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Vada Webb Sheid Papers

Identifier: MC 930

Scope and Content Note

The papers contain legislative research files, speeches, scrapbooks, photographs, and other papers. For the most part, file titles assigned by Vada Sheid have been retained. Research files contain correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, and other papers, and are arranged alphabetically by topic. Speeches and recordings contain speeches prepared by Sheid arranged alphabetically by topic. Audio-cassette recordings include recordings of campaign speeches and speeches by Arkansas Senator Ben Allen. Campaign papers contain correspondence, a 1984 campaign plan, and campaign artifacts.

Scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings and a few photographs. The items in the scrapbooks have been removed from the original binders, but the original arrangement of each scrapbook is intact. Personal papers include a few family papers containing biographical information, a manuscript version of an unpublished biography of Sheid by Carol Griffee, and a collection of poems, prayers, and verses collected by Sheid. Photographs contain pictures taken at the capitol, pictures taken at various events, and a few family photographs.


  • Creation: 1934-1987


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

Vada Webb Sheid was born in 1916 near Calico Rock (Izard County) to John William Webb (1892-1965) and Gertrude Reynolds Webb (1896-1979). She graduated from Calico Rock High School in 1934 and at the age of nineteen, became the Izard County Welfare Director. In order to meet additional requirements for the position, she attended Draughon School of Business in Little Rock. In 1936, Vada Webb went to work as an interviewer for the state Welfare Department. In 1940, she married Carl Sheid (born 1915). He was born at Norfork (Izard County) to Dr. Zachary Sheid and Octava Rector Sheid. They have one son, Richard Sheid, and two grandchildren, Adam and Stacy Sheid.

Carl and Vada Sheid moved to Mountain Home, where they opened the area's first self-serve food market. In 1941, Carl Sheid was drafted into the army, so the couple sold their store. Vada Sheid returned to Izard County, where she worked as a payroll clerk for the construction company that was building Norfork Dam. During the war, she also accompanied Dr. Zachary Sheid on his rounds through the county. After World War II, the Sheids returned to Mountain Home, where they built a new grocery store. Dissatisfied with the grocery store business and a brief bout with farming, the Sheids opened a furniture company (Baxter Furniture Company) in 1957. Today, with their son, Richard, they operate Sheid's Furniture in Mountain Home.

In 1958, Vada Sheid ran for Baxter County Treasurer. She lost by 200 votes; but in 1960, she ran for the same office and won. She served as Baxter County Treasurer until 1964. In 1965, Sheid was elected to the Arkansas State House of Representatives from the 44th District (Baxter and Fulton counties). She served on the Public Health, Welfare, and Educa- tion Committee and the Insurance and Commerce Committee. Her interest in the plight of the elderly led to her appointment in 1972 by Governor Dale Bumpers as one of his official representatives to the White House Conference on Aging. She also served as a member of the Governor's Committee on the Status of Women, having first been appointed by Governor Winthrop Rockefeller in 1971.

In 1976, she was elected to the Arkansas Senate. She became the only woman in Arkansas to be elected to the Arkansas Senate who had not succeeded to a Senate seat through the death of a husband. Sheid represented the 20th Senate District (Baxter, Marion, Boone, Newton, and Searcy counties) until 1985, when she was defeated in the 1984 elections by Steve Leulf. She served on the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee, and the City, County, and Governmental Affairs Committee. She also served on the State Agencies and Government Affairs Committee, and the Retirement and Social Services Committee. In 1987, Governor Bill Clinton appointed her to the Arkansas State Police Commission. Vada Sheid's interests are many; however, one of her greatest accomplishments has been the spearheading of many road and bridge improvements. The biggest project was the construction of two bridges over Lake Norfork. Sheid was also active in the development of community colleges; she introduced the measures which established the North Arkansas Community College in Harrison in 1973. In addition to her service in the Arkansas House of Representatives and the Arkansas Senate, Sheid has actively participated in a number of voluntary organizations including Easter Seals and the American Red Cross.


13 Linear Feet (29 boxes)

Arrangement of the Papers

Some oversized materials have been separated to Manuscripts Oversize Box 11.

Materials are arranged in the following series and subseries:

  1. Series 1. Research Files
  2. Series 2. Speeches and Recordings
  3. Series 3. Campaign Papers
  4. Series 4. Scrapbooks
  5. Series 5. Personal Papers
  6. Series 5. Subseries 1. Biographical Papers
  7. Series 5. Subseries 2. Poems, Prayers, and Songs
  8. Series 5. Subseries 3. Memorabilia
  9. Series 6. Photographs
  10. Series 6. Subseries 1. Photographs Taken at Capitol
  11. Series 6. Subseries 2. Other Places and Events
  12. Series 6. Subseries 3. Family Photographs

Acquisition Information

Vada Webb Sheid, of Mountain Home (Baxter County), Arkansas, donated her papers to Special Collections on April 17, 1989.

Processing Information

Processed by Anthony J. Wappel; completed in May 1989. Updated by Katrina Windon in September 2022 to incorporate Item 1.

Vada Webb Sheid Papers
Anthony J. Wappel
May 1989
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