Monday, March 18, 2013

New collections available at the Butler Center

MSS.98.46 Mollie Rice Flournoy Cross Scrapbook
Mollie Rice Flournoy Cross was born May 25, 1861, at Laconia in Desha County, Arkansas. She was the daughter of Thomas C. and Lucy Kirby Rice Flournoy. She married James Conquest Cross Jr., who was known as Colonel Cross because of his Civil War service and his participation in the Brooks-Baxter War. The Cross family owned a plantation in Desha County.

Mollie and James had three sons, James C. Jr., Clay and Thomas Flournoy. James Cross Jr. was killed in a gun fight at the age of 22. Thomas Flournoy married Sammie Barfield, and Clay married Victoria Goree. Clay and Victoria's daughter Mildred married prominent attorney Griffin Smith.

The family also owned a home in Little Rock, where Mollie made her home in her later years. Mollie Rice Cross died August 9, 1923.

MSS.99.08 Arkansas Delphian Assembly Scrapbook
The Delphian movement started as a correspondence course developed about 1910, by a council of scholars to provide women structure for continuing education following college. The council initially designed a six year course of study, later adding two additional six year courses. Headquartered in Chicago, the Delphian Society soon adopted an approach of endorsing the development of local "talking classes" that met together regularly to discuss the study material, using the Socratic Method. Rather than writing papers to be read at gatherings, students were taught to present the material from their reading assignments verbally and participate in discussions of it.

Although it started as a program of continuing education for those who had been to college, the Delphian Society soon decided that anyone who was interested in studying and willing to undertake the work should be included. Class sizes were limited to 50 or less, so that multiple chapters developed in the various cities. By 1930, about 300,000 women had enrolled in Delphian classes, participating in 3,000 chapters nationwide.

A group of women met in Little Rock in May 1929, to begin the process of establishing a statewide Delphian organization. There were nine Delphian Society chapters in Little Rock and another dozen active around the state. National Delphian field supervisor M. Alberta Maxon came to the state to help organize additional chapters, and also help organize the Arkansas Delphian Assembly. The state group adopted a constitution which was approved by the national organization in 1931. The material in this collection documents the activity of the state assembly through 1940.

While Delphian Society chapters were primarily study groups, they expanded their activities to include work in local schools and other forms of community service. Their motto became, "Not what we have, but what we share. In ceasing to share, we cease to have."

MSS.10.14 Leroy Scott City Pool Collection
The White City Amusement Company, founded in 1907, administered Forest Park, a streetcar park in the area now known as the Heights in Little Rock. In 1922, the company opened White City Pool. The park and the pool were acquired by the city in 1934 and administered by the Little Rock Recreation Commission (later the Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department). White City Pool closed after the summer of 1939, and the city's new swimming pool at Fair Park (now War Memorial Park) opened in the summer of 1941.

F. (Floyd) Leroy Scott was born March 9, 1899, in Kansas, to Thomas J. and Flora Scott. He became a teacher, and in the late 1920s, he and his wife Cleta moved to Little Rock, where both worked as teachers. In addition to his work as a teacher and principal in the Little Rock School District, Scott served on the Little Rock Recreation Commission. He administered the swimming program for the city of Little Rock for more than 20 years, first at White City Pool and later at the Fair Park Pool.

John Brooks, whose son Clyde donated this collection, is pictured in several of the photographs. He was a competitive swimmer in Little Rock and on the staff of both White City Pool and Fair Park Pool, and later founder of Brooks Pool Company of North Little Rock.

MSS.11.129 Civil War Letter from Unidentified Indiana Soldier
The author of this letter is a young man named Charles, writing to his mother and his sisters in Indiana. He was already in Helena, Arkansas, when his brigade arrived there on July 24, 1862, along with General Lew Wallace's Third Division. He wrote this letter the next day, saying that he was glad to be reunited with others from his home area. He is an articulate and interesting writer and gives personal information, news of acquaintances and war news. In addition to General Wallace, he mentions Union Generals Samuel Curtis and Alvin Hovey, and Confederate General M. Jeff Thompson.

MSS.11.130 Francis H. Bogg Civil War Letter
Francis H. Boggs, Jr., was born in Illinois on January 3, 1844, to Francis and Elizabeth Boggs. His family were farmers in McLean County, Illinois, in the summer of 1862, when President Lincoln made his call for troops. On August 20, Boggs enlisted in the 94th Illinois Infantry, made up entirely of men from McLean County. The unit was assigned to the Army of the Frontier, operating in Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas. A month after this letter was written, the regiment took part in the battle at Prairie Grove, in Arkansas. In January, the Army was camped at Forsyth, Missouri, when Boggs became ill. He died on January 31, 1863.

MSS.12.41 5th Kansas Cavalry Broadside
Ten days after the Battle of Pine Bluff, A. D. Brown, a member of the 5th Kansas Cavalry, published this broadside, giving a detailed account of the battle. Brown reported that he had published it "from a newspaper office from which its rebel editor had decamped." Twenty years later he reprinted it in The Burlington (Kansas) Patriot.

The 5th Kansas Cavalry and the 1st Indiana Cavalry arrived in Pine Bluff on September 14, 1863, both under the command of the 5th's General Powell Clayton. On October 25, 1863, these troops, aided by freedmen from the contraband camp, successfully defended the town from an attack by General John Marmaduke's Confederate forces.

Ansel D. Brown, a native of New York, worked as a printer in several Midwestern states, before settling in Greenwood County, Kansas. In July 1861, he enlisted in the 3rd Kansas Cavalry; he was later promoted to first lieutenant and transferred to Company F of the 5th Kansas. He returned to Kansas following his August 1864 discharge, and in December of that year began working as a printer for The Burlington Patriot. He later served as the newspaper's editor and publisher, and also as postmaster of the town of Burlington. He eventually left Kansas and lived in Oklahoma and Oregon, where he died in 1915.


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