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As I filled out my appointment book for 2019 (yes, I’m old school; I don’t do these things online), I made sure to mark off the dates of April 11-13 for the annual meeting of the Arkansas Historical Association. I love Arkansas history and try never to miss what my wife refers to as my "spring weekend with fellow history nerds." This time, the meeting is at Stuttgart, which has a rich history. Stuttgart has long been one of my favorite towns. I can’t remember when I’ve been more excited about an AHA meeting.

It’s December, the time of year when people from across the country experience Stuttgart and the surrounding area. The middle of November through January means duck season, which results in an estimated $1 million-a-day boost to the Stuttgart economy. There’s also quality duck hunting on the east side of the White River, providing a shot in the arm for places such as Brinkley, Clarendon, Marianna, Augusta and McCrory.

"A dramatic chapter in Stuttgart’s history began in 1902 when a successful rice crop was grown in the vicinity," Glenn Mosenthin writes in his book Stuttgart, which is part of the Images of America series. "By 1907, Arkansas’ first rice mill was built, and in a mere two years, it needed to be expanded. Rice production took off in a big way, made viable by the prairie’s clay soil layer, which supported irrigation. la gasolina letra This attracted hundreds of settlers from the Midwest, who responded to advertising by promoters … who organized twice-monthly railroad excursions to Stuttgart. The town experienced a boom, resulting in a new brick public school and railroad depot, sidewalks, sewers, a paved Main Street with many brick buildings, and electricity to all homes."

"By the 1920s, area farms cultivated hundreds of thousands of acres of rice, which were flooded after the autumn harvest," Mosenthin writes. "With an abundance of surface water, nutritious flooded rice fields and a convenient Mississippi Flyway location, millions of migratory waterfowl began wintering in the region. Grand Prairie residents quickly realized the opportunities commercial duck hunting would provide for their area. electricity load shedding Lodges, guiding services and suppliers were established, aiding the area’s economy then just as today."

"The event was inspired by a dispute that broke out among local duck hunters as to which one was the best caller," Mosenthin writes. "A committee of three Stuttgart Legionnaires–Thad McCollum, Dr. H.V. Glenn and Verne Tindall–originated the contest. A carnival was set up on Main Street to accompany the contests, reviving the rice carnivals of previous years. The event has grown to become a truly national and international competition. quadcopter gas engine It is now part of the Wings Over the Prairie Festival, a huge source of revenue for the Stuttgart area."

The AHA meeting should include talks about the immigrants who transformed this part of the state. A colony of German Lutherans arrived in the Stuttgart area in 1878. Led by Rev. Adam Buerkle, the group first had settled near Woodville, Ohio, soon after the end of the Civil War. Buerkle heard about the Grand Prairie and came to Arkansas to check it out. gas in back relief He wound up purchasing the 7,700-acre Gum Pond Plantation for about $3 per acre. He brought one group to Gum Pond in 1878 and another group in 1879. Once both groups had arrived, there were 28 families and 17 Lutheran ministers.

I had a speaking engagement at Stuttgart this fall and received a call from Valentine Hansen, the well-known Little Rock real estate agent and sports enthusiast. Hansen has roots and lots of friends in this part of the state and wanted to tag along. On the drive down, I learned of his family’s immigrant past. His grandfather was Dr. Valentine Pardo, who was born in Cuba on Valentine’s Day 1902 as the third of 13 children. Pardo came to the United States to attend New York University and graduated with a degree in dentistry. gastroenteritis He practiced for one year and then enrolled in the Kansas City Medical College. Pardo interned as a doctor in Little Rock.

In 1930, as the Great Depression took hold in the rural South, the federal government contracted with Pardo and three other physicians to go to east Arkansas and fight infectious diseases. Pardo moved to Clarendon, which reminded him of Cuba because of the abundant vegetation and waterfowl. When the six-month assignment ended, Pardo leased a building in the farming community of Monroe, about 10 miles east of Clarendon.

Pardo practiced medicine for 56 years and had patients in three counties. He delivered more than 4,800 babies through the decades. Pardo made house calls throughout the region, first on a mule and later in a Jeep. He was often given cows or pigs as payment for services and began purchasing land to house the animals. By the time he retired, Pardo was farming about 5,500 acres in Monroe and Lee counties.