Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Civil War Marker to be Placed at Oak Grove

This past Saturday, at the Faulkner County Museum's Holiday Open House, about 100 people were in attendance to see a Civil War marker dedicated.  This marker will be placed near the gazebo at Historic Oak Grove Cemetery and was made possible by the Faulkner County Museum and the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.

Carol Rolf recently wrote an article for the River Valley Ozark edition of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette about the marker.  Oak Grove is very honored to have been chosen by the Museum as the location for its installation.

Be sure to read Carol's article (and see Eilish Palmer's photo) at this link:

Oak Grove and Central Landing

Historic Oak Grove Cemetery was recently featured in a front-page article in Conway's Log Cabin Democrat newspaper.  Michelle Corbet did a great job of interviewing the key people and summarizing how the cemetery and the city worked together.  Give the article a read when you get a chance, and be sure to thank the City Council and Planning Department for their help in making sure our historic cemetery maintains its character.  We look forward to seeing the Central Landing development take off!


Tombstone Tuesday - Guy Estes (1888-1944)

Guy Estes
b. 1 January 1888
d. 13 November 1944
1 Lieut. Corps of Engrs.

Guy "Big Dan" Estes enrolled at the University of Arkansas in 1909 where he decided to play football for the first time in his life.  Coach Hugo Bezdek saw promise in Estes and his six-foot three-inches, 240 pound frame.  He lettered with the Razorbacks four times and eventually graduated in 1914.  Shortly before World War I, Estes came to Arkansas Normal School (today’s UCA) as a math professor and coach of track, basketball, baseball, and football.  He soon joined the Army and served at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, and on the Mexican border.  After the war, he returned to the Normal School where he was known for interesting pre-season football camps including having his team hike 30 miles to Thornburg in Perry County where they would train and camp for 2 weeks.  Estes retired from his coaching duties in 1933, but continued to teach math and served as the Dean of Men.  During World War II, he performed pioneering work in civil aeronautics on the UCA campus as the coordinator for the first pilot training unit which helped prepare and train pilots to fly during the war.  As an avid wildlife enthusiast, Estes helped stock Lake Conway along with most lakes and rivers in Faulkner County for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.  In 1964, Estes was named to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame; in 2001, he was inducted into the UCA Hall of Fame.  The football stadium at UCA has been named Estes Field in his honor.[1]

[1] Bryant, Jimmy. "Guy "Big Dan" Estes: A Man for All Seasons." Unknown. University of Central Arkansas Archives. 22 February 2007 <http://archives.uca.edu/uca_History/Dan%20Estes.htm>.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Ida Baridon Frauenthal (1868-1947)

Ida Baridon Frauenthal
b. 5 February 1868
d. 10 August 1947

Ida Baridon Frauenthal was the wife of Jo Frauenthal, the daughter of a local preacher, and the niece of Asa P. Robinson, the founder of Conway.  She served as the president of Arkansas' Federation of Women's Clubs, was a member of Arkansas' Defense Board, and did committee work to select a state flag.  Baridon Hall on the University of Central Arkansas campus and Baridon Street are named in her honor in recognition of her work for Arkansas women.  Mr. and Mrs. Frauenthal owned a 40 acre estate that had 5,000 square feet and 22 rooms which was considered the finest and most palatial home in Conway for many years. [1]  The Frauenthal house was designed by Charles L. Thompson around 1913 and is currently occupied by Conway Regional Medical Center.  The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

[1] Phillips, Ellie. "Faulkner County's Most Influential People: #7 Jo Frauenthal." 25 June 1999. Log Cabin Democrat. 13 August 2008 <http://www.thecabin.net/influential/7.html>.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2014 Voluntary Taxes

Citizens of Conway, did you know that you have an easy way to help support Historic Oak Grove Cemetery?  When paying your property taxes this month or in October, be sure to include a contribution to "Conway Cemeteries." Oak Grove receives a portion of that voluntary tax millage and we very much appreciate your help!

Of course, contributions to Historic Oak Grove Cemetery directly are always tax-deductible and welcome!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - John Hugh Reynolds (1869-1954)

John Hugh Reynolds
b. 3 January 1869
d. 26 June 1954

John Reynolds was born near Enola in Faulkner County in 1869.  He graduated from Hendrix College in 1893 and went on to earn his MA degree from the University of Chicago.  He returned to Hendrix as a history and political science professor and eventually served a four year tenure as the college’s vice president.  He was hired by the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in 1902 and while there, his interest in Arkansas history led to his organization of the forerunner of the Arkansas Historical Association.  In 1905, he authored a textbook, served as the Arkansas State Teacher’s Association president, and drafted the legislation that established the Arkansas History Commission.  Reynolds returned to Hendrix as its president in 1913 and served in that capacity until 1945.  Under his leadership, Hendrix received accreditation from the North Central Association, its endowment reached $1,000,000, and he secured funds from the General Education Board of New York for a new science building. [1] Reynolds was known for his ability to recruit and retain quality faculty which helped Hendrix’s national recognition increase.  Outside of Hendrix, he was elected as a delegate to the Sixth Arkansas Constitutional Convention.  In 1950, the science building he helped fund was named in his honor by the Hendrix Board of Trustees.  The Morrilton School district named one of its elementary schools after Reynolds in 1957. [2]

[1] Baker, Russell P. "John Hugh Reynolds." 15 November 2006. Encyclopedia of Arkansas. 22 February 2007 <http://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?search=1&entryID=2898>.
[2] Faulkner County Historical Society. Faulkner County: Its Land and People. Ed. Doris B. Dolan, Hattie Ann Kelso and Corinne H. Robinson. Conway: River Road Press, 1986.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - William M. Lea (1817-1887)

William M. Lea, D.D.
b. 26 July 1817
d. 14 June 1887
"Moved to Tenn. at age of 20 years. Joined the Baptist Church in 1852.
Sent by MB to Ark. Spent his life in the cause of Christ.
Died near Conway"

William M. Lea was born in North Carolina and served as a Baptist Missionary in Tennessee. He came to Arkansas in 1852 where he was instrumental in starting many churches in the eastern part of the state.[1] "Sometimes pastor of churches; sometimes performing missionary labor; with his headquarters at someplace; but his home at no place, and yet he seemed to be really at home wherever duty called him." Prior to the Civil War, Rev. Lea served as the president of the Arkansas Baptist State Conventions and as the Chaplin of the Arkansas State Senate.[2] Rev. Lea moved to Conway in about 1873 and served as the pastor for First Baptist Church from 1877-1882.[3] Rev. Lea was one of the ministers who performed the formal rites for the dedication of Oak Grove Cemetery in 1881.

[1] Kirkland, Rick L. Descendant of William M. Lea.
[2] Watson, P.G.S. A Bio of William M Lea, written in 1881. Online at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=97000687&ref=acom.
[3] Kirkland.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - George Washington Bruce (1838-1919)

George Washington Bruce
b. 30 October 1838
d. 11 November 1919
"He Served His Generation"
"I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith."

George W. Bruce was born in South Carolina, but moved to Georgia following the death of his father in 1841. He enlisted in the Confederate Army, took part in the second Battle of Manassas, advanced to the rank of colonel, and was captured by the Union and held in a Federal prison until the end of the war. After moving to Conway in 1873, Bruce became instrumental in establishing both Central Baptist College and Hendrix College. He also practiced law and tried the first murder case in Faulkner County; his client was acquitted.[1] Bruce became the first president of the Oak Grove Cemetery organization on March 9, 1880. He was elected to the State House of Representatives in 1881 and served as mayor of Conway from 1917-1919.[2] The street on which Oak Grove Cemetery was built was later named Bruce Street in his honor.

[1] Gatewood, Robert L. Conway and Faulkner County: 1820-1961. n.d.
[2] Faulkner County Historical Society. Faulkner County: Its Land and People. Ed. Doris B. Dolan, Hattie Ann Kelso and Corinne H. Robinson. Conway: River Road Press, 1986.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Coming Soon: Columbarium at Oak Grove

The Oak Grove Cemetery Board has embarked on a major project, the construction of an in-ground columbarium area.  Landscape architect Barry Williams of Crafton Tull is in charge of the design.  This project has been in the works for some time, and as soon as plans are finalized, construction will begin.  The columbarium garden is to be constructed southeast of the gazebo, which is located in the heart of the cemetery and was donated some years ago by the Robinette family.  We are very pleased that Patricia Thessing, immediate past president, remains involved in the planning and fundraising for the columbarium project.  We hope you'll watch here as plans develop and construction begins!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A New Year at Oak Grove

Every January, new board members join Oak Grove and we are very pleased to welcome Elizabeth Cohen, Shirley Merritt, and Linda Rogers in 2014!  Following an orientation get-together, the new members attended their first meeting in January.

We are very thankful for the service of both Patricia Thessing and Sue Siria, whose terms ended in December.  Patricia has most recently served as the President of the Board where she championed the recent beautification efforts at the cemetery.  Sue has most recently served as the Secretary of the Board.  The cemetery is all the better for them having served it!

A new slate of officers was also selected at the January meeting:
Carol Powers - President
Jason Hansen - Vice-President
Brenda Collier - Secretary
Chris Odom - Treasurer

Great things are happening at Oak Grove Cemetery and we invite you to visit any time!  Keep watching for more exciting news to come throughout the year.