LAKE VILLAGE — “Influence of Southeast Arkansas in the Arkansas Historical Association ” will be presented by journalist and historian Maylon Rice at the Lakeport Legacies history talk.
The session will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Lakeport Plantation at Lake Village. The event begins at 5 p.m. with refreshments and conversation. The program is free and open to the public.
Rice will discuss the early leaders of the Arkansas Historical Association who came from southern and southeast Arkansas.
Formed in 1941, the AHA publishes the Arkansas Historical Quarterly and is Arkansas’ foremost organization for the preservation, writing, publishing, teaching, and understanding of the state’s history.
Its early leaders included many prominent southeast Arkansans. Desha County Judge J. L. “Jud” Erwin and Dermott native Capt. John C. Hammock, a graduate of West Point, both served as president of the AHA. Early board members included oilman Col. T. H. Barton of El Dorado and State Senator Lee Reeves, the first director of AETN.
Rice is a native of Warren. It was there he started as an 8th grade “printer’s devil” at the Warren Eagle-Democrat, the second oldest continuous business in Warren and Bradley County. He first ran across an issue of the Arkansas Historical Quarterly there in the Eagle office as the late Bob Newton, longtime editor/publisher of the weekly newspaper told him: “Read this, it will tell you more about Arkansas history than any textbook over at Warren High or any current college textbook in Arkansas.” So his love affair with history and journalism began.
Rice attended Henderson State College at Arkadelphia, majoring in history and journalism. In December 1977, he became one of the youngest newspaper editors at the McGehee-Dermott Times-News serving Desha and Chicot counties.
He has since held newspaper posts at Wynne, Little Rock (working for the iconic John Robert Starr) and later editor of the Benton County Daily Democrat (now the Benton County Record). Even with a career change at age 40, Rice continued to write newspaper columns for The Blytheville Courier and others.
In 1992, Rice re-started his newspaper career at the Northwest Arkansas Times and during that time, Rice was a guest commentator on the AETN Public Affairs program “Arkansas Week.” He was awarded the Arkansas Associated Press’ top correspondents award for his coverage of the University of Arkansas. Rice has been a member of the AHA and became a life member in 1998. He currently has a newspaper column in the Prairie Grove, Farmington, Lincoln, Siloam Springs and Bella Vista newspapers.
In 2015, Rice was elected to the Arkansas Historical Association Board of Directors. He is currently in his second three-year term on the AHA.
Lakeport Legacies is a monthly history talk held on the last Thursday at the Lakeport Plantation during the spring and summer.
For details or to register for the Oct. 19 event, contact Blake Wintory at Lakeport Plantation, 870-265-6031.