Little Rock Look Back: 57th Mayor Martin Borchert

On January 16, 1916, future Little Rock Mayor Martin Borchert was born in Stuttgart.  After graduating high school he moved to Little Rock.  During World War II, he served as a bomber.  He started work at ACME Brick and spent 21 years there before engaging in other business interests.  Among these businesses were Martin Borchert Co., ASCO Hardware, Detection Systems Inc. and Component Systems Inc.  In 2005 he was inducted into the Arkansas Construction Hall of Fame.

Mayor Borchert was elected to the Little Rock City Board of Directors in 1964 and served from January 1965 through December 1968. He chose not to seek a second term.  In 1967 and 1968 he served as Mayor of Little Rock. During this time, he laid out the vision for what has become Riverfront Park along the Arkansas River.

Other civic achievements included being a member of the Board of the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, being on the Governor’s Citizens Advisory Committee, a member of the Pulaski County Quorum Court, vice chairman of the Arkansas Planning Commission, and being on the Little Rock Air Force Base Community Council. In 1967 he served on the President’s National Advisory Council to the Small Business Administration.

Mayor Borchert served on the Little Rock Water Commission, including a tenure as chairman. In 1985, he was chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Policy Board and as chairman oversaw the transfer of the Central Arkansas Transit system to the Central Arkansas Transit Authority. One of the achievements of which he was very proud of was that he was one of the very first in Arkansas to receive an Adopt the Highway road.

Mayor Borchert was married for 57 years to Rosemary “Biddy” Branch Borchert.  They had two children, a son, John “Topper” Borchert and a daughter, Leslie Borchert Wilson.  He died on May 11, 2007.

Little Rock Look Back: LR Mayor Martin Borchert

Mayor BorchertOn January 16, 1916, future Little Rock Mayor Martin Borchert was born in Stuttgart.  After graduating high school he moved to Little Rock.  During World War II, he served as a bomber.  He started work at ACME Brick and spent 21 years there before engaging in other business interests.  Among these businesses were Martin Borchert Co., ASCO Hardware, Dtection Systems Inc. and Component Systems Inc.  In 2005 he was inducted into the Arkansas Construction Hall of Fame.

Mayor Borchert was elected to the Little Rock City Board of Directors in 1964 and served from January 1965 through December 1968. He chose not to seek a second term.  In 1967 and 1968 he served as Mayor of Little Rock. During this time, he laid out the vision for what has become Riverfront Park along the Arkansas River.

Other civic achievements included being a member of the Board of the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, being on the Governor’s Citizens Advisory Committee, a member of the Pulaski County Quorum Court, vice chairman of the Arkansas Planning Commission, and being on the Little Rock Air Force Base Community Council. In 1967 he served on the President’s National Advisory Council to the Small Business Administration. Mayor Borchert served on the Little Rock Water Commission, including a tenure as chairman. In 1985, he was chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Policy Board and as chairman oversaw the transfer of the Central Arkansas Transit system to the Central Arkansas Transit Authority. One of the achievements of which he was very proud of was that he was one of the very first in Arkansas to receive an Adopt the Highway road.

Mayor Borchert was married for 57 years to Rosemary “Biddy” Branch Borchert.  They had two children, a son, John “Topper” Borchert and a daughter, Leslie Borchert Wilson.  He died on May 11, 2007.

4th Annual Tinkerfest today at Museum of Discovery

tinkerfestThe Museum of Discovery presents its fourth annual Tinkerfest from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, offering the public a chance to discover how everyday objects such as cars and computers work, and opportunities to explore the engineering and science behind building objects.

More than 40 stations will be set up both inside and outside the museum. Among the activities Tinkerfest visitors can engage in:  

  • Toy take-apart
  • Car take-apart
  • Water exploration activities
  • Marshmallow shooters
  • Tiny drawings
  • Light painting
  • “How to make” workshops
  • Squishy circuits
  • Cardboard maze
  • Construction for kids

There also will be food trucks at Tinkerfest selling a variety of food.

“Tinkerfest is one of the great days of the year at the Museum of Discovery,” said Kelley Bass, museum CEO. “It’s invigorating to see hundreds of families engaged in hands-on activities that are as instructional as they are enjoyable. Tinkerfest is directly aligned with the museum’s mission, and we’re happy the public has embraced it so enthusiastically.”

Cross Gunter Witherspoon and Galchus is Tinkerfest’s presenting sponsor. The event is also made possible through financial support from Welspun Tubular; Arkansas Discovery Network; East-Harding Construction; AT&T; Entergy Arkansas; Central Arkansas Water; Nabholz Construction; Arkansas School for Math, Science and Arts; Acxiom; Ace Glass; Caterpillar; VCC; and Spectra Entergy.

Tinkerfest activities are included in the museum’s regular daily admission: $10 for adults, $8 for children 1-12 and free for infants younger than 1. Seniors, teachers, Little Rock city employees and active and retired military are admitted for $8.

To learn more about Tinkerfest, visit https://www.museumofdiscovery.org/events/tinkerfest 

Museum of Discovery’s mission is to ignite a passion for science, technology and math in a dynamic, interactive environment.

Little Rock Look Back: Ark Municipal League President R. E. Overman

Overman

Mayor Overman in a photo from a campaign flyer

The Arkansas Municipal League is having the 2014 convention and celebrating its 80th anniversary this week here in Little Rock.  The first meeting took place in 1934 at the Hotel Marion.

On Friday, Mayor Mark Stodola will become the sixth Little Rock city official to be president of the Arkansas Municipal League.

Each day this week will feature a look at a previous Little Rock leader who led AML.

Mayor Richard “R. E.” Overman, was the third president of the Arkansas Municipal League serving in 1937.  While he was AML president, he started his second two year term as Little Rock Mayor.

First elected in April 1935, he was re-elected in April 1937.  Mayor Overman led efforts to create the first public water utility in Little Rock and to upgrade the wastewater system.  He also worked with the various New Deal programs to build up the city’s infrastructure.  In November 1936, he asked the City Council to call a special election for January 1937 to pass the bonds to allow for the construction of a new municipal auditorium. That initiative was passed by the voters.  Mayor Overman spent much of his last two years in office dealing with the water, wastewater and auditorium projects.

Mayor Overman was defeated in a bid for a third term in 1939.  He continued to live in Little Rock until his death in April 1947.