Thursday, January 23, 2020

Helena Residents Join The Field Of Inventors




During the 50-plus years following the Civil War there was such a surge, and a demand, for people to develop ideas that helped make the U.S. an industrial powerhouse.
And there were people in Helena scrambling to invent something that could make them rich and famous.
Below is just a smattering of the hundreds of applications from Helena approved by the U.S. patent office. 



INVENTOR
DATE
INVENTION
CHARLES E. BROMWELL 1887 CAR STARTER
JOHN N. BRASS 1921 THERMOSTATIC CIRCUIT CLOSER
ROBERT H. MILAM 1921 COTTON GIN
W.R. RIGHTOR 1884 BLASTING DEVICE
JAMES S. SMITH 1884 COTTON SCRAPER
CAROLINE S. BROOKS 1876 LUBRICATED PLASTER MOLDS
WILLIAMSON GOODWIN 1876 VEHICLE COUPLING
HENRY TUNER 1899 PICTURE FRAME
WALTER J. KIRKHAM 1922 FLUSH VALVE SEAT
G. E. FRIEDLEY 1925 VEHICLE SIGNAL
JOHN P. DUNCAN & ET ALII 1885 POISON DISTRIBUTOR
WALTER J. KIRKHAM 1925 WATER CLOSET
EDWIN LUKEMEYER AND OTHERS 1912 SAW-TOOTH SHAPER
MILES E. DAVIDSON 1896 SAWMILL
J.P. DUNCAN 1887 FIRE ESCAPE IMPROVEMENTS
CHARLES E. BROMWELL 1889 HAND MOTOR
ARTHUR MEADOWS 1913 POST-HOLE BORING MACHINE
MARVELL M. CARRUTH 1873 IMPROVED COTTON STALK KNOCKERS
CHARLES E. FULLERTON 1900 CURTAIN POLE BRACKET
ALBERT B. SHULL 1911 TWINE HOLDER
V.V. TURNER 1912 RAIL JOINT
EDWARD L. CHAFFIN 1898 ARTIFICIAL DENTURE
EDWARD L. CHAFFIN 1897 METHOD OF TREATING ARTIFICIAL DENTURES
B.L. CHAFFIN 1897 GIN-SAW SHARPENER
ALFRED B. FLOYD 1901 ENGINE
WILLIAM R. RIGHTOR 1874 SHOAL INDICATOR IMPROVEMENTS
WILLIAM R. RIGHTOR 1873 APPARATUS RELEAVING GROUNDED VESSEL
LEWIS P. BAILEY 1876 IMPROVEMENTS CAR COUPLINGS
ALFRED J. LOWRY 1895 PEN-RACK






Monday, January 20, 2020

ACTION NOTICE


NOTICE:  A substantial amount of new documentation has been added about Helena's participation in the War of the Rebellion.  You will find it by clicking on the battle and tidbits pages in the column to the right.


Friday, January 17, 2020

Railroading In Helena

This photograph of Missouri & North Arkansas Railroad locomotive 36, was taken in the summer of 1946 at Helena, Arkansas, near the levee by Cherry Street. The Missouri & North Arkansas operated a line that ran from Joplin, Missouri and ended at Helena. The Helena portion of the line was taken over by the Helena & Northwestern Railroad for a period of time. Today, Helena is served by the Arkansas Midland Railroad.

THE KATE AADAMS VISITS HELENA

Steam Boat Kate Adams: Named for the wife of Memphis resident, Major John D. Adams, there were actually 3 steamboats named the Kate Adams. The boat was a frequent visitor to Helena, and usually plied the Mississippi River between Memphis, Tennessee and Arkansas City, Arkansas. The photo here was taken while in Helena. Legend has it that 2000 silver dollars were melted and added to the mold of the bell on the Kate Adams to give it a clearer ring.

Railroading In Helena

Delta Eaglet: This photo, from the Richard Andrews collection, shows the American Car & Foundry Motorcar that provided passenger rail service from Helena to McGehee, Arkansas until 1960. Often referred to as the "Delta Eaglet," this car could hold 34 passengers and their baggage. Notice in the background a part of the Solomon Building is visible. Unlike in many towns, the depot and both tracks shown here still remain. The motorcar however, is long gone. It was scrapped in 1961. The depot is part of the Delta Cultural Center and is open to the public.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

New Page

Take a look at our newest page -- HELENA CIVIL WAR TIDBITS -- with lots of interesting nuggets about Helena and Phillips County.  The page can be found in the colum to the right.

Friday, January 10, 2020

A YANKEE IN HELENA

JENKIN LLOYD JONES
Jones was a private in the Sixth Wisconsin Battery and in his diary spent much of his time in and around Helena. These are comments from his diary. It is interesting to note he spent the rest of his life in what used to be the town of Helena, Wisconsin.
















Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The Compassionate Lincoln & One Helena Family

LINCOLN & MARY TODD LINCOLN


(CNN)  It was days before Christmas 1863, and Abraham Lincoln wanted to offer an example of goodwill to the fractured nation in the midst of the Civil War.

The Craig family, cousins to Lincoln's wife Mary Todd, were a slave-holding family in Arkansas who had fled their plantation as Union forces took over much of the state. But the Craigs were nearing the end of their lives and wished to return to their home for Christmas.
Despite the ongoing war -- or perhaps because of it -- Lincoln agreed. After meeting with the family, he wrote and signed a letter that they could use to safely move past Union forces and reoccupy their Arkansas plantation.
"Mr. and Mrs. Craig, of Arkansas, whose plantation, situated upon the Mississippi River a few miles below Helena, has been desolated during the present war, propose returning to reoccupy and cultivate said plantation," Lincoln wrote in the letter.
"(And) it is my wish that they be permitted to do so, and that the United States military forces in that vicinity will not molest them or allow them to be molested, as long as the said Mr. and Mrs. Craig shall demean themselves as peaceful, loyal citizens of the United States."
Lincoln's original letter, long held by descendants of the Todd family, was recently sold to The Raab Collection and then sold to an interested buyer as a unique example of Lincoln's broader attempts to reunify the country.

Thieves Among Helena's Yankee Officers

 
The Spoils of the Victors: Captain Ferdinand Winslow and the 1863 Curtis Court of Inquiry
 ANDERS BO RASMUSSENON

 THE EVENING of October 3, 1861, the 32-year-old quarter-master Ferdinand Winslow of Marion, Iowa, walked across Ben-ton Barracks’s rolling campground on his way to the encampment center. There, on the outskirts of St. Louis in a shining white villa encircled by a snow-white fence, Brigadier General Samuel Ryan Curtis, “a very fine looking elderly Gentleman,” had made his temporary headquarters.1 From his military home Curtis fol-lowed camp activities, but this particular evening the command-ing officer’s duty took a backseat to leisure. Thus, Winslow, ac-companying his commanding officer in the Ninth Iowa Infantry Regiment, William Vandever, spent a pleasant, musical evening at Curtis’s house, subsequently reporting home that he “was in-vited to come and go in the house any time.”

Or an even better title:  How freed blacks in Helena were screwed by Union officers.  Click the link below for the
entire story.