On October 30, 1972, 127 people gathered for a banquet and organizational meeting to establish the Clark County Historical Association. Most of those present paid their annual dues of two dollars! Others joined shortly after that, reaching a total of 170 Charter Members. By the end of CCHA’s first year, membership had grown to 236. Since that auspicious beginning, the organization has worked for more than five decades to fulfill its mission of the discovery, preservation, and dissemination of the history of Clark County, Arkansas.
The CCHA holds monthly meetings, usually on the first Tuesday. The meetings feature programs and lectures pertinent to Clark County history; the public is always invited to attend and participate. The CCHA’s 501(c)3 status means that donations to the CCHA are tax deductible. New members are indeed welcome --- Go to the membership page to join and be a part of preserving the county’s rich heritage!
Today the Clark County Historical Association’s archival holdings exist as the largest and most significant collection of Clark County research resources available anywhere. Housed at the Ouachita Baptist University Library for more than four decades, the archives have grown to include hundreds of cubic feet of historical materials such as personal papers, business records, organizational records, church documents, genealogical research resources, county/local government records, photographs, newspapers, maps, and books. Thousands of historical and genealogical researchers have used these local history source materials nationwide. Major additions to the records placed in the CCHA’s care came in the 1990s, including many county government records from the courthouse attic and basement and the influx of even more records after the 1997 tornado. CCHA volunteers worked tirelessly to organize, preserve, and index the files. Today, Clark County is recognized in history and genealogical circles for offering outstanding access to its records. If you have questions about the area’s history or our organization, message us!
The Clark County Historical Association owns and preserves the Bozeman Cemetery, which includes an interpretive panel with information about the cemetery and the Bozeman family, a plat of a portion of the cemetery’s burial places, an image of Michael Bozeman, as well as a drawing depicting the jonquils that are so prolific on the property in the spring. The oldest known grave dates to 1840, and soldiers who died during the Civil War’s Camden Expedition are also believed to be buried there. The CCHA presents on-site programs about the cemetery from time to time.
The Clark County Historical Association recently acquired ownership of the historic Hollywood Methodist Church. No longer used for services, the church now houses several exhibits pertaining to the Hollywood community and regularly hosts CCHA programs and meetings. Markers and artifacts on the grounds describe the site’s history.
The Historical Association’s impressive print publication program has produced more volumes than any other organization of its kind in the state of Arkansas. Totaling over 120 works (70+ individual volumes in addition to the annual journal), the CCHA’s publications have included a newsletter, its award-winning annual journal, specialty booklets, tour brochures, records indexes, reference works, and compilations of special interest to particular portions of the county and genealogists. The largest endeavors have been the annual Journal (published since 1973), a mammoth county history (Clark County, Arkansas: Past and Present), and an every-grave inventory of the county (Clark County Cemeteries multi-volume set). Today, the CCHA’s works are found in libraries nationwide. Many of these books may be purchased via the Online Store.
The Association’s most visible activity has been its placement of dozens of markers throughout Clark County. Seen daily by thousands of people, markers of various colors, shapes, and sizes stand at historically significant points alongside roads and other points to draw attention to the story of historic Clark County and its people. Take a virtual tour of the CCHA’s markers and the many sites throughout the county.
Through the years, the CCHA has celebrated the county’s history in myriad ways, such as presenting reenactments of various events, participating in the Clark County Fair Parade and exhibitions at fairs, hosting the community coffee, producing Christmas ornaments featuring historic buildings, and displaying historical materials at the Festival of Two Rivers. In 2018, the CCHA led in celebrating the county’s 200th anniversary. Some of the activities were a nine-week lecture series, a special anniversary publication, a celebratory dinner enjoyed by hundreds, a birthday party on the courthouse grounds, student essay and poster contests, the production of a commemorative coin and mug, and serving as the 2018 Christmas parade Grand Marshal.
President Bob Thompson
Vice-President Laverne Todd
Secretary Charlotte Jeffers
Treasurer Shirley Graham
Executive Secretary Wendy Richter
Past Executive Secretary Ray Granade
Board of Directors
Caryl Linton -- Mike Lester -- Greg Vardaman
Travis Burton -- David Narracong -- Waynette Shuler
Wanda O’Quinn -- Charles Todd -- Austin Wingfield
Webmaster Lin Watson
Social Media Coordinator Charlotte Jeffers
Editor (Journal/Webpage) Wendy Richter