Little Rock Look Back: Charles Moyer, LR’s 44th and 49th mayor

On April 18, 1880, future Little Rock Mayor Charles E. Moyer was born in Glenwood, Minnesota. A man of contradictions, he was both a candidate backed by (and probably personally involved in) the Ku Klux Klan, yet he also brought the Goodwill Industries organization to Little Rock and Arkansas to help those less fortunate.

He came to Little Rock shortly after the turn of the 20th century as a clerk in the Post Office, and later served as a mail carrier. He then worked for Plunkett-Jarrell Wholesale Grocer Company in Little Rock. On January 1, 1921, he took office as County Judge for Pulaski County. In 1924, he ran against incumbent mayor Ben Brickhouse in the Democratic primary. Since Brickhouse had displeased the Klan, which was an active part of Democratic politics in Little Rock and throughout the nation at the time, Moyer won the primary.

Mayor Moyer led the City of Little Rock from April 1925 through April 1929. In 1927, the last lynching in Little Rock took place. While race-baiting crowds were surrounding City Hall demanding an African American prisoner be released to them for vigilante justice, Mayor Moyer was in hiding at an undisclosed location. Not able to get the prisoner they wanted, they took out their venom on another man who had assaulted a white woman and her daughter.

Mayor Moyer sought a third term, but was defeated in the 1928 Democratic primary.  After leaving office in 1929, Moyer moved for a time to Batesville. He returned to Little Rock and was a chief deputy sheriff. From 1937 to 1941, he served as Pulaski County Assessor. In 1941, he returned to the office of Little Rock Mayor after J. V. Satterfield opted to serve only one term and did not seek re-election. Mayor Moyer led Little Rock through most of World War II. He left office in April 1945 and died on May 29, 1945, barely one month after leaving City Hall.

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Women Making History – Terri Hollingsworth

On January 1, 2019, Terri Hollingsworth was sworn in as Circuit/County Clerk for Pulaski County.  She is the first African American female to hold the position (and, indeed the first African American of either gender to do so).

Ms. Hollingsworth has worked in management positions in both the public and private sectors and nonprofit organizations. She has served on all levels of government and began her career working for the City of Little Rock as a city planner and later as the economic development administrator. Ms. Hollingsworth has also worked for Arkansas Secretary of State Sharon Priest and was tapped to be the Director of the State Board of Election Commissioners. She managed the board’s daily operations and $3.2 million budget, monitored and effectively communicated the state’s position on election legislation, conducted statewide poll worker training, and was the liaison and primary contact to legislators.

Ms. Hollingsworth served as the Chief Administrative Officer at the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and oversaw the daily operations of the federal agency, supervision of staff and operational management of board members, elected officials and stakeholders. Terri remains an active member of the Delta Leadership Network which supports the DRA’s work in eight states and the efforts of the Delta Leadership Institute. Before her election, Ms. Hollingsworth served as a senior advisor for business strategy at Peter Damon Group, a national strategic public affairs, business development and event management services firm.

Ms. Hollingsworth is a member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Links, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, and is on the board of Audubon Arkansas. A graduate of Howard University in Washington D.C., she earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Happy Birthday to Count Casimir Pulaski

On March 6, 1745, Casimir Pulaski was born in Poland. A Polish nobleman and military commander he has been called a “father of the American cavalry.”

Born in Warsaw, he followed in his father’s footsteps he became involved in the military and the revolutionary affairs in Poland. Pulaski was one of the leading military commanders for the Bar Confederation and fought against Russian domination of Poland. When this uprising failed, he was driven into exile.

Following a recommendation by Benjamin Franklin, Pulaski emigrated to North America to help in the cause of the American Revolutionary War. He distinguished himself throughout the revolution, most notably when he saved the life of George Washington.

Pulaski became a general in the Continental Army, created the Pulaski Cavalry Legion and reformed the American cavalry as a whole. At the Battle of Savannah, while leading a daring charge against British forces, he was gravely wounded, and died shortly thereafter.

Pulaski is one of only eight people to be awarded honorary United States citizenship. He never married and had no descendants.

Arkansas is one of several states to have a county named in honor of Count Pulaski.  Pulaski County was Arkansas’s fifth county, formed on December 15, 1818.

Newspaper man, Sheriff, County Judge, Senator and Baseball promoter: WILLIAM MARMADUKE KAVANAUGH

On March 3, 1866, William Marmaduke Kavanaugh was born in Alabama. He later moved with his family to Kentucky before coming to Little Rock as a newspaper reporter.

Kavanaugh served as editor and manager of the Arkansas Gazette before entering politics.  From 1896 until 1900, he served as Pulaski County Sheriff, which at the time also included the duties of tax collector.

From 1900 until 1904, he was County Judge of Pulaski County.  In that capacity he helped wrangle several cities, railroads and trolley lines to create a compromise which lead to the completion of the Third Street Viaduct which connected Little Rock with Pulaski Heights. It is still in use today.

After leaving his post as County Judge, he had a varied career in banking and business interests.

When Senator Jeff Davis died in early January 1913, he left the last few weeks of his term incomplete as well as the new term he was set to start in March 1913.  There was much interest in who would fill the remainder of Davis’ current term, because that person might be the frontrunner to also fill out the new term.  (This was at the time that the U.S. Senators were still selected by state legislatures.) Defeated Governor George Donaghey appointed J. N. Heiskell to fill out the term. But once the Arkansas General Assembly convened in mid-January, they overrode Donaghey’s appointment and replaced Heiskell with Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh served in the Senate from January 29, 1913 until March 3, 1913.  He was succeeded by Joseph T. Robinson who had only recently taken office as Governor.  Speculation was that Kavanaugh would not want the full six year term, so that he was acceptable choice to all of the politicians jockeying for the full appointment.  From 1912 until 1915, he was an Arkansas member of the Democratic National Committee.

Another interest of Kavanaugh’s was baseball.  He served as president of the Southern Association minor league starting in 1903.  The baseball field in Little Rock situated at West End Park was named Kavanaugh Field in his honor.  It stood until the 1930s when it was replaced by what is now known as Quigley Stadium.  (In 1927, Little Rock High School had opened on the land which had been West End Park.)

Kavanaugh died on February 2, 1915 at the age of 48.  He is buried in Oakland Cemetery.

Prospect Road was renamed Kavanaugh Boulevard in his memory.

Rock the Oscars 2019: Elia Kazan

William H. Alden/Evening Standard, via Getty Image

Oscar winning director Elia Kazan married his second wife, actress Barbara Loden, in his son’s house on Alpine Court in Little Rock in 1967.  Chris Kazan was, by that time, a copy editor for the Arkansas Gazette.  He was also a Pulaski County Justice of the Peace and performed his father’s ceremony.  (At the time, the Pulaski County Quorum Court had so many justices of the peace-467-that it was the world’s largest legislative body.)

Elia Kazan’s first wife had died in 1963. He and Loden had known each other for several years before the wedding.  Kazan visited Little Rock frequently in the 1960s visiting his son.  While here, he would go to War Memorial Park to play tennis.

Kazan won two Oscars for directing: Gentlemen’s Agreement and On the Waterfront.  He was also nominated for helming A Streetcar Named Desire, East of Eden, and America America.  On the latter film he was also nominated for producing the film and for being a screenwriter.  All together, his films won 21 Oscars and received an additional 37 nominations.

In 1999, Kazan received an Honorary Oscar in tribute to his career.  Because he had “named names” before the House Un-American Activities Committee thereby abetting in the blacklisting of people suspected of being Communists, this recognition was not without controversy.  Approximately 250 people picketed that ceremony, and some in attendance did not applaud when he came out.  Earlier in the ceremony, comedian Robin Williams made light of the controversy by opining “Let Lainie Sing” a joking reference to the singer and actress Lainie Kazan (no relation).

Little Rock Look Back: David Fulton, LR’s 4th Mayor

On January 2, 1771 in Ireland, future Little Rock Mayor David Fulton was born.

He served as the fourth and final mayor of the Town of Little Rock in 1835. His term was cut short by the transition of Little Rock from town to city status. Once that happened in November 1835, a new election had to be held.

Mayor Fulton was also proprieter of the Tan Yard, a tanning operation in Little Rock.   He later served as a judge and was appointed as  Surveyor General of Public Lands in Arkansas by President Martin Van Buren in 1838.

Mayor Fulton married Elizabeth Savin in June 1795 in Maryland.  She died in November 1829, while they resided in Alabama.  One of their children was William Savin Fulton who served as Territorial Governor of Arkansas in 1835 and 1836 and was one of Arkansas’ first US Senators upon statehood in 1836.  Mayor Fulton was serving as Mayor at the same time his son was Governor.

Mayor Fulton came to Little Rock in 1833.  His daughter Jane Juliet Shall and her four children came to Little Rock as well.  The family made the move to be nearer to the future governor.  The Fultons and Shalls rented the Hinderliter House (now part of Historic Arkansas Museum) in 1834.  One of his descendants, Louise Loughborough was the person who saved the Hinderliter House from destruction and was founder of what is now Historic Arkansas Museum.

In addition to serving as Mayor, he was president of the Anti-Gambling Society and a Pulaski County Justice of the Peace.  From 1836 until 1838, he was County Judge of Pulaski County.

Mayor Fulton died on August 7, 1843 and is buried at Mount Holly Cemetery as are several other members of his family.

Little Rock Look Back: Creation of Pulaski County

On December 15, 1818, the Territory of Missouri created Pulaski County.  The same day, Clark and Hempstead Counties were also created.

The original Pulaski County includes both the present day entity bearing that name as well as all or part of Crawford County and Conway County (both created in 1820), Jefferson County (created in 1829), Scott County (created in 1833), White County (created in 1835), Saline County (created in 1835), Prairie County (created in 1846), Faulkner County (created in 1873), and Lonoke County (created in 1873).  Today, Pulaski County comprises 771 square miles.

The first County government met on May 24, 1819. It met at the home of Samuel McHenry, the first Pulaski County Judge.

Fourteen years after creating a Pulaski County in what is now Arkansas, the State of Missouri created its own Pulaski County.