Photo from Herbal Medicines of the Civil War by Jim Long, used with permission.
The Faulkner County Historical Society will conduct its annual program for the public at 6 p.m., Thursday, April 30, at the Faulkner County Library in the west side room. The guest speaker for the event will be naturalist and retired biology teacher Shirley Pratt.
She will bring samples of several common native plants of Faulkner County for participants to examine and learn to identify, and also discover how some native plants were used as food, medicine, or in everyday life during earlier times.
Ms. Pratt earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Hendrix College and master’s degree in health education from the University of Central Arkansas.
She has taught at North Little Rock Ole Main High School, Quitman High School and Faulkner Texarkana North Heights Junior High School.
She is a docent at South Fork Nature Center near Choctaw, has worked as an Arkansas State Parks seasonal interpreter, has volunteered at County Museum and now also volunteers at Quitman High School.
During the time she worked in the park system, her interest in wildflowers of the state intensified.
It was the guide position in a Civil War surgeon’s home at Historic Washington State Park which sparked her interest in native plants as medicines during the Civil War era.
She now lives on the family home place where she grew up, in Happy Valley of the Centerville community, east of Greenbrier.
The Faulkner County Historical Society was formed in 1959, with the purpose of bringing together those people interested in history, and especially in the history of Faulkner County.
The society disseminates historical information to arouse interest in the county’s past by publishing historical material in its journal, conducting informative programs and exhibiting at the county fair.
Recent accomplishments have been the designation of two Civil War 150th anniversary commemorative markers, which are to be erected at Oak Grove Cemetery and at the Cadron Settlement blockhouse. Membership in the historical society is open to anyone; the cost is $20 per calendar year per individual or family.
Membership includes receiving the semi-annual issues of its journal, Faulkner Facts and Fiddlings.
For more information, call 501 329-8584.
Various publications handled by the society and the Faulkner County Museum will be available at the event, along with the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of Faulkner Facts and Fiddlings.