Easter Egg

Donated by Virginia Hicks

This papier maché egg probably belonged to twins Mary and Ellen Russell of Harrison (Boone County) in the early 1920s. Mary and Ellen were born to Jesse and Rose Grever Russell in 1917. According to the 1920 census, the Russells lived at 614 West Central Avenue in Harrison. Jesse Russell was an editor of the Boone County Headlight newspaper.  In 1947 he authored Behind These Ozark Hills, a collection of personal reminiscences about life in Carroll and Boone counties.

Germany has a long history of using papier maché eggs to celebrate Easter.  From the late 1800s until the early 1930s, Germany exported empty papier maché eggs to the United States and throughout Europe. The word “GERMANY” stamped inside the egg helps narrow down when it was made. Up until about 1920, papier maché eggs manufactured in Germany were stamped “German” or “Germany.” From 1921 until 1933 they were stamped “German Republic. Following World War II, several stamps were used, including “East Germany,” “German Democratic Republic,” “West Germany,” and “Federal Republic of Germany.”

Donated by Virginia Hicks

This papier maché egg probably belonged to twins Mary and Ellen Russell of Harrison (Boone County) in the early 1920s. Mary and Ellen were born to Jesse and Rose Grever Russell in 1917. According to the 1920 census, the Russells lived at 614 West Central Avenue in Harrison. Jesse Russell was an editor of the Boone County Headlight newspaper.  In 1947 he authored Behind These Ozark Hills, a collection of personal reminiscences about life in Carroll and Boone counties.

Germany has a long history of using papier maché eggs to celebrate Easter.  From the late 1800s until the early 1930s, Germany exported empty papier maché eggs to the United States and throughout Europe. The word “GERMANY” stamped inside the egg helps narrow down when it was made. Up until about 1920, papier maché eggs manufactured in Germany were stamped “German” or “Germany.” From 1921 until 1933 they were stamped “German Republic. Following World War II, several stamps were used, including “East Germany,” “German Democratic Republic,” “West Germany,” and “Federal Republic of Germany.”

Fireplace Tool

Donated by Mary Kwas

Gaines Tucker and his wife, Estelle “Essie” Dill West Tucker, used this handmade fireplace poker at their home in the Dean community near Metalton (Carroll County). After Gaines Tucker lost his job during the Great Depression, the Tuckers moved to the Ozarks from North Carolina in the early 1930s. They bought an old cabin on ten acres in Carroll County, where Gaines farmed and Essie ran a second-hand clothing shop out of their home to help make ends meet. Gaines died in 1940 and Essie stayed on in the cabin until her death in 1951.

Closeup of handle and poker end.

Hardness Tester

Donated by the Ball CorporationRockwell Hardness Tester

The Rockwell hardness tester was used to determine the strength, or “hardness,” of metal. Hardness was measured by attempting to put a dent into metal with increasing pressure, with the corresponding hardness number indicated on a gauge. The hardness tester seen here used a conical diamond to make the dent. 

The history behind this particular tester is not completely known. Most recently it served at Heekin Can Company in Springdale. However, the tester has a metal tag identifying it as property of the “Defense Plant Corporation” or DPC. The DPC was created in 1940 to help with the war effort during World War II. Various wartime federal agencies would make a request for manufactured goods and the DPC would make sure that factories were able to deliver. Over six years the DPC distributed over nine billion dollars on 2,300 projects across forty-six states and overseas. Most of that money was spent building and equipping new factories and mills, which were primarily leased to private companies.

The metal tag also has “Frigidaire” engraved on it. Frigidaire Appliance Company made many components during World War II, including propellers, fuel tanks, and machine guns.

Metal tag on hardness tester.

Heekin Can Company was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, by James Heekin in 1901. Son James J. Heekin took over the business in 1904 following his father’s passing. A second plant was added in 1915, and Heekin went on to become the largest regional manufacturer of metal food containers in the U.S., with  factories in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

In the 1940s, Springdale was the center of Northwest Arkansas’s agricultural and canning industries. Heekin decided to locate a plant in Springdale to provide packing cans for locally processed fruits and vegetables. On June 4, 1949, the grand opening of Springdale’s Heekin Can Company was met with much fanfare, including speeches by Heekin president Daniel Heekin, Frisco Railroad vice president John Payne, and Arkansas highway commissioner Orval Faubus. The Springdale High School Band and Slim Picken’s Famous Western Band provided musical entertainment as some 4,000 visitors toured the new factory. Free soda pop and fried chicken box lunches were provided for all in attendance. 

Heekin remained under family control until 1965 when it was sold to Diamond International to avoid a possible hostile takeover. In 1982 Heekin was sold as an independent company to Wesray Holding Corporation following a hostile takeover of Diamond. Three years later Heekin went public. Ball Corporation acquired Heekin in 1993. Phaseout of operations at the Springdale facility began in 2019, with the final plant closure expected sometime in 2021.

Learn more about Springdale’s Heekin Canning Company and the local canning industry in our Canned Gold online exhibit.

Rockwell Hardness Tester

Donated by the Ball Corporation

The Rockwell hardness tester was used to determine the strength, or “hardness,” of metal. Hardness was measured by attempting to put a dent into metal with increasing pressure, with the corresponding hardness number indicated on a gauge. The hardness tester seen here used a conical diamond to make the dent. 

The history behind this particular tester is not completely known. Most recently it served at Heekin Can Company in Springdale. However, the tester has a metal tag identifying it as property of the “Defense Plant Corporation” or DPC. The DPC was created in 1940 to help with the war effort during World War II. Various wartime federal agencies would make a request for manufactured goods and the DPC would make sure that factories were able to deliver. Over six years the DPC distributed over nine billion dollars on 2,300 projects across forty-six states and overseas. Most of that money was spent building and equipping new factories and mills, which were primarily leased to private companies.

Metal tag on hardness tester.

The metal tag also has “Frigidaire” engraved on it. Frigidaire Appliance Company made many components during World War II, including propellers, fuel tanks, and machine guns.

Heekin Can Company was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, by James Heekin in 1901. Son James J. Heekin took over the business in 1904 following his father’s passing. A second plant was added in 1915, and Heekin went on to become the largest regional manufacturer of metal food containers in the U.S., with  factories in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

In the 1940s, Springdale was the center of Northwest Arkansas’s agricultural and canning industries. Heekin decided to locate a plant in Springdale to provide packing cans for locally processed fruits and vegetables. On June 4, 1949, the grand opening of Springdale’s Heekin Can Company was met with much fanfare, including speeches by Heekin president Daniel Heekin, Frisco Railroad vice president John Payne, and Arkansas highway commissioner Orval Faubus. The Springdale High School Band and Slim Picken’s Famous Western Band provided musical entertainment as some 4,000 visitors toured the new factory. Free soda pop and fried chicken box lunches were provided for all in attendance. 

Heekin remained under family control until 1965 when it was sold to Diamond International to avoid a possible hostile takeover. In 1982 Heekin was sold as an independent company to Wesray Holding Corporation following a hostile takeover of Diamond. Three years later Heekin went public. Ball Corporation acquired Heekin in 1993. Phaseout of operations at the Springdale facility began in 2019, with the final plant closure expected sometime in 2021.

Learn more about Springdale’s Heekin Canning Company and the local canning industry in our Canned Gold online exhibit.

Baptismal Font

Baptismal font, Kingston, Presbyterian Church, Kingston, Arkansas, circa 1920s

Donated by Patricia Laird Vaughan

This free-standing wooden font originally included a metal water basin housed underneath the font’s conical lid. Water from the basin was used to perform the rite of baptism using a non-immersion method—by sprinkling, pouring, washing, or dipping.

In the early to mid 1900s, the Madison County town of Kingston was part of an outreach effort in the Appalachians and the Ozarks to improve the religious, social, and cultural life of mountain folk. In 1916, Rev. Elmer J. Bouher came to Arkansas from Indiana, tasked by the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. to revive an abandoned mission in Kingston. Construction of a New England colonial style building for the Kingston Community Church was completed in 1926, a project of the Board of Missions of the Presbyterian Church and the Brick Presbyterian Church of Rochester, New York.

In its heyday, the Kingston Community Church complex included a school, hospital, and community hall complete with a library, stage, bowling alley, kitchens, locker room, and showers. Interest in the project waned in the late 1930s, and the Board of Missions withdrew financial support in 1943. The owner of the buildings and property, the Brick Presbyterian Church, experienced financial difficulties in 1950. They decided to sell off all their mission holdings and offered the Kingston community the opportunity to purchase the land and buildings. Due to the poor condition of the properties the school board decided to construct a new school instead. The church was torn down soon thereafter.

In 1998, Patricia Laird Vaughan purchased the Kingston Community Church’s baptismal font at the Bunch Grocery Store auction in Kingston. Founded in 1880 by Joel N. Bunch, the store was located on the northwest corner of the Kingston square. It remained in the Bunch family for generations, serving the community as a center of commerce and later, a popular local gathering spot. The last storeowner, Hugh Bunch, died in 1995. At that time the Bunch Store closed; its contents were sold at auction in 1998. The building was purchased by Joel L. Bunch, great-grandson of the store’s founder, Joel N. Bunch.

Christmas Mouse

Donated by Ada Lee Shook

Eden Toys musical mouseMade by the New York-based Eden Toys, Inc., this musical mouse spins in a circle while playing “Deck the Halls.” It has a copyright date of 1982 and was sewn in Haiti. According to a 1981 newspaper article in the Millville (New Jersey) Daily, Eden’s board chairman David Miller explained that “the average stuffed toy takes 60 to 90 days to produce . . . because material must be cut, shipped [from Eden’s New Jersey factory] to South America or Haiti for stitching, and returned to the U.S. for finishing.”

A similar Eden Toys musical mouse is seen in a Belk’s Department Store ad in the December 21, 1984, Gaffney (South Carolina) Ledger, retailing for $16. The only difference between that mouse and the mouse pictured here is the outfit. The Belk’s mouse is wearing a striped nightshirt and cap.

Perhaps Eden Toys’ best known plush toy was Paddington Bear, the creation of British author Michael Bond. Other popular Eden toy lines included Beatrix Potter’s animal characters and Jean de Brunhoff’s Babar the Elephant animal characters. Eden Toys sold all its toy licenses in the early 2000s.

Ada Lee Smith Shook (1928–2009) was descended from pioneer families in Washington and Benton counties. Born in Fayetteville, she was the only child of William Carl Smith and Frances Slaughter Smith. Ada Lee graduated from Fayetteville High School in 1945, received a degree in mathematics from the University of Arkansas, and taught school for a time. She married William Eugene Shook in 1953. They raised two children. Ada Lee was an avid genealogist and saver of family heirlooms, many of which she donated to the Shiloh Museum.

Eden Toys musical mouse

Donated by  Ada Lee Shook

Made by the New York-based plush-toy manufacturer Eden Toys, Inc., this musical mouse spins in a circle while playing “Deck the Halls.” It has a copyright date of 1982 and was sewn in Haiti. According to a 1981 newspaper article in the Millville (New Jersey) Daily, Eden’s board chairman David Miller explained that “the average stuffed toy takes 60 to 90 days to produce . . . because material must be cut, shipped [from Eden’s New Jersey factory] to South America or Haiti for stitching, and returned to the U.S. for finishing.”

A similar Eden Toys musical mouse is seen in a Belk’s Department Store ad in the December 21, 1984, Gaffney (South Carolina) Ledger, retailing for $16. The only difference between that mouse and the mouse pictured here is the outfit. The Belk’s mouse is wearing a striped nightshirt and cap.

Perhaps Eden Toys’ best known plush toy was Paddington Bear, the creation of British author Michael Bond. Other popular Eden toy lines included Beatrix Potter’s animal characters and Jean de Brunhoff’s Babar the Elephant animal characters. Eden Toys sold all its toy licenses in the early 2000s.

Ada Lee Smith Shook (1928–2009) was descended from pioneer families in Washington and Benton counties. Born in Fayetteville, she was the only child of William Carl Smith and Frances Slaughter Smith. Ada Lee graduated from Fayetteville High School in 1945, received a degree in mathematics from the University of Arkansas, and taught school for a time. She married William Eugene Shook in 1953. They raised two children. Ada Lee was an avid genealogist and saver of family heirlooms, many of which she donated to the Shiloh Museum.

“U.S. Presidents” Volvelle

US Presidents volvelle, circa 1931Donated by  Bill Stamper

As Emily Marinker of the New York Academy of Medicine writes, “[A volvelle is] a (brilliantly) simple paper construction of moving parts; layers of rotating discs with information on them.”

This “Biographies of U.S. Presidents” volvelle was produced by Arthur Sichel of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has a copyright date of 1931. Information for each president includes birthplace, religion, ancestry, years in office, inauguration year, the order in which he served, party affiliation, profession before becoming president, final resting place, and the vice president who served with him. The religions listed on the volvelle include Baptist, Disciples of Christ, Episcopal, Society of Friends (Quaker), Methodist, No Claim, Presbyterian, Reformed Dutch, and Unitarian. Five ancestries are listed: Dutch, English, Scotch, Scotch-Irish, and Welsh. Below each president’s image is his name, birth date, and death date. 

A German immigrant, Arthur Sichel (1887–1955) arrived in America in 1903, settled in Pennsylvania, became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 1927, and married Kamma Riegelsen from Denmark in 1932.  In the 1930 census, Arthur Sichel listed his occupation as  “advertising salesman.”

The volvelle was found by the donor when he bought the former home of the John A. and Margaret Long Phillips family of Huntsville (Madison County). John Phillips served as Madison County’s sheriff from 1926 until he was shot and killed by 80-year-old county resident Jason Matlock on December 22, 1930. Sheriff Phillips less than ten days left in office; Arkansas Governor Henry Parnell appointed Margaret Phillips to finish out her husband’s term. According to the Madison County Record (December 30, 1930), as she “assisted [Sheriff Phillips] all the time with the clerical duties of the office and is better qualified than anyone else to wind up the affairs in the office. She will appoint deputies to look after any work outside needing attention.”

U. S. Presidents volvelle, 1931

Donated by  Bill Stamper

As Emily Marinker of the New York Academy of Medicine writes, “[A volvelle is] a (brilliantly) simple paper construction of moving parts; layers of rotating discs with information on them.”

This “Biographies of U.S. Presidents” volvelle was produced by Arthur Sichel of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has a copyright date of 1931. Information for each president includes birthplace, religion, ancestry, years in office, inauguration year, the order in which he served, party affiliation, profession before becoming president, final resting place, and the vice president who served with him. The religions listed on the volvelle include Baptist, Disciples of Christ, Episcopal, Society of Friends (Quaker), Methodist, No Claim, Presbyterian, Reformed Dutch, and Unitarian. Five ancestries are listed: Dutch, English, Scotch, Scotch-Irish, and Welsh. Below each president’s image is his name, birth date, and death date. 

A German immigrant, Arthur Sichel (1887–1955) arrived in America in 1903, settled in Pennsylvania, became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 1927, and married Kamma Riegelsen from Denmark in 1932.  In the 1930 census, Arthur Sichel listed his occupation as  “advertising salesman.”

The volvelle was found by the donor when he bought the former home of the John A. and Margaret Long Phillips family of Huntsville (Madison County). John Phillips served as Madison County’s sheriff from 1926 until he was shot and killed by 80-year-old county resident Jason Matlock on December 22, 1930. Sheriff Phillips less than ten days left in office; Arkansas Governor Henry Parnell appointed Margaret Phillips to finish out her husband’s term. According to the Madison County Record (December 30, 1930), as she “assisted [Sheriff Phillips] all the time with the clerical duties of the office and is better qualified than anyone else to wind up the affairs in the office. She will appoint deputies to look after any work outside needing attention.”