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of which suffered courthouse fires during the years. As with most historic buildings, the Dallas County Courthouse has had to adapt to modern needs, including the installation of elevators to make the build- ing accessible to all of the county’s citizens. Te entrances to the elevators are framed by wooden openings hand-made by local craftsman Clayton Cochran, and most visitors would not realize that they did not date from the courthouse’s 1911 construction. Te second floor courtrooms have been modernized, but even there careful at- tention has been paid to details, as with the dropped ceilings that feature panels engraved with geometric designs. Historic wood railings do survive in the court- rooms, though, as reminders of the rooms’ historic design. Te records in the vault are not the only artifacts from Dallas County’s history


to greet courthouse visitors. A photograph of Sheriff F.M. Pearson gazes sternly from the wall of the lobby, across from the cornerstone of the 1898 Princeton jail that was stripped during World War II so that its bars and cells could be melted down for the war effort. In the treasurer’s office, photos of treasurers dating back to George W. Mallett, who served from 1854 to 1856, line the wall. One man, E.H. Green, who served from 1872-1874, was married several times and had many children – Treasurer Nutt said his photo is the most-copied in the courthouse. Other, more modern items share space with the historic artifacts. A large canvas mural, painted by the same artist who did the courthouse stenciling, shows his- toric buildings from throughout the county, with the Dallas County Courthouse as its centerpiece. Across from it, carved from wood, is a large version of the Dal- las County seal, which was designed by Rachna Patel, a Fordyce School District student in a contest sponsored by County Judge Jimmy Jones. Te members of the quorum court selected the winners, and Dallas County had its first official seal. Past and present merge seamlessly at the Dallas County Courthouse as it moves into its second century of serving the county’s citizens, preserving the memories of generations of county officials and their stories. “She’s our little jewel,” Treasurer Nutt said affectionately. Editor’s note: Te Arkansas Historic Preservation Program has graciously agreed to


partner with County Lines magazine and submit various historical stories like this one about our state’s courthouses, their communities and their people.


Dallas Co. Treasurer Leslie Nutt: Stories told in the courthouse For County Lines


Arkansas Historic Preservation Program


Editor’s note: Dallas County Treasurer Leslie Nutt shared memories of some of the people who have served Dallas County during the years, among them:


Lowana Brumley was Dallas County. She started working part time for the Dallas County Treasurer’s Office in 1956 under Treasurer Floyd Edwards. She would work for Dallas County for 53 years, 25 of those as County Treasurer. Lowana was also the historian for Dallas County – I always said she came with the Courthouse back in 1911. She knew ev- erything from the time the courthouse was established in Princeton to it being stolen and moved to Fordyce in the middle of the night in 1908. She loved to listen to the older people of the county and had a real love of the place she called home. Lowana would tell of the times that Sheriff Clay Atkinson and his part-time deputy Dan Burford ran the sheriff’s office from the treasurer’s office. Tey would sit in the office and talk to Treasurer Jack Crowder and solve all the problems of the county.


COVER


Jack Crowder, Dallas County Treasurer from 1962-1982, was a char- If


someone needed help or if someone had committed a crime Sheriff At- kinson would leave on his horse and go take care of the situation. Tere wasn’t much crime that the sheriff couldn’t handle all by himself. She loved the Dallas County Courthouse. She was a wonderful advocate for Dallas County and the best friend a person could ask for.


COUNTY LINES, FALL 2012


acter. He was the State Farm agent and county treasurer. His nickname was “St. Jack.” It was known that if you had a problem you could come to his office and talk to him and he would act like he was turning his collar from back to front, meaning the preacher was in. He was a good Chris- tian man and a deacon in his church. He loved everyone and had sound advice and you knew nothing you said would be repeated. Brenda Williams Black is the first collector separately elected in Dal- las County. She started part time in 1983 and was elected to office in 2002. Te office was run manually before Brenda took office. She totally automated the collector’s office, and customers are now able to pay their taxes online. Lee Hornaday was the Dallas County Sheriff from 1979-1990. Lee died in office and his daughter, Sylvia Heatherly, finished out his term. Donny Ford is the Dallas County Sheriff. He took office in 1991. He is the longest serving sheriff in Dallas County history. County Judge Jimmy Jones came to office in 2001. Jimmy is a very in-touch and hands-on judge. He is very community minded and has done a lot for our county. He is very easy to talk to and cares about all entities of the county. He is another reason our courthouse has re- mained in mint condition. He has worked hard to make sure it stands for another 100 years.


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