Little Rock Look Back: Ages of Little Rock Mayors

With the election of Frank D. Scott, Jr., as Little Rock’s next mayor, there have been questions about the ages of Little Rock’s past mayors.

Mayor-elect Scott will become Little Rock’s 73rd mayor when he takes office on January 1, 2019..  There have been sixty-six other men and women serve as mayor of Little Rock.  Much like Grover Cleveland is counted twice in the list of US presidents because of serving non-sequential terms, there have been six men who have served non-sequential terms as Little Rock’s mayor and are therefore counted twice.

Of the seventy-three mayors of Little Rock (including Mayor-elect Scott), the ages are known of fifty-eight at the the time they took office.

Of those fifty eight, the youngest mayor of Little Rock was Eli Colby. He took office in 1843 at the age of 28.  The next youngest is Pat L. Robinson who took office a month after turning 29.

The oldest person to take office as mayor was 66 year old Haco Boyd in 1969. The next oldest was 64 year old David Fulton in 1835.

The average age upon taking office is 45.

The largest gap of years between the ages of sequential mayors at the start of their terms was 31 years. Webster Hubbell was 31 when he took office in 1979. He was succeeded by 62 year old Charles Bussey in 1981.

The shortest gap of ages of sequential mayors at the start of their terms was roughly one year.  W.W. Stevenson and Elijah A. More (yes he spelled his name with only one “O”).  In 1833, Stevenson took office at the age of 35. The next year, More took office at the age of 34. Stevenson’s birthday was on January 29 and More’s was on January 20.

Here is the list of the ten youngest mayors of Little Rock at known age of starting their term:
1. Eli Colby — 28 in September 1843
2. Pat L. Robinson  — 29 in April 1929
3. Webster L. Hubbell — 31 in June 1979
4. J. G. Botsford — 32 in January 1871
5. William E. Ashley — 33 in January 1857
6. John E. Knight — 34 in January 1851 (34 years and 3 months)
7. Harold E. “Sonney” Henson, Jr. — 34 in January 1965 (34 years and 5 months)
8.  Elijah A. More – 34 in January 1834 (34 years and 11 months)
9.  Frank D. Scott, Jr. – 35 in January 2019 (35 years and 1 month)
10. Thomas A. Prince – 35 in January 1985 (35 years and 4 months)

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Little Rock Look Back: Central & Hall Football at 2-0

lrchs-lrhhsAfter two weeks of prep gridiron (that is high school football to those who don’t write like a 1950s inky wretch), Little Rock Central and Little Rock Hall are both posting records of 2 wins and 0 losses.  This feat has not been achieved in quite a while.

How long?  37 seasons!  It was 1979, the last time that the Tigers and Warriors were both out of the gate at 2-0.

1979

Jimmy Carter was in the White House. Bill Clinton was in his first term as Governor. First Lady Hillary Rodham was several months pregnant with Chelsea. Hall High and Razorback standout Webb Hubbell was Mayor of Little Rock.  The City’s population was in the 150,000s (it would be 159,151 after the 1980 census).  Little Rock had an area of approximately 80 square miles.  (Today it is approximately 200,000 citizens over 122 square miles.)

Lou Holtz was coaching the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Southwest Conference.  Harry Hall was in his first season as Commissioner of the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference.  Rex Nelson was a student at Ouachita.  Paul Eells was in his second year with KATV, while Dave Woodman was finishing his first decade at KARK.  Gary Hogan was anchoring sports for KTHV.  Hogs football games were broadcast on KAAY radio.  While Bob Buice and Jim Elder were ruling the airwaves at KARN, Craig O’Neill was dominating mornings at KLAZ.

Orville Henry, Jim Bailey, and Wadie Moore covered college and high school sports for the Arkansas Gazette.  The Arkansas Democrat had switched to morning delivery and hired John Robert Starr as editor.  Both papers carried ads for Kempners, Golds, M.M. Cohn, Skaggs Albertsons, Minute Man, Union National Bank, Commercial National Bank, Worthen National Bank, and First National Bank.

Metrocentre Mall existed with bricked over streets on Main and Capitol. The Grady Manning Hotel and Hotel Marion still stood (though in their twilight days before their February 1980 date with demolition.)

So a lot has changed since Central and Hall previously achieved this.  In the interval, Central has been 2-0 a dozen times and Hall has achieved that a brace. But the schools never managed it during the same season.  Three times the schools both managed 1-1 seasons and seven times they each started at 0-2.

The 1979 Warriors were helmed by C. W. Keopple, who would lead the team from the 1960s into the 1980s winning four conference/state titles. (When your conference is statewide, winning one got you the other.)  Bernie Cox was in his fifth season as the Tigers’ mentor, with two state championships already under his belt, five more would be in his future.

The teams stayed tied through the fourth week. But in the fifth week, while Central won, Hall lost to Parkview by a score of 7-0.  The following week, the Warriors rebounded, while the Tigers settled for a 0 to 0 tie with Ole Main.  Weeks seven through ten saw both teams notching another win each week.  This set up a Thanksgiving Day classic with the state’s top two teams facing off.  Central was slightly favored, but season records seldom carried any weight when the two cross-town rivals played on Thanksgiving afternoon.  In an upset, Hall bested Central by a score of 17 to 0.

From 1987 to 1990, the second game of the season was the Hall-Central matchup, which meant that it would have been impossible to both start with a 2-0 record.  This second week matchup was made necessary by the fact that not only could the two teams no longer face off on Thanksgiving after 1982, but the two schools were not in the same conference from 1983 through 2000. So the faceoff was early in the season, during the non-conference portion.

Due to subsequent restructurings by the Arkansas Activities Association, the two schools have not played a football game since 2005.  The bell from the “Battle of the Bell” which was supposed to replace the pageantry and intense rivalry of the Thanksgiving Day matchups, sat forlornly and largely forgotten in the trophy case at Central following the 2005 edition which Central won by a score of 24 to 7.  (That season Central started at 0-2 on the way to a 5-5 record and Hall started at 1-1 on the way to a 3-7 record.)  UPDATE: As noted in a comment on this piece, the Bell has now been refurbished and sits proudly at Quigley Stadium.  Thank you Belinda Stilwell for the information!

Who knows how the 2016 season will turn out for these two teams?  In the past 2-0 has led both to State Championships and to a 6-4 record.  But for two schools that have struggled in the past few seasons, to start with a 2-0 record is quite an accomplishment. For both to start with that record is remarkable.

 

While the blog hiatus and a restructuring continue, this was a bit of history that needed mentioning.

Little Rock Look Back: Mayor Webb Hubbell

Mayor HubbellOn January 18, 1948, future Little Rock Mayor Webster “Webb” Hubbell was born. After playing football in high school, he played for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.  He also received his law degree from the U of A.

At the age of 30, already a successful attorney, Hubbell was appointed to the Little Rock City Board of Directors to fill a vacancy in September 1978.  In 1980, he was elected to a four year term on the City Board.

In June 1979, there was a vacancy in the office of Mayor of Little Rock.  Hubbell was selected by his fellow City Directors to serve as Mayor until December 1980.  In January 1981, he was selected to serve another term as Mayor.  In June 1981, he stepped down as Mayor but continued to serve on the City Board of Directors.

In 1984, Hubbell was appointed to serve as Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court to finish out the term of Richard B. Adkisson.  Following his service on the court, he returned to the practice of law at the Rose Law Firm.  He later served as the Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration.

Hubbell resigned from the Justice Department due to an investigation related to Whitewater.  He has been an author and management consultant.  His novel, When Men Betray, was published by Beaufort Books in May 2014.  His next novel Ginger Snaps was released in May 2015.  A Game of Inches, another mystery novel, will be released in 2016.

LR Look Back: Webb Hubbell, Little Rock 64th Mayor

Mayor HubbellOn January 18, 1948, future Little Rock Mayor Webster “Webb” Hubbell was born. After playing football in high school, he played for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.  He also received his law degree from the U of A.

At the age of 30, already a successful attorney, Hubbell was appointed to the Little Rock City Board of Directors to fill a vacancy in September 1978.  In 1980, he was elected to a four year term on the City Board.

In June 1979, there was a vacancy in the office of Mayor of Little Rock.  Hubbell was selected by his fellow City Directors to serve as Mayor until December 1980.  In January 1981, he was selected to serve another term as Mayor.  In June 1981, he stepped down as Mayor but continued to serve on the City Board of Directors.

In 1984, Hubbell was appointed to serve as Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court to finish out the term of Richard B. Adkisson.  Following his service on the court, he returned to the practice of law at the Rose Law Firm.  He later served as the Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration.

Hubbell resigned from the Justice Department due to an investigation related to Whitewater.  Following conviction and serving time in prison, he has been an author and management consultant.  His novel, When Men Betray, was published by Beaufort Books in May 2014.  This coming May, his next novel Ginger Snaps will be released.

Little Rock Look Back: Webb Hubbell, Little Rock’s 64th Mayor

https://i2.wp.com/www.webbhubbell.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Webb_0951-240x155.jpgOn January 18, 1948, future Little Rock Mayor Webster “Webb” Hubbell was born. After playing football in high school, he played for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.  He also received his law degree from the U of A.

At the age of 30, already a successful attorney, Hubbell was appointed to the Little Rock City Board of Directors to fill a vacancy in September 1978.  In 1980, he was elected to a four year term on the City Board.

In June 1979, there was a vacancy in the office of Mayor of Little Rock.  Hubbell was selected by his fellow City Directors to serve as Mayor until December 1980.  In January 1981, he was selected to serve another term as Mayor.  In June 1981, he stepped down as Mayor but continued to serve on the City Board of Directors.

In 1984, Hubbell was appointed to serve as Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court to finish out the term of Richard B. Adkisson.  Following his service on the court, he returned to the practice of law at the Rose Law Firm.  He later served as the Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration.

Hubbell resigned from the Justice Department due to an investigation of his billing practices at the Rose Law Firm, which stemmed from the Whitewater investigation.  Following conviction, he served time in prison.  Since his release he has been an author and management consultant.  His novel, When Men Betray, will be published by Beaufort Books in May 2014.