Looking Back


Anna Lee Jenkins Spearman was born January 30, 1919 in the Holly Spring community of Springfield, AR. Three of our upcoming exhibits are based on Ms. Spearman's memories of her life in the Ozark Foothills area.

Ms. Spearman recalls that many of the families who migrated to the area worked together to turn a group of people homesteading into a real community. Most important to the community, in her estimation, was a place to worship. There was a log cabin church in Holly Spring with many activities ("to-dos") including revival meetings, singing unions, services, and many other events.

The school was another gathering place where community was built. The people of Holly Spring only had a one-room school building, but they filled it with activity. On one occasion, for which Ms. Spearman was present, a spelling bee was interrupted by a parent who disputed the word choice! Parents attended many such school events, and even school plays were offered.

There was, of course, lots of other entertainment around the community that built relationships between friends and neighbors. There was baseball, a regular Saturday night fish-fry and dance, quartet singing on Sunday afternoons by the various musical quartets in the community, and fox hunting!

"They made a way out of no way," Ms. Spearman recalled. "In spite of the hard work we had to do, life was good."