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Lighton Family Papers Addendum

Identifier: MC 779a

Scope and Content Note

Materials pertain primarily to Betty Lighton and date from her early college years to the last years of her life. Topics of interest relate primarily to northwest Arkansas, and include the Happy Hollow Foundation, the juvenile court system, the mental health system, and various community service organizations, especially materials pertaining to the United Community Services of Northwest Arkansas. Other topics include the Red Cross during World War II and Girl Scouts in northwest Arkansas and eastern Tennessee. Materials include correspondence, author-inscribed books, photographs, audio-cassette recordings, award plaques and an award medal. Materials originally included several ring-binder scrapbooks of unsecured newspaper clippings. These scrapbooks pertained to the United Community Services of Northwest Arkansas; for preservation purposes the ring-binders have been discarded and materials have been filed as newspaper clippings with other United Community Services materials. Other Betty Lighton materials are available in MC 779 Lighton Family Papers.


  • Creation: 1913-2007


Language of Materials

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

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

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

Biographical Note

Betty M. Lighton was born in Little Rock on November 15, 1912, the daughter of William "Will" Rheem Lighton and Laura McMaken Lighton. She grew up on Happy Hollow Farm which was located on land near Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas, purchased by her parents in 1908. The experimental farm gained fame through Will's writings in magazines, including the Saturday Evening Post, and his book, Happy Hollow Farm (1914).

Betty Lighton attended the College of Industrial Arts (present-day Texas Women's University) in Denton, Texas; a speech major, she graduating in 1934. For several years she worked in various capacities in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Fayetteville, Arkansas, including terms as a court reporter and a legal secretary; she also taught dance and directed several community plays. With the beginning of World War II, she volunteered to serve in the Red Cross, and was stationed at posts in Springfield, Missouri; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Denver, Colorado. Failing eye sight led her to seek employment where her vision was less critical for performing work duties. By 1951 she became the council advisor of the regional office in Memphis, Tennessee, of the Girl Scouts of the USA. In the mid-1950s she served as executive director of the Knoxville (Tennessee) Girl Scout Council. Receiving a fellowship from the American Foundation for the Blind, she began graduate school in 1958 at the University of Tennessee School of Social Work in Nashville. She completed a master's degree in Spring 1960, afterwhich she worked as the associate executive director of the YWCA in Dayton, Ohio. She retired in 1964, relocating to Happy Hollow Farm in Washington County, Arkansas.

However, for Betty Lighton retirement did not mean inactivity. Rather, following retirement she put her energy into numerous local community projects, including efforts to reform Washington County's juvenile justice and mental health treatment systems. Her achievements including the creation of the Ozark Guidance Center. For her activities she received numerous awards. She died on December 18, 2007, at the age of 95.


10.75 Linear Feet (13 boxes and 1 item)

Arrangement of the Papers

Materials are arranged first by physical type; the first group consists of all papers including correspondence, certificates, legal papers, newspaper clippings, etc. Papers are arranged in three categories: Betty Lighton personal materials; materials pertaining to organizations arranged alphabetically by organization name; and other miscellaneous materials. Following the papers are one folder of photographs, and then audio-cassettes. Other materials, award plaques, one award medal, and two scrapbooks, are stored in oversize boxes. Plaques are arranged in five boxes by size, with three boxes of very large plaques arranged alphabetically.

Acquisition Information

The Lighton Family Papers Addendum was donated to Special Collections in 2006 by Betty Lighton of Fayetteville.

Processing Information

Processed by Todd E. Lewis; completed in February 2011. Updated by Katrina Windon in March 2021 to incorporate an additional item, Item 1.

Lighton Family Papers Addendum
Todd E. Lewis
February 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written 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