Little Rock Look Back: Twelve Aldermen Jailed

The Pulaski County Courthouse where the 12 Little Rock aldermen were arraigned.

The Pulaski County Courthouse where the 12 Little Rock aldermen were arraigned.

On Monday, December 4, 1939, a dozen of Little Rock’s aldermen reported to the county jail to serve sentences for contempt of court.  The previous Monday, the twelve council members had voted against an ordinance which had been ordered by the judge in an improvement district matter.  The other aldermen had either voted in the affirmative or had been absent.  Because the twelve had refused to change their votes since that meeting, the judge ordered them jailed.

At the hearing, the judge brought each alderman up one by one. This seemed to be in order to further embarrass the aldermen.  The judge also interviewed Mayor J. V. Satterfield and City Clerk H. C. “Sport” Graham to put on the record that they had counseled the aldermen to obey the judge’s order.

Mrs. C. C. Conner, the only female alderman, was not jailed but was fined $50. The eleven men were held at the jail, though not in cells.  Newspaper photos showed the men playing cards in a conference room.  In order to get out of jail, the judge gave the aldermen the chance to change their votes.

Mayor J. V. Satterfield plead with the judge to let the aldermen leave the jail to attend the meeting at City Hall, which was nearby.  He requested that the city be allowed to maintain “what little dignity remained” by not having the meeting at the jail.  The judge relented, and the aldermen were escorted by deputies to the council chambers.

After the aldermen changed their votes, the judge suspended the remainder of their sentences.  The sentences were not vacated, they were only suspended.  The judge admonished them that should they attempt to reverse their reversal, he would throw them back in jail.

Architects of Little Rock the focus of June’s Legacies & Lunch

Architects of LR bookCharles Witsell and Gordon Wittenberg, retired principals of Little Rock architecture firms and co-authors of the newly released Architects of Little Rock: 1833-1950, will discuss Little Rock’s architectural history at Legacies & Lunch on Wednesday, June 4, noon-1 p.m. in the CALS Main Library’s Darragh Center, 100 Rock Street.

Witsell and Wittenberg are retired principals of WER Architects/Planners (Witsell, Evans and Rasco) and WD&D (Wittenberg, Delony and Davidson). Architects of Little Rock: 1833-1950 profiles thirty-five architects, including George R. Mann, Thomas Harding, Charles L. Thompson, and more. Famous buildings such as the Arkansas State Capitol, St. Andrews Cathedral, the Pulaski County Court House, Central High School, and Robinson Auditorium are showcased as well. Copies of the book will be available for purchase; Wittenberg and Witsell will sign copies after their talk.

Legacies & Lunch, the Butler Center’s monthly lecture series, is free, open to the public, and supported in part by the Arkansas Humanities Council. Programs are held from noon-1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. Attendees are invited to bring a sack lunch; drinks and dessert are provided. For more information, contact 918-3033.

Architeaser – June 4

Yesterday’s Architeaser featured wrought iron dragons which grace the doorways to the Pulaski County Courthouse on Markham Street.  There are three sets of these dragons which were incorporated to the George Mann designed structure.

Here, for today, is another set of mythical creatures.

Architeaser June 1

Yesterday’s Architeaser was one of the terra cotta faces emerging from the facade of the original part of the Pulaski County Courthouse.  Designed by Maximilian A. Orlopp in Romanesque Revival style, the building features ornate imagery in the red painted portions of the building which frame the stone work and roof line. The building was built from 1887 to 1889.

Today’s Architeaser is not a George Mann nor a Pulaski County Courthouse face.

Architeaser May 31

May’s penultimate Architeaser was one of the helmeted heads which overlook doors to the Pulaski County Courthouse.   Like the May 29 Genies and Union Life Building, the Courthouse and helmeted heads were the brainchild of George R. Mann.  The courthouse was an expansion of the original 1880s courthouse which this adjoins.  Mann did not try to duplicate the architecture of the original structure but instead built an impressive neo-classical “governmental” building which has a more timeless look than the original structure.

Here is today’s Architeaser.

Architeaser – May 10

Yesterday’s Architeaser featured one of the iron lamps on the Markham Street facade of the Pulaski County Courthouse. They are just one of the numerous elements which decorate that edifice including wrought ron gates and carvings in granite.

Here is today’s Architeaser which is appropriate to showcase during the Year of the Dragon.