About laurieskillern

Hi, I am a mother of one terrific kid, two wonderful stepkids and one goofy furkid. I currently live in Central Arkansas. I love to write and journal as well as snap photos of the places and people I love.

William D Whitney, 47 Year Old Brickwall

William D Whitney, 1821-?

William D Whitney was born about 1821 in Ohio. Parents unknown. The first official record of him is a marriage record. He married on 1 April 1841 in Athens County Ohio to a Emily (or Mary) French. She went by Amelia on most records.

Amelia French, 1822-1906(?)

William and Amelia are next found on the 1850 US Federal Census, Section 10, Van Wert County, Ohio in the same home as the family of Sarah Brees Cline. Relationship unknown. Amelia’s sister Sarah French is living with them. William and Amelia have three children: John, Miriam, and Henry L.

In 1860, the family had moved to Lake, Logan County, Ohio and there are six children: John, Henry, Charles, Mathew, David and Sarah.

Miriam is not listed with the family in 1860 and there is a Miriam Whitney, daughter of W D and A Whitney, that is buried in Spoon Cemetery, Wharton, Wyandot, Ohio. The dates on Find-A-Grave don’t quite match but the tombstone image is not legible. Amelia’s sister Nancy M French Case lived in Wyandot County. I believe there is an error on Find-A-Grave and that the Miriam listed actually died in 1857 and that would line up to be the correct Miriam.

By 1870, William, Amelia and six children: John, Henry, Martha (?), David, Sarah and James are in Meramec, St Louis, Missouri. The whereabouts of Charles and Mathew are unknown.

The 1880 US Federal Census lists, William and Amelia living with two of their children: Sarah and James as well as a 6 year old granddaughter, Levina F. (parents unknown). They are in Ramsey, Fayette County, Illinois.

Nothing is known of William D Whitney after that. By 1900 his wife is listed on the census, living with her daughter, as a widow.

A 1891 plat map of Fayette County Illinois shows his sons, David Case Whitney, owning 120 acres and Henry Louis Whitney owning 40 acres. By 1900 David and Henry are living in East St Louis, St Clair, Illinois. Sarah, with Amelia, are living in Edwardsville, Madison County, Illinois.

Amelia is listed on the census as being the mother of 9 children, 4 living. The four are Henry, David, Sarah and Unknown. James died about 1897 and the nothing has been found about the other children. Nothing is known about the granddaughter on the 1880 census.

G. W. Adkisson of Conway

The Adkisson Family Farmhouse on Palarm Creek

George Washington Adkisson, was born 5 July 1864 in Mount Vernon, Faulkner County, Arkansas. His parents were Sampson “Sam” Adkisson and Martha W. Butler Adkisson of Mount Vernon, Arkansas.

He married Claudia Clara Lay on 11 February 1892. They had two children, Elsie Adkisson in 1892 and Samuel R. Adkisson in 1906. Sadly, Claudia Clara died 27 October 1909.

George married again on 12 January 1913 to Mary L. Robinette. They had four children, daughter Mary Margaret Adkisson in 1913, twin girls Ruth and Rubye in 1915 and son, George Washington Adkisson, Jr. in 1917.

Mary L Robinette (second person, top row) pictured with parents and siblings.

The family lived in Conway but also loved spending time between on the “family farm,”aka Adkisson Plantation near Mayflower. The plantation was once the largest in the area and encompassed nearly 3000 acres in Faulkner and Pulaski Counties.

On 27 March 1934, George was working at the plantation when he suffered a stroke and was transported back to his home in Conway. His health continued to decline so he was sent to a Little Rock hospital. Unfortunately, he passed that night. Survivors included his wife and six children.

After her husband’s death, Mary took over managing the plantation and properties which she did until her death in 1969.

In 1965, George, Jr officially incorporated the Adkisson Plantation as Palarm Creek Plantation, Inc.

The family owned and continued to operate the farm until after the death of G. W. Adkisson, Jr. in 1996 and was sold in 1997 to investors.

Just a little side note, George Jr. worked for Winthrop Rockefeller and was a manager of Winrock Farms on Petit Jean Mountain.

Another home on the Adkisson homesite.

Life Is A Carousel

“Carousel horses are not just made of wood, they are painted with memories.” Bette Largent

The Herschell-Spillman Carousel, aka The Over-the-Jumps Carousel has been at the Little Rock Zoo since 2007.

It was first exhibited at the 1924 Arkansas State Fair and it is believed to be the last operating “Over-The-Jumps” type of carousel in the world.

More information on this historic carousel can be found on the zoo’s website:


Elvis Was Fined

What is the connection between Elvis and this Esso station in Carlisle, Arkansas?

In 1955, Elvis and several band members were heading on Hwy. 70 toward Little Rock.

At this intersection of Hwy. 70 and Hwy. 13 in Carlisle, while driving at a high rate of speed, Elvis broadsided a dump truck and sent his Cadillac into a ditch across the highway from this station. Nobody was injured, the Caddy was still drivable but the gas tank on the dump truck was punctured. Elvis was fined $25 for the damage to the dump truck.

Utley House

Utley House, 3 April 2022

The E. F. Utley house was built between 1914 and 1922 in Cabot, Lonoke, Arkansas and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

Dr. F. E. Utley (Francis Edwin Utley) who was born 10 Feb 1881 in Greenbrier, Faulkner County, Arkansas to Francis David Utley and Amanda Melvina Snow. Dr. Utley married Rosa Lee Ray on 29 Dec 1901 in Hardinville, Faulkner County, Arkansas. He died in the house on 25 Oct 1952 and was buried at Mt Carmel Cemetery in Cabot.

(Note: listed on the 1940 US Federal Census twice. Once at home with the family and the other as a TB patient at the Arkansas State Tuberculous Sanitarium near Booneville in Logan County.)

Rosa Lee Ray was born 27 August 1881 in Arkansas and died 1 Dec 1955 in Pulaski County, Arkansas. She is buried next to her husband.

The Utley’s had three children; Arlis Dee Utley, Geneva Pauline Utley and Francis Edward Utley, Jr.

The Roberts/Brown Kids

Fanny Susanne (1895-1981), John Newton (1892-1954), and William Vincent Roberts (1898-1994) with baby sister Clara Elizabeth Brown (1903-1988).

Circa 1904, Houston, Texas County, Missouri.

The youngest three children of David D Roberts and Laura Belle Gentry Roberts. Their father died about 1899 in Oklahoma (?) and the mother remarried in 1902 to William J Brown. A year later Clara was born.