arkansas histirical society

The influence of Southeast Arkansas in the Arkansas Historical Association will be subject of the October 19 Lakeport Legacies history talk at the Lakeport Plantation in Lake Village.

Early leaders of Arkansas Historical Association included many prominent southeast Arkansans. Desha County Judge J. L. “Jud” Erwin and Dermott native Capt. John C. Hammock, a graduate of West Point, both served as president of the Arkansas Historical Association. Early board members included oilman Col. T. H. Barton of El Dorado and State Senator Lee Reeves, the first director of AETN. Formed in 1941, the Arkansas Historical Association publishes the Arkansas Historical Quarterly and is Arkansas’s foremost organization for the preservation, writing, publishing, teaching, and understanding of the state’s history.

Maylon Rice, an Arkansas Historical Association board member, will give the presentation.

The event gets underway at 5 p.m. with refreshments and conversation, and the program starts at 5:30 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. Lakeport Plantation is located at 601 Hwy 142, in Lake Village. For more information and to register, contact Dr. Blake Wintory at 870-265-6031.

Rice, a native of Warren, started as an 8th grade “Printer’s Devil” at the Warren Eagle-Democrat, the second oldest continuous business in Warren and Bradley County. He first ran across an issue of the Arkansas Historical Quarterly there in the Eagle office as the late Bob Newton, longtime editor/publisher of the weekly newspaper told him: “Read this, it will tell you more about Arkansas history than any textbook over at Warren High or any current college textbook in Arkansas.” So his love affair with history and journalism began.

Rice attended Henderson State College in Arkadelphia, majoring in history and journalism. In December 1977, he became one of the youngest newspaper editors at the McGehee-Dermott Times-News serving Desha and Chicot Counties. He has since held newspaper posts at Wynne, Little Rock (working for the iconic John Robert Starr) and later editor of the Benton County Daily Democrat (now the Benton County Record). Even with a career change at age 40, Rice continued to write newspaper columns for The Blytheville Courier and others. After moving back to Northwest Arkansas, Rice, in 1992 re-started his newspaper career at the Northwest Arkansas Times, during that time, Rice was a guest commentator on the AETN Public Affairs program “Arkansas Week.” He was awarded the Arkansas Associated Press’ top correspondents award for his coverage of the University of Arkansas campus for his work at the NW Arkansas Times. Always interested in history, Rice has been a member of the AHA and became a life member in the later 1998. He currently has a newspaper column in the Prairie Grove, Farmington, Lincoln, Siloam Springs and Bella Vista newspapers.

In 2015, Rice was elected to the Arkansas Historical Association Board of Directors. He is currently in his second three-year term on the AHA. He is the president-elect of the Washington County Historical Association in Fayetteville. He is an avid reader of Arkansas books and Arkansas newspapers.

Lakeport Legacies is a monthly history talk held on the last Thursday at the Lakeport Plantation during the spring and summer. Each month a topic from the Delta region is featured. The Lakeport Plantation is an Arkansas State University Heritage Site. Constructed in 1859, Lakeport is one of Arkansas’s premier historic structures and still retains many of its original finishes and architectural details.

Open to the public since 2007, Lakeport researches and interprets the people and cultures that shaped plantation life in the Mississippi River Delta, focusing on the Antebellum, Civil War and Reconstruction Periods.

Arkansas Heritage Sites at Arkansas State University develops and operates historic properties of regional and national significance in the Arkansas Delta. A-State’s Heritage Sites include the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center, Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, Lakeport Plantation, the Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash, and the Arkansas State University Museum.