Arkansas Business' 'Gone but Not Forgotten' (25th Anniversary)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 12:00 am  

Fay Jones, architect of the Thorncrown Chapel near Eureka Springs, died in 2004.

3. Orval Faubus
One event will forever define Orval Eugene Faubus: the desegregation of Little Rock's Central High School in 1957.

Faubus opposed the federal government's attempts to integrate the school. He called on the National Guard to keep nine black students from entering Central, placing Little Rock in the center of a national dialogue about race.

While now viewed as a devastating choice – for race relations, the state's image, simple justice – the decision helped Faubus win re-election four times.

Faubus died in 1994.

4. Herschel Friday
Friday Eldredge & Clark of Little Rock is still most commonly known as "the Friday firm," a nod to founder Herschel Friday.

Friday built his law firm into the state's largest, a title it still holds. And his reputation as a litigator almost landed him on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Friday never achieved the nomination, in part because, as the Little Rock School District's general counsel, he represented the district and others in the fight against desegregation. Those who knew Friday say that he was only doing his job and did not share the attitudes of those he represented.

Friday died in 1994 in a plane crash.

5. Mahlon Martin
Mahlon Martin was the first black city manager of Little Rock and, during Bill Clinton's first term as governor, became the first African-American to head the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration. He went on to head the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, in 1989.

During his time in public service, as both city manager and head of the DF&A, Martin earned a loyal following. He was extremely popular, and his support was central in earning approval of Gov. Clinton's budgets and spending proposals.

Martin died in 1995.

6. John Cooper Sr.
John Cooper Sr. had the ability to make communities out of almost nothing. That ability helped him found Cooper Communities Inc. of Rogers, a development company that created Cherokee Village, Bella Vista Village and Hot Springs Village – three retirement communities.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.