Fort Leonard Wood Pillow Sham

Donated by Norman and Elsie Young

Norman Young (1913-1989) was born near the Madison County community of Wesley. He enlisted in the Army in 1943, trained at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, and served with the Army Corps of Engineers. Young’s overseas tour of duty took him to Italy.  PFC Norman Young was discharged from service on October 17, 1945. He returned home to Northwest Arkansas, married Elsie Cress, and worked as a custodian at the University of Arkansas.

During World War II, souvenir pillow shams were popular gifts sent from soldiers to family and friends back home. This sham boasts a golden castle in the upper left hand corner, the symbol for the Army Corps of Engineers. In the upper right corner, the blue star on a red and white background is a symbol used by the Army Service Forces from March 9, 1942 through June 11, 1946. The large symbol in the center of the sham represents Fort Leonard Wood’s Engineer Replacement Training Center. The phrase “Victoria Ex Scientia” means “Victory from Knowledge.”


Donated by Annabel Searcy

Bustles were used mainly in the mid-to-late nineteenth century to expand and support the back of a woman’s dress. This “Taylor’s Cushion No. 2” woven wire bustle dates from the early 1900s, fairly late in the lifespan of these padded undergarments. By the early 1910s, the bustle had been replaced by the long corset which shaped more of the body then just the back of the dress.

View Henry H. Taylor’s 1900 bustle patent.

Emerson “Patriot” Radio

Donated by Ada Lee Shook

This radio belonged to the Carl Smith family of Fayetteville.

In 1940, with U. S. involvement in World War II on everyone’s mind, Emerson Radio and Phonograph Company and industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes came out with the “Patriot” radio in red, white, and blue colors. The cabinet is made of catalin, a type of plastic similar to bakelite. Patriots retailed for $24.95.

Fork and Spoon Set

Donated by Paula Thompson

This fancy silverware no doubt saw its share of holiday meals. The serving fork is silverplate and was from the 1847 Rogers Brothers line manufactured by Meriden Britannia Company ( Meriden, CT). The pattern name is “Assyrian Head,” designed and patented by Henry V. Hirschfeld in 1886. The serving spoon, part of a set, is sterling silver made by Gorham Manufacturing Company (Providence, RI) in the “Fontainebleau” pattern, designed by Gorham’s leading designer, Antoine Heller. It was also introduced in 1886.

The flatware pieces come from the Robert M. Thompson household of Rogers (Benton County). Priscilla Cabinette Thomas of Virginia was a violin and piano teacher and church organist In the late 1800s when she met Robert Marion Thompson, a minister from Kentucky. The couple was married around 1896 and had two sons. The Thompson family moved to Rogers, Arkansas, about 1900 where Robert preached at the First Christian Church and other nearby churches.


Donated by Pauline Lancaster

This yellow earthenware flask with a Rockingham glaze was made by Lyman Fenton & Co., Bennington, Vermont, sometime between 1849-1858. The spine of the “book” boasts the tongue-in-cheek title, Departed Spirits. The letter G is stamped under the title.

According to the donor, it was left behind by a hobo as payment for a night’s stay in a barn.

Class of 1922 Ring

Donated by Ada Lee Shook

This ring belonged to Frances Slaughter. She was born in Goshen (Washington County) in 1905 to John Lionel (“Lona”) and Ada Bevers Slaughter. The family moved to Springdale in 1914 and from there to Fayetteville in 1921, where Frances graduated from high school in 1922.

Frances kept a diary during her senior year. On Friday, May 19, 1922, she wrote of graduation day:

Frances Slaughter, circa 1922. Carl Smith, photographer/Ada Lee Shook Collection (S-98-85-965)

I got up at 8 A.M. and went to the Ozark [Theater] to practice. I got real mad at Mary Dale Sellers. I pressed my dress, made sandwiches and everything. I went to the Commencement exercises and after that to Thelma’s bunkin [bunking] party. We started to go on a night gown parade but saw a drunk man. We went to sleep about 3 A.M.

In the fall of 1922 Frances Slaughter entered the University of Arkansas. There she met William Carl Smith, whom she married in 1926. The Smiths had one daughter, Ada Lee, born in 1928.