High School in 1945, after having attended Marion Military Institute, Marion, Ala., for one of his four years of high school. Entered the University of Arkansas in September 1945. Left school in 1946 to go into the Army. He was discharged from the Army in March 1947, and reentered the University of Arkansas. Graduated from the University in June 1949 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Joined the St. Francis Valley Pedigreed Seed Co. as Manager in July 1949 Married Trilby Joyce Earnheart of Eudora, Mississippi, April 9, 1950. They have two daughters, Deborah Joyce and Brenda Jo. He left the seed business in January 1954 to engage in farming with his father. He has been a member of the Parkin Lions Club since 1949.
Shelton N. Green
Shelton N. Green, a Director of the First State Bank since January 1954, was born July 17, 1917, in Parkin, son of Tom J. Green and Elizabeth (Pittman) Green of Parkin. He graduated from Parkin High School in 1935 and then Chillicothe Business College in 1940. He served 40 months in the Air Force, 32 of which were in the South Pacific. He married Maude Couch October 10, 1942. They have two children: son, John, born July 4, 1947 and daughter, Terry, born October 12, 1951. Started work at First State Bank in June 1946 as Assistant Cashier and was promoted to Cashier in January 1953. He is a Past President of Parkin Rotary Club, a Steward in Methodist Church and a Director of Parkin Community House.
A bank, to be of real service to the community, must have courteous and efficient employees. The loyalty, integrity and faithfulness of this bank's employees are daily making contributions to whatever success the First State Bank may achieve. In addition to Mrs. Carter and Mr. Green, the employees include Mrs. Al Jean Crook, Assistant Cashier; Mrs. Bonnye T. Sisk, Bookkeeper and Teller; and Hamil Blake, Bookkeeper.
A member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and now standing at its highest peak in the 29 years of its existence, the First State Bank can proudly look back on its sound and steady growth as it plans carefully for even greater business expansion and agricultural improvement in this area.
Growth of First State Bank is reflected in these figures
Deposits / Resources
June 8, 1925 - $ 36,960.28 - $ 50,000.00
December 31, 1932 - 36,643.12 - 63,970.23
December 31, 1937 - 218,301.77 - 263,864.18
December 31, 1942 - 520,009.19 - 560,803.99
December 31, 1952 - 959,179.40 - 1,137,001.23
December 31, 1954 - 1,326,477.80 - 1,492,921.39
H. L. Coldren, Sr.
Henry Leroy Coldren was born in Huber, Ohio, October 2, 1892, the son of Henry Clay and Mary Francis Coldren and moved to Parkin, Cross County, in 1905, when he was twelve years old. At that time Parkin was all woods south of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Mr. Coldren attended School in Wynne and Memphis, Tennessee, graduating from Macon & Andrews Business College, Memphis, in 1910. Then in 1911 he started keeping books for Northern Ohio Cooperage & Lumber Company, who operated an 8' band Saw Mill and three Slack Barrel Stave Mills. Joined the Army August 21, 1918 and served until December 4th, 1918, having been honorably discharged from the service at Austin, Texas, then returned to Parkin and started handling the sales of the Northern Ohio Cooperage & Lumber Company Mills until the death of his father September 1, 1943 and his brother, J. J. Coldren, on Nov. 1, 1943, when they quit business and disposed of their mills. In 1929 Henry Clay Coldren and his two sons H. L. and J. J., entered into a contract with the original stockholders of the Northern Ohio Cooperage & Lumber Company to buy their stock and this contract was completed and stock transferred to the new owners by the end of 1936.
In 1947 when the Northern Ohio Cooperage & Lumber Company was liquidated, H. L. Coldren retained his one-third interest in the business, plus his one-fifth inherited from his father and retained the corporation, but changed the name to H. L. (Roy) Coldren, Inc., and is now the President of this corporation; he now operates a cotton gin, as well as farming about two thousand acres of land.
Mr. Coldren is a 32nd degree Mason and a Shriner. Member of Lumbermen's Club of Memphis; member of Forrest City Country Club. Past President of Parkin Rotary Club. A trustee and steward of Parkin Methodist Church. Served on Parkin School Board some twenty years, resigned in 1947 in favor of one of the present younger members.
Henry Leroy Coldren and Miss Lucille Brenner, daughter of John Albert and Alta Baer Brenner of Marion, Arkansas, were married July 14, 1917, at Marion. Mrs. Coldren or Lucille as she is known, attended school in Marion, St. Agnes Academy in Memphis and Galloway College in Searcy. She is active in garden club work, having served as the first President of the Parkin Garden Club; she is active in the Methodist Woman's Society of Christian Service; also Past President of Parkin P. T. A. She is active in community progress and is capable of getting the job done. When community house was first built she and the late Mrs. A. H. Park took it upon themselves to get donations to pay for the building and furnish it throughout, including dishes, tables and chairs. Mrs. and Mrs. Coldren have one son, H. L. Coldren Jr., single, and three daughters: Frankie Ann Coldren, married to Wallace Martin Jr., of Hughes, Arkansas. She finished Parkin High School, attended Gulf Park College in Gulfport, Miss., and the University of Arkansas, and was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. He is a 32nd Degree Mason; member of Hughes Rotary Club and is on the Board of Stewards of Hughes Methodist Church. They live on and operate a 400-acre farm at Hughes, known as "Oakwood Farm". They have two children: Wallace Martin 11, 8 years old and Pamela Martin, 3 years old.
Alta Baer Coldren, married Bert Dickey Jr., Earle, Arkansas. She attended Parkin High School, finished high school and two-year college at Stephens College in Columbus, Mo., and then attended the University of Arkansas. Mr. and Mrs. Dickey live in Earle where he is associated with his father in the implement business; he is a 32nd Degree Mason and Shiner, belongs to the Lions Club. He is a Director of the Earle Bank and is on the official board of the Methodist Church. They have two children: Lu Lynn Dickey, 8 years old, and Bert Dickey III, 6 years old.
Betty Joyce Coldren, married Billy Hix from Batesville, Arkansas. She attended Parkin High School, finished high at Stephens College and attended the University of Arkansas. Mr. Hix played three years on the Razorback football team while attending the University and then played professional ball for one year with the Philadelphia Eagles before entering the Armed Forces during World War II. He was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant. Mr. and Mrs. Hix are now making their home in West Memphis where he is connected with the MidSouth Gas Company.
Mrs. Gladys Dye Carter
With more than a quarter century of faithful and loyal service to the First State Bank of Parkin, Arkansas, Mrs. Gladys Dye Carter is not only a prominent and respected citizen of her community but also throughout this area. An energetic and enterprising individual, Mrs. Carter now holds the important and responsible position of Executive Vice President of the First State Bank. She first began in the banking business with the bank in June 1927 when she was named Assistant Cashier. Having learned the profession well and demonstrated a keen understanding of the policies of the bank, Mrs. Carter was elected a member of the Board of Directors and promoted to the position of Cashier in 1941. In 1953 she was again promoted, this time to the newly-created office of Executive Vice President. A native of Hickory Ridge, Arkansas, Mrs. Carter is the daughter of Major and Clara (Slocum) Dye, both longtime residents of Cross County. She graduated from Parkin High School in 1921 and in January 1922 completed a business course at Henderson-Brown College, Arkadelphia, Arkansas. She is the widow of Sidney Carter, widely-known Parkin businessman was passed away in 1954. She has one daughter, Dorothy, who married John E. McNeil Jr. of Fort Smith, Ark., and two granddaughters, Cynthia Jean McNeil and Marsha Baker McNeil. Mrs. Carter is a member of the Parkin Methodist Church.
Having already contributed much to the growth of the First State Bank, Mrs. Carter is daily rendering even greater service to this outstanding banking institution.
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