The two letters below were sent by Matilda Tebbetts, nee Winlock (1830-1892) to her sister, Louisa Ann Winlock Durrett (1822-1874), in 1846 and 1847. The first was written while both Matilda and Louisa were still single. Matilda was attending the Fayetteville Female Seminary at the time. Prior to moving to Fayetteville for schooling, though, she was living with her sister, Elizabeth M. Stirman, and Elizabeth’s husband, Dr. John Stirman, at Norristown, Ark., a riverfront town near present-day Russellville. Upon moving to Fayetteville, she lived with her cousin, Catherine Stirman, and Catherine’s husband, James Harvey Stirman. Mr. Stirman was a leading merchant in Fayetteville.
In the note, she mentions several other people, some of whom are further described here:
Punctuation has been added to show sentence breaks, but spelling is typed as it appeared in the written document.
Addressed to Miss Louisa Winlock of Greensburg, Green Co., Ky., with a Fayetteville postmark of Feb. 20 and “10” written in for postage.
Fayetteville Ark. Feb 15 1846
I received your letter a few days ago that you directed to Norris Town. Dr. Stirman enclosed it and sent it to me. I did not go down with them. I am staying with cousin Kate Stirman. She and cousin Harvy would not let me go[.] I fixed to go with them but cousin H. told Dr S. that I should not go. cousin H. started this morning to the east for goods. We have had a very pleasant time this winter[.] there has been 8 parties scince Christmas night or not exactly parties but dances. sometimes we just go and dance and not have any thing to eat but a cup of coffee and a biscuit and then when we pretent to a party we have every thing good to eat. There is a young gentleman boarding here. he is an Irishman[.] his name is Grant[.] he is comeing to dinner. I must leave off a while.
Oh! how I shall wish to be with you all this summer. it will be so lonesome here[.] Fanny Pollard and Susan Sutton are going to school at George town Ky. they will start in a few weeks. they are the only girls in that I care about visiting. indeed Fanny and I are inseperable one never goes without the other, one never buys anything without the other, and we are just called one person. I am writing a good deal of foolishness here which do not concern you, and of course will not interest you[.] I heard from Will the other day by two men from Missouri[.] they have been to Texas and saw Will, and are returning to Mo. he wrote to Pa to come to Texas and I expect he will for he sent word to me by Dr. Pollard that he was going on in the Spring for you and Bob and then come here and go to T.
Will is doing very well in Texas
I had not heard of the death of little Mary until by your letter. I have not heard from Ky before for 4 months[.] I though you all had forgotten me entirely
Thursday evening, 19th
While I was writing last Sunday Mr. Baylor came down and stayed all the evening and after tea Mr Grant stayed until 9 o clock, and of course I could not finish my letter, but I will finish it to go out in the morning.
I received a letter from brother Ja. Tuesday. I expect you have received one too for he wrote to you and the Dr. the same time that he did to me. Tell Charly Mat. he need not look so gloomy on that account, but I tell you there are some very fine looking beaux here, if it is in Arkansas[.] Charles G. Baylor Esq. is without any exception the finest looking gentleman I ever saw and Alfred M. Wilson Esq. is another and Mr. Joseph L. Dickson, cousin Harvey’s partner Mr. Qualls, Dr. J.G. Deavenport are all very fine chances for any girl that wants to get married. tell the girls they will have to come to Ark to get married for it is the greatest country in the world
Tell Charly I thought he would have come to see me before this, and to think that he has not even written to me[.] I will wait until a letter has time to come and if he does not write I will any how
I have just finished a fine dress to ware to the ball on the 22 of Feb. I tell you I will shine in my new dress
I am just 5 feet 8 inches high. there is not but one lady in town as tall. that is cousin Kate. we are exactly the same hight
Tell brother Bob, I am going to write to him the very next letter I write to Ky and that will be soon
Please ask Aunt Jane to write to me and make all the girls write
Give my love to every one that I know, Kiss all the children for me and two Kisses for little Bob, and Flora
Farewell sister, Matilda
P.S. I congratulate Nanny or Mrs. Hobson on her marriage
The second letter was sent nearly two years later, after Matilda had married Jonas March Tebbetts. While in Fayetteville during 1846, Tebbetts had seen “a tall slender girl with soft, earnest dark eyes and an unusually clear, white complexion” — Matilda Winlock — but did not meet her. He later had chance to meet and court her, and they were married on April 19, 1847.
Harris was a young slave owned by Matilda Winlock, whom she inherited from her grandfather’s estate at the same time as two others, Tom and Amy. Harris and Amy moved from Norristown to Fayetteville when the Tebbettses settled there after the wedding. Tom was married to a slave owned by James and Elizabeth Stirman, and they had several children at Norristown. The Tebbettses, not wanting to break up the family, allowed Tom to stay at Norristown.
Matilda’s sister, Louisa Winlock, had also married during the intervening year, wedding James Durrett, a widower with several children and a large Kentucky farm near Latonia, Ky.
Addressed to L.A. Durrett, Latonia, Green Co., Ky., and postmarked at Fayetteville on Nov. 8 with “10” written as the postage.
Your letter of Sept. came duly to hand. it found us all well. it came at a time that I neglected it, for Mr. Tebbetts just got home (the night I received it) from off the circuit. he had been gone six weeks. he has left again to day and will be gone 4 days. these lawyers are great “run a bouts” but if we were never separated we would never know how much we love each other. I am glad to hear that Bob is going to school. I think you ought to persuade him to come to Ark’s. it is a great deal better place for a young man to get into buiseness. Mr. Tebbets is very anxious he should come and either study law with him or medicine with the Dr. and says he would pay for his lectures. then he could get into buisiness almost any where in Ark’s. if he stays in Ky. unless he farms[,] it is a dull chance and he is old enough to think about providing himself withe ocupation of some kind. I do wish Ja was here now there is such a good situation here for him. cousin Harvey is just without a clerk, in his store. he has a very large stock of goods and is able to pay a good salary and he made nothing before he left Mo. have you heard whether he had got back or not
I am coming to Ky. next summer to show you the finest baby Ark’s. can produce. now don’t laugh[.] I expect it is the same case with yourself only you are not confiding enough to tell it but you know I have no secrets from you. I reckon that will be harder to realize than that I was married. When I commenced this I expected to write a long letter but company came in and I had to lay it aside and now it is too late.
You said Harris’ mammy wanted to know what had become of him.
Tell her we have him and if was our own childe he could hardly think more of him. he is the best and smartest boy I ever saw and I believe Mr. Tebbetts thinks more of him than I do.
Tell her Harris has always been a kind of a pet ever since he came out here. he always lived with cousin Kate until we went to house keeping.
Oh! I forgot to tell you we had put up 200 bushels of real Ky. apples for winter use. I shall feel like I was in Ky. now. I dont mean we will use the half of them the way we got them Mr. Tebbetts bought a farm near town with a fine orchard. you must write soon dand show this to brother James but give him my best love and Bob two[.] farewell from your affectionate sister
(And in an apparent afterthought, she wrote:)
Mr. Jone March
or in other words
Jonas March Tebbetts Esq
this is the name I want you to call him by brother Jone
Not long after acquiring Stone, Albright & Co. from his father, Benjamin H. Stone sent a payment to the Eagle & Phenix Manufacturing Co., a mill that dominated the economy of Columbus, Ga.
The bill, for unknown product, reads:
Eagle & Phenix Mfg Co
In pay ment of a/c we enclose Washington County BK Check No 2723 in our favor for one hundred fighty two & 86/100 Dollars on Continental BK S Louis Ms [sic]
BH Ston & Co
The mills and dam of the Eagle & Phenix Manufacturing Co. on the Chattahoochee River are seen in a post card circa 1926. Today the Eagle & Phenix Mills have been converted into river-front condominiums. See more about the Eagle & Phenix Mills and Dam.
The following handwritten recipe for Bon Femme became one of the most popular dishes at LJ's Restaurant, which was in the Colonial Village Shopping Center during the 1980s at the corner of College Avenue and Abshier Drive, just above Evelyn Hills Shopping Center.
The image in the background is a drawing that bled through from the back side of the original manuscript.
This recipe was created by chef Willard West.
butter & salt pan
chablis in pan 1/2 [to] 3/4 c
poach seafood covered til shrimp pink
take out & leave covered to side
reduce wine til syrupy
add cream, a little more than 1/2 pint
high heat - reduce cream
pour liquid from seafood into
throw mushrooms in when sauced
roll seafood in & heat through
serve on white rice that's been cooked w/
good broth, onions, oranges, orange juice
chef willard west
[Editor' note: There is some dispute between a former prep cook and a former waiter of LJ's about whether the second ingredient should be "chablis" or "Dry Sack sherry." FayettevilleHistory does not attest to the proper method for preparing Bon Femme, only the documentary evidence.]
On April 22, 1891, the Cherokee Advocate at Tahlequah, Indian Territory, published the following short note about a hastily arranged marriage across the border from Arkansas.
"Quite a sensational marriage occured [sic] in our usually quiet city on Wednesday morning, the contracting parties were Mr. J.A. Arnet of Fayetteville, Ark., and Miss Alice Fancher, of Berryville, Ark. It seems that it was extreme circumstances at home compelled them to come abroad in order that the marriage vows might be solemized [sic]. Miss Fancher is the beautiful seventeen year old daughter of a prominent merchant in Berryville, while Mr. Arnet is a prominent young business man at Fayetteville; the happy couple returned to implore the forgiveness [of] their angry parents."
The following report was submitted to the federal agent to the Creek Nation by Robert Graham, president of Arkansas College to explain how funds allocated by the government had been used. More Creeks attended the college in the years that followed, including George Washington Grayson, who later served as principal chief of the Creek Nation. The letter was published in the "Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs" in 1855.
ARKANSAS COLLEGE, September 8, 1855.
DEAR SIR: Your favor of May 18th last, requesting me to furnish you a report of the progress of the Creek youths kept at this institution by funds appropriated to that purpose by the government of the United States, was duly received, and I proceed to comply with your request.
On the 22d of February, 1854, Richard Carr, Eli Danley, and Lyman Moore, all of the Creek nation, were matriculated as regular students of Arkansas College, in the English department thereof, and on the 19th March following David Yargee was in like manner received. We were very fortunate in securing a comfortable place for them to board. Columbus Jackson, esq., of this place, residing within a few hundred yards of the college, has afforded them comfortable quarters. He, with his Christian lady, has done all in his power to render these youths contented and happy, and we have every reason to believe that their efforts have not been unavailing. We are of opinion that in being thus situated in a private family their address, ease, and gracefulness in company, together with a knowledge of our habits and manners, would be improved, and thus one great end of their education be gained. For their board we pay $2 per week, including washing, fuel, and all necessary accommodations, except lights.
They are provided, on my order, with everything needed, such as clothing, books, stationery, &c., by Messrs. Stirman and Dickson, of this place. Nothing is procured by these young men but by my special directions, and thus habits of expense and dissoluteness are guarded against. I am happy to say that, up to this time, not the least disposition has been manifested, on their part, to indulge in habits of extravagance. All that can contribute to their comfort and respectability, in their appropriate sphere of life, shall be afforded them, but no more.
The estimate I made and sent you in a former communication, of $225 per session of ten months for each of them, is sufficient to defray their expenses while in this college.
Since they have entered, reading, writing, arithmetic, English grammar, with exercises in declamation and composition, have engaged their attention. Finding that before they could proceed with profit to the acquisition of a classical education they should be well instructed in the elements of our vernacular, and those rudiments too often neglected in our schools and colleges, we devoted very special attention to these preparatory studies. It is pleasing to state that in these their progress has merited all praise. At the annual examination, in July last, they received honors in some of these classes for their proficiency. I may only observe, as an instance of their progress, that while on their arrival here they could barely perform operations in the four ground rules of arithmetic, they are now competent to work questions in denominate numbers, and have mastered the rules and principles of vulgar fractions. During the summer vacation they have, except Mr. Yargee, remained here, and have recited one lesson daily to a professor in the college. This has subjected them to the small additional expense of $5 a piece for the instruction of two months. In concluding this topic I must be permitted to say that I have never seen young men manifest more industry, attention to the wishes of their instructors, and a determined resolution to excel.
Their conduct is unexceptionable in all their intercourse with their fellow students; they are agreeable, and have gained the universal good will of all their companions. To the professors they are respectful and obedient. Indeed, in the monthly reports made by the teachers to me, in a scale of seven for conduct, proficiency, and attention, these boys have ranged from five to seven; they have thus won the confidence and esteem of every one connected with this school.
While this college is under the control of no denomination of Christians, and altogether free from any sectarian influence, we are careful to instill [sic] into the minds and hearts of our pupils the great principles of the Bible, and to enforce the practice of Christian virtue by the motives and arguments addressed to us by heavenly inspired apostles and prophets. In the village are several churches, at any of which it is their privilege to attend. In June last, Mr. Danley was baptized and united himself to the Christian congregation in this place.
On Monday last the college opened for another session of ten months, all are here and have entered upon their respective duties. I would respectfully suggest that the sum of sixteen hundred dollars, appropriated for the education of these boys, is more than enough. For this sum we can maintain six or seven youths here, say six, and then have means to spare for any unforseen [sic] emergency, such as sickness, &c. If, therefore, it should meet the views of those who control this matter, we would be pleased to receive the two additional scholars, and to do all in our power for their advancement. There is not, probably, any place where more advantages and facilities for their comfort are combined and offered at a cost less than here.
I am pleased to say, in conclusion, that all these young men are in excellent health and lose no time from any indisposition.
I have the honor to be, respected sir, you obedient servant,
President Arkansas College.
Hon. W. H. Garrett,
United States Agent for Creeks.
When the Arkansas Industrial University began in 1872, the university provided scholarships to 219 "beneficiaries," students chosen from across the state to receive four years of education at no charge. Among the beneficiaries was James McGahee, a student from Woodruff County who was preparing himself for the ministry of the Episcopal church, according to the Little Rock Daily Republican.
The Little Rock Daily Republican began publishing in 1868 as the Morning Republican and continued into 1876. It promoted the ideals and goals of the so-called regular Republican Party in Arkansas during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War, including the civil rights of African American residents. John McClure, chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, was editor of the newspaper during this period.
The following note was published in the Feb. 8, 1873, edition:
"— We have learned since the publication of the article in reference to a normal school for colored teachers, that there is one colored student in the normal department at Fayetteville, and that he is making excellent progress. The name of the student is McGahee, and he is preparing himself for the ministry of the Episcopal church. We are glad to learn the fact—better one than none in that case."
After a 2005 story by Chris Branam in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, researchers at the University of Arkansas determined that McGahee was among the first African American students, and possibly the only one, to enroll at the university during its first year of operation. Sixteen students were listed in the freshman class, 15 in the normal class, and 204 were listed in the preparatory department, including McGahee.
To add a little more to the story, Fayetteville History tracked down a report on McGahee's first year of school work, published in the Little Rock Daily Republican on May 9, 1873:
"— James McGahee, the colored student at the Arkansas Industrial university, during the last term received the following credits for proficiency in his studies, the maximum being 100: Spelling, 93 per cent.; reading, 87 per cent.; penmanship, 95 per cent.; arithmetic, 90 per cent.; grammar, 88 per cent.; geography, 98 per cent.; history, 78 per cent. The average is an excellent one, and reflects great credit on Mr. McGahee."
The Daily Republican also reported the appointment of two other African American students — Mark W. Alexander and Isom Washington — as beneficiaries of the Arkansas Industrial University, although no record of their enrollment at the university has been found yet.
On Feb. 22, 1873, the Daily Republican reported that Mark Wallace Alexander had been appointed a beneficiary by Judge John E. Bennett of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Alexander was the son of James M. Alexander, a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives who died not long after the legislative session of 1871. Mark Alexander served as a page in the 1873 legislature and his younger brother, John Hanks Alexander, was the second black graduate of West Point.
On July 22 and 23, the Daily Republican reported that Dickison Brugman, the superintendent of public instruction for Pulaski County, had appointed Isom Washington as a beneficiary for the fall 1873 term. Little more is known about Washington yet.
The end of Reconstruction in Arkansas changed the power structure in Arkansas and may well have ended McGahee's education at the Arkansas Industrial University or prevented Alexander and Washington from matriculating in the fall of 1873. Whether McGahee's educational endeavors continued after 1873 is unknown so far.
The following obituary of James Hayden Van Hoose was published in the Arkansas Democrat on Monday, May 8, 1899. Van Hoose was twice elected mayor of Fayetteville and served as representative in the Arkansas General Assembly one term as well.
WAS INJURED BY A GUN
He Was Prominent in Masonic Circles,
and Was a Member of the State
Legislature in 1897
FAYETTEVILLE, May 7. — (Special.) — Col. J. H. Van Hoose died a few miles east of this city Saturday as the result of an unfortunate accident. With some friends he had gone to the country, hunting, and an accidental discharge of his gun cause a recoil which struck him with such force that an internal injury was inflicted, resulting in death soon afterward.
Twice did he serve Fayetteville in the capacity of major, and his record has been an excellent one. He was elected a member of the general assembly in September, 1896, and amply demonstrated his ability to fill the position. He was chairman of the committee on insurance and a member of the temperance committee during the session of 1897. He was the author of a bill to regulate insurance companies and one to encourage the growth of grapes. For forty years he had been a member of the Masonic fraternity. He was one of the most prominent figures in Masonic circles in the state, and, indeed, throughout the United States, ranking among the highest degree Masons. He was correspondent for a number of leading papers, and achieved quite a reputation in journalism, as both historian and poet. His writings have for years found an extended and appreciative reading public through the columns of “The Arkansas Democrat.” His mind was stored with an illimitable fund of reminiscences, and his long residence in the northwest gave him a grasp of pioneer history that comparatively few possessed.
James Hayden Van Hoose became a resident of Fayetteville in 1850. He was born January 8, 1830, near Paintsville, Johnson county, Ky., son of John and Lydia Van Hoose, who were natives of North Carolina, but who died in Washington county. He came to Arkansas with his parents June 1, 1839, they settling on the Middle Fork of White river, in Washington county. He received schooling in the “old-field” schools of the county, taught in log-houses with dirt floors and split puncheons for desks and seats. He worked for his father until 21 years of age, then went to Ozark Institute, near Fayetteville, for fifteen months, working to pay his board. He then went into the store of James Sutton as clerk, and sold goods for him for four years. Next he went into the mercantile business with Wm. McIlroy, and continued selling goods until 1881, when he entered into the life-insurance business which he followed the rest of his life. In 1856 he was appointed notary public by Gov. Elias N. Conway, and held the position continuously till his death. He was mayor of Fayetteville from April, 1880, to April, 1881, and in April, 1888, was elected again for two years. He was twice married. August 9, 1855, in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at Fayetteville, he was married to Miss Melinda Ann McIlroy, and after her death he was married in the same church, June 13, 1869, to Miss Martha W. Skelton. There are no children now living of these marriages. He, however, raised an orphan girl, Mary W. Eaton, who is now the wife of Samuel Jarman, of Burton, Phillips county. Taking an active part in Masonry, he was honored by that fraternity, having been grand master, grand high priest and grand commander. He joined that order in 1853, and never changed his membership. He was born and raised a Methodist, but out of respect to the memory of his first wife, who was an Episcopalian, became a member of the Episcopal Church in 1868, being confirmed by Bishop Henry C. Lay. He was an ardent Henry Clay Whig in politics, and reverenced Albert Pike, Absalom Fowler, Frederick W. Trapnell, Robert Crittenden, David Walker and other Whig leaders in Arkansas, but after the demise of that party was an ardent and uncompromising Democrat.
The following obituary of J. Linn Duke, a prominent jeweler and civic leader in Fayetteville during the last half of the 19th century, was published in the Arkansas Gazette on January 28, 1898. The battle of Oak Hill was the Confederate name for the Battle of Wilson Creek near Springfield, Mo.
Was One of Fayetteville's Most Prominent Citizens
FAYETTEVILLE, January 23 — (Special Correspondence) — A gloom hangs over our little city on this Sabbath day on account of the death of our old and intimate friend, J. Linn Duke, who for more than forty years has been one of our most enterprising citizens. Mr. Duke had been very successful in business and owns several elegant brick buildings in the city, and the handsomest jewelry store in northwest Arkansas. His wife and Miss Annie, his only child, are greatly distressed, but he had suffered so long and so severely that they find some consolation in the fact that his sufferings have ended. He had been kept alive several days by artificial means.
Mr. Duke has a host of friends in Arkansas and Missouri who will be sorry to hear of his death. He came to Fayetteville in the year of 1856, when quite a youth, and had lived here ever since. He enlisted in the first military company organized in this county, in May, 1861, known as the Pike Guards, commanded by Captain S. R. Bell, who was killed in the battle of Oak Hill, August 10, 1861. No braver, truer, southern soldier, ever wore the gray than Linn Duke, and his only brother Martelis Duke, who was adjutant of Colonel Burk’s regiment and was killed in the battle of Prairie Grove. This is the third veteran of that splendid company of volunteers who has died at this place within the last ten months — First Colonel E. B. Moore, ex-secretary of state, then Ben McCurdy, who died two weeks ago, and now Mr. Duke. There are but few members of that company left.
Mr. Duke will be buried tomorrow at 3 o’clock p.m. in Evergreen Cemetery, by the Knights of Honor, to which order he belonged for twenty years, having been one of the charter members of the lodge of this place.
Not long after an Arkansas stage line was proposed to be started between Altus and Fayetteville, Dudley Emerson Jones, a Little Rock trustee of the Arkansas Industrial University (University of Arkansas), sent a letter to the Arkansas Gazette exhorting people along the stage company's route to support the company. The Gazette published the letter on August 19, 1875:
Little Rock, August 16.
Editor Gazette — I notice the card of Messrs. Hodgens & Woolum in your last issue. It seems these enterprising gentlemen have established a daily line of stages from the end of the Little Rock and Fort Smith railroad to Fayetteville — making the time from this city in two days.
I understand the arrangements are to meet the cars at Altus, the present terminus of the road, go eighteen miles to Mr. Hill's, the first evening, stay over night there, and go to Fayetteville the next day. This is a good arrangement, and will be a great convenience to the traveling public, especially to the students of the university. The gentlemanly officers of the Fort Smith railroad company have agreed to continue the old half fare arrangement for the students, and the new stage line have been applied to and will no doubt extend the same favor. it is to be hoped the public will patronize the new line, and sustain it, as nothing is of more importance than a quick and sure means of communication between parents and children.
If the citizens of Fayetteville and residents along the line will take sufficient interest to sustain the line, it will be kept up; but if, as was too much the case before, the citizens rig up their own teams, or hire livery conveyance, let the coaches run empty, the company will give up the stages and take the mails on horseback. This would be a sad blow to the university. Application will be made to the Cairo and Fulton railroad, and the Memphis road, and the stage lines running to the southeast, for half fair tickets.
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