Linen Suit

Donated by Victoria McKinney

This linen outfit with its ruffled collar is a variation of the Little Lord Fauntleroy suit, a popular style of the late 1800s and early 1900s. In the book Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1886), the  main character wore black velvet knee pants and jacket over a lace-collared blouse. The style was popular until about 1920.

Evan Lewis Martin wore this suit as a child.  The son of Henry and Bette Hannah Martin of Pea Ridge (Benton County), he died at the age of 12 in 1910. In his obituary, the Rogers (Arkansas) Democrat noted that Evan “loved music and was a fine singer for a child.”


Orval Faubus’s Hat

Gov. Orval Faubus (in dark suit) at the Springdale Savings and Loan Association dedication, June 11, 1960. Howard Clark, photographer/Caroline Price Clark Collection (S-2001-82-375)

Donated by James McNally

This circa 1960 hat was made for Gov. Orval Faubus by Harry Rolnick, co-owner and designer of Resistol Hats. Rolnick and E.R. Byer founded Byer-Rolnick Company in Dallas in 1927. Byer-Rolnick specialized in Western and dress hats branded Resistol for “resist all weather.” Resistol hats quickly became famous for their trademarked “Self-Conforming Band” and “Kitten Finish” (a method of processing felt which produced a softer texture than conventionally-made felt).


Vera Key, 1920s. Bingham, photographer/Ada Lee Shook Collection (S-87-325-72)

Donated by Ada Lee Shook

Vera Key (1893-1987) was a civic leader in Rogers, Arkansas. Born at War Eagle (Benton County) and raised in Rogers, she served in the Army Nurses Corps in World War I and later worked as a nurse for noted author and humorist Tom Morgan of Rogers.

A descendant of two pioneer families of Benton County, the Blackburns and the Keys, Vera Key devoted her later years to historic preservation projects. She was active in the effort to establish Pea Ridge as a national military park and was the first chairperson of the commission that founded the Rogers Historical Museum.

Vera Key acquired many hats over the years, which would have been natural for a woman of her era involved in civic organizations. Several of her hats, including this one, came from the Lazarus Department Store in Cincinnati, Ohio. This circa 1945 simple olive green wool beret was made all the more distinctive with the addition of the cicada insect pin. A blue bead hat pin held the hat in place.


Donated by Naomi Bickford

While in Europe as a soldier during World War I, Nathan Bickford sent his wife, Naomi, this apron. Nathan Bickford served with Company G, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division during the war. He was awarded a sharpshooters badge, a World War I victory medal and a purple heart with oak leaf clusters for injuries suffered in France.

The Bickfords lived in Missouri, Kansas, and Tennessee before coming to Northwest Arkansas in the 1940s, where Nathan Bickford was an attorney in Gravette and Springdale.

Derby Hat

Donated by Dorothy Morsani

This derby belonged to Memo Morsani of Tontitown (Washington County). The inner lining sports a stamp (below) from Price Clothing Company in Fayetteville.

Richard Dominic “Memo” Morsani (1889-1951) was born in Orvinio, Italy. Memo, his father Emidio, and brother Camillo were among the first families who came with Father Pietro Bandini to settle Tontitown in 1898. Memo was well-known in the region for his beautiful singing voice. After serving with the U. S. Army during World War I, he returned to Tontitown, became a nursery agent in the local fruit industry, and married Rose Bastianelli (another of Tontitown’s founding citizens) in 1926.

Tontitown get-together, circa 1920. Memo Morsani is on the back row, holding a tuba. Lavinia Zulpo Collection (S-2003-2-1191)

Corduroy Hat

Donated by Hunt’s Department Store

This 1960s bucket-style corduroy hat comes from Hunt’s Department Store.

Fred Hunt established clothing stores in Fayetteville and Rogers in the 1940s, with a Springdale location coming later.

Hunt’s flagship store in Fayetteville expanded in 1964, opening a second location, both on the Fayetteville Square. Hunt’s on the north side of the square specialized in clothing for women and children, while Hunt’s on the east side of the square focused on men’s clothing.

By 1980, Fred Hunt had retired from the retail business. He died in 1995.