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2023 Award Winners

2024 Award Winners | Nomination Forms

Awards for 2023 Annual Conference, Arkadelphia

Click on each winner’s name to view their picture.  

Lifetime Achievement Award

Mike Polston –  for his service to Arkansas history as a teacher, scholar, curator, editor, and Association mainstay. 
Nathania Sawyer introducing Mike Polston

George E. Lankford – for his many contributions to Arkansas studies in the fields of history, folklore, and archaeology.
David Stricklin introducing George E. Lankford

Diamond Award

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith for spearheading the restoration of the Willhaf House –an 19th-century immigrant, working-class home in Van Buren.

Arkansas State Archives – for expanding access to historical sources through its participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program

Tom Dillard Advocacy Award

Ozark Society – for its continuing advocacy for the preservation of Arkansas’s environment and environmental history.
Tom Dillard introducing the Dillard Award.
Joe Nix accepting for Ozark Society.

J. G. Ragsdale Book Award

Colin Woodward Country Boy:  The Roots of Johnny Cash  
University of Arkansas Press – publisher of this year’s Ragsdale Book Award

James H. Atkinson Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Arkansas History

Linda D. Thrasher – for excellence in the teaching of Arkansas History in Jessieville Middle School, Jessieville   

Lucille Westbrook Award

Blake Denton – for his outstanding contribution to local Arkansas history in his essay “‘The Order of the Day’:  A Social History of Drew County Barbecues, 1895-1915”

Violet B. Gingles Award

Dr. John A. Kirk and co-authors – for his outstanding contribution to Arkansas history in his essay “From Lynching to Legal Lynching, Mob Justice to Courtroom Justice:  The Arkansas ‘Scottsboro’ Cases of James X. Caruthers and Clear ‘Bubbles’ Clayton, 1935-1939” Co-Authors – Dora Bradley, Revis Edmonds, Emily Housdan, Kristen Miller, Harrison Mitchell, Britney Reding, and Kellie Solomon

Susannah DeBlack Award

Students of the Special Music School at Kaufman Music Center, NYC., Author and  Illustrator – for best book in Arkansas history for young readers Who is Florence Price?: Young Musicians Tell the Story of a Girl and Her Music
Schirmer Trade Books – publisher

June Simmons, Author and Illustrator – for best book in Arkansas history for young readers Journey to Marlsgate
Total Publishing and Media – publisher

James L. Foster & Billy W. Beason Award

Lisa Childs – for her outstanding contribution to Arkansas history with her thesis “Forging Community in the Ouachita Foothills of Southwest  Arkansas:  Duckett Township, Homesteading, Distilling and Race” 
Master Thesis, University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture

Award of Merit

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Central Arkansas Library System – for the Mapping Downtown Little Rock project

George E. Wilson and Erin Jackson – for expanding access to historical sources through its participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program


Walter L. Brown Award for the Best County or Local Journal

The Record
Garland County Historical Society, Liz Robbins, Editor

Honorable Mention for next best county of local historical publication

The Journal
Fort Smith Historical Society, Inc.,
Billy Higgins, Editor

Best Use of Graphics in a journal

Historical Bulletin
Grand Prairie Historical Society, Glenn Mosenthin, Editor

Best Article in a County or Local Journal

Christopher Thrasher and Guy Lancaster, “Sympathy for Devils: Race, Insanity, and Contention in Garland County’s Two Legal Executions,”
The Record, Garland County Historical Society

Best Biography, Autobiography, or Memoir History

Robert D. Craig, “George C. Kell, Jackson County’s Baseball Hall of Famer,”
The Stream of History, Jackson County Historical Society

Best Family History

Katrina Windon, “Solid People in Unstable Times: Tabitha and William Taylor of Fayetteville, Arkansas,”
The Flashback
, Washington County Historical Society

Best Church History

Mary Cooper Miller, “Methodist Churches in Izard County History,”
The Izard County Historian, Izard County Historical and Genealogical Society

Best Community History

Dan Durning, “The First Turnverein (Turner Society) and the Rise of Little Rock’s Community of German Speakers,”
Pulaski County Historical Review, Pulaski County Historical Society

Best School History

Rajendra Gupta, “The Inaugural Years of the University of Arkansas, Seen Through the Eyes of Its First Graduate,”
Washington County Historical Society

Best Business History

H. Glenn Mosenthin, “Troubled Beginning to Worldwide Presence: Riceland Foods’ First Half-Century,”
Historical Bulletin, Grand Prairie Historical Society

Best Edited Document

Susan McMillan Lancaster and Jean McMillan Harper, “Belle Morrison’s Journal, Part 1,”
The Heritage
, Hot Spring County Historical Society

Best Newsletter

Historical Society Newsletter,
Independence County Historical Society, Nelson Barnet, Editor