Wear Schoonover of Pocahontas

Arkansas’s first All American in football was Wear Schoonover of Pocahontas.  He was also 2nd team All American in basketball. Schoonover lettered in those two sports as well as baseball and track at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in the 1930s.  He was also President of his college senior class and maintained a 3.85 GPA while attending The University.

After graduation, he earned a law degree at the U of A and starred in a Hollywood movie, Maybe It’s Love.  He retained most of the Razorback’s receiving records in football for many decades, once catching 13 passes in a single game.

I once asked my great uncle, Joe Blankenship, who was about the same age as Schoonover, if he was recognized as an outstanding athlete while growing up here.  He replied that he was always the best athlete on local teams, but that no one here knew just how good he was until he went to college.  Uncle Joe said what he remembered about Wear as a boy was that every time he passed the Schoonover home (located where the Pocahontas City Hall stands today), Wear was in his front yard hurling a rubber ball against the porch and catching the rebounds.  “He was phenomenal,. my uncle said.  He never ever missed.”

For more information visit: The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture

Photo: http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/

Pocahontas Public Art Guild

Have you been downtown lately?  Did you notice the new art installations?

The newly formed  has been hard at work, adding to the ambiance and charm of our downtown area.  The Guild has already created a bit of artistic interest and whimsy in a few locations.

Come on down and take a look.  The wall on the Marr Street side of Bella Vita is now graced with life sized silhouettes!  A man dancing on a light pole, children being pulled in a wagon, a ballerina with an umbrella caught in the breeze and a little girl being lifted by balloons…and there are a few more surprise silhouettes still to come, so watch for them!


You will  want to park, get out of your car, and walk around, too.  Guild members, who are local artists and others interested  in art, have some miniature surprises in store for you, if you can find them!  Look down at the sidewalks, in corners, on curbs and down low on the sides of a few buildings…and you might see some stick figures or little animals and birds or scary and funny urchins!  There are currently about 20 tiny “paintings”, but  the guild will be adding more…surreptitiously, of course ….they are fun to find!  The guild members plan to catalog the tiny paintings and prepare a scavenger hunt to help  visitors find them…… and  residents, too!

The Guild has also been working on what will become a “community” art project.  You might have noticed the picnic table  in the flowerbed on the corner of Everett and Marr.  The city placed the table so that people will have a place to gather or eat a picnic meal or soak up some sun and then  asked the Guild to “decorate” it.  In the spring, the Guild will be asking art groups from the community to “re-do” the table, that is, to re-paint it in any artistic style they choose!  Then again in the fall another group will be recruited to re-paint the table.  Each new group that takes on the project will be acknowledged with a sign beside the newly painted table!  If you and your group wants  to go ahead and sign up for this fun project, let us know!

The Guild is open to all  artists and people interested in art,  so if you would like to join the Guild,  contact Linda Bowlin at 892-0087.  We have some great ideas for future projects…and we need your ideas and your talent, too!

The Sky Was Falling In Pocahontas

Everybody who visits Pocahontas wants to see our famous meteorite!

In the fall of 1858, a bright light streaked across the skies of northeast Arkansas. This visitor from the heavens was the remains of a large meteor that had burned its way through Earth’s atmosphere. It’s fiery presence grew larger as it approached the City of Pocahontas. The meteor fell to Earth with a great explosion of fire and a great bang! It landed in a field just north of what’s today Black River Overlook Park, along the river bank just across Highway 67 from downtown Pocahontas.

The great stony meteorite remained where it fell for forty years, until the town’s railway station master, Oscar Keith, loaded the rock in a wagon and placed it in his front yard on Vance Street north of downtown, where it remained for over a half century. Unprotected, the stone lost over 2/3 of its size as souvenir hunters chipped off many pieces.

The meteorite was more recently moved to a spot on the Randolph County Courthouse lawn (the 1940, art-deco building adjacent to the town square, not the 1872 “old courthouse” in the center of the square). There it can be viewed today, surrounded by a wrought iron fence. The meteorite’s location is near the northeast corner of the courthouse lawn, at the bottom of the large stairway off Broadway Street.