Artifact of the Week — March 4, 2021

On March 4, 2021 we celebrate National Pancake Day!   In Batesville, the word “pancakes” may bring to mind the well-established Kiwanis Club Pancake Day.  The following excerpt is from an article by Dr. O.E. Jones in The Batesville Daily Guard on October 8, 1971:

“In July the Board of Directors of the Batesville Kiwanis club approved a move to change the name of the Kiwanis Pancake Day to Chubby Menard Day in honor of the man who brought more innovative ideas to Kiwanis in Batesville than probably any other man in the club’s 43-year history . . .

Chubby will be especially missed at the Pancake Day by his many friends.  He was a super pancake ticket salesman, and he always had some scheme for one of his fellow Kiwanians whereby he could good naturedly swindle you out of your tickets and resell them—always for the benefit of Kiwanis Boy’s and Girl’s work.”

Kiwanis Club breakfast
Kiwanis Club breakfast

Kiwanis Club breakfast.  Jim Edwards is on the left, cooking pancakes.  Polaroid picture.  Conner Collection.  (Powell-Guard Collection # 1771)

Chubby Menard
Chubby Menard

Chubby Menard is in a happy mood as he reports to the shirt-sleeved Board of Batesville Chamber of Commerce that Ten-Cent Ball put the club in the black for the year (September 1941 meeting). (Estate, Bess Wolf collection)

Menard Grocery # 1

:     Menard Grocery # 1 with Chubby Menard in front.  This building currently houses Big’s of Batesville restaurant.

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Artifact of the Week — February 25, 2021

photo of "Coz" and Amy, two free Black women in Fitzhugh, Arkansas
photo of “Coz” and Amy, two free Black women in Fitzhugh, Arkansas

A 5″ x 3″ photo of “Coz” and Amy, two free Black women in Fitzhugh, Arkansas.  The photo was taken  August  1913 and is part of a leatherbound photo album belonging to Mary Maxfield Fitzhugh, Batesville, Arkansas.    (OIRM Spragins, C. Fitzhugh collection)    

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Artifact of the Week — February 18, 2021

Children at Central School PTA and Halloween, 1968, Batesville.
Children at Central School PTA and Halloween, 1968, Batesville.

Children at Central School PTA and Halloween, 1968, Batesville. They are shown eating and drinking bottled Coca Cola.  Both white and black children at dining tables. (OIRM Estate of John Purtle collection)

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Artifact of the Week — February 11, 2021

Wedding photo of Samuel T. Finley and Bessie Gravelly
Wedding photo of Samuel T. Finley and Bessie Gravelly

Wedding  photo of Samuel T. Finley and Bessie Gravelly.  They were married in the Lafferty Methodist Episcopal Church in Batesville on Dec. 28, 1904, in full wedding dress.  The minister was William H. Morris. (For the Gravelly family history in Izard County, see Independence County Chronicle and the Finley family file in the museum’s surname file cabinet.)

The church was for Black people and was located about mid-block on Third Street, facing the present Citizens Bank operations building to the west. (Finley/Davis collection)

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Artifact of the Week — February 3, 2021

Finley family home on Rock Street in Batesville
Finley family home on Rock Street in Batesville

Finley family home on Rock Street in Batesville with family in front, taken about 1922. Chickens are in the yard with a small barn in back.  

L to R: Frank Denton Finley (died as young man), Charlie Richard Finley, Carl Leviticus Finley, Gravelly Eugene Finley, Samuel Tisby Finley, Jr., Bessie Gravelly Finley holding Effie Magnolia Finley (Davis), Samuel Tisby Finley, Sr., Bessie Irene Finley (Waddy). 

Samuel Jr. became a musician and cosmetologist, Gravelly a physician, Carl (named Leviticus by his mother because it was the 3rd book in the Bible and he was the third child) who also became a musician and cosmetologist and worked most of his life for Westinghouse. Charlie became a funeral director in New York, Frank went into military service and died of Desert Fever, Bessie became an assistant principal at Jane Adams elementary school in Cleveland OH, Effie became a real estate broker. 

All the children but Frank earned college degrees.  Their father sent each child to Little Rock to get their high school education because a school for Black children was not available in Batesville. (OIRM Finley/Davis collection)

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