A Brief History of Vilonia: “Looking Back”

In 1861, a small group of pioneers began to settle in the area that is now called Vilonia. According to tradition, this original settlement was called Vilsonia which mean “land of two valleys.”

The name was altered when the first group of Masons established a lodge there in 1873. When they sent their request into the national headquarters in Washington, D.C., the national organization misspelled the name; instead the name was recorded as “Vilonia.” Continue reading

Olympic Athlete: “Looking Back”

At the age of seven, Glenn Cunningham suffered severe burns to his legs in a schoolhouse explosion in Kansas. His older brother, Floyd, was killed in the explosion that was caused by someone putting gasoline instead of kerosene in the can of fuel used to light the stove.

The doctors wanted to amputate his legs, but he was so upset, his parents told the doctors no. They predicted that he would never walk Continue reading

East Oak: “Looking Back”

When franchise eating establishments finally came to Conway in the early 1970s, residents began to have quite a selection of places to go “out to eat” instead of the usual “drive-up.” Many of those first restaurants were located on Oak Street.

One of the first that I remember was McDonald’s. The first location in Conway was on Oak Street in front of the new Faulkner Plaza Shopping Center. It was soon joined by a Continue reading

Short’s Corner: “Looking Back”

In the days before the widespread use of the automobile, Conway had a number of neighborhood groceries that were within walking distance of most homes. Numerous children were sent by parents with a handful of money and a shopping list to gather up a few things. Still others, with allowance in hand, made their way down the street for a coke or some candy.

Even after automobiles became more common and Kroger, Safeway, the Mad Butcher and Simon’s became weekly grocery destinations, many still depended on these “corner stores” Continue reading