Through the Cabin Window – August, 2018

100 YEARS AGO, 1918

♦ Fire of unknown origin destroyed the beautiful brick residence of Col. J.E. Little in the western part of the city. The fire was discovered by the cook. Col. Little called the fire department but the distance to the fire and the lack of fire plugs by the building did not allow the firemen to keep the fire from spreading. Friends were able to save most of the furniture. Col. Little said the loss was estimated at $16,000 and the house was well protected with insurance.

♦ By the installation of a set of blowers under the furnace of the second big boiler at the municipal light plant, Superintendent E.V. Leverett had prepared to use slack coal exclusively for fuel purposes at this plant. This would satisfy government restrictions of the use of lump and mine run coal.

75 YEARS AGO, 1943

♦ The WAACs would become WACs at mass ceremonies, the war department announced. The first of the ceremonies for swearing in of members of the women’s army auxiliary crops as members of the women’s army corps would be held at the first WAAC training center at Fort Des Moines, Louisiana. WAACs in training at branch No. 3, army administration schools, at the Arkansas State Teachers College were not expected to become WACs until September 1.

♦ Under Ordinance No. A-206, passed by the City Council, it was unlawful to burn waste paper or rubbish in the Fire Zone or business district and also in residential sections except for approved incinerators. George Stockmyers was contracted to pick up and remove all waste paper and rubbish from the business section of the city.

♦ Through re-arrangement of more than 52 coaches and chair cars, the Missouri Pacific lines would make available some 2,000 additional seats to ease the war-time transportation problem. Some 25 baggage coaches were converted to passenger coaches. Large smoking rooms and office cars were also being converted to passenger cars.

50 YEARS AGO, 1968

♦ Concrete was being poured on Interstate 40 on the eastern outskirts of Conway. The section from Hwy 64 south to Brumley was completed and the next section was being paved.

♦ Dan F. Stowers, Jr., the Little Rock architect who designed the hexagonal pod-type $800,000 Conway High School, appeared before the school board to explain the delays which had put the construction 30 days behind the scheduled completion date of July 15. The president of General Construction, the contractor, had died in April and his widow was operating the business. An August 16 completion date was still being assured and Stowers recommended that the school take possession of each pod as it was finished.

♦ SCA added 31 new teachers, bringing the total number of faculty to an all-time high of 175. Two residence halls and a new cafeteria were scheduled to be completed in September. The cost of room, board, books and tuition averaged $950 for the year.

25 YEARS AGO, 1993

♦ It was estimated that Conway had a population of around 30,000 even though the signs at the city limits said 20,375.

♦ The sale of bonds would be used to finance construction of a new elementary school by Mountain View Park in eastern Conway.

♦ After a 35-year coaching career, UCA’s Don Dyer retired as the winningest college basketball coach in Arkansas history.

♦ The Faulkner-Cleburne Regional Water District, on the drawing board for nearly five years, became a reality with the release of nearly $2 million from the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission. Second Congressional Dist. Rep. Ray Thornton pried loose $18.4 million from the Farmers Home Administration, pending release of the AIDC money. The district was formed to develop and finance water and sewer projects in the rural areas of Faulkner, Cleburne, White and Lonoke counties.

10 YEARS AGO, 2008

♦ The five Girl Scout councils combined into a single council—the Girl Scouts-Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The effective date for beginning of the new group was October 1, 2008.

♦ The Faulkner County Plant Maintenance and Grounds subcommittee heard from Rik Sowell, with Sowell and Russell Architects, about his ideas for remodeling the existing courthouse. Sowell estimated it would cost $5,702,862 that included a 5 percent contingency allowance due to the age of the building. The following day, the courthouse had to be shut down due to a plumbing issue in which sewer gas escaped into the building.

♦ Phase one of The Village at Hendrix was underway. The streets had been cut and the surface of the 23 acres had been shaped to allow for drainage.

♦ Dr. Terry Fiddler stepped down from the Conway School District Board of Education after over two decades of service. He was the chair of the board for the last 14 years. During his tenure, nine new buildings, an auditorium and a gymnasium were built in the growing district.

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