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Photo of the Month Table of Contents
Title Photo Page
206th C.A.A.A. Hay Stack with Anti-
Chemical Engine Chemical Engine 5-6
Rogers Police Cars Rogers Police Cars 7-8
Al Morsani E.A and Al Morsani 9-10
Confederate Monument 11-13
Park Springs Park Park Springs Park 14-15
Rogers Academy Class of
Rogers Academy Class of
Photo of the Month
By Emilee Dehmer, research assistant
World War II was a perilous time in the nation’s history. President Roosevelt attempted to keep the United
States out of the war, but when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, “a day that
would live in infamy,” going to war could be held off no longer and Americans were called to fight.
The 206th Coast Artillery Anti-Aircraft Battalion (C.A. A.A.) was made up of local men who fought in World
War II. This unit was first organized from the Arkansas Army National Guard troops in 1917 for service in
the First World War. However, they saw no action and were disbanded. By 1940, they were mobilized
again for one year as part of the nation’s defense efforts. During training in Fort Bliss, Texas, the unit had
to compete with another coastal artillery unit to win an assignment to the Philippine Islands instead of
being posted to the Aleutian Islands. The other unit was the 200th C.A. from New Mexico. They had a
clear advantage in the selection process because most were fluent in Spanish, which would come in
handy in the Philippines.
The decision came down to a coin toss. The 200th C.A. won the flip of a nickel and was sent to the
Philippines. That loss of a coin toss would prove to be a fortunate thing for the 206th. The 200th C.A. was
decimated when the Japanese invaded the Philippines and were forced to participate in the Bataan Death
Instead of the Philippines, the 206th was stationed at Dutch Harbor, in Unalaska, Aleutian Islands, Alaska
on August 16, 1941. Just four months later Pearl Harbor was attacked and the troops were prepared to
fight. The fight came in June of 1942 when the Japanese attempted to overtake Dutch Harbor and the
Aleutian Islands. The Japanese pilots bombed the entire harbor and base beginning what was known as
the Aleutian Island Campaign. Accounts claim that the pilots were flying so low the soldiers on the ground
could clearly see the faces of the Japanese.
The fight lasted just two days, June 3-4, but there were still a number of casualties. Most of those
casualties came on the first day when a bomb hit the 864 and 866 barracks killing 17 men from the 37th
Infantry and 8 from the 151st Engineers. The Japanese bombers successfully destroyed fuel tanks before
attempting to attack the ships in the harbor, the Fillmore and Gillis. The 206th successfully defended the
war ships; however the Northwestern, which was a large ship being used to supply power, was hit and
The Americans had a major success though in their retrieval of a Japanese Zero aircraft. The Zero was a
highly sophisticated device and the retrieval of one allowed for study and invention of better defenses
against them. The Aleutian Islands did fall under Japanese control after the battle but were retaken on
May 29, 1943 after a Japanese Banzai charge. The American troops fought so well against the Japanese
that only 28 of the 2500 Japanese soldiers were alive after the charge. When the city of Kiska was
recaptured, the Aleutian Island campaign was finally brought to a close.
In March of 1944 the troops returned to Fort Bliss and the 206th was deactivated. The troops were then
reassigned as follows:
1st Battalion: 596th AAA – disbanded after one month
2nd Battalion- 597th AAA – Central Europe and Rhineland deactivate Dec 1945
3rd Battalion: 339th Searchlight Battalion – disbanded after 3 months
After the units were deactivated, most of the former artillerymen became replacements for infantry units.
The heritage of this unit carried over through modern National Guard units. Throughout the years thought
the 206th has lost some of its loyal members. Below is a list of the names from World War 2 and
Operation Iraqi Freedom. Also included are names from the Killed in Action Monument in Jonesboro.
World War 2:
Private Claude H. Biggs
Private Allen C. Collier Jr.
Private James E. Harrington
Private Hugh Bryan Timberlake
Private James R. Wiles
Private Charles W. Hill
Private Ambrose D. Regalia
Monument in Jonesboro Arkansas:
Joseph J. Eble
John H. Franklin
Owen H. Lynch
Operation Iraqi Freedom:
Staff Sergeant Christopher Potts
Sergeant Russell Collier
Photo of the Month
By Emilee Dehmer, research assistant
On December 19, 1888 the Rogers Hose Company No. 1 was chartered. For 34 years, volunteers risked
their lives to help serve and protect their community. Then in 1922, the unit reorganized and officially
became the Rogers Fire Department.
While the department was still the Rogers Hose Company, the first power equipment was purchased in
1915. The RHC purchased a 1915 American LaFrance Chemical Engine for $5,000. A chemical engine
differs from a pump engine, in the fact that it holds a set reserve and has no pump to be connected to an
outside water source. The chemical tanks are filled with water, and bi-carbonate soda is dissolved into it.
Sulfuric acid is then put into a receptacle at the top, and a rotation of the tank allows the two to effectively
mix. The reaction of these chemicals forces the water out of the hose and the fire can then be
extinguished. Chemical Engines however, were inefficient because when the supplies were expended it
was difficult to restock during an emergency.
When the RHC purchased the chemical engine, they bought it with the intention to convert the truck to a
traditional pump truck. They learned, though, that the cost to convert would be around the cost of a new
truck, so they traded in the 1915 chemical engine for a 1919 pump truck. This pump truck cost $8,500
and over the years was given the nickname “Old Hulda.” No one knows what “Hulda” is however. The
pump truck had no chemicals at all and needed to be connected to hydrants to receive water. The truck
was retired in 1955 and can be viewed at the Fire Museum located at the Rogers Fire Department.
Today, the Rogers Fire Department has upgraded from “Old Hulda” and currently has 18 frontline
emergency vehicles including: five engine companies, two truck companies, one heavy rescue unit, four
ambulances, one airport fire response unit, two brush pumpers, and one command unit. Under the
command of Fire Chief Tom Jenkins, the Rogers Fire Department continues to provide excellent service
to the community, keeping the citizens safe from harm.
From the creation of the Rogers Hose Company in 1888 to the reorganization as the Rogers Fire
Department in 1922; from a chemical truck to over 18 trucks; from original fire chief John H. Rebholtz to
Tom Jenkins, the Rogers Fire Fighters have been dedicated to helping serve the citizens of the
community for many years, and for many years to come.
Photo of the Month
Rogers Police Cars
By Emilee Dehmer, Collections Intern
Marshal Robert Sikes, the first City Marshal that records can be found of, started his term in the
year 1881. Now, in 2011, the Chief of Police is James H. Allen. Through the years many changes
have happened in the police department, including the change of title from “City Marshal” to
“Chief of Police” in 1944.
The picture on the right is from the early 1960’s, and features (from left to right) Troy McQuire,
Glen Austin, Bob Deason, and Bill Dunson. The police car, which is most likely a 1961 Ford
Fairlane, can also be seen in the photo-and surprisingly the cars of the department have an
interesting history as well!
Until the 1950’s, the officers had to provide their own cars, as the city did not provide cars for
them. In May 1946, the City of Rogers purchased its first fully equipped police car. In 1959,
when the city purchased a new squad car it was a 1959 Ford and cost $1,837.65. Just two years
later, in 1961, there was a need for two new cars! Two 1961 Ford Fairlanes were purchased for
$1,886.33 with a $450 trade in for the old ’59 Ford. Through the end of the decade two new
cars were purchased, both 1966 Plymouths. For the police to invest in a new car costs a little
more nowadays. A new fully equipped Dodge Charger can range upwards from $30,000.
The men pictured in the photo have an interesting history as well. Bill Dunson, (fourth from left)
served on the force for many years, serving under several Chiefs of Police, including the famous
“Mean” Joe Means. Bob Deason (third from left) also served under “Mean” Joe Means and in
1966 he was promoted to Sergeant which came with a $15 per month raise. Troy McQuire (first
on left) served as “Acting Chief” in 1970. Sadly, little is known about Glen Austin (second from
In 1962, under “Mean” Joe Means, there were eight men and two patrol cars to keep the city of
Rogers safe. The Rogers Police Department now employs 100 uniformed officers, with
numerous patrol cars, and even police dogs. The first police dog was named Black Fang and was
trained under patrolman Denny Roles in the mid-1960s.
Through the years names, cars, and numbers have changed but one thing stays the same. The
Police Department is always here to serve and protect.
Photo of the Month
E.A. and Al Morsani
Mary Ann Henry
Al Morsani, who would later become a champion for the Benton Country Sunshine School and
a recipient of the Rogers Good Neighbor Award, had small beginnings to say the least. Al
Morsani was born March 13, 1926 in Paris, Texas to Elvidio Morsani and Marie Zoeller. This
photo, taken later that year, shows Al bravely standing in the palm of his father’s hand. While Al
was not the smallest baby (that record is held by Rumaisa Rahman at 8.6 oz), he sure wasn’t the
biggest guy around. In his later years he would be described as “a small man with a big heart.”
After serving in the U.S. Merchant Marines for seven years, Morsani went to work at the Frisco
Railways as a telegrapher. Upon retiring in 1985 he began to raise money for the Benton
County Sunshine School, a school that teaches developmentally challenged children. Every
Friday he would prepare and sell meals to the community with all proceeds being donated to
the BCSS. Another of his more famous stints was his annual New Year’s Eve parties in which he
would serve food and provide a good party, not only to raise money but to try and prevent
people from drinking and driving.
After his death in 1997, Morsani was awarded with the Good Neighbor Award for his work with
the BCSS. Al Morsani achieved many great things in life, being a champion to children and a
friend to all. Although he started small, Morsani truly achieved big things.
Photo of the Month
Confederate Soldier Memorial
by Emilee Dehmer, intern
When walking through the downtown square in Bentonville, it is hard not to notice the large statue that
stands in the middle of the park. Upon closer inspection one will notice that the tall figure represents
the Confederate soldiers of the Civil War.
The Civil War, 1861-1865, is considered the bloodiest war in American history. Fought all over the nation,
Arkansas was the site of 17 battles fought in various places across the state. Benton County however
was the battleground for the largest battle west of the Mississippi River. Fought on March 6-8, 1862, the
Battle of Pea Ridge (or the Battle of Elkhorn as the Confederates knew it) cost the Federals 1,384 men
and the Confederates lost approximately 2,000 soldiers. After the war was long over, the people in
Benton County who had to endure burned buildings, battles, and the movement of troops throughout
the war years decided to honor those brave men, most of which were their own husbands and sons,
who had fought and died so valiantly. They wanted to erect a monument in the middle of Bentonville
The monument was erected by the James H. Berry Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
James H. Berry fought in the Civil War when he was 21 years of age as a member of the 16th Arkansas
Infantry Regiment – he was wounded in 1862 and lost his right leg. Upon returning home he was
discouraged by his love’s father and was told he would never amount to anything. But Berry would go
on to prove him wrong. He became a lawyer in Bentonville, but his political ambitions led him further in
life. In 1872 he was elected to the state legislature and became the speaker of the house by 1874. After
that, he served as circuit judge from 1878-1882, when he was elected governor. He served as the state’s
chief executive until 1885. Not quite done as a public servant, Berry was appointed to the United States
Senate in 1885 and served in our nation’s capital until 1907.
A year later in 1908 the monument would be erected on August 8. The festivities leading up to the
unveiling ceremonies were grandiose and involved the entire town. People flocked from all over
including Missouri, Oklahoma, and even Texas to participate in the festivities. In fact, so many people
came that an extra coach had to be added to the Rogers/Bentonville railway to accommodate all of the
visitors. The dedication day events started downtown with songs from the war years including “Dixie”
and “Bonnie Blue Flag.” After the short gathering people marched down to Park Springs Park and
divulged themselves in basket lunches. The fun was far from over, because next came the parade back
down to the square. The floats included one with 14 beautiful girls, one representing each state that
seceded as well as the borders state, one for the “Marshall of the Day” A.J. Bates and many others that
put a sense of pride in the peoples’ hearts.
The invocation was given by Reverend R.E.L. Bearden and then “Bonnie Blue Flag” was once again sung
by a choir. Mrs. W.F. Patton and Miss Ruth Terry spoke some brief words and then pulled the chords on
the veil to uncover the 25 foot monument. The Confederate Flag floated in the breeze behind his
shoulders and the crowd boisterously cheered. Mrs. Rex Peel then sang a song that was followed by Mr.
Breckenridge who was introduced by Senator James Berry. After the festivities had ended and everyone
slowly disappeared from the square one figure remained, the Confederate Soldier who would stand
atop his base facing the setting sun.
The actual monument was designed by Barney Cott and assembled by the Charles Scott Company of
Barry, Vermont for a price of $2,500. The solider is 7 feet tall and the entire monument stands 25 feet
high. The raised word “Confederate” is on each side of the base. Each side also has different text as
Side One: To The Southern Soldiers. Erected by A.J. Bates and the James H. Berry Chapter United
Daughters of the Confederacy Aug. 8, 1908.
Side Two: Their Names are Borne on Honor's Shield. Their Record is with God.
Side 3: They Fought for Home and Fatherland.
Side 4: 1861-1865.
Later a plaque was added that reads: James H. Berry 1841-1913. Soldier and Statesman Beloved of
Arkansas. 2nd Lieutenant Co. E. 16th Ark Infantry C.S.A. Legislator- Jurist, Governor of Arkansas, United
States Senator. He performed every duty with an eye single to the public welfare and his own
unblemished honor. This tablet is placed here by the James H. Berry Chapter, United Daughters of the
Confederacy. The Pat Cleburne Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans and other friends in loving
remembrance and appreciation of his noble life and character.
While the south did not win the war and the Union was eventually restored, the Civil War and all those
who fought and died, regardless of the side they rallied behind, will be remembered forever. While we
were a nation torn in two, the pride in this nation was restored among even some of the most adamant
of Confederates. During the unveiling ceremony an American flag was accidently knocked down. As the
speaker [Clifton Breckenridge, son of John C. Breckenridge] stooped to restore it to its proper place he
said, “We tried our best to pull that flag down but couldn’t—and by the eternal no one else ever shall.”
Photo of the Month
Park Springs Park
By Emilee Dehmer, Research Assistant
In the 300 block of NW “B” and NW “C” streets in downtown Bentonville you will find a humble little park
by the name of Park Springs Park. When you arrive you see a modest pavilion and a few signs telling
about the Burns Arboretum/Nature Trail. Never would you suspect that nearly 100 years ago it was a
bustling hotel and sanitarium and just 70 years ago it was the site of the Ozark Bible College.
Since the late 1800s the park, known as Springs Park, was already a place for the community to gather
and in 1893 the State Confederate Veterans Reunion was held at the park. It was only when two
therapeutic springs were discovered on the site that it became an idea to place a hotel there. Sometime in
the early 1900s A.T. Still opened a sanitarium and changed the name to Park Springs.
J.D. Southerland purchased the property in 1913 and converted the hotel and sanitarium to a resort
location. Describing itself as a “beautiful two-story rustic structure” where “families escape the hot weather
in the cities” with unbelievable healing properties it was easy to the see the lure of the grounds. Soon it
became known as the “Famous Park Springs Radio-Active Water” and offered medical treatments for
“kidney, bladder, and stomach diseases, diabetes, and rheumatism” by “drinking, inhalation of steam or
vapors, douches, irrigation of accessible organs, and applied externally by various kinds of baths, packs,
Southerland also enticed visitors by having the Frisco Line run directly to the Park Springs Hotel. It ran on
the AR&NW Railroad on the main Frisco line every hour. Southerland himself owned the line and the
motor coach, which was reported to be “red, trimmed in black, and had gold lettering” and could seat 130
passengers. Many guests of the hotel would come for weeks and sometimes for an entire month, and the
hotel offered the luxurious service of delivering a guest’s luggage from the train straight to their rooms.
Unfortunately, in 1916 Mr. Southerland began having business troubles and sold the land to George and
Clara Crowder. The Crowder’s took over the hotel but a little after three months of owning it, on July 24,
1920; a fire broke out and destroyed the entire building. That didn’t deter the Crowder’s though and the
next year, on June 3, 1921, they reopened the business. They continued to run the hotel until Clara’s
death in 1924.
The building is said to have been used as a nursing home for several years until it was closed down. The
land then sat empty for several years until purchased in 1940 by the Ozark Christian College. On June 24,
1942 the Bentonville location of the Ozark Bible College opened, which offered both occupational and
Bible training. It ran there for four years until the location was transferred and is now where it sits today in
After that, the building once again became a nursing home until it too closed. Sometime later the land
went back into the ownership of the City of Bentonville and was converted into the park that is now there.
In 1996 the Burns Arboretum/Nature Trail was dedicated by the Bentonville Rotary. The project was
coordinated by Bob C. Burns, Rotarian and President of Northwest Arkansas Community College. On the
trail there is 43 different trees marked with green painted numbers, and 22 shrubs/plants marked with red.
While some of the trees are only 8 years old, it also holds a tree that stands as Arkansas’ oldest and
tallest; the White Oak which was sprouted in our nation’s most prominent year, 1776.
Today if you go out driving down NW “B” street in Bentonville you will find rows of houses and one park. At
first glance there is nothing special about it, just a small play area, pavilion, and restroom. But if you
decide to venture down onto the trails, you’ll find so much more. The bridges, waterfall, and old cement
structures can only provide a small glimpse into what once was a prominent location so many years ago.
While nothing remains of what used to be, except maybe an old rotted nail, or a handprint left in the
cement, there are so many new memories and new moments that are being had every day. But if you go
out walking down the trails on a nice quiet day, you can almost see everything Park Springs Park used to
Photo of the Month
Rogers Academy Class of 1896
By Emilee Dehmer, museum intern
Rogers Academy opened in 1892 and was one of the most prestigious schools in the area. Located at an
elevation of 1400 feet on the border of the White Rivers Hills of the Ozark Mountains it also boasted of
its fantastic location. While it catered to both elementary and secondary education, the upperclassmen
were allowed to live on campus. For $8, paid in advance, students were provided a room containing
nothing more than a stove and a lamp – girls were also provided with a bed frame and a spring mattress.
The tuition with that was $94.
The graduating class of 1896, shown in this photo, was the 10th graduating class and included 22 people.
They are “Earle Gould, Grace Adams, Porter Christy, John Crawford, Louisa Hawley, Board Horsley,
Hobbs Horsley, John Lovewell, Horace Klyce, Frank McGaughey, Della Mitchell, Freddie Mitchell, Lester
Oakley, Frank Owens, Lafayette Pearson, Louisa Perritt, Charley Robinson, Belle Smith, Minnie Smith,
Wythe Walker, John Wilmot and Harvey Woods.” In the photo only two people can be indentified.
Professor J. W. Scroggs is pictured in the upper left and Wythe Walker, who is at the left side of the top
part of the “6.”
While in attendance at the Academy, there were strict rules students were required to follow. Every
Sunday they were required to attend a church service, and no tobacco was allowed. There were also
strict dating rules. “No boy will go with any girl more than three times during a school year. No girl can
have gentleman company without permission from the proper authority. If requested by parents a girl
was not allowed to have any boy friends while attending the Academy.”
Sports were also enjoyed at the Academy. Stared in 1900, they began with a slow start but two years
later were undefeated. However, when Elmo Walker was seriously injured in 1906 sports were banned.
While the Academy graduated 27 classes with “all but 2 or 3 being earnest, capable, and moral men and
women” the Academy ran into money problems and was closed in 1913. While the Academy and it’s
buildings are no longer standing today, the impact it had while it was here will always be remembered in
the hearts and minds of all who attended. Today, Frank Tillery Elementary School stands on the site of
the Rogers Academy.