The Lawrence County Historical Society will meet at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 11th 2021 at the Historic County Courthouse at Powhatan.
When the Times Dispatch was sold in 2019, the Historical Society reached out to John & Renee Bland about the huge collection of photographs stored in the basement of the TD building and they gifted all of the images to the Society. This collection consisted of literally thousands of images in 46 boxes dating circa 1969 to 2009.
We then reached out to NEARA in Powhatan to store the images for us in their climate controlled facility and now have drafted an agreement with NEARA to permanently store the images at their location where they will be available to anyone for research once cataloged.
It has always been our intent to invite the Blands to a quarterly meeting to thank them for their generous contribution, but have been unable until this time because of Covid.
Please put this on your calendar and make an effort to come to this meeting and thank the Bland’s personally.
Fatme Myuhtar-May, the director of NEARA, will also be presenting some current Lawrence County research being done at the facility that will be very interesting.
Fatme Myuhtar-May will talk about Andrew Springer, who was lynched for rape in Powhatan, Lawrence County, in 1887. He was a white man and there was no doubt about his racial identity at the time of his lynching, as reflected in widely circulated press publications about his death. Nevertheless, he came to be regarded as black both in local lore (e.g., in Goodspeed’s 1889 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas and local memory) and in later records of his lynching (e.g., Richard Buckelew’s List of Lynching in Arkansas, 1860-1930). Myuhtar-May uses original court documents, housed in the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives, and newspaper publications to tell his story in a piece of research, titled “How a White Rapist Came to Be Regarded as Black: The Case of Andrew Springer.” Very little beyond the lynching is known about Andrew Springer, including where he was from and where he is buried. Because he is the only person to have ever been lynched in Lawrence County, Springer has become the subject of visitors’ fascination in the Powhatan State Historic Park during their annual October Ghost Tour.