Kenneth L. Smith Papers

MC 1423

Special Collections
University of Arkansas Libraries

365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701-4002
Phone: 479-575-8444

Machine-readable finding aid encoded in EAD by Shana Zarnowski.

Finding aid is written in English.

Table of Contents

Descriptive Summary

Smith, Kenneth L., 1934-
Kenneth L. Smith Papers
Inclusive Dates
MC 1423
1 linear foot (2 containers)
Materials are in English.
Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Acquisition Information

The Kenneth L. Smith Papers were donated to the University of Arkansas Libraries by Kenneth L. Smith on September 25, 1994.

Two additional photographs by Smith (Box 2, Folder 19) were found in the collections in November 2018.

Processing Information

Processed by Todd E. Lewis, Special Collections Division, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, Arkansas, in August 2000.

Updated by Katrina Windon in November 2018 to incorporate additional photographs (Box 2, Folder 19).

Preferred Form of Citation

Kenneth L. Smith Papers (MC 1423), Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville.

See Special Collections Citation Guide for more detailed information on how to cite specific documents from the collection.

Biographical Note

Kenneth L. Smith, the son of Elton V. and Carol Gibbs Smith, grew up in Hot Springs. In 1952 he enrolled at the University of Arkansas, majoring in mechanical engineering. During his freshman year he joined a university hiking group; while participating in this group he developed a great love for the Buffalo River country of northwest Arkansas.

Graduating in 1956, he worked for a paper company in Crossett, Arkansas, as an engineer. In 1961 he left Arkansas to attend graduate school in California. But rather than completing his graduate degree he accepted a position with the National Park Service; he later received a master of science degree in Natural Resources Administration from the University of Michigan. During his twelve years in the service he worked as a civil engineer in western parks and as a park planner in Washington, D.C.. In 1974 he left the service and returned to Fayetteville, where he became a freelance writer, photographer, and researcher.

During his years outside of Arkansas he retained his ties with environmentalists in the state, including members of the Ozark Society. In 1967 the society published his first book, The Buffalo River Country. It also published his second book in 1977, Illinois River. Smith's third book, Sawmill: The Story of Cutting the Last Great Virgin Forest East of the Rockies, published in 1986 by the University of Arkansas Press, received the Virginia K. Ledbetter Prize in 1988 for the best nonfiction work on Arkansas.

The Ozark Society was founded in 1962 in response to the United States Army Corps of Engineers' plans to dam the Buffalo River in order to create the Gilbert Reservoir. In the mid-1960s the Ozark Society mounted a campaign against the building of the Water Valley Dam on the Eleven Point River in northeastern Arkansas. In the early 1970s plans to build the Gillham Dam on the Cossatot River in southwestern Arkansas prompted the Ozark Society to take action. Because of the actions of the Ozark Society, these rivers were saved, and in 1972 the Buffalo River became the first river to be given the status of National River in the United States' national park system.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains materials concerning the preservation of the Buffalo, Cossatot, and Eleven Point rivers put forth by the Ozark Society, the Arkansas Conservation Council, the Arkansas Nature Conservancy, and the Federated Garden Clubs of Arkansas. Other materials concern the founding of the Ozark Society. Several item in the collection were created by Evangeline Archer, secretary of the Ozark Society in the 1960s. The materials also include various publications dating from the 1960s and early 1970s that discuss the Buffalo River. Finally, the collection includes several short narratives probably written by Ozark Society president Neil Compton detailing hiking and canoeing outings.

The materials in the collection include announcements, statements, correspondence, newspapers and clippings, magazine articles, booklets, flyers, and maps.

Arrangement of the Papers

Materials are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection

Box 1

Box 1 Folder 1

Arkansas Conservation Council, 1961-1968

Box 1 Folder 2

Arkansas Nature Conservancy, 1960-1961, 1968

Box 1 Folder 3

Buffalo River, 1954, 1958-1969

Box 1 Folder 4

Buffalo River - Clippings, 1962-1969

Box 1 Folder 5

Buffalo River - Legislation, 1963-1971

Box 1 Folder 6

Buffalo River - Magazines and Other Publications, 1962-1971

Box 1 Folder 7

Buffalo River - Notes by Evangeline Archer

Box 1 Folder 8

Buffalo River - Notes on Letters in the National Park Service Files

Box 2 Folder 19

Buffalo River - Photographs, 1965, 1968

Two color photographic prints by Kenneth L. Smith. One is identified as "Preparing to embark on a float from the low water bridge at Ponca, 4/24/65," the other as "Breakfast in camp opposite Big Bluff, 3 miles NE of Ponca. An overturned canoe serves as a table for the Sam Walton family of Bentonville, Ark."

Box 1 Folder 9

Cossatot River I, 1970-1971

Box 1 Folder 10

Cossatot River II - Geologic, Hydrologic, Botanical, Zoological Elements

Box 1 Folder 11

Cossatot River III - Archeological, Socio-Economic, Miscellaneous Elements

Box 2 Folder 1

Eleven Point River, 1961-1965

Box 2 Folder 2

Eleven Point River-Clippings, 1961-1967

Box 2 Folder 3

Eleven Point River-Correspondence, 1962-1968

Box 2 Folder 4

Eleven Point River Association

Box 2 Folder 5

Governor's Committee on Stream Preservation, 1966

Box 2 Folder 6

National Parks Association - Reservoir Drawdowns

Box 2 Folder 7

Outings Narratives

Box 2 Folder 8

Ozark Society, 1962-1963

Box 2 Folder 9

Ozark Society, 1964-1965

Box 2 Folder 10

Ozark Society, 1966-1971

Box 2 Folder 11

Ozark Society, 1972-1975

Box 2 Folder 12

Ozark Society - Clippings, 1964, 1966

Box 2 Folder 13

Ozark Society - Correspondence, 1962-1970

Box 2 Folder 14

Ozark Society - Membership List, 1973

Box 2 Folder 15

"Ozark Society", Compiled by Evangeline Archer, 1962-1972

Box 2 Folder 16

Ozark Society, 1962-1987

Box 2 Folder 17

Reservoirs - Proposals, Arkansas

Box 2 Folder 18

Stream Preservation Seminar - Russellville, December, 1968


University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Ave.
Fayetteville, AR 72701-4002
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