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Washington County Historical Society Collection

Identifier: MC 1368

Scope and Content Note

The historical papers which comprise Series 1 were maintained to support historical and genealogical research at Headquarters House in Fayetteville, where the society has its offices and a historical museum. The original order of the files has been retained as far as possible, with some adjustments to provide easier access to the materials. There is great variation in the type and quantity of materials in these files, reflecting their existence in a continuing research and publishing operation. While there are many original documents, many others are typescripts, photocopies, and copies of published versions of original materials.

The Society maintained some files pertaining to activities and relationships of three of its charter members and benefactors, Thomas Feathers, Walter J. Lemke, and Lessie Stringfellow Read. These have been classified as Series 2, and are chiefly biographical and genealogical materials, correspondence, and published and unpublished writings. Other materials throughout the collection are identified with these three. For example, scrapbooks of Mr. Lemke's writings on Arkansas subjects and four of Mrs. Read's scrapbooks are in Series 3. Materials created by the WCHS, such as member correspondence, recordings of events hosted by the WCHS, and other organizational records, are located in Series 4.


  • Creation: circa 1833-2008


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

Use Restrictions Apply: Some materials are fragile. Photocopies will only be allowed if the material will not be damaged.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

The Washington County Historical Society was established in 1951 with the stated goal of "Preserving the Past for the Future." They immediately began publishing a journal, Flashback, which continues to be an outlet for genealogical and historical research about the county and its people. The society has also published more extensive research in its Bulletin series, as well as pamphlets and other brief works on various topics.

Historic preservation is an important interest of the society, evidenced by their ownership of two properties: the Ridge House, one of Fayetteville's oldest remaining residential structures, and Headquarters House, an ante-bellum Greek Revival structure that houses the Society's offices and serves as a historical museum. Headquarters House serves as backdrop for many social and historical events, such as the reenactment of the Battle of Fayetteville.


50.58 Linear Feet (69 boxes, 9 oversized folders, and 15 volumes)

3.05 Gigabytes (8 files)

Arrangement of the Papers

Material is arranged and described in four series:

  1. Series 1. Historical Papers
  2. Series 1. Subseries 1. Arkansas
  3. Series 1. Subseries 2. Fayetteville
  4. Series 1. Subseries 3. Other Towns
  5. Series 1. Subseries 4. Washington County
  6. Series 2. Founding Leaders of WCHS
  7. Series 2. Subseries 1. Thomas Feathers Papers
  8. Series 2. Subseries 2. Walter J. Lemke Papers
  9. Series 2. Subseries 3. Lessie Stringfellow Read Papers
  10. Series 3. Ledgers, Scrapbooks, and Other Bound Material
  11. Series 3. Subseries 1. Medical/Business Ledgers
  12. Series 3. Subseries 2. Registers/Guest Books
  13. Series 3. Subseries 3. Organization and Club Scrapbooks/Note Books/Minute Books
  14. Series 3. Subseries 4. Church Minute Books
  15. Series 3. Subseries 5. Court and Land Property Record Books
  16. Series 3. Subseries 6. Post Office Registers
  17. Series 3. Subseries 7. School Record Books
  18. Series 3. Subseries 8. Poetry Scrapbooks
  19. Series 3. Subseries 9. Arkansas History Scrapbooks
  20. Series 3. Subseries 10. Miscellaneous Scrapbooks and Albums
  21. Series 3. Subseries 11. Lessie Stringfellow Read Scrapbooks
  22. Series 3. Subseries 12. Daybooks/Travel Diaries/Autobiography
  23. Series 4. Washington County Historical Society Organizational records

Acquisition Information

The Washington County Historical Society Collection was donated to the Special Collections Department by the Washington County Historical Society in October 1997. A significant portion of the collection was the Tom Feathers Memorial Library, donated to the Society by Mrs. Mildred Feathers after her husband's death in 1973, which consisted of historical documents, research files, and books and periodicals. Additional materials were acquired by the society, some as gifts from individuals pursuing local history subjects or in connection with articles published in Flashback or other WCHS publications. The print materials in the WCHS Collection were in many cases added to the cataloged Arkansas collection or to the main collection in Mullins Library.

Additional materials were donated by the WCHS between 1997-2008.

Processing Information

Processed by Vera Ekechukwu and Ethel C. Simpson; completed in Spring 1998.

Container list updated by Katrina Windon in November 2019 when some ledgers were rehoused.

Updated by Katrina Windon in May 2024 to incorporate additional donations of materials as Boxes 40-41.

Washington County Historical Society Collection
Vera Ekechukwu and Ethel C. Simpson
Spring 1998
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Materials are in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444