For the month of November and once a month henceforth, Old Independence Regional Museum will focus on one of our many supporters. These individuals have donated their time, talents, and treasures to build OIRM into what it represents today. We are truly blessed and thankful these individuals have chosen to share the richness of their lives to help OIRM and the surrounding communities thrive.
Josephine Raye Jackson Rogers
Born in 1922 to local “royalty”, both sides of Ms. Raye’s family were Jackson County founders. Her parents were William Andrew Jackson, a successful attorney who served several terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives, and Minnie Martha Camp Jackson.
She was never alone growing up since she had a twin sister, Faye. Together the two tackled as many sports as possible while growing up and attending school in Newport.
Ms. Raye married Doyle Rogers in 1941 where they set up house in Newport, bringing Barbara Josephine and Doyle “Rog” Jr. into the world. They subsequently moved to Batesville where Doyle was a very successful real estate agent. Together they invested in many lucrative real estate ventures, owning several Kroger, Walmart, and Dollar General stores as well as shopping centers. They purchased a motel in Little Rock for its property, demolished it, and built the Excelsior Hotel, renowned for its opulence as it pulled in world-famous celebrities and presidents. The current owners of the Excelsior have rebranded it as the Little Rock Marriott.
Ms. Raye’s community service and active membership in many organizations cannot be understated. She was a charter member of Junior Auxiliary in Batesville, a member of First United Methodist Church, board member of the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas, served on the Northeast Arkansas Humanities Board of Directors, the University of Arkansas School of Medical Sciences, was a founding member of Arkansas (Lyon) College President’s Advisory Council, and was a member of the White River Medical Center Foundation Board. Her husband Doyle generously contributed $1,000,000 to WRMC’s establishment of the Josephine Raye Rogers Center for Women and Imaging.